Brian on Books: Top 10 for 2021

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2021: Top 10



I had the pleasure of reading many great books last year. So, what are my Top 10 books for 2021? See below.

#10. “Master Leaders: 30 Leadership Greats, 16 Keys to Success, One Amazing Conversation” by George Barna.  This is an older book that I just discovered. Wow. The book drips with nuggets of gold. Page after page filled with wisdom by some of the world’s most noted leaders. This should be required reading for any leader.

#9. “Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression” by Zack Eswine. A truly moving book. You walk with Spurgeon through his darkness but also get to see what God was accomplishing through it. An amazing book of hope.

#8. “Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking” by Jon Acuff.  If you overthink things, talk down to yourself, preach negative truths to yourself – then buy this book. I’ve been tremendously helped by Acuff’s book.

#7. “Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World” by Andrea Pitzer. A true story that will captivate you and make your heart pound with suspense. Critical leadership decisions and the undying human spirit. We are capable of so much more but we fail to realize it until we’re in dire circumstances.

#6. “The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution” by James Oakes.  You knew a Lincoln book would make the list, didn’t you? You’ll see how Lincoln grew in his understanding of antislavery and the needle he threaded to accomplish that goal. Very well written. Scholarly. But well worth your time.

#5. “The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, A Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War” by Malcolm Gladwell. I love true stories. Stories that contain sacrifice, failure and triumph.  That’s what this book is.  None of us get it right the first time. It takes trial and error. There is great cost.  Are we willing to pay that cost? A great read with incredible lessons.

#4. “Tempered Resilience: How Leaders are Formed in the Crucible of Change” by Tod Bolsinger. This book is about endurance. How to endure as a leader and to grasp what’s happening to you through the process. Every leader should read this.  A great reminder that the battles of today equip you for the struggles of tomorrow.

#3. “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley with A Guide to Reading & Reflecting by Karen Swallow Prior. The story is nothing like the movies. As you read, you’ll see that Mary Shelley is wrestling with God, why she was created and the meaning of life. Truly great literature. Purchase the version by Dr. Prior. It’s truly helpful.

#2. “Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners” by Dane Ortlund. This book is filled with hope. Ortlund unpacks how the Lord works in our lives, why He does it and offers insight and why we should endure.  A must read for any believer.

#1. “Courage is calling: Fortune Favors the Brave” by Ryan Holiday.  I’m a big fan of Holiday. He’s a gifted writer who can capture you with a story. He then uses that story to help make a point about growing in life. Holiday’s specialty is stoicism. This book is no different. The lessons are critical. You will grow and be inspired by this book. A truly great read.

Leaders are readers.

If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.

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