Our senior pastor at Friend Church, Greg Dowey, often says “You will be the same person 10 years from now, except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Since college reading has not just been a past-time, it has proven to be one my those activities that personally sustains me. I appreciate the craft of writing a book. Writers have a captive audience and thereby systematically walk you through an experience designed to expose you to their perspective and their thoughts. I have to admit that I bought more books this past year than I ever have. Am I the only person who gets in a book store and feels like a kid in a candy store? Here’s a confession, though: I read fewer books than I ever have. No excuses; I could have read more. Out of the books I read, I’ll share a couple of my favorites with you: 1. “Gracenomics 2.0” by Mike Foster. Along with his bud, Jud Whilhite, Mike started an organization called “People of the Second Chance” to simply create a movement of sharing and receiving grace. Gracenomics makes applications of grace in three different realms: for you, for others, and at work. This book is a quick, quick read, but says some extremely profound things. 2. “How the Mighty Fall” by Jim Collins. If you’re a Good to Great person, then in the wake of all the GtG companies falling in the last decade, it’s worthwhile to pick up this follow-up. For me this book was a study in institutional decline. It does a great job of pointing out the markers that identify the way downward and pointing out what steps can be taken at the different stages of decline to prevent further decay. In some ways, it was entirely an frightening read because it is a reverse study on leadership (instead of what happens when do the right thing – it’s more of a what happens when we do the wrong thing). 3. “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. I love Malcolm Gladwell. He is a premier story teller in our generation. However, his craft doesn’t just stop at story-telling. As a writer, Gladwell is one the best at using story to tell a story. “The Tipping Point” is a book about social epidemics, or how ideas spread. It’s a fascinating read, especially for a Pastor (Gladwell comes from a lineage of Pastors), because it gives the components needed to take an idea and let it move without advertisement. Also I highly recommend “Outliers” by Gladwell, which looks at the similarities between those that are highly successful. I’ll keep you updated as I work through my large stack of books to read this year. Any good suggestions?