I have a confession to make: I’m a book hoarder.
I’m not necessarily my-own-show-on-TLC level. Nope, I don’t have a strategically mapped path in between piles of Piper and Packer. There are no mountains of Mahaney, no avalanches of Alcorn, and I’m not tripping over Tripp.
But by golly, I like to pick up books on sale, and then I can’t always read ’em as fast as I grab ’em. So this year’s summer reading list doesn’t include many new releases. As a matter of fact, some of these have been on my shelf for a few years, but this is the summer to conquer the piles. Here’s a sampling of what I’ll be reading…
Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs, Bill Hybels. Hybels is to church leadership what Elvis was to deep fried PB&J consumption: unrivaled. I’ve skimmed parts of this book, but plan to go cover to cover over the next few weeks.
Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership, Alexander Strauch. This will win the award for biggest book and smallest print I’ve ever read. And don’t think about making fun of me, because I’ll drop it on your head. And you’ll die. I’m working through this one with my Dude’s Group. They can thank me later.
Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough: Reinventing the Customer Experience, Jonathan Tisch. My brother-in-law tipped me off to this one a few years ago. He knows my love for all things guest-servicey. Sadly, the book did not come with chocolates. Or a pillow.
Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot, Max Lucado. Another brother-in-law pick. (I just realized he’s dominating 20% of my summer reading. Weird.) He claims this is Lucado’s best book. I say if you put all of his books in a cage match, God Came Near will come out victorious every time.
Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God, Voddie Baucham, Jr. Voddie was a huge influence on my ministry at a crucial time several years ago. His family rivals the Gosselins in size (but not in crazy). That makes for a good book.
How To Wow Your Church Guests: 101 Ways to Make a Meaningful First Impression, Mark Waltz. I pre-order very few books. Very few. But the constant exception is my friend Mark Waltz. He’s the guru of first impressions. (Some might say he wrote the book on it.) I’m looking forward to this July release.
Now You’re Speaking My Language: Honest Communication and Deeper Intimacy for a Stronger Marriage, Gary Chapman. I try to read at least one marriage book a year. This is the follow up to Five Love Languages. At least I think it is. (My love language is assumption.)
Ronald Reagan in Private: A Memoir of My Years in the White House, Jim Kuhn. A rare foray into history. I liked Reagan. He would have been 100 this year. I paid 100 pennies for this at Dollar Tree. Poetic, don’t you think?
Small Groups With Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities, Steve Gladen. Our own Spence Shelton is supplying all the campus pastors with this new release from the Saddleback Small Groups Sultan. Free reads are always better. I hope.
Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion, Kevin DeYoung & Ted Kluck. If you’re a close observer (or just psychotically obsessed), you’ll remember that this was on last year’s reading list. It was the one book I never got around to. This year though, I’m determined to love the church.
So that’s what I’m reading. Anything else you’d suggest? Any of these that I’m simply wasting my time on? Comment below.
As a follow up to yesterday’s post, Russell Moore linked back to the blog with this tweet: “Honored to be on the new Oprah Book Club summer list.” Shortly after, my computer exploded in a puff of statistical glory. Hundreds…actually well over 1,000…of his followers fell for it and clicked the link, proving that Moore is not just on the Oprah reading list, he is indeed the Oprah Winfrey of the Christian publishing world.