Top 5 books of 2009

I made it a goal of mine to read an average of 1 book per week this year.  I was on a great pace through April, when we sold our house and moved into 500 sq/ft. and life changed a little.  However, I have read 30 books this year and feel good about that.

I track my books at a great website called Goodreads which I would highly recommend.  As is the case with most sites these days, you can find friends, track their books, make recommendations, etc.

I thought I would reflect on some of my favorite reads of 2009.  It was hard to choose because I don’t think there’s a dud in the bunch.  Following are some of the more influential books of 2009 that I would highly recommend.

          4 hour Work Week:  The 4 hour work week is more of a mentality and way of life than anything else.  At first glance it sounds like the mantra of slackers and the lazy… quite the contrary.  It is about working hard, working smart, and living life to the fullest in an intentional way, both now AND in “retirement.”  This book has helped me to become more efficient in my work, more useful and creative with all my resources, and has helped me to think intentionally about what sorts of things I want to do in life.  One key message from the book: think about what you want to do and where you want to go in life… then do it.  Don’t wait until “retirement” to do things you want to do.

          Chronicles of Narnia (yes, all seven): I tried to read through this series as a kid and made it through The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but didn’t get any further.  I decided to go back and read through the entire series (in order, starting with the Magicians nephew) and devoured all seven books.  **There is so much to be gained and gleaned as an adult reading these books.  I am moved/burdened to read this books to my kids… for them to understand our loving Lord in the picture of a lion. 

My favorite exchange in the entire series takes place in the book Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  A boy becomes a dragon (a manifestation of the condition of his ugly heart) and realizes that the only way to change that is to allow Aslan to dig deep and affect the change.  These words do not do the passage justice, but I am not trying to encapsulate the interchange.  I merely hope you might pick up the book and read.

          The Chosen:  This book by Chaim Potok was required reading for freshman at JBU a couple of years ago.  The similarities and contrasts between the two boys in the story (Danny and Reuven).  Barnes and Noble says, “This is the odyssey from boyhood to manhood for two Jewish boys amidst the conflict between generations and religious traditions.”  Sounds brutal doesn’t it?  Well, I thought so too, and in the beginning the book is a bit slow as characters are established and I adjusted to various Jewish spellings of words.  But it really is a great read.

          Outliers:  An absolutely fascinating and outstanding book by Malcolm Gladwell.  Let me simply whet your appetite with these tidbits from the book…

* Did you know that 17 of the 40 wealthiest people in the history of the WORLD were from the United States and all were born within 9 years of each other?

* All it takes is 10,000 hours of practice and you can be world renowned at whatever you want.

* You should probably avoid flying Korean Airlines.

* There IS such a thing as being too smart.

Just an outstanding book… I don’t have enough good things to say about it.  As a parent it gives me pause to think about how and, more specifically, where I am raising my kids.

Hit me with some of your favorites… I am building my list for 2010.

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One Response to Top 5 books of 2009

  1. Julia says:

    the chosen is a great book. the same author wrote my name is asher lev…fantastic book as well.

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