Earlier in the week I shared my 2016 Favorite Finds, and today I have a list of my favorite books. Is there anything better than a great book? My list is a mix of theology, business, memoir, beach lit, and inspiration. That’s kinda how I roll.
Note: Two of my favorite favorites are not listed below because I have already talked about them quite a bit on the blog: The Songs of Jesus (here) and The Broken Way (here and here).
And now, in no particular order (except this is how I stacked them)…
Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull
Ed Catmull is the President of Pixar and Disney Animation, and this book is a mix of company history + case studies of all the things that have (and haven’t) worked in their pursuit of cultivating a creative workplace. I am a big fan of all things Disney/Pixar, so I loved the behind-the-scenes scoop and Catmull’s stories of how the companies have worked through creative challenges. Interesting mix of business advice and creative inspiration. Loved it. I want to read it again just typing this.
My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
You may have heard Taylor’s TED talk, which is one of the most popular ever. If not, read the book first — it unfolds with high-intensity drama. A brain scientist studies her own brain in the midst of a stroke. Fascinating! And a cool understanding of left brain/right brain. This book actually got me super interested in brain stuff, and I bought two other books on the subject. Which I never read. #shortattentionspan. But this one is fantastic!
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Curmudgeon book store owner learns to love again. This is a precious story. Just so sweet and full of kindness. Loved it. Read this one now if you still have your Christmas tree up. It’s warm and cozy like that.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Well-drawn characters from a fiction force. Moriarty makes me feel like I know these women inside and out from the very beginning. I’m thankful I don’t live in this community, though. #hotmessexpress
Make It Happen by Lara Casey
I am interested in people of faith who live in the intersection of creativity and business. Lara Casey has had great success in the online space (and elsewhere) and her story is compelling and inspiring. She is the creator of an intentional goal-setting process called Powersheets that I’ve heard about for years. I finally bought them and have been working through the exercises in preparation for 2017. I love her balance of forward motion, without perfection pressure. Great read.
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels – A Love Story by Ree Drummond
I read this on a cold weekend last January. Literally could not put it down. Such a sweet love story! I am such a fan of Ree Drummond I would have loved this book no matter what, but I was actually really impressed by the storytelling and narrative arc. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next! I would love a sequel to hear her tell the story of her blogging beginnings and rise to fame.
Prayer by Timothy Keller
This book encompasses an interesting blend of studying prayer from both the historical perspective and a place of personal application and transformation. It’s dense, and it took me several months to finish it. I was fascinated by the history of the modern “quiet time” — I never thought of that as something that even has a history – but it does!
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
This reads like fiction, but it’s all a very scary true story. I was riveted by this book. A young woman descends into madness and no one can figure out why. Freakishly compelling!! (Word to the wise: don’t read the Amazon reviews. The top one is okay, but if you start scrolling, the ones below give too much away.)
The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
My beach-read pick for 2016. This is basically The Devil Wears Prada in reverse. Imogen is the 40-something magazine editor protagonist facing off against Eve, the upstart millennial who has her sights set on Imogen’s job. Great fun!
The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
I love “year long project” books and blogs where someone chooses an interesting topic and spends a year studying, pursuing and documenting what they learn. (The Happiness Project is one of my all-time favorites.) Chris Bailey chose productivity as his pet project and set out to make himself a guinea pig to figure out how to be the most productive. His findings are fascinating! You can find his blog here.
And that’s my list! I’d love to know what’s on yours!
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