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The year 2020 had a lot of twists and turns, as did my reading list. While I’m not going to list all the books I read (you wouldn’t be impressed), I would like to point out a few that stood out.

Business Books

Last year, I finally caved and started indulging in some business/self-help books. I’d never allowed myself to read such things, but I now realize I was something of a fool.

Books that really stood out include The Fifth Discipline, The Checklist Manifesto, and my current favorite in this category (possibly of all books I read last year), Deep Work.

If you know me personally and we’ve talked over the last few months, I probably recommended you read Deep Work. Such a powerful work that makes the strong case that screwing around won’t get you very far. If you’re going to have impact and really do something well, you need to get into deep work.

Nonfiction

I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t read much nonfiction until five or so years ago. We all have our problems, right? Well, that has been remedied as of late, and I may read more nonfiction than fiction.

Last year, I read a handful of nonfiction books, but the ones that stand out are The Radium Girls and The Color of Compromise.

I was curious how the Church has neglected or even worked against our African-American brothers and sisters. While some of Tisby’s solutions seemed a bit off the mark, it was convicting to come face to face with the Church’s history of raccism.

Much as I want to say, “That’s not me!”, this year I realized it is me. God used this book to open my eyes to my own implicit biases and to start a lot of hard conversations that were needed.

Fiction

As I scanned my fiction reading from last year, I didn’t even remember some of them. If your book was one of them, I apologize.

I hate to do this, but the most memorable fiction book I read last year was Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.

There was a time when this was my favorite book. And since I hadn’t read it in a number of years, I decided to see if it still held up.

Great Scott! Reading Dandelion Wine reminded me why I fell in love with Ray Bradbury and why—despite some people being snobbish toward him—Ray Bradbury remains one of the greatest writers of all time.

Picture Books

If you never go to your local library and sift through the new picture books, you’re missing out. This past year, I read through a number of new picture books, and the one that really stuck out to me was the Bad Seed.

What can be said about this simple, yet profound little series that hasn’t already been said?

Nothing.

So I’ll leave it at this. If you’re unfamiliar with these books, I encourage you to check them out. Start with Bad Seed, thank me for the recommendation, and then go grab xxx or xxx. You’ll be glad you did. 

What books will I be grabbing this year? Let’s find out together.