The 5 Books I Read in January

For the past several years, I have an annual goal of reading a certain amount of books. In 2013, it was 50. Last year, it was 52 books. This year, it is 55 books. For some time, I have been following Crystal Paine ( She is a reading machine! Last year, she read 82 books but was shooting for 120 or so books.

Each week she publishes what she read and what she is planning to read in the coming week. I thought I would still her idea and share my monthly reads. I hope you enjoy this series and find some great books as well.

I also run Dave's Book Club – an email-based book club where I share one book that I have read and found fascinating. It is free to sign up and there are some enhancements coming soon that you won't want to miss!

I read five books this month covering the topics of leadership, vision, business, faith, and technology. These days I listen to more books on audio (Audible) then read on iPad (Kindle) or a physical book simply because I am on the road frequently. However, you consume books I hope you will find some good reads here.

January 2015 Books

  1. Tattoos of the Heart by Gregory BoyleTattoos on the Heart – Gregory Boyle

Father Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries. As a young priest, he went to the Delores Mission in Los Angeles (the poorest parish in the city). It was here that his heart was broken for the gangs of Los Angeles. He wanted to help kids out of the gangs, keep them out of jail and give them a hope for a better future. This is his story and it is riveting. You will find the stories encouraging and heartbreaking. I would encourage you to listen to this book as Father Boyle narrates the book. His stories come to life as he reads them and some of the stories had me laughing out loud as I drove to work. This was my favorite book of January. If there is one book you read this year – this is the one I would recommend!

  1. Making Vision Stick by Andy StanleyMaking Vision Stick – Andy Stanley

Vision is what keeps an organization together. In order to move an organization or company forward, your vision must cast convincingly, repeated regularly and you must celebrate the wins. Andy Stanley leads one of the largest churches in America, and he depends on the repeating of their vision on a regular basis as a powerful motivational tool for helping them do the work they are called to do. If you are a small business or a leader in a large organization, you will want to read this book. Andy's natural conversational style writing helps you assimilate the information and immediately put it into practice. His knowledge of vision casting is based on his own experiences of strong teams and organizations.

  1. Everybody Writes by Ann HandleyEverybody Writes – Ann Handley

Everybody Writes reads more like a fun style guide than a book. Ann's personality comes off the pages as she shares when you should “hear” and “here” and why writing for the internet is not the same as writing for a book publisher. There are 74 short chapters in this book along with reference guides, examples and why it is important to have accountability buddies when you write. I found this book to be so helpful that it sits on my desk at home (and occasionally at work) to help me with my writing assignments. I encourage you to check out Jeff Goins' podcast with Ann Handley as they take a deeper dive inside the book.

  1. How To Be Rich by Andy StanleyHow To Be Rich – Andy Stanley

Each year, Andy Stanley walks his church through learning how to be rich. He shares that we must first understand that we are rich and then we can learn how to be rich. Naturally, we think that if we only made “you fill in the blank” amount then we would be rich. This book fundamentally changes our perspective of rich and we can learn how to do more with the riches we already have. You can read more of my thoughts on the book here.

  1. 30 Days of Evernote for Churches by Kent Sanders30 Days of Evernote for Churches– Kent Sanders

A simple and easy to follow guide to help anyone get up and running quickly with Evernote. This guide is specifically targeted for ministerial staff with a special emphasis on pastors and teams. The guide gives the reader a quick breakdown of what Evernote is, how it is organized, some shortcuts and why ministerial staff can benefit from this free tool. I am familiar with Evernote and use it in my life, but I especially found the section on “searches” helpful. This book is a good introduction and would be a great starting point for anyone (ministerial or other) to get started with Evernote. Ministerial staff will find this tool helpful for organizing sermon prep, research, agendas, and other such material. If you have been wanting to dive into Evernote, but have been a little intimidated, you would find this book helpful.

I hope you enjoy these books.

Question: What book or books did you read in January? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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I help facilities manager and planner create spaces that are backed by research, engage employees of all generations, and drive business objectives. I am also the founder of Dave's Book Club – a once per month reading experience designed to help professionals grow their influence.

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