The 7 Best Books I Read in 2016

Books are one of the best ways to grow your knowledge on a subject. Each year, I set a reading goal and try to read books on a variety of topics.

Stack of books

Photo courtesy of freestock.org

My brother loves books and reads fiction primarily. I am the exact opposite. I prefer books with actionable content that I can apply to my daily activities.

Without further ado, here were my top seven books I read in 2016.

[Book] Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling

Very Good Lives (Little, Brown and Company, 2015)

In 2008, J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) delivered the commencement address at Harvard. Her words are captured in this small book with illustrations to punctuate certain ideas. I came across this book while browsing through Barnes & Noble this past weekend. 

She highlights in her address that years from now, the graduates will probably not remember what the speaker said, and she wants that to changes for them. Her wisdom identifies two principles we all can apply:

She highlights in her address that years from now, the graduates will probably not remember what the speaker said, and she wants that to changes for them. Her wisdom identifies two principles we all can apply:

  • Failure is not be feared
  • Imagination unlocks great potential

J. K. Rowling highlights some of her failures or rock bottoms that led to her greatest achievements. This book is a quick and easy read, but I caution you not to blow through it too quickly. These nuggets of wisdom are powerful, and if you let it, they might even unlock hidden potential in you.

[Book] Angels in the E.R. by Dr. Robert Leslie

Angels in the E.R. (Harvest House Publishers, 2008)

Dr. Leslie shares candid stories from his emergency room in Rock Hill. He tells us of lives loved, lost and changed, because of the news and treatment he provided.

He gives us an insiders view of life in crisis and trauma. On the flip side, Dr. Leslie shares how he and his staff minister to the less fortunate, the young, the aged and the marginalized. He saw love and grace personified in the faces of each patient that stepped through his doors.

Angels in the E.R. is a touching book and quick to read; however, if you read between the lines, there is are lessons hidden throughout the book for helping each of us meet the needs in our circles of influence.

[Book] Jumpstart Your Growth by John C. Maxwell

Jumpstart Your Growth (Center Street, 2015)

Jumpstart Your Growth is a 90-day journey to help you grow your leadership influence. Each day is a quick read and completes with an action plan for developing your leadership. In Maxwell style, the book is riddled with quotes, personal application and observations from his growth journey.

The topics include character, knowledge, mentorship, career, and general leadership.

This book is perfect for new leaders, individuals who want to accelerate their personal growth, retirees looking to mentor someone or just about anyone.

[Book] The Heart Reader

The Heart Reader (Thomas Nelson, 2002)

The Heart Reader is a touching, fictional story that focuses on Sam, John, and Kate. During a frightening dream, Sam finds that God has given him the supernatural gift of hearing the real longing of the spiritual soul.

Using this new gift, Sam (with the help of his pastor, John) set out to lead souls to Christ. The story follows the journey of Sam as he leads people to Christ, and in so doing starts a revival in his small community.

When his new gift unexpectedly is taken away from him, Sam is comforted with his fears of reaching out to people, seeing their needs and leading others to Christ.

This book is very touching, and it causes the reader to stop and think about their mortality, and make peace with their soul.

The book is small and can be read on a short flight or in a morning. I found the book to be encouraging and challenging all at the same time. I hope you enjoy the book.

[Book Cover] How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards

How to Write Copy That Sells (Morgan James Publishing, 2016)

Ray Edwards, a master copywriter, shares his secrets for delivering winning copy for the web, sales letters, blog posts, product launches, emails and more.

This book walks you through the same sequence he uses to write sales copy for himself and other clients like Tony Robbins. This book will help you hone your copywriting skills and you can take action on nearly every major point in the book immediately.

Here are a few highlights from the book:

  • The best sales copy are stories.
  • Think of your copy like a movie trailer.
  • Learn how to write headlines and subject lines with power.
  • Learn how to apply the P.A.S.T.O.R. method.
  • Summary highlights at the end of each chapter.
  • Much more…

As I read through the book, I saw how I could apply these principles and techniques to my side business as well as my day job especially with the emails and internal blog posts or promotions I write.

I highly recommend this book.