In past years, I’ve had a goal to read 52+ books during the year. Sometimes I was almost double, and other years I was just below. Overall though, what I’ve cultivated over the last 8 years since I started really committing time to reading is a daily habit of learning. I try to read about 1 chapter of a book each morning as part of my rhythm. It helps me open up my brain and engage my creativity and thoughts.
Throughout 2022, I read about 42 books as well as the Bible. I’m not sure if I should count the bible as one book or as 66 so I’ll just list it out separately. Of those 42 or so books, about half were non-fiction and the other half fiction. I tend to have 2-3 nonfiction I read at a time and then 1 fiction. I read nonfiction in the morning and then I’ll read fiction in the evening or before bed since it’s relaxing. Some people may find it very odd how much nonfiction I will read at a time but it’s very normal for me. Sometimes there’s a concept or lesson that I want to ponder on, but still want to read daily, so I will read something else while I stew on the lesson. This approach isn’t for everyone but it works well for me.
Of the 40 something books I read this year, below you’ll find those that have been most impactful on my way of thinking and living along with one specific lesson that stuck with me from it.
Bible in 90 Days – This was my second time reading through the Bible in 90 Days book (which took me closer to 5 months rather than 90 days) and it was so good. I plan to read through the bible again in 2023, but spaced out throughout the year.
Bible Recap – I read this along with reading the bible and it was so impactful for my understanding of not only what was happening during each story, but more importantly what that tells us about God and his character.
A Minute to Think – You can have everything you need to light a fire but without space that allows air in, it will never light.
Soundtracks – Soundtracks are the messages we allow our minds to play over an over. Any soundtracks like “I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not lucky” need to be recognized. Then we can rewrite them into something like “I’m enough. I’m intelligent. Things are always working out for me.” And then we replace the old ones with the new ones and play them on repeat.
The Lazy Genius Way – There are a lot of great tips in here about how to be intentional but plan ahead. Once of my favorites was her ” Decide once” rule. This means you decide once that for example, every Friday is pizza Friday. Or that every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday. This makes the need to decide what’s for dinner on a Tuesday or Friday unnecessary because you already decided.
None Like Him – This book spend a chapter on each of the characteristics of God that we will never be like immutable, self existent, self sufficient, and eternal. It’s not a complicated read as Wilkin does a great job with stories to illustrate the points, but if you’ve never considered how God’s different from you and why that’s good, this is a great book to read.
In His Image – On the other hand, this is a book that is a great read after None Like Him. This explores 10 ways we are made to be like God with qualities like goodness, kindness, and love. I would recommend reading both of these as they share how we can be like God and how we can never be like him (and shouldn’t be).
Dichotomy of Leadership – Leadership is a dichotomy. We can’t lead with always one way or another. We need to know our people, the situations, and what’s needed in that time and navigate the balance. I love their first book Lead & Win and this is an excellent follow up.
Undistracted – Two specifics that suck out from this one are to catch the butterflies (ideas, quotes, lessons) before they fly off. So find a way to write them down rather than letting them flutter away. And the other is to love people in wildly inconvenient ways – whatever that looks like for you.
You’re Too Good to Feel This Bad – Basic areas of life that we can control so we don’t have to “feel this bad” but can live a fulfilling life.
12 Week Year – I plan on a quarterly basis, but this took that idea to a whole new level. I really love the idea of 12 weeks as a year and to focus on specific goals within that time period.
Journey of Crazy Horse – This was a biography from both oral and written tradition that shared the history and legacy of Crazy Horse. Reading this prior to our trip out west made our visit to the Memorial so much more meaningful.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – I’m cheating here since I still have a bit left in this book but it’s blown my mind. I’ve read it before but I feel like things I’m taking from it in 2022 are so different than what I took away in 2018 or so when I read it. It feels like it has a depth I didn’t understand until now. It’s so good that I’m both listening to it on audible, and then going back and literally rereading what I listened to in the book and highlighting. I rarely do this but I need to “catch the butterflies” as read it again and take notes before my thoughts on it go away.
If you’ve read any impactful books recently, please share what it was and why in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!