Leaders Are Readers

Each year I try to read at least 3 or four new books (I set a goal to read 12 books in a year – but usually come up several short).  This year is no different; I have set a goal of reading 12 books this year and to help me stay accountable to it I will take some time to blog about the first 6 books I plan to read (not in any particular order).

UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand

The Publisher’s Summary

unbroken-cover-1On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.

Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. ©2010 Laura Hillenbrand

AMERICAN SNIPER by Chris Kyle

Publisher’s Summary

American-Sniper-by-Chris-KyleHe is the deadliest American sniper ever, called “the devil” by the enemies he hunted and “the legend” by his Navy SEAL brothers.

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war – of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyle’s fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyle’s wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell. ©2012 Chris Kyle

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD by Craig Groeschel

Publisher’s Summary

FTDF-CoverNew York Times best-selling author and pastor Craig Groeschel is joined by his wife Amy for this groundbreaking audiobook on marriage. Hard-hitting and humorous, refreshingly transparent – this resource will make good marriages stronger and save the ones that are hanging on by a thread. You know the stats, and they are horrifying. Fifty percent of marriages don’t make it. With those kinds of odds, is it even possible to have a great marriage? Craig Groeschel believes so, but not if you treat it like everyone else does. In this groundbreaking new book, New York Times best-selling author and pastor Craig Groeschel and his wife Amy show engaged and married couples how to conquer the odds in a culture where “I do” doesn’t necessarily mean forever and find the joy, passion, and strength of a marriage built by God. Craig and Amy present the five commitments all spouses need to make in order to absolutely fail-proof their marriage. Starting right now – from this day forward:

  • Seek God
  • Fight fair
  • Have fun
  • Stay pure
  • Never give up

If listeners earnestly choose to do all five of these things, they’ll discover a richer, deeper, more authentic relationship and a more rewarding and passionate love life than they could have ever imagined. ©2014 Craig Groeschel, Amy Groeschel

THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER by Dave Ramsey

Publisher’s Summary

Total-MoneyOkay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s withThe Total Money Makeover. It’s the simplest, most straight-forward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it’s based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.

Where Financial Peace gave you the solid saving and investing principles, this book puts those principles into practice. You’ll be exercising your financial strength every day and quickly freeing yourself of worry, stress, and debt. And that’s a beautiful feeling.  ©2003 Dave Ramsey

THE 3 BIG QUESTIONS FOR THE FRANTIC FAMILY by Patrick Lencioni

Publisher’s Summary

3833030In this unique and groundbreaking book, business consultant and New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni turns his sights on the most important organization in our lives – the family. As a husband and the father of four young boys, Lencioni realized the discrepancy between the time and energy his clients put into running their organizations and the reactive way most people run their personal lives. Having experienced the stress of a frantic family firsthand, he and his wife began applying some of the tools he uses with Fortune 500 companies at home, and with surprising results. ©2008 Patrick Lencioni

JESUS IN THE PRESENT TENSE by Warren Wiersbe

Publisher’s Summary

jesus_in_the_present_time_by_wiersbeIn Jesus in the Present Tense, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe explores the “I AM” statements of God—from His burning bush conversation with Moses, to His powerful reassurances to the Israelites, to Jesus’s startling claim to be the Light of the World.

Many Christians find themselves mired in past regrets or future fears, but the name of God itself reminds readers that God wants them to live in the present. The more readers understand and apply God’s I AM statements from the Old and New Testaments, the more they will realize God’s peace and joy. Then they will be free to live, serve, and know God more richly in the present tense—which is just where He wants them to be.

©2011 Warren W. Wiersbe

 

Well, there’s the first six; check back with me in July to see how I am doing.  Also, what books do you plan to read this year; do you have any recommendation for me?