This year was a bit of an unexpected journey of reading. I try to read about 25-30 books a year and looks like I’ll accomplish the goal this year.
I gauge a book’s success in my heart by its ability to entertain, educate, motivate me to re-read it, underline, and reference from time to time.
None of the books that made my best books list were ones I set out to read in 2015 so they had a serendipitous value that made them that much more special. These are the books I have enjoyed and been shaped by the most in 2015. I also have given each of these books to friends or recommended them along the way. I also chose several passages for you to read to get a feel for each book’s purpose, entertainment, and beauty. Perhaps these books also inspired you in 2015. If not, I hope they will in 2016. Salud.
This book has been incredibly helpful to me as I am now leading a larger and more complex group of teams this year in publishing. In Team of Team, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be relevant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving everyone to share what they learn across the entire organization.
“Purpose affirms trust, trust affirms purpose, and together they forge individuals into a working team.”
“A leader’s words matter, but actions ultimately do more to reinforce or undermine the implementation of a team of teams. Instead of exploiting technology to monitor employee performance at levels that would have warmed Frederick Taylor’s heart, the leader must allow team members to monitor him. More than directing, leaders must exhibit personal transparency. This is the new ideal.”
“Efficiency, once the sole icon on the hill, must make room for adaptability in structures, processes, and mind-sets that is often uncomfortable.”
Many people wondered what they would read after Seabiscuit and Unbroken. Well, they should be reading Boys in the Boat. It reads like a novel and you get such a vivid picture of life during the Great Depression while finding yourself cheering as a coxswain for these University of Washington rowing boys.
“It’s not a question of whether you will hurt, or of how much you will hurt; it’s a question of what you will do, and how well you will do it, while pain has her wanton way with you.”
“It takes energy to get angry. It eats you up inside. I can’t waste my energy like that and expect to get ahead. When they left, it took everything I had in me just to survive. Now I have to stay focused. I’ve just gotta take care of it myself.” – Joe Rantz
“All were merged into one smoothly working machine; they were, in fact, a poem of motion, a symphony of swinging blades.”
“The wood…taught us about survival, about overcoming difficulty, about prevailing over adversity, but it also taught us something about the underlying reason for surviving in the first place. Something about infinite beauty, about undying grace, about things larger and greater than ourselves. About the reasons we were all here.”
Perhaps one of the greatest novels of the early 21st Century, it is beautifully beautifully by Leif Enger. Suggested to me by my friend Matt West, I already want to re-read it.
“Sometimes heroism is nothing more than patience, curiosity, and a refusal to panic.”
“Fair is whatever God wants to do.”
“We and the world, my children, will always be at war.
Retreat is impossible.
“Many a night I woke to the murmer of paper and knew (Dad) was up, sitting in the kitchen with frayed King James – oh, but he worked that book; he held to it like a rope ladder.”
Although I knew plenty about C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, what I did not know much about was their experiences during World War I and how it brought them together as friends. Their writing about good versus evil was shaped by their experiences and the book was very well researched and written by Joe Loconte, a former author of mine. This is one of the best stories about an epic friendship that has helped me re-look at how I value friendships in my own life.
“Their experience reminds us that great friendship is a gift born of adversity: it is made possible by the common struggle against world’s darkness.”
“Like few other writers over the past century, they show us what friendship looks like when it reaches for a high purpose and is watered by the streams of sacrifice, loyalty, and love.”
“I grew up believing in this Myth and I have felt – I still feel – its almost perfect grandeur.” – C.S. Lewis
Rarely does a movie honor its original book so well and Ridley Scott did a great job for Andy Weir’s underdog book. The book I listened to this audiobook, which is probably the one thing that is better than the movie. I laughed most of the way through and you will too. Pick it up for a long road trip.
“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”
“I guess you could call it a “failure”, but I prefer the term “learning experience”
“It’s true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl.”
“Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”