Consider Jesus
12/20/13 at 11:00 AM 0 Comments

Best Books of 2013

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Photo: Flickr/Alexandra E Rust - Creative Commons

Here is my Best Books of 2013 list, in no particular order. This isn’t a list of books published in 2013. This list is of the books I read in 2013 that I enjoyed/benefited from the most. See last year’s list: Best Books of 2012 (and links to past year’s lists).

The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. This book changed how I approach my week, as a “sprinter” instead of a “marathoner.” Very helpful. I had my whole staff read it.

Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson. I don’t think this book is even 100 pages, but it’s loaded with simple, biblical wisdom. It’s one of five books we encourage every member of our church to read.

Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia.  I found this book fascinating because my wife and I briefly met this family during a road trip to McCarty, Alaska nine years ago. When we met them something seemed really “off.”

Buffett: The Making of An American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein. Fascinating biography full of leadership (and investing) wisdom.

The Pastor’s Justification by Jared Wilson. The truths in this book are the truths that should be singing in every pastor’s heart. If I had to pick one book on pastoral ministry for every pastor to read it would probably be this one.

Conquistador: Hernan Cortez, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs by Buddy Levy. Incredible writing. Captivating history/story. Full of hidden and not so hidden leadership lessons.

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller. My mom is dying of cancer right now. This book is helping me. I haven’t finished it yet. I’m reading it slowly.

The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio by Alexander Green. If you had to read only one book on investing (you should read several), this is your book. I don’t follow this model completely, but I mostly follow it.

The Freedom of a Christian by Martin Luther. This book re-woke me to the wonder of the gospel.

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This book is really strange and really good. I like how Taleb stretches how I think.

One Way Love  by Tullian Tchividjian. I was so hungry to read a fresh treatment of the grace of God that I asked my friend Tullian to email me the unedited version of this book this summer so I could read it months before it was published. My wife and I both devoured the book in several days. Tullian, sorry, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make fun of your last name.

Jack: Straight From the Gut by Jack Welch and David Byrne. I loved reading about how the culture of an organization can change through determined, wise leadership. Don’t read this book for tips on how to have a good marriage. Welch was a good businessman, but not a good husband.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. I love learning what other people do to spark creativity and productivity. Everybody is so different.

Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne. Every leader I talk to who has read this book agrees: the wisdom here is golden. One of our elders quotes from this book so often we now make fun of him for it.

Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung. Short, spot-on, practical, actionable. We bought copies of this book for all of the deacons in our church.

The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papsan. Read this book along with The Power of Full Engagement and Crazy Busy and you’ll have plenty of 1) reasons to see why your schedule is out of whack and 2) plenty of help for re-prioritizing how you manage your priorities and time.


Justin Buzzard is founder and lead pastor of Garden City Church, a church plant in Silicon Valley, and author of the book The Big Story: How The Bible Makes Sense Out of Life and Date Your Wife.

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