Here are the three books that I read in 2010 that had the most impact on me. Before I start, let me make sure that it does NOT go without being said: The Bible impacted me way more than any of these. I read it (nearly) daily this past year and I continue to find it inspiring and challenging. I consider the Bible to be the most important book that I own.
Without further ado:
How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins I loved Good to Great by Collins, but I read it after the 2008 financial meltdown (in which two of the good to great companies, Circuit City and Fannie Mae fell dramatically.) As the title suggests, Collins takes a look at those companies (and others) and tries to give a systematic explanation of how the great become not-so-great (or even obsolete). He does a great job. There are specific things you can look for within an organization to see if it is headed towards or already in a state of decline. That is incredibly useful. (It is also terrifying to me, because a lot of decline stems from poor leadership. Bottom line: I need to seek to be a great leader.)
Hurt by Chap Clark I read this book because my wife and I volunteer with the student ministries at our church organization. It was tremendous. Just reading it gave me a bigger heart for teenagers. Clark makes the case that as a society we have abandoned our teens to live and learn on their own. The bulk of the book is a brutal description of the toll that that abandonment has taken on the lives of real kids. You should read this book.
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp Maybe it's no surprise that a book on parenting is the book with the most impact from 2010. If you are a parent I would go so far as to say you need to read this book. It is the best description of Biblical parenting principles I have found. I think a lot of my specific takeaways from this book will come out in a "parenting plan" that my wife and I are putting together. (One aspect of that plan: reviewing this book each year.)
So here's the challenge:
If you're like me and you read 10+ books a year, hopefully my book recaps give you a little more knowledge and help you focus your reading. (Maybe they'll save you from reading a lame book and help you decide to read a great one.)
If you're not like me in that you read less than 2 books a year on your own free will... what have you got to lose? Pick one of these three and go for it. (Just let me know, so I can cheer for you.)