Looking Back: My Favorite Books of 2009, part one

I love books, and this year I’ve probably read more of them than I ever have in years past. Out of 60+ books, some have been good, others not-so-good. Others still have been excellent—and I want to share ten of these that I’ve found to be the most helpful, meaningful and enjoyable.

Here are the first five in no particular order (probably):

Just Do Something
by Kevin DeYoung

The question of discovering God’s will for our lives is one that plagues the majority of us. But, pastor and author Kevin DeYoung argues, that’s in large part because we make following God’s will far harder than it needs to be, because we’re looking for the wrong thing. Instead of looking at God’s revealed will of decree (meaning that what He ordains will come to pass) and His will of desire (what He desires from His creatures), we seek to divine His will of direction.

Read the review | Order a copy

by Martin Lindstrom

Martin Lindstrom spent 3 years and 7 million dollars in an experiment known as neuromarketing–trying to understand how the brain responds to the stimuli provided by advertisements, what works and what doesn’t. What he found absolutely destroys much of what we’ve believed about what attracts and repels us to products and brands.

Buy•ology a game-changer for marketers and one of the most worthwhile marketing books I’ve ever read.

Read “Brand-olatry” | Order a copy

Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl
by N.D. Wilson

Perhaps the most delightfully peculiar book I’ve ever read. Author N.D. Wilson invites readers to join him as he attempts to describe the indescribable: God speaking Creation into being, ex nihilo (out of nothing). With a quick wit and sharp tongue, Wilson engages and entertains readers while reminding us that we live in a world filled with wonder and beauty—and none of it is by accident.

Read the review | Order a copy

Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion
by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck follow up their first book, Why We’re Not Emergent, with Why We Love the Church, a passionate, biblically centered, God-honoring look at the Church—and why, for all her warts, we need to love her as much as Christ does.

Famed evangelical scholar J.I. Packer’s endorsement brought a smile to my face: “Bible-centered, God Centered, and demonstrably mature… As I read, I wanted to stand and cheer.”

Read the review | Order a copy

Fake Work: Why People Are Working Harder than Ever but Accomplishing Less, and How to Fix the Problem
by Brent D. Peterson & Gaylan W. Nielson

Fake Work is what you think it is…and so much more. With this book, authors Brent D. Peterson and Gaylan W. Nielson are drawing a line in the sand. The working world is broken and needs to be fixed. What we don’t need to do is create cool, hip workplaces, to make going to the job more comfortable.

What we need to do is focus on transforming how we work and the work we do. Because real work is about results.

Read the review | Order a copy

Join me for the second half of the list tomorrow.

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