Best Books of 2017

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Best Books is becoming something of a tradition. Each year I read quite a few books and while I don’t recommend everything I read, I thought there were some that might interest you. In no particular order, this is the list of books I read this past year that I found the most interesting, challenging, helpful, and/or inspiring.

For previous year's best books, you can go here and here.

Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. Want to be more prolific and create on demand? Then you need to develop creative rhythm. Look no further than Accidental Creative. No other book has had more impact on how I work than this book. I loved it so much I read it twice! It has completely changed my work habits and scheduling. Todd Henry's other books are excellent as well. 

Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel. "How well is your soul?" That was a question I tried to avoid answering from one of my seminary professors, but it's a necessary one. And a second question is equally necessary, "What are you going to do about it?" Soul Detox is not a book you want microwave read. It's more of a crockpot kind of book. It's best read slowly and give it time to simmer in your soul. Give yourself the gift of a soul check.

24/6 by Matthew Sleeth. Sabbath is nearly absent from Christian culture today. Dr. Sleeth is a voice crying out in the wilderness of Christianity to reclaim God's gift to His people - the Sabbath day of rest. You need rest more than you realize, and this book might just help you get that much needed refreshment and recharge you need.

Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington. This book, hands down, was the best book I read on busyness - and I read a lot of books on busyness this year! Well worth the read. The author gives all kinds of practical solutions and tips to help you break busy.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. Guillebeau isn't someone to whom I can necessarily relate. He's a serial entrepreneur. I'm not. So I'm intrigued and inspired by him. The $100 Startup was very influential in my decision to move forward with launching the Second Chair Leadership Podcast. He demonstrates over and over again how to earn an income with very little start up capital.

Deep Work by Cal Newport. This book was so good I have to read it again. Newport makes a thoroughly convincing case that if you want to create deep and meaningful work, then you have to create an environment where you can do your best work free from distraction. Incredible book! I highly recommend.

Everyone's a Genius by Alan Briggs. The subtitle to this book is appropriate: Unleashing creativity for the sake of the world. You have a genius within you that needs to be recognized and released for the sake of God's kingdom in your community and beyond. We all have a genius within us - we are wired uniquely to add beauty, value, and depth to other people's lives. We don't always see it in ourselves, but we see these wirings in others. This book helps the reader to spot the genius within yourself and others, to call it out, and release it for the sake and benefit of the world.

I would love to hear from you! Which books this year have had the greatest impact on you?