My Favorite Books – Volume 2

As with all of the books that I recommend on my site, all of the books in My Favorite Books – Volume 2, are ones that I have read, enjoyed and found helpful in my pursuit to Thrive at Life.  I do not throw out book ideas that I have not read or that I don’t find worth sharing with you, my Tribe.  That being said, it does not mean that I endorse or love everything about each one.  It just means that I felt that there was something worth sharing.

I hope these books help you to Thrive at Life and become some of your favorites too!

**Note:  This list is not in order of importance or significance to me.  Each one is a favorite in and of itself.

1. The Purpose Driven Life

Life is full of tough questions that each of us must wrestle with at one point or another.  In this must-read book, you’ll find the answers to three of life’s most important questions: The Question of Existence: Why am I alive?, The Question of Significance: Does my life matter?, The Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for?

2. The Compound Effect

Life is a series of decisions that we make every day.  Most of them seemingly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.  In this amazing book, by Darren Hardy, you will see how untrue that really is!  Little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to a place you never intended on arriving at. The decision is yours!

3. If


Sometimes it’s the smallest things in life that make the biggest impact.  The same is true with small words. Like this one: “if”.  Mark Batterson does an incredible job in this excellent book at showing you that God wants to help you trade in a life of regrets (“if only…”) to one of great joy and fulfillment (“if God is for me then what could stand against me!”).

4. Unbroken

I remember reading through this book and being absolutely gripped by it for days on end.  I could not wait until the kids went to sleep so that I could head to my bed and read what happened next in this unbelievably moving, tragic, and ultimately hopeful book!  I have not read many (if any) books that I have enjoyed as thoroughly as this.  It is at the top of my list of favorites, for sure.

5. Killing Lincoln

Everyone knows that Abraham Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre.  What most have not heard are the details, as described in this book, of the furious manhunt for Booth after Lincoln’s assassination and the events that lead to that tragic day.   I loved every second of this book.  It is fast-paced, thorough, and riveting.  I highly recommend it.

6. Dad is Fat

Known as a clean and family-friendly comedian, Jim Gaffigan is one of my favorites!  In this hilarious book, Jim will have you rolling with laughter as he describes how he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home by their five kids.  It is a great break from the norm and well-worth the laughs you will receive!

7. The Legend of the Monk & Merchant:  Twelve Keys to Successful Living

This is an excellent book!  In it, author Terry Felber tells an incredible parable that will help you to see your work as a great mission field and will help you to live out your life’s purpose – on purpose!  Your business and your life are full of opportunities to lead and to serve.  This book will show you how.  I highly recommend it.

8. In the Grip of Grace

For several years, I would make sure to rotate my reading back to this book every 4th or 5th book I would read.  Why?  Because I tend to forget this important message.  This book is powerful and life-giving.  It reminds you that God has got you.  He loves you.  You can relax and live with that and it will be enough. Read this book!

9. Living Forward:  A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want

We have one life to live.  What are you going to do with it?  Most people don’t live on purpose.  We drift. We wander.  Then we wonder how we ended up way out of line.  In this simple and easy-to-read book, you will be encouraged to live life forward and to create a plan that takes you where you really want to go.

10. Real Marriage

I love what authors, Mark and Grace Driscoll, did with this book.  They took a topic that matters deeply to every one of us, poured out their own (sometimes painful) stories, and discussed the issues that we all privately wonder about or talk about, and made it publicly available for conversation and discussion.  It is very frank and open.  But highly important and needed.

11. The 10 Most Common Objections to Christianity


As a Christian, I do not want to be ignorant nor dismissive of the genuine concerns and objections that people have with the Christian faith.  There are a lot of heart-felt and serious objections and author, Alex McFarland, does a great job at taking on these serious inquiries and addressing them head on.

12. Stuff Christians Like


If you didn’t grow up as a Christian, then maybe this book won’t be as funny to you as it was to me. I still suggest you read it even if that’s true.  However, since I did, I DIED laughing on so many occasions. Author, Jon Acuff, is hilarious and will have you cracking up throughout the entire book.  If you’re looking for a good laugh- grab this book!

13. The Best Question Ever

Everyone knows what a filter is.  It is something that you pour all of the contents into and it only allows the best things through.  It weeds out the bad and keeps what’s best.  That’s what this book is to your decision-making process.  In this incredibly practical and simple book, Andy Stanley (who you all know now is one of the most influential people in my life!) walks you through this powerful question and helps you use it to guide you through life’s most important questions.  I bet you will love it and make your kids read it, too!

14. One Word That Will Change Your Life

The premise of this book is amazing, isn’t it?  I mean, can you imagine if just ONE WORD could actually change your life?  That, as you will see, is the focus and intent of this book.  Just one word for one whole year can do just that.  Check it out and see for yourself.

15. Marine Sniper:  93 Confirmed Kills

Sergeant Carlos Hathcock was a stud!  Period.  I thank God for brave men like him who have served in our military – past and present.  This book, which details the story of his life and the missions he lead as a marine sniper in Vietnam, will amaze and inspire you.  I couldn’t put it down!

16. Night

This is another powerful and important book, by Elie Wiesel.  In it, Elie details the horrific and unspeakable truths of what happened to him and millions of others in Nazi death camps.  Why did he write this?  So that we would never forget.  Reading this and sharing it like this, is our way of making sure that we don’t.

17. Parenting with Love and Logic

I think this is one of the most helpful and important books that Sarah and I have ever read.  It provided so many tools that we needed (and still need!) as young parents.  Let’s face it, parenting is tough work and we need all the help that we can get!  The advice is timeless, applicable, and you’ll wish you had read it sooner! Be sure to buy one and read it for you.  Then buy another and share it with a young couple who needs it, too!

18. Wild at Heart

I remember reading this for the first time and thinking that somebody out there (author John Eldredge in this case) was understanding exactly how I felt as a man.  So much of Christian music and writing is geared towards the feminine side of things (nothing wrong with it – just pointing out that there’s two sides) that reading this was so refreshing.  I also felt like it was important that women read it.  Not because they would relate with it all, but so they could potentially understand how their man is wired and better relate with him.  Great book!

19. What’s So Great About America

We live in a day and age where the country that I love is constantly under attack for not living up to the utopian ideals it is thought to be under.  However, in this great book, Dinesh D’Souza, who grew up in India, compares the United States to the rest of the world and helps people to truly recognize how great, despite it’s many flaws, America really is.  As a proud patriot, I recommend you read this and be proud of this country as well.

20. Total Money Makeover

When I first read this, we were swimming in debt.  Or maybe it was more like we were drowning!  I did not grow up learning a lot about these financial principles and I needed a plan if I ever hoped to get control.  In this best-selling book, Dave Ramsey will show you how to handle money – instead of letting money handle you!