206 days ago I committed to reading at least fifteen minutes each day. I downloaded an app called Streaks that has helped me to stay on track. In making this list, I now know that reading fifteen minutes each day can amount to a whole lot of books in one year. Here is my list. I give you what I think the book is about and my one takeaway for each book. I can’t recommend each one and have noted so when that is the case, so please read through the reviews before you go out and buy them down the road. One thing that I have noticed is that you can read a book for one or two ideas and it is a worthy expenditure of your time. In fact, if you spend $15 on a book, but it ends up making you $10,000 or shaping your character in an eternal way, then you really cannot afford not to make the investment. I hope you enjoy this list. If you have questions, email me either at micah@micahbrooks.com or through my Contact Page.

SPECIAL NOTE

You can get almost every book in this list on audiobook format. Get 2 (TWO) books for FREE using a free month Audible.com trial here. I did this myself and haven’t looked back. I love Kindle, paperback, hardback and audiobook. They all have their place!

“If You Can Keep it” Eric Metaxas

What it’s about

The premise is that Benjamin Franklin spoke the title of this book to one Mrs. Powell when she asked him what type of republic we would have, a monarchy or a democratic republic. He answered “a republic madam, if you can keep it”. The rest of the book details how important our American liberty is and how quickly we could be in the peril of becoming America in name only.

Takeaways

I recommend this book if for the understanding of the Golden Triangle of Freedom alone. Freedom requires virtue: virtue requires faith: faith requires freedom. Every American should read this book. Whether you agree with every word is up to you, but this is a worthwhile read.

“The One Thing” Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

What it’s about

Staying focused is the hardest thing for an entrepreneur. In fact, a strong businessman can have over one hundred business ideas in a given day. Learning which ones to act on is the premise of this book. If you were to buy the print version of this book, purchase the hardback. It is beautifully laid out. The reds and blacks are superb.

Takeaways

The most important thing I learned from this book was to focus on one project at a time. We need to have a system in place for capturing ideas and putting them on the back burner so as to not lose them. The important thing is to do one thing well, not multiple things poorly.

“Good To Great” Jim Collins

What it’s about

This one is a case study of eleven companies deemed to be the great companies who remain great and hold steadfast. There are several key principles defined in this book that make up a great company. Ones that can sustain for the longterm.

Takeaways

The key point that I took away was getting the right people on the bus. You can have a million great ideas, but without people who understand and want to implement those ideas you will be spinning your wheels. Because this is so, people have to matter to you. Being generous with encouragement and caring far outweighs modest pay increases. Honestly, this is a long book full of statistics and studies, but a worthwhile read nonetheless.

“Will It Fly” Pat Flynn

What it’s about

Pat Flynn has become as famous in entrepreneurial business as any of the big names you hear of. In “Will It Fly” Pat walks you through how he built his business from the ground up. He remarks on mistakes and basic business practices made and learned along the way. This is a well thought through manual for entrepreneurs to have on their shelves.

Takeaways

The idea of will it fly is how a paper airplane can be made from several techniques. Some of those make pretty airplanes, but they will not fly. What good is an airplane if it can’t fly? I used the principles in this book to motivate me to stay on track. He recommends setting goals and then implementing them through qualified actions. This is a great read for anyone entering or needing a boost in business.

“Where Has The Body Been For 2000 Years” David Pawson

What it’s about

If you have ever been curious how to the Church got to be where it is today, this is the book for you. From Jesus’ command to go into all the world, down to the church now on main street, this book covers it all. There is the perfect amount of detail for each period. Learn about the Council at Nicea, The Crusades, Martin Luther and so much more.

Takeaways

David Pawson is a Biblical scholar in the truest sense. He has lived his life teaching the Bible. This book is honestly one of the best books I read in 2016. I cannot recommend it to you any more than: go get it. The best part is that you can trust the work. There is no expounding on the facts. This is a worthwhile read.

“Gifted Hands” Ben Carson

What it’s about

Ben Carson was a surgeon long before he came onto the world stage declaring his bid for the U.S. presidency. This book was recently updated, but the story is still 20 years old. God has brought this man from poor beginnings to become one of the most influential and avant-guard pediatric surgeons of our time. This is his fascinating story. P.S. This book is not political in nature.

Takeaways

Just about anyone who reads this will be drawn to two things. One is the touching stories of human beings being operated on and living to tell their tales. The other is how important it is to always be searching for new inventions. Carson pioneered many surgical maneuvers because he wouldn’t take the typical approach. In my life, I want to always be learning. To always be innovating.

“The Top Ten Distinctions Between Millionaires and The Middle Class” Keith Cameron Smith

What it’s about

As you would imagine, this is a book made of a list of ten principles. These are basic fundamentals that every person handling money should live with. Some of the basic tenants include saving, being generous and living within your means.

Takeaways

My favorite part of this whole book is that Smith is looking over the many years of his life and writing these ten critical money components down for his kids. These aren’t principles that a thirty-something is working through, rather the life-learned, road worn financial structures that always win. I loved this book and plan to read it again in 2017.

“QBQ” John G. Miller

What it’s about

The question behind the question is about self accountability. That is, working on myself rather than waiting for others to change. As soon as you learn that you cannot change others, you can work with them, minister to them and enjoy a better life.

Takeaways

QBQ is an easy business read. If you struggle with procrastination (who doesn’t?) and blaming others, this book is great to help you shift your thinking. I recommend this book to anyone who is currently in leadership or who may be one day.

“Tender Warrior” Stu Weber

What it’s about

Stu Weber became a pastor after being a special forces officer in the United States Army. The premise of this book is that God made men to be men. They are to be the heads of their households and to lead tenderly, but with ferocity when needed. This is a book for men trying to understand their God-given purpose.

Takeaways

Two perspectives on maleness exist today. Either I should be rough and tumble or tender and meek. This book helped me to define the both/and in my life. I am prone to being more gentle-natured, but there are times when I need to command my family like a brigadier general and take control. I loved this Biblical approach to manhood. In knowing my role I can best take care of the other people in my life.

“The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” Rosaria Butterfield

What it’s about

Rosaria Butterfield is an English professor who used to be an active feminist in the LGBT movement. Jesus swept through her life and she converted to Christianity. This is her story of transformation and how God has walked she and many beside her through life’s struggles and ups and downs.

Takeaways

I heard of this book while listening to an Eric Metaxas podcast. I was intrigued to hear Butterfield’s perspective. Her understanding of sin came from a perspective I didn’t have. Honestly, this book isn’t for everyone, but is a very interesting read. She comes at life now from a Biblical worldview and her story is dramatic and full of God-ordained victory. I loved it.

“To Jesus We Sing” Jamie Harvill

What it’s about

Jamie takes a bird’s eye approach to just about every time period in Christian worship music. This includes music from the time just after Christ to more modern worship found in our church’s today.

Takeaways

Impressive little manual for understanding where worship music has come from and where it is going. Very well thought through. I appreciated this read and recommend to anyone looking for a solid book to understand this material.

Buy this book on Amazon Paperback here

“Holiness” Mark Rutland

What it’s about

There are many words used in church that are either rare in normal day-to-day life or are misunderstood. Holiness (and the pursuit thereof) is one of those words. This book is an excellent primer for understanding Biblical holiness.

Takeaways

My key takeaway was that holiness can quickly be understood as whole-ness. The idea being that God is perfect and whole. Our fallen nature broke our wholeness to pieces. Jesus restored those pieces, but we still see the cracks. We must approach the throne of God knowing his flawless character and not tread lightly.

Matthew Paulson Series of Books

What it’s about

I learned about Matthew Paulson on a podcast I enjoy about self publishing. He is a self-made millionaire entrepreneur about my same age. His books catalog his business ideas from the ground floor to where he is today. I have found each one very well written and edited.

Takeaways

I reached out to Matt and was able to connect on Skype. He is a believer and lives a life of generosity. To be honest, that was one of the reasons I love his books. He always speaks about giving to others before amassing his own fortune. While he is well-off, his primary goal is to bless others above and beyond the tithe check to his church. You can learn a lot from the humility he writes of in his books. Use the links below to read more about his books.

Find all of Matthew Paulson’s books on Amazon Kindle and Paperback here

Steve Scott Series of Books

What it’s about

Steve Scott is a self publishing king! He has written well over sixty books and is writing more all the time. I have read more than the 8 that are pictured here, but I wanted to give you some of my favorites. Each book’s title gives away what the books are about. He typically prices his books at $2.99 so they are easy to pick up.

Takeaways

The all encompassing takeaway for each of these books for me was to always be writing. Write something everyday and do not miss even a single day. In doing so, I was able to self publish three books this year. The only downside to Scott’s material is that his earlier works are not as good and are out of date in many places. His later work, however, is incredible. If interested, buy a few books and put his recommendations into practice. At such a cheap price point, you can’t go wrong. One other caveat, Scott writes about yoga meditation often. I didn’t appreciate that as much, but simply moved past it.

Find all of Steve Scott’s books on Amazon Kindle here

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