5 Books That Changed My Life

With November being National Novel Writing Month, I feel the urge and the pressure to write my first book growing. It’s long been a goal of mine to write a book and leave my mark upon the world.

After all, there are so many books which have shaped my life. A book has the power to impact a person like no other art form.

With that in mind, I want to share with you 5 of the books that have changed my life over the past 28 years. These are books I go back to time and time again for inspiration. If you’ve never read them, I encourage you to check them out on Amazon. Maybe one of them will inspire you too.

In chronological order of when I discovered them:

dear-mr.-henshawDear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary – This was my first favorite book in elementary school. Dear Mr. Henshaw tells the story of a young boy completing a class assignment of writing to his favorite author. Over the years the boy continues to correspond with Mr. Henshaw seeking advice and wisdom as he struggles with all the issues of adolescence, including his parent’s divorce. Dear Mr. Henshaw is engaging and captivating and honest – just like all of Beverly Cleary’s work. Most importantly for me, Dear Mr. Henshaw opened up the possibilities of what a book could be in my eyes. The entire book is written in the format of the boy’s letters to Mr. Henshaw. At a young age I learned every book doesn’t have to look the same or follow the same format. Ever since then I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing that plays with the traditional narrative. Continue reading

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Rethinking Goliath

What if we’ve been wrong about David and Goliath this whole time?

This is the question posed by Malcolm Gladwell at the center of his new book David and Goliath. Gladwell is the revolutionary brain behind The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers – 3 books which revolutionized the business world and my personal thinking as well.

Gladwell’s books consistently offer fresh perspective on seemingly obvious thoughts we take for granted about success. In David and Goliath, Gladwell asks us to rethink the idea of underdogs – the heroes who seemingly overcome great adversity to triumph in battle. Gladwell posits that perhaps some disadvantages are really advantages (and vice versa).

The book starts off with a reexamination of the first and greatest underdog story ever recorded – David vs. Goliath. As we all once learned in Sunday School, David was the meager shepherd who, forsaking a warrior’s armor, brought only a slingshot to take down a mighty giant.

Generations have been taught this story as an example of the power of God to use the smallest of men to slay the tallest of enemies. But what if David wasn’t the underdog here? What if David was actually the prohibitive favorite against Goliath?

Gladwell’s research shows David was not an underdog at all. He was actually a strategic mastermind. Continue reading