I enjoy reading books, but I am not really into novels or fiction. I enjoy reading biographies that explain about people who are significant in history. Sometimes, those people are still alive and then I get to hear about their experiences in their own words. One such example that I recently enjoyed is Playing To The Edge by General Michael V Hayden, a former CIA/NSA director.
What follows is a listing of books that drastically changed my viewpoint, approach to important subjects, or taught me something useful I didn’t know before. I recommend reading all of them. If you have a smart phone and a library card, many of them are accessible for free using the Overdrive app that works with your local library. I read/listen to many of my books using that app. I have highlighted what each book taught me as a heading before the description.
Detect Deception. Spy the Lie
This book is written by former CIA polygraphers and explains the technique and tactics they employ to determine if someone is being candid or not when you ask them questions. In my opinion, the best part of the book is how the authors break down the answers that public figures have given to questions asked on major media outlets. Each deceptive behavior is itemized and explained for its significance. I think about this book every day at work and whenever I watch the news.
Build Wealth. The Simple Path To Wealth
This book is largely a reproduction of the Stock Series on the blog written and continuously maintained by Jim Collins. On his blog, Jim wrote a Stock Series that was adapted, edited, and codified into the book. It is by far the clearest and most pragmatic approach to money that I have ever read. It covers getting out of debt, reducing expenses, investing, and some strategies for early retirement. The book de-mystifies the world of investing and can help set you up on a path to financial success.
Relate to People. The Five Love Languages
There are a lot of versions to this book that are specific to whichever relationship you are seeking to improve. I couldn’t find the original art for the book I read a decade ago, but this is another book that I think about nearly every day. The insight from it has helped me to be a better father, husband, brother, and son. It taught me things about myself. Knowing yourself is important, and if you are unsure what your “love languages” are, then you should check this book out.
Share Jesus with People. The Way of the Master
This book and the sermons by Ray Comfort taught me not only the importance of sharing my faith, but it also taught me the way Jesus used the law in evangelism to bring about the knowledge of sin. Ray Comfort explains this is how Jesus shared the Gospel – law to the proud (rich young ruler) and grace to the humble (woman at the well). His sermon “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” is an excellent listen for all.
Gain Perspective. Love Survivor
This book hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember reading it years ago and being moved about the incredible sacrifice of the special operations officers living and working a world away, fighting the enemies of America. Marcus Luttrell is the author. He is a former navy seal with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also consulted and had a cameo in the movie released in 2014. The movie is good, too, but it does not compare to the book. Before reading this book, I knew there were thousands upon thousands of US service members living overseas, serving our country. Reading this book made it personal to me. It taught me perspective, and it has helped me to be thankful for their service. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. He also wrote Service: a Navy Seal at War as a follow-up to the original book. I suggest you read that one if you like Lone Survivor.
I hope you enjoyed this list. What books have greatly affected or changed your worldview? Let me know if the comments below. Also, click on the “Like” button on the Facebook widget on the right to follow the blog on Facebook!