Halfway through 2019! My goal was to read 64 movies this year – one a week plus an extra fun read a month. And I’ve read just over 50 books so far, on a variety of topics. Christian leadership, entrepreneurship, writing, marketing, health, mystery novels…even a fun one about improv comedy!

I’ve also just finished writing my second book – a time management book called Pause! I’m hoping to finish editing it in the next few weeks and release it later this summer. More details to come on that one.

These are my favorite reads so far! In no particular order.

1. THE WHOLE BRAIN CHILD

Author: Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
6-Word Synopsis Question: How is a child’s brain wired?
Main Takeaway: Speak and respond to a child, not based on your thoughts, but based on how they process information and feelings. Help them to distinguish between “feel” and “am” and that their emotions.
Why I Loved It: It has legitimately made me a better parent. The chapter about calming emotions was worth it alone!


2. WOODEN ON LEADERSHIP

Author: John Wooden
7-Word Synopsis Question: How can I lead well, anytime?
Main Takeaway: Leaders must be filled with energy and eagerness, joy and love for what you do. Great teams focus on the front of the jersey over the back of the jersey.
Why I Loved It: Wooden’s countless insights on leadership, influence, and motivation apply to any person in any position.

3. EXPONENTIAL

Author: Dave Ferguson and Jon Ferguson
6-Word Synopsis Question: How can I start a movement?
Main Takeaway: Effective leadership is ultimately about developing other leaders. You will reproduce who you are, so model what you want to multiply.
Why I Loved It: This book captures the heart and vision of Grace Church more than any book I’ve read in the past.

4. THE SILENT PATIENT

Author: Alex Michaelides
6-Word Synopsis Question: What will get her to speak?
Main Takeaway: The only fiction book on my list, this story captivated me from the very beginning with its compelling storytelling and creative twists! It was a great “escape” mystery novel.
Why I Loved It: It flows more like a movie than a typical novel.

5. BUY IN

Author: John P. Kotter
6-Word Synopsis Question: How can I inspire my peers?
Main Takeaway: Opposition actually helps your supporters to be more bought in and committed to the idea or movement. It helps them realize it’s worth fighting for.
Why I Loved It: Kotter shares tons of practical tools to help motivate, engage, and help the people around you buy into a specific vision or mission.

6. THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK

Author: Timothy Ferriss
6-Word Synopsis Question: How can I find more flexibility?
Main Takeaway: The “New Rich” for today’s culture is not about acquiring the most money, but rather acquiring the most time and mobility in our jobs. Focus on the most important tasks and outsource the rest so you have more time for what’s important.
Why I Loved It: Ferriss challenges the reader to focus on how they turn their present situation and reality into an efficient version their dream life and dream job.

7. HOW TO BREAK UP WITH YOUR PHONE

Author: Catherine Price
6-Word Synopsis Question: Is my phone actually damaging me?
Main Takeaway: Our phones have caused us to become more distracted, less social, and less patient. Establishing healthy boundaries will help us to use our phone for all the positive benefits while minimizing the negative side effects.
Why I Loved It: Using scientific research mixed with practical application, Price gives specific ways that we can use our phones to help us and prevent them from hurting us.

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Hey! I’m Stephen, the pastor of Grace Church in West Bridgewater, MA. I live in Bridgewater with my wife, Katy, and two daughters, Hazel & Holly.