Reading Posts

The Life Written by Himself

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com.

I had the chance to read an early copy of an upcoming update to an old book. It’s called The Life Written by Himself by a Russian Archpriest named Avvakum Petrov. The book comes out at the end of May but you can preorder it now (see: Amazon link).

This book certainly isn’t for everyone. That’s to be expected from the fact that it shares the thoughts of a 17th-century priest who lived in poverty and persecution in Russia. Yet the older I get, the more I realize how much we stand to gain from reading really old books.

The updated intro itself is worth the book as it offers a fascinating historical setup to Avvakum’s life and times. Avvakum stood up against a version of Christianity that joined itself together with the government of Russia to gain power and influence. This is something the church in America would benefit to reflect on as well. Beyond this, there are two reasons you might find to appreciate this book.

The first reason—and the best takeaway from this book—is its perspective on the nature of suffering, especially for a Christ-follower. Despite the difference in culture and times, I was incredibly moved by his account. Avvakum is tortured in numerous ways throughout his lifetime and is eventually killed for his faith. Yet he lives with boldness in the face of suffering.

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The Introvert’s Edge to Networking

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com.

I had the chance to read Matthew Pollard’s second book, The Introvert’s Edge to Networking. The book comes out in a few weeks and follows up his previous book called The Introvert’s Edge. As you’re probably picking up, these books are written by an introvert for those of us who are introverted.

In case this term is unfamiliar to you, I’d generally define introverts as people who draw energy from being alone and spend energy from being with people. By contrast, extroverts draw energy from being with people and spend energy being alone. Most of us enjoy being with people and being alone, but the defining characteristic is how it affects your energy levels.

Like his first book, this one is loaded with practical insights for how to leverage the best of your wiring. By far, the most helpful insight for me from this book was to prepare an answer to one of the most common questions asked when we meet new people: “What do you do for a living?”

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My 71 Books of 2020

I set a new personal reading record this year (by one book!). Finishing my Master’s degree this year definitely made it easier for my own reading. Hopefully one of your goals is to read intentionally this year, and if so, this list will provide you with a number of options to consider.

Here are the books I read since January of 2020 with my rating for them (5 being the best) along with a brief review. Any book without a number rating has been given to me by the author or publisher.

Click on any of the titles below to get to a link to buy it. (DisclaimerAs an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com).

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Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com.

Andy Stanley’s latest book, Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets, puts him back into the genre of life application rather than the theological magnum opus he recently published with his book Irresistible. While I prefer his theologically focused books, Andy is comfortable and competent in both worlds. This book is unabashedly practical but is still written toward a Christian perspective. In addition, each of the five questions comes with a case study from Scripture (his summary on Jeremiah was fascinatingly succinct and well-explained).

Andy’s topic on this latest book lands at a good time for all of us as we navigate the hot mess that is 2020. He has a way of saying things that sound so obvious when you read them but they seem to elude us much of the time. A great example is this line from the book: “Most of us want to be proven right more than we want to know what’s true. We aren’t on truth quests. We’re on confirmation quests.”

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2020 Reading List 3/4

2020 Reading List 3/4

Contrary to how it may feel, we are actually moving our way THROUGH 2020. A lot has happened. Now at the 75% mark, it’s time to get ready for decorations for the holidays. Our family is back in Arizona this year which means we won’t get to enjoy all the changing trees that have dazzled us in recent years.

Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2020 with my rating for them (5 being the best) along with a brief review. Any book without a number rating has been given to me by the author or publisher.

In addition to this list, you might also check out:

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Life is in the Transitions

Just when I thought this year couldn’t get any crazier, my wife and I spent last night checking our evacuation status. Oregon—along with much of the west coast—is burning in unprecedented ways. It was the first time we began preparing supplies to actually flee our home. Many people have already had to do just this. I even saw a notice on Amazon today that I’ve never seen before: “Extended delivery time due to weather in your area.”

Really 2020? At some point we wonder when a sense of normal will ever return. Here is some good news for you: you don’t need to wait for normal.

As I shared recently, our family is moving back to Arizona (see: Family Update). That means we are in the middle of one of the biggest unexpected life transitions we’ve yet experienced. But 2020 has reminded us that ALL OF US are in the process of transitions.

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