My Reading List of 2009

Each year I set some pretty aggressive goals for reading.  I read a variety of things and always keep track of what I’ve read.  (You can read more about my philosophy on what I read in this post.)

Here’s my reading list from 2009:


  • Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton
  • Axiom by Bill Hybels
  • Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kolter & Holger Rathgeber
  • Leading Change by James O’Toole
  • Leading Change by John P. Kotter
  • It by Craig Groeschel
  • Focus by Al Ries
  • The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley
  • Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be by LeRoy Eims
  • Why Not Women by Loren Cunningham & David Joel Hamilton
  • The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
  • How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins
  • Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham
  • Fearless by Max Lucado
  • The Truth About You by Marcus Buckingham
  • Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels
  • 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis by Bill George


  • Sanctuary & High Noon by Nora Roberts
  • One Pink Rose, Murder List & Come the Spring by Julie Garwood
  • Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown
  • If You Stay by Gayle Forman
  • The Other Queen & Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory
  • The First Time by Joy Fielding
  • The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
  • Something Borrowed, Something Blue & Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

Of everything I read this year, the 3 books that had the most impact on me were:

  1. The Hole in Our Gospel
  2. Why the Mighty Fall
  3. Courageous Leadership

What was the best book you’ve read this year?

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  • brandiandboys December 28, 2009  

    The Hole in our Gospel
    Same Kind of Different as Me
    Strengths Finder 2.0

    Loved both of those! I always love seeing what you read since our reading styles are so similar!

  • Josh December 28, 2009  

    The Dream Manager by Michael Kelly – great book!

    • jcatron December 28, 2009  

      @Josh – I need to check that one out. I'm pretty sure I would enjoy whatever you read.

  • Kevin December 28, 2009  

    I read 20 books this year. (My goal was 19 so I was happy). Several impacted me greatly.
    1. How good is good enough – Andy Stanley (short by brought new perspective to outreach)
    2. The Good Fight of Faith — Alan Vincent
    3. The Church that Multiplies – Joel Comiskey

  • Lindsey_Nobles December 28, 2009  

    I need to start keeping a list.

    Here are some of my favorites from this year.
    A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Don Miller)
    Crazy Love (Francis Chan)
    The Hole in Our Gospel (Richard Stearns)

    I read tons of fiction but mostly to escape so it doesn't usually make my best books list. Some of my favorites this year were from a series by Lisa Lutz about a family of private investigators, The Spellman Files. It is really light reading and kind of dark humor but I think it is really funny.

    • jcatron December 28, 2009  

      @Lindsey – I need to check out the Lisa Lutz series. I read fiction as an escape too. I prefer reading to movies or t.v. I had to start keeping track of fiction I've read because I would reread something because I forgot I had read it. 🙂

    • melody ruehling December 29, 2009  

      I read 5-6 fiction books per week (yes, I need the escape, and yes, I stay up way too late), so I have a hard time remembering everything. But, I have to second the Lisa Lutz series. Hilarious and just plain fun!

  • awordsmith December 28, 2009  

    I don't know why I don't keep a list of what I read, but I will start in 2010 thanks to your example Jenni. I've read several books this year, but I really enjoyed"

    Crazy Love by Francis Chan
    Forgotten God by Francis Chan
    Killing Cockroaches by Tony Morgan
    Mad Church Disease by Anne Jackson
    Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (loved it and I rarely read fiction)

    I'll have to check out some of the reads listed here in 2010.

    • Anne Jackson December 28, 2009  

      Thanks for reading MCD 🙂

    • Lindsey_Nobles December 28, 2009  

      I read Redeeming Love this year and LOVED it. People had told me about it for years and I had avoided it but it was so good. Francine Rivers is a gifted storyteller.

      • jcatron December 29, 2009  

        @Lindsey – It took me FOREVER to finally read Redeeming Love but I loved it too!

    • jcatron December 29, 2009  

      @awordsmith – I'm embarrassed to admit I still need to read Crazy Love… seems like everyone read that this year (for good reason I think)

  • bondChristian December 28, 2009  

    "Be the leader you were meant to be"… I just randomly found this on my dad's desk this year and read it. It wasn't my favorite book (I finished it, though, which says something), but it's funny that we both read it this year. I'd never even heard of it before.

    Most influential books this year for me have been two non-Christian books, feels odd this year.

    -Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins: This one gave me a lot more insight not only into how people think and are motivated but (perhaps more so) in how people think they are motivated. Robbins has a huge following and after reading his book, I've really come to realize how much he's influenced the self-help world. Good or bad, it was enlightening in that sense.

    -Purple Cow by Seth Godin: I didn't really get into Seth much until this year. Purple Cow was my introduction, and it changed much of what I previously thought and heightened other thoughts I'd had.

    It's interesting actually. I've noticed this year, that's it's not necessarily the books I'd recommend the most that have the greatest practical influence on me. This makes me wonder, though… I am I reading all the wrong books because I usually read books that I've heard recommended?


    -Marshall Jones Jr.

    • jcatron December 29, 2009  

      @bondChristian – that is funny that we both read "Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be" since it's an older book. I'll have to check out "Awaken the Giant Within"… and Purple Cow was the book that made me a big fan of Seth Godin.

      • bondChristian December 30, 2009  

        Yes, that's what I was thinking about "Be the Leader." Speaking of older books, though, a book I reread this year that's wonderful is Humility by Andrew Murray. It's a short but fairly intense read. If you can get through it, it's amazing.

        -Marshall Jones Jr.

  • brewster December 28, 2009  

    my tops for 2009

    hole in our gospel
    how the mighty fall
    the noticer
    the shack
    principle of the path

    • jcatron December 29, 2009  

      I still have to read Outliers… it's sitting on my "to read" pile anxiously awaiting my time

  • melody ruehling December 29, 2009  

    Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant and The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent are both ones I think you would like Jenni. Both are historical fiction type of books. Another very powerful book is A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, by Ishmael Beah.

    • jcatron December 29, 2009  

      @Melody – I'll have to check those out. Some of my favorite fiction authors were recommendations from you!