Books that Changed My Life


Recently USAToday featured an article that listed 25 books that left a legacy on our society. The article got me to thinking about my own experience with books and so I decided to list a few of the books that have radically changed my life.

1. The Bible In 1979 I began reading and studying the Bible. No book has ever had the life-changing impact as this one continues to have on me. It is truly the living word of God as I read and re-read passages seeing different meanings, life challenges and experience tremendous personal growth.

2. Gone with the Wind I was never a “reader” as a child. It wasn’t until my Sophomore year in High School that a tremendous teacher, Mr. Taylor, introduced me to books and encouraged me to read from a wide variety of authors. Seeing my interest peak, our next-door neighbor gave me a copy of GWTW and inscribed, “May this be the first book in your expanding library.” Since that time I have built three personal libraries. This copy of GWTW is still with me, reminding me of how important books are to me.

3. Wild at Heart This book moved me deeply as it showed me my real passion and challenged me to be the man God created me to be. It’s incredible reading for men and women who want to understand the men in their lives.

4. In Search of Excellence Now out of print, In Search of Excellence began to outline for me the importance of creating balanced business culture, customer focus and developing a leadership style that encouraged employee involvement and creativity. While the message remains timeless it continues to grow and mature and be found in books like Jim Collins’ Good to Great

5. What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women James Dobson’s early work showed me how to become a husband and father. It helped me better understand my wife and what she needed from me. His practical wisdom and insight helped me (and my wife) to enjoy thirty-six years of marriage.

There are many, many more books and authors I could list here. From Ken Blanchard to Louie L’Amour, with authors from Marcus Buckingham to James Michener in between. The bottom line is books have helped me dream, grow and relax.

What are five books that changed your life?

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One Response to “Books that Changed My Life”

  1. Scott says:

    Great post. Here are my 5:
    1) The Bible. Like you, this foundation and guide through life is the ultimate source of encouragement, joy, entertainment, and inspiration.
    2) The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I read a lot of fiction when I was younger, but I credit these books more than any others with providing me with hours and hours of escape as I was growing up. They sparked imagination, cultivated fantasy, and inspired me to acheive more.
    3) Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton. An incredible story of consequences and restoration set in apartheid South Africa.
    4) What Matters Most by Hyrum Smith. The time and life management system outlined by the creator of the Franklin (now Franklin Covey) day planner.
    5) The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado. While this is a children’s book it has had a profound impact on me. Raising a child with autism, the message of this book has a very personal meaning – no matter the handicap, God has a special plan for each of us. You Are Special by Max Lucado holds the same sentiment.
    I could name more too – Stephen Lawhead, G.K. Chesterton, John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll to name a few. Looking at my bookshelves at home I have memories for almost every book on those shelves. I can remember the times and places I read (or re-read) them.
    As much as I love my TiVo, nothing in this world replaces the experience of being consumed by a book.

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