Books to Add to Your Reading List

Written by on July 20, 2020

While people across the country have had to adjust how they spend their free time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one pastime that hasn’t changed has been reading. One silver lining of being stuck at home during quarantine was ample time to have your nose in a new book.

After all, there’s nothing better than a good book to bring joy during difficult times.

One of the weekly recurring questions on the podcast asks guests what their favorite book is. Whether you’re searching for a quality beach read, rereading an old favorite, or even just looking for an escape, below are 26 suggestions to add to your own reading list based on the podcast guests’ top choices.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
“It’s a book you can read over and over. It’s incredible,” said Michael Ray. “It’s one of those books that every once in a while you should pick up and read again just to remind yourself.”

A Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
“I wouldn’t call myself a science guy and I’m certainly not a history buff, but I do enjoy knowing the evidence behind the Christian faith, and I think Lee does a fantastic job with case for creator, case for Christ, case for grace, case for the real Christ,” said Chris Burke. “He’s got this whole series of books that really investigate, because his background is an investigative reporter. That would be a good recommendation if you’re looking for a good read.”

Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom
“On vacation, I read Molly’s Game, about the girl who ran a poker game out in California and moved it to New York,” said Will Wolford. “I can honestly say this for the first time ever that the book was so much better than the movie. The book was great and it was an easy read, so I highly recommend it.”

Built to Last by Jim Collins
“When this came out, it just registered with me. At the time where I was in my life, taking over Fruit of the Loom, it meant a lot to compare old brands and I felt like it was really stimulating,” said Vince Tyra. “Built to Last stuck with me.”

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
“I read that a couple years ago and that book is what really kicked off my pursuit and my faith,” said Matt Hoetker. “I realized I can still be who I am and have faith and be a Christian. I really enjoyed that book.”

Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko
“If you talk to guys who went into the SEALs from my era, those books like Rogue Warrior are what introduce and initially lights the fire in a lot of these younger guys,” said Hoetker. “If I hadn’t picked up that book, I probably wouldn’t have ended up in the teams.”

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
“I haven’t read novels in years, and this one had me so captivated,” said Nick Hardwick. “It’s a super good book.”

The Outpost by Jake Tapper
“To read what they had been through and to learn more about what their life was like over there during deployment really hit home and changed my outlook on a lot of things,” said Joe Thomas. “For me, a good book is one that changes your perspective or outlook on something or educates you in a way that you didn’t think was possible. That book really did that for me, and that’s why I’d recommend it. It really hit home.”

The Quarterback Whisperer by Bruce Arians
“It was kind of biographical, but it was about his thoughts on quarterback play. He wanted his guys to be aggressive and cut it loose, and I did take that from him. I liked some of the stuff he said,” said Brian Brohm. “The things I’m normally reading are things that will hopefully help me get better and help with leadership, or something I can take from it and apply in life.”

The Match by Mark Frost
“It’s a true story about a golf match that took place back in the 1950s or the early ‘60s at the Bing Crosby Clambake. There was a question mark back in the mid-twentieth century about whether it was better to be an amateur golfer or a pro golfer, and who were the better golfers,” said Steve Tasker. “It was a big question at that point in American history. It is a fantastic read.”

The Patton Papers by Martin Blumenson
“Not in a million years did I ever think I’d read a 1,000-page book. Reading that and learning about not just him, but the principles of war, I believe what General Patton did in WWII changed the world,” said Merril Hoge. “He was always on the attack, and that’s one of his rules, and I love that mindset. It’s one of my favorite books of all-time.”

Good to Great by Jim Collins
“It’s a study of what sets apart different organizations from being really good to being the absolute best, above and beyond not their own industry, but the entire marketplace,” said Alex Harbin. “I’ve really enjoyed that because it gave me a lot of insights of how to go from good to great personally, and how to raise my organization from good to great, and how to take some of these concepts and add them into my family as well.”

Loving What Is by Byron Katie
“It’s phenomenal. 15 or 16 years ago, I went through a really hard time. I went through a period of grief where I lost somebody very special to me. I read Loving What Is and it was so helpful,” said Dr. Daniel Amen. “In Loving What Is, she teaches you how to challenge the nonsense that really goes on in your head so that no matter what happens, it’s okay. You don’t have to be okay with everything that happens.”

Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni
“It’s a hidden book for coaches and even people in the business world. We get into this meet-to-meet trap. We think we have to meet. If you have nothing to meet about, don’t waste anyone’s time, because they’re not coming in with the type of mindset you need to be productive,” said Joe “Big House” Kenn. “I’m not going to meet to meet, I’m going to meet to compete. That book has a nice layout about the restructured once-a-week staff meetings. It’s a really good book.”

The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry
“It’s literally a handbook. I think it’s something that you could read monthly. There are exercises in it, there’s affirmations in it. It’s really interesting,” said Rob Vaka. “This is powerful stuff and can be applied. It’s not just a static book.”

Walk the Talk by Harvey Penick
“It’s a great story about this president who’s about to give a speech. The difference was that he goes through this book and he realizes that you can say things, but you have to do things. You have to walk the talk,” said David Novack. “It’s a fabulous book. I love parables because they’re short and I can say I read a book recently. I absolutely love that book. It was great.”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
“It’s a really good one. It’s not too long, which is one of my favorite things about it,” said Stevie Johnson. “It’s impactful and it’s heavy. You can read three pages for three days.”

If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg
“It’s based on the biblical story of the disciples being in the water and Peter is the only one who has the courage to go out and see Jesus and walk on the water. We’ll be in the boat and plan or want to do something, but we won’t take the step out of the boat to make it happen, or don’t have the faith to go do something,” said Junior Bridgeman. “Peter got out of the boat, but nobody talks about the other 11 disciples that didn’t get out of the boat. I focus on that.”

The Bible
“Over the last 15 years, I’ve read through the Bible four times. When I tell people that, they laugh. I did it. I go cover to cover. I read the scriptures. I do work study and write as I go through it,” said Greg Taylor. “I’ve given one of those to my oldest son and my youngest son. I’ll be giving one to my daughter in law. I want them to understand that the most valuable thing that you have is your weapon. That weapon is the word of God. It does not come back null and void. It will change the way you think, what you believe, your behavior, and your destiny.”

The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
“It’s a simple book, but it’s so awesome. I would encourage everybody to go read it. This book is about a city bus driver who impacts everybody that gets on her bus. You can change the world no matter what your role is wherever you’re at if you have the right perspective,” said Scott Satterfield. “That’s amazing to me – the impact you can have whatever your role is. We all have that power. That’s why I like this book. We’re going to share it with our team and hopefully it’ll impact our team in a positive way.”

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
“I haven’t read a lot of books, but I thought Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog was a great book, and it relates to sports,” said Brandon Beane. “Shoe Dog was awesome how Phil Knight built Nike. I don’t know how he overcame some of the things that happened in his life, from getting the shoe and going over to Japan and how it all started. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it.”

The Truth About Men by DeVon Franklin
“The book is basically about how men and what we go through, and it’s really more of an explanation to women and men as why we have the urges that we do, whether it’s sexually, as a husband, as a boyfriend, all these things,” said EJ Manuel. “It teaches you how to date, almost. It’s not telling you to do this or do that, but it just explains to you why you might have these thoughts and feelings. I think it was also good for women to see too.”

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
“I learned so much at a very pivotal time in my leadership about 20 years ago. I’ve reread it, and I think it’s out in several different forms. It has great leadership principles,” said Dave Stone.

Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
“It’s a really good one. It’s about the deadliest climbing season on Everest,” said Kyle Williams. “I’m a big historical reader. I’m not a big historical fiction reader. I want to learn something about something when I read.”

Intensity by Dean Koontz
“Being on the road, I’d read constantly. I’ve read all the classics and all that literature,” said Al Snow. “Intensity is amazing. It kicks off right out of the gate and gets ramped up and gets more intense along the way.”

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
“It’s a really, really good read on people and the power of investing. A lot of people want to look rich, but not be rich,” said Chris Mack. “It’s just an amazing read. You’d be shocked at the amount of people who have become self-made millionaires, but don’t look like it, and that’s the reason why. It’s a very interesting read.”

Even if your schedule is back to becoming fully booked – pun intended – there’s always enough time in your day to read.

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