Buzzard’s Best Books of 2012

Here is my Best Books of 2012 list. This isn’t a list of books published in 2012. This is a list of the books I read in 2012 that I enjoyed/benefited from the most. This list is in no particular order. See the bottom of this post for links to past year’s lists.

Who Will Deliver Us? by Paul Zahl. Less than 100 pages. I underlined something on every single page. A grace feast.

The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Dale Bruner. I took Dale Bruner’s Gospel of John class my freshman year of college. He’s a fascinating lecturer and an even better writer. This commentary is a beast. I’m preaching through the Gospel of John right now and this commentary is giving me far more than information, it’s giving me delight.

The Wave by Susan Casey. Adventure and danger on paper.

Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp. Every pastor and elder board needs to read this book. And we would have a better world if every church member read this book to learn how to better care and pray for their pastor(s).

Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go by Nancy Guthrie (editor). I couldn’t imagine a more important book on facing death than this book.

Grace in Practice by Paul Zahl. Another grace feast. Zahl’s two books were important reads for me this year. Grace, grace, grace.

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. Brilliant book that’s not just for business leaders. Every leader would benefit from reading this book. It can teach you how to think outside of the box you’re stuck in.

Churchill by Paul Johnson. If you read one biography this next year, read this one. We all have a lot to learn from Churchill’s imperfect and courageous leadership.

Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace by Robert Farrar Capon. I’d been wanting to read this book for years and I finally got around to it. What a weird and memorable way to get across the message of God’s scandalous grace.

Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod. I had my whole staff read this book in order to stir up our creative thinking.

Spurgeon on Leadership by Larry Michael. A book loaded with leadership wisdom grounded in rich stories from Charles Spurgeon’s life.

The Big Short by Michael Lewis. Lewis is a brilliant writer. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. A mini-education in economics, the human heart, investing, consequences, and wisdom.

The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. Someday we’ll live in a world where we won’t need this book. In the meantime, you better learn how to navigate conflict well.

Nature Noir: A Park Ranger’s Patrol in the Sierra by Jordan Fisher Smith. Fun stories from a park ranger’s adventures in an area I grew up mountain biking and exploring.

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki. A helpful read on starting things.

The Triumph of the City by Edward Glaeser. Besides my forthcoming book, Why Cities Matter, this is the best book out there on cities. :)

Axiom by Bill Hybels. I’d never read anything by Hybels before this book. Great leadership wisdom.

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. Balance out all your leadership reading by reading this book and being reminded that God is big and the most important business we need to attend to in our churches is God–praying to him, trusting him, asking him to come and do something that only he can do in our churches and cities. Strategic leadership is worthless without humble men and women to pray their guts out before God.

Elders and Leaders by Gene Getz. Solid.

The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. I learned a lot from this book. If you read one book by Lencioni, read this one. It’s years of wisdom and writing packed into one book.

Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley. Tons of helpful content here.

Click here to read Best Books of 2011, with links to past year’s lists.