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Buzzard’s Best Books of 2011

Here is my Best Books of 2011 list. This isn’t a list of books published in 2011. This is a list of the books I read in 2011 that gave me the most profit/pleasure. See the bottom of this post for links to past year’s lists.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

This is story telling at its best. Over a three-week period I re-told this story to my boys while tucking them in at night. They were riveted.

California: A History by Kevin Starr

Californians, it’s important to understand the rich, exciting, sinful, and fascinating history behind our incredible state. I think this is the best one-volume history you could read on California. Kevin Starr is smart. He’s actually too smart. This book would be stronger if it said less, if it was about fifty pages shorter.

The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller

The best book I’ve ever read on marriage.

Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz

This is a great read on leadership.

Investing for Dummies by Eric Tyson

I hope you’re investing money, not merely saving money. To get a jumpstart or refresher course on investing, read this book.

King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Tim Keller

One of the few books I know I will re-read, a book to be mastered.

On Being A Theologian of the Cross by Gerhard O. Forde

This is the message of grace! A brilliant book.

Church in the Making: What Makes or Breaks a New Church Before it Starts by Ben Arment

Great common sense that is often forgotten in the church planting/ministry/leadership world.

Muscular Faith: How to Strengthen Your Heart, Soul, and Mind for the Only Challenge That Matters by Ben Patterson

I read this book last month. It motivates me to enjoy God, not waste my life, and go hard after what matters most. Ben Patterson is a great guy. He’s the real deal.

RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel by Matt Fitzgerald

Get out there and run!

The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity by Richard Florida

It was fun to think about and interact with all the ideas in this book.

The Last of the Prune Pickers: A Pre-Silicon Valley Story by Tim Stanley

I loved this self-published account of life in Silicon Valley before it became Silicon Valley.

Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian

Amen! This equation changes everything. This is the good news of Jesus Christ stated in bold and beautiful fashion.

Gospel Wakefulness by Jared Wilson

Now I have better words to explain what started happening to me in my early 20s. Read Wilson’s book and Tullian’s book together. A gospel double-decker.

Strengths-Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Tom Rath

Quit thinking only about your strengths. Identify the strengths of those you lead and help them play to their strengths.

San Jose: California’s First City by Edwin Beilharz and Donald Demers

Good history and photos of California’s first city.

See last year’s list, Best Books of 2010, with links to past year’s lists.


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