My Favorite Books of 2011

I read quite a number of books in 2011, somewhere between 25-30. I wish I had read more, there always seems to be more good books than there is time to read. There were business books, leadership books, devotional books and those books read for entertainment.

From that list of books here are the six that get my highest rating.

Less Clutter, Less Noise: Beyond Bulletins, Brochures and Bake Sales by Kem Meyer. The theme of this book is 'communications in the church.' Kem looks at all aspects of church communication from sermon series and event planning to the time line and tools needed to get them out to the church and community.

Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney. The first word of the title is the theme and Mahaney, takes a look at this theme for the Christ-follower and gives biblical insight on how to live a life of true humility.

The Principle of the Path: How To Get from Where You are To Where You Want to Be by Andy Stanley. "It's direction not intention that determines destination." What a great line. How often we get stuck intending to do something new, something better, make a change, but real change happens because we take the first step in the direction of change. Andy Stanley is a great communicator and this book is another example of his gift.

Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds. This is a classic book on the subject of prayer. If it wasn't for the old English grammar I would have thought it was written this year. The concepts about prayer and the distractions that hinder us from a prayerful life seem the same now but the authored pinned them almost 200 years ago. (After beginning reading this book I learned that E.M. Bounds once lived in the town I now live, which made the book come to life even more.)

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Matyr, Prophet, Spy: A Right Gentile vs. the Third Reich by Eric Metaxas. Bonhoeffer's life was cut short in the last days of World War II when he was executed for his stand against the Third Reich of Germany. This biography examines Bonhoeffer's life and his passionate following of Christ. Metaxas weaving of Bonhoeffer's testimony and role in bringing down the Third Reich is an enjoyable read.

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds. I have sat through presentations where the spoken material was great only to be overshadowed by boring and poor visual elements. Since reading this book I am even more of a critic of the visual presentation through PowerPoint and other devices. Reynolds gives great insight as to what makes a great presentation and how creative visual elements can enhance not dilute the spoken word.

Those six books rise to the top of my list. What were your favorite books of 2011?