Bangladesh Adventures

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kevin’s Top Ten Reading List

Over the years I have promised a number of people (very limited) to give them a top ten list of the books that have made the most impact on my life. Below is the list, don’t get real excited I didn’t start reading until I was 24 years old and I’m not a ferocious reader. However, I am veracious witness for these books; they will change your life if you read them. In addition, I am not a speed reader but when I’m done with a book I have it all over my face. It’s all about the impact…..

#1. The Bible: New International Reader’s Version

By the International Bible Society with WTL Publications, IBS06-30000. Book introductions, margin notes, and reference material by Keith J. White (I had him as a professor during Grad school); Illustrations by Andy Bisgrove; and Maps by Tony Cantale. This Bible presents the whole Bible in the usual way but makes it clear what is story in full page paragraphs, and what is a different kind of writing (details, poetry, proverbs, laws, family trees and letters) in double columns.

#2. Rich Christians in an age of Hunger, Moving from Affluence to Generosity

By Ronald J. Sider, W Publishing Group, 1997. Everyday 30,000 children still die of starvation and preventable diseases… “Ron Sider has given us a Kingdom challenge to live and love sacrificially and to give and serve generously amidst cultural voices of materialism and personal wealth. This book is strength to anyone who finds themselves wrestling with the how and why of being a good steward of earthly treasures.” Dan Haseltine, Jars of Clay.

#3. Small is Beautiful, Economics as if People Mattered
By E.F. Schumacher, written in 1973, before such ideas started gaining popularity, Schumacher makes a clear and profound case for small-scale, local production, applicable to places like a third world country as well as the U.S. It blows your mind in this day and age of Globalization!

#4. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, A Fruitful Branch on the Vine, JESUS

By St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2000, ISBN 0-86716-424-7. Mother Teresa personified Jesus Christ by showing God’s love and compassion among the poorest of the poor. She saw Jesus’ face in every person she every met, including the dying on Calcutta streets.

#5. What’s so Amazing about Grace?
By Philip Yancey, 1997, Zondervan Publishing House, ISBN 971-511-519-5. In this 1996 Gold Medallion Book of the Year, Mr. Yancey gives us a probing look at grace: what it looks like…what it doesn’t look like…and why only Christians can and must reveal the grace the world is searching for. Do you have Grace- received it and given it?

#6. Pedagogy of the Oppressed
By Paulo Freire. “This is the “bible” of popular education. It describes a new kind of literacy that can liberate the oppressed. It was revolutionary enough to win Freire many years in exile from his native Brazil and has influenced educational practice all over the world.” David Diggs.

#7. Our Iceberg is Melting, Changing and succeeding under any conditions
By John Kotter, 2005, St. Martin’s Press. What I like about this book is it is for life whether you are in business, non-profit, education or family matters. This book is a fable about change and the need for change when nobody else sees it.

#8. In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best Run Companies
By Tom Peters, 1992. Ranked as the "greatest business book of all time" in 2002. What I like about this book is every business book written since is nothing more than expanding on Peters’ book. Read this one and you don’t have to read all the other business “experts” books.

#9. Discipling Nations, the Power of Truth to Transform Cultures

By Darrow L. Miller, 1998, YWAM Publishing. I have worked in Development for more than 21 years now. If the truth be told and the truth is the Gospel- the power of the gospel has what it takes to transform individual lives from the darkness of poverty to the light of the Son. Christians and Christian Development agencies have underestimated the power of God’s truth to transform entire societies.

#10. People’s History of the United States
By Howard Zinn. The winners get to write history, whether it is the truth or not. This book offers an alternate history of the U.S. from the point of view of fellow human beings who have lost the political, military, and economic conflicts. You won’t find these stories in our history books. Good read.

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