My Favorite Reading in 2004                                 David Mays

Ten years from now you’ll be pretty much the same person you are now except for the books you read and the people you hang around with.


Adventure – Colonel Edward Fleming served his military career as a helicopter rescue pilot and commander.  He describes his heart-stopping adventures in Heart of the Storm.

Bible Study – Alicia Britt Chole hopes to “birth and nurture active, life-absorbed, global vision” through the missions Bible study, Until the Whole World Knows.

Change – “Everybody resists change-particularly the people who have to do the most changing,” according to Peter O’Toole in Leading Change.

Children’s books – Lemony Snicket’s research has revealed a sad series of unfortunate events in the lives of the Baudelaire orphans. 

Fairy Tales – I still enjoy fairy tales and the best are those in The Complete Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen.

Family – Donna Thomas, a local author and personal friend shows many ways to help your children and grandchildren become World Christians in Becoming a World Changing Family.

Historical Fiction – You exult and suffer with the brothers Maccabee in the prolonged Jewish revolt against the Romans in My Glorious Brothers by Howard Fast.

History – Saddam Hussein would have had nuclear weapons in the 80s if Israeli pilots had not taken out his reactor in 1981.  Rodger Claire describes the daring Raid on the Sun.

Illustrations – Go to the children’s section of your library, get a handful of the Caldecott Award books, sit down with your children or grandchildren, and enjoy some beautifully illustrated stories.

Leadership –Timeless leadership requires the qualities of purpose, values, heart, relationships, and self-discipline according to Bill George in Authentic Leadership.

Life Yesterday – When I was in school everyone had to read something by Jesse Stuart, the Appalachian school teacher.   School today isn’t like Mr. Gallion’s School. 

Management – Gallup Research over the past 25 years has uncovered a dozen principles for maintaining your top talent.  These are ably communicated in First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.

Missions – David Mays goes in for short titles as can be seen in this compilation of practical information for church leaders called Stuff III – Still More Stuff you need to know about Doing Missions in Your Church – A Handbook of Lists.

Mystery – The worldly-wise monk of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul at Shrewsbury has an uncanny knack for uncovering the culprit in The Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters

Philosophy – Wendell Berry rebuts today’s materialistic superstitions in Life is a Miracle. 

Science – Science writer Michael Fumento explores the progress, potential, and hazards of biotechnology in Bioevolution.

Spiritual Growth – Randy Alcorn is uncompromising in The Purity Principle.

Stories – One gets a feel for life in Botswana through the eyes of an entrepreneurial traditional woman in the Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency and its sequels by Alexander McCall Smith.

Travel – Wherever he went one trade was flourishing – coffin making.  Paul Theroux provides an unforgettable, up-close view of the African continent via his bus, truck, train, and dugout canoe trip from Cairo to Capetown in Dark Star Safari.