I’m ready for the 2016 Reading Challenge and hope you’re coming with us.

These are MY PICKS and I’d love to hear what you’re reading.

Click Here to join the challenge and download your free printable.

My picks for the 2016 MMD Reading Challenge:


Category: A book published this year


Not being released till February of 2016 but I’m already excited about this one. The author described the book as “Firefly” meets “Overboard” (the 1987 Goldie Hawn classic). Stop! You had me at “Firefly” but now I’m intrigued.  It’s a stand alone epic space novel where two former classmates must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest in the outer rim. This is why books were written.

Category: A book you can finish in a day

The Gifts of Imperfection

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston and 3 time #1 New York Times Bestseller. Her TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world. With over 25 million views, this book is the overflow of that talk. As society throws a barrage of images and expectations telling us who, what, and how we should be, we are lead to believe that our goal of perfection with perfect lives would help us feel less inadequate. Will it? Let’s find out.

Category: A book you’ve been meaning to read

by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

Exec Presence

Performance and hard work can get you recognized and promoted but how do you get more than “Leadership Potential” and move into that quality that separates you from the crowd? How do you obtain an Executive Presence? I’ve been drawn to management and leadership books for some time now and really want to see what Hewlett has to say about that “je ne sais quoi” that gives you the influence and voice to achieve your goals.

Category: A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller

by Orson Scott Card

Enders Game

The Five Forks Librarian is still pushing Ender’s Game. 3 decades after the book and 3 years after the movie they still see it as a conceptually rich and engaging story about Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation. Is he the general Earth needs to stop the 100 years of war with the Buggers? Will his training break him down to show the diamond inside or just break him? Since I’ve seen neither the movie nor read the books I’m going in with a childlike expectation. Let’s see what I find.

Category: A book you should have read in school

by John Steinbeck

Grapes of wrath

This Pulitzer Prize winner is one I’ve avoided for some time. From what I know it’s going to take me on a historic, gritty, walk  through a fragile, financially unstable, and difficult period in American History. Sounds a lot like today. I’m pretty sure this was on the list of books Mrs. Cantrick gave out in my sophomore year but right now it seems to be an appropriate book for the times. Should be good and I’m looking forward to it.

Category: A book chosen for you by your spouse, sibling, child, or BFF

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World And Me

Recommended by my dear wife, I’m looking forward to diving into this one. “Between the World and Me” is a personal exploration of the racial history in America. It attempts to answer questions that many don’t even dare ask but some are forced to consider. What’s it like to inhabit a black body in America? What’s it like to see yourself depicted in ways that even you find despicable? “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”  Told in letters from a father to his adolescent son, it offers a new framework for understanding America’s history and current racial climate.

Category: A book published before you were born

by Zora Neale Hurston


So, I knew nothing about this book or author but I needed something that was published before I was born (1980); therefore like any civilized adult I Google’d “book published in 1979.” The list was actually very familiar; “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, “The Never Ending Story”, “Amadeus.” Then I saw “I Love Myself When I Am Laughing…” Hmm, I do to. Click. I found an intriguing book by Zora Neale Hurston, a prolific African-American author from 1920 to 1950. Praised for her writing and condemned for her independence, arrogance, and audaciousness, I can’t wait to dive into Zora’s world.

Category: A book that was banned at some point

by Ray Bradbury


So, I’m fully aware of the classic irony of Fahrenheit 451 being on a list of banned books given it’s subject of book burning, and the controlling of intellectual freedom. Written by Ray Bradbury, the fiction legend, the book paints a dark, dystopian future where books are outlawed, and firemen set fires rather than fight them. It’s only fitting that a book which very presence has become a hallmark of anti-censorship sentiment be read today more than ever.

Category: A book you previously abandoned

by John Eldredge


A few years ago I picked up “Wild at Heart” and didn’t make it pass the 3rd chapter. I found the sentiment of what it meant to be a “man” frustrating.  I filtered the premise of “getting back to nature” as “if I don’t run naked in the woods (which I don’t recommend), grunt and gather worms” I’m somehow missing the definition of what it means to be a man.” Over a decade later I have learned to see the value of men being men and want to give it another try. Pray for me.

Category: A book you own but have never read

by Tony Morgan

Killing cockroaches

OK. I’ll admit it. I bought this book solely because of the title. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. It’s by an author that I have come to really appreciate. He’s the author of “Simply Strategic Volunteers” which is one of the best books I’ve read on reaching and engaging volunteers. He has a sharp mind and sees things differently than most. Did I mention it has a giant cockroach on the cover. Sold.

Category: A book that intimidates you

by Francis A. Schaeffer

The God Who Is There

Francis A. Schaeffer’s credentials alone, American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian Pastor, are enough to make you hide his books behind that dusty copy of Cloud Atlas. The depth and weight of his writings force you to stop and think – really think about what he’s writing, what you’re reading and whether you will accept it or just allow it. I’ve wanted to read many of his books but none more so than this one. I don’t expect to blindly believe everything he says but I do expect to be challenged.

Category: A book you’ve already read at least once

by A.W. Tozer


This is a constant re-read for me. Tozer’s “Pursuit of God” reminds me that my relationship with Jesus isn’t just about His desire to be with me but I have to cultivate and growth my desire to be with Him. “We have almost forgotten that God is a Person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can.” This will be the perfect way to end this reading challenge.


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