I’ve created a list of my favorite books, sorted out by what role and category they will play in your life. All these books are fantastic, but the ones that are super awesome have a next to them! Any of these are a MUST READ if you haven’t yet. Then move on to the rest.
Growing in the Faith
Be A Man by Father Larry Richards: This book really changes you to become the man that God means you to be. He doesn’t pull any punches, and you’ll end each chapter inspired to step up and become that man.
Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield: What is nobility, honor, and virtue? What does it mean to really embrace them? This book tells the classic story from a totally different perspective, and you will be shocked by the heroic virtue you discover buried inside this story. Must Read.
Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation by Matthew Kelly: Most of us don’t know who Jesus really is. The culture doesn’t reject Catholocism, the culture merely doesn’t know what it is. This book helps us to really discover the person of Jesus, who is the heart of our faith.
The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly: What is the difference between a high engaged Catholic and a disengaged Catholic? Do you want to become more engaged. This book is based upon some phenominal research that really explored how people interact with their faith.
Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly: We’re all searching for happiness, yet we so rarely find it. This is one of Matthew Kelly’s latest books and it has the power to really change your life.
Weight of Glory by C S Lewis: This is a collection of speeches that Lewis gave. Each gives a glimpse into different challenges of life that still apply today. Each culminates in fantastic Christian view of the world.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl: How do we find meaning in our lives? Viktor Frankl is an Auschwitz survivor and a psychologist. He writes not only about the consistent traits that allowed people to survive Auschwitz, but also about how these same principles can help any of us find true meaning in our lives.
Screwtape Letters by C S Lewis: A senior demon writes to a junior demon advising him how to corrupt his charge. It doesn’t sound enticing, until you start to realize just how many of those attacks you personally have fallen for. It will forever change how you think about what’s happening in your mind.
Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance from Evil Spirits by Neal Lozano: We’re all entrapped in some way by the devil. This book was written to really help us break free from his tendrils. There’s a lot more to the process than we think, and this book can help you become the child of God you were meant to be.
When You Suffer: Biblical Keys for Hope and Understanding by Jeff Cavins: Suffering is part of the human experience, but Christians have an opportunity for our suffering to mean something more. We can unite our suffering to that of Christ on the cross, and this book explores how and Why to do it.
Resisting the Devil: A Catholic Perspective on Deliverance by Neal Lozano: This is Neal Lozano’s sequel to Unbound, written specifically for a Catholic audience. The first is more powerful.
The Problem of Pain by C S Lewis: Have you gone through great loss or suffering, and don’t know why God would ever allow such a thing? This book attempts to start that explanation. No single explanation is ever enough
A Grief Observed by C S Lewis: This is the story of Lewis’s emotional recovery from the loss of his wife. I don’t recommend this for everyone. If you’re suffering, this book might be a companion for you.
Understanding the Faith
Mere Christianity by C S Lewis: Lewis builds the case for Christianity. What is it, in essence? If you are unsure of the foundation of your faith and what it really means, this is a great read. Change how you look at the world.
The Great Divorce by C S Lewis: This is a fiction novel that takes place between earth and the final destination. Each struggle is different, and each will teach you something. You’ll see parts of yourself in all of them.
Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn: The story of the journey of the author from Protestant minister to Catholic. If you’re Protestant and want to stay that way, don’t read this. If you’re Catholic and don’t appreciate just what a gift you have, you need to read this!
Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith by Scott Hahn: Scott Hahn is an intellectual powerhouse. If you doubt your faith, this is a great book to start with. His defense is both Christian and Catholic. Is your faith in doubt?
Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration by Joseph Ratzinger: Pope Benedict was an intellectual genius, and in this book, he introduces us to Jesus in a brand new way. Meet our Lord with fresh eyes.
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset: This book is long, but powerful. You will live an entire life’s journey in all the real, nitty-gritty, pain. Although fiction, the characters have more depth than some people you’ll actually meet. Many counselors advise this book as a marriage prep.
The G. K. Chesterton Collection by G. K. Chesterton: Kindle version of 50 books written by Chesterton. Super amazing, super cheap, but you’ll need some guidance to find what in here to read.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell: If you want to have influence with those around you, read this book. It is so packed full of good advice to become a better leader that you cannot rush it. To summarize from the book “Follow these laws, and people will follow you.”
Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell: John Maxwell challenges each of us to rise to our potential. Warning, this book will really highlight your weaknesses to you. Start this book with humility and your leadership skills will explode.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey: This book has become an icon that much of America has at least heard of. If you haven’t read it, you really should. It will change how you work, live, and go about your day.
The Four Loves by C S Lewis: The word “love” is one of the most badly abused words in our language. Let C. S. Lewis break out the four different types. It will reshape how you look at each of your relationships.
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen: What you think becomes your reality. If you want to change your life, change how you think and what you think about. This is not an idle exercise or an academic experience. You have the power to change your life, starting in your own mind.
The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential by John Maxwell: John Maxwell is the expert on leadership. If you want to improve your effectiveness at home or on the job, this is a great book to start with. Additionally, this book contains some practical ways to help lead upwards as well.
Leading Others through Relationships
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: Required reading for everyone who works with people. (I will exempt only those who have taken a vow of silence and live in poverty in the desert!) This was written long ago, and is still one of the most important books to read to improve how you interact with others.
Winning With People: Discover the People Principles That Work for You Every Time by John Maxwell: John Maxwell expands Dale Carnegie’s masterpiece to include not only his own genius, but a solid Christian perspective. Another Must-Read
Who Do You Think You Are Anyway? by Robert A. Rohm: DISC is a deeper version of a personality test, similar in some ways to the Temperaments. This is my favorite book that really explores all the combinations and is very practical at helping you to understand every person you meet better.
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane: This book expands Dale Carnegie’s book in a totally different direction, and really explores what Charisma is. You can have the power of Charisma in any situation, it’s not genetic, it’s something you can learn.
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin: This is quite a long book that really dives into the people-genius of Abraham Lincoln. It goes through both his failures and successes, and really highlights how he wove together some incredibly strong and abrasive personalities into an incredibly powerful team.
Developing the Leaders Around You by John Maxwell: John Maxwell expands the Leader Within You to now address others. This is a great read for those who are trying to build a team, specifically a team that will be self-sustaining and even growing.
Understanding How Others Misunderstand You: A Unique and Proven Plan for Strengthening Personal Relationships by Ken Voges: This is another book on the DISC personality system. Although it explores the system from a Christian (non-Catholic) perspective and highlights the profiles of many major Bible characters, I like it less. It is more shallow and less comprehensive than Robert Rohm’s book.
Leading in Business
Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson: Super simple, effective book about how to make change in business or personal. Anyone can read and understand this. Share it with others
Raving Fans! (The One Minute Manager) by Kenneth Blanchard: This book is written for business owners, but the philosophy described can apply to anyone in any walk of life. It’s about how to generate enthusiasm with people. This is powerful for every organization, profit or non.
Improving Your Marriage
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman: Everyone perceives “being loved” differently. Ever feel that you work so hard to make your spouse feel special and loved, but it just isn’t getting through? You might be speaking the wrong language. Read this book and make your time and efforts more effective.
When Divorce Is Not an Option by Gregory Popcak: This book is my favorite book by an incredible marital counselor. He addresses the major areas of marriage that we all need to work on, and gives very practical advice for how to do it.
The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse by Art Bennett, Larraine Bennett: Every person has a personality given by God before birth. The better we understand the other person, the better we’re able to communicate and relate to them. This book is the second in the series and specifically addresses relationships with your wife.
Intimacy and Desire by David Schnark: Schnark is a secular psychologist who does a great job of discussing what is required for your marriage to have passion. This is a psychological book with no ties to Christianity, but very practical.
Discovering the Mind of a Woman by Ken Nair: This is not an easy read. Men, be ready to accept responsibility for your wives in the same way Christ did for the church. We are called to do no less. It’s not going to be easy, but this book will change how you look at yourself.
Holy Sex! by Gregory Popcak: God created sex for married couples to enjoy. It is THE “Marital Act.” How is your sex? Sex is not supposed to be dirty, it’s supposed to be Holy. Good sex requires the rest of your relationship to be in the right order. Read this to better understand what God intends for you and your spouse.
For Better…Forever by Gregory Popcak: Marriage is to last forever. If you want it to, you have to work for it. This book of Popcak’s is less focused on sex, but still hard-hitting!
For Men Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Jeff Feldhahn: This is a communication guide. How does your wife’s mind work? This might help. Ladies, there is also a version for you!
Parenting your Children
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker: If you are a dad, and you have a daughter of any age, this is mandatory reading. It will forever open your eyes to your responsibilities towards your daughter(s). After God, you are the biggest factor in their life’s success.
The Temperament God Gave Your Kids by Art Bennett, Larraine Bennett: Every person has a personality given by God before birth. The better we understand the other person, the better we’re able to communicate and relate to them. This book is the third in the series and specifically addresses relationships with your kids.
Relationships within Family
The Seven Levels of Intimacy by Matthew Kelley: We all need intimacy, just as much as we need food. Men, however, don’t like to admit this. Are you ready to learn, not only your need for intimacy, but how to actually be intimate?
The Temperament God Gave You by Art Bennett, Larraine Bennett: Every person has a personality given by God before birth. The better we understand the other person, the better we’re able to communicate and relate to them. This book is the first in the series and specifically addresses your own temperament