Tag Archives: kindle

My 2012 Reading List

More than anything else, I use this blog to review books – especially those that I find particularly interesting or I think will most significantly benefit those of us who occupy the second chair. I have assembled quite a large stack of books that will be on my 2012 reading list. Here is a partial list – in no particular order:

  1. Becoming a Coaching Leader, Daniel Harkavay
  2. The Litigator, John Grisham
  3. I Am A Follower, Len Sweet
  4. Search & Rescue, Neil Cole
  5. Coaching 101, Logan & Carlton
  6. Bloodlines, John Piper
  7. Tipping Point, Malcom Gladwell
  8. Switch, Heath & Heath
  9. blink, Malcom Gladwell
  10. Leaders Who Last, Kraft
  11. Real Marriage, Driscoll
  12. not a fan, Idleman
  13. Made to Stick, Heath & Heath
  14. Reimagining Church, Viola
  15. Foregiveness Formula, Hitz & Hitz
  16. War Room, Dawson
  17. Gracenomics, Foster
  18. Spiritual Conversations, Rohrmayer
  19. The Way of the Wild Heart, Eldridge
  20. Dug Down Deep, Harris
  21. Generous Justice, Keller
  22. The Reason for God, Keller
  23. Assured of Heaven, Ricker
  24. Connect, Perry

There are a few others that I am looking at but haven’t put in the stack just yet. Any suggestions?

What Kind of Reader Are You?

What kind of reader are you? Do you read just for fun and relaxation or for personal enrichment and transformation? Maybe it’s some combination of both. Do you read one book all the way through before cracking open another one? (You probably eat that way, too consuming all of your mashed potatoes before you have any green bean casserole. Does anyone eat grean bean casserole other than at Thanksgiving or Christmas?  I digress.) Or do you approach reading more like an all-you-can eat smorgasboard reading several books simultaneously? I’m not referring to your stack of unread books that will make it into the rotation eventually but actually reading multiple books at the same time.

I find that I do both – reading one straight through and reading several at once. It depends on the book and the purpose. Some books are just too compelling to spend any of my reading time in another book. Grisham’s “The Confession” was like that. It had to be read. So did Platt’s “Radical” and Lyons’  “Next Christian.” But I’ve been reading Fagerstrom’s “The Ministry Staff Member” for several months now. It’s a good book and I will finish it. The format simply allows you to take it in pieces. I’m also reading Lucado’s “It’s Not About Me,”  Scott Williams’ “Church Diversity,”  Dave Kraft’s “Leaders Who Last,” and Troy Meeder’s  “Average Joe.”

There are some books that I read more quickly because they were part of either the Booksneeze or Books for Bloggers programs that put free books in the hands of people who blog reviews of them. The faster I get one book read the more quickly I get another free book! (Did I mention that the books are FREE!) If I’m on vacation or flying more than usual I take advantage of that extra reading time to finish one or more books. On a recent trip to San Diego my wife and I read books on our Kindles while waiting in line at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in Little Italy, while resting at Balboa Park, and on the beach on Coronado.

If you are a secondchair leader you should become a reader. In your unique position there is much that you can bring to the conversation if you have a first-hand knowledge of recent books and resources. You may have read something that would make a great illustration for your sr pasto’rs upcoming sermon series.  You may have read a book that your entire staff should read together or that would make a great small group study. But there’s also the personal and professional training and enrichment that comes from reading deeply in your area of work or ministry and reading broadly in areas that you are not directly involved in.

Does reading one book at a time or reading several at once say anything about us? Are we more focused when reading just one book. Less so when reading several? Is reading multiple books at once a sign we are easily distracted? Let’s try not to read (no pun intended) too much into our reading habits but let me hear what you think. How do you read?

Monday Musings

1. I’m a proud owner and avid user of my Kindle by Amazon. I was an early adopter so I got one of those initial full-priced units that is almost twice what the identical model costs today. I’ve written about my admiration of the Kindle in past posts. Here’s an interesting article in last week’s issue of Newsweek that explains why neither the Nook or the iPad is a “Kindle Killer!”

2. Let’s consider one more Kindle story – the new wifi only version – that will sell for just $139. At that price they’re almost disposable! WhisperNet is great but for most people WiFi is enough. If you’ve been waiting to jump into the pool on this device it’s time to take the plunge. The water is fine! But you will have to wait in line. They are back-ordered to Sept 4.

3. Are you an experienced kayaker? My wife and I just ordered two kayaks from LLBean that should arrive any day. Besides the car racks and PFDs what else should I be prepared to buy in order to fully appreciate our time kayaking? Your comments, suggestions would be helpful.

4. Relevant magazine has some great new email newsletters that you might enjoy reading – including a daily (5x/week) Deeper Walk devotional. Subscribing to these is pretty  painless.

5. Saturday was a big wedding day! I officiated at one in Centralia, WA for a great couple (the groom is in my mentoring group). Our sr pastor conducting another ceremony at our church for another wonderful couple, and a long-time friend and former member of my youth group got married in Missouri. Oh, right – there was a former president’s daughter who got married in a little ceremony in upstate New York. Congrats to all the newly married couples!

6. How’s your summer reading list coming along? I’m currently reading  Garry Friesen’s “Decision Making and the Will of God” for my mentoring group, “Lead Like Ike” for Booksneeze.com, Crazy Love by Francis Chan (for the 2nd time), and just finished Kem Meyer’s “Less Clutter, Less Noise” and will be posting a review on it later this week.

Have a good week!

7 Reasons to Choose the Kindle

First, a word of full disclosure: I own a Kindle2. My purchase of the Kindle prompted us to give one to my father-in-law for his 80th birthday. My brother-in-law also bought one and now I have purchased one for my wife for Christmas (she knows!). So I represent a Kindle family that enjoys reading books and likes their Kindles. Here are 7 reasons why you should choose the Kindle:

1) It’s been around long enough to have been tested and reviewed. I bought my Kindle back in February when the next generation Kindle first became available. Prior to that the original Kindle had been on the market for an extended period. This time period allowed for plenty of feedback, testing, and improvements. As of today the Nook still isn’t available to even try out in the stores.

2) Kindle’s WhisperNet is better than Wifi. With iPad’s wifi you have to be in a hot zone (or for the Nook you have to be in a B & N store). Not so with Kindle. The signal is available throughout the Sprint network and it’s FREE! You will pay more – much, much more – for this feature on th iPad.

3) Its capacity is huge! I can’t imagine ever storing 1,500 books on my Kindle but I’m glad that I can. It means that I never have to travel with a briefcase full of books again. The Sony Reader doesn’t even come close.

4) The book selection is just about endless. You do not have to buy your books through Amazon. The Kindle will read pdf formats and there is an easy conversion to have access to google’s half-a-million FREE ePub books available at A Kindle World blog.

5) Kindle offers real permanent sharing. The Nook’s sharing feature allows you to share a book just one time with one other Nook for just two weeks and never again – IF the publisher allows sharing for their book (most do not). With my Kindle I can share books on up to five devices on the same account. So my wife and I can share an ebook just like we would share a printed book. Again, follow the directions from A Kindle World blog.

6) Kindle does have a web browser. It’s pretty slow and somewhat limited but while on a recent trip to San Francisco I was able to look up some information for a church we wanted to visit. I didn’t have my laptop with me so without the Kindle I would have had to pay a fee at the hotel business center just to log in to their computer. The Kindle’s browser really came through for us. No other ereader has this feature.

7) Battery life. I don’t know how they do it but the battery life is just amazing – much longer than my cell phone or ipod. My experience is that it will last about a week if I’m just reading – longer if I shut it down completely when I won’t be reading for an extended period.

Three things that would make the Kindle even better.

1. A color touch-screen would be great someday but not if it slows things down or drains the battery life (like the Nook or iPad).

2. A non-skid back. The slick back of the Kindle makes it hard to rest it on your knee without holding on to it.

3. I would like to be able to change the screen saver with my own photos. It would make it more personal. This is one area where the iPad is superior to any of the eReaders available.

The Kindle is available only at Amazon.

View from the Dentist Chair

dentist chairI had a crown ‘seated’ today on a tooth that I had a root canal performed a few weeks ago. This was my 8th crown (bad genes) but the first one to be done in one visit! My dentist has this new-fangled CAD technology that takes pictures of your tooth and sends it to this device that carves your new crown from a block of porcelain in less than 8 minutes!  A few minutes later (and a few drops of super glue) and you walk out with a new tooth!

As an obviously frequent dental patient I appreciate the new technology that is relatively pain-free and quick. No more headlocks and tooth-pulling pliers. Nope. Now it’s just that pleasant grinding sound and the putrid smell of decay. I guess I’m grateful that the placement of our eyes makes watching this whole procedure pretty much impossible. I’m sure that a series of mirrors could be rigged up so that I could watch all the excitement. I’m just not sure that’s such a good idea. Like sausage making, some things are better surrounded by a bit of mystery.

I’m always amazed at how many pairs of hands and various dental tools are able to simultaneously fit in my mouth. I love it when the dentist tries to talk to you during the work. I’ve always been told not to talk with my mouth full. Apparently four hands, a water pick, a small vacuum, and power tools don’t count. And then there’s swallowing. What is the proper protocol for swallowing while in the dental chair? Do I wait for my mouth to be empty of hands and hand tools? Do I raise my hand? Or do I swallow at will? No one ever seems to tell you these things before hand!

I tried reading my Kindle while waiting for the crown to be manufactured but both the dentist and the dental assistant became seriously curious. I gave them the complete tour and answered all their questions. While I didn’t get any reading done I think I sold two more Kindles. (I think that makes 12). Does Amazon offer a commission sales program?

I had a lot of “me” time while sitting in the chair so I tried to figure out what day of the week is the best day to go to the dentist. Is the Monday after Halloween really a good time or will the dentist be pretty ticked about all the candy consumption? Maybe he will be overjoyed with all the additional work and income he will receive? If you live on the east coast maybe Tuesday mornings are bad if your dentist happens to be a Monday Night Football fan and he stays up too late. Is there a ‘good’ day to go to the dentist?