“Forged in Crisis” by Nancy Koehn

All these leaders were made. They were not born.

This book was given to me by my great friend, Greg DePriest. Upon receiving it, I moved it to the top of my reading list. This is the best leadership book I have read in several years. It is more than a modern repackaging of the same cliche materials that have been circulated and recirculated over and over again for the last 2 decades.

Forged in Crisis is a collection of 5 short stories. The heroes are shown in their humanity with intriguing insight into their triumphs and struggles.

One quote that particularly resonated with how I often feel came from Bonhoeffer:

“It is strange that in all my decisions, I am never completely clear about my motives. Is that a sign of lack of clarity, inner dishonesty, or is it a sign that we are led beyond that which we can discern, or is it both?” – Bonhoeffer

Continue reading ““Forged in Crisis” by Nancy Koehn”

“Dracula” by Bram Stoker

Dracula - Bram StokerI recently found myself on a trip without a book in hand. This was quite disturbing so I made my way to the airport’s candy, magazine, neck pillow, headphones and book shop. Nothing there caught my attention. I recalled a point in the past when I have downloaded a large selection of books from the “free” category on Kindle without even looking to see what they were. This prompted me to browse that list and see what was in my digital grab-bag. To my delight, I came across “Dracula”. This was exciting because modern history is flaunted with vampirical tails and, to the best of my knowledge, this began with Stoker’s tail.

The novel is well-written and definitely worth the read. Toward the end, I found myself longing for more detail in the events surrounding the enemy’s demise. I am not sure if this indicates a break from the character and story building in the early parts of the book or if i just didn’t want it to come to an end. Either way, it shows that my attention was not lost as the tail evolved.

I am happy to have read this book and will gladly classify it as a keeper among the “great classics” that have about a 50%-%50% “great” rating in this critic’s mind.

“All In” by Mark Batterson

Read this book along with my small group. The basic premise is that you will not experience the fullness of God in this life unless you are all in. I am not going to write much about this one except to say that I did not care for it at all. While I do believe that the more one submits himself to God, the greater the joy experienced (joy does not = happiness); I have a strong distaste for the legalistic approach taken by the author.

“On the Decay of the Art of Lying” by Mark Twain

Finished my book on the airplane and found this one downloaded to my Kindle. It is a short essay Twain wrote for a competition. Wonderful read! Herein Twain declares that we are all liars and that lying is good. He further poses that we are losing the craft of lying well. In summary, the wonderful art of lying advances humanity in a positive way. We are still liars; however, we have more often began to lie for self-advancement or without thought for the greater harm.

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I picked this one up because it is my son’s next required school read and I never read it when I was supposed to. Well written, decent story; however, I cannot grasp how this is required reading for an honors english student. There are so many other truly wonderful classics that cannot find a way into academia. Perhaps there is just a tremendous lack of classics written by American authors and our schools want to represent some element of honorary patriotism. Nonetheless, it was a fun read – just didn’t add any value to my life.