Why Books Still Matter

Naturally, as a book publisher, you would expect me to believe in the value of reading. But it is more than that. In fact, I got into book publishing because I was so committed to books as a tool for personal and cultural transformation.

A few months ago at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Ben Carson, world-renowned Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery, and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. Not bad for a child that was raised in extreme poverty by a single mother. Statistically speaking, he didn’t have a chance.

13 eBooks to Put On Your Brand New Kindle

By some estimates, more than one million Amazon Kindles were given as gifts today. I got a new Amazon Kindle 3 a few months ago and love it. (I unbox it here, chronicle my experience after a month here, and compare it to other e-readers here.)

Kindle for Christmas - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/spxChrome, Image #14256833

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/spxChrome

But now, what do you put on it? So many books, so little time. Seth Godin created a terrific little Squidoo page with his list of favorite books. I thought I would offer a “baker’s dozen” of my favorites here. These are in alphabetical order:

In Defense of Self-Help Books

This is a guest post by Alicia Hope Wagner. She is a novelist, devotional writer, and poet. She blogs at Faith Imagined and is active on Twitter.

I once heard a person say in a disdainful tone, “I don’t read ‘self-help’ books.” With this seemingly innocuous verdict, he slammed the door on a multitude of voices eager to push him to God’s best for his life.

A Young Woman Reading Alone - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Maica, Image #12887821

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Maica

He severely limited his exposure to wise counselors and leaders available to him. And he drew a curtain across a world of extraordinary and supernatural influence.

Top Ten U.S. Book Publishers for 2009

Every month, I review a set of market share reports prepared by one of our internal analysts. While the data behind these reports are not perfect, I do believe they represent the best view of the book publishing market currently available. As a result, even though it’s been almost two years since I posted a high-level summary of the data, I thought it would provide you with some insight into our industry.

Book Notes: Derailed by Tim Irwin

In How the Mighty Fall, author Jim Collins answers the question, “How can large successful companies fail after decades of growth and stability?” Tim Irwin asks a similar question about leaders in his new book, Derailed: Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership (Thomas Nelson, 2009). In a moment, I will tell you how to get a free copy.