Everybody is Making Lists

My Top Ten Books for 2015

Not necessarily published this year but books that I read between January and December this year.

10. The  Divine Magician by Peter Rollins Peter Rollins knows one magic trick–now, make sure you watch closely. It has three parts: the Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige. I did a 5 week online course with Rollins and am taking in his Atheism for Lent series in February.

9. Brief by Joseph McCormack  “Brief “isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity. It’s the new norm. The problem is most people don’t have the know-how or verbal discipline to do the groundwork and get to the point.

8. The Drunkard’s Walk by Leonard Mlodinow Mlodinow shows us how randomness, change, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything.

7. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time.

6. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer  Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her.

5. Scarcity by Sendhil Mullainathan Drawing on cutting-edge research from behavioral science and economics, Mullainathan and Shafir show that scarcity creates a similar psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need.

4. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins This is a book about discovering your life’s work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. Its about the task you were born to do.

3. Meaningful by Bernadette Jiwa A power read about adding value (especially for our customers) by helping them dicover meaning.

2. The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands I bought this YA title for a grandson, after introducing sands at Wordfest, but really enjoyed the magic and history sewn throughout.

  1. Etta, Russel, Otto and James by Emma Hooper. This won’t be a surprise as I have written about this masterpiece on this blog before. Save to say, it unseated a long standing title from my sacred bundle of 5, to take to a desert island. EOR&J fits neatly between Diamant and Twain.

What were your top reads of 2015?



Last night we had the privilege of hearing Emma Hooper @waitress4thebees read from her novel ” Etta, Otto, Russell and James” (EOR&J)at Calgary Reads Big Book Club (BBC). I was given the opportunity to introduce Emma and I was gushing about the beauty and character of this début. Emma shared readings, stories and music with us. She talked about her writing process and a pretty weird publishing story. The evening was a success for Calgary Reads and I am sure more BBCs will be just as great.

Given the stage, Emma took the opportunity to share herself and some of her worldview. She said ” If you have ever said “I have always wanted to ….. go to Japan, learn to. Play the cello… The only thing standing in your way is you. Get up and do the I have always wanted to …” If you haven’t read EOR&J I recommend it with extreme prejudice – it is the first book in the past 20 years to unseat a book from my ‘desert island bundle of 5’. The worldview fits with the theme of adventuring and not knowing if this is your last great adventure.

For readers, you know that I am a proponent of change and risk and this gentle encouragement from Emma seemed to resonate with so many in attendance, I am anxious to see how we live out the challenge.

Make Today Remarkable, by going on an adventure,