BEST OF 2009: Books

BEST OF 2009: Books 1Little-known facts about me:

  • I LOVE reading.
  • I read reallyyy fast (Tim calls me a Super Speed Reader).
  • I have a distinct preference for non-fiction, but I also like fiction.

I reviewed my fair share of books this past year and quite a few of them were really wonderful, but I narrowed down my picks to two OUTSTANDING, AMAZING, YOU-WON'T-REGRET-BUYING-THEM books.

Here goes...

BEST OF 2009: Books 2"How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life" by Pat Williams and Jim Denney

Don't you just love people who courageously, industriously, and tenaciously pursue their dreams - no matter how "impossible"? Walt Disney has always struck me as a person like that - someone with a vision and the gumption to make it happen. When I heard about a new biography about his life, I was intrigued. "How to Be Like Walt" (published by HCI Books) did not disappoint. The book was fascinating and spell-binding and triumphant.

In my original review, I wrote: "It’s a journey through history, a motivational masterpiece, and – most of all – a practical guidebook about leadership. Packed with inspiring stories and memorable quotes, Williams’ tribute to Walt is anything but boring. This book should be required reading for university students and business people…and anyone who aspires to leave an unforgettable legacy."

I stand by that statement. And, apparently, I'm not the only one. The book currently has a solid five-star ranking on Amazon.

BEST OF 2009: Books 3"Too Small To Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most" by Wess Stafford

"Too Small To Ignore" (published by Random House) is the autobiography of Wess Stafford, the President of Compassion International...but don't let the word "autobiography" scare you off. This book is anything but boring or narcissistic. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I would go so far as to say that it is the most gripping and engrossing book I read all year.

Stafford shares about his childhood in Africa - his happy memories in the village, his terror and fear at the hands of abusive missionary teachers, and - ultimately - how these experiences taught him about the fragility and the importance of a child's spirit.

Truth be told, I think about this book almost every day. It's one of those stories that stays with you long after you close the book and set it on the shelf. His message rings loud and clear: "You can never stand so tall as when you stoop to help a child."

Final Thoughts: Go. Buy this Book. Read it. Let Your Friends Borrow It. Be Forever a a person. I highly recommend it.


WIN IT! One winner will receive BOTH of the above-listed books:


To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Tuesday, January 12th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog, Tweet, or Facebook about my Best of 2009 series (or about this giveaway)…and leave a second comment telling me that you did.

*UPDATE* The winner is #48 Blessed. Congratulations!

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95 comments on “BEST OF 2009: Books”

  1. I really like to read fiction but my mother only likes biographies and autobiographies. I would love to win these for her.

  2. I would love to win these books. They are oth great books that would enrich my life. I would love to live every day like W. Disney.

  3. I love reading almost anything, but meaningful books are memorable :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  4. These sound like some good reading. The book Too Small To Ignore especially sounds like a good title. I'd like to ready both of them.

  5. I LOVE Walt Disney and read his autobiography by Neal Gabler. This would be a perfect follow-up read. Thanks for the chance!

  6. I have a strong fiction preference but love a good autobiography. Compassion International is such a powerful, purposeful organization- I would love to read Wes Stafford's book.

  7. I love to read and Walt Disney was a truly inspiring person. The Too Small to Ignore book could help one learn of the realities of other parts of the world

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  8. These books look interesting! I have learned of a lot of new or different authors by reading blogs. Some of the books I would never have thought of reading! With the snow of this winter, I'll be reading quite a bit!!

  9. I almost passed by this giveaway because I mostly read novels. But I decided to read your book descriptions and, wow, the books sound great. The second book sounds especially inspiring, and I think I need more inspiration in my life.

  10. Walt disney was an amazing person and I would love to learn more. Thanks for the chance


  11. I am also a super fast reader. I will read anything including backs of packages and cookbooks. I would enjoy reading these two books.

  12. I find Walt Disney completely inspiring, and Compassion, Intl. is a great both of these books would be great reads, I'm sure! I just wish I could find more time to read... :)

  13. I'm going to see if "too small to ignore" is at the library ... and request it if it isn't. Thanks for the recommendations!

  14. These look like wonderful books. I would love to read them both, but especially "Too Small to Ignore." Thanks for the chance to win and the recommendations!

  15. I like any kind of book. In fact I enjoy reading so much that I have to intentionally not let myself start reading when I know I have a lot of things to do. I have about a half dozen books waiting to be read, but since I spent the last two days using every spare minute (and even some minutes that weren't spare) reading a novel, I'm waiting a few days before I pick up another book. :)

  16. I would love to read those! My DH and I are currently reading The 4:8 Principle and we're enjoying it. We've started using our long commute to read together. It's been a great addition to our days.

  17. This is the second recommendation I've heard for Too Small to Ignore in less than a week. Somehow I missed this book this year.
    An apparently related book that I am looking forward to reading is The Hole in Our Gospel.

  18. I am not a great reader. But, I too, choose the non-fiction over fiction. These look fantastic. My husband would love to read them, too. We sponser CI kids & hope to adopt some day. So, that book looks great! And, when my husband is gardening, and comes across an unruly shrub, he always asks me, "What would Walt say?" Ha!

  19. Right now my nightstand is bare and in need of something for me to read at bedtime. These both sound like great pics. I love an inspiring story - we need as many as we can get right now.

  20. I take your opinions on books very seriously. I am reading the No Cry Discipline SOlution right now... and love it so far. Thanks!

  21. These sound like great books. I've always been intrigued by Walt Disney too. I'd love to add these to my reading list (which seems to keep growing and growing!)

  22. Those both sound like wonderful books! I'm a fiction reader myself, but as long as it's an interesting story, I'll read anything.

  23. I LOVE reading too! My husband who has probably not read a novel since high school finds it fascinating how I can devour a book in no time. These both look like great reads! ~Lanie

  24. I would enjoy giving the Walt Disney book to my son and his family. They go to Disney World every year for their vacation with their two small kids and never get bored. I would also like to read this book since it appears to be inspirational too!

  25. I would love the Walt Disney book. I have an aunt and uncle who are big Disney fans that I could share this with!

  26. 2 more things that we have in common - I am a speed reader (they tested me in 6th grade) and I'd rather read non-fiction than fiction!


  27. I'm an avid (and fast) reader also! I generally enjoy fiction more but those books sound great. I'll have to check my library for them. Thanks!!

  28. These sound fantastic - I'm especially interested in the Wess Stafford book; biographies of great Christian men & women are such a great way to be encouraged & challenged in your spiritual walk! One of the most inspiring biographies I've read in the past few years was Elisabeth Elliot's book "A Chance to Die" - the biography of Amy Carmichael.

  29. Oh I would love to read both of those books. They sound so inspiring and a great way to kick off the new year. I just read the last lecture and bawled at the end. So inspiring as well but so tough!

  30. We began sponsoring a Compassion child this past summer. I had no idea Wes Stafford had a book out! I hope I win!
    musesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

  31. I remember your first post with the Walt Disney book, and it's still on my to-read list. He just seems like such an interesting man, plus we love all things Disney around my house.

  32. I also prefer non-fiction!

    I would also recommend Mountains Beyond Mountains to you. It is a book that you can get through really quickly (some parts are skim-worthy, while other parts are totally gripping). But it is definitely a book that I think about a lot.

  33. I am a reader too! Now that my youngest just hit a year, I'm able to read more again, as I used to.
    These two books look interesting, I'd love to try them!

  34. I like reading also. I'm really big into anything health related. You should see my bill each month! ;)


  35. I'm usually more of a fiction person--I particularly enjoy international police procedurals, but these both look interesting too! I rarely read biographies, when I read non-fiction it's almost always historical or linguistic books, so these would be something different.

  36. I also love to read, and wish I had more time to do it. Unfortunately I usually spend that little bit of time in pointless fiction, stuff that's fun to read, but forgotten as soon as the book is back at the library. I really ought to engage myself in the scriptures and other nonfiction stuff that might actually make a difference in my life and have an impact on who I am.

  37. Thank you for sharing about these books. I used to read and read and read however time seems to be getting away from me now days so I do appreciate reviews about books that make a difference. I have to give these a look over.

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