Next week, we’re going to Tybee Island. We love that beach because of the tidal pools. As a parent, a beach with huge tidal pools full of starfish, crabs, fish and other marine creatures is awesome. It’s like an aquarium your kids get to swim in. In getting ready for the trip, though, I realized something ridiculous.
I’m bringing 15 books to the beach.
Why? Because I’m crazy.
Which books? I’m glad you asked.
Here’s a photo of all the books I’m bringing, and please know this is an edited list. Some didn’t make the cut.
Starting from the top row, going left to right, here’s what each book is and a quick explanation on why it made it into the backpack:
1. The Ragamuffin Gospel – Brennan Manning
My men’s group is reading this right now. I’ve never read it before and am loving it.
2. Moleskine Red Notebook
This is where I capture all my action items. It’s red like the bat phone ’cause that’s how I get down.
4. The Little Red Book of Wisdom – Mark DeMoss
I rarely finish books, which is shocking given that I’m bringing 15 on a week-long vacation. I actually read this one already and am reading it a second time. Big fan of this book.
5. How to be a Presentation God– Scott Schwertly
Scott and his team at Ethos 3 are designing the Quitter Conference presentation for me. I wrote it, and they’re turning it into visual magic. I want to read the book to understand how they do what they do.
6. The Power of Full Engagement– Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
I heard Tony speak at the 99% conference. I’m fascinated in learning more about how to focus, a problem I clearly have with 15 books on the table.
7. Black Notebook
This is a place for me to scribble down ideas.
The foundation, the filter, the lens, the jumping off point for everything I do.
9. 5 small Moleskines
One of the concepts in Quitter is that you need to “dream backward to move forward.” I don’t think figuring out your dream is an act of discovery but rather an act of recovery. It’s often rescuing something you loved and you lost in your past. Something that “real life” got too busy for, or something someone who mattered to you told you didn’t matter. These are 5 of about 20 notebooks I filled with thousands of ideas a few years ago. I’m reading through them to get a sense of where I’ve been and where I still want to go.
10. And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft– Mike Sacks
I think my friend Bryan Allain recommended this one. It’s great.
11. Scientific Progress Goes “”Boink”" – Bill Watterson
I was thinking about introducing my second grader L.E. to the magical world of Calvin and Hobbes.
12. The Project 50 – Tom Peters
I’m shifting my thinking right now on a few things and putting some time/energy into figuring out how projects work, not just the writing part, but the whole project.
13. A Feast for Crows – George RR Martin
I hear that HBO is setting new records in “completely unnecessary nudity” with their version of this book series. Regardless, Martin is apparently releasing a long awaited new book, and my brother Will and read these together. I want to finish this one before the new one comes out.
14. The Way of the Heart– Henri Nouwen
Whenever life gets loud with stress or opportunity, this is a book I read.
15. Quitter – Me
I try to give away a copy of my book to someone who might need it whenever I go on a trip.
That’s what I’m bringing to the beach this summer. Will I finish them all? Nope. I’ll spend more time digging holes and catching minnows with the kids. But if there is a down moment, I’ll try to run through all 15 of these.
What books are you reading this summer?