11 Best Books of 2011

Continuing an annual tradition, the final posts of the year are devoted to the importance of reading (covered in yesterday’s post) and my best book list for the year.

Making a “Best of” list is always hard – it’s a very subjective process, driven by my personal tastes, professional needs, and plain curiosity. It’s also hard to narrow it down: in 2011, I checked out 107 books from my local library, purchased 91 print books, and downloaded 37 on my Kindle. I also perused dozens of bookstores on my travels, writing down 77 titles for future acquisition. There were also a lot of late releases that I just didn’t have time to take a look at. Be that as it may, here is my list of favorite books published in 2011.

The Zappos Experience, Joseph Michelli

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul, Howard Schultz

Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, Jim Collins and Morten Hansen

Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service, 2nd Edition, Disney Institute

Brilliance by Design: Creating Learning Experiences that Connect, Inspire, and Engage,

Vicki Halsey

The Orange Revolution, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton


The Experience Economy, 2nd Ed, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore

Blah, Blah, Blah, Dan Roam

Missional Communities: The Rise of the Post-Congregational Church, Reggie McNeal

For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel, Matt Carter and Darrin Patrick

Practically Radical, William C. Taylor

That’s my list for 2011 – if you are unfamiliar with any of the books listed above, I encourage you to check them out.

The new year is just around the corner, and the book releases are lining up already – I wonder what the Best of 2012 list will look like a year from now?


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