Best books I read in 2009

What can I say, I love reading books! Last year, I did a list of the best books that I read in 2008, so I figured I’d do it again. And this year, I’ll add something extra…I’ll be giving away one book to one lucky winner! Find out how to join at the end of this post. So without further ado, here’s my list for 2009!

ONE MONTH TO LIVE by Kerry & Chris Shook

Why it’s on my list: At Victory churches all over the Philippines, we kicked off the year with a “One Life to Live” campaign based on this book. It’s always a good time to ask yourself if you’re making the most out of your life today.

Notable quote: “Performing to keep up an image and impress people requires tremendous energy and effort. It drains you of your true passion, diverts you from your God-given purpose, and robs you of personal peace. Frequently people suffer regret at the end of their lives because they know they have not lived consistently with their values and with the way God made them. They learn too late that the secret to passion is to being true to God’s design for them.”

Who should read it: Everyone who will die one day.  So that means…everyone. :)


Why it’s on my list: I’ve seen Marcus Buckingham speak (not live, but on DVD), and I’m a big fan. Apart from the fact that he’s very funny and entertaining, he’s a huge proponent (if not the biggest) of strengths-based leadership. When I found out he had a book specifically for women, I knew I had to get my hands on it, and I’m glad I did. I’d like to think it’s helping me live more purposefully and passionately, instead of just letting the days fly by and beat me down.

Notable quote: “A strong life is the opposite of juggling. Juggling requires you to keep everything at bay, up in the air, and away from you. The secret to living a strong life lies in knowing how to draw a few things in toward you. It asks you to be discriminating, selective, intentional. You can find energizing moments in each aspect of your life, but to do so you must learn how to catch them, hold on to them, feel the pull of their weight, and allow yourself to follow where they lead.”

Who should read it: All the ladies!


Why it’s on my list: There are a lot of reasons why I loved this book. You can read my review on it here.

Notable quotes: “You don’t know a story is happening to you when you’re in it.” • “Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust rather than a master storyteller.”

Who should read it: If you want your life to be a good story, read this. If you’re a fan of wit, you’ll especially like Donald Miller’s writing style. I’m a big fan. (If you haven’t read it yet, do read his bestselling book, Blue Like Jazz. It was on my Best Books list last year!)


Why it’s on my list: As a teacher, it’s important for me to keep learning. This book is an excellent collection of articles about teaching from excellent educators, pastors, and speakers.

Notable quote: “Lead the march of learning! Transform your classroom into a busy life laboratory. Get your students thinking and discovering for themselves; make them students of life.” – Carl Shafer

Who should read it: Every teacher!

IN THE MEANTIME by Rob Brendle

Why it’s on my list: A book on waiting? I needed to read that. I am not a fan of waiting, and often times, I’m not very good at it, either. This book helped change my perspective on waiting by seeing it another way, through the life of King David.

Notable quote: “God’s idea is proactive waiting: trusting, seeking, and looking to him for the dream’s fulfillment while we seek to grow, stretch, and forge usable tools for the future from the raw iron of life’s unalterable seasons. As we do the stuff of life with the same vigor with which we cling to the dream God has given us, we’ll find ourselves growing ever more useful to him.”

Who should read it: Every person who is waiting for something–a breakthrough, a job, a spouse, financial abundance, etc.


Why it’s on my list: This was a book recommended to me by my friend, Ro. Lots of notable quotes in this one! The title refers to an incident in the Bible in the book of 2 Samuel 23, which tells of Benaiah’s courageous acts, like facing a lion in a pit in a snowy day. As it says on the cover, this is a book about surviving and thriving when opportunity roars. Clever. :)

Notable quote: “The genealogy of success always traces back to mustard seed opportunities. Make the most of them. For what it’s worth, I think many of us fail to seize the small opportunities because we’re looking for the big opportunities. But scripture says, ‘Do not despise these small beginnings.'”

Who should read it: Those who are tired of letting fears rule their lives.

LOVE AND RESPECT by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Why it’s on my list: Read my book review over here!

Notable quote: “Showing respectful behavior when we don’t ‘feel respectful’ is evidence of maturity, not hypocrisy.”

Who should read it: Married couples. If you’re still single but you intend to get married one day, reading this will be a blessing, because it’ll prepare you for what’s up ahead.


Why it’s on my list: Last year, Erik Rees’ book S.H.A.P.E. was on my list. Only You Can Be You is like an updated version of S.H.A.P.E. that comes with a lot of online tools that complement the book.

Notable quote: “One of the coolest benefits of giving God the center place in our lives is his daily guidance. When God is truly the pilot of our lives, he grants us the guidance for living. This guidance comes in the form of perspective. Situations in life that never made sense, we now begin to understand.”

Who should read it: Anyone who is confused about their purpose and direction.


Why it’s on my list: If there was a better way for me to make the most of my time with God, I’d want to know about it. This book helped address a lot of my questions. 

Notable quote: “The archenemy of spiritual authenticity is busyness.”

Who should read it: If you’re looking to get started on having quiet times with God or you’re looking to take your quiet times to a deeper level, this is an excellent book to read.


Why it’s on my list: Apart from the fact that I loved the cover art (haha), this book spoke to me on several levels. I remember shaking my head and sighing a lot, thinking, “Yup, that’s where I’m at!”

Notable quote: “I’m convinced breakthroughs come during this famine phase, not when we’re striving to make them happen. Breakthroughs happen when we get about the business of honoring God moment by moment, step-by-step, day by day by what we do and, more importantly, with the thoughts we think while we do.”

Who should read it: Every woman!

LEADING ON EMPTY by Wayne Cordeiro

Why it’s on my list: I’m a huge Wayne Cordeiro fan! He’s the senior pastor of New Hope Oahu church in Hawaii, and he’s an excellent speaker. If you get to hear him speak, you’d love him too. This book is mostly about experiencing burnout and how to deal with it. If you haven’t experienced it yet, this book helps you pace your everyday life so that you can prevent that big bad wolf called burnout from leaving you empty somewhere down the road of your life.

Notable quote: “Choose to live. Living well must become intentional.”

Who should read it: Every person who is prone to burnout and/or depression. Although the book is primarily for church leaders, the insights of Cordeiro on how to recognize and deal with burnout and depression are priceless.

THE BIBLE (New Living Translation)

Why it’s on my list: Last year, I wrapped up my list with the most important book of my life, and it’s only fitting that I end my 2009 list with this one as well. :) I like reading different versions of the Bible once I’m finished with one so I could have a extra fresh reading experience. A couple of months ago, I started reading the New Living Translation. I don’t have a preference; I love all the versions I’ve read (NIV, TNIV, The Message) for different reasons, so this one’s no exception. The Bible is the Bible, and it’s always beautiful. :)

Notable quote: Here’s one of my life verses for the year – “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)

Who should read it: The Bible is food for the soul…I hope everyone gets to read it!

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Whew, that took some time to write! I want to hear from you, too! What were the best books that you read this year? Leave a comment and I’ll choose one at random, so don’t feel pressured to write a long or detailed list…although you’re welcome to write one if you’d like! If you’re the lucky winner, I’ll let you know and send you a copy of one of the books on this list (sorry, no requests though). You have until December 23, 12 noon to post your comment. By the way, this contest is open to Metro Manila residents only. :) But hey, even if you’re not from the area, please leave a comment too…I’d love to read your book recommendations!

I’m hoping I’ll still get to write some more blog posts before this year ends, but in case I forget, I’ll say it already: have a blessed holiday season! :)

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2 responses to “Best books I read in 2009

  1. i recommend the ESV Study Bible ;-)i’ve only read a few books, but i assure you that it is one of the best gifts that you can give to yourself (and will probably make your Best Books List for 2010.):-) you also get a free online edition of the Study Bible (which you can highlight and put personaly notes in) when you buy the print edition. check out:

  2. The best book I’ve read this year, aside from the Bible of course, is VeggieTales’Lost in Place. Kristo, my son, chose it during the International Book Fair around September and we’ve been reading it almost every night since! It’s an awesome book on overcoming fear! Whenever Kristo sees me scared of certain things (whether I’m pretending or not), he always reminds me of Isaiah 41:10, the verse talked about in the book :) And I remind him about that verse when he’s scared too! It’s a really good read for both the young and the young at heart!

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