My 10 Most Meaningful Books

A couple friends have challenged me on Facebook to share the 10 books that have been the most meaningful to me, that have stuck with me. The Bible’s is at the top (and sort of goes without saying), so here are 10 others that have meant a lot.

Harriet the Spy—It’s only recently that I’ve traced back my passion for exploring, observing, and writing to this fantastic kids’ book.

Where the Red Fern Grows—The other book I read annually while growing up, along with Harriet. There’s adventure, independence, growth, and pain—an excellent story.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—I just re-read this again after about 15 years. There are turns of phrase that have stuck with me, as well as a joy of being “in the scene” on a motorcycle and a passion for Quality. Pirsig gets some things quite wrong. But he also gets some big things right.

Personal finance books—My senior year of high school I read stacks and stacks of books on personal finance. Many of them included sections on defining your values and goals. That process served me very well in the years since.

My Utmost for His Highest—This was a daily read as I transitioned to college. “Reckless abandon” to the life God calls us to is a great way to live.

Material World—Want to grasp what you have compared to others around the world? Page through this book. Then sit down and read. It’s extremely sobering.

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth—Foster’s ideas are accessible, practical, and realistic. I’m grateful this book came to me when it did.

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity—Sider’s introduction to economic development and the most practical of ethics ought to be required reading for responsible Christians in our day.

More with Less Cookbook—This book taught me to “cook my values.” Basically, it showed me ways to eat well for cheap so we could do more important things with our money. It’s simple, easy, and (usually) good.

Creativity, Inc.I thought I should include one of the books I’m currently reading. Catmull, of Pixar, is engaging and insightful, about creative processes and teams. I think this will come back to mind frequently.

This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling—I’m not sure if authors are supposed to say their own books were the most meaningful to them. But if they don’t, they’re lying. I learned a lot while living what is captured in these pages. And I’m grateful for a chance to write it with Chrissy.

Honorable Mention: Good Poems.

Did any of these surprise you? What did you expect from me that didn’t show up?


  • John Cintineo

    Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning has been one of my most formative. Have you read it?

    • Adam Jeske

      I have not read that. I’ll put it on my to-read list.

  • Stephie

    More with Less! I knew I liked you. :)

    • Adam Jeske

      Approve —
      Sent from Mailbox

  • Pingback: Ten Books That Have Influenced my Life | Tomy Wilkerson