Happy Birthday, G. K. Chesterton


Today is the 144th anniversary of the birth of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, the influential English writer, poet, novelist, biographer, social critic and Christian apologist of the last century.   
  
One of the most prolific writers of all time, Chesterton wrote thousands of essays, several hundred poems, two hundred short stories, eighty books (including five biographies), and several plays. He may be best known for his fictional priest/detective series, Father Brown.
  
As an essayist, Chesterton often addressed damaging forces he saw at work in the world—modernism, communism, modernism, eugenicsyet he did so with humor and good cheer. In these days of vitriolic social media, we could use a lot more people like Chesterton.
  
Though not as well known as many of his contemporaries, Chesterton’s influence is still vast. His works played a major role in the conversion of C. S. Lewis from atheism to Christianity. J.R.R. Tolkien said he was inspired by Chesterton’s remarkable ability to help people see things “as they are meant to be seen.” Larry Norman, the “father of Christian rock music,” cited Chesterton as a particular inspiration.
  
(It is fascinating to note that Larry Norman is the one who first suggested to Dale Ahlquist, the co-founder of the American Chesterton Society, that he should read books by Chesterton. “Chesterton is a lot better than C.S. Lewis,” Norman told a young Ahlquist. He added that that if Ahlquist read Chesterton, he wouldn’t need to read Lewis at all “because all of Lewis is in Chesterton.” Ahlquist took Norman’s advice and began reading Chesterton, eventually becoming so captivated he co-founded the American Chesterton Society. So we have Jesus rocker Larry Norman to thank for helping spark the Chesterton renaissance which has been led by Dale Ahlquist and the ACS.)
  
Happy birthday, G.K. Chesterton.

Four Books for New Graduates


Below are four books that will make great gifts for 2018 graduates. 
  
1. The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay. Your twenties matter. A lot. Too many twenty-somethings waste their time, thinking their twenties is for traveling across Europe, having fun, and being in the moment. People who waste their twenties will pay a heavy price in their 30s and 40s - economically, reproductively, and other ways. Dr. Jay explains how to make intentional, strategic moves that over time will lead to a satisfying, productive life. 
  
2. Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss. I highly recommend this book for anybody seeking to improve their life. Ferriss interviewed top performers in the world (including writers, athletes, business owners, spiritual leaders, actors, and more) to identify key tips and techniques peak performers use to be productive and successful. This book is a treasure trove of success tips.
  
3. The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter by Michael Watkins. This book lays out what you should do in the first 90 days of a new job to ensure your success. Valuable not just for the techniques it covers, but also for the perspective that you can manage your career advancement beyond just developing your technical capabilities. Most people leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table in promotions and raises by not recognizing there is an entire skill set to develop beyond just technical skills. 
  
4. From Graduation to Career Ready in 21 Days: A Guide for English Majors by Alyssa W. Christensen. This book may be geared toward English majors, but no matter the degree, every new graduate can benefit from the invaluable lessons on job hunting, self-promotion, and negotiation. 
    
So these are my recommendations, do you have any books to add to the list? 

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare



Happy Birthday to William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language, who was born April 23, 1564. 
    
There are no surviving records documenting the date of Shakespeare’s birth, but church records indicate he was baptized on Wednesday, April 26th. Baptisms typically took place within three days of birth, and parents were instructed by the Prayer Book to ensure that their children were baptized no later than the first Sunday after birth. So it’s not likely he was born earlier than the previous Sunday, April 23rd. Shakespeare died on his 52nd birthday – April 23, 1616.

Three Must-Read Books for Getting Your Finances in Order


Here are the three best books to help you take charge of your finances and your future. 
   
1. Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition by Dave Ramsey. This is THE BOOK on whipping your finances into shape. Ramsey walks you through saving for an emergency fund, getting out of debt, starting to invest, saving for college, paying off your mortgage, and reaching financial peace in your life. Following the steps Ramsey lays out will get your bank account looking awesome in the long run.
   
2. Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. This is one of the most influential personal finance books ever written. This book outlines a nine-step program showing readers how to get out of debt, start saving, de-clutter, invest effectively, and begin living a great life that’s within your means. “Your Money Or Your Life” has helped millions of people take control of their finances and make a life, not just make a living. 
   
3. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. This book is packed with useful, no-nonsense (and entertaining) advice on how to set yourself up for financial success. Sethi’s approach is simple - know how much money you have coming in and then automatically direct it where you want it to end up. Once you automate your finances, you will start saving and investing without stress or effort. Start investing today, even if it’s just $1. He also addresses important subjects you won’t find in most other finance books, like negotiation and developing a side business. The target audience for this book is people in their 20s and 30s who need basic financial advice (and who will appreciate Sethi’s in-your-face style), but I also recommend this book for people who are older but are getting serious about improving their finances.      
     
This is my list. What books would you add?