Gary’s Bookshelf

Harry S. Truman once said, “not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

Gary Blackard, president & CEO of Adult & Teen Challenge, has compiled a list of recommended books on a variety of topics, which you can browse below.

Disclosure: Adult & Teen Challenge is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Spiritual Formation

*Gentle & Lowly by Dane Ortlund (2020)

*Prayer by Timothy Keller (2014)

*Rejoice & Tremble by Michael Reeves (2021)

*The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes (1630)

Run With The Horses by Eugene Peterson (1983)

Desiring God by John Piper (2011 25th anniversary version)

Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer L. Towns (2017)

Prayer by Richard Foster (1992)

The Great Omission by Dallas Willard (2006)

Hearing God by Dallas Willard (updated 2012)

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer (1948)

Soul Keeping by John Ortberg (2014)

Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala (2012)

Contentment by Richard Swenson (2013)

The Magnificent Obsession by Anne Graham Lotz (2009)

Leadership Development

*Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger (2015)

*The Leader’s Greatest Return by John Maxwell (2020)

*Welcome to Management by Ryan Hawk (2020)

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek (2019)

An Unhurried Leader by Alan Fadling (2017)

It’s The Manager by Jim Clifton and Jim Harter (2019)

Leadershift by John Maxwell (2019)

Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin (2018)

First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman (1999)

Measure What Matters by John Doerr (2018)

Grit by Angela Duckworth (2016)

Give and Take by Adam Grant (2013)

The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker (1954)

Leading Change by John Kotter (1996)

When by Daniel Pink (2018)

Contagious by Jonah Berger (2013)

Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders (1967)

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Marborgne (2004)

Atomic Habits by James Clear (2018)

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek (2014)

Start with Why by Simon Sinek (2009)

Personal Growth

*Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller (2013)

Something Needs To Change by David Platt (2019)

15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell (2012)

Integrity by Henry Cloud (2006)

I’d like you more if you were more like me by John Ortberg (2017)

An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling (2013)

Secret Power by D.L. Moody (edited 2006)

Prayer by E.M. Bounds (updated 2006)

Team Development

High Impact Teams by Lance Witt (2018)

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (2015)

Team of Teams by Stanley McCrystal (2015)

Great at Work by Morten Hansen (2018)

168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam (2010)

Crisis Management - Turnaround Strategy

Forged in Crisis by Nancy Koehn (2017)

Onward by Howard Schultz (2012)

American Icon by Bryce Hoffman (2012)

Red Teaming by Bryce Hoffman (2017)

Hospitality - Experience Management

Setting the Table by Danny Meyer (2006)

The Heart of Hospitality by Micah Solomon (2016)

The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath (2017)


The Power of Little Ideas by David Robertson and Kent Lineback (2017)

Innovation by Design by Thomas Lockwood and Edgar Papke (2018)

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull (2014)

Addiction, the Mind, and Other Social Areas

The United States of Opioids by Harry Nelson (2019)

Tell Your Children by Alex Berenson (2019)

Dopesick by Beth Macy (2018)

The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt (2018)


The Third Conversion by R. Scott Rodin (2011)

A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen and John S. Mogabgab (2011)

* Indicates new addition to the list