My Top 5 Books of 2018 (Scott McElvain)

This year’s selection is taken from a stack of fewer books read due to the extensive selective reading that I have done for my doctoral studies. However, these five books I have found to be challenging and beneficial for me and my growth.

  1. 5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead & 5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There is Never Enough Time by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram

As soon as I finished both of these books, I gave them to a few colleagues to read. Kubicek and Cockram present very simple organizational concepts regarding personalities and communication that easily transferred into any organization. I plan to review and even have many of our teachers read these books. Simple, applicable, and worth a weekend read for any leader.

  1. The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch

With a flood of information coming out about the damaging effects that technology is having on our lives, Andy Crouch’s book gives some of the best recommendations on how to navigate this within our households. The insights that Barna provides, along with the sensible steps for figuring out the right role that technology should have in our lives makes this book a great read.

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  1. Classical Me, Classical Thee by Rebekah Merkle

Although written for students, Classical Me Classical Thee is a helpful book for any classical educator. We have all of our students in our upper school read it and have passed it out to countless parents. Merkle is clever and captivating in her explanation of what type of education one receives with a classical Christian education. This book made such an impression on us that we asked and are excited about Rebekah Merkle joining our conference this year as a plenary speaker. If you have not already done so, you can sign up to hear from her and Dr. Louis Markos among many other speakers here.

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  1. Wisdom and Eloquence by Robert Littlejohn and Charles T. Evans

I have read this book four times in the last five years as it is the book we have all of our new teachers read with administration in their first year. This book has always been worthy of cracking my top five, but this year it has jumped out to me in more ways than in the past. Something can be said here of the value of reading good books multiple times. Littlejohn and Evans do a fantastic job at laying out some of the foundational pieces of a classical Christian education. It is such a joy to read this with many first year teachers who know nothing about classical education and see the revelations come from this read of Wisdom and Eloquence.

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  1. 12 ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke

If Tech-Wise Family provides simple and practical ways to deal with technology, this book makes us think and reflect deeply on the reality of how phones are changing us. The 12 points that Reinke makes solidify far past statistics the need for wisdom in this digital age. I recommend reading both Tech-Wise Family and this book in tandem, as they complement each other so well.

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