This Week In Books And Tunes: Death By Living, To Sell Is Human, Caleb Murphy…

I read lots of books and listen to lots of music. Here’s what I’ve been reading and listening to lately.


Death By Living: Life Is Meant To Be Spent by N.D. Wilson – (RATING: 2 out of 5)

I know I’m going to take a lot of flak from the Wilson fanboys for rating this book so low. Don’t get me wrong, N.D. Wilson is a great writer, much better than me. He is so creative and I often found myself marveling at his word prowess. But in this book it felt like Wilson was trying too hard to be creative. In the end, I felt like his heavy reliance on stories and creative analogies actually hid his main point. I had trouble taking away one main point from this book. I feel like I should pull a George Costanza and say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Maybe it is me. Maybe I’m too dense to get this kind of book. I just wish this book could have been a tad more linear and coherent.

To Sell Is Human: The Suprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink – (RATING: 4.5 out of 5)

I enjoyed this book very, very much. Daniel H. Pink writes in a similar style to Malcom Gladwell, taking statistics and studies and complex ideas and making them accessible to people of average intelligence like myself. In this book Pink posits that in our increasingly connected world all of us are salespeople. All of us are trying to persuade others to do something, whether that’s click on a Twitter link or obey the Bible or attend a Pampered Chef party. Pink offers a ton of practical solutions for becoming better salespeople. I recommend this for anyone involved in the persuading business, which is almost everyone.


Let’s Get On A Boat by Caleb Murphy – (RATING 4.5 out of 5)

I suppose I could be biased because Caleb is my brother-in-law, but I don’t think so. I listen to music all the time. If an album is junk I’ll be honest and say so. This EP by Caleb is not junk. It is outstanding. Catchy melodies are really important to me, and Caleb writes some darn catchy melodies. If you were to put Sufjan Stevens, Jon Foreman, Mumford and Sons, and Josh Garrells into a blender you might get something close to Caleb. I highly recommend this album. I’ve embedded one song below for your listening pleasure.

Citizens by Citizens – (RATING 4 out of 5)

I’ll be honest, I don’t like many worship albums. They all tend to sound the same which makes for some really boring listening. This worship album is different. It has an aggressive cheerfulness which I really like. If you were to throw The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and The Strokes into a blender you might get something close to Citizens. And the lyrics are dead on. No squishy theology here. I highly recommend this album. I’ve embedded a track below for you to enjoy.

  • Aaron Armstrong

    Funny, I had the opposite reaction to you on Death by Living. I really enjoyed the rabbit-trailing of the book (but it may be that I'm an odd duck).