I like to read, and do it a lot – but it’s a habit that’s built, too. So if you’re not reading as much as you’d like just start with 20 minutes a day. Skip the brain-numbing social media and dive in!
I’ll keep a running list here of what I’ve recently read and am currently reading with a grade next to it. You won’t see many grades under a C because I usually just stop reading those.
Renegade Millionaire 2.0 (listening) – this is a seminar by Dan Kennedy. I’ve listened to almost everything Dan has 2 or 3 times. Spent about 6 months straight on his content early last year. He seems to be getting more abrasive and opinionated as he gets older haha – if that’s even possible. He’s a genius though, and has taught me countless valuable lessons.
The Shining (reading)
The Hobbit (reading) – Haven’t read this since I was a kid, and since the Shining is a little intense, wanted an easy reading option.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (listened): A+
This book made me a better person. Amazing perspectives, even more amazing advice. Can’t recommend it enough. I will be listening to this again, and it’ll make the jump to hard copy in my library.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (listened): A-
Very interesting ideas in this one, I didn’t like it as much as Sapiens (same author) but fascinating nonetheless. Essentially poses the argument that humans (and human emotions) are extremely complex algorithms, and that we are now moving into the era of data ie dataism. Read a review here.
The Fountainhead (read): A
This is an amazing read – but does require some investment in both thought and time… which makes sense since it’s classic literary fiction.
“Yes! And isn’t that the root of every despicable action? Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of a self. Look at them. The man who cheats and lies, but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he’s honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second-hand. The man who takes credit for an achievement which is not his own. He knows himself to be mediocre, but he’s great in the eyes of others. The frustrated wretch who professes love for the inferior and clings to those less endowed, in order to establish his own superiority by comparison. The man whose sole aim is to make money. Now I don’t see anything evil in a desire to make money. But money is only a means to some end. If a man wants it for a personal purpose–to invest in his industry, to create, to study, to travel, to enjoy luxury–he’s completely moral. But the men who place money first go much beyond that. Personal luxury is a limited endeavor. What they want is ostentation: to show, to stun, to entertain, to impress others. They’re second-handers. Look at our so-called cultural endeavors. A lecturer who spouts some borrowed rehash of nothing at all that means nothing at all to him–and the people who listen and don’t give a damn, but sit there in order to tell their friends that they have attended a lecture by a famous name. All second-handers.”
Since Nov ’17, best first
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (listened): A+
Mind bending. Prepare for an epic idea adventure that will, if nothing else, expose you to concepts that will stop you dead in your tracks and make you think…
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century (read): A+
The best book on real personal finance advice that I’ve found. Heavy on the philosophy side with lots of explanation as to the why behind the advice. Highly recommended. Based on frugality principles
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (read and listened): A
3rd time through. This book changed how I work and how interact with social media. Foundational for anyone who has to get shit done and think clearly.
The Power of Moments:Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact (read & listened): A
If you own a client-based business, you’ve gotta read this. Should be required reading for most business owners.
Ready Player One (read): A
This is a fun one. I burned through it and it’s hard to put down. Heavy on 80s and video game nostalgia. I was annoyed one time by the authors writing, but overall a ripping good yarn.
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (listened): A
3rd time through this – you’ve gotta be a fan of Buffett to really enjoy it – but there are some real gems in here. It’s a long one.
Harry Potter Series 1-7 (read): A
Stephen King recommended these in his On Writing (below). Amazing series. I’d never read them (or seen the movies), and was pulled right in. I finished this series over the course of about 6 weeks. I was damn glad to have them finished because they suck you right in. All my free moments were stolen from me, and each time I’d finish a book I’d tell myself I was going to take a break, only to find that I’d somehow started the next one. Like a big ass bag of potato chips that you can’t stop eating. Be careful.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (read): A
This book will motivate you to write like no other. It’s written in a very interesting way, almost like a novel that walks you through the art of writing.
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (listened): A
What can I say, Ben Franklin is THE man. I became interested in him through Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s partner, who is obsessed with Ben. There’s a good reason – this book, and Ben Franklin, is what motivated me to learn more about Socrates (see two below).
Why Buddhism is True:The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment (listened): B+
Mindfullness meditation is the center subject of this book. The name is sort of misleading and the author spends some time explaining himself. If you’re a fan of meditation you’ll like it.
TTC – Plato, Socrates and the Dialogues (listened): B+
This lecture series explains everything in regular language. I highly suggest listening to this before diving into the classical reading because it accelerates the learning big time. Really eye opening and I enjoyed it a lot. Finally grasped the nuances sophistry, and the differences between dialectic and rhetoric. Worth your time if you’re at all interested.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (read): B+
A classic about a journey to enlightenment. Great read if you’re into the spiritual side of things.
Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence (read): B
An extreme version of Your Money or Your Life written by a guy with a scientist brain. I did enjoy it, but YMYL is more easily consumed.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck:A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (listened): B
The name of this book annoys me. It’s so obvious and meant to be appealing to a certain type of person. I didn’t want to like it, and I false started on it several times after the author kept saying fuck over and over, but I finally settled in and it’s good. It’s full of stoic thinking and is, I have to admit, definitely worth the read.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (listened): C+
I didn’t finish this, even though it’s short – about half way he dives into the periodic table of elements and is basically just listing those suckers off. Lost me there. Up to that point it was a good overview of the very complicated (and over my head) world of astrophysics. Don’t judge me.
Note: To make it easy, I’ve attached an amazon link to all the books above. But just so you know, it’s an affiliate link and if you decide to buy a book through one of the links I’ll get some tiny number of cents back in a kickback from amazon. If you don’t like that idea, just highlight and copy the book name into google and it’ll pop right up.