Let's start a book list... if you read a book that you like, leave a comment to this post about it. If you liked a book that someone else read, upvote it. Then we'll have a top books list...
The War of Art
The first two sections of this book were excellent... I've fallen out of the habit of highlighting books, but I highlighted tons from this one. Great motivation and framework for dealing with procrastination and resistance to accomplishing big things.
The third section of the book was horrible. I didn't highlight a single thing in it and found myself disliking the author. My suggestion is to read the book and stop when you get to the page that says "Part 3"
I read Ikigai by Sebastian Marshall a while ago and liked it. His thinking is clear and easy to read.
Now I've been reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand but some of the silly parts of the story keeps putting me off. I like her philosophy though.
Next I'll read Seneca.
I liked it too. I read it after reading Tynan's latest post recommending the book and his blog. Reading Ikigai made me decide to consciously read more books which is why I'm here, to scout for more books.
Is there any point to reading Ikigai if I've read most of his blog? Like... is it original material or just blog posts?
I think the crowd here would really like Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. I think he has a lot of the same I play by my own rules values, plus their fun short stories.
A favorite of mine as well. This one reminds us that there is joy in finding things out for yourself, in the discovery process. In the age of Google and instant information we often forget to recognize this joy.
I love and highly recommend Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I do think it helps to read his background before beginning, because it will make you respect his choices and thought process so much more. It's one thing for some self help guru to say something, it's another for an impossibly powerful roman emperor to try and live it.
Gregory Hays does by far the best translation (I've looked at 3/4)
(Paperback link to Kindle is incorrect)
I've started reading George RR Martin's series "A Song of Ice and Fire. " I've gotten through "A Game of Thrones" and I'm 3/4 of the way through "A Clash of Kings" I'm really enjoying them and they have really grabbed me. I've never been so emotionally invested in a group of characters like this before and the HBO series bringing it to life makes it that much better, even if it isn't as true to the books as I would like. Every time I put down the books I can't wait to see whats gonna happen next and I just can't stay away from them.
I just read the first 20 pages of the first one and couldn't get into it. I think I'd enjoy it if it was just set in medieval times, but once there are supernatural elements involved, I lose interest.
You should give it another try. The whole book is not AT ALL like the first chapter. The supernatural elements throughout the series are in total maybe like... 5%. They are so rare, that 99,9% of the people in the book dont know about them (not the common people, not the rulers, etc.). I have never read any other fiction book than this one. Its great.
Tynan, you have to give it another try. The whole series is definitely worth the time. The supernatural elements aren't that bad.
Tim Ferriss - The 4-Hour Workweek
It has been one of the most influential books I've ever read. This, combined w/ Tynan's Life Nomadic, is an awesome combo!
I'm reading Olivia Fox Cabane's "The Charisma Myth" and without rambling too much, I'll just say it's one of the best "professional self-improvement" books, if I can call that a genre, I've ever read. And I've read a lot of them because a ton of that was reading research for a talk I just gave a few months ago. Most in that genre are useless platitudes or fluff or common sense dressed up in 150 pages.
The book says: charisma is a skill, and here's what it is, and here's how you practice it. Olivia breaks it down analytically in terms of behavior, but then also focuses hard on visualization. I think this book will really change the direction of my leadership & management work because I always used to regard visualizations as kind of new-age hippie stuff where I did it myself but felt uncomfortable doing it with others.
She makes two points that I think really changed my mind: athletes use visualization all the time. All the time. And then there's method acting. Before method acting, actors would try to deliberately control their behavior to act, but now to us it looks ridiculous and histrionic. Method acting was about "getting into the character", which is really just elaborate visualization writ large.
That really sold me. I'm pushing visualization like crazy now. I don't care if it makes me seem like a crazy hippie. All I have to say is, athletes have known this forever, and, number two, method acting. The end.
She weaves a lot of stuff together, from very general Buddhist meditation to detailed analysis of the proper way to shake someone's hand, but I have to say, I'm probably the most jaded and skeptical person I know when it comes to these kinds of books but this one is golden. Absolutely worth the read.
I recommend the book "Early Retirement Extreme" by Jacob Lund Fisker for people who like books that will cause a paradigm shift in your thinking. I'd put it up there with some of my favourite lifestyle enhancement books like 4HWW and Life Nomadic. The guy has a forum, wiki, and blog by the same name, but the book is best. It is not written for the average person's reading ability--it reads more like he's aimed at the college freshman level of writing, but the writing level is entirely appropriate for the topic he presents. http://earlyretirementextreme.com/
Coincidentally, he was living in an RV in San Francisco for the last few years until he moved to Chicago very recently.
For anyone with acne, I recommend The Dietary Cure for Acne by Loren Cordain, PhD, which was the only thing that cured acne permanently for me after many dermatologists, expensive drugs, etc. The book looks to be about $55.00 now. http://www.amazon.com/Dietary-Cure-Ph-D-Loren-Cordain/dp/0978510917 That is dramatically less than what you spend on products for your skin over a year. However, if you want to, just buy any book on the Paleo diet and follow those recommendations. You won't know the *why* of how your acne is going away, but you will be eating the same diet and it will go away starting after 30 days (which is the time it takes the basal keratinocytes to reach the surface). I also used the principles in the book to cure the acne in people close to me who suffered from it and were willing to modify their diet.
I bought Sebastian Marshall's book, Ikigai, when it first came out. His is one of very few blogs that I read regularly, so I had high expectations for the book. And, hey... even if it's not great, I like supporting people I respect.
As soon as I bought the book, I read the first chapter. It was the blog post that I mentioned in the isolation post. Oh, I thought, I guess this book is just a bunch of blog posts that I've already read. I stopped reading.
That was six months ago. These days I read about 2-3 books per week, which means that I have a really tough time keeping my reading list full. Last week I was searching through my Kindle to see if I had any half-finished books I'd forgotten about, and I decided to give Sebastian's book another shot.
Man, am I glad I did. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with lessons that can be applied so quickly for such immediate results. Ikigai is one of the top few books I've read in 2012.
The focus of the book is rational and efficient productivity. Or at least that's what I got most out of it. If you're into that sort of thing, definitely read it.
I bought Sebastian Marshall's book, Ikigai, when it first came out. His is one of very few blogs that I read regularly, so I had high expectations for the book. And, hey... even if it's not great, I like supporting people I respect. As soon as I bought the book, I read the first chapter. It was the blog post that I mentioned in the isolation post. Oh, I thought, I guess this book is just a bunch of blog posts that I've already read. I stopped reading. That was six months ago. These days I read about 2-3 books per week, which means that I have a really tough time keeping my reading list full. Last week I was searching through my Kindle to see if I had any half-finished books I'd forgotten about, and I decided to give Sebastian's book another shot. Man, am I glad I did. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with lessons that can be applied so quickly for such immediate results. Ikigai is one of the top few books I've read in 2012. The focus of the book is rational and efficient productivity. Or at least that's what I got most out of it. If you're into that sort of thing, definitely read it. I now plan my day every morning. Sebastian shares his daily planning routine, which I used as a rough template for my own. Every morning I record the time I went to bed the night before, the time I woke up, the time I brushed my teeth, the time I finish planning, and the time I finished writing a blog post (I'm writing one every single day, but not posting them all). Recording the time you finish these things is a bit of subtle genius from Sebastian. When you record the time you finish something, you tend to do it earlier. Today I woke up and had two immediate phone calls that had to be made, which pushed my whole schedule back. As soon as I saw the time, I started doing my few morning things, including writing this post. Morning used to be my least productive time of day, but now I jump right in and start producing. The rest of day planning consists of making a todo list for yourself. You're supposed to create a list that you believe can be completed to 70%, but I've completed 90-100% every day, despite trying to make the list harder each time. It's amazing how much you can get done when you have a plan and start early. I use the tasks feature of Google Calendar for my todo list. It's not amazing, but it's good enough and keeps me looking at my calendar, which makes me more likely to schedule things and see when they're happening. At the end of the day, I do a quick five minute summary, as prescribed by Sebastian. I record whether or not I flossed, reflected on the possibility of death, and played my violin. I write down my key accomplishments for the day, my top life goals, a quick analysis of the day, and my top priority for the following day. Last, I record how many minutes I wasted, how many minutes I worked on SETT, and how many minutes I spent writing. RescueTime helps me come up with a rough estimate of these things. There's a lot more than planning your day in Ikigai, but that was the big value that I got from it. He also spends a lot of time covering the same sort of strategy and philosophies that I'm a big fan of and write about here. ### The great Alaska trip starts next Saturday. A few friends and I will be riding our motorcycles to Alaska for no real reason at all.
Books are cheap, invaluable sources of knowledge and wisdom. But let's be honest, not every book is a good book. And not every good book will make an impact on you. Today, I decided to make a short list of the books that changed my life in one way or another:
As you can see, topics vary from Atheism and Philosophy to Picking up girls and Self development. Needless to say, I recommend that you read all of them.
Now it's your turn: Do you read? If so, what are the books that changed your life?