book

The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran

I heard many good things about the book and the approach. I think the books contents are very well laid out but the general approach I cannot see applying right now in my life, but it will possibly be something I revisit in a years time.

1984 by George Orwell

This is a book that I’ve been waiting a long time to read, it was also recommended to me by sooo many people that I needed to get my act together and read it. The book actually took me a long time to read, I started late December 2017 and finished it exactly on the 1st May 2018. In general it was more due to finding the motivation to sit down and read.

The book I think is ok, it does lay down a lot bout a totalitarian regime and how it could one day look with a government / organisation controlling and running people in society. But to be honest I found the book missing the tension and emotional aspect to really pull me into it and I found towards the end it was getting harder and harder to read. There is an underlying message in the book but it still doesn’t pull me towards it. I’m happy I finally got to read this cult classic and now I can check it off the list of books I need to read. 

The Martian by Andy Weir

I was recommended this book by a good friend and work colleague amd I’m really happy they did.

The way the book is written totally grabs you. Every page there is some intense moment while you follow the survival of the main character on the surface of Mars. Even if you’ve already seen the film I can totally recommend a deep dive into the book. 

Its very easy to read and well thought out with it seems very scientific and plausible facts and situations.

 

Recommendation:

Must Read

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

I must admit before I read this book I was already a huge fan of Simon. It all started with his video on why leader eat last (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReRcHdeUG9Y&t=2238s) and this led me to this book and it wasn't a disappointment. 

The book really explains why brands and companies are successful, as well as why projects and teams succeed. It's all about starting with the why. . . . .

I think this is a must read for anyone to get a good understanding and to also challenge your leaders and bosses. 

Recommendation:

Must Read

Modern Mindfulness by Rohan Gunatillake

I am currently around 70% through this book, even though I like the premise and it comes up with some very good points the way the book is structured is something that has now made me put this book on hold. This means I’m not actively reading it and I will try and come back later to pick it up again. 

 

The book in a nutshell describes how we should be more in tuned with ourselves through meditation and it gives you many many many different options for being able to meditate. I just found when reading it that it tells me to close my eyes a bit strange as I’m unable to proceed, when I’m reading its not the time to meditate (for me that is) and so I totally found it an awkward read. Which is a total shame as I am totally behind the ideas in general

Minimalism by Joshua Fields MillBurn & Ryan Nicodemus

This book and the approach has been gaining in popularity within a lot of circles of recent. I, myself have had this book on the pile for a couple of months, and I go it after I watched their documentary (https://vimeo.com/ondemand/minimalismfilm or found on Netflix). 

The book is small and is around 120 pages long. I managed to complete this book within a few hours, and it's something that I will keep around. It describes the five areas in your life that you should declutter and gain more value from them. 

The book provides many insights, and I believe it will have something which almost everyone can pick up from. If you want to better structure your life and focus actually on being happy, then read this book! Build a foundation for yourself.

My Recommendation:

MUST READ

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

From the premise this book seemed like it would be a really good read. But after reading 140 pages it became really a lot of work to motivate myself to be able to continue. Because of this I’ve put this book on hold for the time being.

Steal Like an Artist b Austin Kleon

This book was totally not on my radar. It was something my better half (who is way more creative than me) had finished and thought I would like. 

It is a relatively short read that doesn't go too deep on any ideas but gives a good overall feeling on the topic of copying to a point others work and how this is at the heart of all great creatives out there. Throw in a few quotes from some well-known people from history and you have this relatively light read that makes you feel ok with being "inspired" by others. 

I could recommend this for anyone in a creative field (not just arty farty people) as it can be applied to so many different situations and circumstances. 

My Recommendation:

READ

Armada by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One was hands down one of the best books I've ever read, it kept me so engaged and forced me to binge-read it to the very end. Coming off of that I thought Ernest Cline would do the same again, but unfortunately, that's not the case.

But that doesn't make Armada a bad book, but it doesn't make it the successor we all want from Ernest Cline. The story starts off slow and builds over time to what seems to be a somewhat rushed end in my opinion. The book tells a story of a gamer, a world class gamer who also is a school boy. It dices with social awkwardness of being the outsider that no one understands and then throws it into a lion's den of sci-fi to add some varying elements. 

The premise of the story (not to give anything away) is actually somewhat believable to a point and is something you can envision to be a reality in 10 - 20 years time and highlights how brutal humans are to one another and that any alien existence who look down on us probably doesn't paint them a warm and inviting picture. 

In conclusion:

*Slow Beginning, Intriguing and exciting middle and a rushed end. This book is probably a great read if it's your first Ernest Cline book but if you've read "Ready Player One" you will be somewhat disappointed with this book.

 

My Recommendation:

READ*

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris

I'm someone who reads, listens and follows Tim Ferris quite regularly and I was excited by the announcement of his new book. The only other book of Tim's I've read was the 4 Hour Work Week

He has interviewed so many great talents from various industries and has meticulously recorded everything (he is that kind of guy), this book was announced to be the chronicle of years of work and information gathering.

In general, I wouldn't say I was disappointed as the content is high quality and it provides an insight into various celebrities & entrepreneurs routines and habits. But what I was saddened with the structure, it's layout is by person and not really by activities and how you can best utilize the approach for example. What this means is that you end up jumping around in various topics quite frequently and for me, this was rather annoying.  

Who would I recommend to read this book? I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard of Tim Ferris or listened to any of his podcasts. For anyone else, I would say get it but don't worry about reading it from cover to cover, use it more like a reference manual.

My Recommendation:

Reference Use Only

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Digital Fortress was my first Dan Brown book; I was told that he has a distinctive writing style and story-telling technique from friends who have read all his books. I wanted to start with one of his books which haven't received such acclaim like the "Da Vinci Code" for example.

The story centers around the NSA and a hyper-super-computer they have built to crack codes. At the start of the book, they realize a new encryption algorithm is up for auction which is claimed to be impossible to decipher (especially for the NSA). But it's not as simple as getting the code and seeing how it works, as the NSA plan to implement a back door for them before the algorithm is released. The story's told through 2 narratives on two main characters. 

I must admit, the last 200 pages of the book were hair-raising, and I struggled to put it down. If you like a modern mystery with a believable story, then I can highly recommend this book. Digital Fortress was a slow starter and took me to around page 100 to get deeper into the plot, but for myself, it was totally worth it.

 

My Recommendation:

MUST READ

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

This book comes highly recommend from close colleagues and friends and is also well promoted via the various "New Rich" people I consume content from. It also inspired the creators of the 5 Minute Journal to create that product (which I use) so for that I can thank. With that I was always wanting to get my teeth into it. 

So, I finally took the plunge and decided to read it. This is in a matter of words, is a manual for starting your own lifestyle brand. It leads you through a step by step on how to automate your life, test market cap, get to market with your first product and then automate the whole process so you can sit back and enjoy life. It also helps you with adjusting your work life balance in the forms of mini retirements which sound awesome! 

And there is the problem, at the moment I don't want to start a lifestyle business (right now) and so a lot of the content I couldn't directly relate to. But hidden in the many pages are tons of tips on how to straighten your life out and be super productive. Because of this I found the book very insightful and a good read. One of the points that caught my attention was the section on of VA's (Virtual Assistants). I never thought I could afford a PA/VA but this book showed me how to affordably get a VA and how to also utilise them and the medium to the full potential. The book is full of links and references to tools and services which I would never have known about, this makes it a useful reference material which I will keep coming back to.

My Recommendation:

Not for Everyone*

*if you want to start a lifestyle business or learn some productivity tips this is for you

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

This is a book I've been waiting to read for a long time. I must admit that at various points I was debating putting the book down and calling it a failure in terms of my ability to ready it, but I must say that I'm glad I continued. This book is full of real world situations where ego was at play and caused havoc or ruined peoples lives. It doesn't tell you how to battle ones ego but it guides you in how to identify the problem. The final few pages go deeper into self assessment which make the books journey a treat.

 

My Recommendation:

MUST READ

Mindset by Dr Carol S. Dweck

I first picked this book up from the airport coming back to Hamburg, Germany in May (2016) it was on my book shelf for several months before I decided to pick it up. But I'm glad I finally did, this book made such an impact with my mindset (pardon the pun). It allowed me to analyse my thinking and help me understand why it might not be the best reason, as well as others.

 

My Recommendation:

MUST READ