In Tomorrowland, author Steven Kotler describes fundamental advances in science that have changed and will continue to change our world. Essentially, Kotler is writing about science fiction becoming science fact, which is happening at a remarkable rate. For example, he talks about such futuristic ideas as mining asteroids, biological warfare, and advanced prosthesis. I found the book entertaining but not much more than that. I picked it up for free when I tried out Kindle Unlimited. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t pay for it.
I'm a huge book nerd, and I believe that reading is a powerful way to level up in life. I read a handful of books each month (usually non-fiction) around leadership, business, and self-improvement. This is a list of books I've read and short summaries. You can see what I'm reading next here. I also welcome suggestions! Send them to me here.
In Hillbilly Elegy, author JD Vance tells the story of his childhood growing up among the white working class in America in a poor Appalachian town. His story was eye opening and provided a fresh perspective on a part of our society I had little exposure or knowledge about previously. I’d highly recommend this one. The writing is fantastic, and it’s a brave story to recount from Vance’s perspective.
In 10% Happier, author and media personality Dan Harris details his experiences with meditation and the benefits it has brought to his life, claiming it has made him at least “10% happier.” I’ve tried meditation a few different times, but nothing has stuck quite yet. It was interesting to hear about Harris’ experience, but I didn’t take a ton away from this one.
Good Boss, Bad Boss examines the character traits of (you guessed it) great bosses and terrible ones. It examines numerous studies around leadership and pulls from historical examples to highlight overarching principles for leading teams. One quote that stood out to me in particular:
Developing and sustaining self-awareness ought to be at the top of the list for every boss.
I’ve known of Jon’s work for a long time, and I’ve read a few of his other books for personal trainers around building wealth and your business. Viralnomics is Jon’s take on how to grow an audience through social media and personal interaction. It was really useful, and I have quite a few takeaways. I’d highly recommend reading this if you’re interested in building an audience or a brand.
I read this one at the recommendation of Jason Khalipa, and I loved it. According to the authors, the founder’s mentality includes three pieces:
- Be obsessed with the front line – pay great attention to the customer experience. The details matter.
- Think and act like an insurgent – keep innovating and stay nimble even when you’re winning big.
- Embody an owner’s mindset – everyone in the organization should feel responsible for the company succeeding.
I pulled a lot of value from this one, and I have a ton of notes marked in the audiobook.
Gary Vaynerchuck is an entrepreneur with a pulse on social media and attention. In Crushing It!, he attempts to outline the various ways to capture the attention of your intended audience with specific details for most social networks. He also lays out some success stories that readers have submitted from reading his previous work. I didn’t love it, but I did finish it.
The core concept of Play Bigger is that the companies that last, the ones that really stand the test of time, define their own category. They don’t just build something slightly better than the competition. They build their own category where there isn’t any competition. The easy example is Apple with the iPod. In Play Bigger, the authors detail the importance of being a “Category King” and outline some steps to get there.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything related to health and fitness, but Taubes knocked it out of the park with Why We Get Fat. This is a truncated version of his other book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. At its heart, this book details the importance of regulating blood sugar if our goal is to maintain optimal health and weight. I wrote an extensive post about the book including all of my notes here.
Purple Cow is another awesome and applicable book from Seth Godin. This time, Seth details the importance of building a business worth talking about, something unique from everything else in the market that satisfies a particular demand for a certain group of diehard fans. It’s worth reading. Also, check out Linchpin, which is one of my favorites from Seth.