Reading

Quarter Two Reading & Why Share My Reading?

Why share my reading?


There are nearly a million new books published each year, but most of us don’t go sifting through them to take our chances on a few that look interesting. Likewise, walking through the aisles of large bookstores will give you a snapshot of the most popular books – but not necessarily the best.


I share my reading because much of what I read are titles that were recommended to me by someone else. Thus, I’m obligated to pass my reading on in hopes that you will find joy and new ideas from these titles.


Note: I have put an asterisk next to the books which I learned about through a recommendation. 

Audiobooks

Not my favorite way to digest a book, but I use Audible and Scribd, which saves me a ton of money. I also take copious notes throughout and relisten to certain sections so I make sure I apply the knowledge immediately. Get (two free audiobooks!) a free month of Audible by clicking here, and a free month of Scribd here.


Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias
A great explanation as to the exclusivity of the Christian Gospel.

The Art Of Seduction Abridged by Robert Greene
The title here is self-explanatory. This was interesting but was sub-par compared to Greene’s other works in my opinion.

*Thinking In Bets by Annie Duke
Again, a pretty self-explanatory title, the book highlights flawed logic in thinking and how to think better by Annie Duke, a champion poker player. It was good but I feel as if it could have been much shorter. You’re probably better exploring a more fundamental book on mental models to get the same education + so much more in a less wordy format.


Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
A great book on one of the most important (and most neglected) aspects of our health. I consider myself well-educated on health and this book had knowledge that was new even to me.


Atomic Habits by James Clear – 2nd Listen –
I decided to revisit some books to gain new insights and this was one. Great decision and I picked up things I missed the first time and was able to really solidify and take action on making my habits stronger. This is one of the books I give as gifts.


Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
I would recommend this book to any salesperson or marketing professional. very insightful principles on crafting a story for your brand vs traditional (and outdated) marketing strategies and ploys.

How to Be Like Walt by Pat Williams
This is a doozy – over 16 hours – and I am still not completely through. Written by a man who personally knew Walt Disney, I would highly recommend this for anyone interested in Disney biographical material, Disneyland/WDW, or the creative process in general.

Riley Mack and the Other Known Troublemakers by Chris Grabenstein
This is an Audible Original kid’s book, but I think I enjoyed it more than my kids. The production value for this was higher than any audiobook I have ever listened to, and the replay value is very high in my opinion. I would highly recommend for a relaxed, leisure listen.
The Excellence Dividend by Tom Peters
I actually did not finish this one. I love the premise but I think the content and author’s style was not a great fit for audio, and I haven’t yet picked up a physical copy.

Off The Clock by Laura Vanderkam
I am torn on this one. It had some life-changing nuggets of wisdom, but overall the content is very niche and some of it is hard to be applied. Maybe this is worth a second listen for me.

The End of Reason by Ravi Zacharias
This is a very short listen on the fallacious nature of the modern Atheists’ opposition of Christianity.

*Safely Home by Randy Alcorn
A heartwarming story about a home church in China and a man’s discovery of what is important in life.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin
An amazing, paradigm-shifting book on how to create products and market them in today’s competitive economy.

Linchpin by Seth Godin
If I read 10 books and found one life-changing nugget in one of those books, I would consider my time well spent. It seemed like there was a life changing nugget in every paragraph of this book. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to everyone, especially those who are employed (isn’t that nearly everyone?). This has changed my entire perspective of almost my entire career and work life.

Books

I prefer to read physical books, which I try to buy used or check out from the library. When it makes sense and can find books on Kindle format, I use either Prime Reading or Kindle Unlimited.


Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
This was good, but I felt like it was a bit more unnaturally written/forced. I enjoy his book The Obstacle is the Way much more. I would still recommend this book though.


*Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull
I enjoyed this book so much. To hear the creative process behind Pixar, and the evolution of the company was an incredible experience for me.

Never Grow Up by Jackie Chan
After reading this, I realized Jackie Chan had many more dimensions than just the Rush Hour guy. His life takes the tone of a tragedy to me, but it was a very good read and interesting to hear about his adventure of a life and the lessons he learned.

A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles
This is hands down the best fiction book I have ever read. I am chapters from finishing and I will be sad to say goodbye to characters I feel like I know personally. I laughed, was shocked, pondered – If you only read one fiction book in your life please let this be the one.

Keep Going by Austin Kleon
I read this short book waiting to get my car serviced and it was immediately actionable. Kleon has a unique view of the world and I can’t wait to read this one again.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – 2nd Read –
Since I read to Atomic Habits a second time, I had to read this one again as well. So glad I did. I caught so much I missed the first time and my creating/breaking of habits had improved dramatically after applying the knowledge in this book.

Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks
I read this book on a series of flights and used the methods therein to craft my icebreaker speech at Toastmasters, on which I received very positive feedback. With the rise of our tweet culture, storytelling will be a rare and valuable art in the years to come.

*An Occurrence at Owl Creek by Ambrose Bierce
A short story you can find for free on the Internet; beautiful and haunting.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – 2nd Read
Newport is definitely swimming upstream in his denunciation of social media and the unchecked rise of smart technology. I had to give this a second read and take more to heart the principles he outlined, which helped me greatly to implement them into my daily life.

*Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
An incredible story about deep sea divers who discovered a mystery u-boat off of the shore of New Jersey in the early 90s. Robert Kurson also wrote Rocket Men, which was the only book thus far, non-fiction or otherwise, to have me nearly crying at several points.

Your Attitude by John Maxwell –
A light read on having a positive attitude. Maxwell’s material is not my favorite, but this was well worth the read and applying some of the knowledge had a noticeable effect on my ‘tude. I could not actually find this book online, as the copy I have is way back from the 80s.

The Magic of Thinking Success By David D Schwartz –
I basically skimmed this. It seemed like a rehashing of much of the material in The Magic of Thinking Big, which was much more enjoyable and actionable in my opinion. I don’t recommend; instead, pick up The Magic of Thinking Big.


*A Curious Discovery by John Hendricks
The incredible autobiographical story of John Hendricks and the genesis of the Discovery Channel.  I will probably read this again in the near future.

*The War of Art by Steven Pressfield –
I like the personification of the “resistance” but past the first few chapters, it just got weird. I know this book is highly recommended by many and it does have some good ideas, but.. yeah I don’t know. Just weird.

The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley
Fun and practical, this book is a great primer on forecasting weather, navigating, and everything in between using trees, stars, moss, the sun.. you name it. Besides wanting to be a real-life Macgyver, what if I got stranded without GPS or phone in the middle of nowhere? This could be lifesaving information. I learned so much from this book and will be revisiting it often and learning everything within so I can hopefully teach my kids as well.

What are you reading? I love recommendations! Share in the comments below or email me at jomioliver@gmail.com.

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