- Leonardo da Vinci | Walter Isaacson
- Homo Deus | Yuval Noah Harari
- Killers of the Flower Moon | David Grann
- Hit Makers | Derek Thompson
- Astrophysics for People in a Hurry | Neil Degrasse Tyson
- What Doesn’t Kill Us | Scott Carney
- Blue Ocean Shift | W. Chan Kim
- Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook | Tony Robbins
- The Upstarts | Brad Stone
- Grant | Ron Chernow
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck | Mark Manson
- Principles | Ray Dalio
- Tribe of Mentors | Timothy Ferriss
- Endurance | Scott Kelly
- The Road to Jonestown | Jeff Guinn
- Braving The Wilderness | Brené Brown
- Norse Mythology | Neil Gaiman
Leonardo da Vinci | Walter Isaacson
Leonardo Da Vinci was an inventor, painter, astronomer, and polymath (person of expertise in many disciplines). In this biography written by Walter Isaacson, acclaimed biography writer, Da Vinci’s curious nature is exposed to the world.
- He never finished any of the works he began because, so sublime was his idea of art, he saw faults even in the things that to others seemed miracles.
- Leonardo at twenty-nine was more easily distracted by the future than he was focused on the present.
- Vision without execution is hallucination.
Homo Deus | Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus is a sequel to the book Sapiens. Both books were crafted by Yuval Noah Harari, a Historian, residing in Israel.
His first book, Sapiens, is about the formation of humanity. Harari asks: What does it mean to be human?
- People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes.
- In the past, censorship worked by blocking the flow of information. In the twenty-first century, censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information.In ancient times having power meant having access to data. Today having power means knowing what to ignore.
- Islamic fundamentalists could never have toppled Saddam Hussein by themselves. Instead they enraged the USA by the 9/11 attacks, and the USA destroyed the Middle Eastern china shop for them. Now they flourish in the wreckage.
Killers of the Flower Moon | David Grann
In the 1920’s, the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma were one of the richest people in America after they found liquid gold beneath their feet – oil.
Life was wonderful. Mansions were built, exotic cars parked outside, college tuition of children paid four times over. Until the Osage began slowly dying from assassination. Many investigators were murdered. Everyone wanted oil.
- As Sherlock Holmes famously said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
- “Stores gone, post office gone, train gone, school gone, oil gone, boys and girls gone—only thing not gone is graveyard and it git bigger.”
Hit Makers | Derek Thompson
Many factors contribute to content going viral. Primarily, influence. Early adoption falls behind as a close second. Thompson believes quality is not a determining factor in going viral.
- Most consumers are simultaneously neophilic, curious to discover new things, and deeply neophobic, afraid of anything that is too new. The best hit makers are gifted at creating moments of meaning by marrying new and old, anxiety and understanding. They are architects of familiar surprises.
- A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry | Neil Degrasse Tyson
4.6 Star Rating
Neil Degrasse Tyson is the Carl Sagan of today. A former wrestler turned astrophysicist, Tyson injects astrophysics with a wrestler’s work ethic. Astrophysics for people in a hurry is exactly as the title says. A mixture of various topics underneath the starry umbrella of astrophysics for people who are not astrophysicists.
In the book, Tyson covers topics like the big bang, black holes, and quantum mechanics. The book is short, but, it’s as long as it needs to be – for people in a hurry.
- The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.
- We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.
- In other words, after the laws of physics, everything else is opinion.
What Doesn’t Kill Us | Scott Carney
4.5 Star Rating
Ever wanted to learn how to summit a mountain in nothing but your boots and a pair of shorts? What Doesn’t kill us is a book about pushing human limits.
Wim Hoff is a human furnace. He teaches his students to control body temperature through breathing & meditation. Hoff holds multiple Guinness world records for cold-exposure challenges like longest ice bath and farthest swim under ice. This resulted in frozen-eyeballs after he swam beyond his exit. Hoff seems like a superhero. He teaches his power. Hoff holds seminars in person and online.
What Doesn’t Kill Us is a book about human resilience.
People can do virtually everything they put their mind to.
- With no challenge to overcome, frontier to press, or threat to flee from, the humans of this millennium are overstuffed, overheated, and understimulated.
- Much of the developing world—no longer suffers from diseases of deficiency. Instead we get the diseases of excess.
- Ten thousand or more years before that our species migrated between continents on rafts of seaweed and surmounted mountains in little more than animal skins and leather soles. Those ancestors probably didn’t think of themselves as different from the environment at all. They knew what we are learning again today. That we are all just here.
Blue Ocean Shift | W. Chan Kim
Blue Ocean Shift is the sequel to Blue Ocean Strategy. Blue Ocean Strategy is a business book about making competition irrelevant. Instead of competing, find niches and build them. New research inside Blue Ocean Shift builds on Blue Ocean Strategy’s original program: Create markets no one can compete in. A market for a king.
If you haven’t read Blue Ocean Strategy, pick this book up first. Unless you’re the kind of crazy who watches a sequel first.
- We call this atomization after Einstein’s reflection that if you deconstruct any challenge into its basic components, or atoms, and focus on solving them one at a time, even the largest challenge shifts from being overwhelming to being intellectually and psychologically solvable.
- If you can move people by inspiring and building their confidence to own and drive your new strategy, they will be committed to seeing change through and overcoming the organizational constraints you confront.
4.6 Star rating
Unshakeable is a workbook for Tony’s last financial book: Money master the game.
Unshakeable offers strategies to improve financial stability. Unlike money master the game, which is more theory than practice.
- I can tell you the secret to happiness in one word: progress.
- As Warren Buffett says, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.
- the purpose of business is to produce happiness, not to pile up money.
The Upstarts | Brad Stone
4.8 star rating
In 2009 hitchhiking was dangerous. Stepping into a stranger’s car was a left-behind artifact of a world without internet. Yet, in 2018, many people use strangers as their primary transportation. What about staying in a strangers home? Airbnb Made this normal. Uber and Airbnb have changed the world forever.
Both of these deviants destroyed their competitors.
Overthrowing what’s normal.
The upstarts follows Uber & Airbnb, and their founder’s stories, while explaining the success each leader obtained and how they did it.
- When you’re starting a company it never goes at the pace you want or the pace you expect. You imagine everything to be linear, ‘I’m going to do this, then this is going to happen and this is going to happen.’ You’re imagining steps and they’re progressive. You start, you build it, and you think everyone’s going to care. But no one cares, not even your friends.
- McAdoo and Graham were discussing that most essential characteristic of great entrepreneurs: mental toughness, the ability to overcome the hurdles and negativity that typically accompany something new.
Grant | Ron Chernow
4.7 Star Rating
Ron Chernow’s massive, 1098-page biography of Ulysses S. Grant is masterpiece. Grant is nothing new for author Ron Chernow, who previously wrote biographies on Washington, and, most recognized for, Alexander Hamilton.
Grant is a polarizing figure in history. Before the civil war, Grant was a drunk, lauded by many as an unreliable soldier. He soon resigned.
Later, Grant found his purpose. As the right-hand-man of Abraham Lincoln, Grant fought for freedom leading the Union in the civil war to end slavery, a purpose worthy of any man, and, enough of a reason for Grant to clean up his act.
Ron Chernow created a window into a great man’s life whose dedication to justice is still felt today.
- By 1872, under Grant’s leadership, the Ku Klux Klan had been smashed in the South. (Its later twentieth-century incarnation had no connection to the earlier group other than a common style and ideology.)
- As his life steadily unraveled, he pawned his gold watch and chain for $20 on December 23, 1857, to purchase Christmas presents for his children—perhaps the symbolic nadir of his life.
4.5 Star Rating
Not giving a fuck is a superpower.
When you stop caring you’re free to fail, then learn. There is a balance between caring enough to try and not caring enough to be stymied by pressure.
- Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.
- This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.
- The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.
4.5 Star Rating
The number one business book of 2017.
The 5th most read book on Amazon.
The cover is barren, except for two references; one from Bill Gates, the other, from Tony Robbins.
Dalio explains his success over the past forty years. Dalio is a billionaire investor. He grew his hedge fund into a monolith of financial power.
His tenets are radical truth and radical transparency.
Dalio believes, never lie to yourself. An enemy will take advantage of you. The weakest version of yourself will rise.
- It is far more common for people to allow ego to stand in the way of learning.
- Truth – more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality – is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.
- Pain + Reflection = Progress
Tribe of Mentors | Timothy Ferriss
4.5 Star Review.
Tribe of Mentors contains advice from experts spanning many fields. After the death of multiple friends, Ferriss sought answers to questions brought by death. Tim asks, what really matters?
He asked everyone. Young prodigies, and old masters. Tim created a book of answers to questions he carries. You may carry some of the same questions.
Tribe of mentors is a lifestyle-advisory book from Tim and hundreds of other influencers.
- How they think.
- How they execute.
- How they dream.
- How they command.
Tim self-describes his book as a reference he wrote for himself.
- Never let a good crisis go to waste. It’s the universe challenging you to learn something new and rise to the next level of your potential.
- Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask. After all, conscious thinking is largely asking and answering questions in your own head.
- Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you, just measure it in inches.”—Andy Warhol
4.6 star rating
Scott Kelly holds the American record for longest duration in space.
Space is unforgiving.
Scott tells us:
- The crippling effects of zero gravity.
- Leaving everyone he loves behind on Earth, while he watches from a black heaven.
- Everything. Space is hell.
We cannot comprehend the galaxy.
We can try. And, be amazed.
Few have lived like Scott Kelly. We get the privilege of living through his words.
- If you were doing something safe, something you already knew could be done, you were wasting time.
- Working with the right person can make the toughest day go well, and working with the wrong person can make the simplest task excruciatingly difficult.
4.4 Star Review
Jim Jones was a powerful, but evil man. Not powerful in physical strength or character. But in leadership. Jim Jones asked 900 people to take their lives in an act of defiance against the US Government, fabricated by the Indiana preacher for reasons Jones may not understand himself.
This is power in it’s most-malicious form.
300 infants and children. Gone.
Many will fear to revisit the travesty of the people’s temple suicide of 1978. How do you prevent the past from resurging without comprehending the events which created an unfavorable circumstance?
Abandoned history repeats itself.
Jim Jone’s story and the story of the people he brainwashed.
- On Jones’s instruction, Larry Schacht ordered one pound of sodium cyanide, enough for 1,800 lethal doses. It cost $8.85.
- Individual suicide was wasteful, but mass suicide that sent a message of defiance, and that encouraged future generations to fight oppression to the death, was admirable.
Braving The Wilderness | Brené Brown
4.6 Star Rating
Brené Brown’s book success started after a Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability(link).
To be vulnerable is to be strong.
Your path to life-fulfillment may be a nightmare. If you fight through the obstacles you’ll reach the holy land of fulfillment.
Don’t suppress desires. Rather, investigate your desires. Not your desire for pleasure, like eating fast-food because you’re too lazy to cook. Your true desires. What you want to be known for after you die.
Brené believes we’re experiencing a crisis of disconnection.
Learn to stand alone.
Then stand with others.
You’ll never love yourself until you accept yourself.
- Here’s what I believe: 1. If you are offended or hurt when you hear Hillary Clinton or Maxine Waters called bitch, whore, or the c-word, you should be equally offended and hurt when you hear those same words used to describe Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, or Theresa May.
- True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.
Norse Mythology | Neil Gaiman
Stories were told through mythology. Some stories instructed how one should live.
Norse mythology encourages bravery, similar to the samurai, who believe one must live like their already dead to serve.
Humanity conquests to make question marks into periods. The earth isn’t suspended by gravity; Atlas holds it.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman retells classic mythos like the formation of the world and its end. Norse Mythology also includes ships constructed from the fingernails of the dead. Toenails too.
- He said nothing: seldom do those who are silent make mistakes.
- The Norse myths are the myths of a chilly place, with long, long winter nights and endless summer days, myths of a people who did not entirely trust or even like their gods, although they respected and feared them.
- Rebirth always follows death.
Recommended: The 9 Best Books About the Samurai & Bushido