- The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
- Awaken The Giant Within – Tony Robbins
- Winter – Karl Ove Knausgaard
- Noir – Christopher Moore
- The Buddhism of Tibet: Or, Lamaism, with Its Mystic Cults, Symbolism and Mythology, and in Its Relation to Indian Buddhism – L.A. Waddell
- Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
- Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
- The Collected Letters of Alan Watts – Edited by Joan Watts & Anne Watts
- The Blumhouse Book of Nightmares: The Haunted City – Edited by Jason Blum
- Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival – Dave Canterbury
- The Han Solo Adventures (Han Solo at Stars’ End / Han Solo’s Revenge / Han Solo and the Lost Legacy) – Brian Daley
- Letters from a Stoic – Seneca
- Zen: The Supreme Experience (The Newly Discovered Scripts – Alan Watts; Edited by Mark Watts
- Beat Spirit: The Way of the Beat Writers as a Living Experience – Mel Ash
- Unlimited Power – Anthony Robbins
- The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic – Jason Surrell
- Later Essays – Susan Sontag (unfinished)
- The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss
- Oklahoma! – Richard Rogers & Oscar Hammerstein
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson (unfinished)
- The Collected Letters of Alan Watts – Edited by Joan Watts & Anne Watts (unfinished)
- Awaken The Giant Within – Tony Robbins
- Homeland – R.A. Salvatore (unfinished)
- Magic The Gathering: Arena – William R. Forstchen
- The Way of the Superior Man – David Deida (unfinished)
- Death Warmed Over – Kevin J. Anderson
- Blame – Jeff Abbott
- The Last Minute – Jeff Abbott
- Braving the Wilderness – Brene Brown
- Small Favor – Jim Butcher
- Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (unfinished)
- The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less – Richard Koch (unfinished)
- You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero (unfinished)
Well, here is basically March through June of this year. I’m hoping this is comprehensive, but I know I picked up a few other books here and there. March was a slow month for reading. I had been thinking about the new job, a show opening, etc., it seemed like I just had a lot on my plate. April didn’t seem to go much better in that regard. May I did a little more reading, even revisiting some books I had read previously.
To start, I can’t say enough positive things about 4-Hour Workweek. It was both an enjoyable read as well as highly motivational. Something about the freedom to travel while working has led me to revamping my spending habits as well as my work habits.
The new job is mostly from my home office, though I take a lot of meetings. My plan is that after the first three months, the face-to-face meetings will be condensable into “office days”, where I can batch all my meetings into one or two days for the week. That will free up my time to make those travel arrangements.
I’ve even traded in the Prius for a Rav4, so that I can get a tow-along camper and hit some camp grounds.
That’s some of the effect the book had on me. I listened to the audio book and mostly it was on two business trips, Daytona to Naples and Back, that I was able to listen to it. I recommend getting the physical copy (in addition to the audio book, if need be) so that you can have access to the materials in it. I believe that they are all online at Tim.blog, along with his weekly podcast and other resources. Again, I highly recommend checking it out.
Fresh off the motivational bandwagon that is 4-Hour Workweek, I tried Subtle Art. I liked it, but I haven’t been able to finish it. This one speaks more to changing mindsets, and honestly, my mindset of not giving a f*ck is pretty well established. I’m able to let things go and move with the flow, and this book did not resonate with me as much. I will finish it though, and there are certainly some wonderful highlights in it.
And then I had to try a Tony Robbins book. I had never read anything by him, or listened to anything that was recorded, but I had heard about him for many years so I thought I would try it out. I got the audio book of Awaken the Giant.
I enjoyed it. This was a quick read, and had a lot to do with changing your mindset. But again, having been a convert to the mindset changing your reality, much of the content was not useful in an applicable way, but rather more informational. Found another Tony Robbins book in the library sale bin, so I picked up Unlimited Power. It’s in a stack right now to read, which I’ll get around to.
The rockiness of 2016 taught me how amazing the power of thought, intention and mindset could be. After such a heavy nonfiction motivational slant, I wanted to lean in to some lighter reads. Arena and Small Favor were both books I had read previously (Arena I first read 20 years ago, and have likely read it a half dozen times since). Both are about wizards, each facing great odds too balance the scales of good and evil. Quick reads, mind-easing in their straightforward approaches. I love them both.
I read a few other books in the Magic the Gathering series, tied in to the card game, but found Arena to by far be my favorite. I’ve actually read all the Harry Dresden books Butcher has written, and am eagerly awaiting the new novel. I probably saw the television show, which only lasted one season, but enjoyed it enough to entice my getting into the series.
Early on I had been delving into Susan Sontag’s essays, but it got pushed to the side when I discovered the letters of Alan Watts. As I’ve written before, I find the faith, culture, and language of Asian nations to be extremely interesting. Alan Watts devoted much of his life to understanding Zen Buddhism, and brought that understanding to Western audiences.
I’m only into the 1930s with his letters, reading about his concern for his parents back in England with the coming war, and his newborn daughter with her curiosities.
The idea of letter writing makes me think of how we use language – how when we email, or text, we’re not crafting the sentences as we used to do when letter writing. I believe that’s part of the reason the mailing of letters is gaining some popularity again. I prefer handwriting notes, and pen my journal pages every morning.
Watts’s letters are my before bed ritual, and I usually read three or four before putting the book down and going to sleep. (In my quest for better rhythms, turning lights off, etc, I’d been trying to figure out how best to read before bed. I just purchased a little clip light on sale, something made by French Bull. It’s cute, and seems to do the job.)
Audio books from the library for my daily commutes included 80/20 Principle, Braving the Wilderness, Death Warmed Over, The Last Minute, Blame, and Six of Crows. I’ve read a few Abbot books, mostly about former-CIA special operative Sam Capra. I’ve read them out of order, though, and am still playing catch up. Last Minute is number three in the series. (Start with Adrenaline.)
Blame was an interesting one, a standalone about a young woman with amnesia, resulting from a car crash where her passenger, a boy about her age, died. Starting up two years after the crash, some weird things start to happen, making her question what happened the night of the crash.
I remained pretty riveted, waiting to see what was going to happen. A couple plot points that I may have disagreed with, but the characters were fleshed out and it was easy to follow, even when jumping through three separate timelines (pre-crash, immediately following the crash, and two years later).
Put in 80/20, listened for a disc, decided I needed more attention to it. I’m planning on picking it up again once I finish You Are a Badass. I enjoy Badass. There are many elements I recognize, partially from my self-help book exploration, and partially from my own journey over the past two-and-a-half years.
Six of Crows also was another non-starter for me. I think I need to read the other two books in the Grisha trilogy, then maybe I’ll revisit Crows.
Then there was Brene Brown. Daring Greatly has been on my reading list for many years. I hadn’t picked up a copy. I checked out Braving the Wilderness, and gave it a listen. Holy shit. I remember listening, nodding my head yes, laughing. It’s great. She’s got a wonderful conversational tone, and some good insights. I also listened to her on Super Soul Saturdays with Oprah, both episodes. And bought Daring Greatly.
As you can see, I did some book shopping. I like getting books when life seems to be overwhelming, but I also like getting books on discount. So, used books and remaindered are my go-tos. Or the library. It’s like a book store, only free.
I think I’ll try and be a little more consistent with these lists, so that I’m not cramming four months into one post. Until next time!