Reading is one of the best things you can do for your mind.
It is like calisthenics for your brain, developing your focus muscles.
After listening to founders podcast as much as I do I’ve gotten on a biography kick.
I find biographies to be a nice blend of educational, entertaining, and inspiring.
In addition to that, audiobooks have made a comeback in my life. I’ve found audiobooks to be a great addition to my days as I have a longer bike ride to work and plenty of house clean-up to do after the baby is asleep.
📖The 3 Books I Read in Q2 2023
- The Fish That Ate The Whale by Rich Cohen is everything I look for in a good book. It is engaging writing, a great story, and you will learn something new. This story details the life and times of Sam The Banana Man, a Russian Jew who immigrates to the American South in the late 1800s. Sam’s come-up is inspirational, but he is a complicated character with his fair share of flaws. Here is a more details post about it.
- Made In America by Sam Walton is a book that all the early executives at Amazon had to read. I am in retail so, after learning this, I made the book a personal assignment. I learned a lot. Although my company has a very different business model (our moat is branding, Walmart’s is scale economies), there is a lot to learn from Sam’s story. There are two things I immediately implemented from this book. The first is to get out into stores more often. The second is to know my numbers by handwriting them…Sam used to hand-write the P&L of his stores at the end of each week so he knew them cold. I love gathering stories of people doing boring unscalable things that make a big difference.
- On Writing by Stephen King is, and this should come as no surprise, the best-written non-fiction book I’ve read. It is rare that I am kept up at night by a non-fiction book, but this is the exception. His story is amazing. For any writer, the book is worth it just for the short section on the writer’s toolbox.
🔉The 4 Books I Listened to in Q2 2023
- Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss is a book I am going to continue listening to until asking calibrated questions becomes second nature.
- Influence by Robert Cialdini is the 2nd book I’m going to listen to consistently until it I know it thoroughly. The principles of influence are everywhere. The more aware you are of these principles, the more you can use them and not get used by them.
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (full-cast production) is SO GOOD. It is a story of a boy raised in a graveyard by ghosts. Maybe it’s just because I’m a dad now, but this book really did it for me. I would be looking for more floors to sweep at night just so I could continue listening…
- The Like Switch by Jack Shafer was recommended to me in 2017 by my friend Mark (hi, Mark). It builds off Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence Others with a modern spin based on learnings from an FBI career. Although the soft-skill sub-genre of self-help can feel a little cheesy, it is surprising how effective the principles are.
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