Essential Books (Things I Love)

Last updated August 2020

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

So I listened to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck as an audiobook, and it took me awhile to get into the groove. At first, I thought (like many others) that it was just the typical, common-sense life advice but with expletives littered throughout. And I’m not saying it’s not that. BUT, if you can stick with it, Mark Manson does present these common sense advice in a way that is engaging, and gets us thinking.

At the end of the day, isn’t listening to common sense advice, over and over, a good thing? It reminds me of those Chicken Broth for the Soul books. In them are heartwarming stories about how people did the right thing, and through adversity, there is a happy ending. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is just on the other end of the spectrum. It’s rude, profane, and NSFW, but it’s real advice.

If you want to take it a step further, check out Mark Manson’s blog page, which I think is a lot more of the same (but free). And here’s an article where Mark Manson talks some crap about Tony Robbins and his “positivity stuff.” Manson states:

“I don’t think all the positivity stuff works. If you look at the evidence, classic positivity self-help has been around – at least in the US – for 100 years. But if you look at depression, suicide, drug usage, they’re all steadily on the rise and have been for decades… I feel like there’s this surge of demand for this more pessimistic take on human psychology,” Manson said.

Arabian Business, Nov 4, 2019

Agree or disagree?

Amazon, hardcover or paperback – $15


5 Love Languages

Just trust me, it’s worth the read.

Think of it as the Rosetta Stone for understanding what’s been going wrong in all of our relationships. The 5 Love Languages is a book that describes the 5 ways everybody shows love. And most important, how they also receive love. In other words, if you aren’t speaking the same language, how will you ever understand what they’re trying to say?!

Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor who has seen it all, distilled everything down to the core 5 love languages – Words of Affirmation (say nice things), Acts of Service (cut the grass, do the laundry, etc.), Quality Time (no distraction time together), Gifts (give me a Rolex!), and Physical Touch (cuddle and more). Step one, figure out yours. Step two, figure out what the other person’s is. Step three, talk to each other in the language they understand. BOOM.

Amazon – $9


Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

I know, I know, this isn’t the cover of the book but rather the Steven Spielberg movie. Do both!

Anyone interested in leadership has got to be fascinated by Lincoln, and how he accomplished so much during perhaps the most difficult time in our nation’s history. And what’s alluring about Team of Rivals is how we turned his political enemies into his Cabinet members! Can you imagine that happening in our political environment today? McCain came close when he almost selected Democrat Lieberman as his VP running mate. But imagine if Trump had asked Hilary to be in his cabinet! Or if Biden becomes president, he asks Ivanka to be his Secretary of State. Mind-blowing.

And yet, that’s what Lincoln did. Oh yeah, he also ended slavery, brought the country back together, and did it with a pretty low-key personality. Check out the book, which is definitely a a must-read book for leadership.

Amazon, hardcover or paperback – $14


Sapiens

Absolutely mind blowing to hear about the history of humans from the bazillion foots level. It’s mind blowing because at that macro level, it puts so much of what we do into perspective.

For example, the lesson on how homo sapiens are the only species capable of overriding our genetic shortcomings into believing and doing something totally new. The books posits, imagine if monkeys were also able to override their genetic programming. We might not see the alpha male chimp but rather monkey’s voting in a democratic style!

Contemplate with fresh eyes why our society is the way it is, and better understand what shapes our future.

Overdrive App – Download the free app, link to your library, and listen for free.

Amazon – $14


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