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Recent Reads

This page is comprised of a list of BookChanging's recently read books, along with the book I'm currently reading. This page will make it easy for those of you who like to read along with me. It also allows me to express my thoughts and opinions on recently read books. 

The Mount of Olives by Michael Ivanov

I just finished The Mount of Olives for my second time and I loved it even more than the first. This book is such an uplifting story about a young man that finds his purpose through a tedious path of struggle. 

This story revolves around a mute boy named Felix, who starts out his journey with an attitude of hopelessness. However, his life takes a turn for the better when he makes a giant leap of faith.

Throughout his journey, the boy writes 11 declarations that he has learned which are the foundations of his success.

If you’re interested in an inspiring fictional journey, similar to The Alchemist by Coelho, then I would highly recommend The Mount of Olives.

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Can’t Hurt Me has just become one of my favorite books ever.

Goggins takes you on the incredibly relentless journey that his life has been. From physical and mental abuse as a child, to going through Navy SEAL “hell week” three times, to running ultra marathons over and over.

This book made me feel I was with Goggins every step of the way. Which is inspiring, because his achievements are a direct result of pure will, not lucky circumstances or God-given talent.

I was genuinely sad to finish the book, knowing that I was done reading this incredible journey was a difficult realization.

The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace

I just finished this thrilling story about a 1787 bottle of wine supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson. The most important detail of this wine bottle is the price it was auctioned at, which happened to be $156,000.

Wallace spills all the details about the questionable history for this bottle of wine. And I have to say, the story is absolutely incredible.

If you’d be interested in some learning about history of wine and Thomas Jefferson, The Billionaire’s Vinegar is a great read.

100 Conversations You Need to Have by Perry Giuseppe (Includes three books)

100 Conversations You Need to Haveis a set of 3 daily journal style books. The set of three books includes volume 1 with quotes from a mix of philosophers, volume 2 with quotes from stoic philosophers, and volume 3 which includes quotes from Chinese philosophers. 

Each volume has a unique style similar to that of The Daily Stoic Journal by Ryan Holiday, if any of you are familiar with that book.

The author has written these journals with the intent of them being written in and read on a daily basis, each day with a new reflection.

I am a fan of daily journaling, so I loved this set of books. I think they would be a great addition to your daily routine for the New Year.

Wheat Songs by Perry Rizopuolos

Wheat Songs is a heartfelt story about the relationship between the author Perry and his Greek grandfather.

The book is comprised of journal entries the grandfather wrote while in Greece during World War 2 and a conversation Perry has with him about how these experiences shaped him into a strong, admirable man.

I really enjoyed learning about Greek culture as well as the history of how they were heavily effected by Nazi Germany during WW2. I also enjoyed the story telling aspect that felt similar to one of my favorite books Tuesday’s with Morrie.

If you enjoyed books like The Alchemist or Tuesday’s with Morrie I think you would love Wheat Songs.

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers

The Power of Myth is a written form of a conversation between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell. It is an interview of Joseph Campbell that asks him many questions about myth, which is a topic he has dedicated his life to understanding completely.

Campbell has a vast wealth of knowledge of mythology and religion from all cultures dating back to thousands of years B.C.

With this knowledge of his life’s work he finds common denominators in all past religions and myths, explaining how they can help us today. He also explains why it is so crucial that western society return to these myths for guidance.

I personally love Campbell’s work and look forward to reading more of it in the future. I’d highly recommend this book.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

I just finished The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing for my second time.

This is one of my favorite books on business and I feel it is a must read for those who are trying to sell a product or brand.

The authors have 25 years of experience in marketing and have analyzed some of the United State’s biggest companies and their direct competition. They compare the success of companies like General Motors and BMW, as well as Coke versus Pepsi.

The 22 laws are short, simple, and to the point. And my favorite thing about this particular book is that each law can be very easily applied to your brand or business. 

The Spiritual Emerson Essential Works by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve always heard about how great Emerson’s writings were, so I was really excited going in to this one. And I’m happy to say that this book completely exceeded my expectations.

The Spiritual Emerson has been added to my list of favorite books and I see why many call it a must-read. In the introduction by Jacob Needleman he mentions how he seems to forget everything else when he reads Emerson, it is as if the surrounding world disappears. This is the exact feeling I got while reading through the book.

This truly is an incredible book, I look forward to reading more from Emerson.

The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian

The Marketing of Evil was a book I knew virtually nothing about before reading, usually I read some reviews before buying a new book. However, with this book I purchased it based on the interesting title alone.

For this reason, many of the authors viewpoints were extremely different than my own. Throughout the book Kupelian discusses many controversial issues that America is currently dealing with. These topics include homosexuality, abortions, sex/pornography, and education. His main claim is that America is so divided and full of hostility because of our deviance from the Judeo-Christian morals and principles our country was founded on.

I say all of this to help you understand how controversial this book may be, before you buy it. I personally learned a ton from this book and enjoyed having my beliefs challenged. The Marketing of Evil helped me either shift some of my pre-existing beliefs or it helped me understand them on a deeper level.

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

I just finished reading Mindset by Carol Dweck and I absolutely loved it.

Mindset is a very powerful book, one that I wish I had read sooner. Dweck discusses the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and how these mindsets play out in multiple different situations.

She lays out how beneficial a growth mindset can be in just about every life situation including relationships, business, school, and parenting. Her description of the growth mindset is extremely inspiring, suggesting that with it just about anything can be conquered.

I’d highly recommend you read Mindset as soon as possible.

Iron John by Robert Bly

I just finished Iron John for my second time.

The books main premise revolves around masculinity and the ancient story of Iron John. Many of the ideas presented by Robert Bly with regards to masculinity were completely new and refreshing to me.

Bly uses the ancient story of Iron John to describe a natural process that must occur throughout the life of a man in order for him to fully embody a strong masculine core.

I’d highly suggest all men pick this book up! Also, check out the list I put together of books for men.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

The Power of Your Subconscious mind is among the first five books that I read when I first got in to self-development books. When I first started reading most of this information was new to me and it completely changed the way I perceived life.

However, for those who have been reading for a while this book will most likely not offer any new information. Throughout the book Murphy discusses the power of prayer, affirmations, and eliminating negative thoughts. Which are all topics heavily covered in other books like The Master Key System, Think and Grow Rich, and As a Man Thinketh.

So, while I personally enjoy this book, I don’t feel that avid readers will benefit from it as much as someone who has just started reading.

Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven

I just finished Make Your Bed for my second time.

The book is written by a former Navy SEAL and in it he discusses lessons learned from his time as a SEAL. The book is only about 100 pages, it took me an afternoon to finish, but the lessons from McRaven are some of the most powerful and inspiring I’ve read to date.

I feel that reading the struggles that these men endure in SEAL training and what they learn from these struggles is one of the most inspiring things one can read. McRaven discusses the importance of teamwork, never quitting, and of course making your bed.

I cannot recommend this book enough!

David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell

David and Goliath is another GREAT book by Gladwell. This is my second book from this author and i’ve grown to love his writing style.

Gladwell starts the book with an example that exhibits his main premise and throughout the book offers multiple different examples from different points in history where this same premise can be found.

In David and Goliath, he breaks down how David was able to defeat Goliath in a seemingly impossible scenario by using unconventional tactics. After this he describes situations where unconventional tactics have helped underdogs succeed over and over in history.

These situations include unconventional tactics used by Martin Luther King Jr. in his civil rights campaign, as well as kids that learned to succeed despite struggling in school due to dyslexia. Among many other scenarios throughout the book.

On the Shortness of Life by Seneca

On the Shortness of Life is another classic book about stoicism. It has many of the same sentiments as a book like Meditations by Marcus Aurelius which I love so much. It discusses ideas like remaining mentally calm through all scenarios and keeping your mind in check.

These are ideas that make stoicism so attractive to me, and I think we can all benefit from the ideas of Seneca or Marcus Aurelius. These men were some of the most powerful figures of their time, and here they are writing about controlling our natural tendencies to be egotistic and excessive.

I’d recommend you add On the Shortness of Life to your list of essential reads.

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

I just finished Ego is the Enemy for my second time. This book has become one of my favorites from Ryan Holiday, along with The Obstacle is the Way. 

 Ego is something that we here a lot about, so I want you to know that Holiday defines ego as “ an unhealthy belief in our own importance” and this is what the whole book is centered around.

 Holiday breaks down the three stages where our ego will be the most dangerous; aspiration, success, and failure. What I love so much about Holiday and his books is that he finds a way to incorporate highly successful and renown figures into his lessons within his books. Which is exactly what he did with each of the three stages.

 Throughout the book Holiday gives multiple examples of historical figures on both ends of the spectrum; those that had their ego under control, and those who did not. 

Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more. By David Hieatt

Just finished my second reading of this book. I stumbled across this book on Instagram and bought it based off of the title. I ended up really enjoying it, so much so that I find myself flipping through it on a regular basis.

As you can tell from the title the main premise is how brands with a core purpose can outperform bigger and more popular brands that may lack that purpose. The book discusses topics like how to find a niche for your brand, creating a good business plan, and creating a good culture within the business.

I think this is a must read for anyone looking to create a business or brand that will find a way to differentiate itself from competitors.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

I just finished The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and absolutely loved it. I can see why this book has been in circulation for over 25 years.

 To my surprise, the book discussed character development throughout much of the book. Covey wrote more about deep integral changes as opposed to my initial impression that he would discuss practical steps. This was an aspect of the book I enjoyed most.

 The 1st and 7th habits were my favorites. The first habit is about being proactive; don’t look at the situation but rather your circle of influence. Meaning the things you can control, your reaction to the situation. The 7thhabit is titled “sharpening the saw”. Which discusses taking time each day to work on physical, spiritual, social, and mental aspects of your life.

 This is certainly a book I will read multiple times throughout my life and I highly recommend it to all of you.  

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

I just finished The Seven Spiritual Laws on Monday, September 3rd.

This is one of those books that I recommend to just about everyone I know. It's short, powerful, and will leave you feeling amazing after each chapter. 

A few of the seven laws include the law of giving, the law of detachment, and the law of pure potentiality. These laws discuss the importance of meditation, non-judgment, and connection with the Self. 

I also love the tips at the end of each chapter with practices to implement each law into your daily routine.

I can't recommend this book enough to those looking for a light and powerful read involving all things related to spirituality.

The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi

I just finished The Rational Male on Monday, August 27th. 

Let me start by saying this book is not for everyone. I would really only recommend it to younger men who are looking to learn about inter-gender dynamics, also known as the relationship between men and women. Which is what this book covers thoroughly. 

Rollo Tomassi discusses topics like hypergamy, plate theory, the difference between "alpha" and "beta" males, and positive masculinity. I'd recommend a quick google search of these topics to see if they interest you.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and plan on adding it to my list of "must reads" for men.