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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. 


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.

 


Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

I just finished Ask and It Is Given for my 5th or 6th time. If you've been following me for a while you know that this book is one of my absolute favorites.

Everytime I read Ask and It Is Given it gives me a feeling that no other book provides. As you can see from the title, this book is a spiritual guide on manifesting your desires. The book discusses the importance of your emotions and how they can help you achieve what you want. The authors also offer 22 processes that are designed to help you manifest the things you want.

I understand this book is not for everyone, but I highly recommend it to those who are willing to read it with an open mind. Ask and It Is Given has been one of, if not, the most impactful books I've ever read.


Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

I just finished Extreme Ownership on Monday, July 23rd. 

As the title suggests, this book is all about taking complete ownership of every aspect of one's life.

Each chapter starts with a situation of Jocko and Leif in combat as Navy SEALs, from there they get in to the principle learned, and finally they apply the principle to business. 

Each chapter discusses different leadership tactics that will help both employees and employers navigate more effectively in business.

Overall, I found this to be a good book and one of the best I've read on leadership. Although, I personally got more out of Jocko's newer book Discipline Equals Freedom. If you scroll down a few reviews you can find a review of that book.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I just finished The Alchemist on Sunday, July 15th, I believe this was my fourth time reading it. Every time I read this book it provides me the same amazing feeling as the first time I picked it up. 

The Alchemist is a story of a boy following his dreams. Along his journey the boy learns and experiences so many things that he would have never encountered if he didn't have the courage to follow his heart.

Coelho has a beautiful way of accurately describing the journey of following one’s heart through this fictional story.  It is for this reason that The Alchemist has sold over 65 million copies and is one of the most successful books of our time. 

I cannot recommend this book enough! 

I also did a podcast review of this book, watch it here.


Principles by Ray Dalio

I just finished Principleson Monday, July 9th. 

Principles is written by Ray Dalio, owner of one of the most successful hedge funds in America, Bridgewater Associates.

Dalio’s book is comprised of three main parts: the first being his personal background and how he built Bridgewater to what it is today, the second part is a list of life principles, and the final part is a list of his work principles (which include some of the life principles as well).  

Life principles discusses things like the ability to plan properly, create clear goals, embrace an open-mind, and how to evolve through pain. While work principles includes things related to creating a successful business/machine and great work culture. 

I really loved reading this book and found it to be similar to Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power in that both books are extremely detailed. Both Principles and 48 Laws are the type of books that one can flip to a random page and gain an immense amount of knowledge and wisdom. For this reason, among many others, I’d highly recommend you read Principles.


Letters from a Stoic by Lucius Seneca

I just finished Letters from a Stoic on Sunday, July 1st.

Seneca is one of the main founders of the Stoic philosophy and lived in Rome, Italy from 4 B.C. to 65 A.D. This book is a collection of letters he wrote to a friend while traveling.

My final thoughts on this book are a bit underwhelming. I've read multiple books on Stoic philosophy and have thoroughly enjoyed them all, however this book was a bit dull to me.  

If you're looking for an interesting read with some thought provoking bits, then I think you'll enjoy Letters from a Stoic. But, I didn't find anything that completely altered the way I think in this one.


Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual by Jocko Willink

I just finished Discipline Equals Freedom on Saturday, June 23rd.

This was such a great book!

Jocko Willink is a former navy SEAL who writes about how to live a disciplined life.

In his book he covers thoughts, actions, food, injury prevention, and workouts. He quickly touches on each of these topics with a very straightforward approach that I enjoyed. I'm told that his other popular book, Extreme Ownership, is a more detailed version of this material while this book is a shorter version.

I plan on reading more from Willink and ill also keep this book on my nightstand to flip thorough multiple times a week.  Discipline Equals Freedom is everything I love from a book; concise, life-changing information that is simple to apply to daily life.


Empire State of Mind by Zack O'Malley Greenburg

I just finished Empire State of Mind by Zack O’Malley Greenburg.

I really enjoyed this biography of Jay Z’s successful business career. The author put an immense amount of effort into research and interviews that helped him understand all of the details of how Jay Z was able to go from an extremely poor kid from a bad New York neighborhood, to one of the most successful businessmen in the music industry.

Greenburg details each of Jay Z’s successful business ventures including his clothing line Rocawear, his champagne Ace of Spades, his partnerships with watch makers Hublot and Audemaurs Piguet, and his ownership of Roc Nation entertainment company.

I found it to be fascinating to learn how Jay Z was able to become so successful despite his difficult upbringing. If you’re interested in learning how Jay was able to do this, I think you’d benefit from this read.


King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette

I just finished reading King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. The main discussion in this book is the two forms of masculine energy, which the authors refer to as mature and immature masculinity. This topic has been fascinating to me for the past couple months and I plan on putting together a list of books that cover it for those interested.

The authors discuss the psychology of men and the different archetypes present within all men. These main archetypes are the king, warrior, magician, and lover, which are then broken down further to their mature and immature forms. 

I found this to be one of the best books I've read this year and I cannot recommend it enough to my male followers. As for my female followers, I'm sure you can benefit from the book, but the book does focus primarily on masculinity and not femininity.

To my male followers, please do yourself a favor and read this!


The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene

I just finished The 50th Law for the third time on Sunday, May 28.

I really enjoy the premise of this book. It's based on the main characteristic that separated 50 Cent from everyone he grew up with, and that is his fearlessness. The book tells the story of 50's life and describes how he was able to come from the streets of New York to a multi-millionaire. 

This is one of the most inspiring books I've read, every time I pick it up I feel the urgent need to find a way to cultivate the characteristics discussed. Robert Greene discusses topics like cultivating self-reliance, reclaiming dead time, and engaging with boredom. Which are all things we can all benefit from.

I would absolutely suggest you read this book. As you can tell, I've read it three times and have enjoyed it more and more with each time. Buy it and read it!


Unscripted by MJ Demarco

I just finished Unscripted by MJ Demarco on Sunday, May 20th. And I absolutely loved it!

This is the second book I've read by MJ, his first being The Millionaire Fastlane. I found both books to be very beneficial to my view on entrepreneurship. In fact, Millionaire Fastlane was one of my biggest inspirations behind starting BookChanging.

Unscripted is MJ’s guide to financial freedom through entrepreneurship. Throughout the book he tells his personal story of building a successful website which he later sold to retire in his 30’s. 

MJ is extremely unconventional in his thinking and blunt with his words, which is exactly why I love him. In both his books he takes a very no B.S. approach to building a successful business.

I’d highly recommend Unscripted as well as The Millionaire Fastlane to all of those interested in entrepreneurship.


Body, Mind, Mastery by Dan Millman

I just finished Body, Mind, Mastery on Wednesday, May 2nd.

I really enjoyed this one, so much so that it only took me 3 days to finish it.

In his book Dan Millman, a former olympic champion, discusses the similarities between life and sport. I found his connection between life and sport to be extremely refreshing, particularly his example of how trying to hard can actually be counterproductive in some cases due to natural laws of the universe. He describes this as the principle of nonresistance. 

I also really enjoyed Millman's idea of complete awareness while training and while going through life. He gave the example of focusing solely on the task at hand and how that could be incredibly beneficial to all of us.

Overall, I really like this book and would recommend it to all of you! Especially to those who train recreationally, like myself, as well as for those who are athletes. 


The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz

I just finished The Fifth Agreement on Sunday, April 29th. 

I thought this was another beautifully written book by Don Miguel Ruiz! The main premise discusses how we must transcend the current state of mind that most of us live in. Ruiz describes how we must move to a state of mind where we no longer accept the lies we tell ourselves or are told by others; instead we must choose to look at the world for what it truly is. And there we will find beauty and peace. 

The Fifth Agreement is a continuation of The Four Agreements, so I would recommend you read that if you haven't already. I would absolutely suggest both books for those interested in books that discuss 

 


As a Man Thinketh and From Poverty to Power by James Allen

I just finished As a Man Thinketh and From Poverty to Power on Monday, April 23rd.

This was my second time reading As a Man Thinketh, and it really has become one of my favorites. I would honestly recommend it to anyone who reads! The main premise of the book is centered around the power our thoughts have over our external conditions. 

And this particular copy includes Poverty to Power which is another great book by James Allen. It includes two books because As a Man Thinketh is only about 50 pages or so. Both of these books cover the similar topic of thoughts and their effect on ones life. 

I can't recommend this/these books enough. If you're looking for a value packed short read, this one is perfect for you.


Originals by Adam Grant

I just finished Originals on Monday, April 16th.

I really enjoyed this one!

It was a pretty dense book in my opinion, covering a wide variety of different ways to cultivate originality in one's life. Grant gives multiple examples of successful people who had an incredible impact on the world due to their decision to go against the grain. He gives the examples of people like Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson, and Ray Dalio, all people who propelled this world forward with their decision to be different.

I thought this was a fascinating topic to dive in to, and would highly suggest this book to those looking to challenge the status quo!


Mastery by Robert Greene

I finished Mastery on Monday, March 27.

This is now the third book I've read by Greene and I would rank it as my favorite. I’m sure many of you have heard of/read 48 Laws of Power, which I found to be similar in that both are incredibly dense with knowledge. Reading Robert Greene is a mix of incredible historical knowledge with easy applicability. 

The book has 6 main parts: 1 Find Your Life Task, 2 The Apprenticeship Phase, 3 Absorb The Masters Power, 4 See People as They Are, 5 Awaken the Dimentional Mind, and 6 Fuse the Intuitive with the Rational: Mastery. These 6 steps are filled with practical steps that Greene believes every master had to endure. 

Overall, I loved the book! I think everyone could greatly benefit from this book. 


Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

I just finished Man's Search for Meaning on Monday, March 19th and I loved it! The book is written by a psychologist who survived a concentration camp. Viktor Frankl breaks down exactly how people were able to find meaning even in the most undesirable circumstance. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "Everything can be taken from a man except for one thing: the choice of attitude in any given set of circumstances." 

I found Man's Search for Meaning to be extremely inspiring and it also made me appreciate my freedom. If you're looking for an inspiring short read, I'd highly suggest this one! 


12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

I just finished 12 Rules for Life on Tuesday, March 6th. This book has quickly become one of my favorites and I plan on revisiting it multiple times in the years to come! It is almost hard for me to express my thoughts in two short paragraphs considering how dense the book is.  If you've listened to or read anything by Peterson in the past and enjoyed it, then I can guarantee you will like this book. 

The main premise behind the 12 rules is to aid readers in finding a balance between chaos and order. Peterson uses his rules to describe how one can take control of certain parts of his or her life and create order, while coming to terms with the chaotic parts one cannot change. I found all 12 rules to be extremely practical and inspiring. And they are certainly rules I aspire to live up to.

I have so many thoughts about this book, I cannot possibly share them all, but in short, I cannot suggest this book enough! Do your future self a favor and buy it! 


Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

I just finished Outliers on Sunday, February 25th. My overall thoughts about the book are positive, however I don't think this book offers any life changing knowledge. The main premise of the book discusses the difference between opportunities and natural talent as they relate to success. I found most of the factual evidence and stories Gladwell provides throughout the book to be extremely interesting and I think many people would enjoy them as well.

I'd recommend this book to more experienced readers looking for a book with an interesting premise. I thought it was a good book with valuable information. However, I'd recommend the newer readers to start with something else from my recent reads, considering this specific topic may not interesting to most.