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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. 


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!


Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone

I just finished Be Obsessed or Be Average on Saturday, June 2nd. 

I enjoyed this one, but I didn’t think it was great.

The main premise speaks to those who are  already show signs of obsession towards something, and Cardone recommends we accept our obsession and use it to our advantage.

He discusses how he was told his whole life to relax more often and let his obsessive behavior be tamed, but he would have never become the man he is today if he had listened to this advice. 

Throughout the book he describes how he cultivates his obsession and uses it to achieve greatness, which is an idea I absolutely love.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy read that will provide you with some motivation then I think this will be a nice book for you.


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.


Grind to Financial Freedom by Ravi Stephens

I just finished Grind to Financial Freedom on Wednesday, May 9th.

I thought it was a nice entry level book to financial literacy.

Throughout the book the author discusses many of his own mistakes that led him down a road that put him 50k in debt in his mid 20’s.

But, through strategies such as investing, budgeting, eliminating debt, and improving credit he was able to get out of debt. These topics are all covered throughout the book and are paired with some examples to illustrate their power.

If these seem like topics you'd like to learn more about, then I think you'd definitely find this book valuable. I know I will  be implementing some strategies the book provides.

However, if you're already familiar with these topics, I feel this book will be a bit too simplistic for you. 


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!


Trust Me, I'm Lying by Ryan Holiday

I just finished Trust Me Im Lying on Monday, April 9th.

Overall, I thought it was a solid book, but not a great book.

The first half of the book is dedicated to 9 different tactics made to manipulate blogs that Holiday had a lot of success with working as a marketer for several companies, including American Apparel.

The second half of the book breaks down the interworking of blogs and points out why they aren’t reliable sources of information. As well as why it's so easy to manipulate them.

I believe these tactics will be of value to those who wish to use them, but I don’t see myself using many of them. For this reason I wouldn’t suggest this book to most readers. Just those looking to use bloggers for their advantage in advertising, or those who wish to learn more about blogs as a media platform.


Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday

I just finished Conspiracy on April 2nd.

Conspiracy is a story of how Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, and multiple other figures conspired against Gawker and came out triumphant. Holiday defines conspiracy as determined, coordinated action, done in secret, that aims to disrupt the status quo or accomplish some aim.

This definition is very different from the typical thought about conspiracy and it's one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much.

Throughout the book Holiday gives the details to an insane story of the trial Hogan v. Gawker. Through this story he lays out the different steps to a successful conspiracy. 

The idea of silently plotting and scheming over a long period of time to achieve some big goal is extremely inspiring to me. Knowing that if you share your plans they would no longer work and would lose the element of surprise. And that’s exactly what a proper conspiracy is. 

Overall, I thought this was an extremely interesting read. If any of this information in my review is interesting to you, I'd suggest you pick this one up!


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! 


Rise and Grind by Daymond John

I finished reading Rise and Grind on Tuesday, March 12th. My first impressions of the book were a little underwhelming. The beginning of the book was a bit too cliche, it seemed like the "typical" motivational book. However, it started to get more interesting towards the ending chapters. It got better because thats when Daymond wrote about his day to day life and what his rise and grind looks like, which I found to be very motivating. There were also several interviews Daymond held with several different successes, Grant Cardone and Joel Olsteen were my favorites.

Overall opinion, I liked it. I didn’t think it was a great book. But it has motivated me to work harder and use my time more efficiently. 


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.


The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

I just finished The Obstacle is the Way on February 19th and absolutely loved it! This is my third book I've read by Ryan Holiday and as I've said before he has become one of my favorite authors. His books always seem to provide me with calming, inspiring, and assuring feelings associated with how to live life. In The Obstacle is the Way he uses his familiar writing style of including stories of historic figures like Marcus Aurelius, Odysseus, George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Abraham Lincoln. His inclusion of these incredible historic tales is fascinating in my opinion. And he uses these stories to give examples of people who have taken less than desirable situations and made the best of them.

I would HIGHLY recommend you read this book and any of Holiday's other books as well. I feel that this book will help anyone deal with and embrace all obstacles in life, no matter how big or how small. 


Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill

I finished Outwitting the Devil on February 12th. This is my third book I've read by Napoleon Hill an I've come to admire the wisdom he offers on the subject of success. I would rank this as my second favorite book by Hill, I still feel Think and Grow Rich is his best work.

The main premise of the book is based upon an interview Hill has with the Devil. He allows the reader to decide whether the interview was literally with the Devil or if it was merely Hill's imagination. This interview then sets up the question and answer format of the book which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Through Hill's questioning of the Devil he outlines the difference between people who are drifters "unsuccessful" and people who are non-drifters "successful". I found the tips resulting from the interview to be very valuable which resulted in me taking intense notes while reading. For this reason, I think many of you would find value in Outwitting the Devil and I would suggest it to those looking for a book that discusses success principles.


Meditations by Marcus Aurelius 

I just finished Meditations on February 4th and I absolutely loved it! After reading it I can finally see why this book has been in circulation for nearly 2,000 years. As a result of the old age of Meditations, there are many different translations of it. I read the version translated by Gregory Hays and found his introduction to be very informative with a lot of context. I would like to read multiple other translations and see what the differences are between them.

My favorite take away from Meditations is the point that Aurelius mentions over and over; to live life according to your own standards. Aurelius has inspired me to stop looking at the ways other people live and instead to look at what God or "Nature" has put me on Earth to do. He mentions this multiple times throughout the book and it truly has inspired me to re-evaluate the way I'm living and my motivations for doing so. This is a book that I plan to read multiple times throughout my life and I'll say it is a MUST READ! 


How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes

I just finished How to Talk to Anyone on Saturday, January 27th. This is one of the first books that I really didn't enjoy. I will say that there were some valuable tips in the book that will help anyone in different social situations. But, I personally found the book boring and somewhat irrelevant to my life situation. The reason being is that this book was written for social environments related to corporate parties and business relationships, which are not situations I find myself in. 

If you want to see an overview of these 92 tricks, id suggest just searching google for a pdf of the book and skimming through it. I would not recommend you purchase this book!


The Magic Ladder to Success by Napoleon Hill

I just finished this book on Sunday, January 21st. Overall, I thought it was a good book, but not a great book. I found that I enjoyed the beginning and ending chapters more than any other chapters. Most of the chapters were only around 3 pages and were a bit too brief. In my opinion, Think and Grow Rich is a better and more detailed version of this book. 

So, if you're looking for a quick introduction to Napoleon Hill then I think you'd enjoy this book. But, if you've already read other works by Hill, I think this will seem pretty repetitive. 


Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

I finished Tuesdays With Morrie on Thursday, January 4th and I absolutely loved it! After finishing it, I would say it has easily become one of the best books I've ever read. The conversation between the two main characters of the book, Mitch and Morrie, had me on the brink of crying multiple times. Which was a very different reading experience for me.

This book contains the dialogue former student, Mitch Albom, and his former professor, Morrie. Without spoiling the book, Mitch decides to write about his amazing conversations with Morrie as he approaches his death. These insightful conversations include topics such as death, fear, greed, and forgiveness to name a few. 

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to those looking for a heartfelt story with valuable principles. READ THIS BOOK!