Category Archives: Must Reads

Book review: Atomic Habits

Book cover for Atomic Habits by James Clear

In addition to sharing book recommendations, receiving books as gifts is another fringe benefit of having other readers in the family. One of those gifts I received last year was Atomic Habits by James Clear. It was immediately added to my reading list. While I’m just getting around to posting the review, I finished reading the book last summer.

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Book review: Lost in Time

Book cover for Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle

For some reason, I’ve read more than my share of sci-fi books built around the quantum physics multiverse, many worlds theory. OK, I know a couple of the reasons why. Once you’ve read a couple of novels in this genre, the Amazon recommendation engine that I have a love-hate relationship with kicks in to suggest more. On top of that, my favorite sci-fi authors like to use this theory, or variations of it, in their books.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised when A.G. Riddle’s book Lost in Time showed up as one of my Amazon recommendations. A.G. Riddle is also one of my favorite sci-fi authors. I try to have at least one his novels on my reading list every year, and this one was the title I choose for this year.

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Book review: Infinite

Infinite by Brian Freeman

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, I’d strongly recommend signing up for their First Reads program. Every month you have the opportunity to get early access to an editor’s pick. What’s the catch? Well, for starters, it’s free. On top of that, sometimes you get to pick not just one but two books. It’s one of the rare occasions when something that sounds too good to be true really is good.

I’ve read some interesting books and discovered a couple of new authors through the service. Examples include Interference by Brad Parks, The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne, and Bandwidth by Eliot Peper. My latest discovery was Infinite by Brian Freeman.

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Book review: The Wizard and the Prophet

Book cover for The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann

To shape the future, one must study history. How we got here. Otherwise, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann is one such history lesson worth studying. The book chronicles the lives of two men whom you have likely never heard of that played a very influential part in shaping the trajectory of modern society around the world.

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Book review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

Book cover for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

My primary fictional reading genre is science fiction. Every so often, I like to step outside my comfort zone and read something a little different, especially when a book comes highly recommended.

It’s how I happened upon The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab. Both Amanda and Courtney read and spoke highly of it, so I figured it would be a welcome diversion from my usual reading routine.

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Book review: Four Thousand Weeks

Book cover for Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

Everything I’ve been taught about time management, everything I’ve read, everything I’ve learned is about how to organize our time to get more things done. It’s been beat into me that time management is about focus, discipline, planning, and prioritizing.

Is it possible that what I’ve been taught, that what I’ve learned is wrong? Have I’ve been managing my time incorrectly all these years?

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman challenged my relationship with time and how I manage it. Instead of laying out yet another system that shows how to squeeze more tasks and activities into the limited time we have, Burkeman turns the concept of time management inside out. He start with the premise that we have a limited amount of time, approximately 4000 weeks if we’re lucky enough to live to 80 years of age, and works backward from there to develop techniques that get the most out of those 4000 weeks. Keep in mind that I didn’t say how to get the most things done in that limited time. I simply said getting the most out of that time, which is an important distinction that I’ll come back to in a bit.

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Book review: The Maxwell Daily Reader

Book cover for The Maxwell Daily Reader by John C. Maxwell

In addition to reading a daily spiritual devotional, one of my other morning routines involves a daily reader that is more “secular” in nature. By secular, it means the reader contains inspirational notes around personal development, character, business, mindfulness, and/or leadership. Besides the inspirational notes, I’ll often use the reader as a jumping of point for my daily journaling exercise. Examples of daily readers I’ve used in the past are The Daily Stoic and The Mindfulness Journal.

Last year, my daily reader was written by renowned business leadership and management consultant John C. Maxwell and appropriately named The Maxwell Daily Reader: 365 Days of Insight to Develop the Leader Within You and Influence Those Around You.

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Book review: Why We Sleep

Book cover for Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep And Dreams by Matthew Walker

I’ve spent a lot of time learning about health and nutrition over the last few years in an effort to improve and optimize my well-being. It’s changed what I eat with an increased emphasis on fewer processed foods, less refined carbohydrates, and more natural foods. It’s changed how I eat with intermittent fasting becoming a regular part of my daily routine. It’s made me more aware of how my eating habits affect my bodily functions, particularly my immune system and response.

One item I hadn’t spent a lot of time researching is sleep. I’ve known that getting an adequate, good night’s sleep is important. I’ve experienced the effects of poor sleep first hand, as I’m sure we all have at one time or another. What I didn’t realize is just how important sleep is, which is what researcher Matthew Walker covers in Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep And Dreams.

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Book review: The Cancer Code

Book cover for The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery by Dr. Jason Fung

Over the past few years, I’ve taken it upon myself to learn more about health, nutrition, and fitness. I’m not implying that I don’t trust my doctor, or the medical profession in general. However, if the information is out there, why shouldn’t I read it? There’s nothing wrong with a little knowledge, especially when it comes to our own body and health. It also leads to more productive conversations with my doctor during my annual check-up.

As part of my personal health education process, I recently read The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery by Dr. Jason Fung. Cancer has been one of the most lethal diseases of my lifetime, and I wanted to understand more about it, how it’s treated, and possibly how to prevent or delay its onset.

When I wanted to learn more about fasting, I read Dr. Fung’s The Complete Guide to Fasting which was very informative and a book I would highly recommend. Based on that experience, I had high expectations for The Cancer Code.

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Book review: The Biology of Belief

Book cover for The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton

At the beginning of 2018, I read a modern translation of As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. It’s a short read, but it’s very powerful and easy applied to one’s thinking around life.

Author Sam Torode did the translation of the Allen’s work. At the end of the book he offers application ideas along with a couple of book recommendations. One of the books he recommends is The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. His intro to it reads:

For a scientific perspective on how our thoughts affect our lives – even at the cellular level – read these fascinating books.

That was all I needed to read to know I had to add the book to my reading list.

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