Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book review: Across the Sand

Book cover for Across the Sand by Hugh Howy

Hugh Howey is one of my favorite authors. I’ve been a fan ever since I read Wool and the rest of the Silo Series. His works fit nicely into my favorite reading genre, science fiction, but that’s not what I like most about his books. I really enjoy the writing. More than anything, Hugh Howey is a storyteller. He has a knack for immersing you into whatever environment he’s created, connecting you with the characters and making you feel like you’re a part of the story.

It had been a few years since I read one of Howey’s books. If the notes on my blog are accurate, it would have been near the end of 2019 when I read Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue. I wasn’t avoiding him over this time, he just hadn’t released any new material. When Across the Sand appeared in one of my Amazon newsletter recommendations last year, I was beyond excited. I immediately added it to my reading list and made sure that it would be near the top of my list for 2023.

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Book review: Why We Get Sick

Book cover for Why We Get Sick by Benjamin Bikman, PhD

As part of my regular reading rotation, I make it a point to include books about diet and nutrition. It may be an old adage, but it is so true – we are what we eat. Our diet has a huge impact on our health, In fact, I would contend that it has the biggest impact.

Fortunately, a lot of research is being performed on how we can improve our physical and emotional well-being through diet and nutrition. I’ve also been fortunate that my sister, who is in the health care industry, has also taken an interest in the subject. As part of my wellness reading, she suggested the book Why We Get Sick by Benjamin Bikman, PhD.

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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: The Every

Book cover for The Every by Dave Eggers

A few years back (9 to be exact), I read The Circle by Dave Eggers. In that book, Eggers painted a future where a dominant technology company encourages users to embrace total transparency. People aren’t forced to give up their privacy, they willingly do so for greater good. When I read the book, it reminded so much of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World where people willingly submit to government surveillance.

Last year, when I saw that Eggers wrote a follow-up to The Circle, I knew I would have to read it. I was curious to see where Eggers would take things in The Every.

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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: The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche – A Book for Disruptors

Book cover for The Entrepreneur's Weekly Nietzsche: A Book for Disruptors by Brad Feld and Dave Jilk

Part of my daily morning routine involves devotionals and daily readers. Last year, one of those books was a little different. It was a weekly read.

The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche: A Book for Disruptors by Brad Feld and Dave Jilk is a collection of 52 essays on various entrepreneurial topics. The essays are grouped into five sections – Strategy, Culture, Free Spirits, Leadership, and Tactics. Each essay starts with a Nietzsche quote that is used as the starting point for that week’s topic. The majority of the essays also include a narrative by an entrepreneur that reinforces the message in the essay by way of personal experience.

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Book review: Interference

Book cover for Interference by Brad Parks

As much as I joke about Amazon being my arch-nemesis, they offer good services for book readers. One of the services I follow is their First Reads program. The program provides early access to new books. Since I enjoy discovering new authors, the First Reads program provides one such avenue.

What’s the biggest bonus of the program? If you’re a Prime member, you can select at least one and sometimes two books off each month’s list for free. It’s how I discovered the book Interference by Brad Parks, which I doubt I would have otherwise stumbled upon.

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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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