Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book review: The Go-Giver Leader

Book cover for The Go-Giver Leader by Bob Burg and John David Mann

One of my favorite books from 2018, and one of my top reads for 2019, was The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. There was so many important and essential takeaways that could be readily applied to living both a better and more successful life. As I wrote in my review (linked above), it really helped to connect the dots and codify a lot of personal development concepts that I had been studying over the past few years. The book made such an impact that I made it a point to read Burg and Mann’s follow-up book, The Go-Giver Leader, during this year.

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Book review: Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Book cover for Essentialism by Greg McKeown

While getting my MBA, a professor told us that we should get our news from multiple sources. Why? Because each editor has an opinion, a story they want to tell, a way of interpreting the facts and presenting them.

I can apply the same argument to books, particularly personal development books. I’ve read enough books in this genre to recognize that many of the books cover the same concepts. However, each author has their own way of interpreting, presenting, and applying them. The way one author presents a topic can resonate much better with me than the way another author presents it.

Where am I going with this?

It applies to one of my latest reads, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. According to McKeown, essentialism is the practice of focusing on and doing fewer things to make progress on what matters most. Since I’ve recently read Eat That Frog!, Getting Things Done, and the 80/20 Principle, Essentialism seems like it would be more of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol – get organized, de-clutter, prioritize, focus, achieve results.

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Book review: Factfulness

Book cover of Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Turn on the evening news, and you will be overwhelmed with the tragic events of the day:

  • Terrorist attacks
  • Horrific storms and natural disasters
  • War, or the imminent threat of one
  • Mass shootings
  • School violence
  • Kidnappings
  • Animal attacks (e.g. sharks, bears, lions, etc.)

And the list goes on. It’s pretty easy to come to the conclusion that the world is a lot more dangerous, unsafe, and scarier than it’s ever been.

If you subscribe to the premise that the world is a more dangerous place, you should grab a copy of Factfulness by Hans Rosling. Rosling takes a measured, fact-based approach to show that the world is not as dangerous as the media would lead us to believe. Using numbers and statistics, he shows us that the world has never been a better and safer place than it is today.

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Book review: Emergency Skin

Book cover for Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin

When in between books on my reading list, I’ve been taking a break to explore the works in the Amazon Forward Collection. So far I’ve read Summer Frost by Blake Crouch, which I really liked, and Randomize by Andy Weir, which was decent. For my next selection, I chose Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin.

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Book review: The Energy Bus

Book cover for The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

Business books are generally very dry. Most times it feels like you’re reading an academic textbook or business journal article. Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything fundamentally wrong with that style. You can learn a lot from a good business book. I just find that it’s more enjoyable and easier to read a business book that teaches its concepts through an engaging, interactive story.

The first business book I read that was written in this style was The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt. He used a fast-paced fictional story to show how his Theory of Constraints principles were applied to make a factory more efficient. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already. Since then, I’ve read a number of other business stories, including my latest read, The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon.

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Book review: On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington)

Book cover for On Basilisk Station by David Weber

In addition to having a (ridiculously) long reading list, I also have a library of books that I’ve purchased and haven’t read. Some of these books have been sitting on my digital and physical bookshelves for 5 years or more. Usually this happens because I see the book through one of my daily deal emails from Amazon. The book title looks interesting, the description fits with one of my preferred reading genres, the reviews look promising, and the price is too good to pass up.

Such was the case with On Basilisk Station by David Weber. I saw the book in an Amazon Daily Deal email in January 2014 (date thanks to Amazon for keeping track of my purchases). The book fit with one of my preferred reading genres, science fiction. The reviews were encouraging. And the price was certainly too good to pass up since it was free.

From there, the book sat on my digital bookshelf. Each year when putting together my reading list, I had every intention of reading it. It just never made it to the top of my reading list, until earlier this year. So after languishing for over 5 years, I finally read On Basilisk Station.

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Book review: Mindset – The New Psychology of Success

Book cover for Mindset by Carol Dweck

One of the (few) blogs that I follow on a daily basis is A Learning A Day written by Rohan Rajiv. It’s interesting to read his observations on life, what he has learned, and how he is applying the lessons learned.

In addition to his observational posts, he occasionally makes mention of books that he has found particularly insightful. At the end of 2017, he wrote about 5 books that had a significant impact on him. Given my interest in self management and self improvement, one of the books that looked particularly interesting on his list was Mindset by Carol Dweck.

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Book review: Eat That Frog!

Book cover for Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

I’ve been on a bit of a roll over the last year when it comes to reading productivity books. A few of the titles I’ve read include The Miracle Morning, Getting Things Done, The 80/20 Principle, Deep Work, and Get It Done. Next up on my list was Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. It was recommended to me by a customer contact a couple of years back and finally reached the top of my 2019 reading list.

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