Sunday, April 09, 2017

How Many of these books are worth reading

James Altucher listed 40 books he reads again and again.

I thought I would see which ones I have read and which ones maybe I should read. Here goes my take on Altucher’s list:

James says: “Time is the ultimate judge of wisdom. How you bounce back from misery and despair in order to thrive. I hope I learned that from these books.”
  1. Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl
This book is a hard read and my thoughts are you need to be in a “dark” place so it can give you “light” I wasn’t in such a dark place when I read it [ Twice ] so I read it for professional curiosity and must admit it didn’t do anything for me.
  1. Antifragile” by Nassim Taleb (and “The Black Swan” and “Fooled by Randomness” by him)
I read “The Black Swan” because I come from a place where that is the norm… Swan’s in Perth, Western Australia are BLACK. So white swans are those things that are unusual. I found the book challenging and helpful.
  1. Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed
I have just come across Cheryl Strayed in a podcast and want to read her book.
  1. Master of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz
This one I haven’t read and I don’t see any desire to read it - yet!!
  1. Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers
After hearing Derek Sivers on James’s podcast I ordered this book [ have since ordered 6 and given all but the first one away. ] My first reaction when it arrived is that is wasn’t very thick and that it better be good for the $20 odd it cost. It is a very useful book offering many insights. I use it for my management seminars and use the example of Sivers’ creating a manual of “What would Derek Do?”
I also use… “it is either HELL YES or no!” Just used that yesterday when something I was half hearted about, and I had said YES [ mistakenly ] I needed to explain that by saying yes to them I had said no to me… but what I needed to do was more important than their yes. It was hard saying this BUT I feel much better now.
  1. Mindset” by Carol Dweck
  2. Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates


  1. Sapiens” by Yuval something.
I see people rave about this but I can’t get it!
  1. The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
  2. Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway
  3. Jesus’ Son” by Denis Johnson (a collection of short stories, not a religious book)
  4. The Rational Optimist” by Matt Ridley (and the Evolution of Everything by him)
These four I haven’t read… and probably won’t.
  1. Bold” by Peter D. and Steven Kotler
Just love this book and “Abundance,” the first one. I often use examples from “Abundance” about how the world is soo much better than C[onsanttly] N[egative] N[ews] reports. Diamandis’s books are a source of inspiration.
  1. Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell
The work of Gladwell will live for ever. I read and reread his books for ideas.
  1. Peak” by Anders Ericsson
  2. The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer (along with The Untethered Soul by him)
  3. Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist” by Stephen Batchelor
Tim Ferriss references these authors although I can’t say I am a fan.
  1. Mastery” by Robert Greene
Greene’s books are very well researched and get brain fooder
  1. Zero to One” by Peter Thiel
Thiel, a Silicon Valley super Hero and Outcast [ at the same time ] challenges everything in this great read.
  1. War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield (and “Turning Pro“)
To help me write better, I have started to read and study the thoughts of Pressfield. Not a fan yet but getting there.
  1. Post Office” by Charles Bukowski
Not heard of this one before.
  1. Purple Cow” by Seth Godin
I can still recall reading this many years ago as if it were this morning… “Look dad, a purple cow!” The works of Seth are pure genius.
  1. Maus” by Art Spiegelman
Haven’t got the urge to find this one.
  1. On Writing” by Stephen King
This is in my toolbox for learning to write better. It is also a good read.
  1. How We Got to Now” by Stephen Johnson (and his book on ideas)
  2. Creativity, Inc” by Ed Catmull
  3. Sick in the Head” by Judd Apatow
  4. Born Standing Up” by Steve Martin
The previous 4 books hold no interest at this stage.
  1. The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle (and “Practicing the Power of Now” by him)
Great reads for those looking for a purpose… apparently an Oprah favourite authour.
  1. 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman
  2. Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut
  3. A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey
  4. To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  5. The Stranger” by Albert Camus
These 7 books haven’t spoken to me as yet. I have had the Harry Browne book for 5 years but it hasn’t jump off the bookshelf demanding to be read. The others are not on my radar.
  1. The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo
I would have read 15 of Coelho’s works, his blog, his tweets… my favourite resource is the favour bank from “The Zahir.” Coelho is the MASTER.
  1. The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner
  2. The New Evolution Diet” by Art Devany
  3. Poking the Dead Frog” by Mike Sacks
And rounding our James’s 40 recommended reads are three books that I haven’t considered and probably won’t.
To contemplate: Here is an interesting aside. If you looked at a list like this what would you think?? Have you read enough books to actually contemplate those you have read, those you want to read, and those which have no interest at all?

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