Wednesday, June 30, 2021

2021 Mid-Year Book Review...



1.      Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink: Excellent lifestyle creed from former Navy Seal Commander and current business owner/leader.

2.     Can I Retire Yet by Darrow Kirkpatrick: Easy to follow guide to determine whether you are ready to pull the retirement trigger or not, along with solid advice on how to realign your sites, if not.

3.     Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy: A rare fiction (although I found out later that the book is actually a historical fiction) read for me. The author’s basic writing style with minimal punctuation flows almost water-like.

4.     Gutless by Christian Finn: Thanks to a friend for this short, digital read on optimal eating, workout and lifestyle hacks to shrink your waistline.

5.     Younger Next Year Study Guide by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge: A great overview of how the human body and brain ages and how to extend health and happiness through the use of exercise, diet and positive thinking.

6.     MX4 by Christian Finn: My latest workout routine, punctuated by full-body, lighter weight, higher reps and drop sets. I started this routine on February 10 and will report monthly on my progress.

7.     Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: Historical fiction account of four generations of a Korean family and their fight against poverty and discrimination over the course of a century. A story of survival and evolution at the individual and familial level that will resonate with anyone with a soul.

8.    The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Morgan and Michael Lennington: Excellent guide for better organization of your goals so that you can achieve them more quickly.

9.     The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis: Great reminder that the enemy is always present and working on each of us in unique ways.

10.                        The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: 1925 novel set in New York during the jazz age about a mysterious millionaire trying to rekindle an old love affair. The main takeaway (for me) is that neither money nor setting can change who we really are.

11.  The Confessions of Al Ghazzali by Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali: An 11th century Muslim’s deep dive into his faith.  A reminder that God is truth and we will always find Him when we seek Him.

12.  Geronimo's Story of His Life by S.M. Barrett: Compelling autobiography from one of the last true hunter-gatherers and leaders of the Be-don-ko-he Apache tribe, known for its power, bravery and aggressiveness, which struck fear in the hearts of the citizens and government of both Mexico and the United States.

13. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran: Reread of one of my favorite all-time books. The beloved teacher of the city Orphalese shares his parting wisdom on all areas of life to his students before going back to his homeland.

14. Winning in Retirement by Motley Fool Wealth Management: Overview of the ‘Prosperity Trifecta’ and ‘Cash Carve Out’ strategy, both of which I will look into further as my own retirement beckons…

15. All About Asset Allocation: by Richard A. Ferri: Excellent pre-retirement read about how to segregate investments to ensure the best chance at desired long-term outcomes.

16. Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau: A 19th century journey/journal through a more primitive Cape Cod. Thoreau describes a picturesque peninsula while traveling by foot and sleeping in lighthouses, isolated farms and fishing huts.

17. We Were Here by Matt de la Pena: Story of a young man running from and, ultimately, facing his past. Nice blend of different characters and a storyline all of us can relate to.

18.                        The Life and Times of Lazarillo de Tormes by Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza: This ‘Golden Age’ Spanish novella is the story of a young boy of humble origins coming of age through apprentices with several benefactors on his journey to adulthood. Written in 1554, I particularly enjoyed seeing financial independence referenced in the final chapter: "Thinking how I should live so as to find some rest and save a little for my old age….."

19. Suspend Your Disbelief by Aaron Montgomery: Written by a close friend, this book is full of awesome quotes and life lessons that will resonate with anyone who have looked inward to learn from the lessons life has afforded each of us…

20.                       How To Be The Man by Chad Howse: Another vessel of life pointers from the founder of the Average2Alpha website that I am fond of.

21.  48 Days To The Work You Love by Dan Miller: I read this book less because I am looking for work in the future and more because I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. The author does a good job of describing what the right incentives are for moving towards careers more suited for the gifts we’ve been given.

Saint Augustine by Garry Willis: I read this while in, oddly enough, St. Augustine. Nice review of the controversial philosopher and theologian the northeaster Florida tourist city was named after. Considered one of the most prolific scholars by the early church, it was interesting to see someone so much more well-versed in the Bible than I also struggle with the palace of words that he built…

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