Howdy, people. Hope August treated you well. September is always a fantastic time because football season is right around the corner. Which means that my Saturday and Sunday are spent watching grown men hurl themselves into each other for my pleasure, and I love every minute of it.
I knocked out 5 books in August. All of them great reads in their own right. Check out my thoughts, and if you’re looking for any of them you’ll find a link to snag it should you choose to. Enjoy!
Galapagos – Kurt Vonnegut
I picked this one up because I’m attempting to really dig into a lot of Vonnegut’s work, and this is one book of his I hadn’t heard much about in the past. Whoa. I wasn’t prepared for it, that’s for sure.
In classic Vonnegut style, he manages to make you analyze your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings while simultaneously making you laugh.
The book is set in Ecuador, and there are people who are going to take the Nature Cruise of The Century to the Galapagos islands. Originally, the cruise was to be filled with all sorts of celebrities. Mick Jagger, The Beatles, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, you get the point.
Without spoiling, that doesn’t really happen. Basically, we humans screw up and bring on what appears to be the end of the world. Because we’re humans, and we do dumb things like that. It’s our human nature.
What’s interesting, is Vonnegut writes as a ghost who is living one million years in the future. He simultaneously talks about how idiotic we are, and how the world is entirely different in the future, and for the better.
If you’re looking to get your head screwed with in ways that only people like Vonnegut can do, want to ponder how dumb we really are, or just want to laugh at some crazy ideas like people with flippers and nubs, I suggest you read it.
This is one of those “must read” books that is on every single entrepreneur book list. Search any list talking about personal development, and this book is bound to come up. The same client who gave me Mindset, gave me this book. I finally got around to reading both.
I really enjoyed Crucial Conversations. How much of it was ground breaking? Not a ton, but I don’t think that’s where the value of the book lies.
This book is most valuable by giving tools and actionable tips to practice when negotiating or entering an uncomfortable conversation with someone, in person. In our current world, this doesn’t happen a ton thanks to the Internet. We have lots of arguments online, but we’re usually downright terrible at communicating in person. It’s nice to find a book that helps hone these skills.
Ironically, I was going through a negotiation while reading this book. I implemented some of the tools, and wound up getting the offer that I was looking for. That alone was testimony into how this book can be useful, and one that I’ll probably refer back to plenty more.
If you want to check it out, it’s on Amazon.
The Old Man and The Sea – Hemingway
Along with Vonnegut, I’m in the process of reading more Hemingway. I snagged this at the bookstore because they were going out of business, and selling this for $1. Ballin on a budget.
This Hemingway short story is a beautiful account of an old man, struggle, and triumph. There’s nothing ground breaking or relevatory about the story. It’s just a damn good story, and that makes it such a fun read.
Like Hemingway is known to do, he doesn’t fill the story with a bunch of frill words. He chooses carefully, and gets the point across in as few words as possible. That leads to immense clarity and understanding of the struggle that the old man is facing, his triumph, and the later struggle he has to endure.
If you’re looking to get into Hemingway, this is an easy read that goes quick. We’re talking about 100 pages.
Can You Go – Dan John
Naturally I’ve got to get some training/nutrition reading in over the course of a month. I chose Dan John, and for good reason. Dan is one of the most widely respected guys in the entire fitness world. He’s been lifting for 50+ years. When it comes to movement, this guy is full of wisdom.
Can You Go stems from a football phrase. When a player is injured, often the only response from a Coach is, “Can you go?” and that’s the entire point of the book. Sure, you may have aches and pains, but can you go? You may be tired today, but can you go?
Can You Go details the assessment protocol he runs most of his people through, and how he decides the category they’re in. It’s such a simple, all encompassing tool that I’m using it with all of my clients now. It helps put into perspective what that person needs to work on, and the movements they should practice in order to improve.
There are also some interesting insights into Dan’s career and development. If you’re a fitness enthusiast or Coach, this one seems like a no brainer. Especially because Dan does a great job of tearing through a lot of the bullshit we see today.
Fat Loss Happens On Monday – Dan John and Josh Hillis
The nutrition book I read was actually co-authored by Dan John, but it is very clear that Josh did a ton of the work. If I could sum up my thoughts on this book it would simply be: go buy it.
Dan and Josh do an outstanding job at shedding light on a lot of the problems people face when it comes to nutrition, and how to beat those problems. This isn’t a conventional diet book. It doesn’t tell you which foods you need to eat and when.
Instead, it’s a book that helps you build a diet that works for you. It teaches why all the diets you’ve tried in the past probably suck, and why you failed at them. One shining point that is clear throughout the book is that weight loss happens in the kitchen, not the gym.
Simply put, the gym is where you build the body you want to show off. The kitchen is where you shed the fat to show that body off.
I’m putting this on a reading list for all of my clients, because I think it’s a must read. This was written for the average person, but even the Fitness Professional could gain a ton of insight. I know I’ll be writing about 10 articles on topics I read about in this very book.