January Reading Romp – The Books I Perused Through This January


One of my themes of 2015 is reading 60 books. Which fits perfectly into the overall theme of growth.

I don’t necessarily have a specifc list of all 60 I plan to read. Considering I have roughly 300 books on my Amazon wishlist, I shouldn’t run out of any suggestions.

This whole idea started from a long time goal to read a book a week for an entire year. Going into January I had pretty much written that off because I hadn’t ever made it happen.

About 2 weeks into January though I noticed that I was flying through some books, and said fuck it. Forget the book a week pace. I’m gonna go big. I’ll read 5 books a month for a year straight.

What’s the worst that could happen? I watch a little less TV. I spend more time learning about various things, and improving my writing through reading. Doesn’t sound too bad.

Though the irony isn’t lost on me that I did just write a post about information overload.

For all the books I’ll include a brief overview, some interesting things I picked up, and my overall opinion on it. As well as a link for you to buy them through Amazon, should my review be all that compelling.

Enough bloviating. January reading.

Lawrence In Arabia

This was easily one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever come across. Focusing on the fabled British Army Officer T.E. Lawrence, who happened to write his own seminal work, 7 Pillars Of Wisdom.

Lawrence was a truly remarkable character, and came about his position in the British army in an unconventional manner, as an archaeologist. His unique understanding of the middle east though made him an unmatched asset to the British, and led to their success in that theater of the war.

What I found really fascinating about the book is the in depth look it took at the Middle East during that time, and relating those events to the current state of affairs today. I thought the creation of the Middle East was fascinating. Including how Saudi Arabia, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Egypt all had their futures decided by traditional imperial powers.

You can check out the book here on Amazon. The read can be kind of stuffy at times, but the stories it tells are well worth getting through the down points.

Lean Muscle Diet

I loved this book. It was the only diet/exercise book I read at all in January, but it was well worth it. Alan Aragon is one of the smartest nutrition people in the world, and one of the most respected in the industry. As a longtime reader of his research review, I’ve grown to love the info Alan puts out.

Lou Schuler is an author of some of the best fitness and health books ever, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Lou has an ability to relate and break down seemingly complex concepts into very easy to understand bits, all in the matter of a sentence or two.

My favorite part was definitely relating the hormone insulin to the Executive Branch of the government. It gets all the credit, but is hardly responsible for everything.

For the average person out there, this book is a must read. The tools it offers to create an effective training and nutrition program are unmatched, and the myth busting is top notch.

For the well read Fitness Professional, it’s an absolute necessity. You’re guaranteed to learn new things, but more importantly, this book will help your ability to relate to clients.

Get 10x smarter about health and fitness, and laugh along the way here.

The Happiness Of Pursuit

This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for about 2 months. I originally found Chris because of something I saw on Instagram, and thought his name of “193countries” was interesting. Holy shit. Putting off this book was a massive mistake.

Throughout history we’ve been obsessed with quests. The greatest stories involve heroes going on a quest, the best video games have quests, even the most popular religions all have quests.

The entire premise of the book is finding your own quest. Finding something that consumes you so deeply, stirs such a passion in you, that you have no choice but to chase it. To endure the pain, and celebrate the accomplishment of the quest.

Chris had a quest to visit every single country in the world by the age of 35, and wound up pulling it off. His story in the book, along with others are fascinating. Some of those include:

  • A guy walking all the way across the country
  • A guy cycling nearly around THE ENTIRE WORLD
  • A girl who decides to live in a tree for over a year to protest illegal logging
  • A marathoner who has run over 300 marathons
  • A woman given a terminal diagnosis who goes on to see more bird species than anyone else.

You can check it out here. You won’t be disappointed in what you find.

Your Fathers, where are they? And the Prophets, do they live forever?

Dave Eggers is easily one of my favorite contemporary writers. I thoroughly loved The Circle and A Heart Breaking Work Of Staggering Genius. Eggers is a wonderful story teller, and he tells one hell of a story in this book.

Your Fathers was a really short read, barely 200 pages. It’s a good story told from the view point of a young guy who it seems is struggling to find his way in life. He responds through multiple kidnappings of high profile individuals like an astronaut and former congressman.

The twist is he has no intention to harm anyone, and one kidnapping leads to another. With him eventually kidnapping his mom, an old teacher, and you get the point. All so he can ask questions to try and answer his own questions stemming from his frustration in life.

The ending comes rather abruptly, but it’s still a good story. Like most Eggers books, it does leave you questioning certain things about life and society. An aspect that I love.

Check it out here. I highly recommend reading his other books as well.

The $100 Startup

Chris Guillebeau did such an excellent job in Happiness of Pursuit that I had no choice but to read this one. I had actually heard of this book before, and read that it was an excellent book for all entrepreneurs out there.

The book is full of stories from people who started businesses for as low as $56, up to $5,000. All of them bring in at least $50,000 annually from their business.

The tools people utilized and the lessons they learned along the way are fantastic, and something I thoroughly enjoyed reading through.

One of the biggest benefits to the book though are the resources inside. From setting up online shopping carts, creating your first product, how to go about a proper product launch, creating multiple streams of revenue, and nearly everything else imaginable.

I’ll actually come back to this book multiple times and check it out. You can grab it on Amazon here.

I learned quite a bit during the month of January because of the books I read. Some of which I obviously won’t be putting into action. It’s hard to imagine negotiating with a Saudi Prince in trying to defeat the Turks.

It’s much easier to implement certain tools in keying in my diet during this year. I also plan to use much of the info I read in growing my business, and finding my very own quest to chase after.

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Yo, I'm Tanner. I'm a Texan marooned on the Island of Manhattan, reader, history nerd, and rom com afficianado.
I like to talk about fitness, history, pop culture, and just about anything else under the sun. If you're here, hopefull you do as well.

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