Howdy, my lovely bibliophiles. It’s been a good bit since we’ve bonded over some books, but luckily I’m making up for the absence with a massive reading romp today. June was a month of heavy travel for me, which also meant I was able to get a ridiculous amount of reading done. I won’t bother you with more mundane details, so instead, let’s get to the books.
The Fat Loss Prescription
For those who aren’t involved in the intimate circle jerking that fitness professionals engage in on Facebook, you may or may not be familiar with Spencer Nadolsky. Spencer is one of the nicest guys in the industry, and it’s apparent that he lives every single day trying to impact the lives of others.
This especially shines through in his first book, The Fat Loss Prescription. Spencer did one hell of a job writing in a manner that is not only easy to understand, but is highly actionable for the average reader. Breaking down what most tend to think of as incredibly complex concepts, and explaining why so many people fail.
I’ve had the pleasure to share a few drinks with Spencer on a couple of occassions, and I can say that the empathetic feel you get from the book is even better in real life. Also, the dude is super jacked and will gladly take his shirt off for you.
You can grab his book here.
The Fellowship Of The Ring
Totally spur of the moment decision, but I decided to start reading The Lord Of The Rings for the third time because a lot of my reading had been somewhat heavier, and I knew I’d be reading heavier material later on. Plus Tolkien is one of my 4 favorite authors of all time, so any opportunity to read his work is one I’ll gladly take advantage of.
There’s not much I can add to review Tolkien’s work, because frankly, it speaks for itself. All I will say is that if you’ve never done your brain the pleasure of digging into Middle Earth, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Start with The Hobbit, then knock out The Lord Of The Rings.
You can pick up the first book, as well as the other two here.
The Way Of Men
I first heard of Jack Donovan and his work from Brett McKay of The Art Of Manliness. I’ve been such a fan for so long that basically anything the guy says to read, I’ll happily get.
The Way Of Men is a simple and straightforward book that hopes to remove most of the confusion and uncertainty that men face in today’s modern world. There’s a ton of talk on the theory of masculinity, the underlying primal instincts that men experience. It’s an extremely thought-provoking book that speaks to the need of masculinity within the world, and in that sense, I found it a great read.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book, it’s throwback feel, and Donovan’s no holds barred style of writing. If you’re a guy who at all feels like you’re unsure about the role of men, or just interested in masculinity in general, I would highly recommend putting this one on your list.
You can grab it here.
Becoming A Barbarian
This is the follow-up book to The Way Of Men. Where that book attempts to define masculinity and explain why men need to embrace that piece of themselves, this book aims to provide a roadmap for making that happen.
Much of the book centers on why men desire to be a part of gangs of men, making the evolutionary argument that men do far better in gangs and tribes because that’s how things have been forever, and in modern day we’re losing that.
There are quite a few concepts that he talks about that I found myself nodding my head in agreement, because when I think back to some of the best times in life it has almost always involved being a piece of a group of close men. There was a clearly defined “us vs. them” mentality.
I also enjoyed his constant rant on what he dubs The Empire Of Nothing, and how we as men are conditioned to act, think, and buy certain ways ta
At the same time, part of me thinks that the concept can absolutely be taken too far, and when allowed to do that it allows men to become hardcore isolationists. It’s obviously a fine line to walk.
If you read Donovan’s first book then definitely follow it up with this. You can grab it here.
Heroes Rogues And Lovers
I have no idea where I first heard of this book, but in my manhood heavy month of June I thought it would be a great addition, and it absolutely was. The entire book focuses on testosterone, and specifically how testosterone shapes our behavior.
Whether someone is hyper aggressive, extremely sexual, or just shuns all conventional rules you can almost always count on that person having higher testosterone levels. And this is the sort of thing that we as men tend to glorify. But the author does a great job of examining how much testosterone is too much testosterone?
For example, as men become more educated their testosterone levels tend to drop. Part of this is associated with age because the more education you receive the older you are. But even when the author controlled for age, they found that higher education levels impacted testosterone levels. Is this really a bad thing, though? Those are the sorts of questions explored in this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and for any man or woman (they talk about woman and testosterone levels quite a bit) who is at all interested in this, I highly suggest giving it a read.
You can grab it here.
I will go ahead and say first and foremost that if you’re at all interested in reading about manhood, this should be one of the first books you pick up. Man, Interrupted offers an incredibly easy to understand and enlightening view on just how badly young men are struggling in today’s modern world.
One aspect of this book that I love is that it digs very deep into just how pervasive the use of pornography can be for so many men. This is something that I think most people can recognize, but they don’t stop at acknowledging it can have negative impacts. They dig into the theory and science on why overexposure to porn can not only negatively impact a man’s ability to connect with his partner, but even perform in the first place.
It doesn’t stop at problems with porn, though. Video game addiction, the emasculating nature of television and media, the lack of strong father figures for so many men, and how seriously the failing of young men impacts women are all touched on.
I highly suggest you give this one a read if you’re starting to dig into the world of masculinity and manhood.
You can grab it here.
I had been seeing this book start to blow up on social media for a couple of weeks, and due to some personal struggles with being able to get into the flow of writing and producing the work I need to produce I figured this would be a good buy. Holy shit was it ever.
Cal Newport does an outstanding job of explaining just exactly what deep work is (hint: it’s basically flow) and how going deep can take your productivity to an entirely new level. But what I especially love is that he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to talk in depth about how regular periods of deep work can help strengthen your overall intellect, help you become more creative, and more productive.
The book is also highly actionable, with a number of strategies to figure out what type of routine might work best for you when it comes to going deep, methods to eliminate distraction, and strategies for turning deep work into a habit.
This book came along at the perfect time for me, because as a writer not being able to produce quality work can seriously impact every aspect of my life. I plan on going deep from this point forward, and if you’re a creative, I hope you get this book and join me.
You can buy it here.
This book(?) was recommended by Mark Fisher while I was in NYC in the middle of June. Mark is one of my soul brothers, and genuinely one of the greatest human beings on the planet. So when he recommended reading this, It was a no-brainer.
It’s tough to call this a book, but it’s a 100 page PDF written by Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgwater Capital. I have to think this started as a memo to his employees, and then gained cult fame within the business world, and for very good reason.
The first 30-50 pages are full of outstanding insight and thought provoking questions on what exactly principles are, why they’re important, and how to find your own. The rest is more or less how Bridgewater came to find their own principles (they’re similar to Dalio’s) and how they put those into action.
The meaty portion of this might have actually been one of my favorite things to read this month, and left me with some extremely heavy thinking to do about not only business, but life in general.
You can read it for free here.