Category Archives: Books

Getting Started With Reading Books

I love reading, and have read over 60 books in the past year. In this video, I talk about ways I’ve discovered to read more books. As always, let me know what you think!

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Getting Started with Journaling

I’ve talked a lot about journaling before, in this video I discuss three ways to help you build a journaling habit. As always, I’d love to know what you think.

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Stay up to Date with the Newsletter

I send out a Sunday newsletter about books that have inspired me, thoughts from the current week and articles about efficiency, code, and personal development. Sign up below to recieve my three top mental models for free in your inbox:

Books I Read [September]

For this month, I wanted to branch out a bit. I generally read a lot (only?) non-fiction, so I made sure to pick up one autobiography and one historical fiction book this month. I’m pleased to report that they didn’t disappoint! In fact, Beneath a Scarlet Sky was my favorite read this month! Join me below for quick reviews of these books!

Disclaimer: The links are affiliate through Amazon

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Beneath a Scarlet Sky is a phenomenal read.It’s emotionally gripping, and shows a perspective of World War II that I’ve never seen before. The story follows Pino Lella, a 17 year old who gets caught up in the middle of World War II. Through his bravery, wit, and unshakeable morals, Pino changes the entire tide of the war. Really humbling piece.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

I really enjoyed the takeaways from this book. I’ve always lived pretty minimally, but I’ve never really anthropomorphized my stuff before. This book is built around the concept that the only items you keep should be the items that bring you joy. This can be done with one massive “cleanup day”, and you’ll only be left with items that make you happy. The second main concept is that every item has its place. When treated well, items will have a longer shelf life, and be able to serve you better. I like books that acknowledge that there isn’t a one size fits all approach to every person, and this book is about as flexible as it gets, since you’re only keeping the stuff you like!

The Richest Man in Babylon

Save 10% of your income (pay yourself first). Don’t speculate with those who will lose your investments. It’s pretty unreal to see how advice written on cuneiform tablets 2000+ years ago have advice that is still accurate today. This book is a collection of stories from those who have changed their lives drastically by following the rules of money. Very short read, and very inspiring.

The Power of When

In my opinion, this book isn’t good. It could honestly be a blog post. There are a few interesting tidbits about circadian rhythms in here and how they vary for different people (doing creative work before noon is better for “bears” rather than “wolves” for example), but by and large this book is pretty dry and unhelpful.

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle: Transform Your Body Forever Using the Secrets of the Leanest People in the World

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle taught me many things about weightlifting that I didn’t know prior. It shed a lot of inconsistent ideas that I held about nutrition, weightlifting, cardio and goal-setting in general. For me, the most important take away the book was how to align our physical goals with a life that’s not hyper restrictive. Whereas a lot of other material I’ve looked at is either promoting some sort of fad diet or crazy workout routine that doesn’t work, this book is very straightforward. I think the most interesting thing about this book to me was that it was targeted at people who are attempting to become bodybuilders. Therefore anyone with less “moonshot” physical goals should find this book to be very valuable.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

This book has some amazing ideas, but they are unfortunately wrapped up in a lot of repetitive wording.
The book has a few central themes, but most revolve around the idea of acceptance, mindfulness, and equanimity. The book stresses the importance of keeping your heart open always. The arguments the author laid out were very logical, and I intend to keep my heart open when possible, or at least be aware of why I feel the need to close up when I do. Worth a read if you’re looking to incorporte mindfulness into your day to day life.

Not Forgotten: The True Story of My Imprisonment in North Korea

I’m not particularly religious so when I read not forgotten the story in North Korea by Kenneth I didn’t really know what to expect. Kenneth Bao is a vivid author, and I could really feel his faith come through his words. This book taught me a lot of really interesting knowledge about both North Korea and religion. I was particularly impressed by the strength of spirit Kenneth had when faced with insurmountable odds. This book maybe for you if you’re interested in learning about North Korea-US geopolitics religion or the struggle that people can go through to fulfill their purpose.

See you next month with some more books! ^_^

I’ve Owned a Kindle for a Month Now

Let Me Spin Ye a Tale

For Prime Day this year, I was like well, screw it, why not buy a Kindle? The PaperWhite was only $80 and I’m a sucker for deals. The problem is, I’ve never been much of a reader. I’d start a book from time to time, but I’d never really get through an entire work. I’m glad to report that since I’ve bought a Kindle, this has become way less of an issue. I think the uniformity of the text, the ease of handheld use, and ease on the eyes really allowed me to nuzzle deep in the pages of a book the backlit screen of a Kindle. Also, most importantly, it turns out that books are like, really good. Huh.

The Reading Lists

Since I had no idea where to start with reading, I took to the internet to find some reading lists. These people are like super reviewers for books basically, curating from a large pile and selecting books that they find help shape their world view. Much thanks to them!

Bill Gates
Derek Sivers
Tim Ferriss
Neil Pasricha

The Books

Disclaimer: I’ve attached affiliate links to these books, but only check em’ out if you want!

Here are the books I got through this month.

The War of Art

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

  • The War of Art addresses resistance, the invisible enemy stopping all of us from approaching our goals
  • Resistance comes in many forms, and to dispel it one must learn its sneaky ways and outsmart it
  • The book itself kinda reads like a collection of short stories
  • Its all bold on the Kindle for some reason

He: Understanding Masculine Psychology

He: Understanding Masculine Psychology

  • He is a story about a man’s journey through life, about the battles we face with our internal masculinity and femininity
  • It’s a very short read
  • It follows the growth of a character but alludes back well to modern struggles men face
  • It should be read along side its companion novel, She: Understanding Feminine Psychology

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

  • Sapiens is amazing. Harari takes an extremely comprehensive look at human history and development from fields spanning from biology to theology
  • It’s very long, but it’s impressive he fit 300,000 years into a book, so meh
  • It’s a bit depressing at times, and can really put a lot of things into perspective

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

  • When I started 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I’d assumed it was going to be a cheesy self help book. I was wrong.
  • It does help the self, but not the self you’re thinking of. It helps the metaphysical self, and helps align yourself each and every day
  • There are too many takeaways in this book to count, it’s phenomenal

The Happiness Equation

The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything=Have Everything

  • The Happiness Equation by our main man Neil Pasricha (mentioned above in the reading lists)
  • Extremely focused around positivity, with a ton of nuggets on how to be happier any given day
  • I didn’t feel too inspired by the takeaways, but it’s a very good book, and I have the utmost respect for it’s author
  • The steps can be cumbersome to implement in daily life without forethought


I hope you enjoyed these quick thoughts on the books I’ve read this month. I feel so proud that I’ve been able to finish so many, especially since I’ve gone years without finishing one. Books truly are wonderful, and I’m excited to devour some more.

Let’s try this again next month. Same time, same place? Yeah? Yeah. Cool. Cool.