20 Great Books I’ve Read Lately

I can’t get enough of reading good books. Seriously.

For a while now, I’ve been devouring all kinds of books. My taste in what I like to read can shift wildly from spirituality to fiction, to business, to philosophy to biography.

In fact, I’m excited because there a handful of new fiction books that I’m eager to get my hands on. Ken Follett has a new book out in the Kingsbridge series that I can’t wait to get a hold of, there’s a new Millennium Trilogy book that I’m excited about, and I’m hoping that Dan Brown can turn things around with his new book that’s coming out soon. I’ve got all those on my short list books I want to read next.

I’ve always loved to read, but something clicked for me about 2 years ago, and I’ve been reading just about everything I can get my hands on. I’ve hit a groove with several great books I’ve read and quite a few that I’ve been through more than once.

A lot of the books in my collection I have both the Kindle and Audible version, and I’m sure that Amazon loves that, so I listen first, then go back through the Kindle version for review.

If you’re looking for great books to read, here are a few of my favorites.

A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business (Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading) by Ari Weinzweig

I have to preface this with the point that I’m not done with this one yet. But it’s so good I can’t keep myself from adding it to this list; I can’t put it down right now. Sometimes you’re in the right frame of mind to drink deeply of the wisdom that is contained in certain books, and right now is that time for me and this one. I’m savoring this one. This is a must-read for entrepreneurs and business owners, small and large. I’m ordering the rest of the books in this set.

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian Moran

This is one was an eye-opener, and I’m getting ready to re-read it again. Yes, there’s that much good stuff here. I’ve read a lot on goals, and have struggled a lot. But when you get the concepts that these guys are talking about, and see how they apply to your overall life plan, this book can catapult you into serious goal attainment. This book fits really well with other books on this, namely Elrod’s Miracle Morning.

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks

This one provides some great insight into why we do what we do, and then how to not only be aware of things that cause us to run into the “upper limit problem”, but also gives solid advice for how to work through your upper limit issues and emerge in to your “zone of genius”.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport

This was probably the book that reignited my passion for reading and learning that I talked about above. Newport points out the perils of the “follow your passion” philosophy and how they can lead to disappointment and financial ruin. Instead, work on finding something you’ve got talent for, practice it relentlessly, past the point of comfort, and as you learn to love it more and more you’ll find yourself in the rarified air of being an expert in your field. This is one that my daughter is going to have to read.

The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly

I picked this one up because I kept reading Hal Elrod’s references to it in his Miracle Morning book, and curious about what it could add to what I’d learned from the Miracle Morning. It was well worth the time. This is a book about reaching our God-given potential. Kelly makes the point that we have the greatest joy in our lives when we’re actively seeking to become our best possible selves. He also makes the point that everything is a choice. This is one of life’s most profoundly simple truths, but also one if its hardest lessons. Sometimes a book will just click for you and this one certainly did for me, on a number of levels.

The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by MJ DeMarco

This one helped me to shift the way I think about money and wealth in a serious way. Money and its accumulation bring with it all kinds of moral complications, and it was while reading this book that I changed the way I understand that money is about more than the accumulation of money.

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod

This one was a game changer for me. For decades I’ve understood that having a solid morning routine was vital to my overall well-being – both spiritually, and otherwise. This one was the clincher for me and helped me to really dial in how I begin my day each day.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition) by John Maxwell

This one is a classic that bears re-reading from time to time and that’s how it ended up on this list. Sometimes you can read a book and it can teach you one thing, but you otherwise don’t get much out of it. Other times you can re-read the same book and because of where YOU are at in life it results in a eureka! Moment. The chapter on the “Law of Process” and Teddy Roosevelt alone is worth the cost of this one.

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

This one makes a whole lot more sense when you read it, or re-read it, in context of other work on the 80/20 principle. At first, I really enjoyed this book, but then couldn’t really say I knew what to do with it when I was done. After re-reading it again, and thinking through the concepts Papasan, and Keller cover here it made a lot more sense.

80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More by Perry Marshall

I’ve only read this one once, so I’ve still got to read it at least four more times so I can sift the 20 percent that’s going to really move the needle for me. Marshall talks about the fractal nature of that 20 percent that drives the greatest results and how you can keep breaking it down and breaking it down and ultimately, you’ll find that ONE Thing that Keller mentions in his book. See what I did there? That was part of the key of making all this make real sense.

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover

Tim Grover has an interesting approach here that fits rather nicely with Grant Cardone’s Be Obsessed or Be Average, mentioned below. Are you a cooler? What about a closer? Or are you a cleaner? Grover argues that the truly elite performers are the cleaners. Jordan was a cleaner. Kobe was a cleaner. These are the guys that are the ones you call on when the game is on the line. Prepared to the point of instinct they don’t have to think, they just do. If you’ve ever thought about what makes the great ones great, you need to check this one out.

Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business by Chris Ducker

Virtual Freedom is a fantastic book that’s full of great, common-sense, information about working with a virtual team. You’ll read Chris talking about a principle and think, “yea, that makes perfect sense” a lot in this one, and that’s a good thing.

Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn

Getting a roadmap to building a business is always a good thing, and Pat has really done a great job of outlining the strategies he’s used in his own business. There is so much good stuff here, that if you follow the plan closely, you’ll learn a lot about where you should be, how your idea fits with your overall outlook on life and how you build something you’re proud to put your name on.

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone

I’ve read this one a couple times, like several others on the list. I kept hearing Grant’s name come up all over the place, and decided I had to finally see what all the talk was about. I was not disappointed. So much energy, and so brutally honest, I was immediately taken back to my early days in my career as a sales executive. Grant lays out the honest, brutal truth, and you’ll thank him for the kick in the pants he gives you in this book when you’re done.

Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone

In the order that I read Grant’s books, this was the perfect follow-up to the 10x Rule. I love his discussion on “healthy” obsessions, and how the most successful people in the world feed their obsessions. All passion, fire, and drive, being obsessed with where you want to go, and what you want to do is the minimum requirement if you want to break out of ordinary and into extraordinary. I love this book. And yes, I’ve read it more than once.

Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone

This is the real deal for salespeople. And as we all know, everyone of us is in sales, as Zig Ziglar pointed out. Cardone points out that it all starts with the concept of selling yourself. He points out that, “if you’re not selling … you’re not sold.” If you’ve ever had to sell anything and you didn’t hit your numbers, you know this is true, and it stings. What a great book. If you can’t tell, I’ve become a big Cardone fan, if you couldn’t tell.

How to Be a Man: (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan

I was a Guns N’ Roses fan before and after it was cool to be a Guns N’ Roses fan, so when I found out that Duff was cranking out some killer content, and it was using his pen rather than his bass guitar, I had to dig in. I was not disappointed. There is a ton of great stuff in this book. Most notable are his “One Hundred Albums Every Man Should Own,”, and his favorite books list show he’s got incredible taste in both. And of course he should. He’s Duff McKagan.

It’s So Easy: and other lies by Duff McKagan

I’m drawn to Duff’s story of survival, and transformation. His drive to overcome his substance abuse, his story of punishing himself on his mountain bike, his thirst for martial arts, all point to a heart that is wrestling to squeeze every last drop that life has to offer and savor every bit of it. That’s what I love about this book. Yea, the G N’R stories are great, but his story is what inspires.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki

Assets vs. liabilities. Learn that and you’ve got the key to winning with money. I read this one for the first time over a decade ago, and I wish I would have dug deeper to try to implement some of the things I learned then. This one is a classic and worth the regular re-read to remind yourself about how you need to manage your financial life.

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library Paperbacks) by Edmund Morris

After I read Maxwell’s chapter on “process” as mentioned above, I’d finally had enough of hearing about Teddy Roosevelt the man, and I had to learn more. The thing that strikes me from his very earliest of days is the strength of his character and will. It’s almost as if he was born to do “great things”. He is a master at diligence and “beating his body and making it his slave” to get it to perform the task that he seeks to achieve. The strength of his will and depth of courage are rare, and worthy of imitation.

What are you reading?

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