When Things Fall Apart

When Things Fall Apart Book Cover When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chodron
Body, Mind & Spirit
Shambhala Publications
June 7, 2016
176

This is an excellent guide book. The teachings are a little (a lot) counter-intuitive. She teaches to “embrace the suck” (my term). Get into the pain, poke at it, ask it questions. Ask the monster in your closet to join you for tea. All in an effort to be a little kinder to YOURSELF. Figure out what is causing you pain, get comfortable with it and then work on reversing your negative habits.

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The Middle Ages: A Very Short Introduction

The Middle Ages Book Cover The Middle Ages
Miri Rubin
History
Oxford University Press, USA
2014
139

I love the “A Very Short Introduction” series of books. I have developed the habit of reading an appropriate one in the lead up to every class I take towards my degree in History. They provide a very high level overview and usually provide a couple of topics I can explore for a paper.

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The Obstacle is the Way

The Obstacle is the Way Book Cover The Obstacle is the Way
Ryan Holiday
Business & Economics
Penguin
2014
201

The idea of resilience is a recurring theme for me. I might have started seriously reflecting on it while reading “The Obstacle is the Way.” Holliday, Greitens, Pressfield all using the Classics, the ancient philosophers and poets, the great military leaders, the great sports coaches to help us build practices of reflection, deep understanding, persistence, resilience.

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Resilience

Resilience Book Cover Resilience
Eric Greitens
Psychology
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
March 10, 2015
320

This is in my Top 10 Must Read Books. I also highly recommend Greiten’s “The Heart and the Fist” which is another in my Top 10. This work is a series of letters between the author and a fellow-warrior suffering from severe depression, PTSD, addiction, etc. He uses ancient wisdom to develop this guidebook. Its truly remarkable. To steal from the summary on Amazon, “Resilience” explains how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more.”

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On Tyranny

On Tyranny Book Cover On Tyranny
Timothy Snyder
History
Tim Duggan Books
2017
128

Timely.  All democracies ultimately end in tyranny. Here is a highlight from the book:

It is not patriotic to share an adviser with Russian oligarchs. It is not patriotic to solicit foreign policy advice from someone who owns shares in a Russian energy company. It is not patriotic to read a foreign policy speech written by someone on the payroll of a Russian energy company. It is not patriotic to appoint a national security adviser who has taken money from a Russian propaganda organ. It is not patriotic to appoint as secretary of state an oilman with Russian financial interests who is the director of a Russian-American energy company and has received the “Order of Friendship” from Putin.

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The Cubs Way

The Cubs Way Book Cover The Cubs Way
Tom Verducci
Sports & Recreation
Crown Archetype
2017
384

I am a Red Sox fan. I was drawn to this book because I was interested in how Theo Epstein managed to take teams from cursed to World Series Champions. I did not know that Epstein had modified his Sabremetrician (Moneyball) approach from his time with the Red Sox and used a different strategy with the Cubs. I came away with an appreciation of Manager Joe Maddon too. One of the better “baseball” books I have read – Verducci is a pro. But also a great strategy/tactics and leadership book.

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The Phoenix Project

The Phoenix Project Book Cover The Phoenix Project
Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford,
Business & Economics
IT Revolution
October 15, 2014
348

I am a certified Scrum Master. I have run Agile Development efforts in a software engineering group. In my past, I have been involved and lead Quality Process implementations – ISO 9001, New York State Governor’s Award, COPC (call center standards), etc. DevOps appeals to me because I am quality process kind of guy. I might have to get myself another certification. 🙂

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Tools of Titans

Tools of Titans Book Cover Tools of Titans
Tim Ferriss
Business & Economics
December 6, 2016
704

I am a fan of Tim Ferriss. I am a regular listener to his podcasts. I have read, annotated, post-it noted, and re-read all of his books. There is SO MUCH in this encyclopedia of self-improvement tips, tactics and strategies. This book covers EVERYTHING. Health, wealth, and wisdom. I like his books in hard cover. Some times the Kindle is not enough. Sometimes, I need that tactile experience.

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No Hero

No Hero Book Cover No Hero
Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer,
History
New American Library (NAL)
November 3, 2015
304

This is Mark Owen’s follow up to his first book – the semi-controversial No Easy Day: The First-hand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden. No Hero, is about some of his other missions. The non-headline-grabbing missions. There are some good leadership and management lessons provided. He talks about the critical role of communications.

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