Gauntlet Thrown And Accepted

So I’ve signed up for a 6 month book challenge to read 50 books. The goal is to reach a new way of thinking by massively immersing one’s brain with the thought bases from a lot of other people. It’s like a mental retreat for your mind.

Now, I’m not an avid book reader. I’ve probably read 50 books in my life up until this point. It’s actually much less if you take out the ones that were required reading for school work. I do read though. Principally articles on specific things I’m interested at at the moment. I find that a more efficient way to gain practical knowledge.

Book Challenge Received

And thus the book challenge. For me to do what I have not done before. First, to see how far I go in time. Then to see how many books I actually read in that time span. Finally at the end, I’ll determine what insights if any, I have gained from this challenge.

Most authors put a lot of time an effort into their books. First comes the life skill and experience to absorb the information. Next, to mind dump and organize and prioritize things. Then, to condense and write it down. With all that time an resources, you’d think I’d be much more excited to read and gain access to this knowledge.

The issue I have is the communication line. Reading, to me is such a slow way of getting information. For many things, a video, photo, or graphic can relay much more in a shorter period of time. Perhaps, I’ll try an educational video challenge next.

Book Challenge Accepted

I don’t have a list of the books I want to read. I have a few in mind, but I’m going to start with those books that are both interesting and convenient to get a hold of. In other words, those I can bum off friends for free are at the top of the list.

Well, I’m ready to get going on this. Let’s go hunt something down, get comfortable with a cup of hot black tea, crack that thing open, and get this show on the road.

August Update: Book Challenge Ended!

Six months sure blew by fast! The good news is that I also blew through the challenge and ended up reading 90 books instead of 50. The bad news? It’s going to take a long time to write book reviews about everything I read. But if you see a title that interests you, let me know and I can expedite that one.

How I chose what book to read

Firstly, I prefer non-fiction because I feel there’s a better chance that I’ll learn something practical. About 95% were non-fiction books. I started with books that were readily available from others, then went from there. I bought many of them from, principally business, technology, social media, and mixed martial arts.

Book Challenge Experience

Once I got into the swing of things, it was pretty easy to get into cranking out the reading. I took notes along the way so I could reflect back on any insights I got at the time. There were a handful of books that were really good. They break down a subject into relatable and digestible chunks (like, Timothy Ferriss). Some were interesting and entertaining (Andy Weir).

The other 95% of books were less useful, but there was only one book that I couldn’t stomach to finish (Sorry Bob G.). It’s not on the list. Some were way too wordy, going on and on, saying the same things in different ways, spoon-feeding the story line, I’m sure you know someone who talks like that in real life.. Yet at the same time there is enough of a message in there to keep going.. (Yea, Michael Pollan, Malcom Gladwell).

While I did gain an appreciation for reading, I find it is too slow of a medium for information transfer. It’s okay for entertainment purposes, but for practical lessions, it’s hard to beat a good TED talk with your own Google follow-up.

That said, i do have a very interesting story to tell and have been flirting with the idea of writing my own book. More so now that I have some experience about the many different ways people write books.

Book List in Chronological Order:

  1. Multipliers – Liz Wiseman
  2. 10% Happier – Dan Harris
  3. $100 Startup – Chris Bullebean
  4. The Wealthy Barber Returns – David Childon
  5. Insight Out – Tina Seelig
  6. Relentless Strike – Sean Naylor
  7. My Fight Your Fight – Ronda Rousey
  8. Just Scrap – BJ Penn
  9. It’s Time – Bruce Buffer
  10. Solar Electricity Handbook – Michael Boxwell
  11. Critical Thinking – Bruce Waller
  12. The Everything Store (Amazon) – Jeff Bezos
  13. Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance
  14. Born Standing Up – Steve Martin
  15. Delivering Happiness (Zappos) – Tony Hsieh
  16. Outliers – Malcom Gladwell
  17. Made in America – Sam Walton
  18. Launch – Jeff Walker
  19. Sh-t My Dad Says – Justin Halpern
  20. Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
  21. The Design of Everyday Things – Dan Norman
  22. Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
  23. The Facebook Effect – David Kirkpatrick
  24. The Art of Game Design – Jesse Schell
  25. You’re Never Weird on the Internet – Felicia Day
  26. Becoming the Natural – Randy Couture
  27. Clean Code – Robert Martin
  28. Idea Man – Paul Allen
  29. What Got You There Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith
  30. Made To Stick – Chip Heath
  31. Mojo – Marshal Goldsmith
  32. The Female Brain – Louann Brizendine
  33. This Machine Kills Secrets – Andy Greenberg
  34. David and Goliath – Malcom Gladwell
  35. Belly Off Diet – Jeff Csatari
  36. Pimp – Iceberg Slim
  37. Fast Girl – Suzy Hamilton
  38. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
  39. Seduce Your Customers – Kerry Szymanski
  40. Italy – DK Eyewitness
  41. The Sixth Extinction – Elizabeth Kolbert
  42. After Life – John Edward
  43. In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan
  44. Orange is the New Black – Piper Kerman
  45. The Social Conquest of Earth – Edward Wilson
  46. Think Like a Freak – Steven Levitt
  47. A Dog Walks into a Bar – Joanne Sullivan
  48. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  49. #GIRLBOSS – Sophia Armuroso
  50. When to Rob a Bank – Steven Levitt
  51. Know It All – New Scientist
  52. Touching a Nerve – Patricia Churchland
  53. Nothing – New Scientist
  54. Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell
  55. Grain Brain – David Perlmutter
  56. Magical Thinking – Augusten Burroughs
  57. The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
  58. HTML and CSS for Beginners – Mark Lassoff
  59. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Oliver Sacks
  60. Leadership  BS – Jeffery Pfeffer
  61. Social Media Explained – Mark Schaefer
  62. The Art of Social Media – Guy Kawasaki
  63. The Food Babe Way – Vani Hari
  64. The 4 Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
  65. 3.2 Seconds – Barry Minkow
  66. The Brain That Changes Itself – Norman Doidge
  67. The Martian – Andy Weir
  68. Social Media – Michael Richards
  69. Learning Web App Development – Semmy Purewal
  70. The 4 Hour Body – Timothy Ferriss
  71. Cooked – Michael Pollan
  72. The New Rules of Marketing & PR – David Scott
  73. Lincoln’s Last Day – Bill O’Reilly
  74. Stiff – Mary Roach
  75. The Entrepreneurial Imperative – Carl Schramm
  76. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
  77. Creating and Selling WordPress Plug-ins – Jamie Osborne
  78. The Tao of Twitter – Mark Schaefer
  79. Killing Reagan – Bill O’Reilly
  80. Superfreakonomics – Steven Levitt
  81. Socialnomics – Erik Qualman
  82. The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman
  83. Sin in the Second City – Karen Abbott
  84. Launch a Kick-Ass T-Shirt Brand – AJ Camara
  85. Practical Business Wisdom and Magic – Pat O’Bryan
  86. Everybody Writes – Ann Handley
  87. Professional WordPress Design and Development – Brad Williams
  88. Ready to Run – Kelly Starrett
  89. No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing – Dan Kennedy
  90. Cruise Guide to Europe – DK Eyewitness