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 Amazon.com, 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:
- Multipliers – Liz Wiseman
- 10% Happier – Dan Harris
- $100 Startup – Chris Bullebean
- The Wealthy Barber Returns – David Childon
- Insight Out – Tina Seelig
- Relentless Strike – Sean Naylor
- My Fight Your Fight – Ronda Rousey
- Just Scrap – BJ Penn
- It’s Time – Bruce Buffer
- Solar Electricity Handbook – Michael Boxwell
- Critical Thinking – Bruce Waller
- The Everything Store (Amazon) – Jeff Bezos
- Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance
- Born Standing Up – Steve Martin
- Delivering Happiness (Zappos) – Tony Hsieh
- Outliers – Malcom Gladwell
- Made in America – Sam Walton
- Launch – Jeff Walker
- Sh-t My Dad Says – Justin Halpern
- Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
- The Design of Everyday Things – Dan Norman
- Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
- The Facebook Effect – David Kirkpatrick
- The Art of Game Design – Jesse Schell
- You’re Never Weird on the Internet – Felicia Day
- Becoming the Natural – Randy Couture
- Clean Code – Robert Martin
- Idea Man – Paul Allen
- What Got You There Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith
- Made To Stick – Chip Heath
- Mojo – Marshal Goldsmith
- The Female Brain – Louann Brizendine
- This Machine Kills Secrets – Andy Greenberg
- David and Goliath – Malcom Gladwell
- Belly Off Diet – Jeff Csatari
- Pimp – Iceberg Slim
- Fast Girl – Suzy Hamilton
- Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
- Seduce Your Customers – Kerry Szymanski
- Italy – DK Eyewitness
- The Sixth Extinction – Elizabeth Kolbert
- After Life – John Edward
- In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan
- Orange is the New Black – Piper Kerman
- The Social Conquest of Earth – Edward Wilson
- Think Like a Freak – Steven Levitt
- A Dog Walks into a Bar – Joanne Sullivan
- Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
- #GIRLBOSS – Sophia Armuroso
- When to Rob a Bank – Steven Levitt
- Know It All – New Scientist
- Touching a Nerve – Patricia Churchland
- Nothing – New Scientist
- Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell
- Grain Brain – David Perlmutter
- Magical Thinking – Augusten Burroughs
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
- HTML and CSS for Beginners – Mark Lassoff
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Oliver Sacks
- Leadership BS – Jeffery Pfeffer
- Social Media Explained – Mark Schaefer
- The Art of Social Media – Guy Kawasaki
- The Food Babe Way – Vani Hari
- The 4 Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
- 3.2 Seconds – Barry Minkow
- The Brain That Changes Itself – Norman Doidge
- The Martian – Andy Weir
- Social Media – Michael Richards
- Learning Web App Development – Semmy Purewal
- The 4 Hour Body – Timothy Ferriss
- Cooked – Michael Pollan
- The New Rules of Marketing & PR – David Scott
- Lincoln’s Last Day – Bill O’Reilly
- Stiff – Mary Roach
- The Entrepreneurial Imperative – Carl Schramm
- The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
- Creating and Selling WordPress Plug-ins – Jamie Osborne
- The Tao of Twitter – Mark Schaefer
- Killing Reagan – Bill O’Reilly
- Superfreakonomics – Steven Levitt
- Socialnomics – Erik Qualman
- The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman
- Sin in the Second City – Karen Abbott
- Launch a Kick-Ass T-Shirt Brand – AJ Camara
- Practical Business Wisdom and Magic – Pat O’Bryan
- Everybody Writes – Ann Handley
- Professional WordPress Design and Development – Brad Williams
- Ready to Run – Kelly Starrett
- No BS Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing – Dan Kennedy
- Cruise Guide to Europe – DK Eyewitness
I love reading books. I probably read six books a week or more if I have a chance, but at least three. Of course, many are fiction and easy reading, but even most of those make me think — even if what I think is that the author should have found a better use of his or her time before I stop reading and find a different book I hope will be better. I do read nonfiction, and the challenge for me would be to make sure I finish three of the heavy nonfiction books I’ve started in addition to the lighter fiction and nonfiction I read.