Some new books and some re-reads. Some were worth the time, some were not.
Greenlights – Matthew McConaughey
This is a really interesting insight into the life and psyche of Matthew McConaughey. His upbringing was quite unusual.
My take aways from this book:
- He approached his auditions with a sense of confidence. His mindset was that they needed him in their film rather than him needed a role (and coming across desperate).
- He was also willing to say goodbye to his whole career to try and change the type of roles he was getting.
- The story behind his most well-known line was brilliant.
- The first chapter was a word salad.
The Power of Now – Echart Tolle
He has some solid truths sprinkled in amongst some shady fluff.
Doughnut Economics – Kate Raworth
Rethinking economics and the measurement of economic growth and the yardstick for a healthy economy. This is where we should be heading but it will take a major change in the way the world approaches economic theory.
Becoming a Person of Influence – John Maxwell and Jim Dornan
From back in the 90’s. Some quality content based on the character of the person seeking to influence.
Range – David Epstein
A brilliant read about how those that generalise in their endeavours will out-do those that specialise in one sphere…unless it is a kind environment, like golf.
Tiger Woods vs. Roger Federer. A kind environment vs. a wicked environment.
Hint: Most of life in not lived in a kind environment.
Disappearing Church – Mark Sayers
Trouble in the Land of Giving – William De Maria
A scathing review of charities in Australia. William seems to be angry.
Think Again – Adam Grant
The power of knowing what you don’t know
Adam frames the different thinking styles that we use when we approach problems.
Preacher – “When we are in the preacher mode we are convinced we are right” and try to persuade others to agree with us.
Prosecutor – When we are trying to prove someone else wrong
Politician – When we are trying to win the approval of an audience
Scientist – Create a hypothesis and test it for reasons that you are wrong.
Obviously he thinks the scientist is the best method to use.
Beautiful Things – Hunter Biden
Hunter’s journey through loss, grief and addiction, and a presidential election or two. This is an amazing story with a bit of politics thrown in.
Values – Mark Carney
A book of over 500 pages of which I understood very little. Mark is the former Governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, and has guided the global financial system through the GFC and COVID. He is now on the UN special envoy for climate action and finance. This book is about the values which will serve us as we approach the challenges that lay ahead. I feel like it is everything that he has ever thought about these topics (but probably not because he seems like a super intelligent guy). Bono liked it. The parts that I understood were interesting and the rest is a blur.
The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyun
A theological trip to the 1600’s. Once I had a handle on the language and the fact that there are no chapters, or breaks, or places where you can logically stop, it was a nice journey.
Jack Reacher – Better off Dead – Lee and Andrew Child
My annual wait for the Jack Reacher book was worth it and it was over very quickly. After a disappointing book last year, 2021 was a great improvement in the tale of Reacher. (Soon the become a TV series on Amazon Prime for those interested). Now to wait for October/November 2022.
The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday
If/when I meet Ryan Holiday, I will apologise to him for underestimating this book. The first time I read it I thought it was a lightweight bit of inspiration, but I missed the point. It is a profound book which I will re-read every year from now on.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
This book was exactly how I remember it. Shock and fluff to start with but some really interesting points along the way about not being swayed by what other people think and to live your life with confidence. The last chapter is a memorable one.
Incognito – David Eagleman
This is a random book that I found somewhere but one that I have loved because it unpacks the complexity of the brain. We are not one person, but many ‘persons’ – which may sound a little shady, but if you have ever found yourself having an internal debate on a topic it is important to ask, ‘who am I debating with?’.
I don’t agree where David lands with the final premise of the book which is essentially that we don’t have much control over most of what we do, therefore we can’t be held responsible for most of our actions, but the debate he creates is worthwhile.
Meditations – Marcus Aurelias
I made my way through this slower than I did last time. There is still much that I don’t grasp but the philosophy of life and death is extraordinary.
My favourite quote:
“Remember that to change course or accept correction leaves you just as free as you were. The action is your own, driven by your own impulse and judgement, indeed your own intelligence.”
Give & Take – Adam Grant
This is a book about how generosity breeds success, in all parties involved. Still my go-to generosity guide book.
I look forward to more quality reading in 2022. Any suggestions? What are your favourites?