2019 Books

That went by FAST! My dad always told me that life only speeds up, and I can’t believe how true that is. I feel like we’re still back in the early 2000’s!

Anyway, Happy New Year! When is it time to stop saying that, btw? Now? Ok.

For the last three years, I have started my new year with getting back to the basics like waking up on time, eating right, exercising, etc. One of my biggest goals every year is to read two books per month. Reading has a massive number of benefits, which may come in a later post. For me, reading helps me to relax, destress, and develop my ability to focus.

So the first blog post of this year, aptly names “2019 Books” is just that… except I narrowed it down to my top 10. Please share your favorites as I’m always on the lookout for a great book!

1 | Lifespan : Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To – by David A. Sinclair PhD (Author), Matthew D. LaPlante (Author)

Simply put, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It intersects many of the topics that I am most interested in and is written in the style that I like to read. It gets a little sticky in the scientific details, but that’s the stuff I love.

The work that Sinclair is doing in the field of aging may create the most extensive set of medical breakthroughs since the invention of antibiotics. He frames age as a medical condition, not something that just happens. And there are quite a few simple things we can do to slow it.

2 | Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work – by Steven Kotler  (Author), Jamie Wheal  (Author)

I won’t do this one justice, so here you go… From the back of the cover: “It’s the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and it’s hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, special operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising shortcut. They’re harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition.

New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler and high-performance expert Jamie Wheal spent four years investigating the leading edges of this revolution—from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations headquarters. And what they learned was stunning: In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide.

Today, this revolution is spreading to the mainstream, fueling a trillion-dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives. Driven by four accelerating forces—psychology, neurobiology, technology, and pharmacology—we are gaining access to and insights about some of the most contested and misunderstood terrain in history. Stealing Fire is a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.”

3 | Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – by Yuval Noah Harari  (Author)

This truly engrossing book was put at number three only because number 1 and 2 are legit right up my alley. The “brief” history of mankind is precisely what this book is. From the very beginning until modern times, Harris shows us the development that occurred from the species predicating Homo Sapiens and why we came to dominate.

4 | The Quiet Game – By Greg Iles

Set in the Mississippi Burning Era, this book is a non-stop thriller that you can’t begin to put down. Incredible character development paired with an even better storyline come together to create an unreal story. This was my first book by Greg Iles, but it will not be my last.

5 | Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service – by The Disney Institute (Author), Theodore Kinni (Author)

Being that I spend all of my time engaging in the Service industry, there are obvious reasons I read it. However, the lesson reach far outside and give an incredible perspective on how Disney continue to WOW their guests year after year. I now see why I have friends who go there year after year. I’ll be planning a trip myself!

6 | American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon – by Steven Rinella

Yea, I spend a lot of time outdoors. I love America and the history of the west. I love hunting. And Steve Rinella is an incredible story-teller. So that’s why I picked it up. But, I did NOT what all was in store. The weaving of Steve’s personal buffalo hunt story with the history of the Great American Buffalo creates an incredible account of the effect of humans on the buffalo, but more importantly, how they have helped to shape our country.

7 | Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t (second read) – by Jim Collins  (Author)

This book is pertinent to any person or any organization trying to improve their life or work. The book takes a look at companies that weren’t originally established with the qualities that make a company “great” and asked the question, “Can a good company become a great company, and if so, how?” The answer is yes, and Collins gives you a roadmap to get there.

8 | Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition – by Buddy Levy  (Author)

This perfectly detailed account of the Greely Polar Expedition, to reach the most northern point any human had gone, gives us a glimpse into the INSANE hardships that people went through in search of greatness for themselves and their country.

Being that I love the outdoors and exploring, this book was impossible to put down. I CAN’T WAIT for this to become a movie!

9 | Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know – by Malcolm Gladwell  (Author)

This book gives actionable advice on genuinely getting to know others. I know that I have changed the way that I now approach strangers and how I look at myself. If you haven’t read “The Tipping Point” or “Outliers,” you should get both of those as well.

10 | The Silent Patient – by Alex Michaelides  (Author)

After reading a chapter or two of this book, I knew it was something that Amanda would be into, so we ended up reading this book together, which was awesome. This book is not the best psych-thriller I’ve read, but the only one I read this year and so it makes its way to number 10. An enjoyable and easy read!

There you have it. As you can see, my interests are all over the place. And again, please share your favorites with me! I am always looking for some good pages to turn.