I managed to squeeze in another 4 books before the end of the month. Here are my thoughts on each:
By Ashlee Vance
Synopsis: a biography of the co-founder of Paypal and founder of Tesla and SpaceX
Impression: the best way I can summarize this book is as follows: Elon Musk makes Steve Jobs look like an amateur (and I’m a fan of Steve Jobs). On a personal level, Elon comes across as vindictive and unpleasant, which isn’t that surprising for what some may qualify as a “genius”. What sets Elon apart from many of innovators in our modern era is the fact that from a young age, he aspired to help humanity elevates itself to the next level. His inventions (true electric cars and private space travel, both now a reality because of him) were conceived from a deep-rooted obsession to “find ways to turn into reality what we believed to be science fiction only a few years ago”: sexy electric sports cars with charging stations every few kms across the US and Europe? Check. First ever private space flight to deliver supplies to the International Space Station? Check. His next project is: manned mission to Mars to explore the possibility of creating a new habitat for humans…
Recommended? No doubt. If you are to read only one book this year, this is the one.
By Malcolm Gladwell
Synopsys: an analysis of how having a visible disadvantage in whatever aspect of ones’ life could in fact be the seed for achieving a high level of success: it’s what you do about that disadvantage that matters and how you can turn it into an opportunity.
Impression: hmmm, I’m certainly not as excited as the 4.1/5 rating the book has on Amazon. I’ve read a number of Gladwell’s books in the past, and some I did really like. This one however came across as somewhat disjointed and often just a repetition of success stories of people with apparent disadvantages. Don’t get me wrong: I believe that the message is valid, true, and may be a “wake up call” for many who perceive themselves as having some sort of physical, monetary, social, or other disadvantage. I just believe he could have done a better job articulating it (as he has done in other books).
Recommended? Mixed recommendation: I would say that read it if you have some time to kill, but I would prioritize some of the other books in this (and previous) book reviews I’ve posted.
By Chris Kresser
Synopsys: a simple to follow plan to help you manage and reverse obesity and a wide range of disease through changes to your eating habits.
Impression: In full disclosure, I’m generally a big fan of Chris Kresser, who’s one of the most followed Functional Medicine clinicians worldwide. I can’t say that I learned much from this book, but that’s just because of the knowledge I’ve gleaned in the fields of functional medicine and nutrition over the past 3 years. HOWEVER: I do believe that this book presents the scientific logic behind a “modified paleo” approach to eating in a simple and (more importantly) easy to implement way.
Recommended: Absolutely. If you’re struggling with weight loss, high blood sugar, high blood lipids (triglycerides/LDL), thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, etc, this is a book you should definitely start with.
By Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
Synopsys: the authors of this book have worked with top-level Olympic athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs and other high achievers. The principles they articulate in this book are designed to unlock your potential and help you elevate your level of performance to a higher degree.
Impression: They make the case that even though we often complain about “not having the time” to do this or that beneficial activity (fitness, family time, reading, etc), often the reason is mismanagement of “energy levels” and not “time”. We’re just too “inefficient” even when we believe we have maximized our efficiency. The discuss critical aspects of “full engagement”, such as balancing energy expenditure (work) with energy renewal (personal time), hacking physical, emotional and mental energy. They put across a training system which can be followed to carefully hone your ability to manage your energy levels.
Recommended: as an avid student and coach of high performance, I would definitely recommend this book. In my experience mentoring entrepreneurs and a handful of executives, I would manage expectations: if you’re struggling with time management and energy levels to begin with, I just don’t think you’ll have the time to give this book its due time for it to be effective. My recommendation would be to read it in conjunction with a coaching plan which will help guide you through the most important practical steps to high performance.
As usual, any comments / questions, hit reply.
Enjoy the books!