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Jung's Thoughts on God

by Donald R. Dyer, Carl Jung

I came across a quote by Carl Jung where he said “I do not need to believe in God; I know” which caught my attention. As explained in this book, Jung’s thoughts on God were that God is a real, psychic phenomenon. Through various selections of his essays, books, and speeches, a thread is created that focuses on the idea of the conscience (or inner voice) as God. This is coupled with Jung’s theories on the unconscious, positing that this is the realm where God resides within us.

This book is short but packed with a lot of helpful thinking that squared with my own. As I continue to better understand my own faith, I’ll carry a lot of this in mind. I’d encourage others—irrespective of religious beliefs—to give this a read. Lots of mind candy that will keep you busy long after you put it down.

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

by Alex Epstein

This title is sure to give some folks a heart attack.

A book I came across after growing increasingly skeptical of the emotional manipulation of climate change alarmists and their associated movements (how dare you!).

I started to ask “how do I know what I know about this” and realized I had a vague understanding of what climate change actually meant, how that affected humans, and was told 97% of scientists agree this is a problem and so my thinking shut off there. The tipping point was when I made the connection between the constant crisis-making in the news and by politicians: it was all theater, backed by very little real, evidence-based science.

This book serves several purposes:

  1. To unpack and dismiss some of the common myths about climate change (and how it’s presented optically via predictive models vs. what the observational data says).
  2. To make a very well argued case about the role of fossil fuels in our civilization and how renewables would cause major issues (potentially leading to mass death due to unpredictable/excessively expensive energy costs).
  3. That we should adopt a philosophy of support for cultivating nature in favor of human flourishing, not eliminating human influence and impact of nature (which in and of itself is not entirely negative). The moral element being that, the latter is an anti-human proposition, while the former is a pro-human proposition.

Reading this might make some people uncomfortable, but it’s worth the initial squirm to better inform yourself. The cost of not doing so is allowing politicians to implement legislation that decimates your standard of living on the back of predictions, not reality.

To supplement, I highly recommend this congressional testimony (pay attention to how the uploader tries to manipulate your emotions via the title—the most important wrench in the alarmist toolbelt—vs. the points made by Dr. Christy). The written version is here and goes into more detail and explains some of the tactics used to misrepresent data to confuse people.

Outwitting the Devil

by Napoleon Hill

Fun book to read with a good message. A “conversation with the devil” occupies the bulk of the book, making a (valid) point about why the majority of people struggle to accomplish their goals. It was a nice reminder of what can lead you to “drift,” as the book describes it, and how to fix your mindset to avoid unnecessary failures.

The Forest Passage

by Ernst Jünger

Recommendation from a friend. Read slowly over several months. A brief but great read about the power of the individual to resist tyranny and exercise independence and learning to recognize the value in cultivating one’s individuality in solitude, despite the chaos raging around them. Two favorite and apt quotes “Fear always takes on the mask, the style of the times” and “This is the gullibility of modern man, which coexists with a lack of faith. He believes what he reads in the newspaper but not what is written in the stars.”

Zero to One

by Peter Thiel

I don’t really consider myself a “startup” type, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. I went in expecting the usual fare about building it fast and cheap and “experimenting,” but instead found a voice that aligns with my own thinking quite a bit. Learned some new stuff about advertising and positioning of a product as well as the concept of a “last mover” advantage. Worthwhile read if you’re building a software business or any other early-stage company.


by Anthony de Mello

A book created from a talk by Jesuit priest, Anthony de Mello. Absolutely brilliant and something that I’ll come back to multiple times in my life. As the name implies, the book makes a point of “waking up” the reader to reality. Helping to understand the difference between the illusions that carry you through life and what’s really taking place. Learned about this from Tim Ferriss who says he’s bought multiple copies to pass out to friends and family. Read it and you’ll understand why.

The Four Agreements

by Don Miguel Ruiz

Brief read, only a hundred pages or so. More of a reminder than new information. Good rules for personal conduct and how to keep yourself out of unnecessary trouble and angst. Highlighted quite a bit—in the same vein as “The Courage to Be Disliked” but the choosing of four maxims to guide your life by is nice. Worthwhile if you find your life in disarray or lacking in some areas and want some guidance for how to improve.

As a Man Thinketh

by James Allen

A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the prerequisites for success. One of those books that “plops” in your path, you read it, and it changes your life forever. Simple, quick read that will help you to shift your perception of how and why you live your life the way you do.

Ship of Fools (Audiobook)

by Tucker Carlson

Entertaining. A nice reminder/illumination of the inanity plaguing leftist politics and humanity as a whole. A bit of a rehash on “can you believe how nuts these people are?” but overall a worthwhile listen.

Warren Buffett Accounting Book: Reading Financial Statements for Value Investing

by Stig Bordersen, Preston Pysh

Another great book by Preston Pysh, this time joined by his partner Stig Brodersen. The first book in their series hinted at some of the topics in this book, placing more of an emphasis on personal psychology and decision making. In this book, the focus is primarily technical, teaching you how to dissect the three financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement) to make investment decisions. Interestingly, more than giving insight into developing an investment strategy, this also informed how I think about my own business quite a bit.

Warren Buffett's 3 Favorite Books

by Preston Pysh

Holy cow. Simple, fast read packed with information. If you’re interested in a more conservative, predictable approach to investing: this is it. This book teaches the basics of value investing (the technique used by the well-known investor, Warren Buffett) through a series of easy to understand stories and examples. It shares the equations necessary to determine intrinsic value of a stock and some helpful “general range” numbers that good value stocks fall into. Excellent book.

The Geometry of Wealth

by Brian Portnoy

A random pick on a Saturday afternoon that turned into a weekend speed-read. Overall a good book. It has less of a slant on practical measures to take and puts more of a focus on “how to get your head straight.” This was a good reminder that slow-and-steady investment strategies are generally best. Thinking you can outsmart the market or that you’ll stumble on something other—more experienced—investors haven’t is a fool’s errand.

The age-old lessons nicely packaged here: invest consistently and diversely, shifting your strategy based on your immediate need for money (read: weight your investments toward stocks in your prime years and dial back to bonds when you’re nearing retirement). A nice theme throughout: enjoy life, too. Don’t become an over-obsessed money nerd; just be smart and aware and enjoy the ride.

Perennial Seller

by Ryan Holiday

Not a bad book, but a lot more obvious than expected. A lot of the ideas here are slanted toward someone who’s just getting started releasing their own creative work. I’d say it’s still worth a read even if you’re experienced; I managed to pick up some nice tidbits along the way. If anything, it’s a great reminder of how to focus on a career or body of work vs. one hit wonders.

The Street-Smart Entrepreneur: 133 Tough Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

by Jay Goltz

Decent book. Picked it up because I saw the author mentioned in another book I really enjoyed (Small Giants) and knew of his business in Chicago, Artist’s Frame Service. Overall great ideas and tips, though, towards the end a lot of the info was either outdated—expected as the book is from 1998—or only applied to a physical business. If you’re just starting out running your own thing, this is a quick worthwhile read; just flip past the stuff that doesn’t apply to your type of business.

The Courage to Be Disliked

by Ichiro Kishimi, Fumitake Koga

One of those rare books you come across randomly and it ends up changing your life permanently. Saw this on a “best books you read of 2018” tweet/thread and picked it up because of the name. Devoured it inside of a week, highlighting passages on nearly every page. A completely different way of looking at the world—one that can help you immensely to improve your relationships with other folks, and ultimately, your overall level of happiness. 100% a must-read.

The Science of Getting Rich/The Science of Being Great

by Wallace D. Wattles

Two books in one, and a good pair to come back to throughout life. The title makes it sound like bottom feeder trite—which is what I expected when it was recommended to me—but I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite. The overwhelming message of the book is the importance of mindset and taking action, though that doesn’t do it justice. There’s a religious component that can be off-putting depending on your own beliefs (this is briefly addressed in The Science of Being Great), but it’s best to ignore it and look to the points being made. Read it, try what it says, and see if it has an impact on your life.

Growing a Business

by Paul Hawken

Excellent book. Though most of the ideas it contains were things that I’d learned from others already, hearing them reaffirmed alongside amusing anecdotes was quite welcome. This is a must-read for folks just getting started in business and running their own things. It’s far less of a practical, step-by-step manual and more of a mindset-shaper; a set of moral and ethical guidelines that will indirectly help you find success in business.

The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life

by Kevin Simler, Robin Hanson

A random find—it was randomly pitched to the author’s mailing list that I forgot I was on—this one played my skeptical fiddle extraordinarily well. Through a range of topics, the author(s) break down why we do what we do and how (e.g., political or religious affiliations), more often than not, what we do is backed by hidden motives. It definitely had me questioning my own motives but also made me more empathetic toward inconsistency in the beliefs and motives of others. There weren’t many surprises in this book, but it was nice to see all of the concepts organized and illuminated together.

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

by Hugh MacLeod

A good book for folks just getting started out on their own in business or a creative field. I wish I would have come across this a few years ago—it distills a lot of similar thinking I’d read across multiple books into a nice collection of quick-to-digest pointers. The humor it interjects through the use of the author’s cartoons—he doesn’t forget to remind you multiple times that he’s famous for these—makes the read more enjoyable. Worth the short time it took to read.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

by Jordan B. Peterson

I stumbled upon Dr. Peterson’s work last year and have slowly been warming up to his reasoning. It’s a shame that he’s cast in a negative light by so many—what he suggests is far from harmful, hateful, or negative (he’s often referred to as a bigot which is utterly confusing); in fact, quite the opposite. I eagerly awaited the release of this book and it lived up to expectations. A lot of wonderful ideas, and more importantly, questions to ask yourself about your own conduct. A worthwhile read for anyone at any age looking to improve their thought process, and ultimately, their life.

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (Audiobook)

by Nathaniel Branden

Random find. I hadn’t heard of Nathaniel Branden until I came across his chapters in The Virtue of Selfishness. I recall liking his writing more than Ayn Rand’s and decided to look him up. Came across this book as an audiobook and put it on while packing for an upcoming move. Really enjoyed the overall message of this one. It underscored the importance of building up one’s self-esteem and learning to enjoy the happiness in your life (and not feel guilty about it).

The Virtue of Selfishness

by Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden

Forbidden fruit. This is one of those books that others will shame you for reading and cast judgment on you for agreeing with the principles of, but damn this was good. A great argument against altruism in a way that doesn’t read quite how you’d expect (i.e., don’t pass judgment just based on the title/anecdotal experience with it—read for yourself). A real eye opener for me and a big motivator toward personal responsibility moving forward. Highly recommended, but be careful; what it teaches you will not make others happy (this is addressed in a later chapter).

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation...

by David Robertson, Bill Breen

I can’t remember how I came across this but glad I did. Interesting story of how the LEGO company almost went bankrupt in the early 2000s and the subsequent turnaround. It was nice to see a major, well-known company making similar mistakes and learning how they corrected them. This was an excellent reminder to avoid complacency at all costs.

The Great Degeneration

by Niall Ferguson

Travel companion for a series of flights. A brief treatise on the buckling of economic and social stability in Western countries. Well-articulated ideas, backed by data, presented without unnecessary fluff. One of the books you hate to enjoy due to the topic matter, but if this sort of thing concerns you: give this a read. Only ~150 pages.

Obvious Adams

by Robert Rawls Updegraff

Quick story written from the perspective of a copywriter working his way up at an ad agency. Nice reminder that the obvious thing is usually the most effective. Short enough to read a few times through to drill-in the concepts.


by Milo Yiannopoulos

A must-read for those who are frustrated and/or tired of the hyper-politicization of the world. Great thoughts about the importance of free speech and the importance of upholding the First Amendment, even if you disagree with what someone says. This book is hardly dangerous. Give it a read. At the very least a few laughs are guaranteed.

A Work in Progress

by René Redzepi

Technically a journal by the chef spanning one year. Learned a lot from this one as René didn’t cover up the mistakes or fears he experienced in his business and personal life. Really unique read that I’d recommend to anyone—especially younger folks—just getting started in business.

Do the Work

by Steven Pressfield

The number one book I either recommend or buy for folks I work with. There is simply no recipe for success better than sitting down and doing the work consistently. This book was the turning point in how I looked at my work (and how I did it).

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

by Baltasar Gracian

I wish I would have read this when I was younger, but it showed up at a point in life when I was confused/scared and it gave me solid Cliffnotes on how to exist without excessive angst. Keep a copy around and review it from time to time; you won’t regret it.

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (Audiobook)

by Chris Hafield

Adding this review long after I listened to it. Great story about Chris’s life, how he became an astronaut, and some of the lessons he learned on the way up. Entertaining but shouldn’t be dismissed—I learned a ton from Chris about personal conduct and perseverance.