Book Reviews

Blink

by Malcolm Gladwell

AGL Rating: 4/5

This book highlights the significance that gut instinct has in expertise. Experts have acquired a higher level of innate feeling that allows them to discern nuances that extend beyond rationalization. This was a paradigm-shifting book for me.

Big Magic

by Elizabeth Gilbert

AGL Rating: 5/5

From the author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert provides an interesting take on creativity and the creative process.  She will shift your thinking about how one should engage with life more fully.

Man’s Search for Meaning

by Viktor Frankl

AGL Rating: 4/5

An inspiring story about human perseverance and fortitude in the midst of suffering. This book made me rethink philosophical meaning. For those who are interested in philosophy and humanistic psychology, this is a compelling read.

Thinking Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman

AGL Rating: 4/5

One of the most renown economists in the world, Daniel Kahneman, lays out the results of his groundbreaking research in behavioral economics in this book.

Thinking Fast and Slow will make you see decision-making from a different perspective as you begin to realize the contrast between subconscious and conscious decision-making, and the pros and cons of each.

Nudge

by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

AGL Rating: 5/5

The best book on behavioral economics and a book that has shifted policy around the world. In fact, the UK now has a “Nudge” department in its government, which makes public policies to influence consumer behavior for social good.

Additionally, this will make you rethink the way you make decisions and, if you are a marketer, the way you design your marketing.

Managing Oneself

by Peter Drucker

AGL Rating: 3/5

A quick read about how to manage your goals and expectations based on your strengths. Most of the insights are obvious, but worth a read if you’re looking to organize your goals.

Outliers: The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

AGL Rating: 5/5

If you haven’t heard about or read this book, read it now.  I read this book at the impressionable age of 16, and, subsequently, this book changed the course of my life.  Outliers made me realize how success and the skills required for attaining it can be learned. This will change the way you view self improvement.

Eleven Rings

by Phil Jackson

AGL Rating: 4/5

A compelling account about Phil Jackson’s coaching career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and his journey to five championships.  This book is filled with life lessons about success, leadership, and teamwork.

The Miracle Morning

by Hal Elrod

AGL Rating: 3/5

A decent book that gives some interesting tips and insights to having a solid morning routine. What makes the book more compelling is Elrod’s story.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

by Robert Kiyosaki

AGL Rating: 5/5

After reading this book, I dropped out of grad school.  I realized that through creating long-term financial assets, you can create streams of passive income to sustain yourself.  And once passive income exceeds your expenses, you have attained financial freedom.

Easily one of the best, if not the best, book for understanding that there are other options for making money besides working for an employer.

Made in America

by Sam Walton

AGL Rating: 4/5

An inspiring biography about a man from humble beginnings creating one of the most successful business to date. Even through his success, he and his family have remained humble and grounded, which has allowed the business to focus on the customer. A good read for personal finance and entrepreneurship.

The Millionaire Next Door

by Thomas Stanley and William Danko

AGL Rating: 4/5

An enlightening insight into the life patterns that millionaires have. Most of the conclusions are surprising. This book shifted my perspective of my long-term financial goals. A good read for those who struggle with personal finance, or want to improve their financial situation.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

by T. Harv Eker

AGL Rating: 5/5

This book was a pleasant surprise.

In spite of the gimmicky name, this book was a paradigm shifter for me.  In particular, Eker argues that wealth is derived from your emotional relationship to it.  Although this sounds a bit esoteric, the way Eker delivers his ideas in such a clear way is incredibly convincing.

Here was a significant quote for me:

“When the subconscious mind must choose between deeply rooted emotions and logic, emotions almost always win.” (22)

The Education of Millionaires

by Michael Ellsburg

AGL Rating: 2/5

This book was disappointing.

Most of the insights concerning wealth that Ellsburg presents are obvious.  He seems to be more concerned disparaging the value of higher education than presenting knowledge about wealth.

It’s clear that Ellsburg has a chip on his shoulder from spending so much on higher education.  But he also went to an expensive Ivy League institution.

When I went to college, I went to a respectable private school, BYU, and got a ton of value from my time in college.  In fact, most of the skills that I learned in college have given me a leg up in entrepreneurship.

All in all, if you’re a college dropout or feel jaded about the money you spent on your education, this book will likely resonate with you.  For me, not so much.

The Everything Store

by Brad Stone

AGL Rating: 4/5

A well-written account of the wealthiest man in the world (he recently overtook Bill Gates).  Bezos’s story is full of insights that will help any aspiring entrepreneur along his or her journey.

Eleven Rings

by Phil Jackson

AGL Rating: 4/5

A compelling account about Phil Jackson’s coaching career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and his journey to five championships.  This book is filled with life lessons about success, leadership, and teamwork.

The Magician’s Way

by William Whitecloud

AGL Rating: 5/5

An incredibly insightful book about mindset and the law of attraction that uses analogies and parables to convey its point clearly in an entertaining way.

Reality Transurfing

by Vadim Zeland

AGL Rating: 5/5

One of the best books I’ve ever read.  It’s a mix of social metaphysics and the law of attraction.  It’s written by a PhD physicist, so Zeland breaks down these concepts in a very methodical and technical way. However, this is a sizable book, and Zeland begins to repeat concepts quite a bit near the middle and end, but the first two Steps are invaluable.

The Secret

by Rhonda Byrne

AGL Rating: 4/5

This is a good primer for the law of attraction. If you want a quick summary of law of attraction concepts, this book is for you. For me, I was already familiar with most of the concepts presented in this book, so it wasn’t an interesting read, but it was still a good refresher.

Apology

by Plato

AGL Rating: 5/5

One of the best philosophical pieces of all time.  This should be required reading for everyone.

The Apology is Socrates’s final words before being sentenced to death.  It’s on the shorter side (less than 30 pages) and it’s relatively easy to read since it’s a dialogue. However, the impact of the words spoken by Socrates will change the way you think.

Basic Writings

by Martin Heidegger

AGL Rating: 5/5

This collection of essays changed the way I perceive reality.

Heidegger talks about an overall societal movement towards a more technological way of thinking, and he warns of Dasein (ontological self-reflective beings, i.e. humans) viewing entities as means to an end rather than just being.

Interestingly, there are a lot of similarities between Heidegger and Eastern philosophy.

This is a difficult read, but once you understand the concepts presented, it will change your life.

The Fountainhead

by Ayn Rand

AGL Rating: 5/5

I know that I’m going to catch some flak from philosophers that I put this in the “Philosophy” category, but this is a thought-provoking novel nonetheless.

Ayn Rand’s ideas of objectivism are clearly illustrated in this book as Howard Roark embodies characteristics of individuality and anti-conformism.

This book changed my paradigm of the world when I read it in high school. Highly recommended.

Thinking Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman

AGL Rating: 4/5

One of the most renown economists in the world, Daniel Kahneman, lays out the results of his groundbreaking research in behavioral economics in this book.

Thinking Fast and Slow will make you see decision-making from a different perspective as you begin to realize the contrast between subconscious and conscious decision-making, and the pros and cons of each.

Nudge

by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

AGL Rating: 5/5

The best book on behavioral economics and a book that has shifted policy around the world. In fact, the UK now has a “Nudge” department in its government, which makes public policies to influence consumer behavior for social good.

Additionally, this will make you rethink the way you make decisions and, if you are a marketer, the way you design your marketing.

Capitalism and Freedom

by Milton Friedman

AGL Rating: 5/5

Milton Friedman is a genius. He’s acutely rational and clear in his communication of his ideas. This book will make you rethink the way our society is organized and what the government’s role should be in our country.