“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” – Joseph Addison
As you may have been aware, I had set out to read at least 10 books as part of my three New Year resolutions. To some of you, reading 10 books is something that can be done in a couple of weeks. To me, it was somewhat of a daunting task as I am not exactly a devout reader (at least not until now). I may have read 10 books in the past 5 years (and some of them may not even qualify as books). When I thought about my resolution I figured I could -at the very- least read 1 book per month. Well, I blew that pace away by devouring 10 books in 4 months. Going to Cuba certainly helped as I flew through 3 books in that week alone! I am glad I accomplished this goal as I have gained so much knowledge and insight from the books that I have read. I can honestly say I have been bitten by the reading bug and I hope it continues to enrich my life with practical and soul strengthening knowledge.
Now….. what to read next?
Here are the 10 books that I have read:
Rich Habits – Thomas C. Corley
I really enjoyed this little book that was jammed pack with 10 habits that we should all embrace in order to live rich and wealthy lives. There are a few fictional stories that lead up to the definition of the 10 habits, but that (to me) was just fluff meant to set the stage and make the book more relational to the reader. It was a very quick read and could easily be read in an evening. I would highly recommend this book to someone looking for some practical advice on how to live more efficiently and with more purpose.
The Leader Who Had No Title – Robin Sharma
This was a great self-help book based around a fictional story about a veteran who lost his ability to lead his own life let alone be a leader among his friends and co-workers. In the story are a series of helpful tips about how to be a leader without having the prestige of a fancy job title. This is the second book from Sharma that I have read and in both cases, I really enjoy his delivery and his tips and pointers about how to be an authentic leader. I have adopted many of the techniques in my daily routine and so far I have been feeling an overall lift of my spirit. Thank you, Yves, for the awesome gift of this book!
Hockey Confidential – Bob MacKenzie
I had first eyed this book last fall and I had a keen interest in picking it up. Luckily, I had received it as a Christmas gift (thanks Jon!). I have always respected the author for his hockey knowledge as he often sticks to the facts and doesn’t usually inflict his own opinion. The book is a collection of “short stories” from various players, coaches and people involved in the game of hockey. Each story has an element of adversity that each person has had to overcome to get where they are today. I really enjoyed this book and the highlight of it was reading about Karl Subban, Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban’s father. He immigrated to Canada from Jamaica as a child and raised 5 kids (3 of which became NHL worthy players). I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the NHL and its players. Each chapter features a different story and it really captivates your attention.
Conversations With a Rattlesnake – Theo Fleury and Kim Bethel
I had the pleasure of buying this book at one of Theo and Kim’s open forums that they held here in Moncton. They talked about the subject of addiction and abuse in a very open and raw way. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of meeting Theo and Kim to have them sign the book. The book is literally a conversation between Theo and Kim where they talk about healing from addiction and sexual abuse. They talk about everything related to the brain, how we feel and how we can learn to heal from understanding the triggers and chemistry of our emotions. I highly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from any kind of abuse and/or addiction or someone who struggles with mental health issues.
All The Way: My Life On Ice – Jordin Tootoo with Stephen Brunt
This was a very quick and interesting read. It is the autobiography of Jordin Tootoo, the first Inuk to ever play in the NHL. It tells a story of how Jordin overcame the obstacles of growing up in the Arctic and making it to the NHL. It also tells how he overcame the suicide of his very close brother Terrance and beating the odds in recovering from alcohol abuse. The book was rather raw in its delivery and at times the story bounced around but overall it was a good read and gave me a better understanding of the Inuit culture.
The Crazy Game – Clint Malarchuk with Dan Robson
This book picked me. Once in a while, I will come across a book that just captivates and this was one of them. My wife had gifted me this autobiography for Christmas and while I kinda knew of his story and his NHL career, I only had a passing interest in Clint Malarchuk’s life. When I saw the book in the stores, I had a passing interest to read it. Well, I am glad I did. His raw, detailed and authentic story about his struggles with anxiety, OCD, PTSD and alcoholism was very real and it struck a chord with me. I gained a lot out of this book and I recommend it to anyone who may be struggling with mental illness or who may be helping someone get through it. At the end of the book it had Clint’s personal email address, I sent him a note to let him know the impact his book had on me and I was very surprised that within a couple of hours, he responded back. A very personal touch.
Last Words – George Carlin with Tony Hendra
I have always enjoyed George Carlin’s comedy. He is very offensive so he is certainly not for everyone, but his look at life in some way matches the way I look at various things that humour me. This book was everything that I could have wanted. In his own words, George brings us into his life as a little boy growing up in the streets of New York city all the way up to his final appearances and what he wanted for the future of his career. Since I wasn’t around during the earlier years of his career, I was never really aware of this drug abuse and struggles he had. Since reading this book, I admired the strength he possessed when it came to fighting to be an innovative comedian that was clearly ahead of his time.
Zero To One – Peter Thiel with Blake Masters
This book was recommended to me by a couple of co-workers. It was a good read that zeroes in on tips, ideas on what builds a successful start-up business. It was very informative in that it outlined various methods the bigger players in the tech industry followed to build their fortunes. Each of them was very different in their execution but all of them shared some very basic fundamentals that were explained in this book. I enjoyed this read in that it gave me a lot of insight into how tech companies get their start and how to get them to succeed. Certainly not a book for everyone, but I believe it is a must read if you have always thought you would like to enter the start-up game (or would like to invest in one).
Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness – Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford
While on vacation I ran out of my own books to read, my wife had finished this one up so I decided to give it a go. I simply could not put it down and read it from cover to cover in 5 hours. This is a very graphic story about Michelle Knight, the woman who was held captive for over 10 years by Ariel Castro in Cleveland until she and 2 others escaped his house in spring 2013. This was a very shocking read and it spares no detail about what these three women (teenagers) had been through while being held captive. I am absolutely floored by how she was able to go through so much, yet still found it in her to forgive the man who tortured her. Her strength, will to live and survivor instinct was simply breathtaking. This was a very, very good read!
Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success – Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
This was a very interesting and informative read. It spends time deeply examining human behaviour in terms of two mindsets, growth and fixed. The book sets different situations for each side and explains how a person will behave if they are of a certain mindset. I now have a better understanding of how a lot of people in my life think. I also now have a better understanding of how I can process my thoughts, especially during challenging situations.
Updated resolution numbers:
309 of 1000 KMs walked
18 of 50 blog entries posted
10 of 10 books read (goal achieved April 17th)