Books

Accidental Superpower – No book has had a bigger impact on the way I view the world than this one. Dare I say this book made me proud to be an American. Peter Zeihan describes the new world order created by the United States at the end of World War II which unleashed a global economic revolution. Though it’s in vogue to say the United States is over the hill as the EU or China take it’s place- Zeihan argues that from an economic and defensive standpoint, the United States has nothing to worry about. The rest of the world, however, will have to come to terms with a more disinterested United States which Zeihan argues will cause global instability over the coming decades. History is not over, in fact, it’s back in session.

The Obstacle is the Way – This book has had the biggest impact on me, really ingraining in me the truth that obstacles and hardships are actually a GOOD. I think we can all superficially agree that obstacles make us stronger, but this book actually makes you believe it. When you are done, you are going to wish your life was harder.

Sapiens – An amazing high level, detached, and objective view of how humans have evolved over time and come to organize in the world we live in today. The first history book I’ve read that allowed me to view modern society in a detached and unemotional way. Crucial for putting modern humanity in perspective.

The Lessons of History – Like Sapiens, this offers a detached and objective view of human history, with a focus on big historical events and political systems. Will and Ariel Durant are most famous for their huge 11 volume set, The Story of Civilization. They’ve taken those ideas and put them in a short, easy to understand read.

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl gives an objective and philosphical account of his experience surviving in several Nazi concentration camps. Given he was a psychologist, this adds a layer to his narrative and gives us many lessons applicable to everyday life.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – This book will blow your mind. Conventional wisdom tells us that the best way to grow wealth is to have the “best” people manage your money and actively invest it. John Bogle, pioneer of the index fund, clearly articulates the simple fact that low cost passive investing is the surest way to build wealth, it’s simply no contest. This investing strategy aligns with that of Mr. Money Mustache, one of the publications I recommend above.

Zero to One – Peter Thiel is a provocateur, and that certainly shows in this book. But he does an excellent job of forcing you to rethink conventional wisdom.

Elon Musk – Similar to Zero to One, Ashlee Vances’ narrative on Elon’s life gives an account of someone who consistently challenges conventional wisdom through enterprise. In the 21st century no one has taken bigger or more risky bets than Elon Musk, and it is absolutely fascinating to learn about.

Rework – The way most people and businesses work is a glorious waste of time and resources. This will challenge your understanding of what it means to get things done, both inside and outside of work.

The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck – Click bait title that should really be “The Subtle Art of Knowing what to give a F*ck About.” Focus your energy on the things that matter and forget everything else.

The Alchemist – One of the simplest and most beautiful stories I have ever read. Sometimes you must let go of what’s comfortable.

One thought on “Books

  1. Just finished the Accidental Superpower. Peter Zeihan is what I’d like to call an apocalypse pornographer. In this book of prophecies, the author predicts approximately 1,000 ways in which the world will collapse into anarchy once the United States scales back its worldwide naval operations. What will happen to the world, you might be asking, if the shipping lanes become open to peg legged buccaneers and krakens? International Institutions will disintegrate and geopolitics will revert to an anarchic state. Alliances will mean nothing and disputes between countries will no longer be settled in international courts or negotiations.

    Here’s a brief list Zeihan’s predictions:

    -Japan will re-arm and control the pacific
    -China will collapse as a sovereign nation
    -Tatarstan will stage a revolution against the Russian Federation and become a fully autonomous nation
    -Russia will become internationally irrelevant before 2020
    -Uzbekistan will become the most powerful nation in Asia.
    -Pakistan will share it’s nuclear capabilities with Saudi Arabia and destroy Iran from both sides. But not with nukes though? Because this book makes no mention of nuclear weapons being used in the 21st century?
    -Brazil will shrink. It shrinks!
    -And my favorite: Alberta will secede from Canada and become the 51st State of the US?!

    But don’t worry. The US of A will be fine because of shale gas and … navigable rivers. Yup. Rivers. We’ve got rivers people. Everything’s gonna be fine. And once we have Alberta, Canada will no longer pose a threat to us.

    For a man who sees chaos lurking behind every corner, you’d think he might have something to say about climate change. Nope. You see, Peter Zeihan isn’t sure about all that climate what-now that those libtards keep talking about. Peter Zeihan, ladies and gentlemen, is a man of cold hard facts. Oh, but he has two pages at the end of the book where he talks about the distant possibility of rising sea levels. That’s it.

    Other things he doesn’t talk about- mass migration, disease, famine, or even all the nuclear fallout from all of his predicted international conflicts and disputes. It’s as if the 7 billion people in all of these countries he speaks of are just abstractions. They don’t move around, they don’t have needs or aspirations or abilities, they are just numbers on a country’s Wikipedia entry. They’re something OTHER than the real people here in the USA.

    I knew from the opening line of this book, “I’ve always loved maps,” that this was going to be a bumpy ride. You’re all better off watching Dora the Explorer instead.

    I give this book 1 navigable river out of 5

    Like

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