Archive for Book Reviews

Three New Books I’m Desperately Trying To Eat At Once

Here are three books I can’t wait to read ALL at once and wanted to share. I’ll likely have some notes, tweets and reviews later as they all are packed with great information:

You can see my all-time reading list here for books I’ve read and love.

The Most Humbling, Encouraging Book I’ve Ever Read On Changing the World

Over the weekend, I was consumed by the most amazing, most humbling, life-resetting, change your outlook on the world so that you can be a part of changing the world books I’ve read. Ever.

It’s called Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think.

After recommending it this morning someone asked me: What was your biggest takeaway?

I said, “that we have the greatest opportunity in history to increase the quality of life of every human being on the face of the planet.”

In fact the product description says: “Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge—this is a book about how we rise to meet it.”

I spent the weekend being thankful for every single thing (and person) I have and refocusing myself on how I’m a steward of my time, talent and treasure for others.

Read Abundance. Be changed forever. And then act.

I know it’s re-energized on how I can contribute to helping change the lives of others.




Peter Drucker’s Brilliant Five Most Important Questions

Stumbled onto Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions for organizations this week and it was exactly what I needed and so impactful for me and our business. The five questions are:

  • What is our Mission?
  • Who is our Customer?
  • What does the Customer Value?
  • What are our Results?
  • What is our Plan?

The Self Assessment Tool alone is worth the price of the book. It walks through each of the questions with more information and sharp and deeper questions for better exploring each.

I’ve been working through these key questions for specific products at iThemes and it’s already so helpful to just reorient because it’s easy to forget these foundational aspects.

The Obstacle Is The Way Is More Than a Book

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday is quickly becoming one of my favorite all-time recommended books … and a mantra for how I attack life.

I love the book or rather the philosophy so much that I also bought the audiobook to play while I’m driving because I want the principles and stories embedded into my thoughts and existence. And it’s proved to be easy, motivating listening.

This philosophy is similar to the question I ask often now — How can this fail? But I like this focus even more. It’s an epic formula for achievement and success.

Focusing on the challenges and obstacles that stand in my way and blowing them up (or using them productively) has been life changing. And I don’t say that quickly, or without thought and value.

Just today as I was thinking about my/our goals for next year … and after identifying the big things we want to achieve, I started a new mindmap node under the main one called Obstacles and Challenges and began to see list out what is in our path so we can attack, minimize, blow them up, use it against itself.

Go buy The Obstacle is the Way. The Kindle version. The hard copy for a desktop reminder (which I’ll do soon too). And the audiobook for the road. You’ll be better for it. 






Two Epic Books for Your Heart and Head

I recently read two epic books and got so much out of them that we bought hard copies for every team member.

Here’s the letter I sent to them that captures why these two books need to be in your library:

March 19, 2014

Dear iThemes team member—

I recently read both of these books and felt compelled to give them to you as gifts because of the impact they have had on my life.

I believe both of these have helped me measuredly live a better, more impactful life, and thus, part of our mission of Making People’s Lives Awesome. And that’s my hope for these two gifts.

Here are some quick notes on them and why I’m giving them to you …

The first one, Happiness Advantage, is essentially 100+ scientifically backed ways to increase your happiness. I have it on the Kindle and have highlighted over a hundred tips in it to practice in my life — both personally and professionally.

It’s now on my all-time top 10 reading list. And I’ve rarely found a book that not only has great practical tips, but ones that have been proven to work (or based on a scientific study).

I bought this one to be specifically shared with your spouse or significant other too, which is why I’m sending you a hard copy.

One thing Lindsey and I started doing after reading the book is practicing gratitude at dinner each night. In particular, we ask what 3 things the other is proud of, or went well during the day. It was a story from the book and we’re enjoying doing it.

The next one is 5 Elements of Effective Thinking. I’ve found this book to be immensely helpful in thinking bigger and better.

The exercises alone in this book are gold. I’m using several of them today even to think about our business and what and how we’re doing it all.

Some of these elements you already practice and employ in your work with us. But I also see great value in it for helping us take our thinking to the next level. This is another desk reference type of book that could be read annually, which is what I hope to do.

I think it’ll help not only your work and contribution at iThemes, but in every other area of your life as well.

Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy these gifts as a thank you for committing your work life and immense talents and passions to what we do at iThemes.

If you have thoughts and stories to share about how these books helped in some facet of your life, I’d love to hear them!