Category Archives: Books

Excerpts from books, both fiction and nonfiction, that I find interesting.

“Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual” by Jocko Willink

There are nuances to leadership that everyone has to uncover for themselves. Leaders are different. Followers are different. Peers are different. Everyone has their own individual characteristics, personalities, and perspectives. I often tell leaders that what makes leadership so hard … Continue reading

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“Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope” by Mark Manson

Today, much in our world appears to be fucked. Not Nazi Holocaust–level fucked (not even close), but still, pretty fucked nonetheless. Stories such as Pilecki’s inspire us. They give us hope. They make us say, “Well, damn, things were way … Continue reading

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“The Body: A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson

Memory is not a fixed and permanent record, like a document in a filing cabinet. It is something much more hazy and mutable. As Elizabeth Loftus told an interviewer in 2013, “It’s a little more like a Wikipedia page. You … Continue reading

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“How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler” by Ryan North

Here is the bad news: the scientific method can produce knowledge that is wrong. Here is the good news: the scientific method is still our best technology for uncovering, verifying, and refining correct knowledge, because what the scientific method allows … Continue reading

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“The Evolution of Everything” by Matt Ridley

Evolution is far more common, and far more influential, than most people recognise. It is not confined to genetic systems, but explains the way that virtually all of human culture changes: from morality to technology, from money to religion. The … Continue reading

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“The Joy of Leadership: How Positive Psychology Can Maximize Your Impact in a Challenging World” by Tal Ben-Shahar and Angus Ridgway

The key, he learned, was leadership: the ability to influence the thinking and activities of other people in a shared effort to achieve goals and, ultimately, to realize a shared vision. Organizations that had good leaders—not just at the top … Continue reading

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“The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom” by Jonathan Haidt

Because our library is also effectively infinite—no one person can ever read more than a tiny fraction—we face the paradox of abundance: Quantity undermines the quality of our engagement. Like a rider on the back of an elephant, the conscious, … Continue reading

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“All Minus One: John Stuart Mill’s Ideas on Free Speech” by Richard Reeves, Jonathan Haidt, and Dave Circirelli

Mill’s main concern was not government censorship. It was the stultifying consequences of social conformity, of a culture where deviation from a prescribed set of opinions is punished through peer pressure and the fear of ostracism. In Mill’s view most … Continue reading

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“The Millionaire Next Door” by William Danko and Thomas Stanley

Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning, and, most of all, self-discipline. Seven common denominators among those who successfully build wealth. They live well below their means. They allocate their time, energy, and … Continue reading

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“Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual” by Jocko Willink

What better time to remind ourselves of the importance of discipline than as the holidays come to full swing. The distractions and off-ramps that take us farther from our goals are abundant. I’m not saying that these distractions are bad. … Continue reading

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