My Thoughts and Opinions on Books Read in the 2nd Quarter of 2018

Again, I do not claim to be an expert here.

Because of numerous asks for my opinion and recommendations for books, I have decided to record each book and my small take on the book.

If you are looking for the types of books I choose, and a little bit of why, check out my first article here: Books Read in First Quarter of 2018

“Tried By Fire” By William J. Bennett

This is a collection of incredible, fantastic, and horrible narratives of people that endured or sacrificed to bring the story of Christ to the ends of the earth. Not my favorite read, but it was good to get perspective on these characters. Each story can inspire love, life, and work toward something greater than yourself.

“Spark” By John J. Ratey

This was my favorite “science” book read of 2018! It was awesome to hear the data and narrative of exercise and the effects it has on our brain, cognition, and neurology.

“Improve Your Conversations: Think on Your Feet, Witty Banter, and Always Know What to Say with Improv Comedy Techniques” By Patrick King

I love improv comedy, and when I was in High School I was a bit of a drama geek, loving improvisation bits, banter, and play most of all. That being said, I would suggest joining a local improv class, over reading this book. It was interesting to hear his juxtaposition of improv and conversation, and I liked the thesis, which was about supporting the other is the best way to improv and conversate.

“The Final Mission of Extortion 17: Special Ops, Helicopter Support, SEAL Team Six, and the Deadliest Day of US War in Afghanistan.” By Ed Darack

I have always had an awe for rotary wing support, even before my Marine Corps career. The thud-thud-thud of Chinooks flying overhead when I was a kid, made me dream of missions in far off countries, saving local men, women, and children from evil men, and then the overwhelming sense of security they gave me and my squad, during firefights in Iraq. This book gave me an even greater sense of awe, and respect for the military helicopter pilots.

“Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation” By Mark W. Muesse

It was great to hear all of the different styles and types of meditation, while also not being swayed to a certain theological, political, or ideological belief in order to benefit properly from meditation. Although probably more Buddhist in his practice, the professor allows the student to explore the practice for its mental, emotional, and physical benefits, instead of forcing a worldview.

“The Big Questions of Philosophy” By David Kyle Johnson, PhD

The author ventures through history’s greatest philosophical minds to help each student understand and set their own philosophy. Great course by Great Courses!!

“The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence” By Gavin de Becker (second time reading it)

A book everyone should read, for the author’s view on living and staying safe. My family will most likely have it read before they are 16. I will ask my children, even though the probability of bad stuff happening to them is low, would they like to be aware and be able to do something about something bad if it is going to happen?

“12 Rules of Life” By Jordan B. Peterson

While I generally appreciate Jordan B. Peterson standing up for himself, freedom of speech, and many groups that are being generalized and stereotyped, I have read better exhortations on how to live life and being a decent human and man. It wasn’t bad though, and a decent place to start. A few examples of other places to start: “The Big Questions of Philosophy,” “A Game Plan for Life” with John Wooden, “The Purpose Driven Life,” “Never Quit,” and “The Navigator”…I personally spend each morning meditation and training session with 5 minutes of praying, 5 minutes of vision-casting/PNT, and then 30 minutes in the Bible, followed by 40 minutes in a course by Dr. William Lane Craig (philosopher, apologist, and theologian who spends an innumerable amount of hours studying science, mathematics, and other religions to understand himself, people, the World around him, and God).

“Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging” By Sebastian Junger

Although biased, I think the author does a great job of providing solid information and perspective on the tribe concept, especially with regard to the military during and after deployment/service. Every military man and woman, veteran, and society with veterans should read this book.

“The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer” By Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn

Very interesting study on our telomeres, and all the things in nature and nurture that affect them. Also, complete with choices that we can make to fix what we have.

“Triphasic Training” By Cal Dietz and Ben Peterson

Anyone who is serious about improving athlete’s performance with strength and conditioning should read this book.

“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” By Daniel H. Pink

The reason I am bonkers about autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Any leader should read this book.

“Signature in the Cell” By Stephen C Meyer

An incredible scientific look at the probability of intelligent design. If you thought scientific research eliminated politics, popularity contests, and bias, take a second look.

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