My "Reading" Celebrations 2019

September 2018, exactly a year ago, I got this crazy idea to read one book a month for the next year.
It is crazy because I’m not really your A+ student and I can always find something better to do, like sleeping, before I’ll read for fun :)
The only time you’ll find me reading is when I’m doing some research on a coding problem or when I’m learning some new tech to put into practice.

Basically, I read for educational purposes…not for fun :)

Which brings me to my next problem, how do one hack the system if you don’t like reading?

You turn to audio books.

I signed up for an Amazon Audible account and started “reading” away.
It’s a subscription model and your monthly fee provides you one book a month.

I vowed not to sacrifice my family’s time and added my own rule: Listen only on my daily commute to work.
That is, 30-35 minutes of learning pleasure a day, 5 days a week.

I set out to find anything to drive my career forward, topics like: people and success, body language, goal setting, negotiation skills and leadership.

I was very focused…first month, done.
Second month, done.
Third month, something odd is happening…

The longer my journey continued, the more I discovered all these things I thought would drive my career, actually helped me more in my personal life.
I realised all the extra time I put in was an investment into my family.
It helped me be a better husband, dad and just be a better person in general.


Below is a list of the books I read.
I’m not going to give you a book review, you can read the review on Amazon :)
Instead, I’ll highlight parts which I found useful in my life.

  1. (PG) The Magic of Thinking Big - David Schwartz

This book addressed my self doubt and changed my thinking to: I can do it.
In fact, it pushed me to apply for a job I would never have considered before…and I got the job :)

  1. (A) Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Robert B. Cialdini

You can apply this book to all aspects of your life.
I applied some of the principles on my kids and was pleasantly surprised :)
Word of caution, there is a fine line between influence and manipulation.
Use your super power for good.

  1. (PG) Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink, Leif Babin

Two US Marines sharing their leadership knowledge and how to apply the same principles in your business.
I later used some of those principles in my own life.

One bold statement from this book which might trigger interest:

There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.

You be the judge :)

  1. (A) Crucial Conversations - Kerry Patterson

Helped me on all aspects of my life! I would strongly advise to give this one a spin.
It helps with handling those uncomfortable conversations.
I found it very useful in everyday life.

  1. (PG) Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed - Brian Tracy

Planning and setting goals.
Of course there are more than just those two points, but they are my key focus points.
A bit long but worked my way thought it.

  1. (G) The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure - Grant Cardone

Good motivation to get you stirred up to do more than just what is needed.
Aim for the moon and you’ll hit the trees type of thing.

  1. (A) The Like Switch - Jack Schafer PhD, Ph.D. Marvin Karlins Ph.D.

It’s from an ex-FBI agent sharing years of experience on attracting and winning people over.
I liked this one very much, it helped me to be a better person and to put others first.

  1. (PG) What Every BODY Is Saying - Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins

Also from an ex-FBI agent sharing how to speed-reading people.
I can now recognise small things my kids do before they turn into little demons :)

  1. (PG) The Charisma Myth - Olivia Fox Cabane

How anyone can master the art and science of personal magnetism.
This one helped me with a few ideas on public speaking.
It also pushed me to sign up for my first public speaking event…even though it was just 5 minutes :)

  1. (PG) A Whole New Mind - Daniel H. Pink

Shared some science behind how people think.
Also on how to spark the creative side of the mind.
Good book, enjoyed it!

  1. (A) Drive - Daniel H. Pienk

The surprising truth about what motivates us.
As always, Dan Pienk likes to use science to explain all his findings.
This helped me on all aspects of life, work and family life.

  1. (A) Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It - Chris Voss, Tahl Raz

An ex-FBI agent sharing some principles when he was a hostage negotiator.
Fantastic book and I apply the principles daily at work and at home.
It totally changed my point of view when you ask a question and the answer is “no”.
The word “no”, is the beginning of the negotiation.

It also helped negotiating my kids into bed :)

We all negotiate everyday, you don’t have to like it, you just have to accept it.

Rating Description
(A) Awesome and enjoyed it a lot
(PG) Pretty good
(G) Good


Today I celebrate the completion of my personal goal I set 12 months ago.
If I can do it, so can you!
It does not have to be books, identify your own interest and commit to it for a year.
You will surprise yourself.

Final thought

I believe life is about relationships, and I strive to treat anyone with respect regardless their social status or background.
These books just highlighted my own believes again.

Use it…don’t use it :)