May Books

Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman

I listened to this as an audio book. I was a bit skeptic with the subtitle of “A Book That Changes Lives” but I can say that it will (or should) change your outlook on life. Part fiction, part based on his life, Millman takes you on his journey as a young college student at UC Berkeley. As a varsity gymnast chasing his Olympic dream, he has everything a young person could want with his whole life ahead of him yet doesn’t truly feel happy. He meets a wise old man who makes a major impact on his life and challenges his ability to thrive. Watching his own death from a distance, Millman is able to get his priorities in line and become a warrior at peace.

Marley & Me, John Grogan

Are you a dog person? Follow along as the author and his young bride decide to buy a puppy to dip their toes into parenthood. As they navigate life and a growing family, their sometimes wild but always loyal canine is close by. Marley is a constant reminder of the saying, “a dog is man’s best friend.” This one had me laughing and crying. This book was later made into a movie starring Jennifer Aniston.

 

April Books

Meet the Frugalwoods, Elizabeth Willard Thames

This was a great read on chasing what truly makes you happy in life. A young couple had it all- a great home in the city, high paying jobs, designer clothes but they never really felt happy. One day it came to them, we’re happiest when we are in nature and away from the bright lights and traffic in the city. Adopting a mindset of frugality and simple living, follow along a young family who makes a 180 degree lifestyle change and finds happiness in rural Vermont on a homestead. Personal finance nerds, this ones is for you.

What Makes Sammy Run, Budd Schulberg

I discovered this book via recommendations from Tools of Titans. A fictional story of how to make it in Hollywood. Follow along as a young, ambitious man from New York heads out west to try and make a dent in the film industry. He does that and much more as he climbs the ladder as a writer in film and becomes a big-shot in Tinseltown. The characters are memorable and the story is a winding road to the end.

 

March Books

The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J Stanley & William D Danko, Ph.D.

When you think of a millionaire, the first few thoughts that come to mind are likely a large house with fancy cars in the driveway, taking lots of vacations, wearing designer clothing and overall luxury. If you are like most people, you are wrong. The Millionaire Next Door outlines that most millionaires in America are found in what is considered to be middle-class neighborhoods, working blue-collar jobs.  This book is rooted in research and facts, not opinion. This is a classic read for anyone looking to achieve financial independence and change their mindset on money.

Tribe of Mentors, Timothy Ferriss

Want to know what some of the most successful people in business, literature, investing and athletics think you should ignore to reach your true potential? This is a great read for someone looking for advice on what to do next in life, or what over-used advice they should ignore. I love the book recommendations given in Tribe of Mentors, enough to keep you busy for a while. You will likely want to buy your own copy to have on reference and make notes in. Tim Ferriss delivers again.

 

January Books

Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss

Normally I would encourage you to check books you’re interested in out at the library but this one is an exception. You are going to want to bookmark pages, circle paragraphs, and make notes in the borders. Not to mention, it’s over six hundred pages long and you’ll find yourself flipping through it’s pages asking yourself, “What did Jocko Wilink say about mental toughness?” or, “What was Charles Poliquin’s supplement recommendation?” Tim is insightful, thoughtful, and asks the best minds in health, fitness, and finance for their advice. Even if you already listen to Tim’s widely popular podcast, you need to get a copy of this book. What’s your spirit animal?

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, Gordon Livingston, M.D.

“I frequently ask people who are risk-averse, “What is the biggest chance you have ever taken?” People begin to realize what “safe” lives they have chosen to lead.” Want to get a real perspective on life? This book had me laughing, pausing for reflection, and emotionally moved. Gordon Livingston holds nothing back in this one. It is a collection of wisdom-filled chapters that you need to read.

December Books

Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women, & Money, Kevin O’Leary

Like being told what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear? This one’s probably not for you. If you want the truth on life’s milestones, pick up a copy of this one. Kevin O’Leary, as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, shoots you straight on all topics. Think it’s a bad idea to discuss views on money, in-laws, and how you’ll raise your children on the first date? Kevin strongly encourages it. Or do you really need to spend five figures to have a memorable wedding day (Spoiler: nope) How about getting all the latest infant care products to raise a happy, healthy baby? (Spoiler: all your child needs is your love and attention, and maybe a safe place to sleep)

The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino

Who doesn’t love Chip and Jo? Want to know how they started Magnolia, closed it and then reopened it? It’s all in here. Being a fan of the show, it was a treat to read The Magnolia Story. With their strong faith being a guiding light, find out how Chip and Joanna met, started out as a young couple, grew their family, and built an empire in Waco, Texas. It’s demo day!

How the Library Can Change Your Life

When I say the library, you probably think of using your inside voice, the endless aisles of books and late fees. Well, you need to change your attitude about the library. All it takes is signing up for a library card (usually a $5-10 investment) to open a whole new world.

Every town has one. When is the last time you visited yours? The library has changed a lot since you remember going for story time as a youngster. Yes, there are books, duh it’s a library after all, but there is so much more! The latest DVD releases?-yep! Better cancel that Netflix subscription. Magazines on every topic from brewing your own beer to how to start a sustainable, fruit and vegetable producing garden?- you bet! Passes to your areas hottest attractions and museums?- Got em! Need a quiet place where you can really dive deep into your work and make progress with free wi-fi? You’re not going to get that level of focus at Starbucks. I can go on and on but I don’t want to ruin the surprise you have in store.

What is the point of this whole post? To shout from the roof tops just how great your local library is and how much opportunity it presents.

Even if your library is lacking, it is likely in a network in which you can request other books, movies, and audio books. These networks can include colleges and universities, which means you can be reading the same material students of a MBA program are reading.

I’m the biggest fan of the library and it’s endless opportunity it provides each community member. Sign up for your library card today and thank a librarian!