What I read in 2016:
I'll start with my 3 favorites:
Extreme Ownership - Written by career Navy Seals Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, they take many lessons learned on the battle fields of Iraq and directly apply them to the business and professional world. Not just a business book, but a life lessons book. Read this book as soon as possible and if you want more, the Jocko Podcast is great too, it has replaced the radio on my drive to work.
A Fighter's Heart - This book surprised me as it turned out to be as much about adventure travel as it was fighting. The author spent many years traveling the world with various jobs including working on a yacht, a fire jumper in the Western US, and construction in Antarctica before ending up in Bangkok at a fight school.
On curiosity in life:
You have a specific responsibility to existence, to God if you like, to taste, touch, and smell what there is to experience. You have to do everything. If given an option between doing something and not doing it, you have to do it; because you've already done the "not do it" part.And he made to point to say he isn't saying to be reckless, just to do things if you can.
The Way Of Men - In this wide ranging and highly footnoted work, Jack Donovan seeks to answer the question, What is Masculinity? From the virtues of Strength, Courage, Mastery and Honor, to the affects of the Welfare state and "what men are supposed to do when there is no land to settle and no one to fight?" I'm looking forward to reading the follow up.
The Professor In The Cage; Why Men Fight And Why We Like To Watch - An English professor on a self proclaimed road to no where decides to join a new MMA gym across from his office. That should be enough to get you to read this book, but if not, along with his personal journey the author goes into many aspects of why men fight, or like to watch fights. Including dog fighting and MMA vs. Boxing.
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to The Art of Long-Term World Travel - Lots of tricks and tips on how to travel cheaply. Mainly work while traveling one way or another. Good for what it is, I was disappointed because I thought it was going to be more of a travel log than what it was.
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates - This book is fast paced for a history book. The founding of America's Navy, Marine Corps and our first war with Islamic forces in the middle east. I don't know why this isn't a movie already.
Being George Washington - A different concept of a biography where the author breaks down segments in George Washington's life into concepts and lessons and how they can be applied to your own life.
The Go-Giver - I loved this quick read about a simple business concept of giving more than is expected as applied to business.
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius and Stoicism have been everywhere this past year. If you have been wondering what it is, this is a good place to start. This is basically the journal of, at the time, the most powerful man on Earth. It could be argued, one of the most powerful men ever. How often do we get to read something like that? This Dover Thrift Edition is only $1 right now, but I'm already looking to replace my copy with a better hardback version.
Civil War Stories - Who better to read their descriptions of historical events than someone who lived through them. This is Fiction but it is some of the most descriptive Civil War scenes I have ever read. Find a copy and read "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and you'll be hooked.
Red Team: How To Succeed By Thinking Like The Enemy - Red Teaming is the concept of thinking like the enemy. Developed during the cold war when the US would game plans of attack or defense against the USSR a small team would be designated as red team to play enemy agents and look for weak places in those plans. This one is a little dense and industry insider if you aren't in the military or directly involved in red teaming as a profession but the ideas can be applied in many common situations from businesses to your personal and home security. was very interesting if you enjoy History with many specific military operations broken down
Thanks for reading and as always, links above help support the blog and future projects.