I set a goal this year of reading 24 new books. As we are nearing Memorial Day Weekend I am already on pace to read nearly 40 books. Half of those books are physical books, half are audiobooks, and unlike in past years, none are coloring books.
Like a wiley old prospector, I have struck gold with my recent book choices. I have discovered valuable reads exposing me to new ideas that I can use to live a better life. Interestingly, my last 3 books have all been based on the concept of time. Like Morris Day’s band.
When by Daniel Pink
I would read anything written by Daniel Pink. Even his grocery shopping list. He offers great insights into how humans operate. When is no exception. In this fascinating deep dive on timing Pink (the author, not the aerobatic rockstar) exposes the importance of when things happen. He reveals the well-documented worst part of the day for humans, so you will know the worst time to have surgery or defuse a bomb. He shares the peak times for divorce filings, and why. He reveals when you are most likely to run your first marathon. There is even a tutorial on the most effective timing for naps and how long it takes coffee to kick in. I learned about the life-long impact of starting your career during a recession, and how to restart anything when you are struggling. Plus, he shares the interesting effect of midpoints. You also learn what the ideal score is for your favorite team at halftime. There are a lot of great nuggets in this book. I encourage you to read it next.
A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy
This book is crammed with 366 days worth of profound wisdom. Tolstoy collected valuable insights, quotes, and verses from throughout his life to share in this amazing tome. There is one page dedicated to each day of the year, including February 29th. With each page you read you feel as if you are being mentored by a wise old sage. Like Yoda. Only taller. And Tolstoy’s words are all in the right order. The book’s brief sentences and paragraphs of wisdom are dense with life lessons and truisms from great philosophers, leaders, authors, poets and religious books. Each day follows a singular theme. This is a great nightstand book, if you have a nightstand. If you are not typically a reader but wish you were, this book allows you to get your recommended daily allowance of new wisdom in a single nutrient-dense page.
Die With Zero by Bill Perkins
This book is not about Coke Zero. It’s a thought-provoking book on the relationship between time and money. Perkins’ basic philosophy is that we should hit the grave with no money in our bank account or in the coffee cans buried in the backyard. (Those stupid K-Cups are no good for burying money.) Instead, we should spend our money, while alive on experiences that make our lives richer. These experiences turn into memories. And memories are the real wealth of life that money can help you buy. Perkins believes that any time you spend working to earn money past the amount you can spend in your lifetime is wasting your life on work. It’s a fascinating and compelling philosophy. Two of the great takeaways from the book are that you shouldn’t save your money just in case you need long-term medical care at the end and that beyond a certain age you will have a hard time spending your money because your physical ability to do things that cost money diminish with age. Read this book while you still can.
If you have a high school or college graduate in your life, consider giving them my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? It offers 80 Important life lessons the universe is trying to share with you. Each chapter is short, funny and packed with wisdom. Like my Mom. The book has been a very popular graduation gift since it was first published. If you live near Milwaukee or plan ahead a little I am happy to sign the book for you.
Read great books. Build your personal library. It is the best and easiest way to gain wisdom, insights and perspective that will improve your life.