My 2022 Book Reviews

NON FICTION

ImageBookDave's RatingPrice
Christianity
Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis

10
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Christianity
The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

10
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Christianity
The Books of Enoch: The Angels, The Watchers and The Nephilim (With Extensive Commentary on the Three Books of Enoch, the Fallen Angels, the Calendar of Enoch, and Daniel’s Prophecy)

The Books of Enoch: The Angels, The Watchers and The Nephilim (With Extensive Commentary on the Three Books of Enoch, the Fallen Angels, the Calendar of Enoch, and Daniel’s Prophecy)

10
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Christianity
Demons: What the Bible Really Says About the Powers of Darkness by Michael Heiser

Demons: What the Bible Really Says About the Powers of Darkness by Michael Heiser

10
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Christianity
Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher

Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher

10
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Christianity
The Way of the Wild Heart: A Map for the Masculine Journey by John Eldredge

The Way of the Wild Heart: A Map for the Masculine Journey by John Eldredge

10
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Christianity
Raising Giant-Killers: Releasing Your Child's Divine Destiny through Intentional Parenting by Bill and Beni Johnson

Raising Giant-Killers: Releasing Your Child's Divine Destiny through Intentional Parenting by Bill and Beni Johnson

8
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Christianity
The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy & Amy Crouch

The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy & Amy Crouch

7
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Christianity
The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation by Rod Dreher

The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation by Rod Dreher

7
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Christianity
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Cron

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Cron

7
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Christianity
Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri Nouwen

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri Nouwen

7
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Christianity
The Power of the Seven: Discover, Develop and Deliver The World Shifting Spiritual Gifts of Romans 12 by Darren Tyler

The Power of the Seven: Discover, Develop and Deliver The World Shifting Spiritual Gifts of Romans 12 by Darren Tyler

7
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Christianity
Wild at Heart Expanded Edition: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge

Wild at Heart Expanded Edition: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge

7
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Christianity
Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer by C.S. Lewis

Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer by C.S. Lewis

4
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Leadership
Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul Alinsky

Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul Alinsky

10
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Leadership
The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcom Gladwell

The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcom Gladwell

10
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Leadership
Leaders: Myth and Reality by Stanley McChrystal

Leaders: Myth and Reality by Stanley McChrystal

10
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Leadership
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Wilink

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Wilink

7
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Leadership
The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self by Michael Easter

The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self by Michael Easter

7
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Leadership
Ego, Authority, Failure: Using Emotional Intelligence like a Hostage Negotiator to Succeed as a Leader by Derek Gaunt

Ego, Authority, Failure: Using Emotional Intelligence like a Hostage Negotiator to Succeed as a Leader by Derek Gaunt

7
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Leadership
Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World by John Chambers

Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World by John Chambers

5
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Leadership
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

5
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Leadership
The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense by Gad Saad

The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense by Gad Saad

5
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Leadership
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

5
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Leadership
High Output Management by Andrew Grove

High Output Management by Andrew Grove

4
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Leadership
H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. by Brad Lomenick

H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. by Brad Lomenick

1
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Biography
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade

10
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Biography
The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen

The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen

10
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Biography
Hannibal and Me: What History's Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure by Andreas Kluth

Hannibal and Me: What History's Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure by Andreas Kluth

10
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Biography
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton

10
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Biography
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm

Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm

10
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Biography
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

7
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Biography
The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley by Jimmy Soni

The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley by Jimmy Soni

7
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Biography
A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18 by Joseph Loconte

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18 by Joseph Loconte

5
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Biography
The Man Who Broke Capitalism: How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America—and How to Undo His Legacy by David Gelles

The Man Who Broke Capitalism: How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America—and How to Undo His Legacy by David Gelles

1
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Biography
The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power by Max Chafkin

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power by Max Chafkin

1
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Memoir
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future by Steve Case

The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future by Steve Case

10
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Memoir
Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

10
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Memoir
The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation by Adam Steltzner

The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation by Adam Steltzner

5
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Memoir
Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change by Marc Benioff

Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change by Marc Benioff

1
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Memoir

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman

1
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Business
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher

10
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Business
Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail by Ray Dalio

Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail by Ray Dalio

10
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Business
Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr

10
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Business
The Art of Selling Your Business: Winning Strategies & Secret Hacks for Exiting on Top by by John Warrillow

The Art of Selling Your Business: Winning Strategies & Secret Hacks for Exiting on Top by by John Warrillow

10
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Business
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis

10
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Business
Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich

Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich

10
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Business
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson

Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson

10
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Business
How Google Works by Eric Schmidt

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt

7
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Business
The NFT Handbook: How to Create, Sell and Buy Non-Fungible Tokens by QuHarrison Terry and Matt Fortnow

The NFT Handbook: How to Create, Sell and Buy Non-Fungible Tokens by QuHarrison Terry and Matt Fortnow

7
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Business
Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman

7
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Business
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

5
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Business
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

4
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Business
The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth by Eric Ries

The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth by Eric Ries

4
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Software
The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim

The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim

10
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Software
The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data by Gene Kim

The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data by Gene Kim

7
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Software
Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century by Jeff Lawson and Eric Ries

Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century by Jeff Lawson and Eric Ries

5
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History
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte

10
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Christianity
10
Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis

An interesting look into his conversion from acknowledging there is a being greater than us, to that on which forms his Christian faith. Many don't realize that he wasn't a Christian and was to an extent an agnostic. This book shows his thoughts process on how he realized there has to be something more. A wonder argument.

Christianity
10
The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

Really this is two parts, the Dao, and the Abolition. But his part on the Abolition is mind blowing. CS Lewis argues that as man claims to conquer nature, in truth, he is really putting more dependency on man, and as time goes by, less and less men become the ones who control everything.

Christianity
10
The Books of Enoch: The Angels, The Watchers and The Nephilim (With Extensive Commentary on the Three Books of Enoch, the Fallen Angels, the Calendar of Enoch, and Daniel’s Prophecy)

I'm currently working on a project with a buddy of mine and it involved reading all the books in the Book of Enoch. It is an Apocryphe, but there are great reasons why it should have been in the bible. Helps to explain the nephalim, as well as why God did the flood...make way more sense

Christianity
10
Demons: What the Bible Really Says About the Powers of Darkness by Michael Heiser

Wow...I mean wow. I'll be reading more Heiser books. Heiser takes from some of the apocrypha and dives deep in the bible to discuss exactly what the bible and people of the time knew about demons and the unseen realm. 

Christianity
10
Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher

Got to listen to him speak at our church last week so I decided to re-read his book that came out right at COVID. Always a great read as it analyzes the parallels of key parts in history and today and how christians should respond. 

Christianity
10
The Way of the Wild Heart: A Map for the Masculine Journey by John Eldredge

The better of the two since it gives more of a path forward and more detailed steps in transition. I'm going to take Kian camping this summer, and start the journey. 

Christianity
Raising Giant-Killers: Releasing Your Child's Divine Destiny through Intentional Parenting by Bill and Beni Johnson

And excellent book that explores how we raise our children to face the perils of today, and become mighty like David.

Christianity
7
The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place

A book about helping you to navigate technology (social media, iPhones, etc) with your children. How to protect, but also be present and more importantly, be a guiding light.

Christianity
7
The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation by Rod Dreher

Figured I'd try a previous book of his before the speech. Not as good as Live Not By Lies and a bit aged over certain observations, but definitely took some very good nuggets of truth that made it worth it.

Leadership
7
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Cron

This is my second time reading it, but wanted to revisit certain numbers for a specific reason.

Christianity
7
Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri Nouwen

Recommended by a friend, this is a book that explores how Christ loves all unconditionally and a great exploration of Christianity.

7
The Power of the Seven: Discover, Develop and Deliver The World Shifting Spiritual Gifts of Romans 12 by Darren Tyler

My pastors book explores the gifts we are given that are designed for service. Excellent content, but I had a hard time figuring out mine.

Christianity
7
Wild at Heart Expanded Edition: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge

Read this years ago, but as Kian grows older, I needed to be reminded on how a father can help his son grow.

Christianity
4
Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer by C.S. Lewis

Not worth the read. Many say this is his book on how he became a Christian. However, it really is a biography where there are two important points on his turn to Christianity and they are about the total length of 4 paragraphs: the makeshift atrium or garden his brother made and gave him in their room, and he bus ride to the zoo. 

Leadership
10
Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul Alinsky

Was recommended this book by Kirk Cameron. Basically it's a game plan on how to change the status quo, written years ago, and has major applicability - I should probably write a large discussion on this one since out of context this could be questionable.

Leadership
10
The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War

As always Gladwell is amazing and even though I didn't have an interest in the bombers of WWII, he created an amazing journey down that history. 

Leadership
10
Leaders: Myth and Reality by Stanley McChrystal

As I posted before, this was one of the best leadership books I've read. He started by trying to write his memoir, but realized there is no such thing as the perfect leader. All of histories top 'leaders' were flawed. So, his book pivoted to look at leaders in history and why their flaws didn't matter. GREAT points came from this. 

Leadership
7
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Wilink

I was surprised with how well this was. I've heard a lot about it, but figured it was the usual vet gung-ho motivational books. Did a great job of weaving in stories into the lesson.

Leadership
7
The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self by Michael Easter

The author is a writer for big websites. He decided to write a book that combined all the different things he's covered, but weaved it into the story of going Carriboo hunting. At first, I didn't understand the structure, but after 3 chapters it was clear. Very interesting way to write. 

Leadership
7
Ego, Authority, Failure: Using Emotional Intelligence like a Hostage Negotiator to Succeed as a Leader — 2nd Edition

I've trained in Black Swan negotiations on multiple levels and one of my instructors wrote this book. It basically applies tactical empathy principles for workplace leadership. 

Leadership
5
Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World by John Chambers

A great reminder of analyzing the right data to get the right answers, but I wasn't a fan of how it was written or presented. 

Leadership
5
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
Leadership
5
The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense by Gad Saad

A look at colleges of today and their trajectory on young minds. Heard about him from a friend and on the Joe Rogan podcast. Interesting ideas, but not as well written as I'd of liked/expected.

Leadership
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

Interesting ideas but I wasn't a fan of how it was written. Has great points, but could have explained them better - fleshed it out more.

Leadership
4
High Output Management by Andrew Grove

Just about every book on hiring and managing mentions or references this book. Granted it was written in the 70's, I still found many parts were not as pertinent and was geared more towards giant corporations. Perhaps I'll revisit it latter down the road.

Leadership
1
H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle.

Eh...this basically just said that those three words are important for successful entrepreneurs.

Biography
10
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade

One of my favorite side-notes of history. I'm a huge fan on Stephen Decatur - one of American's most bodacious heroes that people don't know about. This books was a fun read and well done. 

Biography
10
The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen

Oh my goodness...true story about Samuel Zemurray, the Banana King and his rise to power, mercenary soldiers, CIA agents, and more. It really explains a lot about why America is seen the way it is in South America.  

Biography
Hannibal and Me: What History's Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure by Andreas Kluth

This was a fun one that focused on the history of Hannibal and used it as a life lesson and teaching unit. While that might sound like a stretch, it was actually quite insightful. I really enjoyed this book.

Biography
10
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road

 Excellent read that covers the creation of the Dark Web's Silk Road and gives an understanding of how something like that could happen and why it did. 

Memoir
10
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm

Incredible true story about a Navy seal. But it was more than that. It focused on the dark places and drug addiction and his faith in Christ that gave him strength. Heartfelt and raw.

Biography
7
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson is one of my favorite biography writers (second only to Chernow). He does an amazing job of not putting his 'thoughts' in his writing and allows you to decide on what is or isn't. However, as far as I can see, it's pretty clear that Franklin had many affairs during his time - something Isaacson decided to not discuss or make it sound like it was unfounded by omitting it. But I will say, Franklin was mind blowing in ALL the things he did. 

Biography
7
The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley by Jimmy Soni

Full look at the history of all the people who create PayPal. I've read many books that center on certain people or touch on this history. It was great to put it all together in one.

Biography
5
A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18 by Joseph Loconte

A history of both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I don't think it was well written based on pacing and where he jumped between the two. However, the subject matter is well worth studying and learning.

Biography
1
The Man Who Broke Capitalism: How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America—and How to Undo His Legacy by David Gelles

This is an excellent example of terrible journalism. I was all about reading something counter popular opinion - in this case an analysis of why Jack Welch was a terrible leader and change the industry for the worse. But, because the author was hellbent on writing anything they could on it, they chose key facts and points to…just not bring up at all.

Biography
1
The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power by Max Chafkin

A biography on Peter Thiel. This book was terrible because it is clear that the author does not like Thiel. I think a good writer can present the facts and allow the reader to decide...but this was just terrible with slanted facts.

Memoir
10
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future by Steve Case

An incredible look at the way technology and business can hit a dramatic change and how to prepare for them. Helps that it’s written by the first CEO of AOL. 

Memoir
10
Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

Having been someone who was irate with him when this happened, I started to realize that maybe he wasn’t wrong… considering all that has happened since. This book was eye opening and caused me to do even more research.

Memoir
5
The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation by Adam Steltzner

A great look at the right kind of mindset that helped to bring about space exploration, and created parallels to business today. 

Memoir
1
Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change by Marc Benioff

This book reads like a self-righteous pious ode to himself. There is a lot between the lines here that makes me lose a lot of respect for Benioff and his actions and not trust the altruistic story he weaves.

Biography
1

Feynmans biography that basically read like a pride fueled bender. This book was such a letdown. I could almost imagine him smiling saying… see, aren’t I weird AND cool? And I was like no, not by my definition.

Business
10
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher

Like “Never Split the Difference, this book is an educational piece on negotiations and getting to the yes. Well done and a great compliment to the other book as well. 

Business
10
Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail by Ray Dalio

A long book on the thoughts and experience of Ray Dalio, an epic investor. Most of it is extremely useful, but honestly, whole books could have been written on all the nuggets he discussed. Therefore, not useable if you don't fully understand those concepts already, but definitely a good reminder to focus on those things if you do.

10
Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs John Doerr

This was an amazing book that changed the way I look at KPI's and I'm now more of a fan of OKRs. Added to my list of books to read every year.

Business
10
The Art of Selling Your Business: Winning Strategies & Secret Hacks for Exiting on Top

Excellent read that was recommended by a friend who just sold her software business.

Business
10
The Art of Selling Your Business: Winning Strategies & Secret Hacks for Exiting on Top

Excellent read that was recommended by a friend who just sold her software business.

Business
10
Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption

Excellent and fun read that goes through the history of Bitcoin, and the two sides to how it should operate.

Business
10
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson

An excellent book on the process of startups and venture capitalism. I have no intention to look into getting any, but this was a side of the business that I was very unfamiliar with and wanted to learn.

Business
7
How Google Works by Eric Schmidt

This book was about how they 'created' the company of Google and focused more on the bureaucracy and structure and leadership management. However, I saw a lot of problems with what they did - things they lauded as incredible, I see as a fault of their company. I won't expand further here, but suffice it to say I don't agree with what they 'championed' and I think is actually a systemic problem to the company. While I don't agree, and I am not at their level on business, I still learned a lot from it and acknowledge it is a good corporate book - if not perhaps something to learn what not to do. 

Business
7
The NFT Handbook: How to Create, Sell and Buy Non-Fungible Tokens by QuHarrison Terry and Matt Fortnow

Great introduction to NFTs and some of blockchain tech.

Business
7
Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman

A look at the process by which a company scales at an insane rate by burning lots of money and not take a profit until they can own the market. While not applicable to myself, it did shed light on how/why companies do this and when one should consider.

5
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

More of a sales pitch to their program, but it is a way to scale and grow a business and effectively manage the team as well. Many parallels to previous readings in the hiring process. 

Business
4
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

I wasn't a fan of this. I think the problem with it was that since the subject is squarely in Michael's area of experience, he didn't do a great job explaining thing. I'm well versed in a lot of this terminology, but most times I was lost and got terms/abbreviations mixed up. It's as if you needed to study the things he briefly mentioned in order to follow.

Business
4
The Startup Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth by Eric Ries

Funny that I read this book after the above. Eric comes from Jack’s realm and discusses the influence of GE and the use of his information and processes. However, this book wasn’t applicable to myself. It was for large organizations looking to adopt the agility of small startups. 

Software
10
The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim

This was incredible. Basically wrote a fiction that was designed to truly be a nonfiction that taught about the role of IT in a company, and corporate issues. I learned a LOT from this and am waiting to get my hands on the next book which focuses on software. 

Software
7
The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data
Software
5
Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century by Jeff Lawson and Eric Ries

Written by the founder of Twilio, it gives a great description of how companies should work with their programmers but fell short on better applicability. 

History
10
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte

Extremely well written, especially for the subject matter. I've always enjoyed learning about that period and the dinosaurs.

FICTION

ImageProductDave's RatingPrice
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

10
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Impact Winter by Travis Beachem

Impact Winter by Travis Beachem

10
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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

10
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Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

7
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All Souls Trilogy
A Discovery of Witches: Book 1 by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches: Book 1 by Deborah Harkness

4
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The First Law Trilogy
The Blade Itself: Book 1 by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself: Book 1 by Joe Abercrombie

10
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The First Law Trilogy
Before They Are Hanged: Book 2 by Joe Abercrombie

Before They Are Hanged: Book 2 by Joe Abercrombie

10
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The First Law Trilogy
Last Argument of Kings: Book 3 by Joe Abercrombie

Last Argument of Kings: Book 3 by Joe Abercrombie

10
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The Three-Body Problem Series
The Cretaceous Past: Book 1 by Cixin Liu

The Cretaceous Past: Book 1 by Cixin Liu

10
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The Three-Body Problem Series
The Dark Forest: Book 2 by Cixin Liu

The Dark Forest: Book 2 by Cixin Liu

7
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The Three-Body Problem Series
Death's End: Book 3 by Cixin Liu

Death's End: Book 3 by Cixin Liu

10
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Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Series
Dark Apprentice: Star Wars Legends Book Two by Kevin J. Anderson

Dark Apprentice: Star Wars Legends Book Two by Kevin J. Anderson

7
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Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Series
Jedi Search: Star Wars Legends Book One by Kevin J. Anderson

Jedi Search: Star Wars Legends Book One by Kevin J. Anderson

10
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Mistborn Series
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

10
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Mistborn Series
The Well of Ascension: Book Two of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension: Book Two of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

10
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Mistborn Series
The Hero of Ages: Book Three by Brandon Sanderson

The Hero of Ages: Book Three by Brandon Sanderson

10
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Mistborn Series
The Alloy of Law: Book Four by Brandon Sanderson

The Alloy of Law: Book Four by Brandon Sanderson

7
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Mistborn Series
Shadows of Self: Book Five by Brandon Sanderson

Shadows of Self: Book Five by Brandon Sanderson

5
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Mistborn Series
The Bands of Mourning: Book Six by Brandon Sanderson

The Bands of Mourning: Book Six by Brandon Sanderson

7
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Mistborn Series
The Lost Metal: Book Seven by Brandon Sanderson

The Lost Metal: Book Seven by Brandon Sanderson

7
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The Shroud of Prophecy Series
Destiny of the Dead: Book 2 by Kel Kade

Destiny of the Dead: Book 2 by Kel Kade

7
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Star Wars Standalone
Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

1
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Star Wars Standalones
Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

3
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Star Wars - Legends Series
Darth Plagueis: Book 19

Darth Plagueis: Book 19

7
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The Three-Body Problem Series
The Three-Body Problem: Book 1 by Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem: Book 1 by Cixin Liu

10
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Full Murderhobo Series
Something: Book 1 by Dakota Krout

Something: Book 1 by Dakota Krout

7
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The Completionist Chronicles
Rexus, Side Quest: Book 3 by Dakota Krout

Rexus, Side Quest: Book 3 by Dakota Krout

10
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War Priest Series
Mask of the Fallen: Book 1 by Harmon Cooper

Mask of the Fallen: Book 1 by Harmon Cooper

7
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The Bloodsworn Trilogy
The Shadow of the Gods: Book 1 by John Gwynne

The Shadow of the Gods: Book 1 by John Gwynne

10
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The Bloodsworn Trilogy
The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

10
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The Skyward Series
Cytonic: Book 3 by Brandon Sanderson

Cytonic: Book 3 by Brandon Sanderson

10
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Monroe Doctrine Series
Monroe Doctrine: Volume I

Monroe Doctrine: Volume I

10
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Shadowcroft Academy for Dungeons
Shadowcroft Academy For Dungeons: Year Two by James Hunter and Aaron Michael Ritchey

Shadowcroft Academy For Dungeons: Year Two by James Hunter and Aaron Michael Ritchey

7
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The Viridian Gate Archives
Viridian Gate Online: Empirical Endgame: Book 8

Viridian Gate Online: Empirical Endgame: Book 8

10
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Hyperion Cantos Series
Hyperion: Book 1 by Dan Simmons

Hyperion: Book 1 by Dan Simmons

10
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The Stormlight Archive
Rhythm of War: Book Four by Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War: Book Four by Brandon Sanderson

10
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Red Rising Series
Iron Gold: Book 4 by Pierce Brown

Iron Gold: Book 4 by Pierce Brown

10
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Red Rising Series
Dark Age: Book 5 by Pierce Brown

Dark Age: Book 5 by Pierce Brown

7
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He Who Fights with Monsters
He Who Fights with Monsters 4: A LitRPG Adventure by Shirtaloon

He Who Fights with Monsters 4: A LitRPG Adventure by Shirtaloon

10
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He Who Fights with Monsters
He Who Fights with Monsters 6: by Shirtaloon

He Who Fights with Monsters 6: by Shirtaloon

5
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Brain and Brawn Ship Series
The Ship Who Saved the Worlds: Book 2 by by Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye

The Ship Who Saved the Worlds: Book 2 by by Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye

10
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The Green Bone Saga
Jade City: Book 1 by Fonda Lee

Jade City: Book 1 by Fonda Lee

10
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The Green Bone Saga
Jade War: Book 2 by Fonda Lee

Jade War: Book 2 by Fonda Lee

7
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The Green Bone Saga
Jade Legacy: Book 3 by Fonda Lee

Jade Legacy: Book 3 by Fonda Lee

7
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Star Wars: The Ascendancy Trilogy
Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy by Timothy Zahn

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy by Timothy Zahn

7
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Star Wars: The Old Republic
Revan: Star Wars Legends (The Old Republic) (Star Wars: The Old Republic Book 1) by Drew Karpyshyn

Revan: Star Wars Legends (The Old Republic) (Star Wars: The Old Republic Book 1) by Drew Karpyshyn

5
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Island Series
Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling

Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling

5
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Arcana Unlocked
Shackled by Gregory Blackburn

Shackled by Gregory Blackburn

1
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10
Snow Crash: A Novel by Neal Stephenson

Perhaps this should have its own review, but WOW. It was written back in 1992, and literally talks about the Metaverse (his name for exactly what Meta wants to be), explains NFTs and Cryptocurrency, and even talks about Avatars (which many credit this book as the first use of the phrase for such things...but the author said someone else used it). Even though this was written before most of us knew about the internet, it reads like it was written this year. Insane.

10
Impact Winter by Travis Beachem

This was a free Audiobook on Amazon and professionally made. Sounded like you were listening to a movie. And, while I normally don't like Vampire books, this was AMAZING and a great story. Can't wait to get the next ones in the series.

10
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Perhaps this should go in the Nonfiction section? A book that I've always heard about, but never read. Interesting that in Live Not By Lies, he says we're more in Huxley's world than 1984's Orwell's since it's not about fear as much as it is in personal pleasure.

7
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

After reading Snow Crash, figured I'd read the next of his. This was a bit confusing at first - jumping back and forth between generations each chapter, but a very unique and extremely detailed book. 

All Souls Trilogy
4
A Discovery of Witches: Book 1 by Deborah Harkness

Not worth the read. Many say this is his book on how he became a Christian. However, it really is a biography where there are two important points on his turn to Christianity and they are about the total length of 4 paragraphs: the makeshift atrium or garden his brother made and gave him in their room, and he bus ride to the zoo.  

The First Law Trilogy
10
The Blade Itself: Book 1 by Joe Abercrombie

Book one of series, this wasn’t the greatest of stories, but I loved the different characters and their angle. I’ll keep reading.

The First Law Trilogy
10
Before They Are Hanged: Book 2

Book two of the First Law series. Again, excellent multifaceted fantasy book with one of my favorite literary characters, Sand Dan Glokta.

The First Law Trilogy
10
Last Argument of Kings: Book 3

Book three and final of the First Law series, this ended incredibly.

10
The Cretaceous Past by Cixin Liu

 A short story about ants vs dinosaurs - sounds crazy, and yet incredibly good and well thought out. 

The Three-Body Problem Series
7
The Dark Forest: Book 2 by Cixin Liu

Having read book 1 of the 3 Body Problem, I figured I’d keep going. However, I don’t find this very entertaining. The science is good, and the creativity to the story is insanely good though.

The Three-Body Problem Series
10
Death's End: Book 3 by Cixin Liu

Final book to the 3 Body Problem. In truth, I wasn't a fan of this series but kept reading because it's one of those SciFi books everyone talks about. However, book 3 helped to make it worthwhile. I think, in the end, this series is actually a Cosmic Horror book - many will disagree, but the vastness of space was best shown in book 3.

The Jedi Academy Series
7
Dark Apprentice: Star Wars Legends - Book 2 by Kevin J. Anderson

A great continuation to the Jedi Academy series.

Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Series
10
Jedi Search: Star Wars Legends by Kevin J. Anderson

Such a great series and a lot of fun.

The Shroud of Prophecy Series
7
Destiny of the Dead: Book 2 by Kel Kade

I'm a big fan of Kel Kade and her books. It was great to pick up book 2 series. It had been a while since book 1 and took me a bit to jump back in. 

Mistborn Series
10
The Well of Ascension: Book Two of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Book 2 to Mistborn was a little slower than 1, but still absolutely amazing. Finishes strong!

The Mistborn Series
10
The Hero of Ages: Book Three by Brandon Sanderson

Book 2 of Mistborn, this was absolutely amazing and an incredible continuation.

The Mistborn Series
7
The Alloy of Law: Book 4 by Brandon Sanderson

Having loved Mistborn, I decided to read the series that comes after that. Cool part is that Mistborn took place in a Medieval times (sort of), and this next series that continues takes place in a Western time period. Brave of Sanderson to do, and the characters were excellent, but just not as good as the first series.

Mistborn Series
5
Shadows of Self: Book 5 by Brandon Sanderson

I love the Mistborn series books 1-3. I love that Brandon moved into another time period. It's incredible and brave to do so. However, I just didn't like this series as much or near as much as 1-3. But I tip my hat to him on doing what he does. He's still the best author of our time...yeah, I said it. 

Mistborn Series
7
The Bands of Mourning: Book 6 by Brandon Sanderson

I love the Mistborn series books 1-3. I love that Brandon moved into another time period. It's incredible and brave to do so. However, I just didn't like this series as much or near as much as 1-3. But I tip my hat to him on doing what he does. He's still the best author of our time...yeah, I said it. 

Mistborn Series
7
The Lost Metal: Book Seven

I love the Mistborn series books 1-3. I love that Brandon moved into another time period. It's incredible and brave to do so. However, I just didn't like this series as much or near as much as 1-3. But I tip my hat to him on doing what he does. He's still the best author of our time...yeah, I said it. 

Mistborn Series
10
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

This was AMAZING. I immediately crushed through the series. I'd highly recommend this book to just about anyone.

Star Wars Standalone
1
Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston

This was bad. I had high hopes since the character is amazing. However, the author basically made an average episode of Clone Wars that I don't think Filoni would have approved. It just fell flat and wasn't well thought out. 

Star Wars Standalones
3
Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Was excited about this, however, it was a bit of a let down. Not as well done as others in Star Wars, and fell flat. 

Star Wars - Legends Series
7
Darth Plagueis: Book 19

As you'll see, I'm going to catch up on a bunch of Star Wars books. This was well done and weaved into Star Wars 1 very well. 

The Three-Body Problem Series
10
The Three-Body Problem: Book 1 by Cixin Liu

An award winning scifi novel written by a Chinese writer. There are a lot of layers to this book that I should probably write a whole review on. Undertones are weaved into this book and I wish I was in a book club to talk about this - not sure it deserved all the awards, but definitely a great book.

Full Murderhobo Series
7
Something: Book 1 by Dakota Krout

Dakota makes the list again. I've read this before, but I wanted to repickup the story again before I move into book two. Again, another entertaining, and funny unique book that will have you laughing. Typical Dakota 

The Completionist Chronicles
10
Rexus, Side Quest: Book 3

I didn't realize this was a side-story to a main series - and you can read it without reading the series. This book had me literally laughing out loud the most out of any book. It's an LitRPG book about an old chiropractor who wants to experiment in the game to hone his skills, and has 'negative' charisma. He also gains T-Rex hands...yes, hands that turn into T-Rexs. Haha...Also, this was perfect for Luke Daniels. 

War Priest Series
7
Mask of the Fallen: Book 1 by Harmon Cooper

Another LitRPG novel which was excellent and well executed. It's of the Tokugawa Japanese era/style mixed with a bit of Avatar the Last Air Bender (which I'm a huge fan of both). Looking forward to book 2. 

The Bloodsworn Trilogy
10
The Shadow of the Gods: Book 1 by John Gwynne

Had a dragon on the cover, and had great reviews - but I didn't know what I was getting into. Extremely well written, and executed. Reads more like a version of vikings in a fantastical world with its own rules, magic, and history. Immediately picked up book 2 in the series.

The Bloodsworn Trilogy
10
The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

Book 2 to the series...loved it and can't wait to read book 3...whenever it comes out.

The Skyward Series
10
Cytonic: Book 3 by Brandon Sanderson

I'm just going to say it...all things Brandon Sanderson has been a 5/5. But this was excellent. Even more so, because Brandon is clean, I was able to play the audible in the car with the kiddos, and Kian told me that he loved that book, and wants to listen to the rest of them. He's never said that. 

Monroe Doctrine Series
10
Monroe Doctrine: Volume I

This isn't my usual type of book, however, this is about what a potential world war would look like today and how it would start. Being a prior military Chinese specialist, I can tell you this book was DEAD accurate, and very scary in truly what is happening in the world. Absolute recommendation if you're into espionage, world war type books.

Shadowcroft Academy for Dungeons
7
Shadowcroft Academy For Dungeons: Year Two by James Hunter and Aaron Michael Ritchey

This author truly cracks me up. A great LITRPG cultivation book, and a sense of humor and lots of fun. 

The Viridian Gate Archives
10
Viridian Gate Online: Empirical Endgame: Book 8

The final book in the VGO series and it ended extremely well. A great series from start to finish.

Hyperion Cantos Series
10
Hyperion: Book 1 by Dan Simmons

This is one of those great award winning scifi classics that I never got around to reading. But HOLY MOLY was it amazing. Brilliantly written and extremely unique. Worthy of all its awards. 

The Stormlight Archive
10
Rhythm of War: Book Four by Brandon Sanderson

 I love all things Sanderson. However, this one almost didn't get a 5. It started SUPER slow and it took me over a couple of months to read it. But then it picked up and was amazing.

Red Rising Series
10
Iron Gold: Book 4 by Pierce Brown

This is book 4 of the Red Rising series. This is still my absolute favorite series and book 4 continued that. It too was a bit slow at the start, but then it came to fruition and was brilliant. Can't wait to read the next one! 

Red Rising Series
7
Dark Age: Book 5 by Pierce Brown

Started pretty slow, and I was starting to regret reading it (since this is my favorite series and I want to protect that), but then it really picked up and was great.

10
He Who Fights with Monsters 4: A LitRPG Adventure by Shirtaloon

This series is awesome. Can’t wait for book 5.

4
He Who Fights with Monsters 6: A LitRPG Adventure by Shirtaloon

It started off slow but then picked up well and kept me in the series.

Brain and Brawn Ship Series
10
The Ship Who Saved the Worlds: Book 2 by by Anne McCaffrey and Jody Lynn Nye

Advanced space faring humans go to another planet, and discover other humans…that know magic. This was some classical fun and well written.

The Green Bone Saga
10
Jade City: Book 1 by Fonda Lee

This was highly recommended and was an interesting read. It's The Godfather meets the Yakuza with a tiny dash of Marvel. I'll continue the series.

The Green Bone Saga
7
Jade War: Book 2 by Fonda Lee

Book two to the Jade war series. Still extremely smart with real scenarios of international espionage. Basically what you'd get if God Father was mixed with the Yakuza and given powers - but smartly written wit international economics realism. Some elements of the book I wasn't a fan of though. 

The Green Bone Saga
7
Jade Legacy: Book 3 by Fonda Lee

The final book in the Jade series. It ended the way it should and Ike had an awesome finish.

Star Wars: The Ascendancy Trilogy
7
Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy (Book I: Chaos Rising) (Star Wars: The Ascendancy Trilogy 1)

Thrawn is my favorite Star Wars character and this book helped to tie it all together and finish the series. But pacing was a bit slower than normal. 

Star Wars: The Old Republic
5
Revan: Star Wars Legends (The Old Republic) (Star Wars: The Old Republic Book 1) by Drew Karpyshyn

Eh…interesting to continue Revan’s story from the video game, however, this wasn’t the most entertaining of Star Wars stories.

Island Series
5
Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling

Interesting premise on a town on an island all of a sudden gets zapped back to colonial times.

Arcana Unlocked
1
Shackled by Gregory Blackburn

I didn't like the first book in this series, but thought I'd give book 2 a try. Nope. The main character is hard to like and follow and other characters aren't very interesting. 

Best Product Manager Books

This is a post that I’ve wanted to write for a long time and it is a list of my favorite Product Management books.  This was important because as someone who never received formal training on being a product manager, but being in a position to run multiple multi-million dollar software companies, learning on my own was key.

Since embarking on that adventure, I’ve had to self teach myself not only the business of software, but the development side too.  I’ve since read countless books on the subject and the below books are truly my most recommended books when people ask me what are the best books for software product managers.

Best Product Management Books

 


Now, this is just the beginning to this list but in time, I will add more.

Dave Chesson’s Video Studio Setup

I’ve had many people ask me about my office setup and how I was able to create video effectively and efficiently. The truth is, the equipment was the most important part.  I went through thousands of dollars trying out all different types of gear until  I finally found the best equipment for making my professional videos as quickly as possible.

But I had two requirements:

1. I wanted the video and sound quality to be pretty legit and professional looking

2. I wanted to be able to start shooting in less than 5 seconds and do it by myself.

So, in order to show you how I did both of these, I’ve separated my equipment discussions into two parts: Making Professional Videos, Setup For Easy Filming.

Please also be aware that all links below are affiliate links.  If you click them, I’ll get a percentage of the money you use to pay for it. That will not cost you anything extra by using my link.  Instead it just goes to help my coffee funds 🙂

How I Set Up My Video Shooting System: 

List of Equipment to Making Professional Videos:

The following are the BEST pieces of equipment that anyone looking to do video should SERIOUSLY consider

Lens: Sigma 30mm


The lens is the most important part for creating an awesome and clear video.  Honestly, any ole DSLR camera will do fine, but the lens is everything and makes the real difference in your picture quality.  This lens specifically gives me that blurry background look and  clear image without a fish eye look.  Believe me, I spent thousands of dollars testing tens until I found this one.

Camera: Canon 5D mark iii


Here’s the thing…you don’t need an top-notch camera.  It’s true.  The lens and lighting and mic are way more important.  However, I definitely recommend you use a DSLR  or something equivalent.  Also, I really like the Canons because they come with a free software that allows me to control my camera from my computer.  I personally choose the Canon 5D mark iii because to prove its capability, the show, “House” filmed their season finale entirely on this camera.

Lighting: Diva Ring Light


This was my FAVORITE find of all.  All of my videos looked yellowish and crappy. I tried doing recessed lights and different bulbs (Kelvins anyone?) and none of it worked.  However, this LED system was the best. It was a real game changer and my #1 recommendation period.

(Option 1) Microphone: Rode NTG3B Shotgun Microphone or Audi


Later on in my YouTube video making, I decided to step up my game and purchase the Rode NTG3B Shotgun mic.  This is expensive but definitely improved my sound quality.  However, in order to use this effectively, you need to also get a Zoom H4N to process the sound.
(Needed): Zoom H4N:  https://amzn.to/3aHZqAe

(Option 2) Microphone: Audio Technica ATR2100


When I first started though, I used the AudioTechnica ATR 2100 USB microphone.  It was good enough and is an extremely cheap microphone…especially for the quality.  I still use the ATR 2100 for podcasts and generally communicating via Skype or Zoom.  Plus because it plugs into your computer through USB, you don’t need the H4N.  So, a much cheaper option.

List of Equipment for Desk Setup – Making it Easy

Being able to have everything setup permanently, was my main goal.  Without the help of anyone else, I just wanted to come to my desk, flick a couple of switches and start recording.

Desk: ApexDesk Elite  Adjustable Standing Desk


This was the best investment I made for myself.  I LOVE the ability to stand up from time to time while working.  But it also allows me to attach the camera to the desk through a monitor mount.  What I love most about this desk is that it’s extremely affordable for its price, it’s more than large enough, and is super sturdy – many other electronic height adjustable desks were not and wouldn’t be able to hold the amount of weight my system puts on them – but this one did 🙂

Monitor Mount: VIVO Triple Monitor Mount


How do I connect the camera to the Desk?  Well, this tri-screen monitor mount did the trick.  First, it’s an amazing monitor mount.  But second, the middle stanchion/pole is hollow and allows for me to stick poles inside of it (see the below next one).  Those poles are what hold the neck that holds the camera.

Poles for Placing Inside of the Monitor Mount: Amazon Light Stand


In order to have the camera sit in the area with the ring light, I needed to get creative.  It needed poles small enough, but strong enough that had the right connectors to fit the Diva light and the Bendable Camera neck (both below).  This is what I found and for the price, it was low enough I didn’t feel bad.  I took the top pole off of each, measure the distance up that I wanted the pole to sit, and sawed off the rest.

Bendable Neck to position the Camera: Stellar Flexible Neck

Finding this took some time.  But thankfully a buddy of mine, Joe Nicoletti, pointed me in the right direction.  This bendable neck is strong enough to hold the DSLR and lens but still be able to move if I want it to.
Stellar Flexible Nickhttp://www.stellarlightingsystems.com/stellar-flexible-neck/

Ballhead Mount for Camera: Joby GorrilaPod Ballhead


Any ole ballhead mount will NOT work.  You need something heavy duty because it not only has to hold your camera, and lens (which are pretty heavy), it also had to be sturdy enough to not move when lowering and raising the desk, plus be able for you to quickly reposition it when needed.  This was by far the hardest find and it worked perfectly for me.

Continuous Power to Your DSLR: Glorick AC Power for Canon


I hated the idea of having to remember to charge the battery for the DLSR. Instead, since the DSLR is now fixed on my desk, I can just directly power the DSLR through the wall outlet with this little guy.  If you don’t have a Canon, no worries. Each company has a power adapter version for that camera type.

Streaming My Videos to FB Live or Youtube Live using DSLR: Elgato Cam Link 4K


If you want to stream your DSLR straight to FB live, Youtube Live or even on Skype and other video software, then you’re going to need the Blackmagic setups.  They are expensive and I only recommend this if you truly intend to make FB Live or other streaming social a priority in your business.
Website to Check Your Camera’s Compatibility for the Cam Link: https://www.elgato.com/en/gaming/cam-link/camera-check

Anything Else?

Here are some of the extra pieces that I used, but aren’t super important for your video creation.

Logo Light Box in the Background: Etsy Saw & Steel

Like that Kindlepreneur logo lightbox?  Pretty cool branding right?  Well I had it custom made on Esty by the below-talented metal worker:
Etsy Logo Light Builderhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/sawandsteel

LED String Lights behind my Book Shelf:


I attached the below lights behind my shelf as well as the monitors on my desk.  With the remote, I can change the colors and thus the mood. Really cool looking for the video (be sure your lens is good enough otherwise it will see strobing. The primary lens above is good, not the secondary) as well as helping to set a mood in my office.  Plus these are really cheap.

Clips to Hold All of my Cords and String Lights

Here are the clips I used to hold my wires and string lights in place. They were perfect and one of my favorites.
eBoot 100 Pieces Adhesive Cable Clipshttp://amzn.to/2wX08oy

Software for Editing:

My absolutely favorite is ScreenFlow, however it only works on Mac.  Therefore, if you have a PC then you should use Camtasia.
ScreenFlow (MAC): https://kindlepreneur.com/click/screenflow
Camtasia (PC): https://kindlepreneur.com/click/camtasia

Bookcase in the Back: Multiple Cubed Bookcase White


It’s funny, but I get asked this a lot: What is my bookcase in the background of my videos. Well, it’s the Multiple Cubed Bookcase which you can find on Amazon here. I’m a pretty bit fan.

Modern Passion is what Kills Modern Entrepeneurs

Every time I hear some entrepreneur guru say “find what you’re passionate about and do that for business” I roll my eyes. This is usually the worst advice out there and if you take that advice, your chances of failure increase exponentially.

Now before you go get your pitchforks and burn me at the stake, let me explain.

Currently, we think that passion means “that which we love, and feel motivated to do.”

But notice something very important in that definition. If you use that as a basis to start your business, you’re starting with the idea that it’s all about you and what you want. The right kind of business is about serving others and that’s never easy.

So, is having passion wrong?

No no no…It’s not that Passion shouldn’t be a part of our calculus to start a business, and in truth, the entrepreneur gurus aren’t wrong either when they say to do what you’re passionate about.

It’s actually our definition of what Passion is that is wrong.

There is another definition that is right for us and will be the difference maker between success and failure in business. It’s old and long forgotten, but truly, it is exactly what we as entrepreneurs desperately need to ask ourselves before we create another failed attempt at virtual freedom.

The Passio of the Christi?

The original meaning of the word “Passion” didn’t use to be about self-interests. Far from it actually.

The word Passion comes from the latin word “Passio” which means a willingness to suffer for others.

The word Passio was created after hearing the telling of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. He so loved the church that he was willing to suffer and die for mankind. This wasn’t about self-interests or what motivated him. It was about serving and he was willing to die for those that he served.

It’s for this reason that the famous movie by Mel Gibson was called “Passion of the Christ.” Something I thought was very odd at the time but now I fully understand its true meaning and why it was selected – the word “Passion” came from that one act.  It was the originator!

And so, the original meaning of Passion used to be about being willing to suffer in order to accomplish one’s goals. Being truly motivated that no matter the cost or hardships, you’ll do whatever it takes.

That’s the real definition of passion that we entrepreneurs must take for practice.

Passio doesn’t work Without Ethics and Principles

Passio is about the suffrage for others, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be for your customers specifically.In truth, it wasn’t teaching others to market their books that was my passion. Instead, it was about being home with my family and being able to support them as much as possible.

That was my passio.

That’s what I was willing to suffer for. That’s what got me up at 4am every morning. That’s what kept me going, even when things got really tough – and they did. I was not going to let my children down or miss another Christmas. I was going to do whatever it took!

However, this isn’t to say that I don’t care about those I teach.  I would have failed if this wasn’t the case.

It’s definitely not to say that I have cheated people because my followers are not my passio. I do right by anyone who places trust in me. Because of my core ethics and principles (both of which are strongly rooted in each of my businesses), I will work hard for anyone who places trust and respect on myself, for I fear only God and dishonor.

So, I have passion for my family, but because of my ethics and principles and desire to be a real man to my children, I’ll bend over backward to maintain my honor and truly create products that help and deliver.

So, have your passion, but ensure it’s deeply rooted in your ethics and principles as you move forward.

Passio vs. Passion

So, the real question for you as an Entrepreneur is whether or not you’re ready to suffer for the cause.

If you start your business due to self-interests, will you stick with it when the going gets tough? Will you keep at it, hustling as hard as you can when it no longer interests you or isn’t fun anymore?

No. Like many other entrepreneurs before you, you’ll stop. You won’t go that extra mile and you’ll quit.

So, ask yourself:

Are you ready to suffer for the purpose of your business?

If the answer is no, then find something else. If yes, then get started. But whatever you do, don’t use the modern version of Passion to decide the purpose of your business.