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Hello there, thanks for popping in! These are the 24 books I've read over the last four months, summarized and reviewed.

I read a new book every week, so you don't have to!

If you want to learn more about any of the books, just click it's picture and you'll be brought to eBay where you can add some new books to your own shelves at home!

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The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
by Grant Cardone

This book totally changed the way I approach my work and my life. I now take massive action as often as possible. He talks about the 4 degrees of action - massive, regular, retreat and doing nothing. Which state are you in today? How can you take massive action right now? Take action while you're excited, don't say you'll come back to it. The time is now. Be obsessed with achieving all you want. Ignore people who tell you to slow down or take it easy. That's never created massive success. Be omnipresent, people should regularly say to you "I see you everywhere!" 

Two things to stop focusing on:
1) Competition. Dominate your industry. Become the one associated with your industry. If someone thinks of your industry, you should be the first one that comes to mind.
2) Customer satisfaction. Focus on customer acquisition, instead.
Invested: How Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Taught Me to Master My Mind, My Emotions, and My Money (with a Little Help from My Dad) 
by Danielle Town

I loved this book SO MUCH - one of my favorites from 2018.

This book made investing in companies practical and attainable to me. I’m not sold on the idea that anyone can do it, but I’m confident that I can make some solid decisions now thanks to this book. I did a full series on what I learned on my YouTube, Periscope and Twitch channels. @FemYoga everywhere.

You really have to read it yourself or watch all those hours of content I put out to fully grasp the process. It's not simple.
The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play
by Harry Lorayne & Jerry Lucas

This book really surpassed my expectations. I've previously read Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley - and although this book is older, it seems to have EVEN MORE practical memory tools and tricks. I did a live stream inspired by the chapter on memorizing long digit numbers, you can watch that here:

To be honest, I need to read this again in the new year, because my brain wasn't able to absorb all the information that came AFTER that chapter - so I need to learn more about pegs - which were essential to the final few chapters of the book. Pegs are words that represent certain numbers - for helping with memory in many different ways.

Highly recommended for anyone looking to increase their memory skills.
Failing Greatly: Your Guide to Achieving Success after Failure
by Dan Smith

This book had so many great quotes, I actually made a couple memes for my Instagram page - my first time ever doing that, haha. Really quick and easy read. Heavy with personal anecdotes from the author's life, which I skimmed fast but didn’t read each word of, making it an even quicker read! I resonated with his idea of “The Pyramid” for achieving your dreams/goals. You build it from the top down, it has 7 levels, in order top to bottom: Dreams, Goals, Plans, Activities, Schedule, Tracking, Accountability. I have the first few nice and solid but certainly need to work on my lower foundation. What about you?

This book has a lot of key concepts for success, and energized me to take more action. While I’m excited, not later. When I’m excited about doing something, I’ll do it. Not just be excited thinking about it and visioning it. But by taking immediate action to make it a reality. I can work harder than I have been. At no loss to my health or personal life. So, why don’t I? Why don’t you? I can use some accountability, let me know if you’re interested in helping each other out in that way 👍
The Worldly Philosophers
by Robert L. Heilbroner

I’m brand new to the world of economics, and this was a great introductory course. Easy to read language helped A LOT. This book was originally published in 1981, so it has some dated language but it’s well written. 

I read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and found it so basic and obvious I didn’t understand why people made such a big deal about it. This book made me realize that Adam Smith was basically the first person to ever express those ideas. He idolized a capitalist, free market system of laissez faire. 

They take you chapter by chapter through the years ultimately ending with Joseph Schumpeter, whose presence in the book I didn’t even really understand. Before him though, was Keynes. The economist who suggested an economic stimulus from the government during the Great Depression of the 1930s. I got the impression the author agreed with that plan of action, although I do not. Still a great, fascinating book for anyone interested in economics. 

I did a 45 minute book review and summary of this on my Youtube channel -
Journey to Success
by Joe Neely

The style of this tiny book is cool - past failures of an individual on the left page, followed by their successes on the right page. 

Some stories I found interesting: 

1) Vanessa Williams was the first African American woman to win Miss America - in 1983. The next year, she gave up her title because Penthouse was releasing sexy pictures of her that she had done while working as a photographer’s assistant. It triggers me so much that female sexuality (and female bodies in general) are so demonized by our society. I hope to see real progress in that arena in my lifetime.

2) Tim (the Toolman Taylor) Allen was arrested in 1979 for distributing cocaine - and served over 2 years in prison! Then, he went on to become the star of Home Improvement. Who knew!

3) Ben Carson (recent presidential nominee) tried to stab his friend when he was 14, often struggling with a violent temper.

I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I found some of the stories interesting, but not very inspiring. The situations were overly simplified. Not enough context of their lives. But a cute book nevertheless! Can read the entire book in maybe 20-30 minutes.
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
by Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bruce Patton

Two of my favorite concepts in this book were:

1) Be soft on people, hard on problems. Realize that if you treat the person as if THEY are the problem, or as if it's their fault the problem exists, they will not respond positively to you. They will become defensive and you will likely not get the problem solved - at least not in the way you would like. This was an "aha moment" for me reading this book. I'm naturally hard on problems, but rarely soft on people. I've been practicing this a bit since reading this book and am finding it to be hugely helpful.

2) BATNA - Best alternative to a negotiated agreement. This is your "worst case" scenario. I think a key to using this technique most effectively is to be able to determine the other party's BATNA as well. Being able to present them with their "worst case" outcome can help to manage perspective.

Always think of the person you're negotiating with as being on the same team as you. You are teaming up against the problem, not against each other. Sit on the same side of the table when possible. Realize that most things in life require some form of negotiation.
The Best of Success: Quotations to Illuminate the Journey of Success
by Katherine Karvelas

Tons of quotes jam packed into this tiny book. They are organized by category, which I really like. The categories are: Belief, Courage, Goals, Excellence, Desire, Honesty, Imagination, Love, Opportunity & Persistence.
The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain
Edited by Alex Ayres 

When I first started reading this one, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it. I set it down for a few weeks without picking it back up. Now that I've finished it (in just a couple of days) - I actually quite enjoyed it! 

Mark Twain was a very interesting man. He is one of the most prolific writers and speakers of all time. I found it interesting to learn that, some years, he earned more from his speaking than from his writing. I also found it interesting to learn that he had a violent temper and believed his clever and witty sense of humor was one of the reasons he never went to jail! 

I love comedy, and Mark Twain truly respected - and crafted - it's art. The way his mind worked blows me away. How he could think of something deeply profound - and somehow funny - in the blink of an eye as a response to a question or statement - is truly awe-inspiring. 

He gave some advice about how to tell a good story and a good joke. There is amazing power in the use of a pause when you are speaking. Mark Twain knew that and taught his students to use it - all the way back in the 1800s. How cool. 

Definitely a fun one to have on your shelf - especially if you are a speaker/entertainer looking for a good quote from time to time. His amazing success makes him a worthy teacher - even from the grave.
Universally Preferable Behaviour: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics
by Stefan Molyneux

This book makes the case that murdering, raping or stealing are immoral behaviors. This means that, excluding rare exceptions, all human beings universally prefer not to be murdered, raped or stolen from. 

I didn't like the verbiage he chose to define a UPB (universally preferable behavior) - "It is good (universally preferable and enforceable through violence, such as “don’t murder”)" - I don't agree that it is moral to use "violence" to protect yourself from theft. I would be okay with it if he said it can morally be defended through the initiation of force. I don't think violence can be justified if someone walks up to my desk and steals my pen. Or my laptop. I can prevent or stop it from happening - even if that means physically stopping the person or forcibly removing the item from them, but I can't punch them in the face. Violence only seems justified when defending yourself from violence - not ANY violation of a UPB. I'd love to hear his response, though.

I'd like to participate in the author's call-in show. And have him on my live show via split screen. When I tried to look back through the material, it was a little hard to find the answers to the questions I had. I feel lucky to potentially have access to discussing it with him live! 

Probably my favorite part of this book was when he pointed out that individual criminals are not the biggest threat to a free society - but rather than wrong moral values impressed upon individuals - and their children - through the initiation of force - is the single biggest threat to a free society. I highly recommend another of his books, The Art of the Argument: Western Civilization's Last Chance

He touched on the NAP - non-aggression principle - but I wasn't 100% clear on whether he thinks the initiation of force is immoral or not. 

If you enjoy philosophy, logic & reason, check out all his free books at
Cities of the World

I expected to fly through this book and find it mostly uninteresting - to my pleasant surprise, that did not happen! I spent probably a good hour getting through all 100+ cities in here. There were a lot of national capitals I was never aware of. It was nice to see pictures of all the cities, as well as learn about their population density and a few fun facts about the location. It actually made me want to see Brussels in Belgium and Prague in the Czech Republic!
30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary 
by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis 

I liked this book because I enjoy learning new words and discovering their meanings and origins. I picked up quite a few new words from this book, the only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars (I gave it 4) is because it is a bit outdated. Some of the words are rarely used or needed.

Some of my favorites were nebulous, qui vive & ubiquitous.
The Smart Stepfamily: New Seven Steps to a Healthy Family
by Ron L. Deal

This book was highly Christian. They think the Christian God and religion is key to success in life.

Aside from that stuff, though, this book really helped prepare me for what I might experience as I transition into a relationship with a man with children. It relieved a lot of my pressures and relieved many of my fears. 👍

They suggest considering yourself as more of a babysitter when you first meet the children. Leave discipline to the birth parent(s). Allow the child to set the tone and speed of the relationship and affection. Don't force anything, let them come to you. So far, this is working out wonderfully in my life.
Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions
by Johann Hari

I really enjoyed this book, although it was hard for me to accept some of his proposed solutions. The theories in the first part of the book seem solid. The theory is that depression/anxiety is caused by things like a lack of meaningful work, loneliness, having extrinsic (external) values as opposed to intrinsic (internal) values, childhood trauma and lack of connection to nature. That all seems very reasonable. 

His solutions did not seem sustainable or reasonable to me. Things like frozen rent, universal basic income, etc. Basically, promises from governments that they can't (or won't) keep. The examples he used to prove how these might help had a common thread - they all connected people to other people. I firmly believe that is a huge key to relieving and preventing depression. It's the reason I do what I do! 

When I was depressed, I felt overwhelmingly alone and misunderstood. Now, my dream is to create a 24/7/365 live streaming network that engages with people in a positive way. Basically going live to save lives. That may sound overly dramatic, but that's how it feels to me.
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men
by Meg Meeker

This book covers the importance of communicating love to your sons (or stepsons) above anything else. Be a solid role model. Do not be controlled by your emotions. Understand the importance of your (step)sons to be independent, and do your best not to take it personally when they exercise that independence by pushing you away. Be sure they know you are always there to listen, love and support them. 

One of my favorite parts is the importance of having positive male role models in their lives. This is especially challenging for single mothers, but just as important. It's hard for a boy to become a "good man" when they have no idea what one looks like. The book felt a bit longer than necessary to me, and I glossed over a couple chapters entirely, but all in all, a solid book. Good reminders in here to keep our emotions in check and try to think big picture as much as possible.
Inspirations for Success
by Susanne Starck

A handy little book of success quotes - can be helpful for writers or motivational speakers, etc. I found a lot of the quotes to be less than inspiring - but there are some good ones too. A solid 3 stars.
Tales From The Shawangunk Mountains: A Naturalist's Musings: A Bushwhacker's Guide
by Marc B. Fried

This author is so talented at describing these mountains and his experiences with them. I'm not much of a hiker our outdoorswoman, but I really enjoyed this book. You could really pick up on how much the author loves his subject. He made every element of this nature seem exquisite. From the layout of the land and geology to wildlife and home construction, this short book (77 pages, some of which are full page black and white photos) covers SO much. A short, pleasant read. I didn't know there were rattlesnakes in upstate New York! And I'm from there!
Wealth: Is It Worth It?
by S. Truett Cathy

This book, written by the founder of Chick-Fil-A, explores the good and bad sides of wealth. His argument is that it is only worth having wealth if you obtain it the “right” way, and you manage it well. Part of his idea of managing it well is giving away at least 10% of all your earnings to charity. I used to be a Christian, I used to tithe. I’m no longer religious, but I still like the idea of giving that amount of my income to others who need it more than I do. I’m very picky with charitable organizations, but I’ll aim to do more giving in 2019.
The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
by Andrew Tobias

This book had a lot of information, but not a ton of pragmatism. I think I’m spoiled from reading Invested by Danielle Town. That book gave step by step black and white formulas to valuate a stock. This book was more of an overview on all the different things you could invest in.

My 3 takeaways were:
1 - Look into no load mutual funds (where they don’t try to beat the market, they just mimic it directly)
2 - Consider investing in timber companies as a low risk stock. There are many people in less developed countries that will likely want homes in the future.
3 - Set up a Roth IRA retirement fund ASAP. The powers of compounding and avoiding taxes can not be overstated.
The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Crash Following the Greatest Boom in History
by Harry S. Dent Jr.

There was a LOT of information in this book - very dry, economic, analytical information. I read it because I want to learn the language of the finance industry more, but I'm at about a level one. So, some of this felt like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant, but I'll keep it to review over the years. 

What I found interesting about this book (and the author in general) is his interest in predicting the future with relative certainty. I find that fascinating, and likely impossible. But, if he can do it within reasonable estimates, I presume I can learn some things from him.  

I posted an interesting excerpt from that section on my instagram page ( - "Global demographics will finally see a major world peak between 2065 and 2069, with India as the likely leading nation of the world. North America will still be one of the largest economies and a respected and influential world power, along with China, while Europe and Russia will have long since faded. Pakistan and the Middle East are also likely to be rising powers into the 2060s and beyond, especially with another Commodity Cycle peaking (if oil is not largely obsolete by then). The real question will be how much Africa joins globalization by then." I found the demographic studies like this one interesting - comparing the future potentials of different countries.

I'm glad there were so many charts, the visuals helped a lot to process the written information. I learned that a bull market is when the market is on a rise, encouraging spending. A bear market is when the market is on a decline, encouraging selling. I'm sure this is basic knowledge for a lot of people, but like I said, level one.

I'll be checking this book over the years to see how accurate his predictions really are.
Letters from Hawaii
by Mark Twain
It was fascinating to think of visiting Hawaii in 1866, when these letters were written. He did an excellent job documenting the details of the voyage and the experiences of the islands. I visited the Big Island of Hawaii in February 2017. It was fun to compare experiences over a 15 decade separation. I skimmed this book, mostly. I was looking for information, not a fun literary experience - and most Mark Twain readers are probably the opposite. If you want to fully experience Hawaii in 1866 in your mind, I definitely encourage you to read this book yourself. Otherwise, here are the bits I found most interesting:

1) He sailed to Hawaii from San Francisco. That's more than a five hour flight in present-day 2019. That voyage must have been beyond exacerbating. This is long before the days of dramamine and pressure point wristbands.
2) Ancient Hawaiians practiced human sacrifice. I Googled it, and it seems to be true! Fascinating.
3) There was an interesting story in here of a crew that lost their ship to fire and survived in a life boat for over 40 days, eventually making it to Hawaii!
4) He doesn't talk about the volcano (Kilauea) until the last 10 pages or less. He even says he was a bit disappointed when he first saw it. But, he ends up coming to admire it more over time. I really wanted more volcano action in this book, I know that's messed up, I'm just saying.
100 Best Ways to Stay Young
by Parragon Publishing

Very generic health book with no author or references. I wish they had referenced the evidence for a lot of their health claims. Information seems outdated. Book is from 2005 if I remember correctly. 

They had some yoga movements in here (though they didn’t call it yoga) and it inspired me to take my skincare more seriously. I got a giant pimple right before starting this book, haha! Ate lots of seafood yesterday, bought new organic foaming, oil-free face wash, bought organic moisturizer and put a blackhead extraction kit (yummy) on my Amazon wish list. The book motivated me to do those things, so it has some use!
Stone Soup
by Marcia Brown

I didn’t realize this was a picture book before I got it. I believe it was a recommendation from Robert Kiyosaki in one of his books. It’s about 3 soldiers tricking a town into believing they can make soup from stones. Not sure what the moral is - be deceptive to get what you want? Haha...?
Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty 
by Dylan Evans

Most interesting to me about this book was - what happened to the author?! I went to take the RQ test (risk intelligence) at the website listed in the book - - and it is nowhere to be found. The author himself is not on any social media, and my boyfriend discovered that he was actually institutionalized in a mental hospital for 4 months. Hard to determine what happened to him after that, but please let me know if you find out!

In terms of the content of the book, here are the highlights I found most interesting.
1) The concept of numeracy. The ability to communicate in the language of numbers. Americans tend to be offended or insecure if they are considered illiterate (the language of words) - but fairly comfortable when it comes to being innumerate. I agree with the author that we would all benefit from being more comfortable with numbers and numeracy. I also think it would help us to manage our financial lives better.

2) Risk intelligence is the ability to assign probabilities to outcomes of different situations in life. It is best not only to determine the probability of a certain outcome, but also your level of confidence in that probability. For example, you may be 72% confident that there is a 35% chance of a certain outcome.

3) The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, a 1944 book by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern, draws many lessons from the analysis of poker. To determine whether or not you should take a gamble, you multiply two numbers. To determine the first number, you multiply your chance of winnig (%) by the amount you stand to win ($). To determine the second number, you multiply your chance of losing (%) by the amount you stand to lose ($). If the result is positive, you should take the gamble. (According to their theory) If it is negative, you should not. You can apply this to every day life like whether or not you should ask someone out on a date. Hehe!
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