Claitor’s Book Club Recommendations
Claitor’s Book Club
For years I would go through books like crazy. If someone sent me a link, I would download and listen to it. If someone gifted a book to me, I would start reading it. In 2019, I decided I needed to make book swapping with friends a little more organized than that. Here’s my swing at it. If you’re on the mailing list, you have an idea of where this is going. If not, here’s a link to where you can sign up here. Check back regularly for featured books as well as previous book club selections.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck – by Mark Manson
It’s the self-help book for people who hate self-help. It’s as much a pat on the back as a slap in the face. It’s the first truly no BS guide to flourishing in a crazy, crazy world.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is all about coming to terms with all of the inevitable unimportant imperfections in life and then choosing to not give a f*ck about them. It’s about learning how to give a f*ck about the few things that truly matter.
Raising Cole – by Marc Pittman
“This book is a roadmap for parents seeking to create a lasting relationship that can withstand the storms of life.”
– Bestselling Author Max Lucado
“A must read…Marc Pittman crosses the boundary and stigma of the tough guy and shows that while being very tough, you can also be very compassionate. This book will make you appreciate not every hour, but every second you spend with someone you love.”
– Mark Gastineau, former Pro Bowl defensive end, New York Jets
The Heart Of Everything That Is – by Bob Drury
An acclaimed New York Times bestseller, selected by Salon as a best book of the year, the astonishing untold story of the life and times of Sioux warrior Red Cloud, the only Native American leader to win a war against the U.S.: “a page-turner with remarkable immediacy…and the narrative sweep of a great Western” (The Boston Globe).
Good to Great – by Jim Collins
Built to Last, the defining management study of the ’90s, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.
But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?
Don’t Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training – by Karen Pryor
Don’t Shoot the Dog will change the way you think about behavior, teaching and training. If you’ve ever wondered how to change the behavior of a pet, a child, a spouse, a co-worker, or even your own behavior, then Don’t Shoot the Dog is the book for you. You’ll learn how to keep your cat from jumping on the counters, how to teach your kids to say thank you and pick up their dirty socks, and how to get your dog to stop pulling and start walking politely on a leash.
The Art of Getting Things Done (GTD) – by David Allen
In today’s world, yesterday’s methods just don’t work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen’s premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.
How to Change Your Mind – by Michael Pollan
A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs–and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences.
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business – by Gino Wickman
All entrepreneurs encounter struggles along their journey.
In his book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, Gino Wickman shares his practical system for overcoming the most common hurdles that entrepreneurs face.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World – by Jack Weatherford
New York Times Bestseller – The startling true history of how one extraordinary man from a remote corner of the world created an empire that led the world into the modern age.
The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans did in four hundred. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization. Vastly more progressive than his European or Asian counterparts, Genghis Khan abolished torture, granted universal religious freedom, and smashed feudal systems of aristocratic privilege.
From the story of his rise through the tribal culture to the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed, this brilliant work of revisionist history is nothing less than the epic story of how the modern world was made.
The Alchemist – by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its simplicity and wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an Alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a meditation on the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is art eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality – by Anthony De Mello
The heart of Anthony de Mello’s bestselling spiritual message is awareness. Mixing Christian spirituality, Buddhist parables, Hindu breathing exercises, and psychological insight, de Mello’s words of hope come together in “Awareness” in a grand synthesis.
In short chapters perfect for reading in quiet moments at home or at the office, he cajoles and challenges: We must leave this go-go-go world of illusion and become aware. And this only happens, he insists, by becoming alive to our most submerged and darkest feelings. We need to identify them, accept them as our own, not let them rule us – and allow this new awareness to change us. This, de Mello says, is the key to courage, to taking risks, to becoming alive to the needs and potential of others, whether at home or in the workplace.
Here, then, is a masterful book of the spirit, challenging us to wake up in every aspect of our lives.
The Win Without Pitching Manifesto – by Blair Enns
Blair Enns is the founder and CEO of Win Without Pitching, the sales training and coaching program for creative professionals. Since founding Win Without Pitching in 2001 (as a consulting practice, initially), Blair has advised hundreds of design firms, advertising agencies and other creative practices on six continents on how to deprogram themselves from the standard approach to winning new business.
The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming – by Masanobu Fukuoka
Call it “Zen and the Art of Farming” or a “Little Green Book,” Masanobu Fukuoka’s manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world. As Wendell Berry writes in his preface, the book “is valuable to us because it is at once practical and philosophical. It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is not just about agriculture.”
I Will Teach You To Be Rich – by Ramit Sethi
The groundbreaking New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller that taught a generation how to earn more, save more, and live a rich life — now in a revised 2nd edition.
Buy as many lattes as you want. Choose the right accounts and investments so your money grows for you—automatically. Best of all, spend guilt-free on the things you love.
Personal finance expert Ramit Sethi has been called a “wealth wizard” by Forbes and the “new guru on the block” by Fortune. Now he’s updated and expanded his modern money classic for a new age, delivering a simple, powerful, no-BS 6-week program that just works.
Fooled By Randomness – by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.
Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill, the world of trading, this audiobook is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors of all our lives. In an entertaining narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern word. Taleb uses stories and anecdotes to illustrate our overestimation of causality and the heuristics that make us view the world as far more explainable than it actually is.
Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film – by Peter Biskind
“In DOWN AND DIRTY PICTURES, Biskind takes on the movie industry of the 1990s and again gets the story… Peter Biskind captures his era as John Dunne did that of the Zanucks.” – Frank Rich, The New York Times
“Dishy, teeming, superbly reported and packed with lively inside anecdotes…[a] juicy and fascinating expose.” – Entertainment Weekly
One Up On Wall Street – by Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch, one of the most successful investors of all time, shows you how to use what you already know to make money in the market. You’ll discover why smart money is not so smart – and why you may be a better stock picker than the pros, how to follow your hunches and back them up with facts, how to disregard reports on the economy and pick your own time to buy and sell, and how to determine which types of stocks are right for you. Lynch is the former manager of the $9 billion Fidelity Magellan Fund, where he earned investors a $190,000 return on a $10,000 investment.
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! – by Robert T. Kiyosaki
April 2017 marks 20 years since Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad first made waves in the Personal Finance arena.
It has since become the #1 Personal Finance book of all time… translated into dozens of languages and sold around the world.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
The Diamond Age – by Neal Stephenson
The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer is a postcyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson. It is to some extent a science fiction coming-of-age story, focused on a young girl named Nell, and set in a future world in which nanotechnology affects all aspects of life. The novel deals with themes of education, social class, ethnicity, and the nature of artificial intelligence.
The Moviegoer – by Walker Percy
The dazzling novel that established Walker Percy as one of the major voices in Southern literature is now available for the first time in Vintage paperback. The Moviegoer is Binx Bolling, a young New Orleans stockbroker who surveys the world with the detached gaze of a Bourbon Street dandy even as he yearns for a spiritual redemption he cannot bring himself to believe in. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he occupies himself dallying with his secretaries and going to movies, which provide him with the “treasurable moments” absent from his real life. But one fateful Mardi Gras, Binx embarks on a hare-brained quest that outrages his family, endangers his fragile cousin Kate, and sends him reeling through the chaos of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Wry and wrenching, rich in irony and romance, The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic.
Modern Baptists: A Novel – by James Wilcox
Universally and repeatedly praised ever since it first appeared in 1983, Modern Baptists is the book that launched novelist James Wilcox’s career and debuted the endearingly daft community of Tula Springs, Louisiana. It’s the tale of Bobby Pickens, assistant manager of Sonny Boy Bargain Store, who gains a new lease on life, though he almost comes to regret it. Bobby’s handsome half brother F.X.-ex-con, ex-actor, and ex-husband three times over-moves in, and things go awry all over town. Mistaken identities; entangled romances with Burma, Toinette, and Donna Lee; assault and battery; charges of degeneracy; a nervous breakdown-it all comes to a head at a Christmas Eve party in a cabin on a poisoned swamp. This is sly, madcap romp that offers readers the gift of abundant laughter.
Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got – by Jay Abraham
A trusted advisor to America’s top corporations and recognized as one of today’s preeminent marketing experts, Jay Abraham has created a program of proven strategies to help you realize undreamed-of success! Unseen opportunities face each of us every day. Using clear examples from his own experience, Jay explains just how easy it can be to find and/or create new opportunities for wealth-building in any existing business, enterprise, or venture.
In Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition, the program focuses on helping you spot the hidden assets, overlooked opportunities, and untapped resources around you, and gives you, and gives you fresh eyes with which to see and capitalize on them. You’ll also learn how to adapt and apply these tools to your unique circumstances to maximize your income, influence, power, and success.
Snow Crash – by Neal Stephenson
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous… you’ll recognize it immediately.
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It – by Chris Voss
A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.
After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues to succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counter-intuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.
Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car; negotiating a salary; buying a home; renegotiating rent; deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel – by Rolf Potts
Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life – from six weeks to four months to two years – to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Potts gives the necessary information on:
- Financing your travel time
- Determining your destination
- Adjusting to life on the road
- Working and volunteering overseas
- Handling travel adversity
- Re-assimilating back into ordinary life
Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit. Visit the vagabonding community’s hub at www.vagabonding.net.
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