Books I consumed in 2016 and what I thought about them

In 2016, I started using Audible to listen to books (consume them). I love listening to books through Audible because I listen while commuting to meetings and can usually get through around a book a week or more.

Here are the books I consumed and a few things I thought about them. I also gave a star rating for each book. Five stars is the highest meaning that I highly recommend the book.

total-recallTotal Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

My Rating:

This one might surprise you (it surprised me). It is Arnold¬†Schwarzenegger’s autobiography. I listened to the full-length version which was 26 and a half hours of audio. The book was very inspiring as an entrepreneur and also encouraged me to join a gym and get more healthy, which has been a huge benefit over the past few months. If you want to be motivated by a highly motivated individual with a fascinating story, this is a great book to pick up.


 

themartianThe Martian

My Rating:

I really enjoyed this book. It was the first book I consumed via Audible and I was impressed by the experience. I also saw the movie… the book was better. If you like a little adventure and science fiction, this is a great book to check out.


 

powerofhabitThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

My Rating:

This might be the best book a consumed all year. In fact, I’m listening to it again now because I’m a little obsessed with habits and making them better. Did you know that 40% of the actions that you take are driven by habits? If that is the case (and I believe it is) then shouldn’t we want to make those habits better, or create new and improved habits? This book will help with that.


 

scrumScrum

My Rating:

This book was so good that I bought a copy for everyone on my team. It has a lot of great little nuggets of truth within it and is written in a way that is compelling. I love the author’s take on work and how to get more things done. If you are a productivity junkie like I am, this is a must.


smarterfasterbetterSmarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

My Rating:

This is the follow-up to “The Power of Habit.” It was good, but not nearly as good as the first book. I learned some things, but honestly, think I need to listen to it again at some point as I don’t think the lessons stuck with me.


livingwithasealLiving with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet

My Rating:

This book is amazing! Be warned, there is a lot of language in it, but if you can get past that, it is highly motivating! The lessons I learned and motivation gained from reading this book have been fantastic. One of the lessons is that when you think your body is pushed to the point where you can do no more, keep pushing, you have 40% left to give. Also, the stories in this book are as entertaining as they are motivating, so it was fun to listen to as well!


thegoalThe Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

My Rating:

This is a business book written as an allegory, which I love. This book is all about how to improve business processes to make a company run much more efficiency. The best part for me was about learning to identify bottlenecks and overcome them. There is also a lot of great learning about throughput, which is the amount of “product” a business can produce.


boysadriftBoys Adrift: Factors Driving the Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

My Rating:

This book was ok. I feel like it could have been summarized in a 5-page white paper pretty easily, so you might be better off checking this out on Blinkist or some other book summary service. Overall I did learn a couple of things and enjoyed what I learned. But, for good books about raising boys, this would not make the top of my list.


gritGrit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

My Rating:

This book was great! The bottom line is that success has less to do with intelligence and opportunity and more to do with grit (passion and perseverance). The author proves this in spades and also discusses how to increase grit in yourself and in your children (which was big for me). This book helped me to double down on some of my crazier habits and also helped me to frame my thinking about how I want to raise my kids to be gritty individuals.


winforeverWin Forever: Live, Work, and Play Like a Champion

My Rating:

This is the book by Pete Carroll and talks about how he created championship football teams. It was good, but I felt like there was a lot in the book that could have been left out. This is another book that might be great on Blinkist. The bottom line of the book is that once Pete had a philosophy that would drive every aspect of his team, he was able to create a winning season.


coachinghabitThe Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

My Rating:

This book was good, but what is in it could have been communicated with a longer blog post. It teaches you to ask good questions to the people that you lead and the best way to ask those questions. If you can find a summary online, it is likely worth the read, but I can’t recommend the book itself.


meaningofmarriageThe Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

My Rating:

This was a great book on marriage. A lot of it was just reminders of good truths, but there were some good new thoughts tucked in it as well. It helped me to think about some aspects of my marriage in a new and helpful way.


predictablerevPredictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into A Sales Machine

My Rating:

This book was ok, but a little outdated. I think the best thing I learned from this book was that when you are making a cold call, the first thing you should ask is “have I caught you at a bad time?” Usually, the person will respond yes, but tell you to go on briefly anyway. Asking this question creates a lot of rapport quickly with the person you are calling.


builttosellBuilt to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You

My Rating:

This book was great. It helped me to think about how to differentiate my company and better standardize what we offer while also increasing our quality. I think this is a great book for every company owner or leader to read.


infernoInferno: A Novel Audiobook

My Rating:

This fiction book was great. I enjoyed the plot and twists. If you liked the DaVinci Code, you would like this book by Dan Brown as well.

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