I read a lot during my 100 days of running, pretty much every day and mostly via Audiobook. One of the great things about committing to run was I was able to easily get into and finish books on Audio. I read some the old fashioned way as well… pretty much the technical manuals… but for the most part, I listened. This was meant to be a first quarter reading list but I’ve been very busy since it ended, so we’ll call it “first half of 2019.”
Anyway, without further ado: here was my reading list, in the order I read them, along with a short summary of my take on the book and a link to purchase. Full disclosure, these are affiliate links. I don’t run ads on this site 🤷. Comments, suggestions, feedback? Feel free to comment below 👇 or reach out to me here.
Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
This was really the book that inspired me to challenge myself to run in the first place. I talked a lot about this book in my initial “New Year, Improved Me” post. But my words really don’t pay this book its proper tribute. Dive in as David grows up abused and the only, ending up 300lbs and spraying for cockroaches when he decides to change his life forever and become one of the baddest men on planet earth. Amazon Link.
Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler
This was a re-read. I read this book back in 2015 when it wasn’t well known who the SEAL in the book that trained Jesse was, but after learning it was none other than our man Goggins I had to go back through. This book is an easy read, and hilarious the whole way through. Imagine an uber-rich CEO guy who hires a Navy SEAL to live with him for 30 days. That’s this book. Full of laughs and lessons, I highly recommend this book in it’s audio form. Amazon Link.
Living with the Monks by Jesse Itzler
After finishing my re-read of Jesse’s last book, I found out that he had come out with another one. Admittedly not nearly as good as Living with a SEAL, I still enjoyed the read and Jesse’s narration is always funny. Read as Jesse decides he needs to shake things up again, heading to upstate New York to spend a few weeks with the world famous dog-training monks of New Skete. Amazon Link.
Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
Suprising gem find by browsing Kindle Audiobooks. I loved this read. Rich Roll was a serious alcoholic, at risk of losing it all and almost his life many times. Read as he transforms to an accomplished ultra endurance athlete, doing it all on an exclusively plant-based diet. Amazon Link.
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
This was another re-read, but I couldn’t resist. Red Rising is a three-book trilogy series by Pierce brown and probably my favorite series of all time (start book one here). It’s a mix of Star Wars, Ender’s Game, Starcraft, and Greek Mythology and it’s amazing. I recommend these books to everyone and I’ve never heard negative feedback. If you’re going to read anything on this list – read this series. Amazon Link (This is Book 2/3).
The Plant Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, RD
After reading “Finding Ultra” I became interested in Rich’s plant-powered diet as an endurance athlete. This was research on a diet with more plants from the perspective of a Registered Dietician. It’s a great read, and I will say we signed up for a weekly produce delivery after I finished this book. Amazon Link.
The Obesity Code by Jason Fung, MD
Going deeper down the rabbit hole of diet, health, and wellness I picked up this read by Dr. Fung. An extremely interesting read, Dr. Fung debunks common myths about health, wellness, and weight loss to include calories in, calories out and macro-nutrient intake. Dr. Fung primarily treated kidney disease before becoming curious about why patients who were given insulin gained weight when it was “common knowledge” that reducing calories and increasing exercise curbed weight gain. Amazon Link.
Meditation by Camelia Gherib
As it’s probably obvious at this point, I was deep deep into a quest to improve myself mentally, physically, and spiritually. I listened to this on Audiobook where the format was 21 days of 10 minute meditation sessions, and I have to say it was excellent. I still use some of the breathing techniques in an attempt to still my mind and push out unwanted thoughts or feelings. Amazon Link.
The Dresden Files – Books 1, 2, and 3 by Jim Butcher
My friend Travis recommended this series to me. Harry Dresden is Chicago’s only openly practicing wizard in a modern day society. These books are sort of like your old detective/private investigator murder mystery books except the protagonist is a wizard and he’s trying to run his own investigation alongside the police. The stories are interesting enough but the Narration by James Marsters is superb. I read the first three books but I won’t spam you with a review of each. Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3 Amazon Links.
iOS Programming – The Big Nerd Ranch Guide
I switched over at work from WordPress.com to our Mobile Applications and decided to try and refresh on some iOS knowledge. I hadn’t even looked at Swift since 2016. This was my first Nerd Ranch experience and I can’t recommend it enough. If I’m ever breaking into another programming language, framework, or technology I’m going to look for Nerd Ranch first! Amazon Link.
Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko
This book was alright. LITRPG is usually my favorite guilty-pleasure reading. As far as they go, I thought Ascend Online left a lot to be desired. If you’re interested in the story-is-told-from-the-perspective-of-a-game-player-in-a-VR-world Sword Art Online style, this might be for you… but I recommend a series like Awaken Online first. Amazon Link.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
A surprisingly intimate look into the life of Michelle Robinson and later, the Obama Family as a whole. I really enjoyed this read. It’s extremely long but Michelle is an excellent and engaging Narrator, and the book is split into three parts: Becoming Me, Becoming Us, and Becoming More. Read as Michelle grows up as a Black Female on the South Side of Chicago later attending Princeton, Harvard Law, and eventually landing a position as a corporate attorney at Sidley Austin where she met Barack before working with non-profits. Eventually, Barack runs for the Illinois Senate, the U.S. Senate and well, you know how the rest of the story goes. This book is a strong case for the idea that privilege has almost nothing to do with race but almost everything to do with environment. Michelle’s parents are attentive and engaged throughout her life, and they sacrifice everything to help Michelle find her voice and instill values in her that last throughout her lifetime. Amazon Link.