Today, I wanted to go through some of the books that I have read this year or which are still on my reading list.  People ask “What do you read?

My thinking  has always been that if you are going to be an interesting writer, you need to read extensively across a broad number of fields.  In what follows I give you the basics about the books this year with a few notes that may help guide you deciding which ones to put on your own reading list.

I have noticed that a lot of people do not have reading list and I think this is really a mistake.  I like to go through my Amazon purchase history at the end of each year, and judge what I have gotten from my money against how my thinking seems to be going.

I’m not going to put in links to buy all these on Amazon.  With Christmas coming, its too damn easy to over-buy.  I don’t want to be charged with link-baiting to make a buck…

Everything You Need to Ace Math in O Workman Publishing November 26.

This is a basic math book.  I am not a great mathematician; in fact a rather dismal one.  Getting through business school was not a problem when it came to the thinking in abstract terms.  But it was problematic on some of the heavier-duty math.  As a result, on my reading list, you will see a number of math books and these are mainly to keep me remembering things that I will probably never need again in this lifetime.

Sous Vide Cookbook: The Complete S Michelle Dorrance November 25.

Remember that article recently about this new French cooking style that has become the rave?  Well, when I write an article.  I generally walk the talk.  Or eat it,  And so this cookbook is part of my research that will continue on into 2019 at our dinner table.

Atlantis Found (A Dirk Pitt Novel) (Dirk Clive Cussler) November 19

Clive Cussler is an amazing novelist.  Not only is he prolific, but his Dirk Pitt series is exceptionally well structured.  He has defined an entire genre.  In fact, if you have read my novel, DreamOver, you will remember that there is a tribute to Clive Cussler as one of the best adventure writers you can spend time with.

What To Say When You Talk To Your Self Shad Helmstetter November 11

Shad Helmsteller’s book is very good for people like me who are too hard on themselves.  There is a little voice in your head that we all listen to, to one-degree or another.  But if that little voice gets to be unkind or excessively harsh learning to say the right things in your self talk is very valuable.

Calling Things That Are Not Charles Capps November 11 space.

Metaphysics?  You bet!  One of my studies this year has been into the secret science of how to manifest things in your life.  Not that I am unhappy; hardly so.  I have an incredibly rich life, loving wife, and all of the other accoutrements that most people would judge as success.  That said, however, there is always room for improvement.  This is one of those books that deals with why some prayers work while other prayers, do not  Mind you, my readings in this field have not been from the standpoint of one particular religion.  Instead, what I have been reading for our insights into the templates.  That is, the nature of how such petitions to the central forces of the Universe should be structured.

The Great Depression: A Captivating Captivating History November 7.

This was a street-level book about the actual lives people lived during the Great Depression.  While I have read extensively on the topic, a lot of what I read has to do with the economic underpinnings.  In other words, what went wrong and what went right from the dollars and cents, or from a rates and returns point of view.  There is this a whole other dimension and you can get into it by looking at the day-to-day lifestyle experiences that real people, like you and me, went through back during the hardest times in America’s history.

Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales George Douglas November 1.

Quirky.  That is a good description for this book and there is an interesting tale behind.  One afternoon, Elaine and I were out walking around and we happen to go through our old goat barn.  It is really nothing more than a four post lean to building about 12’ x 12’.  But in the middle of this we saw a rather remarkable circular growth of vegetation.  I recall reading someplace in my ancient past that this might be a fairy circle.  In one, when a fairy circle shows up, there are certain rituals you are supposed to do.  One of which is leaving a shot of a pretty good alcoholic beverage around the base of the nearest tree  which ferries are believed to inhabit.  But wait!  That sounds a little bit crazy.  So let us read up a bit on the history and see if there is any reason to be buying off the wood nymphs with high-priced booze….I mean, why share the good stuff, right?

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry int Matthew B. Crawford October 19

I share with you a terrible personal loss that America has become a second rate power because we have lost our previous abilities to actually make things.  This book documents the decline not just of industrial arts where kids used to learn woodworking, metalworking, even cookery, as part of their routine K-12 education.  This is more about the hands-on.  How picking up a hand tool can connect at a very visceral down in the soul level and you will feel much better for the experience.  To have a soul is to make

The Premonition Code: The Science of Theresa Cheung October 15.

This book is about seeing the future.  Since the book came from scientists at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, I thought it would be a delightful addition to Dean Radin’s work.  Sorry to say, while it is interesting and loaded with statistics, I did not get too much in the way of help advancing my own personal sensitivities.  If you are looking for a workbook that you can go through and actually hone your psychic ability skills, there are some ideas in here, but not enough to necessarily make it worth pushing to the top of your reading list.  On the other hand, if you are skeptical about this other realm of psychic abilities some of us enjoy, shove the book up to the top of the list because there are enough statistics in here to drown even the most powerful psi skeptic.

The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Beco Mitch Horowitz October 15.

Even though I am on the final stretch to 70 years old, self-improvement continues to be a major infatuation of mine.  I am always interested in stories about how people confront obstacles in their lives, work out solutions, and successfully move on to new heights of personal achievement.  It is good stuff.

The Cyber Risk Handbook: Creating a Domenic Antonucci October 10.

I may have mentioned – in fact, I am sure I have on a number of occasions – that I do get involved in occasional consulting projects.  One of those  I am presently involved in, has to do with a specialized type of insurance related to cyber risk.  This is rather technical book, not something you would bother reading unless you really want to be at the top of your game in terms of either insuring for business risk or managing exposure as an IT director.  It also ain’t cheap at just under 50 bucks.

Ten Metaphysical Secrets of Manifestin Goi Jr. October 9.

As before, we keep looking for different formulas and secrets in order to make our lives better.  There are certain practices that can help and this is an interesting list to work on.

Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Busin Aaron Ross October 3

Back to consulting.  As subscribers know, I wrote a book some years back called the Best Book Ever about Sales.  In it, I go through the traditional prospect, qualify, demonstrate, overcome objections, close… your typical sales funnel.   In my consulting gig, I  got interested in a videoconference at the end of September when this book came up in a marketing discussion.  Essentially, it is about a multistage approach to the sales funnel.  E.G., it does not use a single salesperson running all clients through the sales funnel all by themselves.  Instead, the approach is to use specialists at different stages of the funnel as well as different media and presentation styles to arrive at a better closing rate.  It sounds complicated when you try to write it, but when comes down to practice, its just adding the obvious dimensions to the already well-described sales funnel.

Receiving Antennas for the Radio Ama P. Nichols (KL7AJ) September 27.

As part of our “Project Big Ears” I Did A Lot Of Extensive Reading, Including review of the American Radio Relay League’s Antenna Handbook and this gem by an Alaskan ham who, like us, has plenty of real estate to try out some great ideas.  If you live in a condominium or condo-Nazis inhabit your HOA, so sorry!  People so constrained may not enjoy reading this as much as if you have 30 or 40 acres and many miles of fence wire to play with.

Your Quantum Breakthrough Code Sandra Anne Taylor September 3

More metaphysical research.  Useful?  So so.  I am a bit of a literalist, so when someone says Your Quantum Breakthrough Code to me,  I expect something that is like a coupon code you check out with at Harbor Freight.  Something I can just plug and play.  Not so much.

The Big Book of Stock Trading Strategies Matthew R. Kratter August 30

Most of these I already knew, but it never hurts to go through the data, looking for new approaches and see what other people are getting from their study of still other people.

Windows 10: 2018 User Manual to Lea Alexa Winter August 30

Always Looking for New Ways to Use the Computer More Effectively.  Putting a computer book or two on your list to go through and ask “did I know that?” on a regular basis is a useful investment of time.

Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extrao Kenneth Whyte August 28.

Tracking modern parallels to the 1929.,  I have been fascinated to figure in-advance who will be left holding the bag when the whole financial system falls apart. Which explains being fascinated with Pres. Herbert Hoover.

In many ways Hoover had the same personality traits as Donald Trump.  Not only that, but Hoover was diddling around with trade and tariffs during his early time in office.  As conditions in America began to deteriorate and the social pendulum began to swing, Hooverville’s came up in many areas, including in Washington DC.  The homeless encampments around America and the vociferous anti-Trump bashing that we see, not only in the streets but also in these sympathetic press, remind us that the times are not that different now, in terms of the social mood, than they were back then.

The New DXer’s Handbook – Second E Bryce K. Anderson August 27.

DX is the fine pursuit of faraway distant ham radio contact.  Herein are lots of secrets on how to do this well and efficiently.  Other than getting up in the middle of the night.  There are new tools that did not exist when I was cutting my teeth on DX back in the 1960s.  How to effectively use a DX cluster on the Interne, for example. I’m a pre-chipper, huh?  Proudly!

Another thing that has changed is how difficult it is to get certain countries to confirm their contact with American stations.  In order to get prestigious awards like the DX Century Club – DXCC – award, it helps to study the field a bit and figure out all the shortcuts to make your pursuit of the award as efficient as possible.

Hybrid Woodworking: Blending Power Marc Spagnuolo August 22

I love hand woodworking tools.  Unfortunately, they are ridiculously slow when compared with faster machines like planers or table saws and routers.  This is a book that gets into the Zen of mixing the hand tool part and the machine part in a way that enables a person to express craftsmanship and lots of hands-on contact with the project.  Yet, at the same time, it does not get rid of the machine tools which can make a lot of otherwise boring or long-duration processes very efficient.  Damn good book.

Woodworking Collection: Wood Pallets Nathan Bass August 22

Every once in a while you pick up a book and you do not have a lot of time for reading between the through a couple of ideas in your head that you can maybe pull out sometime down the road.  Math books are one of the categories where this is true. Another, strangely enough, is woodworking.  There is always another way to cut something with a chisel, or to file or reduce material thickness or new ways to fasten things to the bench.  When you go through a book like it’s not so much ready as fishing for technique that you can steal to employ on your own projects with great success.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A …Manson  August 16

If you find yourself taking life to seriously put this one at the top of your list.  It is one of the finest attitudinal adjustments you can get short of going to a mental chiropractor to get something from the dispensary.  Or, save the money and buy some sativa.  Wait!  I meant stevia, lol…

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Ma Nate Silver August 11.

I was hoping this would be a more general book than it turned out to be.  When I got it and started going through it I found it was too narrow in scope and did not follow our philosophy of extensibility into all fields to the degree that I had hoped.  Yes, you can read it.  However, no, it is not exciting.

The Simple Secrets of Mental Training: Raza Imam July 28.

This was a quick read and there were some interesting parts to it.  Unfortunately, I found myself still under skilled and undisciplined at the end of it.

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of B Josh Kaufman July 26.

Another book in keeping with our “Once you get a degree, keep studying the field” philosophy of life-long education.  Since I got my Masters in the late 1990s, the world has changed a bit.  I miss my fax machine.  I remember having a secretary….  Oh sure the game is still all about making money, but nowadays, you don’t need as many of those inconvenient people units.  Yes sir, thanks to modern efficiency, we can now fire an entire division with one click.

God, ain’t this progress, or what?

Part 2 of this debacle will appear Wednesday….

Write when you get time…

FCPA: How Robert Mueller Might Nail Trump
Quakes, Passings, and the G20