New for this month, I'm giving you a glimpse into the things I'm reading. I hope to do this every so often so you can join me!
Note- I'll be using Amazon for links for you to go to unless otherwise specified. This is a new process for me so please bear with me, but I figure this is a way we can help each other. I provide pointers, you support me with your purchases! When you click on the link and make a purchase, I get a commission, but the price of the item is not set by me. I'm including current prices when possible to give an idea but prices are only estimates based on the last time the item was viewed. The cool thing is that the price is the same whether you click on my link or not, so we both win! Thank you for your ongoing support!
What I'm Reading This Month
This month looks to be a great month for reading, as at the end of it I will be finding myself in Hawaii for two weeks! Frequent traveler points for the win! So, here's an estimate of what I'll be reading both this month leading up to the vacation and very likely during the vacation!
E-Books I'm Currently Reading
Michael Hyatt is influencing the vast majority of my current pivot to the online world. For the uninitiated- a platform is any presence you use to sell yourself, be it a blog like this or a book you are marketing, podcast, etc. This book is the reference standard and I'm taking it slowly so I don't get lost! Great stuff. $9.99 USD as of 8-8 for the e-Book. I have bought a few copies of the hardcover as gifts already, current price is $13.89. Pricing Alert: today (8/8/2016) I saw the Audible version (http://amzn.to/2baduHt) for $4.49 so jump on that before it goes away!
CTRL-ALT-REVOLT by Nick Cole. Fiction. Current Status 66%
This controversial self-published novel is something I'm finding immensely enjoyable. I really dislike it when political agendas find their way into fiction. Nick Cole has done a fantastic job of simultaneously poking fun at this in his story. Meahwhile the threat of Artificial Intelligence, or Thinking Machines as they like to be called, is poised to rid the planet of humanity. That is, before humanity decides they are not worth keeping. The book describes an overly-commercialized world in which the only real currency is in the online gaming world of The Make. Game developers are the new hotness and actors strive to be famous gamers in massively viewed online diversions… while SILAS the AI rallies his electronic troops against humanity. Needless to say I'm enjoying this book immensely.
(note-I'm currently primarily reading this title but also listening to it in audiobook. Kindle works with Audible to sync your position, which I find immensely cool). As of 8-8 this book was 99 cents or available free if you have kindleunlimited.
Buy this e-Book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aBcLdZ also- Audio narration link: http://amzn.to/2aBcV5j
I read the second book in this series because it was on sale and I was excited to read Timothy Zahn. I didn't realize at the time that it was a series, and included Thrawn and Mara Jade. I'm really excited to read this particular book (part 1 of the series) because not only will it fill in a few details about the rogue stormtroomers featured in the second book… but also it takes place at the exact time I'm interested in, right after the first Death Star is destroyed. So sure, this book is from 2007 but I had missed it!
I'm currently writing my own ‘fan fiction' novel series that takes place during this period, and if I'm going to reference anyone's perspective about the time period- it's GOING to be Timothy Zahn! This one is also Whispersync/Audible Narration compatible and the Audible sounds pretty well put together from the sample I heard.
Well, it's a reference standard book for leaders, and I've had it in my queue for a long time. My hope is to make the time this month to crack at least 10%. I am not sure why, but I keep trying to read this book at the wrong time of day. Wish me luck!
Buy on Amazon: Kindle with Audio/Video enabled (best value at around $5) for Fire and tablets. Also available in Hardcover. This is a good fit for an Audible Credit to save $20!
Get this and one other book on Audible for FREE!!!
Other Featured Reading
I'll admit that this is a book that both terrifies me and excites me. It's one of those that I started reading and noted that I wasn't really focused. So, I put it aside until I felt ready. To put it bluntly- these guys are all about getting together a life plan that I know I need… but I know myself well enough to realize it will be a challenge. I have become very much aware that my lack of planning is causing a lot of unneeded stress in my life. I look at what Michael Hyatt accomplishes in a week and I'm blown away. Oddly enough, we both have the same 24 hour period to work from, so it occurs to me that the main difference is that he has a plan and I don't. Fortunately for me, he is willing to share his wisdom along with master planner Daniel Harkavy.
My point of accountability for this month is to get this plan going. I want you to ask me about it in September!
Get this one from Amazon in Hardcover for about the same price as the Kindle edition. The Audible Edition is available as well, but this is a good one to use a credit on, as the price has gone up to around $17. The nice thing is that it's read by the authors. I was in early in this one so I got a lot of bonus materials including workbooks and the audio. If you're not currently using Audible, today is your lucky day!
Get this and one other book on Audible for FREE!!!
In the Queue
Odds are good these books will all be put off to next month given the amount of heavy reading I'm committing to this month, along with actual content creation!
(All Amazon links to Kindle unless otherwise noted)
Will It Fly by Pat Flynn. Business Development. This is another that I'd bought pre-launch and just haven't gotten to yet. I've been following Pat for almost a year now and I am looking forward to getting some bad news about my next product launch from this book. I'm willing to bet the advice is that it's a bad idea. But that's okay! Also available on kindleunlimited! Prices as of 8/8/16 are attractive. Free if you Use an Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial (or 6.99 for kindle). $1.99 for Audible read by Pat Flynn with Whispersync for Voice. $14.40 for Paperback.
You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins. This one I talk about below because the plan is to primarily listen on Audible but… this one will sync as well, so I can pick up the Kindle and highlight as I go along. Kindle edition is either Free if you Use an Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial or $6.99. If you like paperback, it's about $6.99 this month.
Other notables that will likely be October before I can get to them…
The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. Buy on Amazon.
Let Go by Pat Flynn. Personal Development. Available only on Kindle, but it's only $2.99.
Failing Forward by John C Maxwell. Buy on Amazon.
The following books I've had for a few months. I won them at Dave Ramsey's Smart Conference last year but I haven't made reading enough of a priority, something I'm hoping to change.
One Question by Ken Coleman (I have this one in Hardcover)
Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan (this one I have in Hardcover, but I'll more likely listen to the bonus MP3s because… Chris Hogan!) My plan with this one, if I can pull it off, is to listen and read at the same time to see if that is something that helps my attention span. You can get this on Audible for 1 credit or $14. Get this and one other book on Audible for FREE!!! #WORTHit
The Good Fight by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott (Paperback)
Boundaries by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend (Kindle)
How will you find me reading? I have the Kindle Paperwhite (By from Amazon) and I LOVE it.
I have tried using a standard tablet for reading and gave up. The tablet was too heavy and didn't allow reading in any light. The Paperwhite solves this problem with a really nice backlighting feature. It doesn't put the light at you causing glare, it's more like a regular book light. I have read in direct sunlight with no issues. Even given the illumination, the battery lasts longer than I have ever needed; I've gone well over a month without charging with no problem. I own the wi-fi edition with ads, which does just fine. Whispersync keeps what I'm reading between devices (which I do on occasion use) in sync, but the new narration sync with books enabled with the feature is amazing. The world of reading hacked PDF files and badly done screenprints is over. This is the age of the multi-format electronic book, and I'm loving it. The ability to highlight text and take notes is vital for reading self-improvement books, in my opinion and the Kindle does so surprisingly well for a low-powered e-paper touchscreen.
I read everywhere with the Kindle because it is so lightweight and portable. Bedside. Living room. Shuttle bus. Airplane. Hotel room… everywhere! If you travel, grab a protective case like the one I have and you're good to throw it in your bag!
(buy here: http://amzn.to/2aBk6KC)
The other thing I love about Amazon specifically is how easy it is for people to self publish.
With that, I want to take a quick moment to help promote a book recently released by a very close personal friend of mine, Jaina Kirke.
Set in a continuation of the events in Austen's works, this book follows Kitty Bennet… the rest you'll need to discover for yourself.
I encourage you to grab a copy of this independently published work. Buy it on Kindle for $3.99 or use Kindle Unlimited to read it for free! Please also share this link to spread the word about this novel: http://amzn.to/2aGPya1 Independent authors need YOUR support! I have one final request. If you do read this book, please leave an honest review. Reviews (not ratings) are one of the most important things to both an author and to Amazon.
Audio Books I'm Listening To This Month
When I'm driving or working out I like to listen to either podcasts or books. For audiobooks I'm reading, I subscribe to Audible.com (an Amazon company). I love the ability to speed up the reading speed! I love that it remembers where I am in the book or magazine and mostly- its on my smartphone! That means I listen in the car, the gym, office and anywhere inbetween. I even have it on when I'm working in the garage a lot of the time. Needless to say, very much a great way to increase your reading! And now you can be reading two books on Audible for FREE by clicking this link. You're welcome.
I'm currently listening to:
Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson. Fiction. This one hooked me when he started by the moon exploding. How interesting to think thru what life will be like when the bits of the moon start to fall to Earth, literally setting the atmosphere on fire! Buy on Audible for 1 credit or $17.14 or start reading on Kindle and flip over to Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice (something I wish I had done before I started reading this particular novel as it was on sale then.)
Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used (3rd Edition) by Peter Block. I know this review is going to sound a little odd. As a person who makes my primary living right now as a consultant, the thing that has been a burden is that I am making it up as I go along. This book has provided a boatload of content that is usable as a professional consultant. So much so that I've stopped midway thru reading this book and may or may not finish it in audio, opting to get the e-book instead. Certain sections read well, but the practical advice sections I feel need a visual representation, especially when he's outlining the way a SOW or document should be structured. So- I may end up buying this one twice. While the Audible version is the best value, especially using a credit as I did, here's a link to the Kindle edition and the hardcover versions. You'll note that the other versions are the most expensive Kindle and Hardcovers I'm recommending… but the thing is this book is WORTH IT if you are or want to be a professional consultant. The sections on dealing with clients are worth reading just on their own!
In the Queue:
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance. I am fascinated by the ongoing rags to riches story of Elon Musk. This is a good fit for that Audible credit to avoid spending the $19! Also on Kindle.
How To Publish Your Book by the Great Courses. I have a TON of the Great Courses material. I like them because they are sometimes a whole semester's worth of lectures. I've gotten a ton out of them! I look forward to the additional prospective. This particular course would be about $25 and only available on Audible. In other words- I'm going to suggest you do exactly what I did. Get this and one other book on Audible for FREE!!!
You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins. Sensing a theme here? Good. As I mentioned above, this is another Audible book that is linked to Kindle, so I'll be in sync. I just don't want to start before I can truly focus!
I Recently Finished:
Endgame by John Mauldin. It sounds like a fiction title, but it is about the world of finance, circa about 2011. I found it a haunting explanation of why our financial systems worldwide are in so much trouble and what they could do to get out. Note- they didn't listen and the effects we are seeing today are exactly what Mr. Mauldin predicted. I'd give this a higher rating if it were more up to date, but the content is fantastic and explained well for what it was. 3 of 5 stars. Purchase on Amazon: Kindle, Hardcover, Audible.
Write, Publish, Repeat: The No-Luck Guide to Self-Publishing Success by Johnny B Truant, Sean Platt. This was an enormous read (10 hrs) that, while somewhat vulgar and irreverent at times provided some unbelievably valuable and actionable items for those like myself interested in self-publishing. If you have even a modicum of interest in self-publishing fiction, non-fiction or online courses I'd recommend giving this a listen! 5 of 5 stars. I've also started listening to their “Self Publishing Podcast” after reading this book. Purchase on Amazon: Kindle (as I'd recommend), Hardcover, Paperback or Audible (as I actually did)
Aftermath: Star Wars by Chuck Wendig. You'll note right away that there is no link to this book. Nor will there be. I have never, EVER been so disappointed in a novel in my entire life. The forced social justice commentary interrupts this drudging novel that sets up random people into events that are never mentioned again or resolved in any way. The staccato way of interjecting random stories within the story distract from the main focus even more than the awkwardly gay characters that add nothing to the story by being gay. Nothing bonded me to any of the characters, and I never fully understood their world- just poor writing that reads more like a George Lucas script than a novel. But my main issue with the novel is the way it is voiced, which I refer to as “Presently Irritating Tense”. Sure, some novels get away with narrating in present tense, but this is not one of them. I could go on about this, but I won't. Just skip it. 0 of 5 stars.
If you are reading a lot, whether it be by eye or ear… I encourage you to Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited for a 30-Day Free Trial! I was surprised just how many titles were included, and the more you read, the more the authors get paid!
Podcasts (a Current List)
Let me just say it. I'm not an Apple guy. So I have always been offended by the word “podcast” but I'm using it here because that is the way we've come to know it, despite the fact that noone even uses an iPod any more. Fun fact, I recorded my first mp3 broadcast over 16 years ago. But, back then there was no syndication and no-one heard it. Fast forward to now- and nearly every car on the road is equipped with Bluetooth. This is the new platform, and one of my goals for the winter will be to make sure everything I do online has a podcast associated with it. But for now, I'm consuming podcasts like they are going out of style with Stitcher on my Nexus 6p Android phone (buy at Amazon).
Frequently Downloaded (Favorite Podcasts)
I was inspired by Michael Hyatt recently to put together this list. I'm sure the categories will evolve over time, but here's how I have them on my Stitcher Stations. As I figure out ways to link these I will, but for now, enjoy the list!
Favorites (AUtomatic Downloads)
Smart Passive Income Podcast
This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt
The Cliff Ravenscraft Show
AskPat: Your Online Business, Blogging, Marketing Questions Answered
The Tony Robbins Podcast
The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins
Your Move with Andy Stanley
The $100 MBA Show
When I have Time
These Podcasts I'm not listening to as often, either I'm trying them out or they just aren't holding my interest these days.
The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe
The Chalene Show
The Dave Ramsey Show
Planet Money (NPR)
That's it for this month! Wow! Just writing this down took up more time than I spend reading today. Oops!
But I'd love to hear from you in the comments below or by the contact form. What are you reading? Were any of the links I shared useful to you? What podcasts are you currently listening to?
See you sometime next month! I will be taking a vacation (and hopefully reading a lot) so it may be mid month before the next list is released!
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