As some of you know, one of my goals this year is to read one book per month (approximately). More or less, this comes down to a nightly reading habit and even if I don’t literally finish 12 books, 8-10 is still a lot of progress gained and wisdom learned.

That said, now is as good a time as any to announce that I was solicited by Carnivore Aurelius to cross-promote / collaborate on a few pieces. (As an aside, if you’re a fan of either stoicism or animal-based nutrition I highly recommend giving him a follow on Instagram and Twitter.

So, the emporer’s son himself published a list of must read books; of which many I have in fact read. At the time the article was published, I recall leaving a comment on Instagram; responding to CA’s sentiment that:

“You can learn 100x more online than you can at a $50,000 / yr college if you find the right books and information.”

On the one hand, I completely agree with the principle here. I want to clarify, that my stance is that you should read more, not that you shouldn’t go to college. Now, as a care provider I have seen many, many detirments to the all too swiftly implemented virtual schooling over that past “pandemic” year. If anything, this will help to clarify the point I’m hoping to deliver. (Fear not, I’m going to talk about books in a minute!)

Just like adults (hopefully) don’t only do their job for a paycheck, children don’t only go to school for (scholastic) education; and the younger the child is, the more true this becomes. Think of what a child is really learning in kindergarten. A parent can teach their child the alphabet easy enough, but what other people are essential for is, well, learning how to interact with other people. So, what you don’t get from spending $50k per year on books to read by yourself is (hopefully if your educational institution is worth a damn) is critical thinking and a didactic experience with your peers, anti/mentors, and other schools (literally) of thought.

That is, you’re not living in the echo chamber of your own study. Your developing and practicing social relationships (a valuable part of education, no?); and learning by discussing and exploring ideas. That practice in and of itself in an age of “cancel culture”, “lockdowns”, social distancing, and virtual-everything is increasingly rare and proportionat important.

I digress…. back to the books!

I was actually furloughed for a time when all of the pandemic procedues started to be implemented and, as many did (and were wise to), took that time to learn, hone, and refine things rather than sit idle by. So, I compiled a pretty good reading list in Q2 of 2020 that looked something like this:

  • The Guardians by Niel Gresham
  • 100 Deadly Skills by Clint Emerson
  • 100 Deadly Skills, Survival Edition by Clint Emerson
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  • Love’s Executioner by Irvin Yalom
  • Change Maker by John Berardi
  • K9 Scent Training by Resi Gerritsen and Ruud Haak

If I had to think of a “short list” of books that change my thinking, on the spot I’d say:

  • A Happy Death by Albert Camus
  • Fundamentals of the Psychoanalytic Technique by Bruce Fink
  • Rewriting the Sould by Ian Hacking
  • The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
  • Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

What does my reading list look like so far in 2021:

  • January: Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine
  • February: Stress Less, Accomplish More by Emliy Fletcher
  • March: Atomic Habits by James Clear

And my docket for the rest of 2021 (in no particular order) so far includes:

  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • Lies My Doctor Told Me by Ken Berry
  • Sapiens by Yuval Harari
  • Why We Get Sick by Benajmin Bikman
  • Sacred Cow by Diana Rogers
  • Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

Read a book, eat a steak, play in the sun, love eachother,