Read this, not that

Here are my reading suggestions (to read, and not to read). I’ve read a lot of books, and these are some of my favorites (and least favorites). I hope you enjoy.

Read The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley, not Rich Dad, Poor Dad
The Millionaire Mind is a solid read, giving insight into millionaires from actual research of actual millionaires. Rich Dad is not backed up by research or facts, as near as anyone can tell.

Read anything by Tom Peters, not anything by Seth Godin. Tom has two advantages over Seth, arguably three. 1) He does actual research every now and then, 2) He offers actionable tips (almost in excess) that help you get started, and the arguable 3) He is actually insightful. Seth, on the other hand, takes a fairly obvious fact (for example, being remarkable makes you easier to remember) and gives it a catchy title (Purple Cow) and waits for checks to roll in. Seth has a way with words, but offers little insight or assistance in applying what ideas he offers.

Read Siddhartha, not The Grapes of Wrath. Siddhartha is a fantastic story of a literal and metaphorical journey, while The Grapes of Wrath is as tedious as watching your mother-in-law’s slideshow of her trip to a miniatures museum, but without the emotional connection. Siddhartha will make you think differently about your life. In a good way.

Read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, not A Clockwork Orange. I wanted to like A Clockwork Orange. When I heard Anthony Burgess (the author) doesn’t like it, I thought it was an overreaction on his part to his most well-known work. I was wrong. The language, so effective in the movie, is a disaster in print. It just doesn’t work. The film is much better. HHG, on the other hand, is far more hilarious in print than either the movie or TV versions. Every book and every page is a delight. Except that one page. You’ll know it when you come to it.

Read The Art of Happiness at Work, instead of The Art of War. I’m assuming here that you do not want to learn how to wage an effective real war. That’s all the Art of War will teach you. Business is not a war. Trying to use a war book to learn business is like trying to use the manual to a blender to parent your kids. The art of happiness at work will actually make you happier at work, and more effective as well.

Read We The Livingnot Atlas Shrugged. This is a bit of a cheat. Both are good books worth reading. However, if you are new to Ayn Rand, read We The Living first. It’s shorter, more accessible, and better in virtually every way. The characters seem more real, the plot more believable. It may not be as philosophical, but that is not a negative. I actually think We The Living is more effective at communicating the philosophy, in a less literal way.

That’s it: Let me know what you think, and happy reading!

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