Books I Read in February

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Continuing on from January, here are February’s books. As you can see, I went deep on the Tim Ferris, this month. I am a great admirer in his lifestyle design practices and hacks. I’ve had the Four-Hour week for over 2 years now, but had never read it. So, I decided to take the leap. Check out the others below, too.

The Four-Hour Workweek  & Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

As mentioned above, I’ve had this book for a few years but hadn’t read it. To be honest, when I ordered it. I simply didn’t know how big it was. When it arrived, I was a bit intimidated. I flipped through, put it on the shelf and never returned. Until i saw that his most recent book, Titans of Tech has just been released. At once, I felt a responsibility to finish what I’d started when I initially purchased The 4 Hour Workweek.

I was relieved to find, that Tim refers to this book as a kind of reference.  It isn’t meant to be read in one (or even two or three) sittings. And so, I danced between this and Tools of Titans quite nicely.

While in 4-Hour, he outlines his lifestyle design hacks that have made him popular (and rich) in Titans, he interviews friends, acquaintances and others who he finds inspiring to understand their ‘best practices’ if you will.

After a few, you will see that most of the interviewees subscribed to some or even many of Tim’s practices laid out in great detail in 4-Hour. Meditation is a common thread, as well as some extreme form of exercise and a level of spirituality. Some of the interviewees even cite 4-Hour as being a huge influence in their lives.

Both books, Tim states are meant to be referred back to as needed, for further inspiration. Some of my favorites interviewees from ToT are:

Man’s Search for Meaning by Walter Frankl

I was inspired to read this book as a number of Tim Ferris’s interviewees had mentioned it as a book that had profoundly affected their lives. So, I decided to give it a try. It’s an easy read  in terms of it being a relatively short book. But, reading about the suffering of this man and his fellow prisoners in the concentration camps was horrifying.

Frankl describes, in graphic detail, the conditions; physical, psychological and emotional and prisoners were subjected to. The crux, though, of the book maintains that a search for meaning and the psychological drive is what kept him alive. I believe it. Man’s Search was at once a fascinating read and emotional read for me. Indeed, many of us think we know suffering but, really, we do not. I was taken with his resiliency and desire to live, that propelled him forward even as his fellow prisoners died or were killed off. The book, I believe is a must read and highly recommended. In fact, I plan to revisit the book again, possibly in June.

Sapiens:  A brief history of mankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Whooowheee this book is a doozy. I was inspired to read Sapiens because I’d read an article where in Bill Gates (yes that one) had mentioned that he’d read it. After a few other colleagues recommended it, I decided to take the plunge. Sapiens, as the title suggests, is a history of mankind indeed. Though, not as brief as the one might think.

The book is thorough, tracing man’s very beginning and evolution (there is no god in this book though the quest for a higher power is discussed) through roughly the modern age.

Particularly fascinating to me was the exploration of how the Europeans, given their origins, evolved to basically take over the world. (Hint: It’s not because they were more intelligent)

But the sticking point for me, and what this book left me with, was the distinct feeling that we are all doomed. It appears, that if the history of man is any indication, empires rise and fall and the strong survive.

The book left me feeling a bit lost. Taking recent political events into consideration, I surmised that we are witnessing the end of the American Empire as we know it and were in for a shift.

Grim eh?

That is not to say, that Sapiens is a depressing look at mankind. It just is what it is.

Not sure if I would recommend this one. But, if you do, proceed with caution.

Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon

With some minor variation, this mont seems to center on lifestyle design. I am constantly exploring ways to become a better person. This means changing my daily routines and experimenting with ways to do things differently with the ultimate goal of being a better person physically, emotionally and spiritually.

As such, I have been experimenting with fasting for some time now. I tried 24 hour fasting and that wasn’t ideal for me. So, I scaled it back with the help of the Zero app and that’s been working very well for me.

To further explore the potential benefits of intermittent fasting, I went to one of the pros. Bad Pilon is one of the originators. East Stop Eat is an easy read; it is possible to complete in less than a day (if you have the time). It outlines physiologically what happens in your body when you fast and provides overall guidance if this is a path you believe would serve you well.

Overall, I found the book easy to read and helpful on my journey to optimal health. If you are interested in fasting, consider both the book and the app.

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