“Books are a uniquely portable magic” – Stephen King
Over the past several years I have jumped in and out of novels, primarily non-fiction autobiographies about leaders and entrepreneurs. I used their insight and experience to guide my own endeavors, however, I was only reading 3 or 4 of them a year – I was letting the opportunity to learn slip through my fingers and I didn’t even know it.
After deciding that this year was going to be more centered around novel & literature consumption, I have really started to see a shift in both my thinking patterns and daily habits. The culmination of ideas from the wisest men and women, paired with my own personal insight and experience, have worked to shape me in more ways than I could have imagined.
I encourage everyone to get into the habit of reading, and reading often. Start with a book about an idea or person you’re interested in and watch how it carries you down a path of intellectual engagement. My Monthly Bookshelves are aimed at providing potential content, offering up some personal opinions on novels I’ve read/am reading in the hopes of encouraging you to pick them up.
Here is my read for March:
1. Principles (Work & Life) – Ray Dalio
Principles by Ray Dalio has to be one of my most anticipated book purchases ever – Ray is an incredible role model in both the investment and managerial spectrum, and I couldn’t wait to learn from his insight. Not only is he the founder of Bridgewater Capital (the world’s largest Hedge Fund), but he is also the pioneer of the meritocratic operating structure – a fully transparent way of interacting with co-workers and employees. Roughly 100 pages in, I can not begin to explain how dense this book is with valuable takeaways. Although quite lengthy, Ray doesn’t waste your time with a lolly-gag intro or filler chapters, each one carries immense weight and will have you glued to the pages.
I’ll have it done by the end of March, look for a better-detailed review in my April Bookshelf.
Here is what I finished up in February:
1. The Gray Rhino – Michele Wucker
The Gray Rhino was an incredible book about being able to spot potential dangers and mitigate your potential losses, and although somewhat of a slow read to start, the book really picks up after the mid-way mark. Using a combination of real-world examples (Enron, BlackBerry, Global Warming, etc.), Wucker highlights where things went wrong/are going wrong and how proper foresight could have helped (or still can).
In an interesting twist, the book also dedicates a reasonable amount to raising awareness of the current rhino-extinction problem that is facing us, emphasizing how important the current deterioration of both our planet and the species on it are. The book opened my eyes to both the ways of enhancing my managerial ability and the ways of helping the planet/bettering the situation for future generations.
Give either of these a read, or don’t. Just make sure you find some form of literature to consume and expand your understanding of the world as each day passes.