I don’t actually know how many books I average a year.
I’m guessing it’s less than 40. So, for 2024, I’m shooting for 40 books. I’ll be moving back and forth between fun books (sci-fi, biographies, fantasy) and self-helpie (business, money, discipline, web geekery.)
Again, this is more for me than anyone else. So if you want some book reviews, follow along as I share a little about each book I read in 2024.
1 – To The Last Breath – Francis Slakey
I’ve had this book forever. It was a gift, and I was hesitant to read it because I’m always hesitant to read a book with surfing as a primary focus. A lot of the time they’re terrible. As it turns out, it was good. Mostly about climbing the world’s highest and most treacherous peaks and little about surfing, but the real power behind the book is from his transformation during these world travels. I liked it and would recommend it. I’m glad he’s more a climber than a surfer, because I could tell he was fairly new to surfing.
“To the Last Breath” by Francis Slakey is a gripping memoir that narrates the transformative journey of the author, a physicist who sets out to conquer the highest peak on every continent and surf every ocean. In this quest, Slakey confronts not only the physical challenges of extreme environments but also a profound personal transformation. As he navigates diverse cultures and landscapes, he evolves from a detached observer of the world to someone deeply engaged with the people and issues he encounters. This story is a blend of adventure, science, and self-discovery, revealing how a relentless pursuit of physical extremes leads to an unexpected path of emotional and spiritual growth.
2 – Your Website Sucks – Brian David Hall
A colleague wrote this recently, and I blew through it in a night. It’s full of great tips for those building or rebuilding their website. Most of it I had a firm grasp on, but I did make 1/2 a page of notes for things I need to add to my sites and marketing. Some of those include more prominent newsletter sign up on all sites, and more selling of my own info products. Mahalo Brian! Great read!
“Your Website Sucks” by Brian David Hall is a candid and insightful guide for anyone looking to enhance their online presence. The book delves into the common pitfalls that many businesses and individuals encounter when creating their websites. Hall offers practical advice, drawing from his extensive experience in digital marketing and website optimization, to help readers understand how to make their websites more effective and engaging. He emphasizes the importance of user experience, clear messaging, and the strategic use of design and content to convert visitors into customers. This book is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to turn their website from a digital liability into a powerful asset.
3 – The Narrow Road Between Desires – Patrick Rothfuss
I’m obsessed and will read anything Patrick Rothfuss puts out while I wait for his King Killer Chronicles to finally come to an end with book 3. I don’t think it’d be worth reading this one without reading the other books. I think it’d feel a bit strange. Much like The Slow Regard of Silent Things (which I might have loved even more.) I think Rothfuss is my favorite author. I just wish he were more prolific. I need him to write, like, 100 books as of yesterday… This is what I think Bast looks like as fae.
“The Narrow Road Between Desires” delves into Bast’s tale, exploring the ancient practices of creation and destruction. He pursues his desires, often against his own better judgment, guided by his heart. Spanning from the break of dawn to the stroke of midnight, this narrative unfolds over a single day. It takes you on a journey with the most charismatic fae from the Kingkiller Chronicle. Watch as Bast weaves his way through precarious situations with his inherent charm and finesse, continuously finding himself in and out of mischief. For Bast, a life led with excessive caution is not worth living if it means missing out on the thrills and joys that come with a touch of risk and excitement.
4 – Dune – Frank Herbert
I’ve had this one on my list for decades. As I finally get around to it, my only regret is having watched the recent new movie. I really enjoyed the movie, but I wish I had read the book first. I’ll be waiting to watch the other movies until I read the other 2 books. The reason I took so long to read it is because the first movie, made decades ago, was weak. I had no interest. I’ve really enjoyed this book!
“Dune” by Frank Herbert is a monumental science fiction epic set in a distant future amidst a vast interstellar empire. The story centers on young Paul Atreides, heir to the noble House Atreides, as his family is thrust into the treacherous political landscape of Arrakis, a desert planet and the only source of the universe’s most valuable substance, the spice melange. This spice extends life, enhances mental abilities, and is vital for space travel. As Paul grapples with a new, harsh environment, he also encounters the native Fremen, a people shaped by the desert. The novel explores themes of power, betrayal, and prophecy, with Paul’s journey intertwining with the larger destiny of Arrakis, known to its inhabitants as Dune. His evolution from a young noble to a prophesied leader unfolds against a backdrop of ecological and political intrigue, making “Dune” not just a story of adventure, but a profound exploration of human nature and potential.
UPDATE: So, I thought I was flying through this challenge, but Dune is a big one. Took me 1/2 of February too to get through this one. I tend to read slower on books that I enjoy.
5 – Money: Master the Game – Tony Robbins
This one is next. I’ve always enjoyed what Tony puts out. I was turned on to Les Brown as a kid by my dad, and I think I’m a much better person because of that. I’m sure I can learn a few things in this book. So far, the first 1/4 of the book is not impressing me though. A lot of fluff. More to come. I don’t think it’s available as a book anymore, only an audiobook. A quick note on Audiobooks: Anyone who says they read but only uses audiobooks doesn’t read. You can’t use that verb. You listen to books. And that’s ok! But don’t say you read. They’re very different things. I’m reading an old version of this book. I think I’ll read Unshakeable next, since this is probably his updated version of this bloated book.
“Money: Master the Game” by Tony Robbins is an insightful guide into the complex world of personal finance and investment. Robbins, a renowned life coach and motivational speaker, compiles wisdom from some of the world’s most successful financial experts and distills it into accessible strategies for the average person. The book aims to demystify the investment process and offers practical advice on how to achieve financial freedom and security. It covers a wide range of topics, from saving and investing to managing risk and maximizing returns. Robbins emphasizes the importance of financial intelligence and proactive planning, urging readers to take control of their financial destiny. Through this book, he provides a roadmap for navigating the financial landscape, making it an essential read for anyone looking to understand and master the art of making money work for them.
Since this is a year-long challenge, I’ll be doing other challenges along the way. More to come!