40 Books Challenge for 2024

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.)

40 books

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.

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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 Slakey

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.

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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 book

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.

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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

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.

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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 book review

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.

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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.

Tony Robbins Money

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.


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6 – DUNE – Messiah

The Tony Robbins book is really slowing me down on my goal. 664 pages of financial talk forced me to skip ahead to a fun book, the sequel to the first DUNE.  I enjoyed it, yet predictably not as much as the 1st.  A lot of politics and no real big win, though a bit of a climax.

DUNE Messiah book

Dune: Messiah,” the second novel in Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking Dune series, continues the saga of Paul Atreides, now Emperor of the Known Universe, grappling with the burdens of leadership and the complexities of prescience. Set twelve years after the events of “Dune,” Paul has achieved the monumental status of a religious messiah among the Fremen, leading to an empire built on the desert planet Arrakis. However, his reign is fraught with challenges, including internal dissent, external threats, and a series of conspiracies aimed at undermining his power and vision for the universe.

As Paul struggles with the moral implications of his prescient abilities, he is haunted by visions of a dark future and the potential downfall of his dynasty. His attempts to navigate the political intricacies and avoid the traps set by his adversaries reveal the depth of his character and the weight of the destiny he carries. The narrative delves into themes of power, religion, and free will, examining the consequences of absolute authority and the inescapable nature of prophecy.

“Dune: Messiah” is a story of tragic heroism, exploring the paradox of a leader who can foresee multiple pathways yet remains powerless to alter his fated course. Through complex characters and a richly developed universe, Herbert constructs a tale that is as thought-provoking as it is captivating, setting the stage for further exploration of the Dune universe.

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7 – Twelve and a Half

I wanted to hate this book.

I’ve been a fan and agree with most of what GaryVee has said over the years, so I was excited to read it initially.  The reason my thoughts changed is because he promised a special NFT to anyone who proved they bought 12 of them.  I did this, as VeeFriends was really successful, accomplished the necessary steps, then never got anything.  That being said, I enjoyed the book and got a little something out of it.  It was a quick read, and I especially liked his personal experiences and scenarios.  I have to imagine he doesn’t have kids, cause some of the scenario answers were a little off.  All in all, it was good.  I choose kind candor in my review.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success” is a thought-provoking exploration into the soft skills and emotional intelligence that fuel personal and professional growth. Authored by Gary Vaynerchuk, this book delves into the twelve emotional skills that are critical for success in the business world, with a half skill that serves as the linchpin connecting them all. Vaynerchuk combines his extensive experience as a serial entrepreneur with real-world examples to illustrate how these skills have impacted his own journey and how they can be cultivated and leveraged by anyone looking to advance their career or business.

Rather than focusing solely on hard skills like technical expertise and financial acumen, “Twelve and a Half” emphasizes the importance of empathy, self-awareness, gratitude, and other emotional qualities in creating meaningful connections and driving sustainable success. Vaynerchuk challenges readers to look inward, recognize their emotional strengths and weaknesses, and consciously develop the skills that are often undervalued in the traditional business environment. Through engaging narratives and actionable advice, this book offers a roadmap for personal development that transcends industry boundaries, making it a valuable resource for entrepreneurs, leaders, and anyone seeking to elevate their emotional intelligence for better outcomes in business and life.

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What’s next?

Since this is a year-long challenge, I’ll be doing other challenges along the way.  More to come!

PAST: 2 decades on Maui, 35 years of surfing, 21 countries traveled, and just 1 treehouse built.

PRESENT: Seeking great food, would create art daily if I had endless energy/time, I run 3 businesses, and I put family at #1.  Prepping for the next personal challenge.

FUTURE: I'm most excited catching up and getting ahead with work. We just did 3.5 months of traveling, so no more major travel for a bit.

21 Day Challenges


  • No booze - Cutting out midnight snacking too.
  • No sugar - Nothing processed.  Some fruit is ok.
  • No caffeine - Might add in green tea if headaches occur.
  • No social media - I'll do my best to schedule/delegate work.
  • Heartburn/GERD - Focus on gut repair.
  • EMP Prep - Learn, Prep, Gather for potential EMP attack.
  • No clutter - Each day I'll spend 2 hours culling the cluter, be it on the computer, in closets, the garage, etc...
  • No meat - I might make an exception for fish & eggs...
  • No screentime - TV/movies, phone, social, work?
  • No Dairy - Cut out everything.
  • No Gluten - 100% gluten-free and mostly carb free.
  • Organic - Eat only organic.
  • No Dark Colors - wear only light clothing.
  • Toxic People - Actively delete contacts and remove crap humans.


  • Workout - Daily circuit, swim, surf, or hike.
  • Sleep - Daily bedtime of 9 am with at least 8 hours of sleep.
  • Breath Hold/Work - Daily practice to increase time.
  • Meditate - Daily 20+ minutes of meditation or breath work.
  • Reading - 40+ books read in a year.
  • Videos - Daily editing and publishing.
  • Build - Daily build of a catio.
  • Gratitude Journal - Daily paragraph to page.
  • Surf - Daily surf sessions for 1-hour minimum.
  • Art - Daily artwork of at least 1 hour.
  • Blogging - 1 daily blog post on this site or for work.
  • Ice/Heat - Daily Ice Bath and/or Sauna.
  • Friendship - Daily active time with friends.
  • Water - Only water as liquid intake, 10+ glasses daily.

Please comment below if you’d like to join me on one of these!  


  1. Liza Pierce

    I was planning to do this kind of blog (about books) to share what I read, and encourage my young adult kids to read them too. Then I saw this post (via Linked in). You probably already read this book, but it not, then I recommend including “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel in your list.

    • Treehouse Dad

      Oh great, will check it out! Mahalo!

  2. Liza Pierce

    Me again. I forgot to mention that I definitely want to join you in one (or many) of your challenges. I might need to call Aunty Pineapple to help to out. Your list is excellent – most (if not all) of it are things I had ben wanting to do (but not doing). This challenge will help me out.


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