In a new study by Pew Research, it's revealed that Americans are actually reading, they're just doing it in different ways than the traditional hardcover or paperback format. According to the research, Americans read a mean average of 12 books per year, and the typical (median) American has read four books in the past 12 months.
But I've often mentioned on podcasts that I read “a book a day”.
And, as a result, I'm often asked how I actually pull that off.
I'll cut straight to chase: in this article, I share with you most of the details of how I read a book a day, and the two other resources that will fast-track you to learn my exact methods are:
I’m also often asked how I actually keep track of all the books that I read, and how I constantly keep top-of-mind the especially influential, inspirational or important anecdotes.
In many cases, I accomplish my hyperproductive digestion of information through the use of services, websites, journals, newsletters and digests that disseminate information into readily accessible bite-size pieces that allow me to cut through the clutter and quickly get to the main summaries, takeaways and actionable items from all the content.
In addition, I stay up to date with health, medical and science news via the Stone Hearth Newsletters, exercise and nutrition research via the website Suppversity, and, for general life knowledge, I’m a recent subscriber to the Farnham Street blog for staying up-to-date with the best recently published books and articles from around the web. For one of the most comprehensive exercise, diet, supplement resources I have ever accessed – I am a frequent visitor to the website Examine and their monthly publication The Examine Research Digest.
Another top recommended resource for getting through the world’s best books f-a-s-t is the fantastic app/website called “Optimize“. What is Optimize? It’s simple, really. The good folks at Optimize read every one of the best books (primarily focusing on health, wealth, self-improvement, neuroscience, fitness, business, nutrition, lifestyle and philosophy) and then summarize these books in easy-to-digest, 20 minute audio MP3s or very short 5-6 page PDFs with the biggest ideas, summaries and most important takeaways.
So in less than 6 months, I easily made it through the 400+ books on their site, often while I was hoisting dumbbells, walking in the sunshine, or driving in my car. So you get more wisdom in less time. Optimize is only about 10 bucks a month…and yesterday I talked to the nice folks at Optimize and they’re even knocking 25% off (only from today Christmas until New Year's Eve December 31 2018) on their monthly, annual or lifetime membership if you click here and use code: BEN25.
But now it's time to get into the brass tacks: the top 28 books I read in 2018, and exactly what I gleaned from each. Enjoy, and be sure to tell me about your favorite books in the comments section below. Usually, I reveal a new book each week in my weekly roundup, so if you're not yet subscribed to my newsletter, you can click here to ensure you never miss a new book I'm reading!
I read this one on the plane to Panama for the Runga experience and found it to be quite interesting. I highlighted at least a dozen recipes that were simple and fresh, and even though the book recommends far more fruit intake than I normally recommend, I did appreciate how certain fruits, vegetables and other superfoods were described in detail in terms of both their physical and emotional effect. Worth a glance (and while you're at it, read the author's crazy-to-believe bio)
It's rare that I recommend fiction on my blog, but I do indeed read (and write) a fair share of it, and a new gem I've been delving into is a book entitled The Golem & The Jinni. No spoiler alert here, but if you dig both Arabic and Jewish mythology, you'll dig this one. It was recommended to me by a friend recently on this Napali coast hike.
Dudes… if you want to become proficient in the art of being multi-orgasmic, this generally takes anywhere from one to three months of consistent practice, and in addition to checking out my good friend Jordan Gray’s website, I also recommend you read the excellent book “The Multi-Orgasmic Man: Sexual Secrets Every Man Should Know.” One of Jordan’s specialties is tantric sex – a slow, intimate form of sex that leads to a better connection with yourself and your partner. While there is no one singular way “to do” tantric sex, the simplest way is to slow down, control your breathing, and be cognizant of your body in every moment. When it comes to becoming multi-orgasmic as a man, cultivating this skill is simpler than you might think, and the book I mention above will transform you into a true ninja. Want to get my complete list of hacks for your sack? They're waiting for you right here.
I'm halfway through this book written by one of the most intelligent financial minds on the face of the freakin' planet. I actually have quite a bit of my savings tied up in his “all seasons portfolio” approach, and this new work of his delves into not only his fascinating financial history and investment philosophies but also how he has literally outsourced his decision making to computer algorithms. I don't plan on becoming an AI robot anytime soon, but this one is good. And if you like AI, read this Life 3.0 book, recommended to me by my friend Dr. Joseph Mercola. The first chapter alone will blow your mind.
The secret to happiness is to acknowledge and transform suffering, not to run away from it. In No Mud, No Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh offers practices and inspiration transforming suffering and finding true joy.
Thich Nhat Hanh acknowledges that because suffering can feel so bad, we try to run away from it or cover it up by consuming. We find something to eat or turn on the television. But unless we’re able to face our suffering, we can’t be present and available to life, and happiness will continue to elude us.
Nhat Hanh shares how the practices of stopping, mindful breathing, and deep concentration can generate the energy of mindfulness within our daily lives. With that energy, we can embrace pain and calm it down, instantly bringing a measure of freedom and a clearer mind.
No Mud, No Lotus introduces ways to be in touch with suffering without being overwhelmed by it. “When we know how to suffer,” Nhat Hanh says, “we suffer much, much less.” With his signature clarity and sense of joy, Thich Nhat Hanh helps us recognize the wonders inside us and around us that we tend to take for granted and teaches us the art of happiness.
The COO of Kion and I have been going through this book and coming up with plenty of gems for operating a happy, robust, well-oiled company while maintaining employee happiness and delivering mad value. If you own a company or work in management for any company, this one is well worth a read. My biggest takeaway? Strike an ideal balance between “Savoring Life” and “Making An Impact”.
Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch – I first discovered Dr. Ben Lynch when he ran my genes through “Stratagene” and we recorded this podcast about my results. My mind has been blown by his new Dirty Genes book because it highlights everything from why certain people do horribly on a vegan diet while others thrive, to how to “fix” the genetic hand of cards you've been dealt, to why some people create more dopamine than others and, for those people, how to sleep better, etc., etc., etc. The list of practical health takeaways from this book is a mile long. Add it to your must-read.
Genius Foods: I’ve just finished reading an advance copy of this book, written by my friend and former podcaster, Max Lugavere. At first, I figured it would be another “eggs, walnut and fish make you smarter” type of book, but instead, this manuscript took a deep, deep dive into specific genes that affect intelligence and how to pair them with food, mouthwatering recipes for everything from liver to avocado-salmon bowls, and some very good, step-by-step tips for optimizing your personal environment to enhance your cognition. It is a must read, with many pages folded over in my own copy.
My friend, Chris Holder, at the recent RKC kettlebell certification, recommended this book to me and…*holy hell* – it is knocking my socks off. I am now only halfway done, but am already highly recommending it. In the book, author David Deida explores the most important issues in men's lives “from career and family to women and intimacy to love and spirituality to offer a practical guidebook for living a masculine life of integrity authenticity and freedom.” He shares lessons on how a man can grow spiritually while passionately tussling with the challenges of women, work, and sexual desire. These are topics near and dear to my heart and I consider this book a must-read for every dude and possibly ladies, too.
I just read a great book called “The Alexandar Technique” – which really has helped me release lots of tension and stress I didn't realize I was holding in muscles and ligaments. It was so good that I recorded a few “audio cues” for myself to put on my audio player for when I'm walking, making coffee, standing, etc., and you can download the quick 3-minute audio here. If you dig this, you can get the book here. Enjoy! I hope it helps you like it helped me.
My friend Naomi Whittel just wrote this brand new book that, on the outside, appears to be a cheesy skincare book for women (in my humble opinion…sorry Naomi), but on the inside is chock full of a deep, deep dive into rebooting your cells, cellular autophagy, fasting combined with protein cycling and how to use sperm (yes, sperm), mayonnaise, lipids and a host of other little-known strategies to induce natural programmed cell death and induce longevity, skin reinvention and a host of other beneficial effects. I folded over two dozen pages in this book, and I definitely recommend adding it to your must-read list. You can also click here for my podcast with Naomi.