Book Reviews

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My goal every year is to read one book a month. Here I will share my book reviews for the books I have completed. But here’s the catch: there will be a limitation of three sentences.

Books I Have Read in 2021

12. Learning React: Modern Patterns for Developing React Apps

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Great introduction to React, ES6, and includes lots of Hooks and design patterns. Make sure and pair up with the github repo since some projects get tricky. Looking forward to applying the knowledge gained in my React projects.

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11. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

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Can’t believe it took me so long to get to this gem of a book. The principles and ideas in this book are timeless and I am excited to start implementing them in my life and family. This is one I will probably come back to and read over and over again.

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10. To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

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Turns out we all work in sales (non-sale selling). We move people with the new ABCs (Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity). Pink updates the reader with the new skills needed for the modern era.

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9. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

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It started by cleaning the garage this summer and it lead to organizing many other rooms in the home. Kondo’s methods and practices have made a difference in my efforts to minimize, reduce clutter, and make a happier home.

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8. The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

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Trying the Bullet Journal Method this year and this has been my guide. Simple, effective, and most importantly offline. Came to level up my journal game, stayed for the philosophy.

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7. The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People

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Ortberg presents us with the spiritual practices along with some life stories that help illuminate the practices. The spiritual practices covered are celebration, slowing, prayer, servanthood, confession, receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit, secrecy, and reflecting on the Scriptures. My favorites were celebration, slowness, prayer but all work together to form a game plan of morphing by creating a rule of life to guide me in this life and create a rhythm for living. It’s morphing time!

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6. Loveology: God. Love. Marriage. Sex

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Comer takes on love, marriage, sex, and what the Bible has to say about this. Wish I had read this before I became a teenager in love and how to pursue love with God’s plan in mind. Filled with God’s truth, myth-busting, and even a Q/A section.

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5. God has a name

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I didn’t know that God had a name and it was revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai and is the most quoted passage in the Bible, by the Bible. This passage is Exodus 34v4-7 and God’s name is Yahweh. Comer breaks it down…line by line.

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4. Eternity is Now in Session

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Ortberg writes about the soul’s journey consisting of stages of Awakening, Purgation, Illumination, and Union. He describes how many of us view salvation on how we answer questions on a test rather than a real relationship with God. We can experience heaven right now awakening to the reality where in the “strange world of the Kingdom of God, the frog turns out to be a prince; the ugly duckling is a beautiful swan; the crucified carpenter is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.”

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3. Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human

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Comer writes in Garden City about our vocation, rest, and what heaven will look like, or as he calls it the “Garden City”. This book challenged the way I thought of heaven as a place to retire/worship to a place of work/rest in the new heaven and a new earth. ”Our work will be exciting, fun, challenging, rewarding, fascinating, energizing, significant, and custom fit for who we are.

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2. Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest

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We love the Sabbath. Learn to accept the gift God has given us and trust in Him enough to rest your soul. Muller will show you many examples of how to Sabbath and its impact on your soul…when you start to honor the Sabbath you live the other days differently.

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1. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

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The first time I listened to it but the second time I read it in physical form and loved it even more. Probably the most impactful and soul-awakening book for me of 2020.

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Books I Have Read In 2020

9. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

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The hipster edition of An Unhurried Life and covers many of the same topics but more human, modern, and fun! This book challenged my presuppositions on what it meant to be a disciple (or apprentice) and offers an escape from the hurry of modern life. Comer will show you the 4 practices of an unhurried life which include: silence and solitude, sabbath, simplicity, and slowing.

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8. Range: Why Generalist Triumph in a Specialized World

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Epstein challenges the 10k hours of early specialization is the best path to success theory by showing us examples of late bloomers and people that’s careers and interest change over time. That is good news for me as someone who changed specializations many times in my IT career and the research shows that people with range are better equipped for wicked environments. Foxes are better than hedge hodges.

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7. An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest

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This was a such a challenging book for me as someone who races though life trying to get things done at a life’s crazy pace. But if we follow Jesus’s example we learn to walk with Him and experience life at 3 miles an hour. We can miss God’s voice and opportunities to serve others when we rush through life.

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6. The Four-Hour Work Week

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Ferriss presents an exciting and different world view and provides tactical tips to stop running the 9-5 rat race and pursue what really matters. The new rich take mini-retirements while they are young and not wait until later in life to enjoy true freedom. Probably not applicable for everyone, but I found it enjoyable, fun, and mind-expanding to think about living life to its fullest and enjoying the little time we have in this life.

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5. Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done

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Acuff is a hilarious writer and had me cracking up many times when reading this book. The central theme is how to stop perfectionism from derailing your plan to get your goal finished. Developing tolerance for imperfection is the key factor in turning chronic starters into consistent finishers.

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4. Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success

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Dweck will convince you to change your fixed mindset to a growth mindset and it will change your outlook on life in an incredible way. Failure doesn’t define you, it’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from. You will learn from examples in sports, business, education, and from her experience at Colombia on how the growth mindset can change how you deal with everyday challenges in a positive and life changing way.

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3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

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McKeown will guide you in the ways to live the life of one known as an Essentialist. It reminds us that only a few things matter and to focus our limited energy on those things that bring the highest contribution. “Less but Better” will be your new anthem in a world that keeps telling us that we can do it all.

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2. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery

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As a fan of the Myers Briggs personality test, this book exposes the reader to the ancient personality test known as the Enneagram which encompasses the Nine personality types. I have learned that I am a Number 4 (Romantic) and have learned some strategies on how to work on my weaknesses and understand my motivations and fears. It was fun to learn about the other personality types from the Enneagram and understand what drives them and best approaches to engage them.

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1. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

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As one of my favorite philosophers and intellectuals of 2019, I am drawn to Peterson’s podcast and Youtube videos. You will learn how to live a life worth living, the rules which to play the game by. You will not want to miss this one.

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Books I Have Read In 2019

4. Never Split the Difference

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Learn how to negotiate any situation from an FBI hostage negotiator. Each chapter is filled with gripping stories from Voss’s work in the field and gives you tactical advice on the art and science of negotiation. This book breaks down the theory and tools that can help you in negotiating a salary, purchasing a car, or working out some problems at home.

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3. When Breath Becomes Air

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A neurosurgeon with a brilliant future finds out he has terminal cancer in his thirties. In this unfinished memoir, he must find out what is truly important in life while facing death. This book is gut-wrenching, thought-provoking, and teaches us about how to live.

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2. Atomic Habits

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Learn how to hack habits so you they work for you and not against you. Clear shows us how habits are built and how they can be reversed engineered to eliminate them too. Must read if you want to read how to build good habits by learning the habit system complete with lots of practical examples.

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1. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

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I have been a fan of Cal Newport’s work since I read Deep Work last year. Newport goes deeper into how to live a simpler, more meaningful life and not letting technology control us. This was a tough one for me to implement since it meant I had to cut my addiction to tech and just look up to really experience life.

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About the author

Frank is a 👨‍💻web developer, U.S. Army veteran, 🎸bass player, father, husband, and founder of sacodersunited.

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