Regular readers of this newsletter know that I'm a bibliophile, which explains the bottom right square in the logo above. I am pleased to announce that there is now a (gorgeous) home for all of the books I recommend: the Financial Preparedness bookstore on Bookshop.org, which supports local bookstores. (If you buy a book through that store, I will receive a commission.) The books are organized alphabetically by subject: Business, Collapse, Education, Fiction, Finance, General Interest, Health & Wellness, Personal Effectiveness, Political Economy, Prepping, Psychology, Technology, War and Writing. Each listing shows my personal star rating (all are rated 4 stars or above). Currently there are 189 books, but I plan to add more in the future as I read them. I'm going to spend the rest of this issue highlighting certain books.
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Re books in the Business section, I've attended a number of conferences and training events put on by Michael Hyatt and Jeff Goins. They're both based in Franklin, TN—along with Donald Miller, Dave Ramsey, etc.--which seems to have a self-help cottage industry.
Seth Godin is a remarkable author.
Alienated America examines why some places in the U.S. are thriving (mostly deep blue areas around D.C.) while others are collapsing (dark red areas in Appalachia, the Rust Belt, etc.).
Nassim Taleb is challenging to read, but his books are mind-expanding. His book The Black Swan was my introduction to complex systems (which I wrote about in Issue #2) and explains the first square in the logo above.
If you want to understand the opioid/heroin epidemic in the U.S., read Dreamland.
The Education section contains several books that would be of interest to kids who are interested in home schooling and/or skipping college. The Self-Driven Child is a must read for any parent. Who Gets In and Why was interesting.
In the Fiction section, One Second After is the first of a four-book series, the last of which will be released on Aug. 22. If you're not familiar with what would happen if the electrical grid went down, it's a good introduction. Going Home is also the first book in a long series. “Home” just happens to be in the same county where I grew up.
Flash Boys by Michael Lewis is a great introduction to high frequency trading. It's being made into a movie.
How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter Schiff is a great, simplified, quasi-comic book that you can use to educate kids (and adults) about economics, central banks and money. It's actually an updated version of a book written by his father.
The Richest Man in Babylon was the first book I ever read about personal finance. It's a classic and would make a great graduation gift.
I have mentioned This Time Is Different a number of times. My one-sentence summary: “History is the story of governments debasing their currency and defaulting on their debt.”
A Thousand Naked Strangers was shocking and hilarious.
Even though Moneyball (another book by Michael Lewis) is about baseball, it intrigued me because they used the same technique I use (quantitative analysis using a computer) to find value-priced players that met a need and contributed to the success of the team, just like I do when managing a portfolio of stocks. It has also been made into a movie, which I recommend.
Tribe was a thought-provoking book that opened my eyes to the power of the tribal instinct.
I wrote about Deskbound in Issue #30. If you want to learn how to properly sit, stand, walk and maintain your body, it's a must read. It's a large, medical school textbook-quality book. Author Kelly Starrett—a renowned physical trainer—has another book coming out soon.
Effortless Healing is a great all-around health book by Dr. Mercola.
The Blue Zones examines the health habits of the people who have the longest lifespans in the world.
The Hot Zone is pretty scary. Something else to prep for. One day there will be a real pandemic.
The Plant Paradox was the second book I read after my heart attack. It made me realize how fragile my digestive tract is as well as the danger of eating nightshades.
The Truth About COVID-19 is an important book that lays it all out for you.
Wheat Belly was the first book I read after my heart attack. I immediately minimized my consumption of wheat and sugar, and promptly lost about 50 pounds of fat.
Creative Calling is a great book if you want to create and share your work.
Elite Minds (by the sports psychologist for the University of Georgia) is the best book I've ever read about sports psychology.
Essentialism is where I got the following rule: If something isn't a Hell Yeah, then it's a No.
Ikigai is an important concept to understand if you want to live a fulfilled life.
Man's Search for Meaning, by a survivor of the Nazi death camps, is a classic. His conclusion is that it's not happiness that people want, but a life of meaning.
The Education of Millionaires is an important, outside-the-box book. I also recommend his books The Last Safe Investment and The Power of Eye Contact. He happens to be the son of Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg.
The Last Lecture is a tear-jerker and a good book about how to live life. It would make a nice graduation gift.
If you'd like to improve your skill at any task, The Little Book of Talent is your go-to book.
The Passion Paradox is another book that would make a great graduation gift.
The Power of Full Engagement is a must read by anyone who wants to be effective.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic and was the first self-help book I read, around 1990.
A Government of Wolves is pretty heavy and depressing but contains information that's important to know.
I read Animal Farm to my son while we were on a cruise. When the ship pulled into Port Canaveral, almost everyone got off and went to Disney World or Cocoa Beach. But my son made me binge-read this book to him for hours on our balcony (which overlooked Cape Canaveral, where my father once worked). I jokingly referred to it as “pater abuse.” Seriously, best “excursion” ever. I just heard that reading to your children is the best predictor of their success.
Architects of Ruin documents the jaw-dropping destruction that statist politicians wreak on the economy. See the news items below, which will help lead to a repeat, but 10X larger.
I met the author of Chaos Theory over 20 years ago, who is now a professor.
I also met the brilliant professor/author of Defending the Undefendable over 20 years ago. (I also read this to my kid, minus the adult parts.)
Laptop From Hell is a must read and a shocking indication of the depth of depravity and corruption to which we have sank.
I wrote about Putin's Playbook in Issue #73, which is a must read if you want to understand Russia and Putin. If the West doesn't understand them (they are surprisingly transparent), it could lead to WWIII. Something else to prepare for.
Ship of Fools is as good as Tucker Carlson's monologues.
David Stockman is an independent thinker and his books are voluminous and informative.
I plan to write about The Great Reset by Glenn Beck soon.
Warning to the West is a prophetic warning by famous Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
All of the books in the Prepping section contain great information. Lights Out by former Nightline host Ted Koppel is a good introduction to the vulnerability of our electrical grid and the catastrophic consequences of its failure.
James Jones is a prolific prepping author.
Chris Martenson and Adam Taggart are intelligent authors who do a great job of explaining why we're screwed, but then provide hope by showing you how to increase your resilience.
Priceless explains how the human brain thinks about prices, which is very interesting.
The Inner Game of Tennis is a classic and a must read for any athlete or anyone who wants to step up their performance in any area.
Bruce Schneier is an expert on technology security and privacy.
About Face is the biography of legendary and outspoken Army officer Col. David Hackworth. I read it while I was an Army officer, and it resonated with me.
Documentaries to Watch
Ancient Apocalypse series on Netflix. Astounding!
Wildcat on Amazon Prime Video. Bring a box of tissues.
Biden Vetoes Bill That Sought to Block ESG Investing: He said the bill “would put at risk the retirement savings of individuals across the country,” but of course, that's what he's doing. Five or ten years from now when stock investors start to wonder where their 10% annual returns are, statists will blame capitalism and greed, and call for more government regulation of corporations.
Biden to Punish Good-Credit Homebuyers to Subsidize High-Risk Mortgages: Work hard, make good decisions and delay gratification and you too can pay for the mortgages of the irresponsible.
Germany Closes Its Last Nuclear Power Plants: I sent this to my German exchange friend (who I've known since 1985), and he wrote: “Our country here is going down the f*** drain at an alarming speed. It is ideology only. No more rational decisions. The missing quality and considerations of anything happening here is just embarrassing, nothing more.”
Recommended Books (I receive a commission if you buy a book via this link.)
The content of this newsletter is intended to be and should be used for informational/ educational purposes only. You should not assume that it is accurate or that following my recommendations will produce a positive result for you. You should either do your own research and analysis, or hire a qualified professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.
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