Reuben’s Recommended Reading 2023: My Favorite Books from the Past Four Years

I listen to a ton of audiobooks on Audible, and I share many of these books with friends, family, and colleagues. I did a blog post sharing many of my favorite books back in 2019, and it’s time for an update. These are some of my favorite reads from the past few years, broken down by category and a few of my thoughts.

Books for everyone

The Gap and the Gain: The High Achievers’ Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success, by Dan Sullivan & Dr. Benjamin Hardy. This is one of my favorite reads from the past several years. It’s all about focusing on our wins and our gains. Instead of focusing on where we’d like to be (the gap), focus on how far you’ve come (the gain). I think about the lessons from this book every day.

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, by David Goggins. Whenever I think I’m having a tough day, I think back to a few of the stories in this book and realize things aren’t so bad. This has also inspired me to push myself, especially regarding exercise. So inspiring!

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness, by Morgan Housel. Financial success is not a hard science, it is a soft skill. Behaviors are far more important than knowledge.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, by Ryan Holiday. This was my theme for the Covid meltdown of 2020. Nobody gets ahead without overcoming challenges. We should welcome these challenges as opportunities to improve.

Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Leaning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and Be More Productive, by Kevin Horsley. The title sums it up quite nicely. Do you have a tough time remembering people’s names? I used to. But I don’t anymore. So many fantastic strategies.

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind, by Jocelyn K. Gei. Get rid of the clutter, get rid of the unimportant stuff, focus on getting things done that make a difference.

Getting things done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen. How to get more done and waste less time.

Outwitting the Devil: The Secrets to Freedom and Success, by Napoleon Hill. This book was written in 1938 and hidden away until 2011. It’s written as an interview with the devil, where the devil shares all of his secrets to keep people from achieving success in their lives.

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything, by BJ Fogg. All about establishing positive habits in your life. What helps us change habits? What makes new habits effective? How do we break old habits?

Success through a positive mental attitude, by Napoleon Hill. Our attitudes shape our future. Adversities can be gifts. You can benefit from failure if it turns into inspirational dissatisfaction.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport. Busy is not the same as productive. Busyness has become a proxy for productivity, but it’s not the same thing. Emails are not productive. It’s important to eliminate distractions. Social media kills productivity. I pretty stopped reading all news after reading this book.

Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed, by Brian Tracy. To become all that you can be, you must live consciously. You must live with intentionality.

Health / Nutrition

Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicide An Transform the Quality of Your Life & Those You Love, by Tony Robbins. Cutting-edge, crazy stuff related to health and living longer.

Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever, by Dave Asprey. Lots of advice on diet, clean eating, supplements, sleep, and tracking all of this.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, by Matthew Walker. The most fascinating book I’ve read about sleep.

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor. Sure, we all know how to breathe, but did you know that a lot of dental problems are related to the way you breathe? This book inspired me to tape my mouth shut at night to train myself to sleep with my mouth closed.

The Wim Hof Method, by Wim Hof. The two big focuses are breathing exercises and cold exposure. Doing these regularly have the potential to give you huge benefits, like not being cold anymore and not getting sick anymore. If you haven’t done a Wim Hof breathing exercise, you need to try it. It’s crazy.

The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor, by Mark Schatzker. An eye-opening book at the processed food industry. This book will make you want to never eat foods that contain the ingredient “natural flavors”.

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss. Why there is so much salt, sugar, and fat in our diets today. Food companies produce the food pyramid, yet their advertising budgets are completely opposite. We have huge food corporations producing food that kills us, and nutrition is an afterthought.

Family / Parenting / Marriage

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, by John Gottman. The title says it all. I’ve followed a ton of the advice in this book, and it has made my marriage better.

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, by Greg Lukianoff. College kids are being taught that they’re fragile, and need to be protected from opinions that aren’t in line with traditional “college” opinions. This is one of the most upsetting books I’ve ever read.

Business / Leadership

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts, by Brené Brown. Lots of discussion around leadership, trust, shame, perfectionism, vulnerability, and sympathy vs. empathy.

Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork, by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. As a business owner who is always coming up with new ideas, I often get hung up on exactly how I’m going to execute stuff. But a much better question to ask is “who can do this?” If I have the right people in place, they’ll figure out the “how”.

Welcome to Management: How to Grow from Top Performer to Excellent Leader, by Ryan Hawk. How to lead yourself, build your team, and lead your team. This is required reading material for anyone in a leadership role in my company.

The Infinite Game, by Simon Sinek. Finite games have a fixed set of rules, a known scoring method, and an agreed-upon objective. Infinite games have known and unknown players, no agreed-upon rules, and there is no such thing as winning; the primary objective is to keep playing. Examples of infinite games include marriage, education, careers, and global politics.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Tons of great stories, all with the same essential lesson: you must own your results.

Written By

Reuben is a second-generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben grew up thinking he was going to be a school teacher because he enjoyed teaching others so much. In a sense, that’s a lot of what home inspections are about, so Reuben truly does what he loves. Sharlene has worked with Structure Tech since 2000 and Reuben has been contributing to her blog since 2008.

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