Books

Current Reading list

Book Recommendations / Reviews

  • The Stress Code by Richard Sutton
    • The book offers you one of the most comprehensive and structured insights into buffering the adverse effects of stress to promote resilience and achieve your potential in the face of adversity. It explains how stress works and what it does to you. It gives you practical tools to use in everyday life to combat the negative effects of stress. If you’re interested in bettering yourself, both in the workplace and on a health and fitness level, this book is a must read.
  • Humans – A brief history of how we fucked it all up by Tom Phillips
    • Tom Phillips takes you on a thrill-a-minute journey through mankind’s most notable fuck-ups. There are instances where you’ll be unable to resist a broad smile from creeping across your face while some stories will make you cringe and shake your head. We are truly not as clever as we think we are (despite the perceived rate of modern-day progress) and we certainly don’t learn from our past mistakes. What is more worryingly though is that the mistakes we continue to make are getting bigger, with more dire consequences, by the century. First and foremost is the rate at which we’re destroying the very planet we depend on for our existence. And doing so despite being warned that what we’re busy with is a really bad idea… The book takes a look at the mistakes of the past as well as takes a stab at what is to come. Funny and unsettling at the same time. And then, to make matters worse, the ‘most powerful nation on earth’ goes on and elect a reality TV mogul as president…God help us all.
  • Freedom in Exile – The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama of Tibet
    • After reading ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ I decided to read up not only on Buddhism but also on the Dalai Lama himself. The book exposes the horrific atrocities committed by China in Tibet. The Chinese are literally busy obliterating an entire nation and simultaneously destroying and raping a vast piece of Mother Earth with the rest of the world idly standing by, not lifting a finger to do anything about it. That is the tragic part. But the book is also about hope. Hope despite the dire circumstances. It is full of lessons, packed with universal truths that we all can embrace and strive for. Care for your environment. Care for your fellow man. Be compassionate and caring. The world faces universal problems that requires a universal response. The ‘America First’ mantra is not only outdated, it not useful in solving any of the problems faced by mankind today. Building walls and an ‘every country for itself’ approach will only accelerate the slide towards a global crisis. We need to break down the walls, take hands across religious and cultural boundaries if we are to come up with a solution of leaving a healthier, more peaceful planet behind for the generations that will follow. It is an intriguing and moving read, one that inspires you to get up and reach out, a book that inspires you to take action. Much can be learned from the bald man in robes…
  • Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
    • One of the best I’ve ever read. A remarkable story of how one man, through eating healthy and training hard, completely altered the course of his life. Going from a couch potato (and a drunk one at that) to one of the best endurance athletes the planet has seen. It is a story about conquering fear and banishing limiting beliefs. Rich shares practical tools and techniques geared towards wellness and longevity. If you’re serious about getting healthy, living better and in the process leaving less of an impact on mother earth, this is a must read. This short review does not do it justice. One of those books that literally changed the course of my life. Maybe a proper post about it soon…
  • 10% Happier by Dan Harris
    • Brilliant. If you’re looking for a book that will really help you tame the monkey in your mind, this book will! It’s meditation for beginners and puts you on the path of getting to know how to train your brain.
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
    • A real eye-opener giving the reader a fresh and new perspective on how things work. Discussing and dissecting everything from the possibility of nuclear war and ecological collapse to what to teach our children, fake news and terrorism. Both the threat and the possibilities of artificial intelligence are dealt with in such a manner that the man on the street can understand and relate. Fascinating and bound to shake your cage. Are we as a species still capable of understanding the world we created?
  • An Appeal to the World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    • Insightful and gives the reader much to ponder. This earth we’re living in could be so much better if only employed half the Dalai Lama’s suggestions. Read it, teach your kids the principles of respect and love. Go out there and make a difference.
  • The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
    • It tells the story of Michael Oher, a poor black kid who made it to stardom with the help of a wealthy white family. It also explains why Michael’s position came to be one of the best paid positions on a football field and touches on the evolution of the game. And that’s it. I found it rather boring.
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
    • One of those books you can leave on your bedside table, reading a few pages each night, making time to ponder each of the valuable lessons shared by a man who knew his time was running out. If you have kids, get this book on your ‘must read’ list.
  • Steinhoff – Inside SA’s Biggest Corporate Crash by James-Brent Styan
    • Essentially a tale of greed. Styan provides a fascinating insight into the inner workings (or failure thereof) of one of South Africa’s darling companies from its spectacular and meteoric rise to its sudden and dramatic collapse. How could a board of directors so qualified missed the warning signs? How could fund managers the world over trusted so blindly? Reputations destroyed, millions lost, the Steinhoff debacle will reverberate through South Africa’s financial landscape for years to come. The last chapter has by no means been written… The lesson is this: If its too good to be true, it usually is.
  • The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
    • Most of us have been doing it wrong and doing it wrong for a long time. Sharma offers us a glimpse into what can be achieved and what can be experienced if we focus on what is really important. There’s practical pointers on how to arrange your day, how to prioritize and how to focus on the stuff that matters. Want to live a more enlightened, rewarding and purposeful life? Give this a book a try, you’ll be amazed.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    • A well written tale that grips the imagination. A shepherd boy embarks on a daring journey to North Africa’s exotic markets in search of treasure. Through trials and tribulations the boy relentlessly chases his dream and his perseverance is eventually rewarded. Dreams are made to be followed and life is meant to be lived. This inspriring book is meant to be read, loved and passed on.
  • Seven years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
    • Harrer tells the story of his escape from a Prisoner of War camp in India and his incredible journey to Tibet and ultimately to the Holy City of Lhasa. For seven years he learned the language, acquired and understanding of life in Tibet and embraced the culture. He made friends and he made a difference. He found purpose and peace and eventually became friends with the Dalai Lama. He offers insights into the inner-workings of Buddhism and life behind the walls of the Potala. The invasion of Tibet by the Chinese signaled the end of his sojourn in Tibet. To this day the Chinese continue to obliterate a nation and a culture while the world looks on doing nothing.  Harrer’s book is interesting and gripping and makes one take a closer look at oneself. There’s a very interesting world out there, one which are meant to be explored and discovered.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
    • Nine-year-old Bruno is a curious youngster and sets about exploring his new surroundings, which happened to be the Auschwitz concentration camp. We get a glimpse of the goings on in a strict German family – where rules only apply to the children and to some degree the women but never to the man. We are also offered a glimpse of the terrible conditions in a German concentration camp made all the more horrific when viewed through the innocence of a nine year-old. A friendship is formed, one that transcends race, color and religion – how it is supposed to be. A friendship that would extract the ultimate price. Easy to read but difficult to swallow.
  • The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
    • I stumbled onto this book by accident, and very glad I did. Bruce has done a ton of research and summarized it in his book – saving you an awful lot of time. There is no secret recipe. Feiler however provides you with the opportunity to consider and try things that worked for other families. It is insightful and helpful. If you’re serious about the happiness of your family, this book deserves your time and consideration.
  • Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight
    • Another self-help book laced with profanities. Read past the f’s and s’s and you’ll unearth a truth or two. There’s helpful, practical advise in there but she could have gotten to the gist of it all a lot quicker.
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
    • Written by a man that understands the inherent dangers of mountaineering. A gripping account of one of Everest’s worst tragedies. It is as much about mountaineering as it is about the human spirit and what makes men tick. If you are only going to read one book about Everest, Into Thin Air should be it.
  • Shut Up Legs by Jens Voigt
    • I haven’t met Jens but by all accounts the man has a funny accent. He writes as he speaks then. Funny and from the heart. His story is one of perseverance, determination and hard work. A story that once again illustrates that staying on the straight and narrow is not easy but that the rewards outweigh the sacrifices. It’s a good read.
  • Extreme Eiger by Peter & Leni Gillman
    • A story of courage and competition that will appeal to anyone keen to know just what happens to those who risk everything to achieve their dreams.
  • Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron
    • Ben not only makes people fitter, he makes them better. His philosophy can help anyone excel at anything.
  • The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    • The key to being stronger, happier people is to handle adversity better and to stop trying so hard… A refreshing perspective.
  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
    • Abandoned by his family and left to fend for himself, young Joe Rantz turns to rowing as a way of escaping his past. What follows is an extraordinary journey, as Joe and eight other working-class boys exchange the sweat and dust of life in 1930s America for the promise of glory at the heart of Hitler’s Berlin. Inspirational.
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
    • A story about an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson. A must read.
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