Thirteen (13) food for thought fun needle movers you should take time to read in 2023

Prioritize growth…take time to read in 2023

Here are thirteen (13) food for thought fun needle movers you should take time to read in 2023. My challenge last year and this year is to go beyond myself. So, I made a conscious effort to shake things up from my familiar life and surroundings. In doing so, I had to be resourceful. This is a strong set of authors and narratives that are keyed into everything from mind, spirit, politics, and economics to discipline and heart. All of it is to enhance your life and outlook. This is the life-enhancing material outside of the GU Master’s program and any continuing education courses I focused on in 2022.  If you have a book or an author that you think would add value to my or any else’s quality of life, please reach out. Above all, take time to read in 2023, the year of the Rabbit!

Must Reads


1. Autobiography of a Yogi: 1946, Paramahansa Yogananda [4.2/5] Genre (Autobiography)

I am starting with this as I went at it on my first trip to Morocco in early 2022. I got through a lot of it on my train rides like the one I took from Casa to Fez. It was recommended to me by someone who change my life so profoundly when I was suffering from chronic self-doubt. What can I say, I had lost my mental mojo in the folds and speed of life moving from one environment to another. While the book is fantastical, you follow the author throughout his life and he claims to be factual. I followed along doing my best to read without judgment or intent. There are some awesome lessons to be learned and the perspective is vastly different from anything else you will read. It’s deeply religious and has a spirit of kindness. However, I will warn you, it’s for everyone but not everyone is for it.

2. Be Water My Friend, The True Teachings of Bruce Lee: 2020, Shannon Lee [5/5] Genre (Biography, Personal Success)

I read this book throughout my first round of Art Baseling. It was a profound trip that triggered a different tangent in life. There wasn’t a better time to read this book. Shannon Lee did this piece justice. Bruce Lee and his legacy are a true gift to this world, I am so honored to have been able to be still and absorb the message. If you listen to the gurus of today, like Dr. Joe Dispenza, they all are saying the same thing. Bring your energy back to you and be intentional about how you are showing up in life. Move and act with purpose.

3. The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age: 2015, David S. Abraham [5/5] Genre (Economics, Technology)

This was one of my favorites this year. If you care about trade, economics, and the environment, you are among people who no longer look at everyday news through the same lens. With globalization, the vehicles through which commerce has scaled become more important. Technology is evolving rapidly to support growth that partnerships among private and public organizations and nations globally have become vital to forward momentum in tech innovation. However, most people don’t stop to think about how tech scales. What changed? For one tech has gotten smaller (handheld devices) and more portable through lighter and different materials. The internet has increased the speed of transactions and connectivity. Demand has been created and now there is a need to support an experience that keeps consumers hooked. The capabilities of our beloved tech are powered by natural resources called rare earth metals. This book is an excellent guide to how these metals are cultivated, where they are found, and what that means for global trade and the future of innovation. 

4. Noise – Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus: 2019, Joseph McCormack [4/5] Genre (Personal Success)

Reading “Noise” seemed like an excellent follow-up to Joseph’s book “Brief”. Noise’s sentiment that “The world is going deaf” sounds a lot like Henny Penny’s “the sky is falling”. That begs the question, who is our modern-day Foxy-Woxy? This author believes that we are consuming “empty information” and believes that this will last for generations. This book focuses on helping readers understand his thesis on society’s shift that threatens traditional connectivity and provides a solution to being able to have more civil discourse while canceling or being more protective of the constant noise. His ultimate point is that we need to improve attention. If you work in corporate, this reading directly addresses the “buzz words” we all use that trigger people to tune out. In any case, there are effective ways to communicate, this book will make you think harder about how to not become part of the noise and evaluate how you can turn it down in your day-to-day.

5. How to Catch a Mouse with No Cheese: 2014, Donnie P. [4.3/5] Genre (Business)

If you have ever tried to or have started a business from the ground up, you are aware that your success comes down to preparation and a touch of luck. Donnie’s five (5) points outline the principles of success for those who have little to no funding and or experience. My generation of could/should-be entrepreneurs desperately needs the nuggets provided here. On another note, I will have to read this more than once as I am in the thick of propping up my first business. What I loved about the material was that it was empowering and easy to read. Donnie P. may have some new material coming out soon. According to the latest book cover he released, his next publication is titled “Health and Wealth is Always Green, How I Went From Elderly Care to the Cannabis Industry”. “THE GREATEST VIRTUE is not LOVE, but DISCIPLINE.” –Donnie P.

6. It Worked for Me – In Life and Leadership: 2012, Colin Powell [4.5/5] Genre (Personal Success)

My reason for purchasing this title was because I was having challenges identifying what this country’s (United States) leadership needs to be for our nation to thrive in the next 50 – 100 years. For this, I thought that I would start with what it used to be. Colin makes this easy to consume. You have a good feeling and a sense of who he was or wanted to be remembered as. The stories are intimate. He effortlessly commands your respect and helps us understand our roles and responsibilities to the communities throughout this nation. I recommend that you read this book, it isn’t an anchor to the past. It is a reminder of simple and swift leadership principles through storytelling. I found myself involved in the anecdotes. I think you will too.

7. Jonathan Livingston Seagull: 1970, Richard Bach [4.5/5] Genre (Motivational)

This is a story about a very special Seagull. He’s no ordinary bird and his name is Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He has a certain ambition and curiosity about himself. He knows that he is an ordinary Seagull and believes that he can do extraordinary things. He is cast out of his community but continues to not only keep his head up but also goes on to master his extraordinary life and journey. The rest, I will leave for you to discover. In my opinion, it is a big lesson in commitment to mastery and perseverance.

8. Becoming Supernatural: 2017, Dr. Joe Dispenza [5/5] Genre (Personal Success)

Gratitude, joy, and love. Dr. Joe explains how heart coherence is the missing link. Heart, mind, body, and spirit working together towards the same goal can create a more profound love and state of gratitude. This helps you naturally and regularly show up in the world in a more elevated manner. It takes time, effort, and commitment. I think that this is Dr. Joe providing a piece of the puzzle that is often difficult to remember let alone sustain. The theory in practice is that you have to create the experience before it occurs. So, get excited about your future. This book, in my opinion, outlines some of his neatest breakthroughs. Dr. Joe Dispenza is a journey you will have to take. However, be prepared to receive.

9. The Diabetes Code: 2018, Dr. Jason Fung [5/5] Genre (Health)

This one was a disturbing wake-up call. Once you hear about the symptoms, you will begin to understand some of the illnesses you can physically see in society and those that you don’t see. It is shocking how so many health issues are linked to type I and type II diabetes. Treatments are costly and diabetes is deadly. The good news is that it isn’t all downhill once you get it. However, the best policy is prevention. This book addresses what it is, what it results in, and how to overcome it before it overcomes you. This book is designed to address the issue scientifically. However, I think its primary purpose is to save lives. Although I don’t have diabetes, I know people who do and now struggle to maintain any health normalcy. The big lesson here is that if you misuse your body, you can lose it, piece by piece. As Dr. Fung describes, the dose makes the poison. More sugar? Ehm, no thanks. 

10. The Nightingale: 2017, Kristen Hannah [4.5/5] Genre (Historical Fiction)

This isn’t my typical reading material. I found this novel to be intense. The detail puts you on the field or in the room. You can smell the strife, hunger, dirt, sweat, tears, ++. I had to break this up into chunks as I became very introspective. Two sisters whose lives have taken two very different roads must find a way to reunite and survive during the German occupation in France. It is set in World War II. The struggle you find in this story may help you find resolve in your own life.

11. You Only Fall in Love Three Times: 2020, Kate Rose [4.5/5] Genre (Personal Success)

This is the pep talk of all pep talks! Yes, she speaks about the three (3) different types of love and why they have to happen. The “Soulmate”, The Classic “Karmic”, and the “Twin Flame”. Her theory is that sometimes you go through all three (3) with one partner. This book is about ending the cycle of self-doubt and self-loathing if you are single and still on the search, have given up, married, or all three. She breaks it down so that you at the very least understand that there is no love without self-love and true self-realization. As we all know, there will be tests along the way. She urges all to not only keep their head up but understand it rather than let their experiences scorch their souls and… I will leave the rest of the pep talk up to her because she’s darn good at it. My advice is that we should all give up on this quest, have fun, and stop screwing each other up. Too much? Well think of it this way, once you discover the beauty and kindness in yourself you may not have a need to be attached to someone else for the things that you seek to experience. Ah…there it is, freedom.

12. The Power of Crisis: 2022, Ian Bremmer, [4.2/5] Genre (- New York Times Best Seller List, Politics, Economics)

This author maintains a hopeful outlook on the global state of affairs but warns that unless nations come together, we may be doomed. He believes that crisis often brings unlikely alleys closer. Covid was just one example of how a crisis for a short period helped nations across the world work together towards a common goal. If that cooperation can’t be maintained, we will be slowed in global economic progress. He believes that without it, we will be utterly unprepared for the next major crisis. I don’t think there is a way to be fully prepared for future unknown threats. The three (3) threats he believes we will eventually face either jointly or as individual nations are: more deadly diseases, new & influential technology, and climate-related change. It’s an interesting lecture that is worth the read.

13. Woke, Inc.: 2021, Vivek Ramaswamy [3.5/5] Genre (Biography, Opinion)

This book was interesting in an inflammatory way. I was sad that I invested money here but not the time. It is so important to understand different perspectives, so at the very least, you know where someone is coming from. This author and this book are about self-promotion, and I can see him gearing up to run for office. Unfortunately, the same folks who may support his theory that wokeness is a scam, may look at this author and think, we can get behind his narrative but not his image. The book takes on all the woke folks and woke organization which is now waning (thank goodness – the term was stolen and then abused  by corporate “do gooders” and everyone else who needed something to latch onto). He also goes after the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement bulldozing through all other factors and very real sensitivities to expose what we already know. ALL of what is happening is about money, class, and controlling information. Power. If I had to sum this read up, it’s a targeted dose of pointing out how corporations are now woke-washing and monetizing causes while not moving the needle on actual change. In this book, he details the trick

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