It would be a stretch to try to group these books together. They are so incredibly different. One is about biohacking, one is about race relations in America and one is about becoming a better entrepreneur. But this is the order in which I read them. I hope you can find something good here. I cannot recommend “Between The World And Me” enough, especially during this time. Please go buy it today.
Super Human, Dave Asprey
Dave Asprey’s latest book is a lot to take in. His previous book, Game Changers, has a lot of science, but this one is all science. It’s much harder to digest and must be read slowly.
I found myself spending more time on Google reading articles then I did in the book itself. Every paragraph seemed to lead me down a rabbit hole of research.
There’s a lot in here that I’m going to experiment with. Some I’m already doing. Some, however, is still a bit extreme for me. I doubt I’ll be pointing lasers at my brain or microdosing nicotine anytime soon. There is, however, a lot of supplements and other weird biohacking techniques I’ll be researching soon.
I enjoyed this book because I’m into bio hacking. I do lots of things most people don’t. I’m experimenting with smart drugs. I get IVs often. I try out lots of supplements. I do vibration, sauna, compression and cryotherapy. I try to fuel my workouts with fats rather than carbs. Most of it started with my obsession with Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Company. I want to be faster, stronger, smarter, more mobile and able to go longer. Most of all I want to live longer. If you’re into experimenting on your own body then this book is for you. If you think that all sounds nuts, you should skip this one.
Between The World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
I put up this book review last week before all the protests. It didn’t get much traction because it’s so much easier to pay attention to some little meme than something like an actual book.
Anyway, go read this book. My review is below. That is… if you want to take the time to understand the African American community rather than just share some meme to seem woke because it’s cool right now.
If I hear one more middle class raised white person tell me how I should act and feel about African-Americans in an attempt to be “woke” I might scream. They don’t know. I don’t know.
I’m obviously not black. I do have white privilege. No amount of empathy will ever let me truly know what’s it like to be black. I won’t ever know what it’s like to be looked down upon because of my color.
But I do know what it’s like to be looked down upon because I was WITH black boys. I know what it’s like to be thrown on the ground by cops with a gun to my back because I was with black boys. Twice actually. I know what it’s like to be housed in the same slums, fed shit food and provided medical care by government just like those black boys. I went to the same schools where we were beat up, drugs were sold and guns were often found. We suffered from the same exact socio-economic plague. The author goes into great detail talking about these problems unique to black communities. What he doesn’t mention is that within those black communities a few white people are trickled in. I was one of those white people. As a kid I had the same fear of violence and had to live by what he calls “the law of the streets.” For me everything was the same. Everything except the color of our skin.
Growing up in the slums and Section 8 housing of North Charleston, South Carolina was rough. I lived much of the black life. But I was not black. I was one of three or four white families in our apartment complex. The author states that the fundamental difference between whites and blacks is that whites will never live in a black body thus they will never know what it’s like. He’s right in part, but I also know a bit what it’s like because I was treated the same way because I was with them. On other occasions I saw it with my own eyes. It’s real. Stop denying it.
The bigger point of this book is the author’s argument that the American Dream is really a white dream that blacks folks do not have equal access to. White America was built on the backs of enslaved African Americans. We then released the slaves and gave them nothing. They’ve been trying to play catch up ever since but they never will catch up as a community because they lack equal access to everything from education to healthcare. On top of that they are actively fought through racist acts such as profiling or police violence, as we’ve repeatedly seen, including this very week. All of that is correct.
I have one big problem with this book. The author, who himself fought the odds and succeeded, is telling black youth that they are stuck, which I believe is a recipe, if not an all out excuse, for failure. He says to “not struggle for their conversion,” meaning whites people. He writes that no matter what, the American Dream will always be for white people because success is defined by white people. A black person will only be “a successful black” and not equally successful. Frankly, he makes a damn convincing argument. He tells the story of a friend who made it out and was still gunned down by police in a traffic stop. You may tear up hearing the words of the man’s mother. It makes sense that giving in would be his answer. But what if Martin Luther King, Jr or Jackie Robinson threw up their hands and said “well it’s always going to be this way?” He believes that white supremacy will never be beat, so just give in.
I call bullshit. If that’s the case, why even write this book? Why share all the images of George Floyd? Why are people rioting right now?
We act because by acting we can change the world. The author doesn’t seem to like America very much and really, I get it from his point of view. Black men are killed and the killers walk free. But if anything this nation has proved two things – first, it’s the greatest nation on Earth and willing to put itself and it’s people on the line for doing what’s morally right. Second, it’s willing to change, even if that change is slow. In one chapter the author says that things have gotten better and then in the next he says that there’s no changing it. That just doesn’t at all make sense.
This book is beautifully written by an obviously brilliant man. While I don’t agree with his conclusion, he does a great job of summarizing what being black in America is like. It should be read by everyone so that we can have more empathy and love for our black neighbors rather than just share memes and graphics. Then we can come together and fix this nation, even if Coates doesn’t think that’s possible.
E-Myth Mastery, Michael E. Gerber
The E-Myth Revisited was a game changing book for me. Much of Push Digital’s processes and my role within the company changed after reading the book in January. I decided to dive in deeper by reading Gerber’s follow up.
I’m not going to go as far as to say I was disappointed. It’s a good book. It’s just that after the first which totally flipped my mind, this didn’t have the same impact. Occasionally there is an exception like Empire Strikes Back, but rarely is the sequel as good. Maybe I’m being too harsh. This is a very good and useful book.
The first half concentrates on the entrepreneurial mindset with a deeper dive on transitioning from the manager to the leader. The second half focuses on the sales funnel and acquiring clients, people who come to repeatedly, rather than just customers. All very useful!
I definitely recommend this book to all entrepreneurs but I do give caution. Don’t go into this thinking it’s going to change your life like the first one. You don’t need your life changed. You just need to add on to what you’ve already learned.