January 2019 Book Recommendations
Over the past year, I’ve received a lot of questions from readers on the best books to read, and my reading list.
In response to these requests, at the end of the each month I’ll send you a message with a list of the books I’ve read during the month, my reviews and top picks for you to read.
This way you’ll save valuable time and energy looking for the best books to read, and I’ll be kept accountable to my reading habits.
Note: I’m currently reading at a pace of 6 books per month, and although I may struggle to keep this up, I hope to read 100 books by the end of 2019.
Here are 6 books I read In January 2019:
- The Lessons of History
- The Sports Gene: Talent, Practice and the Truth About Success
- Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships
- How to Write Copy That Sells: The Step-By-Step System for More Sales, to More Customers, More Often
- Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love and Live the Life of Your Dreams
My Top 3 Picks From January 2019 (In no particular order)
#1. The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant
Big idea: There is no meaning in human existence except that which you put into it. The greatest service to mankind is to gather knowledge and lessons from history and pass it on to the next generation.
Most interesting quote: “We frolic in our emancipation from theology, but have we developed a natural ethic—a moral code independent of religion—strong enough to keep our instincts of acquisition, pugnacity, and sex from debasing our civilization into a mire of greed, crime, and promiscuity? Have we really outgrown intolerance, or merely transferred it from religious to national, ideological, or racial hostilities?”
Review: In this book, Pulitzer Prize–winning historians Will and Ariel Durant, take you on a journey through history, exploring biology, race, character, morals, religion, economics, government and war, to shed light on the common themes of the human experience and the meaning of life.
The book is a quick read (only 102 pages), although I should warn you that it’s not an easy read. The writing style is high-brow, and the ideas lean much more on the philosophical, than historical side of things.
Because of this, I struggled to read through the first few pages, but once I pushed through to read the gems of wisdom in the last few chapters, it was well worth the effort.
Get your copy: Print
#2. SPIN®-Selling by Neil Rackham
Big idea: The difference between effective and ineffective selling, is the ability to ask the right questions at the right time.
Most interesting quote: “My objective is not to close the sale but to open a relationship.”
Review: In this book, former president and founder of Huthwaite corporation, Neil Rackham, shares the SPIN Selling method for sales success based on a 12-year, $1-million dollar research into effective sales performance.
Although it’s a bit outdated, SPIN Selling is hands down the best book I’ve read on sales and persuasion so far. The book is filled with real-word examples, informative case studies and exercises, all backed by scientific research.
What I enjoyed the most about this read was the thought-provoking ideas that challenged my assumptions about selling. For example, Rackham presents evidence to suggest that sales techniques that work on small sales, fail in larger ones. And then he shows what works.
Whether you’re trying to achieve important goals in your health, business, relationships or work, you’re in the business of selling and persuading: selling ideas, skills, products and so on.
That’s why the skill of selling is so important, and that’s why I’d highly recommend this book.
#3. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex by Dr. John Gray
Big idea: When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences, love has a chance to blossom.
Most interesting quote: “Love brings up our unresolved feelings. One day we are feeling loved, and the next day we are suddenly afraid to trust love. The painful memories of being rejected begin to surface when we are faced with trusting and accepting our partner’s love.”
Review: In this book, relationship counselor, Dr. John Gray, explores the differences in emotional needs and communication style that drive men and women apart, and answers the puzzling question: why is it so difficult for men and women to get along?
To be completely honest, the first time I came across the title of this book I was completely put off from reading it. Alarm bells were ringing in my head that it would be just another self-help book filled with the same old boring and repetitive information, but I was pleasantly surprised once I started to read it.
What I enjoyed most about this read are the real-life examples Gray uses to describe familiar scenarios of conflict between the sexes, and how these could be handled more effectively.
I also enjoyed reading Gray’s counter-intuitive ideas that challenge mainstream beliefs on love and relationships. For example, Gray suggests that a loving and fulfilling relationship is built on two individuals who are already happy individuals in their own right. They do not fulfill their own needs at the expense of their partner, but seek instead to build a win-win partnership.
If you’re interested in learning how to build loving, mutually fulfilling relationships, then I’d recommend that you read this book.
Get your copy: Print | audiobook
That’s a wrap on my top picks from January 2019.
Although the books I’ve read vary in category, I try my best to be as objective as possible in selecting the top picks of the month.
Subscribe to the newsletter
Get thought-provoking ideas on technology, habits, and entrepreneurship.