S Town
This was a bit out of the standard format of an audiobook, but this drew me in like no other podcast.
S-town, a true story, starts with a possible murder in a small, dinky town in the middle of nowhere. But the story evolves as you become engaged trying to understand a complex clock maker who is a mix of genius and darkness. The stories draw you in to try to understand the tattooed man outspoken about tattoos, who lives in a racist town with a “bit of sugar in his tank.” He constantly pushed people away, but only desired the human bond to which he was conflicted. Wonderfully complex. Incredibly interesting. This was a lot of fun to listen to this podcast, while Bridget also explored the chapters. It was like an audiobook club.
The Boys in the Boat
A wonderful story about the UW Crew’s team path to Olympic gold in 1936. This most likely the best book I’ve enjoyed via audiobooks. This book covered many angles: it was humbling to hear how poor people were during the depression where the main character, Joe, was growing up. Toughness was also a key characteristic. Life was different then. His family abandoned him, and he then had to grow up quickly and learn ways to survive. It was inspiring to learn about the human spirit. The other boys “in the boat” were also farm boys and lower class workers who did not shy away from a challenge. They were poor, determined, and had inner strength.
Mainly the obstacles these boys over came to get to the Olympics, as well as beat the Germans and Italians in the final race while odds were stacked against them were quite amazing. It was as if the story was based on a Hollywood set; however, it was a lure of hope for our starved nation. And yet it was all based on a true story about a group of boys who learned to become one. And by doing this, they became the best crew that has ever rowed together.
I’ve recommended this audiobook a few times to clients and friends. It’s worth the time.
The Alchemist
This book was a recommendation from Jarrod. It’s a book he constantly look for inspiration.
A boy, a sheep herder, looks for his purpose – which his personal legend (your life’s purpose). His journey takes him across the Sahara where he sells his sheep, he gets robbed, he learns to sell crystal, he meets an Englishman, he gets the oasis to meet the love of his life, he then meets the alchemist, he gets captured and becomes the wind, and then he gets mugged at the Pyramids, only to return to find his treasure to where he started. But his journey allows him to grow, to understand, and to reach his personal legend.
Here were the major points that I found:

  • Action…. Action is the only path to truly learn something
  • Life wants you to achieve your personal legend… your purpose. It’s starts with beginners luck and is fulfilled with happiness and focus.
  • I wanted to see the world as I desired to see it. Not how it actually was where therein lies truth.
  • Instead of being a victim who had his money stolen from him, I changed the perception. I instead was an adventurer seeking treasure… and encountering a thief was a consequence.
The Tao of Pooh
This book was weird. It was mainly a way to describe the Tao through the tales of Pooh. It begins with the story behind a painting where three people are tasting the vinegar of life:

  • Confucius – thinks vinegar is sour
  • Buddha – finds it bitter
  • Laozi (founder of Taoism) is happy and finds it satisfying.

And here then starts our story. It did give an interesting perspective as the characters of Pooh (Owl, Piglet, Igor, Tigger) came up. For example, Tigger always believe he can do everything, but really causes a mess. And as I found:

  • The Wise know their limitations. The Foolish do not

Pooh knows exactly what he’s good at. And he can excel at this, but when he’s challenged… he can be truthful with himself among others. This book does have wonderful insights on life and the Tao. For example, it does focus on the idea of being present. This should give the most joy as we cannot control history or the future.

Many things to live by:

  • to have intelligence is to be smart… To have wisdom is to have compassion.

Much agreed. EQ is a thing to grow.