Category: My Favorite Things

Blinkist Book Reviews: My First 10 Books

Think I mentioned this Blinkist app in a previous post and am loving it as I have a massive list of Non-Fiction books that I would like to read and not enough time. Blinkist is like Cliff Notes on steroids, so I’ve jumped in and have now knocked out almost 50 books in 2 months. Here are the first 10 in order of what I found the most riveting and/or highlighted up the most along with a quick Blinkist highlight…definitely going to try and pick up at least the first one for some long plane rides. Think this is my new filter as there are just too many books out there.

If any of you have read any of the below, and have recommendations, holler…

1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** (2016) concentrates on living a better life by caring about fewer things. In this book, based on his influential blog, Mark Manson explains the few simple rules that will help anyone lead a happier, less stressful existence. Do what you want, not all you can.

My own highlight on this one: We try to do too much in life and this leads to stress and unhappiness. Forget FOMO and learn to say no. We have to stop striving for immortality. We need to stop “giving a f***” about fame and power, and instead concentrate on the here and now. Look for meaning in the present and seek to spread happiness and joy where you are. If you want to focus only on the things that really matter to you, it is vitally important to say “no!” to everything else. It’s more important to miss out on the right things.  So pick what’s important to you, and ignore the rest.

2.The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene

The Art of Seduction (2001) examines the amoral game of seduction, explaining how seduction always starts in the mind and that the most successful seducers know this very well indeed. It explains strategies for inciting interest, disorientating the target of seduction, stirring desire and kindling emotions. These tactics will lead to the eventual seduction of the target.

3.TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson

TED Talks (2016) is the definitive guide to delivering a killer public speech. These blinks cover everything from stage fright to choosing the perfect outfit and will prepare to give a talk that’ll inspire any audience.

4. Leonardo Da Vinci: The Biography by Walter Isaacson

Leonardo da Vinci (2017) is an illuminating and thoughtful account of one of history’s most renowned individuals. Isaacson has studied previous biographies and accounts of Leonardo’s life – including the very first one, from the sixteenth century – as well as Leonardo’s wealth of notes. Isaacson paints a very human portrait of the legendary Renaissance artist and engineer. Though one of the few people in history who may truly be called a genius, Leonardo was only human and there is much that can be learned from his curiosity and approach to life.

5. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness (2007) explains how our brains make us think about the future. It employs accessible language and everyday examples to help us understand complex theories from psychology, neuroscience and philosophy. Stumbling on Happiness helps answer the question: why do we make decisions that leave us unhappy? By showing how our brains work, it aims to help us imagine our futures in new ways, ways that could leave us happier.

6.Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday

Perennial Seller (2017) explains how to ensure that great creative work also succeeds in the market. These blinks not only demonstrate how to generate success for a particular project, but also how to secure continued long-term success for yourself as a creative individual.

7. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker

In The Effective Executive, author Peter Drucker offers a step-by-step guide to becoming a more productive and effective executive. By mastering a few procedures and principles, you can develop your own capacities as a leader and also support your employees’ strengths, with the goal of improving results across your organization.

8. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

These blinks explain why traditional marketing no longer works, and why to be successful you need to build Purple Cows, remarkable products and services that stand out of the crowd. They also explain how you can reach your target market once you’ve found your own Purple Cow.

9. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer

A Curious Mind (2015) investigates a vital attribute that many of us simply don’t value highly enough: curiosity. These blinks explain the vital importance of curiosity, and outline the ways it can improve your relationships with your employees, customers or loved ones – and even help you conquer your fears

10. MONEY: Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

Do you want to master money, and make it work for you? In this book you’ll discover the steps you need to take to achieve real financial freedom. Whether you’re just starting your career or moving toward retirement, MONEY offers sound advice from seasoned professionals on saving and investing so you can live the life you want.

My 5 (6…just found a new one) Favorite Apps

Here are some of the apps on my phone that get the most use that some of you may not use or may not have known you even had a need for:

My Fitness Pal: I think of myself as a pretty good eater, but this app really forces you to see what you are putting in your body and think about the portions…Baby Back Ribs = 1360 calories + 2 IPA’s = 500 calories = a full day’s worth of calories for me. Now I’m not a food freak, but that’s a day’s worth of other food I could be eating…I love my ribs and micro brews, but I could do a steak for 200-300 calories, a nitro stout for 120 (or my new favorite a Deep Eddy Ruby Vodka on the rocks for 70) and still have lots more eating time to spare…blam! This one helped me lose 15 pounds in 4 weeks…and I’m still going.

YELP: Yes, I’m a Yelper. I love food, eating out, and sharing the good stuff with others who enjoy the same. Here’s one of my posts on eats in North County San Diego and here’s my space on Yelp (T-Money M.)

Headspace: When my mind is running a million miles an hour or I’m freaking out about whatever is making me freak out for the day, this quick 10-15 minute meditation app is legit…yeah, yeah, yeah, I know…freaky California boy, but try it and you’ll see how good a job it does of clearing your mind…just do it!

Duolingo: Fantastic, free language app. I suck at languages and not even saying this has helped me improve as I have to put the time in, but when I do have time and can put a little in, this is a fun way to learn it

Stitcher: When I’m killing time in the car and I’ve already run through all my music for the 2,000th time, I love digging in to some podcasts. There are a million out there, I can start and stop as I like and actually learn something on the go. Here are some of my favorites:

Blinkist: Just ran across this one recently. I have a massive backlog of books I want to read and no time. This is basically Cliff Notes on steroids (text or audio)…great book summaries I can digest in a fraction of the time…love it! 25 books done in just a couple of weeks part time.

Any suggestions back, please leave a comment. ‘Preciate ya!

5 of My Favorite Way North County San Diego Restaurants/HangOuts

I get a lot of questions about what are some of my favorite spots to eat, grab a drink, or grab a coffee in North County. Well here’s a good starter list along with links to some of my reviews (T-Money M) on Yelp:

Ironsmith Coffee Roasters: Tiny place, tough parking, but legit espresso drinks…their cortado is off the chain

Encinitas Ale House: Another place that isn’t easy to see, but killer burgers and fantastic beer on tap plus a nice inviting bar to curl up next to

The Land & Water Company: Pork Belly, Sushi, amazing drinks…somehow it all works. Don’t sit at a table, though, gotta sit at the bar and ask for whatever they’re firing up

ARA Lebanese Grill: Another tiny place that is really unassuming, but amazing meats and veggies…the kids even love this place!

Wrench & Rodent: 2 guys that look like me behind the sushi bar, punk rock music playing overhead, and skateboards on the wall. All that, and some of the best sushi I’ve ever had…a definite “Sit at the Bar” place.

For more of my reviews, here is my space on Yelp.

My Favorite “Holy Crap, That’s Good” Off the Shelf Items

These are some of my favorite things that other’s make that I can’t do myself near as well, so why not…

Trader Joe’s Bulgogi : Korean BBQ that cooks in 5 minutes and slays

Sprout’s Pollo Asado : Best Mexican chicken ever at $3.99/lb…super moist

Cardiff Seaside Market Cardiff Crack : Crazy Tri-Tip…even if you cain’t grill!

Costco Uncooked Flour Tortillas : Heat up a pan and cook and as good as hand made

Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka : No mixer needed, but it will jump up and bite ya

Lizano Salsa : Costa Rican salsa in a bottle…kills on eggs!

My Favorite (non Fiction) Books

There is a little bit of everything here, but these are my most referred to (still) and favorite books (non Fiction) w/ links to each on Amazon:

BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen : Amazing grilling recipes from around the world

The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss : Shortcuts and hacks for life…lots of good stuff to think about

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl : A book that puts the meaning of life into perspective

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin : What the process of learning looks like for just about anything

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene : Whether you like it or not, these are the laws of power that make the world go round

If you aren’t in the mood to read an entire book, this link is great from Derek Sivers to just be able to only read the notes that he took vs. the entire book…lots of good quality stuff here including some of the ones above.