Bill's Reading List 2020

Current 2023 2022 2021 2019

Mastery BookMastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment George Leonard. While originally published back in 1992, this one is still spot on today. We've all been a "dabbler," an "obsessive" or a "hacker" at something. What was eye-opening was how our culture is set up to discourage mastery--fast this, instant that and the need for immediate gratification all conspire to urge us to go wide, but rarely deep. I was fascinated by what he calls the plateau. Many of us call that "being stuck." He gives an entirely different meaning to it. Leonard is a martial arts instructor and relies on several powerful Zen stories to make his points. Turns out mastery principles can be applied to our work, our recreation and our relationships. Great read. December 2020


Going to Pieces Without Falling ApartGoing to Pieces Without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein, M.D. This is a book written by the counselor that Dan Harris, the author of 10% Happier mentions in his book and recent Tim Ferris podcast. In it he describes his introduction to Zen Buddhism, which he has subsequently brought to his counseling sessions. While I’m not especially interested in Buddhism, I was fascinated to learn about his discovery of and early experiences with meditation and mindfulness practices. Nicely written. Easy to understand. November 2020



The PracticeThe Practice by Seth Godin. This is his 20th book and I’ve read them all. And this one is excellent. While never mentioned, it links to the practice of chiropractic in many ways. He cautions to be attached to the process, not the outcome. In other words, make sure customers (patients) understand you deliver a process, even though they seek an outcome. And while you don’t “ship your work” as in other creative endeavors, you deliver a process. Which can be done as a professional, an amateur or a hack. Bite-sized chapters. Easy to read but a lifetime to implement. November 2020


How to FailHow to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams. This is a surprisingly good business book by the cartoonist responsible for the popular Dilbert comic strip. I found his personal and professional journey fascinating. Which includes countless failures and missteps, along with his challenge with spasmodic dysphonia. His take on affirmations was equally interesting. Even more delightful was his view of goal setting, which echoes my own. Find out why he concludes that "goals are for losers and systems are for winners." Just the right amount of humor and a couple of relevant Dilbert strips are included along the way. A fun read about success, failure and the challenge of being a "moist robot" November 2020


The Checklist ManifestoThe Checklist Manifesto Atul Gawande. Spoiler alert. This is a book about the value of having checklists. And it's brilliant. While many think checklists are unnecessary, you'll reach a different conclusion by reading this surgeon's account. He's a terrific writer. I found my pulse quickening as he described the resuscitation of a 9-year old girl who was lifeless for over two hours. And the aviation examples are equally compelling, especially the first flight of the B-29. Read this and you'll better appreciate the How Our Practice Works poster and handout. And you'll be inspired to create a checklist for your report of findings too! October 2020


10% Happier10% Happier by Dan Harris. I first became aware of this ABC Television reporter while investigating Transcendental Meditation. This memoir documents his path towards mindfulness after his famous panic attack on Good Morning America. His crisp writing made this a pleasure to read. And his self-deprecating humor and transparency made it compelling and real. As a reporter, his anecdotes about his interviews with Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama are humorous and insightful. Through this book I've been introduced to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, a non-religious form of meditation that sounds interesting. October 2020


Lying book coverLying by Sam Harris and Annaka Harris. In this short, highly thoughtful book, the authors make a strong case for always telling the truth. They tackle the many situational problems we can encounter by adopting such a stance. Among the first examples they explore deals with the "white lies" that are often told in the context of health care delivery. They close by exploring the pros and cons of Santa and the ethics of a surprise party. You’ll likely be surprised by their take on these and other choices we face in modern life. I'm going to try to live out their proposition and see what happens. October 2020


The Power of Faith bookcoverThe Power of Faith by Louis Binstock. Another title in my pursuit of classic success and self-improvement titles. This one was published in the early 1950s. The first distinction he makes is that faith is not religion. Religious practices often involve faith, but they are two very different things. He goes on to explore different aspects of faith. Faith and our job. Faith and the mind. Faith in the spirit. In all, 10 different types of faith. Who knew there were so many? I was especially interested in chapter four Faith and the Body. Trusting our body is a prime concern in health care. Does the patient have faith that their body has the power to heal? An important factor in their recovery. September 2020


Acres of DiamondsAcres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell. This was the next title on my list of reading of the most famous success and self-improvement books. I discovered that Acres of Diamonds was actually the title of a famous speech, delivered over 5,000 times by this Baptist minister. The central theme of his talk is that you don't have to look elsewhere for opportunity—it's in our midst, we just have to look for it. He would use the time prior his appearance to meet the townspeople, understanding their challenges and even more so, their opportunities. He would work these insights into his talk, personalizing it and inspiring his audiences. September 2020


Think and Grow RichThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It's kind of amazing that I'm just getting around to reading this classic self-improvement book. As I did, I recognized countless success principles that have become part of our culture. Originally published in 1937, the concepts surrounding attitude, faith, desire and persistence haven't changed. Nor has the way of subduing the six types of fear. As a contemporary of Edison, Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller it was fascinating to read about his exchanges and how their philosophies were captured into simple success guidelines that have stood the test of time. The version I read had been updated in 2004 with additional examples from Bill Gates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan and others. September 2020


The Autobiography of Benjamin FranklinThe Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin. I haven’t spent time reading about historical figures since junior high school when I read biographies of virtually every famous person. I picked up this one because it was on the recommended reading list in O.G. Mandino’s The Greatest Secret in the World. Franklin certainly lived a full life and proof of the value of self-discipline and other “virtues” that describes. It was fascinating to read the way the English language was used 250 years ago and the influence of the British crown on the American colonies. He was a great thinker, communicator and influencer. Great refresher course. August 2020


BondBond: The Four Cornerstones of a Lasting and Caring Relationship with Your Doctor by Ken Redcross, MD. I was interested in learning the medical doctor's perspective. What are the four elements of what Redcross defined as "patient nirvana"? Turns out they apply in a chiropractic setting as well. Trust is the first. Not only the patient trusting the doctor, but the doctor trusting the patient. The second is communication. No surprise here. Then respect, again a two-way street. And finally, empathy, which he defines as "the act of correctly acknowledging the emotional state of another without experiencing the state oneself." Chiropractors are so far ahead of medical practitioners in these areas! August 2020


The Art of Spiritual War The Art of Spiritual War by Andrew Farley. Since I regularly listen to Andrew Farley's radio show and sermons, I was excited to discover this book published back in 2012. This is an alleged field manual for demons that outlines techniques to steal, kill and destroy. Within these three sections, each one details ways demons-in-training can interfere with the security, contentment and freedom of believers. It's a clever premise with echoes of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. Entertaining, educational and challenging all at the same time. Devoured it in one sitting. August 2020


The Creativity LeapThe Creativity Leap by Natalie Nixon. I learned about this little paperback (145 pages) while listening to a Seth Godin podcast. His recommendation was all I needed to order from Amazon. Which I did. My biggest takeaway was her observation that creativity is about the tension between wonder and rigor. (Maybe that should be the title of the book!) Wonder, so we can look afresh at the status quo and rigor, so we combine the old to create the new (Mike Vance). I especially enjoyed the practical exercises at the end of each chapter—ways I could use the insights from the chapter and ways my organization could implement the insights. Writing about creativity is like describing mist. And the author does it nicely. July 2020


40 Days Without Food40 Days Without Food by Russ Masterson. This is a re-read for me, having read it originally almost 10 years ago. As I progress through my sabbatical this summer, I've looked at different possibilities and influences that could guide me in the years to come. And while I've conducted short fasts (three days or shorter), 40 days sounds quite ambitious! The author uses each day to reveal some of the spiritual insights that show up as his fast progresses. The biggest? The desire each of us has to want to be God. That's when things went south in the Garden and continues to this day. You'll likely read it in two sittings as I did. And while you may not be inspired to conduct a fast, the insights from the author are valuable, nonetheless. July 2020


Gentempo's Your Stand Is Your BrandYour Stand Is Your Brand by Dr. Patrick Gentempo. The last time I heard Patrick speak he veered into much of the material in this book. And it's a great one. While written for a general business audience, chiropractors will get a special benefit from the examples and situations he uses. It was great to get a more complete understanding of his back-story before we first met in the early 1990s. At a time when more and more consumers are making choices based on what a company stands for, this should encourage you to be bold and avoid beige. Bravo Patrick! Delightful reading. Devoured it in three sittings. July 2020


Whale Hunting book coverWhale Hunting by Tom Searcy and Barbara Weaver Smith. A great book that provides instructions for how a smaller company can successfully land big clients. The business lessons are based on a nine-step process used by Inuit tribes to hunt whales in the cold arctic waters. The process of landing a huge whale with a harpoon in a small boat was as fascinating as the admonition that large accounts are actually afraid of smaller vendors! Great tips for what you might say and do to land speaking gigs with large companies. June 2020


hipster book coverHipster Business Models by Zachary Crockett. I was attracted to this book because it is filled with fascinating stories of various types of start-ups. Granted, many of the stories feature some rather unusual ideas, such as underwear with pockets, the business behind the band Phish, robot dance party and others. But it's really about young entrepreneurs who pursued their dream, faced crickets and pivoted to find something that got traction. I especially enjoyed the profile on the invention of the AeroPress, the roving typist and the chocolate hacker. The willingness to try new things was inspirational and captured Seth Godin's strategy of the smallest viable market. May 2020

upstream.jpgUpstream by Dan Heath. This is a business book that has a distinctly chiropractic spin, even though chiropractic isn't mentioned. We talk about cause and effect; he explores the distinctions between upstream and downstream. He uses a series of fascinating examples describing attempts to get to the cause of high school dropout, teenage alcohol use and homicide prevention. I found Chapter 8 the most helpful. He describes ways of finding unnoticed leading indicators that can provide clues, pointing to the upstream flaw causing downstream expense. His light, anecdote-filled writing style makes it easy reading. The well-documented research citations make it easy to explore his points in more detail. March 2020

carnivore-code.jpgThe Carnivore Code by Paul Saladino, MD. If a year ago you would have told me that I would have sworn off plants in favor of a largely meat based diet, I wouldn't have believed it. I love my green drink in the morning. Or should I say loved. Because that's gone based on the case made here. His explanation of the isothiocyanates, polyphenols, oxalates and lectins found in the plant kingdom got my attention. Dr. Saladino makes a bulletproof case for a meat-based diet, showing the research on cholesterol, colon and cardiac health, vitamin C, methane production, global warming and all the rest. With over 350 references, he debunks virtually every myth about eating meat. I was shocked. I assume you will be too. March 2020

2019 Books