Books That Bill Has Been Reading
Growing up as I did without television until well into my junior high school years, ours was a family of readers. Among my fondest memories was traipsing down to the Olympia Public Library every Tuesday evening after dinner.
Upon our return the only sound you’d hear was the turning of pages and the ticking of the grandfather clock.
These days I don’t read much fiction. Most of my library contains books on marketing, communications, the Internet, spirituality, healing and of course my favorite chiropractic books.
I'm only recently moving from actual books to electronic versions on my iPad. There’s just something about the feel of holding an actual book (and being in bookstores) that I find pleasing. But physical books have become a storage problem.
Here are some of the books I’ve been reading recently.
The 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% 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. November 2019
Lying 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 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 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 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 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
Bond: 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 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 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 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
Your 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 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 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 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
The 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
Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday. After getting two recommendations for this one, and having read his previous book, Obstacle Is the Way, I thought I better dig in. And was delightful. This is a collection of short essays about the different aspects (mind, body and spirit) of stillness. You’ll be reminded of the importance of sleep, having a clear purpose, timing, a relationship with a higher power and the other metaphysics of creating the best opportunity for healing. There will be countless Monday Morning Motivations based on the inspiration of this little gem! December 2019
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve read every one of his books, so when I saw this one I bought it without cracking it open. There are few authors who I will take such a risk, but Gladwell is one of them. And he doesn’t disappoint. You’ll discover the concept of “coupling,” defaulting to the truth and the illusion of transparency. You’ll appreciate the challenges facing the police, the ambiguity of what constitutes consent when you’ve been drinking and the many other conundrums of talking to strangers. It’s more complicated than you probably think. December 2019
Principles by Ray Dalio. Weighing in at a massive 584 pages this truly is the “Definitive Guide” to the Green Books. Ray provided the leadership for over four decades for Bridgewater, a hedge fund with over $150 billion under management. Possessing legendary personal discipline and an analytical mind, he was among the first to harness the power of computer-assisted decision making. His principles for life and work capture his wisdom and mindfulness. Insights into the company culture of radical transparency were the greatest take away. While his emphasis on evolution was a bit misplaced, it wasn’t off-putting enough to put it down. December 2019
Palmer Chiropractic Green Books by Timothy Faulkner, Joseph Foley and Simon Senzon. Weighing in at a massive 584 pages this truly is the “Definitive Guide” to the Green Books. Whether you’re a collector, or never exposed to this aspect of chiropractic’s history or like me, simply curious about the early days, you’ll enjoy this thoughtful exploration. The countless anecdotes and cross references bring the colorful history of chiropractic to life. The photographs and illustrations alone are worth the purchase price. They offer a special insight into the excitement felt by these pioneers. Both revered and reviled, you’ll get a new appreciation for B.J. Palmer and how he brought the scientific method to chiropractic. November 2019
Stories That Stick by Kindra Hall. We’re wired for stories and the stories the authors shares are amazing. I dare you to read the opening story about the cologne and not want to devour the rest of her book. It’s a real reminder of the power of stories and a reminder that I should be sharing more examples in my speaking and writing. You might want to consider telling stories during your consultation and report of findings to inspire hope and create possibilities. The suggestion to create a list of possible stories was helpful, along with the formula of what makes a good story: normal → explosion → new normal. November 2019
They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. Google has completely reversed the roles of buyers and sellers. When we want something, we go to our favorite search engine. The days of interrupting people with your message has lost much of its power. The result is a new type of marketing called “inbound” marketing. This is where you have an information-rich website and show up as a trusted teacher and collaborator. I originally became familiar with this type of marketing from Mike Lieberman’s work back in 2015. Probably one of the most powerful insights was the importance of publishing your prices (pages 39-42). October 2019
Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss. I was introduced to Ferriss by listening to The 4 Hour Work Week as an audio book. Since then I’ve read his Tools For Titans and subscribed to his podcast. This book includes observations from more than 100 high performance experts in a wide variety of fields. Weighing in at 596 pages, his interviews uncover success skills, morning rituals, stress hacks and other tidbits in a highly readable format. The list of most frequently recommended or gifted books reveals some treasures I would have never known about. September 2019