Reading List

The War of Art

By: Steven Pressfield

The bible for understanding “the resistance.”  You will be inspired.  You will lose much of the guilt associated with procrastination.  There is something medicinal about the practical insight, know-how, and inspiration contained in these pages.  This book documents a warrior’s mentality and personal battle against the resistance to doing one’s “work.”

The Mask of Command

By: John Keegan

Keegan compares the personalities of five famous, and infamous, military leaders.  Strategy and leadership are large components of business.  Much of Corporate America was led by former officers from WWII.

The chapter on U.S. Grant is a classic.  A personal hero of mine, Grant epitomizes resilience.  Keegan contrast his pioneer traits with the modern hysterical nightmare that is the biography of Hitler.  The book looks at the subject’s heroic traits in the light of their own human frailty.  Somehow we’re left with the ability to almost relate to the characteristics, good and bad, of several world historical figures.  Great writing.


By: Seth Godin

The chapter on “resistance” is solid gold.  The balance of the book is a welcome survival guide on making it in the digital economy.  Somehow the principles are shown successfully portrayed as timeless.

Choose Yourself

By: James Altucher

This is both the most important and most readable book on this list.  Written in simple language, Altucher has the distinct, rare ability capture reams of value in a couple hundred pages of simple text.  The result is a pound of value in an ounce of book.  Read this now to discover how to reinvent yourself in the new new world.


By: Liddell Hart

A highly applicable treatise on strategy written in the context of military history; for it’s explanations of human nature it is applicable to any scientific discipline.

Let My People Go Surfing

By: Yvon Chouinard

When it comes to branding I don’t believe anyone did it more masterfully than Patagonia.  An image synonymous with quality, Patagonia made functionality fashionable.  Read this book to study the making of a “reluctant businessman.”

The Art of War

By: Sun Tzu

An ancient text, it serves as the backdrop to the strategic thinking of histories most notorious leaders; Eastern and Western.  Businessmen, soldiers, and artists alike have gathered tomes of wisdom from this relatively short work.

Johnny Carson

By: Henry Bushkin

Johnny Carson is a man whose type is all but extinct.  While captivating the hearts and minds of millions of devoted fans he was, himself, an extremely talented and troubled person.  This is a fascinating character study by a man who knew him in ways only someone’s personal attorney can.  It’s a deep dive into the genius and troubled nature of an American legend.