There’s a great quote by Gretchen Rubin who says that “re-reading is reading” – it’s something that I have wondered about before but it really is true – why wouldn’t re-reading be reading? I find that re-reading is great for a lot of reasons – I get different takeaways from the books that I have read before because my experience and my personal life is different than when I first read the book, I understand more of the book as I do not have a ‘blank’ slate of mind when I’m reading a book that I have re-read and I also start to internalize more of the book (and hopefully it is something that I want to do more of). Of course, I am excited about the new books that will come out in 2019 but I think I’m even more excited to learn more from the books that I already have read.

Choose yourself by James Altucher

Are you getting bored of me mentioning James yet? Probably but his blueprint for action is something that has implanted itself into my mind and every few days or weeks, I keep thinking about his philosophy of choosing myself and how I can do work that allows me to do that. I think that’s ultimately what a lot of people want, the ability to choose what they want to do, when they want to do it and to allow them the freedom to live the life they want to live. Reading a book won’t necessarily get me there but I do want to start a business in 2019. What will I start? What will I sell? I have no idea but there’s no better way to figure it out than to start and fail a lot. The most successful people that you know are those that have failed the most.

This is marketing by Seth Godin

I only recently finished reading this book and I know that marketing is something that will be key whether part of a business that I start or as part of my own branding efforts within my current company. Another reason that I am re-reading Seth’s book is because I have realized that many of his ideas have been ahead of their time – he talked about e-mail marketing and permission marketing a long time ago before everybody started e-mail lists. He talked about being remarkable as a marketing tool and differentiator (I think) before that became the norm for a lot of companies. I don’t think marketing will be any different – Seth and his ideas will be at the forefront of the marketing revolution.

High performance habits by Brendon Burchard

One of my favourite books that I have read in 2018, Brendon uncovers the specific tactics that high performers do to achieve their world class performance and results. While there are a lot of books that cover the mindset or the general strategies of top performers (e.g., exercising in the morning), Brendon defines specifically what has been done or worked for the high performers that he has coached or interviewed. It’s where the gold nuggets are and it’s definitely something I want to develop and internalize (although calling me a high performer would be a stretch at this point).

Discipline equals freedom by Jocko Willink

Whenever I read this book, I feel like waking up early, busting out 100 burpees and eating nothing until noon. This book is a great injection of motivation and energy into being the very best that I can be and I’ll be honest, while I haven’t done a lot of these things, I do want to do more in 2019. Here’s some great things to think about from the book:

  • Sleep early enough so that you can wake up early. When your alarm goes off in the morning, think about it the same way Jocko thought about waking up: the enemy is working hard to defeat you. If you do not wake up early in the morning, the enemy has already gained an advantage over you.
  • Put good fuel into your body. If you think about your car that you own, if it’s a premium car for instance, you are going to put premium fuel into the car. To put anything less than premium would mean that you might not get the best performance out of your car. So why don’t you treat your body in the same way? And if there’s nothing good around you (or only fast food joints around you) and you are hungry as hell, nobody with a regular diet has ever died from skipping one or two meals.
  • When you are disciplined, it gives you freedom. Waking up early in the morning gives you the freedom to work on the things that you don’t normally have time for. Eating healthy all the time gives you the freedom to cheat a little when you have to.
Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

I’ve read quite a few books now on making decisions (The Art of Thinking Clearly, Factfulness) and I think Annie’s book will help me make better decisions moving forward. I don’t know what decisions I will need to make and I do not necessarily think that the decisions I have made in the past have been bad (although I’m sure they could be better), but I do think that decision making is a key skill that will pay dividends in the future. As an aside, I’m quite excited to read Shane’s new book that he is developing called Mental Models.

There you have it, five books that I will definitely re-read in 2019. As I was writing this, I thought that there were many more books that I could have included in the list:

  • How to be everything
  • We are all weird
  • What colour is your parachute
  • The $100 startup
  • Side Hustle
  • Tools of Titans
  • Tribe of Mentors
  • Four Hour Work Week
  • Four Hour Chef
  • And lots more (no honestly, way more than I can list right now)

But one of the things that I want to do more of is to implement and incorporate the learnings from the books that I have read rather than just reading it. Just because I have read a few hundred books in my lifetime does not mean that I am amazing (I’d like to think that I am close but still have lots to improve) and reading can be a form of “I get to read and learn about the keys to success without ever going out to try it”. I hope that doesn’t happen to you.

About the author:

Wang is a management consultant, self-published author, Distinguished Toastmaster, co-host of a podcast, Udemy teacher, former Uber driver and all around hustler. He is also obsessed about books and he reads books so that you don’t have to. Want a list of Wang’s top ten formative books in his life and career? Interested in book summaries and recommendations every month? Subscribe to Wang’s e-mail newsletter!