My top 10 books of all time.

Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela | This book is the book I gift the most.  I was initially daunted by its size, but once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down.  It read like an adventure.  This autobiography had me in awe with what one man could do peacefully and gave me more understanding of the struggles of the oppressed.  This powerful book has stuck with me for over a decade.

Alive – Piers Paul Read | This is the only book I have ever read twice.  The first time was in junior high and the second was in high school.  It is about the plane crash in the Andes where the passengers were mostly members of an Argentinian rugby team.  The only way they survived in those dire conditions was to eat the flesh of their deceased fellow passengers.  It was such a horrifying story, especially since it is true.

The Essential Wooden – John Wooden and Steve Jamison | This book contains lifetime lessons on leaders and leadership, by one of the best coaches who ever lived.  Before practice each day I would read a few pages and share them with my team.   The lessons stand the test of time.

Inside Out Coaching – Joe Ehrmann | Joe’s unique way of coaching made a powerful impact on me.  I highly suggest this read for any coach.

Welcome to the Monkey House -Kurt Vonnegut | Whenever I travel internationally I try to take a paperback Vonnegut book.  They are all wildly imaginative.  The booke that sticks out though is this one filled with his short stories.

Haunted – Chuck Palahniuk | This book is not for the faint of heart.  In fact it is disturbing.  I remember cringing while reading it, as well as laughing out loud.  This is one of the few books to elicit such varied emotions while reading it.  You have been warned.

Nickel and Dimed – Barbara Ehrenreich | I am much more empathetic after reading this book.  The author goes undercover as a waitress, maid, and WalMart employee.  What she finds out after doing each was an eye opener.  These three jobs are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated.  This book still sticks with me.

On The Road – Jack Kerouac | I read this book in 2002 and the aftermath was a giant road trip.  I separated from the Air Force on May 31st 2005, and that day I began a three year long international road trip.  The highlight was living in the the back of my 2000 Chevy Silverado while traversing the backroads of the US and Canada.  It was total freedom.  I didn’t cut my beard for a year and hair for a year and a half.  The people I met and the places I saw will forever be burned in my mind.  This book planted the seed for that eventual journey.

The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand | This book looked like homework but it became a story that I couldn’t put down.  While I don’t agree with all the principles of Rand, I did enjoy Howard Roark’s character.

Yeager: An Autobiography – Chuck Yeager | If you want to read a story of an American Hero, this is one to choose.  Yeager came from a small town in the mountains of West Virginia to become the first pilot to break the sound barrier.  To show how impressive that was, no one knew what would happen when it was broken.  Think of that risk for a moment.

 

 

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