My Three Favorite Books of 2015

I read a lot.  (Well, compared to the average American.)

Out of all the books I read last year, these three were the most impactful…

The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene
The book centers on famous rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) and his journey from ghetto drug dealer to hip-hop business mogul.

I’ve been a big fan of Robert Greene’s work since 2004.  He is essentially a sociopolitical archaeologist — he researches historical figures in order to uncover the keys and pathways to their successes, and distills the information into useful techniques you can actually use in today’s world.

This short book (one can read it in a day) helps unify the principles of his three previous books regarding social and political dynamics by recommending one overarching principle of conduct to govern them all: fearlessness.

By overcoming anxieties and forging a fearless attitude towards life, the margin of control over circumstances increases, to the ultimate point where we can even create the circumstances themselves.  Being supremely bold, unconventional, fluid, and acting with a sense of urgency allows one this unique ability.

Recommended to anyone feeling “limited”.


I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became An Icon 
by Touré
I never really got into Prince when I was younger.  By the time I was old enough to understand his lyrics, Nirvana had already kicked in the door.  But based on reading this book, it seems I wouldn’t have received the real message of his music anyway.

Beyond just being a book about Prince and what made him excel — his fanatical discipline, his wide-ranging influences, etc. —  the book sheds light on the cultural zeitgeist necessary for his music to flourish: divorce.

“When generation X was young, divorce became far more common than it had been for boomers or would be for millenials.  …  The cynicism, skepticism, sarcasm, and irony remains in gen X’s soul and is reflected in so many of the cultural products we love.”

Recommended to anyone feeling “alone”.


The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships 
by Neil Strauss
True love.  We all want it.  But what actually is “true” love?

Neil Strauss goes on an intimately personal journey from engagement to sex addiction rehab to swingers parties to love communes to BDSM clubs — and almost gets killed by an axe-wielding maniac in the process — all in an effort to find out if monogamy is right for him.

But he discovers that what he really needed to figure out is why he isn’t right for monogamy.  Basically, you can’t truly love anyone until you love yourself, and you can’t love yourself if you are still clinging to the programming of your youth.

This is a book that will help individuals gain insight into their own behaviors within relationships, and help couples nurture and develop their relationship through honesty and understanding.

Recommended to anyone feeling “confined”.


What books have you read in the past year which you would recommend?

Other books read in 2015:

How Music Works by David Byrne
The Other Hollywood by Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osborne
Sick In The Head by Judd Apatow
Crazy Is A Compliment: The Power Of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags by Linda Rottenberg
Shame & Grace by Lewis B. Smedes
The Road To Character by David Brooks
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
The Bulletproof Diet by Tim Asprey
Fitness Confidential by Vinnie Tortorich


P.S. I’ve been getting a tremendous amount of positive responses regarding my solo album over the past two months.  If you want to hear it for yourself, send your email address to blog@therealjohnkay.com and I’ll give you all ten songs for free.  🙂

 

John Kay
blog@therealjohnkay.com
TheRealJohnKay.com

Music: http://johnkay.bandcamp.com
Twitter: @therealjohnkay
InstaGram: @therealjohnkay
Facebook: /therealjohnkay

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