What’s in your library says a lot about who you are today and who you’ll become in the future.”  – John

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

“A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.”



Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio.

“Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.”


The Obstacle Is the Way

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday.

“The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher … Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.”



Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond.

“Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives.”


Sometimes listening is the best way to synthesize new knowledge.”  – John

How I Built This

The host, Guy Raz, interviews the founder’s behind well-known companies. “It’s about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world’s best known companies and brands.

“Guy Raz speaks with change-makers and risk-takers, who tell stories about hustle, perseverance, and the sheer joy of creating something … from nothing.”

Why John loves this podcast: Every time I listen to How I Built This, I get reinvigorated by the trials and tribulations that these founders went through on their way to greatness and how often they were only a moment away from abject failure. The entrepreneurs’ stories are inspirational and bring back so many of my own memories from starting up ventures on a shoe string. I challenge anyone to listen to this and not want to start your own business.

The Art of Manliness

The podcast “aims to help men become better men. Through in-depth interviews with authors and thinkers, host Brett McKay finds insights on how men can better understand their culture, their lives, and themselves, and recapture the ancient and classical ideal of manliness, one of arete and eudaimonia: excellence and flourishing.

“Episodes explore how to live a life of both contemplation and action, while having some fun along the way. The show topics cover everything from history and philosophy, to social/professional skills, to parenting, to self-defense and physical training, to pop culture and literature.”

Why John loves this podcast: Bret does an amazing job selecting guests and interviewing them for his podcast. I am a faithful listener to the Art of Manliness because I learn so much from the authors and guests he interviews. He has a wide breath of knowledge and interests. And he is able to keep up intellectually with every expert he has on the show.

TED Radio Hour 

The podcast, also hosted by Guy Raz, is “based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections – and injects soundscapes and conversations that bring these ideas to life.”

Why John loves this podcast: The breadth of the subjects contained in the TED Radio Hour podcasts is absolutely amazing and Guy does a great job teasing out the details and weaving the different Talks together. I learn a ton every time I listen. And I always go back and listen to the original TED Talk. This series is like a “Best of TED” all woven together under different topic headings.

Stuff You Should Know

Hosts Charles Bryant and Josh Clark use the podcast to “educate the public about common things and how they work.”

Why John loves this podcast: I started listening to Stuff You Should Know in September 2016 when I listened to the episode about Alexander Hamilton. He was truly a rockstar! Every episode I pick is something that I probably should know but don’t until after I listen. Charles and Josh present the topics in a funny, interesting way and tie in all sorts of other tangential trivia as well. You will be amazed by how much you don’t know after scrolling through their topic list!

Learning and growth don’t just happen in isolation inside a classroom. When you open your mind to this truth, the world becomes your classroom, and life itself becomes your every-present, enduring teacher.” – John