Book Recommendations

As part of my Brave New Monthly Newsletter, every Month I recommend a new book that I feel would be valuable for you to read. You can receive these brand new recommendations to your inbox on the first of every month by joining my mailing list here.

Here is an archive of all my previous month book recommendations:


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Mark Manson

Themes: Life Purpose, Happiness
Recommended: March 2020

Mark Manson has been a long time blogging inspiration of mine. Although some see his writing style as crude and vulgar, he does an excellent job conveying many vital messages about self-empowerment and finding meaning in one’s life.

His book, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*cktaught me many valuable life lessons, and I find myself frequently practicing its teachings throughout my day-to-day life. This book helped me open my eyes to realizing what is most important in my life, and where I should be focusing my energy.

Mark’s overall take away message from this book is; you are going to die, because of that fact, you only have a limited amount of f*cks that you can give throughout your lifetime. Therefore if you want to live a purposeful life, you mustn’t waste energy spending that limited amount of f*cks on the wrong things. He makes this point over the chapters by highlighting five key areas one should focus on; these are: adopting radical responsibility (I talked about something similar in my latest blog post), embracing uncertainty, willingly failing, utilizing rejection, and contemplation of one’s mortality. 

My favourite quote from this book is: “Don’t hope for a life without problems. There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems”.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to pursue a more meaningful, happy, less stressful, liberated life.

If you would like to read the book, feel free to use my Amazon Affiliate link which corresponds with your region:

Amazon Canada
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Please know that by using this link, Amazon will send me a commission on your purchase to help support my work at no extra cost to you. Do know that I would never recommend you purchase something that doesn’t have my highest seal of approval.


The Obstacle Is The Way

Ryan Holiday

Themes: Stoicism, Life Purpose, Self Growth
Recommended: April 2020

Over the past few years, I have become interested in adopting new mindsets for how to view and interact with the world. One of these mindsets that I have found to be particularly interesting and useful to me, is Stoicism. Ryan Holiday is one of the best modern-day stewards for this ancient philosophy, and his book “The Obstacle is The Way” serves as an excellent introduction to Stoicism.

Ryan’s book is all about changing our perspective and how we view the greatest obstacles within our life, as a means of growth. My greatest take away from this book is to view the things that happen to us as not being either good or bad, but instead to accept them for what they objectively are, which are simply obstacles. It is only after we rise or fall to those obstacles that we can assign subjective meaning to them within our life. It is only after we have experienced them under our own terms that we can declare them as being definitively good or bad.

This book is separated into three parts. The first will take you through a series of lessons on how to change your perspective on life, these lessons are enforced with anecdotes from the stories of others, who like you, have weathered the storms of many challenging obstacles. The second part is more practical and details actions that you must set yourself up to take in order to apply your perspective change into your everyday life, in tangible ways. The third part is about willpower; how you must maintain discipline within your life in order to perceived through and rise above the challenges that will inevitably occur. 

My favourite quote from this book is: 

“In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.”

 I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to view the current chaos in the world as an obstacle, and therefore an opportunity for growth.

If you would like to read the book, feel free to use my Amazon Affiliate link which corresponds with your region:

Amazon Canada
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Please know that by using this link, Amazon will send me a commission on your purchase to help support my work at no extra cost to you. Do know that I would never recommend you purchase something that doesn’t have my highest seal of approval.


The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz

Themes: Happiness, Freedom, Spirituality
Recommended: June 2020

I am someone who chooses to live life by navigating through my own moral compass and intuition.

It is rare that I will follow any single strict system of rules, codes, or doctrine. This is because I believe that any finite list of guidelines on how one should interact with the world, created by a single individual perspective is going to lack the nuance required for properly representing the truth of how someone should conduct themselves. There are too many specific circumstances that arise in one’s life that any simplistic list of X number of rules could fully articulate a solution for. 

That said, the four agreements are a set of codes that I could see myself following.

The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz, is a practical guide for attaining a better life through the usage of 4 guiding principles. Unlike many other codes of “rules”, these agreements are more focused around how we interact with ourselves, rather than how to interact with others.

The Agreements are as followings:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions
  4. Always Do Your Best

In the book, Don Miguel Ruiz explains in detail how to apply these four agreements, and how prioritizing them will allow you to liberate yourself from any other agreements in your life. These are old agreements that have been conditioned into your mind by society since you were born. Old agreements that were created out of fear, and not out of love. 

Adopting the four agreements in my own life have allowed me to let go of old, false beliefs, and regain the energy I have been surrendering to them over the past years. The teachings from this book have given me a fresh perspective on how I will choose to interact with myself, others, and the world going forward.

My favourite quote from the book is:

“We need a great deal of courage to challenge our own beliefs. Because even if we know we didn’t choose all these beliefs, it is also true that we agreed to all of them.”

I am excited to keep using these four agreements going forward – and to ensure I do not forget them, I have written them on some sticky notes around my apartment!

I would recommend this book to any of you who may be contending with an old set of agreements or rules in your life that do not feel in alignment with your intuition.  

If you would like to read the book, feel free to use my Amazon Affiliate link which corresponds with your region:

Amazon Canada
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Please know that by using this link, Amazon will send me a commission on your purchase to help support my work at no extra cost to you. Do know that I would never recommend you purchase something that doesn’t have my highest seal of approval.


Own The Day, Own Your Life

Aubrey Marcus

Themes: Optimized Living, Healthy Daily Habits
Recommended: July 2020

Sometimes personal development and self-growth books can be really focused on theoretical knowledge. Although there is certainly much value behind this theoretical knowledge, they can oftentimes leave us feeling uncertain as to what we should do once we turn the last page. The beauty of “Own The Day, Own Your Life” by Aubrey Marcus, is that it is jammed packed with practical daily life optimization techniques that you can start applying today!

“Own The Day, Own Your Life” contains life optimization techniques for every element of your day; working, eating, learning, etc. From mindfulness practices, fitness routines, to healthy recipes, this book is the most accessible source I have seen for starting to live an optimized livelihood that will allow for you to take on so much more in your life.

I especially love how accessible Aubrey made remembering these techniques with his “3 Pointers” sections located at the end of each chapter – which act as a quick 3 point reminder of the principles discussed in the chapter prior.

Aubrey’s objective while writing this book is to develop your toolkit of optimization techniques. He builds them all together so that you can (literally) set a date for yourself to own. His goal is to get you to own that one single day, then once you do, replicate it.

My favourite quote from this book is “To live one day well is the same as to live ten thousand days well. To master twenty-four hours is to master your life”.

I personally treat this book as a companion guide and a toolbox of skills, and I keep it readily available to me at most times. That way, whenever I feel myself getting stuck into an unmotivating rut, I can open it up and find the practices I need to get back to where I was before.

I would recommend Aubrey’s book to anyone who wants to optimize their day such that they will have more energy and time left over to contribute to other meaningful pursuits.

If you would like to read the book, feel free to use my Amazon Affiliate link which corresponds with your region:

Amazon Canada
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Please know that by using this link, Amazon will send me a commission on your purchase to help support my work at no extra cost to you. Do know that I would never recommend you purchase something that doesn’t have my highest seal of approval.


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