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TSC Monthly Book Club | by Michael

monthly book club by michael | by the skinny confidential

Beyond Religion | Growth Hacker Marketing | Disrupt You | Lying 

You all liked Michael’s book recommendations SO much that I figured we’d do kind of a book club?

Thoughts? You into it?

We don’t need to do four books every time but I just think we should make it a thing. I mean I feel like I want to subscribe to his book club & he’s my fiancé…LOL ( babe, you get books! ).

Obviously we’re also both VERY interested in what you’re reading, loving, recommending…so PLEASE leave any suggestions below or message us on Snapchat.

Ok so Michael’s going to breakdown his latest favorites ( by the way, he’s a total speed reader…jealous ):

Hey guys,

This month I read a lot! I was zipping through pages like you’ve never seen.

I got a lot of messages on how I read so fast and so much. I use a technique called speed reading which I will write more in-depth about later on. Simply, speed reading is reading rapidly by assimilating several phrases or sentences at once. This sounds a lot more confusing than it actually is.

Basically the mind is able to put multiple words and sentences together at once and form complete thoughts faster than you would think possible.

I tried it once after reading about it on a flight and was amazed that I was able to do it. After studying more on speed reading I realized anyone can learn how to do it if you practice. When you’re taught to read as a kid the teacher has you sound out the word & read it out loud. As you develop your reading skills you read the same way only in your head, this actually slows you down.

Speed reading teaches you not to do this. It teaches you to see the word and not sound it out in your head, it also teaches you not to regress on sentences.

There are pros & cons to speed reading. You miss certain things and you don’t get as much detail but you are able to pick up a lot more a lot faster so it’s a trade-off. An example: I don’t know what color Suzie’s hat was in chapter 3 but I know she bought it at a store after getting a check from grandma. Oh & by the way most of the class is still on page 3 of chapter 1.

I like the pace of reading fast like this because I’m able to get through multiple books a week, sometimes even multiple books a day. I feel like I’m grasping so much information that I’m ok with losing a little detail here and there. It’s all about picking up the most important ideas in each book.

So ya, I chose some books this month that may be a little different from the normal assortment of books you see. I think all 4 read in this order are a good foundation for a strong reading month. Cheers!

Beyond Religion by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

If you know me, you know I am not overly religious or spiritual. I respect all religions but have just never really felt the calling myself, so this book is really different for me. I read a lot about happiness and I thought this would be an interesting read and I could not have been more right. This book doesn’t focus on religion but rather compassion and humanity.

It was a really eye-opening account of how the world could be a much happier place with compassion. He argues that compassion is the foundation of wellbeing which I found really interesting. The second half of the book focuses on educating the heart through training the mind. He gives examples & tools of how to root out destructive thoughts and a lot of advice on meditation. I felt happy and calm just reading this book and I really recommend it. It’s not preachy & it’s an easy read.

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday, the marketing expert behind American Apparel, does a great job explaining the new strategy of modern marketing: growth hacking.

How did brands like Facebook, Airbnb, Dropbox, and Twitter grow to be multibillion dollar corporations without a traditional marketing strategy? This book will tell you and it will teach you to have the exact same tools and capability at your fingertips. The old strategy of getting the right message to your consumer to force them to buy “what you got” instead of focusing on “working on” and “improving” what you’re producing is over.

This book lays the foundation for a cheap and genius strategy in modern marketing. Turn your 1 customer into 2 and then 2 into 4. Turn them into your personal marketing army by providing them with value and a kick ass product. This book is a must for anyone with hopes of starting any business or currently working within one.

Disrupt You by Jay Samit

This book was one of the best books I have read in a while. It’s all about disrupting and disrupters. What is disrupting and what is a disruptor?

Let me give you an example. Napster disrupted the music industry as we knew it and Sean Parker ( co-founder of Napster ) was the disruptor behind it. Napster disrupted the music industry by completely changing the way we receive, buy, and sell music. There are still musicians to this day complaining that nobody is buying their CD.

Guess what, too bad.

Get out and tour now if you want to make money. That’s reality. Your CD used to be worth 20 bucks and is now worth barely anything. The consumer & the market drive prices. Uber disrupted how we book cars and taxis. It disrupted an industry that had been around for over 50 years. Cab companies will complain but once again the consumer drives the market. This book will teach you the skills behind becoming a disruptor.

Did you just lose your job? No problem. Did you just get dumped by your boyfriend? No problem.

Not if you look at life from the eyes of a disruptor. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

Lying by Sam Harris

Let me first start by saying this book is extreme & controversial. I’m not even certain if I agree with it but I find myself questioning its ideas a lot lately. The book basically argues that under no circumstances is it ever justified or the right call to lie.

Not even for something as simple as telling your friend her dress looks good when it actually looks like a garbage sack that got left in the rain. When I first started reading the book I was skeptical, then I agreed, then I was skeptical again.

I agree that lies get you into a lot of trouble and can cause a lot of awkwardness but sometimes is it necessary to lie?

An example the author uses is…to summarize: a kid knocks on your door & says a killer is after him and asks you to hide him. The killer comes to your door asking if the kid is inside. Do you lie and say no? Or do you say yes and let the killer find the kid and kill him. Most people would say you lie but the book argues, if you lie and the killer ends up going to your neighbor’s house and killing another kid was the lie justified?

I won’t ruin the rest but it is definitely a thought-provoking book. It’s short, you can read it quickly. It took me about 35 minutes so I think it’s worth the read.

Hope you guys are enjoying these book posts, I enjoy recommending them to you and I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t think they would help. If even just one of you gets the next billion-dollar idea from reading one of these I expect you to send me a couple bucks ; ). See you guys next time.

– Michael
+ check out Michael’s latest post.
++ follow us on Snapchat.

  1. Thanks for the book recommendations, I love seeing the new books you get on snapchat!

    xx. The Coastal Confidence

  2. I have to go get Beyond Religion today! This sounds like such a perfect read for me. Have you read Eckhart Tolle’s books? I love him so much and it sounds like his premises are very similar to Beyond Religion.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      As long as you are reading something I think that’s great! I try to set aside a couple hours each day to read and do nothing else. It’s like setting time aside to go to the gym or watch tv or whatever. Train your brain like you train your body!

  3. Hey Michael!
    I’ve been loving your new posts. I follow Lauryn on snapchat, and I love that you guys are sharing books now. Thanks for the recommendations, just ordered one on Amazon

  4. Loving all of these picks! I cannot even begin to tell which one sounds the most interesting, but I will say that that one paragraph on the Lying and the child and the murderer was one intense paragraph let alone the whole book! I will absolutely buy all of these & hopefully be sending you a check one of these days! 😉 The Disruptor one (inf act, I’ve hosted Disruptor Events for work) and the Growth Hacking one sound right up my alley right now. I just finished Crush It by Gary Vee and it was one of THE BEST things I’ve read in a long time. Seriously. I have so many dog-eared pages and it was the kick I needed to create a plan the right way. He is seriously a genius – I finished it within 72 hours!

    1. Hey Shannon! thanks for reading. Lying is a really interesting book and it will make you question yourself. Gary Vaynerchuck is a beast. Period. Thanks again for the support! i will be waiting for my check.

  5. Thanks for answering my question about the book to get – so helpful for my flight! You da best.

    Just got disrupt you on Amazon for my Boyfriend, I’ll read it when he’s done! I got growth hacker marketing for mahself.

    Thank YOU!


  6. I am definitely a speed reader too! Sometimes I feel bad for skipping out on ALL of the book… but I’d rather read a LOT of books rather than read for all the little details. So thanks for saying that- makes me feel better about skimming parts of books! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome! I really like speed reading, i get really eager to get to the next book and learn more so this technique is perfect. Don’t feel bad!

  7. Love the book reviews! Just ordered a copy Growth Hacker Marketing. Thanks for the recommendation!

    I just finished a short novel called Ticknor by Sheila Heti. I found it one evening while wandering the bookstore and ended up really enjoying it. The first few sections of the book are written in a style that resembles the quick paced, yet at the same time rambling way, a person processes decisions through examining past behavior and using it to forecast possible outcomes. Engaging and totally worth checking out.

    1. Hi Erin!

      Thank you or reading my reviews, I am glad you like them! I will have to check your recommendation out. I have not heard of that book but it sounds really interesting!

  8. Love the recommendations…just got finished Lying. Am now working on a book on Trauma Focused Cognitive Based Therapy (I am a child therapist)…kind of defy, but necessary I guess. Keep up the great Snaps and Book Recs!

  9. I have to say…there are a lot of bloggers who I began liking less and less after following their SC, but I love watching both of your snaps! Love the business advice you share on SC and keep the book recs coming!

  10. I think it would be great to have a monthly book club! I want more suggestions as I have started listening to these on audio and it goes much faster. Love how unique these choices are!

  11. Thanks for the kind words. I wrote Disrupt You to help people take control of their world and get the most out of life. I also have a FREE 40 page work book so that your followers can get started immediately with their personal transformation. Link is on my website.

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