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chrisross

chrisross

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Attention All Passengers: The Airlines' Dangerous Descent—And How To Reclaim Our Skies
William J. McGee
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Jared Diamond
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Tony Hsieh

Political Gridlock

It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the Politics of Extremism - Norman J. Ornstein, Thomas E. Mann

I listened to the audio book and it is below okay.  The book really is not objective and attempts to lay the blame for the current dis-function of Washington squarely and solely with the Republican Party.  

 

The Republican's had nothing to do with "We just need to pass the bill then we will figure out what is in the bill" referencing the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

 

Both parties are to blame.

 

I cannot recommend this book.

History of the Special Forces

Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of the Special Forces - Linda Robinson

I listened to the audio book and it is just okay.

If you want to know all about ISIS and how to stop them read this book

ISIS: The State of Terror - Jessica Stern, J. M. Berger

This is probably the 3rd, 4th, or maybe even 5th book I have read about ISIS.  It is by far the most comprehensive and details how they arose along with their competition with al Qaeda.

 

This book details how and why they became successful at recruiting and using social media to do so and how some of these successes have also backfired on them.

 

This is the first book that has detailed ISIS from what they believe, to their leadership, to how they operate and fund themselves, and the propaganda techniques they use to subject the people in their reign of terror.

 

This is also the first book that has detailed ways to stop them and stopping them is not just by military means, e.g. air strikes or boots on the ground and it is not going to happen in a few months, a few years, or even a decade and will likely take a generation or two to root out their evil ideology.  

 

This is a great book that I highly recommend to fully understand the thread ISIS poses and how to stop them and it's a lot more than what you get from watching a 30-120 second spot on any American Main Stream Media channel. 

A Longitudinal Study of Financial Aid in Wisconsin

Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream - Sara Goldrick-Rab

This is an interesting book and one of the first of its kind, it follows students that received Financial Aid in Wisconsin and details the challenges that most face by receiving the aid, affording college and staying in school.

 

This book is very data driven and I would have a hard time recommending it.  

Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Brotherhood, and Sacrifice - Adam Makos
Devotion by Adam Makos book cover
Devotion by Adam Makos book cover

A Navy SEAL book that talks about PTSD

Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic - Mark L. Donald, Scott Mactavish

This is a great book from the perspective that it is the first SEAL book I have read where the author talks about PTSD and how he deals with it and firstly by not dealing with it.

 

Mark Donald is humble and the part of the book where he is awarded the Medal of Valor and the lesson he learns from the ceremony, the guilt he feels, and one of his many mentors about the medal is great!  (I'm not giving it away for those of you who want to read it).

 

The Battle of Khand Pass and the QRF chapters are the only chapters that contain page turning, edge of your seat, adrenaline rush battle scenes or descriptions which is not much of the book and makes it very different than many other SEAL books in this respect.

 

This book is rather a story of Mark's childhood and the struggles he faced as a Mexican American living in New Mexico being raised by ostensibly a single mom due to his father's own demons with PTSD.

 

The book goes on to detail how Mark first joined the Marines then moved to the Navy and started BUD/S training and became a SEAL then a corpsmen, then a PA and had to do double duty after 9/11.

 

This is a great book that I highly recommend and one of the most humble and respectful of SEAL books I have read.

What triggers your behavior and how to change it

Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be - Mark Reiter, Marshall Goldsmith

I listened to the audio book and I believe this is the third book by Marshall Goldsmith I have read or listened to.

 

I really liked/loved Marshall's other two books I read, this one not so much since it was very similar to "What Got You Here Won't Get You There" and contained some of the same material.  

 

I can recommend this book though if you have already read WGYHWGYT this is not critical.

 

If you want to learn what triggers your behavior and how to change it this is a good book with ideas and real world, client examples of how to do so.  

Conventional Forces vs. Special Operations Forces

One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare - Linda Robinson

I listened to the audio book and it is essentially a recent history of Special Operations command and command changes in Afghanistan since the "War on Terror" began in 2001.

 

I really thought this book may contain some high adrenaline, edge of your seat moments and it did not.

 

I was rather disappointed in this book and I cannot recommend it.

Invest in a Good Flashlight

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders - L. David Marquet

I listened to the audio book and it is oustanding!  I highly recommend this book.

 

The book chronicles Captain L. David Marquet and how he take the U.S.S. Sante Fe from worst to first in the Pacific Submarine Fleet by implementing a leader-leader rather than a leader-follower style.

 

He uses many ideas from Dr. Stephen Covey with particular emphasis on start with the end in mind.  He empowers his crew and gives them the authority to run the ship, be in charge of their departments, their personnel, and be accountable for their success or failure.  He challenges and successfully changed the NAVY's bureaucratic systems from Nuke Safety measures, to approvals for leave requests, to allowing his crew to tell him he is wrong during a training exercise to pick up Navy Seals that would have resulting in running his sub ashore had his crew not questioned his statement, order, and authority in that situation. This is generally a court martial offense in the military.

 

Marquet teaches his crew to use the, "Captain, I intend to..." phrase for conducting the day to day operations of the ship, focusing on people rather than technology, coming up with a motto of "We Learn", and training with the goal of ensuring you will not be missed or that any person will not be missed when gone or transferred to another position in the Navy or on leave, and these are all fabulous ideas.  

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to any business leader.  

 

The Fall of the King of Beers

Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer - William Knoedelseder

I listened to the audio book and it was outstanding and very interesting.

 

This is yet another story of an American company and icon being bought by foreigners or a foreign investment group or company.  

 

What is astounding is that the Busch family combined did not own controlling interest of the company in stock yet a Busch family member was always the CEO and/or COB until purchasing by InBev.  What is even more astounding is the amount of money the Busch family spent frivolously on corporate sponsorships, advertising, and Busch the IV's drug and partying habits and the wake of dead women he left behind without any punishment or being held accountable or responsible for his actions.  

 

I was shocked when I heard of AB being purchased and thought that this could not happen and should not happen yet it did.  

 

Greatly disturbing too was the payday the investors that structured the buyout/hostile takeover received while they were closing plants and laying off workers.  

 

This is a great book and from a business perspective a great case study of how not to run a business to avoid bankruptcy or a hostile takeover.

 

I highly recommend this book.

Decisions and readings of the Supreme Court

Landmark Decisions of the Supreme Court: Select Cases Pertaining to Abortion, Birth Control, and Reproductive Rights -  Open Book Audio, Christopher Lee Philips, Kim Tuvin, Open Book Audio

I listened to the audio book and while it is interesting it is at times hard to follow because the actual briefs and dissenting opinions or confirming opinions of the Justices themselves are being read and use some legal jargon.

 

I will not comment or offer any opinions about the subject matter due to the subject matter itself and that all three subjects are lightning rods.

 

I will say this was a very interesting listen and I highly recommend everyone listen to or read this and other works from the Supreme Court.  

As the title says: You too can go to college without incurring debt

Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, Or Mooching Off My Parents - Zac Bissonnette, Andrew Tobias

This is a very good book and I am reading books about paying for college and College Financial Aid because I am two years away from having a college Freshman and paying for college.  

 

From what I have read I believe I will not receive Financial Aid for my daughters and I figured that from day one.

 

Zac's premise is that if you go to an in state school you can pay for college by the student working part time and full time or more during the summers and the parents working more or taking on a second or third part time job to pay for college. 

 

While this logic is sound it is not the reality for many Americans.  Zac cautions against sending your child to an Ivy League school or even an out-of-state State school and while I agree with the logic about the Ivy League's I disagree regarding the out-of-state, State schools.  Where I live in Utah and in many other states there are reciprocity agreements so that if you go to a neighboring state you can still pay in-state tuition or close to it.  Furthermore, there is something to be said for sending your child to college and it being far enough away that they truly have to live on their own.

 

Zac also recommends buying real estate in a college town and I may try to do this where my daughters go to college.

 

This is a very good book and Zac has a great sense of humor too.

 

I highly recommend this book.

Paying for College: or if you make more than $40-50k DON'T COUNT ON FINANCIAL AID

Paying for College: Without Going Broke 2000 (Paying for College, 2000) - Kalman A. Chany, Geoff Martz, A. Chany Kalman

I read this book while skipping over some parts like for Military Veterans, Divorced Parents, etc. since these do not apply to me and while the book is interesting since I am two years away from having my first child in college it solidified my belief that I am not likely to receive financial aid.

 

I used the worksheets in the back to calculate my EFC and they seem to fall apart or become incredibly hard to follow at Table 8.

 

This is a good read for any parent that has a child or children that plan on going to college.

 

I read the 2016 edition which is not yet pictured on this book review site. 

Another So, So Management/Leadership/Business Book

100 Ways to Motivate Others: How Great Leaders Can Produce Insane Results Without Driving People Crazy - Steve Chandler, Scott Richardson

I listened to the audio book and while there were some funny stories I cannot remember them and I would say that even there were some memorable tips for motivating others though now I cannot remember them.

 

I would have a hard time recommending this book.  

More Social Media Hype

The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers - Leerom Segal, Aaron Goldstein, Jay Goldman, Rahaf Harfoush

I listened to the audio book and it really does not live up to its subtitle.

 

The book is ready by two of the authors and this is a huge mistake and the authors should have hired a professional to read their audio book.

 

While I do agree that the one size fits all in large companies/corporate America is the wrong way to approach things and that the world is changing that is really the only thing that I liked about the book.

 

Much of the other parts of the book sounded like ideas recycled from other book and I really did not like that they cite Timothy Ferris' 4 Hour Work Week and 4 Hour Body because I read the 4 Hour Work Week and find it dubious.  

 

I cannot recommend this book.

Coloring Outside the Lines

Coloring Outside the Lines: Business Thoughts on Creativity, Marketing, and Sales - Made for Success, Jeff Tobe

I listened to the audio book and it was read by the author and Tobe should have hired someone to read this book for him.

 

The book sounds like it was written and read in the early 1990's though Tobe does have his own domain e-mail.

 

The book does have a few funny stories though I cannot recommend this book.