Books I read in 2013

13 Jan
by mjeaton, posted in personal   |  Comments Off

Ugh, unlike 2012, I didn’t read nearly as many books as I wanted. I was doing really well up until about October, then I started traveling and just didn’t find the time.

My goal was 35 books, but I only read 15. Once again, I read books about people who have gone through some extraordinary situations in their lives…

From the list, there are definitely some highlights. I’ve also included _some_ of the highlights I made while reading (if I read the book on my Kindle):

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
Read this book. Do it. Don’t just go watch the movie. Read the book first. Don’t want to see the movie? Read the book.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Loved the book. About the only thing the movie had in common with the book was the name…and ummm…zombies. Read the book!

Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam, by Mark Bowden
I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read by Bowden. He’s a fantastic author. This book was long, but I loved it. Really, really interesting.

Against stupidity the gods themselves labor in vain.

Metrinko was at peace with his own behavior. He had fought his captors and insulted them every day, right up to the ride to the airport, and he had fresh scrapes and bruises to show for it. His fifteen months in captivity would be summed up many years later by Ebtekar: “We thought [him] to be deranged; [he] hated everyone and was hated in return.”

Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan by Sean Parnell, John Bruning

You cannot lead men who are unwilling to be led. You must inspire them to give you the power to do so. That power comes only from their minds, their hearts, not from discipline or devotion to army regulations.

It is easy to be a virtuous man in good times. It is easy to be judged a success when luck runs with the fortunate son. But when adversity strikes, the true measure of a man percolates to the surface.

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox

Before a catastrophe, we can’t imagine coping with the burdens that might confront us in a dire moment. Then when that moment arrives, we suddenly find that we have resources inside us that we knew nothing about

As a way of motivating people, cultivating fear is easier than investing the time and effort necessary to engender respect. Respect requires greater knowledge, and in my experience, the more you know, the less you fear.

We are where we are. If we keep moving, we’ll be someplace else. We’ll know when we get there.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
This was an incredible book. I have 24 highlighted passages. These are the top.

He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.

The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life.

Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it.

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.

Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.

Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

The Only Thing Worth Dying For (P.S.) by Eric Blehm

and following your ideals is the only thing worth dying for. Just remember that: Don’t ever put your life on the line for something you don’t believe in.

I read several other books, some amazing, some not so amazing.

This year, I’ve set my goal to be 25 books. I think it’s doable and I’m already on track.

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