Read and React: Monthly Book Reviews and Recommendations (January)

Before the year started I had a “goal” which would result in reading one book a week. I love to read and felt there were only benefits to this hobby of mine. I read about 20 books last year and thought it would be a good idea to try and tackle a book a week. After the first couple weeks, I knew I set myself up for failure. I decided to double my book intake from last year. I figured 40 books was more attainable and could be accomplished. After the first couple weeks in January, something happened that I can’t explain but I started to read about a book a day. Sometimes two. Over the course of this month I have read 15 books. Nine are new reads and the other six are re-reads. I do NOT plan on reading 15 books a month. This worked out well for me because there was no school for 6 weeks so all I had to focus on was work and reading. Now that school is up and running it will cut in to some reading time but will do my best to read at least 3-4 a month. This post is to inspire anyone who wants to start reading, looking for a new book, or wants to also share great books they’ve read. Something I was told is the saying, “Reader are leaders and leaders are readers.” This is one of the tools I use to be better at work, with the players I see every day, and most importantly my everyday life.  Above is a picture of the books I read in order from bottom to top. I hope you enjoy these and would love to get more recommendations!

New Reads:

  • The Know it All- AJ. Jacobs 
  • Legacy- James Kerr
  • Between the World and Me- Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Three Signs of a Miserable Job- Patrick Lencioni
  • The End of Average- Todd Rose
  • Practice Perfect- Doug Lemov
  • Everybody Always- Bob Goff
  • Ego is the Enemy- Ryan Holiday
  • Eat Move Sleep- Tom Rath


  • The No Complaining Rule- Jon Gordon
  • How Full is your Bucket- Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton
  • The Seed- Jon Gordon
  • The Go-Giver- Bo Burg and John David Mann
  • Freakanomics- Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  • Switch- Chip and Dan Heath 

My “Top 3” recommendations…

Legacy by James Kerr:

  • There isn’t a book I have taken more quality notes on than Legacy by James Kerr. It amazes me how “simple” things can be and how “complicated” we tend to make everything we do. This book gives you so much that can easily be applied to your program and your own life. Things you can make your own that fits what you are trying to accomplish within the culture you are trying to create. Being able to reinforce the fact that no one in this world is too “big” to do the small things that need to be done is a good daily reminder when things get tough. Go get a copy of the book for yourself. You’ll be better for it.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates:

  • As most of you know I am African American. The everyday life for people of color is not the same as everyone else especially black men. My cultural background and education in its history is extremely important to me and I do my best to read on it as much as I can. I have been wanting to read this book for a while. Heard so many great things and it did not disappoint. You want to get a glimpse of the life of an every day Black man? You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t read this book. There is only one word to describe it: POWERFUL.

Everybody Always by Bob Goff:

  • This book epitomizes what it looks like to live and love as close as possible to the way God loves us and wants us to live our lives. Being human is difficult. We aren’t perfect, make mistakes, wound, hate and even kill. What makes it more difficult is to show love and grace towards these people. It is easy to love the ones you like but what about the ones you don’t? This books shows you ways to improve in that area. You want to make a difference in this world? Become love? Change lives? Read this book…