Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Letter From Your Future Written by Francesca Melandri

Letter From Your Future
Written by Francesca Melandri
I am writing to you from Italy, which means I am writing from your future. We are now where you will be in a few days. The epidemic’s charts show us all entwined in a parallel dance.
We are but a few steps ahead of you in the path of time, just like Wuhan was a few weeks ahead of us. We watch you as you behave just as we did. You hold the same arguments we did until a short time ago, between those who still say “it’s only a flu, why all the fuss?” and those who have already understood.
As we watch you from here, from your future, we know that many of you, as you were told to lock yourselves up into your homes, quoted Orwell, some even Hobbes. But soon you’ll be too busy for that.
First of all, you’ll eat. Not just because it will be one of the few last things that you can still do.
You’ll find dozens of social networking groups with tutorials on how to spend your free time in fruitful ways. You will join them all, then ignore them completely after a few days.
You’ll pull apocalyptic literature out of your bookshelves, but will soon find you don’t really feel like reading any of it.
You’ll eat again. You will not sleep well. You will ask yourselves what is happening to democracy.
You’ll have an unstoppable online social life – on Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom…
You will miss your adult children like you never have before; the realisation that you have no idea when you will ever see them again will hit you like a punch in the chest.
Old resentments and falling-outs will seem irrelevant. You will call people you had sworn never to talk to ever again, so as to ask them: “How are you doing?” Many women will be beaten in their homes.
You will wonder what is happening to all those who can’t stay home because they don’t have one. You will feel vulnerable when going out shopping in the deserted streets, especially if you are a woman. You will ask yourselves if this is how societies collapse. Does it really happen so fast? You’ll block out these thoughts and when you get back home you’ll eat again.
You will put on weight. You’ll look for online fitness training.
You’ll laugh. You’ll laugh a lot. You’ll flaunt a gallows humour you never had before. Even people who’ve always taken everything dead seriously will contemplate the absurdity of life, of the universe and of it all.
You will make appointments in the supermarket queues with your friends and lovers, so as to briefly see them in person, all the while abiding by the social distancing rules.
You will count all the things you do not need.
The true nature of the people around you will be revealed with total clarity. You will have confirmations and surprises.
Literati who had been omnipresent in the news will disappear, their opinions suddenly irrelevant; some will take refuge in rationalisations which will be so totally lacking in empathy that people will stop listening to them. People whom you had overlooked, instead, will turn out to be reassuring, generous, reliable, pragmatic and clairvoyant.
Those who invite you to see all this mess as an opportunity for planetary renewal will help you to put things in a larger perspective. You will also find them terribly annoying: nice, the planet is breathing better because of the halved CO2 emissions, but how will you pay your bills next month?
You will not understand if witnessing the birth of a new world is more a grandiose or a miserable affair.
You will play music from your windows and lawns. When you saw us singing opera from our balconies, you thought “ah, those Italians”. But we know you will sing uplifting songs to each other too. And when you blast I Will Survive from your windows, we’ll watch you and nod just like the people of Wuhan, who sung from their windows in February, nodded while watching us.
Many of you will fall asleep vowing that the very first thing you’ll do as soon as lockdown is over is file for divorce.
Many children will be conceived.
Your children will be schooled online. They’ll be horrible nuisances; they’ll give you joy.
Elderly people will disobey you like rowdy teenagers: you’ll have to fight with them in order to forbid them from going out, to get infected and die.
You will try not to think about the lonely deaths inside the ICU.
You’ll want to cover with rose petals all medical workers’ steps.
You will be told that society is united in a communal effort, that you are all in the same boat. It will be true. This experience will change for good how you perceive yourself as an individual part of a larger whole.
Class, however, will make all the difference. Being locked up in a house with a pretty garden or in an overcrowded housing project will not be the same. Nor is being able to keep on working from home or seeing your job disappear. That boat in which you’ll be sailing in order to defeat the epidemic will not look the same to everyone nor is it actually the same for everyone: it never was.
At some point, you will realise it’s tough. You will be afraid. You will share your fear with your dear ones, or you will keep it to yourselves so as not to burden them with it too.
You will eat again.
We’re in Italy, and this is what we know about your future. But it’s just small-scale fortune-telling. We are very low-key seers.
If we turn our gaze to the more distant future, the future which is unknown both to you and to us too, we can only tell you this: when all of this is over, the world won’t be the same.
©️ Francesca Melandri 2020

Ryan Holiday's "Daily Dad" reflections

Every day Ryan Holiday writes a reflection called "Daily Dad," and these are wonderful reflections and admonitions to those of us who are dads, but also those of us who are in the midst of caring for our family, our friends, our communities, and our selves. 

I love reading his work every morning.

Here is today's reflection:


People are freaked out. Events are cancelled. Schools have been let out. You’re working from home, or, at least, not going out like you used to. Money is being lost. The elderly and vulnerable are at risk. We are seeing, laid bare, what incompetent leadership looks like...and how fragile our institutions are. 

Is there any good that can come of this? On a large scale, no. But there is one silver lining to look at here: You’re spending more time with your kids, as a family. You’re being reminded, vividly, of what’s truly important in this life. You’re able to see just how much you took stability and the modern global world for granted, and how when that falls away, what’s left is the core unit of family. What’s left in stark relief are the people and relationships you care about most. 

So as you sit here, going a little stir crazy, push those fears and anxieties out of your mind and focus on what matters. Drink in this time with your family. Go play a game with your kids. Watch their favorite movie on the couch tonight. Work on a project in the garage together. FaceTime with your brother or sister or son who lives across the country. 

Heed this reminder, seize this moment. The present is all we have. Nobody knows where this is going to go—-except that, like all things, it will eventually pass. But right now? Right now, the silver lining, the gift of it, is that it’s an opportunity for you to cherish your loved ones. It’s a chance for you to be a good father. It’s a chance for you to be together. 

Take it. It was bought at a high cost and it would be a tragedy on top of a tragedy to waste it.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Thich Nhat Hanh ~ wonderful Zen master!

Click HERE or on the image to see some 
Thich Nhat Hanh's videos

Becoming Minimalist: How Will The Coronavirus Impact Minimalism?

Becoming Minimalist Logo

How Will The Coronavirus Impact Minimalism?

I started pursuing and writing about minimalism 12 years ago, in 2008, right in the middle of the global recession.
Back then, as you might expect, many were discovering minimalism out of necessity.
I can remember some of the email messages I received back then. One of them stands out as particularly significant. A lady wrote to me:
I was searching for ways to live on less because my husband just lost his job and I found your website. I want to thank you for what you are doing. I am beginning to see that living with less doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
For the next 12 years, the economy grew. Until today, where every indication is that we are going to experience a fall in GDP for two successive quarters—the definition of recession. This recession will be global in nature.

I sat down this weekend to reflect on that fact. And how the coronavirus recession will impact minimalism going forward—not from a health standpoint, but a financial one.
First, let’s be clear, I want as many people as possible to live a minimalist lifestyle. The benefits are incredible: more time, more money, more energy, more focus, more opportunity to pursue those things in life that bring real happiness—however we choose to define it.

Minimalism is a lifestyle that should be adopted by everybody.

But I don’t want anybody to be forced into it.
It is never an ideal circumstance for someone to lose their job or be forced into a situation of having to live on less through a recession or no fault of their own. I don’t want anybody, anywhere to be forced into minimalism.

I want people to choose it on their own.
For two reasons:
1. When people are forced into minimalism, it is less likely to have a long-lasting effect. It might, but that is a rare case. Instead, when someone is forced into minimalism, they begin to see it as a sacrifice, a trial, or a setback. And as soon as life can financially return to the way it was before, people will return to their previous lifestyle.

2. Being forced into minimalism causes many people to adopt a disaster-focused mentality. Think of the generation that emerged from the Great Depression and their learned behavior to keep everything just in case they would need it someday.

And it doesn’t require a 10-year Depression for this scarcity-mindset thinking to emerge. Sometimes just a natural disaster—a hurricane, fire, or earthquake—can cause people to respond with a desire to hoard items for the uncertainty of the future.

People being forced into minimalism is never an ideal circumstance. We prefer people to choose living with less on their own.

Of course, there are positive aspects that will emerge from this worldwide crisis that could spark voluntary simplicity:

1. There are a lot of people who are being forced to spend more time at home than before. When we are forced to spend time at home, we are also forced to confront our stuff and our possessions. We begin to see how much we’ve accumulated over the years—and how much is unnecessary.

Being at home means we can take the time to figure out how our home functions and what we want it to look like going forward. As Michelle Obama recently said about the quarantine, “It’s a good exercise in reminding us that we just don’t need a lot of the stuff that we have.” This could be a response that many will have going forward.

2. The nature of work is going to change. Working from home is going to become commonplace in businesses all around the world—not just in the short-term, but in the long-term as businesses recognize the overhead that can be saved and more and more employees demand it. The change in how we work holds great potential in motivating people to declutter their spaces and environments at home.

3. Many people are going to reassess their finances and budgets. They will ask questions like: “Why weren’t we able to get ahead when finances were good? Where was all our money going? How much were we spending? And how much can we cut back both now and in the future?”
People may arrive at these questions because they are forced into them or simply from a desire to be more financially stable and prepared for the next crisis. Either way, many are going to stand face-to-face with their spending and start asking deep questions about whether their pursuit of physical possessions was really the best use of their limited resources.

4. Whenever we face legitimate concerns about life and death, we begin to ask deeper questions: “What is important in life? Where should I be focusing my time and my energy? Am I giving my family and friends as much focus as I should? Am I living my greatest life of significance and meaning?”

As we ask these questions about values and purpose, we run into minimalist principles. Minimalism is, after all, about removing distractions so we can focus on those things that matter most. Life’s deepest questions often lead us there.

5. People will become intentional about re-entry into what they used to define as “normal.” Our lives, just a few weeks back, were busy, stressed, hurried, and rushed. As life begins to take on a new normal, many of us are going to become intentional and reassess what we desire to bring back into our lives. What commitments do we want back? What hobbies do we want to continue? And what purchases do I want to continue making going forward?

Final Thoughts
Remember this: You can’t control the people around you. You cannot control how the entire world is going to respond to this pandemic and subsequent recession.

We can invite people to minimalism. We can make the case for it. We can argue for why it’s a better way of life than accumulating more and more.

When it gets right down to it, we can invite others—but we can only control ourselves. We can only take control of how we are going to personally handle our lives going forward.
If you have found this blog post because you’ve recently been forced into owning less, I am sorry for your circumstances. But let me encourage you, you do not need to view owning less as a sacrifice. Owning less means you can find a more intentional life, focused on those pursuits that bring meaning, fulfillment, and joy to your life.

If you’ve been pursuing minimalism for quite some time, I encourage you to be intentional about re-entry into the world when this crisis ends—which it will. Stay focused on those things that add value to your life, that bring lasting joy into your life, that help you pursue your values—and not those that distract you from it.

There is no doubt in my mind that this current crisis is going to affect the world in countless ways. Minimalism, as a lifestyle, will be positively and negatively affected—both individually and as a society.

Let’s make sure we learn from it as best we can.

Amazing Grace Documentary with Bill Moyers

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Lenten Psalm of Awakening

Come, O Life-giving Creator,
and rattle the door latch
of my slumbering heart.
Awaken me as you breathe upon
a winter-wrapped earth,
gently calling to life virgin Spring.
Awaken in these fortified days
of Lenten prayer and discipline
my youthful dream of holiness.
Call me forth from the prison camp
of my numerous past defeats
and my narrow patters of being
to make my ordinary life extra-ordinarily alive,
through the passion of my love.
Show to me during these Lenten days
how to take the daily things of life
and by submerging them in the sacred,
to infuse them with a great love
for you, O God, and for others.
Guide me to perform simple acts of love and prayer,
the real works of reform and renewal
of this overture to the spring of the Spirit.
O Father of Jesus, Mother of Christ,
help me not to waste
these precious Lenten days
of my soul’s spiritual springtime.
–Edward Hays, from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim

Friday, March 27, 2020

Generous isn’t always the same as free, Seth Godin

Generous isn’t always the same as free, Seth Godin

People have been generous with you through the years. A doctor who took the time to understand your pain. A server who didn’t hesitate and brought you what you needed before you even knew you needed it. A boss who gave you a project at just the right time.

Gifts create connection and possibility, but not all gifts have monetary value. In fact, some of the most important gifts involve time, effort and care instead.

Money was invented long after humans arrived on the scene, and commerce can’t solve all problems.
In this moment when we’re so disconnected and afraid, the answer might not be a freebie. That might simply push us further apart. The answer might be showing up to do the difficult work of connection, of caring and of extending ourselves where it’s not expected.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dave Matthews plays live tonight to support Small Business

A note from the Brothers of the St. John the Evangelist Society in Cambridge, MA

A note from the Brothers of the St. John the Evangelist Society in Cambridge, MA

My dear Friends,

My Brothers and I have been deeply touched by the messages of concern and hope that so many of you have expressed since we made the difficult decision to close not only the Guesthouse, but also the Monastery Chapel for public worship, during this time of tremendous anxiety.

Never before has a line from our Rule of Life seemed so appropriate. In the chapter on Worship we read that we Brothers offer our worship … on behalf of the entire world. At a time when so many Christians are cut off from physically gathering to worship and celebrate the Eucharist, our life of corporate worship continues. Even though others may not be able to be physically present, your presence is none the less felt. This is especially true at the daily Eucharist and Compline, when we have the opportunity to mention before God so many of you by name. We offer our worship on behalf of the entire world.

Last week we made a recording of Compline which is now online at www.SSJE.org. We invite you to join us, wherever you are, and uphold the entire world in your prayers.

Please know of our prayers for you during this anxious time.

Faithfully in the One who calms our fears,

James Koester SSJE

At this time when the Monastery Chapel is closed, the Brothers invite you to join us for our nightly Compline - the ancient monastic service of bedtime prayers.

Morning Prayers this morning

From "Becoming Minimalist" - 25 Things to Do with your Family While Stuck at Home

Becoming Minimalist Logo

25 Things to Do with Your Family While Stuck at Home

As with most the world, we’ve been spending a lot more time at home in recent days.
It’s important, in these unique times, to redeem the hours and make the most of the moments we have together. There are negative ramifications to the current state of affairs in our world—and you don’t need to see them broadcast in the media, many of you are experiencing them firsthand.
But the negative effects of the Coronavirus do not need to overwhelm us. We can also choose positive effects: spending time with family, taking longer rests, finding solitude, and escaping the busyness of our normal lives.
With that in mind, here’s my list of 25 things to do while stuck at home to redeem the time and make the most of it.
0. Wake up, get dressed. I need to include this one here because it’s important to start each day with the right attitude. Every day is an opportunity to make the most of it. Don’t miss a single opportunity—regardless of the circumstances around you.
1. Declutter. Minimize your possessions and declutter the stuff in your home. The more we spend time in our home, the more we can recognize what can and should be removed—and the more time we have to do it. Check out Clutterfree if you’re looking for steps to get started
2. Learn new card games. I grew up playing cards‚ even as a young child. And not just Go Fish and War, but strategy games like Hearts, Spades, Rook, and Pinochle. They taught me how to think ahead, play out scenarios, and learn from others. All valuable life skills.
3. Make phone calls. Safe to say the phone call is making a comeback. All those people you would usually see at work, church, or social gatherings, give them a call to say hello.
4. Teach your kids life skills. My son is a junior in high school and my wife and I have a long list of life skills we want him to know before he leaves the house. We’ve been using these weeks to make up for lost time. If you haven’t already, use the time to teach your kids cooking, laundry, cleaning, car repair, budgeting, or any other life skills that come to mind.
5. Go outside. If still allowed in your local area, go on long walks or hikes. Spend time in the park or walk along the river.
6. Workout. We need to be taking care of our physical bodies and taking care of our physical fitness during this time as well. Look up at-home workouts/yoga on YouTube or Google and do them together as a family.
7. Watch educational programs. I see a lot of people spending time on Netflix—binging movies and television shows. And there’s certainly a place for that. But you can also watch educational documentaries on Netflix and YouTube about history, science, or events in the world.
8. Learn a new skill. Been wanting to pick up a hobby? Now’s your chance. Learn a new language or how to code. Pick up an instrument or new artistic skill. Because of the Internet, finding a teacher (free or paid) has never been easier.
9. Create. I started this blog as a hobby—somehow it grew to over 2M readers/month. Start something of your own. Create a blog or a YouTube channel. Write some stories or poetry. Or use your hands in the workshop. Create something, we need you now more than ever.
10. Do a Facebook Live. Nothing to it. Just click a few buttons on your phone and suddenly all your friends can see you. It’s super fun. If you haven’t before, now’s your time.
11. Write letters. To a family member or friend you haven’t seen in awhile.
12. Invent a game. Looking around the room at the supplies you have, make up a game to play with your kids. Or better yet, invent an entire Family Olympics where each member of the family gets to pick 1-2 of the events. Keep a running total of the points.
13. Read books. You should probably be doing that anyway.
14. Late night movie with the family. Depending on your local school situation of course. But if it works, there’s nothing more fun for little kids than staying up past bedtime, eating popcorn, and watching a movie with mom or dad. Make it happen.
15. Video chat with friends. Whether it’s on FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger or Zoom, connect and hang out online for a little while.
16. Home repairs or a deep clean. Make up some ground on that list of yours.
17. Sort through boxes of old photos. Keep the best and put them in photo albums or digitize for future generations.
18. Clean up your computer digital files. Here.
19. Curate and organize your recipe/cookbook stash. I use index cards to keep all my favorites in the same place.
20. Make up TikTok dances with the family. I see a lot of those short, choreographed dances being posted. Super fun for everyone.
21. Create games to share with family members. Invent a WordSearch or Crossword Puzzle using the members of your family and send them out for everyone else to complete during their downtime.
22. Take a class online. You can find plenty of courses for kids and adults available for free online. Including Yale’s most popular college course ever.
23. Order takeout and have a picnic. If your local community still allows that, you can support local business and enjoy time outside as a family (weather-permitting of course).
24. Research your family tree. You can use online tools or do it the old-fashioned way—calling family members to begin piecing it together.
25. Learn online tools for business. One’s thing is for sure—business is going to change going forward. Learn as quick as you can how remote work is accomplished: Zoom, Slack, Skype, Dropbox, and numerous others. Now’s your time to learn them.
There are so many options to make the most of the time now—and probably ahead of us for a little bit longer.
What have you been doing that could be added to the list?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Peace of Wild Things

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

Monday, March 23, 2020

Psalm 23 ~ 'Translated' by Eugene Peterson

Psalm 23

GOD, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
The Message (MSG)Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Canterbury Cathedral offering live-stream daily services

Live Worship from Canterbury Cathedral

Live streaming of worship will take place at the following times:
Monday – Friday
Eucharist ~ 8am EST
Evensong ~ 1:30 pm EST
Saturday – Sunday
Morning Prayer 5:30 am EST
Eucharist ~ 8am EST 
Evensong ~ 11:15. am EST

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Ryan Holiday's Recommended Reading Email ~ 22 March 2020

Ryan Holiday's Recommended Reading Email ~ 22 March 2020

Wow, a lot has happened in the six weeks since I sent this last email. Our busy, normal lives have been suddenly and irrevocably changed by a global pandemic. More directly, most of us are now trapped inside. What should we be doing in a time like this? Certainly, there are worse things than reading. We should be reading history that teaches us, we should be reading fiction that distracts us, we should be reading books that will give us skills and habits to help us recover. We should probably not read Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which I had, coincidentally, planned to re-read this month before it became dreadfully too close to real life.

Before I get into this month's recommendations, I have two things to bring your attention to: 

1) This piece I wrote about leadership during the plague in ancient Rome. When things get bad, good people have to stand up. That means all of us. The best way to reduce anxiety in times like this is to start thinking about what you can do for other people. 

2) My book The Obstacle is The Way is $1.99 on Amazon in the US and £1.89 in the UK. Now is a time of real adversity and I think the message of the book is more relevant than ever: We need to steady our nerves. Focus on the good we can create out of this situation. Embrace the obstacle life has thrown at us. And most of all, learn from what happened.

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Absolutely incredible book. I think I marked up nearly every page. The book is a study of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, FDR and Lyndon Johnson, and it is so clearly the culmination of a lifetime of research… and yet somehow not overwhelming or boring. Distillation at its best! I have read extensively on each of those figures and I got a ton out of it. Even stuff I already knew, I benefited from Goodwin's perspective. This is the perfect book to read right now.

Hillel: If Not Now, When? by Joesph Telushkin
I've been wanting to read a biography of Hillel for some time as he is the source of three of my favorite quotes. He famously said that the Torah could be summarized as "Love thy neighbor as thyself, all the rest is commentary." He said, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And being for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" And he was a formulator of the "Golden Rule," saying, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow." I thought this book was well done, considering the sparseness of the source material, and I took many, many notes on it.

Last month I read David McCullough's epic biography of Truman and found myself fascinated with the man. This biography is shorter but equally interesting because it tracks Truman and Eisenhower's parallel lives from obscure Midwest origins to the heights of power and influence. It shows the greatness of both men and the flaws of both men, and is written with Miller's brilliant eye for applicable lessons. His two other books, Lincoln's Virtues and President Lincoln, are all time-favorites, and I highly recommend everything he has written, including this book.

Most books about writing are not good and most of the people who try to teach writing have had little success with which to back up their theories. Palahniuk is one of the best novelists of our time and this book is quite good. I wish I had read it when I was writing Perennial Seller, as I would have used many of the stories. I am a fan of his novels Fight Club (very good) and Choke (also good). Thanks to James Altucher for the recommendation!

Last month I recommended another book from this series, How to Be A Leader by Plutarch (which again, I cannot praise highly enough). This book is essentially the opposite. It's a look at some of the worst emperors from history and how they failed. I am a big believer in learning from cautionary tales, and while of course many of the stories from ancient Rome are extreme, there is plenty to take note of here.

I also read Travels with Epicurus by Daniel Klein and How to Be an Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well by Catherine Wilson. I liked the former better than the latter, but both were good. For my son, I bought the complete eight-volume set of Great Men and Famous Women by Charles F. Horne, and we are slowly going through these miniature (inspiring) biographies of leaders from history. My dear friend Hristo gave me a copy of Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke, which I enjoyed as it combines two of my favorite topics (history and weird stories about humans and animals).

This month's email is sponsored by ButcherBox (which is timely if you're stuck at home, and running low on supplies). Their next shipment mails out 4/13 so if you want high quality, grass fed and antibiotic free meat without having to brave a trip to the store, you should order today. We are big fans of ButcherBox at my house—strongly recommend becoming a customer.
Also Magic Spoon Cereal. I am addicted to this stuff. It's basically the cereal you loved as a kid… but with none of the bad stuff. They ship directly, and I've heard nothing by rave reviews from the people I have told about it. Another good way to stock up without leaving the house. If you use the code RYANHOLIDAY, shipping is free.
Also, if you're looking to be a better reader—and now is a great time to invest in your reading habit—check out my Read to Lead Challenge. It will give you a new way of tackling the books I recommend here, along with enough book suggestions to last you through however long this quarantine lasts. We're discounting it right now for anyone who signs up in the next 48 hours. Just use code STAYHOME.

With that, I hope that you'll get around to reading whichever of these books catch your eye and that you'll learn as much as I did. Whether you buy them on Amazon today, or at an independent bookstore six months from now makes no difference to me. I just hope you read!

You're welcome to email me questions or raise issues for discussion. Better yet, if you know of a good book on a related topic, please pass it along. And as always, if one of these books comes to mean something to you, recommend it to someone else.

I promised myself a long time ago that if I saw a book that interested me I'd never let time or money or anything else prevent me from having it. This means that I treat reading with a certain amount of respect. All I ask, if you decide to email me back, is that you're not just thinking aloud.

Enjoy these books, treat your education like the job that it is, and let me know if you ever need anything.

All the best,


If this email was forwarded to you and you'd like to sign up, just click here or email me at ryan.holiday@gmail.com with "Reading Newsletter" in the subject line.