Twenty Books for 2019

Now that January is out of the way, we can forget everyone’s New Year’s resolutions, and talk straight up about 20 books you should read in 2019.

Why 20, and in 11 months?  Because I wrote it, that’s why!  And these are not books all published in 2018 or 2019.  They are books I’ve either read recently, or in the past few years.  They are in no particular order, and cover a litany of topics.  Enjoy!

  1. The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Why read it?  Rubin writes about personality in this title, and centers around behavioral psychology in a way that is not normally discussed: the patterns that people place themselves in, when they are not focused on what they’re doing.

It’s important to understand this, because you learn more about people in their actions and behaviors in five minutes, then you could reviewing what they said over 30 years.  Behavioral psychology is too important of a topic to skip over, especially for men ages 20 – 40.

2. The Only Thing Worth Dying For by Eric Blehm

Eric Blehm writes about people who serve our nation.  And he does so with a poet’s wit, and novelist’s dedication.  This title put him on the map, but is so gut-wrenching, you’ll walk away truly learning something about what it’s like to be in armed services, and the true meaning of sacrifice.

3. Personality Plus by Florence Littauer

Another book that focuses on personality, and applies it to interaction with others, Littauer writes to help make sense of our most personal relationships, and how they succeed and fail through our own misgivings, be it through the actions of others, or how we interpret and react to them.

4. Dopesick by Beth Macy

Macy wrote Factory Man, one of the most detailed accounts of big industry in America, and how it is getting swallowed by large foreign interests.  Now Macy takes on the opioid epidemic in America, which is becoming a popular topic for many to create content about. But instead of starting in the middle, Macy goes back to the beginning of the problem, as it manifested through the prescription pads of uber-capitalist doctors in Florida, invading the already delicate landscapes of Appalachia and the Upper Great Plains, until it visited every corner of the US.

5. Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Dr. Frankl’s classic on mankind, and how to truly derive happiness is still as relevant today as it was in 1959.  Rather than search for happiness, Frankl draws the conclusion that for anyone to be happy, they must pursue that which they find to be meaningful.

6. Equal is Unfair by Don Watkins & Yaron Brook

While it’s all the rage to discuss communist economics to the point of causing nausea in the room, Watkins and Brook provide an argument that cuts through the supposed “analysis” done by left-wing media, as it pertains to income inequality, while also pointing out the reality to income statistics.  Even if you’re pro-income equality, you’ll want to read this, because like it or not, these two libertarians have torn down the foundation and framework that made up your viewpoint.

7. Why Nations Go To War by John Stoessinger

Stoessinger’s classic on foreign policy, international diplomacy, and the pressures of managing people and complex resources is still a valid read today, and likely will be into the next century.

8. Buffettology by Mary Buffett

Buffett’s first book on her Ex-Father-in-Law, Warren Buffett, is considered one of the bible’s in the matters of investment.  Not only does it form a playbook for budding investor’s to work from, it also serves as an insider’s guide to how Warren plays the game.

9. Our Lost Constitution by Senator Mike Lee

Senator Lee is a prolific writer on the topic of the nation’s founding, and in particular on the document that formed it.  In this book, Lee ensures that readers understand six of The Constitution’s provisions, the history behind them, why certain words were used, and then explains example after example of people we’ve had in various offices of government over the years who have gone out of their way to circumvent these provisions, without our permission.

10. Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert

Hoffert’s memoir on the topic of her return to rural North Dakota (which is the vast majority of North Dakota), is an interesting take on what it means to be in a rural communities.  Consider the definition of the word isolation prior to reading.

11. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven & David Borgenicht

A MUST read for any man, Worst-Case is a book of knowledge describing how to survive the world’s worst circumstances.  From fighting an alligator, to identifying a bomb, to surviving when your parachute doesn’t open, this book is a bible of survival knowledge.

12. Men Without Work by Nicholas Eberstadt

Eberstadt has ripped open the gate on information that is not being made public; that working men are becoming extinct.  In a world with lower than low unemployment rates, and a plethora of technical jobs standing wide open for the taking, it’s hard to believe that men are the growing trend in unemployment – and are not re-entering the workforce at any point in time.  Eberstadt explains that between corporate policies, federal regulation, and even tax incentives, we are harming ourselves at great decibel, because we are pretending there isn’t a problem concerning unemployed men.

13. The Keys by DJ Khaled

Sometimes you just need a book that makes no sense to your repertoire.  To keep things fresh, moving, to jolt something out of your mind and into reality – this is that book.

14. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This is the book that landed her the Netflix series.  I recommend nearly everything Kondo says – except for the limits on books.

15. It Happened in Seattle by Steve Pomper

A quick and dirty history book about Seattle.  It’s less than 100 pages.  Some of the history doesn’t jump off the pages, but it’s a great read nonetheless.

16. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Graham is considered the ‘Oracle of Wall Street’ and this book proves why.  This is the source on value investing.

17. Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Living by a code, positive habits, and morals is the only way for men to operate in this life.  Why not study the ways of the Samurai to assist in building that code?

18. Mind Gym by Gary Mack & David Casstevens

Even if you’re not an athlete, there is nothing wrong with learning aspects of their routines, and placing them in your life.  Mind Gym gives you a foundation of meditation, focused on your own personal accomplishment.

19. The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. William Danko & Dr. Thomas Stanley

If you have not read this yet, you definitely need to in 2019.  The doctors explain in 200-plus pages that millionaires are all around us, and they do not present in the way you think they should.

20. Boomtown USA by Jack Schultz

Schultz wrote this book in the early 2000’s as a trade primer for small cities that were left behind in the tech boom, when young people left in droves, and so did work.

With large cities now over-saturated, and largely out of touch with the reality they have created, revisiting Schultz’ analysis, and perhaps influencing a new generation of entrepreneurs, who thanks to modern internet technology, can relocate anywhere, might be the book you need to take on your next adventure.

Happy Reading!

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Published by Matthew Ballantyne

I'm Matthew, and I write. I've worked hard in my career, and it's granted me a lot of access to the true character in people, which I now use to create stories for you.

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