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Welcome to the WattsUP Book Collection. Below is a collection of books I read in the year 2018.  There is something that happened the 2nd half of the year: I ended up finishing around 2-3 books per week. Oh wait, I was really sick with this crazy skin circus and I was confined to a bed and a chair.

The first 5 books are my favorites for the year. Of course #1 will be #1 again in 2019 since Kate’s book will be released to the world in April 2019.

For this year, I wanted to make sure I was reading books from people with different backgrounds and experiences to expand my knowledge of the world. I will continue to do this in 2019. I would also like to read more fiction in 2019.

* For your information, all of the links are affiliate links, so that means if you use them I will earn a commission. This doesn’t affect the price you pay for the books.

Enjoy the list and please message me on IG, @mikejwatts, with a few of your favorite books from 2018.

Total books: 46 not including the 4 for the Medium Medium which I haven’t read all of them yet.  I have been using them for reference.

Cheers,
Mike Watts

Mike’s Top 5 Books of 2018

Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Busy Moms by Kate Northrup. The best book I have read in 2019 because it was written by my wife. This drops in 2019 so make sure you are ready for this book. It is power packed with guidance on saving time and how to use your energy to take over the world (ok, maybe just your day so your kids don’t drive you up a wall).

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. This book straight up cracked me open to start thinking about my life a bit differently. Towards the end of 2018, I have been diving in deep about discovering who I am in the world, and this book helped me do just that.

To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins. This was recommended by Adele on the gram and I LOVED reading this book. It’s about the author’s journey to ride a bike a long-ass way, plus did I mention Adele said to read it? The man and his journey to figure out who God is and discover what he is made of. I feel like that is me at the moment, which is why this was perfect timing.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I love hearing and reading anything by Ta-Nehisi. I learn so much each time I come across a piece of his work. This book is a letter he wrote to his son about what to expect as a black man living in America. This isn’t a book I am going to be writing to my daughters since I am a white dude who grew up in Indiana. Completely different experience, which is the exact reason I read this book. For us to create a healed planet, we have to learn from others’ experiences.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Short book but very powerful. The title pretty much says it all.

The Rest of the Books

The Third Door by Alex Banayan. I read this book because it was recommended by Cal Fussman, and I really enjoy his podcast. This book was about a young man’s desire to meet the world’s most successful people, and it became an obsession for him. He learned a lot in the process, and the book is well written and really flows.

Health Revelations from Heaven and Earth by Tommy Rosa & Stephen Sinatra. It is another book for me about connecting with the divine or the creator in the world. This was written by two men on an exploration together and I was glad to be along for the ride. During this process for me, it is helpful to read how other people are connecting with the divine and learning to be with themselves.  This is a huge lesson for myself about connecting with myself and learning about self awareness. I am uncovering aspects of myself I thought have been healed for a long time.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The title says it all. Short book but very powerful. I really enjoyed this book.

On the Other Side of Freedom by DeRay Mckesson. My experiences in this world are completely different than anything DeRay has gone through. This is his journey during Ferguson, Missouri’s stand for accountability over the killing of Michael Brown. I learned about corruption within police departments, the justice system not working for the people, and how the system is rigged against people of color. Fantastic book and I enjoyed this a lot.

The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents by Will Martin. Well with kids, it is a whole different ball game and we need a little support. This book is perfect for anyone who has kids as it contains little nuggets of wisdom to calm the mind down when things start going insane around the household.

 

The following books are by the same author who runs an organization called World Service Institute. In October 2018, I had two readings with him about what was going on in my life, and he informed me that I needed to get in touch with the divine/creator.  And during the time since those calls, that is exactly what I have been doing. I enjoyed reading his books on how he has helped the world through his teachings.

Being at One with the Divine by Robert Fritchie (This was my favorite out of the bunch.)

Accelerate Your Spiritual Healing by Robert Fritchie

Dynamic Realities and Divine Love Healing by Robert Fritchie

Divine Love Self Healing by Robert Fritchie

 

This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins. Reading about what it is like to be a black woman living in America has opened my eyes to a world of education. I believe I read about 20 pages on the proper care of a black woman’s hair and what she goes through to get ready. Considering I am bald, I had no idea. The best thing I have done this year is read about other people who are completely different from me.

I Don’t Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real. Men, we have some work to do in this world.  Overall, it has been an easy journey for us since we built the system and have thrived from it. Well, it is time for change within the system. This book is fantastic about how to deal with the depression that many of us experience. I read this and realized I have been living with a mild case of depression for quite awhile. I am glad to figure this out, so I can heal it and move on.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. First off, a fantastic writer and this book flowed. I enjoyed the entire journey of a man living very poor then leaving the nest and creating a career for himself. I read this and felt much more grateful for my parents always being there in my life when I needed them. There wasn’t anything too crazy that took place on the homefront, but for J.D. it was a different story. Highly enjoyable read. A great lesson in being present and being grateful for what you have in front of you.

Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister. In January 2017, the world changed forever. No, it wasn’t the election of Trump (well, kind of), it was the women’s marches that took place all over this planet. This book expands on the anger and frustration that exploded across industries throughout the globe. This planet is going to be better off as women are moving into more powerful roles. It is our job as men to support this transition and make sure we are implementing the changes in our organizations.

Purpose by Jessica Huie. We had a great discussion over on the gram, when I asked everyone, ‘What is your purpose?” So what is your purpose?

To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins. This was recommended by Adele on the gram and I LOVED reading this book. It’s about the author’s journey to ride a bike a long ass way, plus did I mention Adele said to read it? The man and his journey to figure out who God is and discover what he is made of. I feel like that is me at the moment, which is why this was perfect timing.

Black Privilege by Charlamagne Tha God. Telling the truth is always worth it no matter who you might piss off. I have Charlamagne at bunch on The Breakfast Club via videos on Youtube. I love how direct he is with people and doesn’t hide his feelings. His story was about growing up in South Carolina and his dedication to becoming a better person. He also dedicated himself to his craft of radio, which has allowed him to experience tremendous success. This book is hilarious.

The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker. In about 20 years, we will look back on what we have done to our food industry and realized we are completely messing things up. The flavoring industry is a billion-dollar industry, and it is keeping people addicted to the food that isn’t good for them. This book talks all about it. I read 60% of it – it was a lot of research and frankly I didn’t care that much about the research. I got the point and that is what I was going for while reading it.

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by William P. Young. My buddy Ben recommended this book to me while we were out having lunch together. We were discussing my skin journey that I have been on recently, and he said I might enjoy reading this book. I crushed this book in about four days – I was obsessed and couldn’t put it down. The way this book is written is super easy to dive in. Also the connection with God, Spirit, and Jesus was the main reason I found it interesting. This is something I lost a long time ago, so learning about others’ experiences is helping me reconnect with myself.

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joey & John Robbins. I started this book about a year before I finished it. It is very confronting, and I wasn’t able to read it because I wasn’t ready for it. This is another book about how we are treating our food and it is completely wrong. The factory farming industry is horrible, and the way we treat the meat that we put in our bodies is a main reason we live in a society of complete sickness.

Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters by Melanie Joy & Kathy Freston. I read this book pretty quickly after the previous book and it is about how we can all get along. Instead of judging how others decide to eat, it might be helpful to listen every once in awhile. There are a lot of similarities between this book and a diversity class I took earlier this year.

Constructing the CrossFit Games by Dave Castro.  If you love CrossFit, then this book is for you.  I have become obsessed with the sport, not going to lie. I mean I built a gym in my garage to work out at home. Dave is the one who programs the games, and this was his journey about creating the games in 2017. It was cool to see his mindset when it came to creating the workouts and the results when they were over. It got me thinking about documenting my journey, not sure about what.

The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines. Seriously, who doesn’t love these two? This was their wacky story about ending up on TV with their own show. Kate and I love Chip and Jo so much, we have seen every episode of Fixer Upper. It was our routine for 5 seasons to sit down and watch an episode. then dream about fixing up and selling homes. Nothing too serious but a great read.

The Power of Possible by Valerie Groth. Val and I went to high school together, and we have kept in touch over the years. I have watched her fulfill her dream this year by opening a charter school in the name of one of her kids, who was shot and killed when she was working at his school. Her book is a story of learning about school systems, which are much different from when we grew up, and how the system works against kids in most of the country. The Ryan Banks Academy is the school Val went on to create and it became a reality in 2018.  Pretty amazing story.

Speal by Chris Spealer. Another book about CrossFit and Spealer is an OG in this sport. He has created so much success for himself in this sport, and I enjoyed reading about his start and how he went out when he wanted to leave. He also talked about his connection with God and how that relationship has developed him into the man he is today. He is one of the smaller guys in CrossFit, but his work ethic is what made him very successful in the sport.

 

The Medical Medium Series

This series of books, at this point in time, has changed the game in terms of my skin and health journey this year. I have been struggling for most of 2018, and I read The Liver Rescue, then completed the Liver Cleanse. My skin and energy have really taken a turn for the better. These books are more for my reference than anything else. I haven’t read each one from cover to cover; I come to them when I need them. I read about a chapter or so a day from each one to improve my connection with food, my mind, and body. I started with the opt-ins on Anthony’s website, and it was the first time I really felt hopeful during this journey I have been on.

Liver Rescue by Anthony William

Life Changing Foods by Anthony William

Thyroid Healing by Anthony William

Medical Medium by Anthony William

 

Perennial Seller: The Art and Making of Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday. This is exactly how Kate and I think about our work when we are putting it out into the world. We have always thought about creating something that will last for 30+years. Business isn’t about creating the flash-in-the-pan thing that will make a quick buck here and there. This book dives deep into examples where people have done it. Truthfully, most of the examples are about white men who have had success in their career so if you want a different flavor, then this book isn’t for you.

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan. Oh, the book that is taking over the conversation about psychedelics. Here is something I have learned since I started our nutrition business in 2009, big pharma isn’t in the world to help us heal. They are in the sickness business and there are other ways to help us heal. Most insurance plans don’t cover them but they work, and it is up to us to look outside the box. That is exactly what this book is about, looking outside the box at how we are able to grow and heal ourselves. I don’t have an issue with psychedelics. I used them in college irresponsibly, but I know the benefits of them.

Dark Money by Jane Mayer. I love reading about the dark side of things, and that is what this book is about – the money that has been plugged into the political system that has guided us in a negative direction. Also Jane covers how a few billionaires are really guiding the conversation about what to do in this country. This is a dangerous game to be playing with society to have a very few influence the majority. The best thing we can do is become aware of the reality and work to change the influence in our circles.

The Heart to Start by David Kadavy. You are meant to create art, and it is up to you to get started. This book is a great kick in the pants to get the ball rolling and focus on creating the work that you are meant to create.

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. This book is the story of the CIA & FBI having turf wars and missing the evidence of men wanting to do harm to the American public, which led to 9/11. It is quite sad to realize this could have been prevented, but we sometimes are led to do things at work we know aren’t right for the betterment of ourselves. This was also a show on Amazon Prime with Jeff Daniels, and it was fantastic. I watched the show, then I decided to read the book to learn more.

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict & Armen Keteyian. I did a podcast on this book called The Man Who Had Everything But Really Had Nothing. Tiger was on top of the world, but he was one of the unhappiest people in the world. He had crazy addictions, which led to ruining his life. He has picked himself back up and put the pieces back together. He is having success on the golf course again, which is great to see. It is also a story of one of those rare people in the world with insane talent. There is no denying the talent of this man and what he accomplished in a very short period of time will never be duplicated.

The State of Affairs by Esther Perel. Just when you think your relationship is crazy, then you read how other people operate, and holy smokes. People are really out to lunch with their views and relationships. It makes me have compassion for other people’s situations and think about their home life. Also I start thinking about their upbringing and everything they have been through in their lives. I highly recommend this book to realize that your relationship is awesome.

A Generation of Sociopaths by Bruce Gibney.  I have actually been talking about this for a couple of years with some close friends – the differences between the baby boomers and the millenials. There is so much talk about how the millennials are lazy and not prepared for this world. If you look at the current situation, we are not in good shape across a number of industries. This book highlights a lot of these issues and what we can do to fix them. I really enjoyed this book, plus I am an millennial. 🙂

American Made: Who Killed Bobby Seal by Shaun Attwood. This is a movie with Tom Cruise, which is outstanding. I have watched it 3 times and love it so much. I actually love drug smuggling movies since this was a former career of mine for 5 years in college. I also envisioned having a huge drug business, but I am glad I let that dream die. I watched the movie then I read the book to learn more about the back story how the government has been in the drug smuggling business.

Pablo Escobar: Beyond Narcos by Shaun Attwood. I have read so much about Pablo Escobar and how he built his business. Horrible person but built a huge drug empire. I love learning the ins and outs about how they thought and what they did to influence their power. So much corruption, but it makes for a good story and enjoyable show watching. I have seen all of the episodes of Narcos and I’m getting ready to watch season 3. If you enjoy drug adventures this this book is for you.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  I love hearing and reading anything by Ta-Nehisi. I learn so much each time I come across a piece of his work. This book is a letter he wrote to his son about what to expect as a black man living in America. This isn’t a book I am going to be writing to my daughters since I am a white dude who grew up in Indiana. Completely different experience, which is the exact reason I read this book. For us to create a healed planet, we have to learn from others’ experiences.

The Power by Naomi Alderman. To be honest, this was a challenging book for me to get into, and I am not sure why. I was pretty confused about what was happening from the beginning of the book, but I did enjoy it. It was about the power that women have but need some help from other women to tap into it. It is perfect for what is happening right now in this world. The women are creating the opportunities they want to see for themselves and since the system has been working against them, they are creating a new system. I have witnessed the power of women for years now since and before I have been with Kate. I guess this book was one of Obama’s favorite reads in 2017, and I can see why.

Little Waves: A Tiny Memoir by Kate Pelletier. Talk about a tiny book that packs a punch. This book is only 17 pages long, but you have some homework to do throughout the book. Kate has had her own health challenges over the years like I have experienced this year. This book creates the framework to think about my experience and journal about it. I highly recommend this book if you need a framework to process something in your life.

The Millionaire Booklet by Grant Cardone. This is a book that is 44 pages long, and I don’t remember how I ended up with it in my possession. I have followed Grant for about 5 years, and this man is pretty intense and also very good at what he does. This book is straight and to the point: you can be rich, as rich as you want to be, and it is up to you to get out of your own way.  Step 4 of this formula is to ask, “Who’s Got My Money?” I love this and this is something I used to do a lot when I was cold calling. It reminds me to put in a little extra hustle.

The Millionaire Morning by Lewis Howes. If you need help getting yourself organized in the morning or frankly any time throughout the day, then I would pick up this book. It is 40 pages long, and I am pretty sure he saw the example from Grant Cardone when Grant was on his podcast and created this booklet. It is a power punch of information assisting you to get organized. I have a hard time at this point reading books to help get my morning started for two reasons: 1. I have been sick. 2. With kids, everything changes, at least it did for me.

My day starts when the kids are out of the house at daycare – that is when Mike time begins.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. This is written by a woman who was named a more neutral name by her parents so that companies would think she was a white man. This is a book that describes what it is like to be a black woman operating in a world built for white people. While I was reading this book, I started learning how to put myself in other people’s shoes to experience the world they are walking in on a daily basis. There was a quote she included that was said by a white woman after visiting a lynching memorial, “Doing nothing is no longer an option for me.”  This is true; after your eyes are opened, it is really hard to close them again.

Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff by Chip Gaines. I have a been a huge fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines on the show, Fixer Upper.  I enjoyed reading this book since his story resonated with me about using your hands to build something that you truly enjoy. Over the past few weeks though, we have learned about the church they attend and conversion therapy.  Chip gave a response but it was pretty vague so over the past couple of weeks, I have been really questioning whether or not I am able to support them.  I clearly don’t support conversion therapy and if this was me, I would come out and say I don’t agree with this pastor at the church.

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing World by Adrienne Maree Brown.  I read this in paperback and it doesn’t take that long to read. We recently had Adrienne on our podcast, The Kate & Mike Show, and the interview was fabulous. I really enjoyed the conversation and talk about doing business differently.  The way Adrienne, incorporates nature with business is something I have never read about previously. It was such a great way to view business that is something I will be taking with me as I continue to grow and expand my knowledge in the world.  I highly recommend this book.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. I listened to this book on Audible and I also read it since we have a copy at the house. I canceled my Audible account a while ago and realized I have all of these books to listen to. This book had quite a bit of theory, which is great too, but the main takeaway is the benefit of focusing on deep work. By eliminating all of the distractions, we will get more done in a shorter period of time.

Optimism Over Despair on Capitalism, Empire, and Social Change by Noam Chomsky. This book is very confusing for someone like me who doesn’t really know what is going on around the world. Wow, it was so good, though. It is great to read a book from an expert who knows what is going on and is able to explain it in somewhat of a manner for beginners to comprehend. I enjoy listening to Noam on videos about the state of the world and how we are all going to try and survive the craziness. This was the last book of 2018 for me, and I am glad it ended my year. It gives me a bit of hope after this crazy year here in the United States.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to review my reading list for 2018. Please send me a message on IG, @mikejwatts, for further book recommendations or if you have any questions for me.