Welcome to the WattsUP Book Collection. Below is a collection of books I’ve read so far in 2019.
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Enjoy the list and please message me on IG, @mikejwatts, with a few of your favorite books from 2019.
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 Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Once again, another gem by Mr. Coates. Perspective, perspective, perspective– we all could use a bit more in our lives, and this book creates this for me. He is such a great writer and I realized how sheltered I have been in my life compared to other people. This is something I will carry with me as a father to make sure my daughters have other experiences besides our bubble here in Maine.
The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabary. This, hands down, will be one of the most important books I read in 2019. Learning about parenting and how it is never about the kids and is really about me and my issues. When I am upset at Penelope, it is about me wanting control over something I am unable to get. That is pretty much my takeaway from this book. There is one thing I have learned since I have been sick– I need to have a different relationship with myself when it comes to my kids. This book is the answer to guiding me in that direction.
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis. I listened to this book via Audible. Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of it and found it much different than his other books. I am a huge Michael Lewis fan but I didn’t really connect with this one. A good story in there, though, about partnership, and I finished the book to learn what I can bring to the table in the business partnership between Kate and myself.
Feeding You Lies: How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health by Vani Hari. The corruption in the food industry is something I have known about for a number of years now, but this book blows it wide open. I highly recommend this book to learn about how these large food companies and the government have worked together to take advantage of citizens. This is a sad story and people are dying every single day, not understanding what has happened or why. The corruption is deep and I don’t know when it will change. The one thing I do know: It is up to you and me to make changes on the home front. The food choices we make every single day will help bring about the necessary changes.
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. Audiobook is the only way to listen to this book; there is no better way. So if you don’t have an Audible account, it is worth it for one month to listen to Trevor tell his story. Frankly, this book is so eye-opening about what it was like to grow up during apartheid in South Africa. There isn’t much more to say about this book besides: LISTEN TO IT.
Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife by Cheryl Richardson. Huge fan of Cheryl, and this is such a good book about going through a life change. She lived a large part of her life on the road, speaking and touring. This book explains the process she went through while her body was telling her to stop traveling, but it took a bit to get her mind on the same page. This book reads like a journal since it actually is her journal. If you enjoy getting a glimpse into someone’s mind, then this book is for you.
Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu. Okay, wow this is one powerful book, and I highly recommend reading this book if you interact with people. Seriously, it is that good. Also it allowed me to realize that Kate and I have a good thing going on. We still have things to work out, but we are doing a great job at navigating the waters of life. We come into the world with baggage left over from our parents, and we have to figure out how to create a new life/role in our partnerships. What worked for our parents isn’t going work for us. The sooner we realize this, the better our life will be.
Pussy: A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer. Pleasure, Pleasure, Pleasure. It has been sucked out of us in pretty much everything we have ever done. We have to work extremely hard to bring this back into our life. I am realizing that if I’m doing something that doesn’t bring me pleasure, I need to stop doing it. This is a great book for men to read– it is written for women, which can help men understand the intense pressure women are living with. If you need more pleasure, then this book is for you.
Red Key Revolution: Redefining Success for a Life of Significance by Jordan Kemper. I am a huge fan of Jordan, who I have known for the past 7 years or so from our work with USANA. (This was my first business that I started in 2009.) My honest opinion of this book is that it is a little weird. I am all about being open, but this book is about his virginity and the red key he gave to his wife Kristen letting her know he saved himself for her. Some things are better left kept between a couple. I don’t know, that is just my honest thought after reading it. But on the other hand, people can do whatever they desire, so go for it. I hope the book helps countless people around the world.
After I attended the Tony Robbins event, we shouldn’t strive for significance since that is reaching for approval from others. In the book, Jordan talks about how we should strive for significance so I am confused.
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz. There is no way around just stating the facts: This book is going to change the way we have been running our company and our business. This book is completely data-driven and forces you to go deep into your finances to make sure things are cleared up. When you are running a business, money comes in and money goes out. The goal is to keep more money in, and this book will help with that.
Driven: The Never-Give-Up Roadmap to Massive Success by Manny Khoshbin. This book is a fantastic story about a man who moved to the United States with nothing and built a multi-million dollar real estate empire. Also the part I find most fascinating about this man is his insane car collection. I mean look at his IG account. He is a lover of cars, that is for sure. His book is a great piece of motivation if you need a swift kick in the pants.
The Entrepreneurial Personality Type by Alex Charfen. This book made my heart flutter since it addresses all of the crazy feelings we go through as entrepreneurs. It is a wild roller coaster ride that I never seem to get off as I am running and building a business. This was the book that made me feel at home, and I am grateful for the experience to find something that fits my personality. If you run your own business, then this book is for you.
Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys by Jawanza Kunjufu. Wow, if the title didn’t catch you, then I don’t know what would. This book dives deep into the research of the damage being caused to black boys in their societies. A critical time in the lives of these boys happens around 4th grade, determining how they will be treated and raised over the next decades. This was a challenging book to dive into because I am uncovering a reality that I have never experienced in my life. This is a highly recommended book.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön. For getting a little bit of guidance and peace in your life, this might be the book for you. A few helpful tips on how to be a bit more present in our lives. We could all use a bit more of this one if you ask me. Actually, I don’t have any advice on what you do with your life– you do you– but if you want to do a little more of you, then this is a good read.
Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing by Paul Jarvis. This is being read at the perfect time since we are changing our entire company at the moment. We are currently changing our system to simplify things, which will allow for smooth running of our personal schedules and business operations. Things became very bloated over the course of the past few years. It didn’t help my skin blew up in 2018 and I had to take off 9 months, then come back and rebuild everything. If you run a company, this book is for you. Getting clarity on the company you want to run is by far the most important thing you can do.
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit. I am confused, honestly. I am not sure why this book was so challenging for me to read. (Maybe since I was reading it at night, maybe since I have read too many books lately on how to improve myself as a man.) This book is a compilation of the author’s writings over the years. I believe she has 12 books, so I will dive into another in the future.
The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World’s Most Beloved Neighbor by Amy Hollingsworth. Not a fan of this book. I went into it with great excitement to read more about Mr. Rogers, but– and I guess it was this woman’s writing– it wasn’t really for me. It was cool to learn a bit more about Mr. Rogers. (My mom was born in the same town as him– fun fact.) I love how people who are religious love to talk about it like it is the end-all be-all…maybe that is the reason I didn’t like this book.
The Great Pain Deception: Faulty Medical Advice Is Making Us Worse by Steven Ray Ozanich. If you have something going on with your back or any medical condition, I would highly recommend reading this book. It is a great reminder that we have all of the answers inside of us and we don’t need anyone else to fix us. We are a gift and our being here is the secret to long-term happiness and success. This really builds off what I was going through last year in regards to my skin journey.
April & beyond
OPEN: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi. Good lord, I loved this book. I love hearing everything Andre went through while he established so much success on the tennis court. I remember watching him as a kid, but I had no idea how dominant he was. (I loved the hair, though.) If you enjoy reading about someone creating success out of a crazy life then this is a book for you. Also his dad was nuts.
Millionaire Success Habits: The Gateway to Wealth & Prosperity by Dean Graziosi. Honestly, I liked seeing Dean speak more than I enjoyed reading this book. It isn’t really anything new from things I have learned before. I mean, it’s beneficial but it really wasn’t my cup of tea at the moment. Not saying there isn’t anything valuable for you in the book, but I really wasn’t in the mood while I was reading it.
Love Warrior: A Memoir by Gennon Doyle Melton. Wow, what a great story about finding yourself and bringing your full self to the world. I loved how her sister was always by her side, and when the time was right for her to step up she did just that. This book I flew through. It was such a great read and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a good pick-me-up.
The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income is Our Future by Andrew Yang. Kate’s book, Do Less, was beating Yang’s book for a few weeks on Amazon’s chart, which was awesome to see. I loved how someone actually makes sense who is running for president. He might not have any political experience but he is a freaking human being. I called it a long time ago: Yang is going to be beat Trump in the next election. His strategy is amazing and he knows what he is doing. He knows how to interact and get along with the people.
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss. A book loaded with nuggets and valuable insights. I didn’t read the entire thing since every page I read, I thought I needed to implement some new strategy in my life. But overall, everything Tim does is amazing. It is really thought-out. This is a reference to his podcast and a summary of the nuggets all of his guests have delivered on the podcast.
On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard by Jennifer Pastiloff. Jen is a one-of-a-kind human who was a delight to have on the podcast, and it was a delight to read her book. After being a server for 14 years, she made a human life change and created a beautiful yoga teaching experience. It is a great book on learning that life is long, and listening to oneself is a great idea. Slowly gaining experience and being in the world to shine your light– this is what Jen does, and I am grateful to have read her book. I highly recommend it.
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek. If you have no idea why your team isn’t successful, then this book is for you. Simon does a crazy amount of research and this thing is filled with golden nuggets on how to create a more successful organization. I was actually quite surprised to learn so much from this book. For creating a culture that lasts, this book is a golden resource.
#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line by David Hogg & Lauren Hogg. Have you been in school and someone shot it up? Well, it is becoming far too common during the past two decades. David and Lauren shared their experience of going through this during the Parkland shooting. It is crazy this is happening and no one is doing anything about it besides these high school students. The world is a crazy-ass place, and we are humans trying to survive in the craziness. This book is great for understanding what it was like in the school and how screwed up our school system is becoming.
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt. I have heard about Bill before and he had a huge influence on the people he worked with. Honestly, I think taking the time to listen to these people he worked with is one of the main reasons he became successful. He dedicated his time to helping people get better, and it really worked for people to get that one-on-one coaching. There wasn’t anything mind-blowing in this book, but I haven’t helped companies become trillionaires. Well, not yet, at least.
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.