Things I Like


From books to websites, the following recommendations are some of the things that I like because they have changed my thinking, and therefore changed my health and life. The books range in topics, but are all thought-provoking reads that I also found enjoyable.


 Influential Books – Recommendations

(Click on the images for more info)




by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Antifragile is the ultimate manual for turning those “negative” occurrences in life into positive ones that allow us to grow stronger. From health to our careers, Antifragile is a compelling read that will make the reader question many aspects of modern society that are considered commonplace. There are so many reasons to like this book, from his unapologetic writing style to the underlying theme that stoically promoted turning negatives into positives.




Finite and Infinite Games

Finite and Infinite Games

by James P. Carse


In his masterpiece, James Carse unswervingly explains why we need to strive for infinite games in our lives and ignore the finite games that harm our health and happiness. The chapters are short and sweet but full of thought-provoking writing.





Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin: An American Life

by Walter Isaacson


Franklin was one of our country’s most creative and ingenious founders. While any book telling his story should be a good read, this one seems to be the best. It imparts many daily “hacks” for the reader that are still applicable today.





The Paradox of ChoiceThe Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less

by Barry Schwartz


In a society that bombards us with too much choice, Barry Schwartz provides countless studies reminding us that being happy with our choices may leave us happier overall. A must read for everyone.





Triumphs of ExperienceTriumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study

by George E. Valliant


Dr. Valliant’s “report” on the 268 Harvard students that were followed until age 91. Some are still being followed, but this study may be the most important study of life, health, and happiness ever performed. What’s not to like about an entertaining book on the largest study on happiness?





The Dream of ReasonThe Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance

by Anthony Gottlieb


While the times have changed greatly, the basic questions that philosophers have been asking for thousands of years have not. This book is an interesting whirlwind tour through the greatest philosophers, giving the reader a taste of many of the different schools from Aristotle and beyond.






by Marcus Aurelius


As one of the most well-known Stoic philosophers, Marcus Aurelius’ tour de force provides the reader with innumerable thought-provoking examples of how to approach life and the hardships it can often provide. It was the diary and lessons of one of the world’s greatest rulers at our fingertips.




war of artThe War of Art

by Steven Pressfield


Short and sweet and a quick read. A wakeup call to accept our challenges in life and be our best. A reminder to ignore the hierarchy in life set up by modern society and instead excel in our own territory to provide humanity our biggest gifts.






Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson: A Life

by William Sterne Randall


Much like Franklin, it is hard to make Jefferson’s life sound anything but exceptional. His educational process through childhood and beyond is perhaps most interesting. The master inventor and tinkerer, this book made me thoroughly evaluate my learning techniques and the application of science and philosophy in my daily life.




26349 Pan_Shanataram_cov.inddShantaram: A Novel

by Gregory David Roberts


A great read of an epic journey. I am still not sure how much of this book is fiction or true, but it has love, war, the Calcutta slums, and is hard to put down. A very thought-provoking read that is one of the best books I have ever read.





Low Carbohydrate LivingThe Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living

by Drs. Jeff S. Volek and Stephen S. Phinney


One of the first books to relay the science behind the benefits of lowering carbohydrates within the diet. Drs. Volek and Phinney provide an interesting read backed by much credible science with many studies referenced. An excellent primer for anyone interested in health and nutrition.






Good Calories Bad CaloriesGood Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health

by Gary Taubes


Taubes’ original mammoth book questions the current state of affairs when it comes to diet and nutrition. This must-read book provides a great narrative to how we ended up with the food pyramid and epic levels of obesity in the U.S.





Happy AccidentsHappy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs

by Morton A. Meyers, M.D.


Dr. Meyers takes us though a rapid and eye-opening tour of the history of modern medicine. This book will make the strongest advocate question the current state of medical research and the push against creative thinking and problem solving.





Andrew CarnegieAndrew Carnegie

by David Nasaw


I am a little biased on this one as I am born and raised in Pittsburgh, but this very long read (896 pages!). While Carnegie had his issues, reading about a man as successful in business and later writing was a fascinating read that stimulates much thought towards approaching life and success.





John AdamsJohn Adams

by David McCullough


Adams was cantankerous, but intelligent, and knew when he needed help from his main advisor, his wife. A great read by Pittsburgh native David McCullough that highlights Adams’ journal through life. A very motivational read as well.





Power, Sex, SuicidePower, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life

by Nick Lane


Nick Lane provides excellent writing and excellent science, but it is definitely an in-depth read and not for the faint-hearted.