Disclaimer: This was my third or fourth post ever for my blog. I find it funny because it has nothing to really do about finances. BUT…. all three books are worth a read. One for entertainment, one for positivity, and one for becoming a better man/husband/dad etc! Feel free to check it out, its almost archaic at this point!

Book Reviews

This summer I read lots of books, at one point three books in three weeks, and I felt sharing about each would be a good idea. The three most worthy of sharing were The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, and Play the Man by Mark Batterson. Each had a completely different style, message and I took a lot out of each. Here is what I took out of each book, I highly recommend reading all three. If you do not want to read all three, read below and choose one! Each were very simple reads that kept you engaged throughout.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of A Family and Culture in Crisis. By J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy


I could not put this book down. I read it in less than 7 days and if it wasn’t for a leadership trip I would have had it done in 3 or 4 I think. It was recommended by a coworker who has been proofreading a similar style book I am actually working on. She recommended that I check out this style of autobiography. J.D. Vance is a first time author who absolutely nailed it. Going to school in West Virginia I have seen first hand the culture of Appalachian people. I once read a Malcolm Gladwell book – Outliers, that talked about the roots of Appalachian people being traced back to Scottish/Irish herders and their family loyalty. My family is so similar. As the steel and coal industries hollow out leaving blue collar towns to drugs and disarray, Vance parallel’s his upbringing and some of the social crisis of America today.  In the introduction alone you are hooked by the short story about a 19 year old with a good job, a pregnant girlfriend, and the inability to show up for work. When the guy did show up for work he would take 3-4 45 minute breaks a day eventually leading to his dismissal, to later blame the owner for “firing him with a pregnant girlfriend at home.” Vance discusses the current state of the economy in the rust belt, the brain drain, and the effect of childhood traumatic events. If you do not like reading (start anyways) this is going to soon be a motion picture directed by Ron Howard.

The Power of Positive Leadership. By Jon Gordon

The Power of Positive Leadership


A significant person in my life recommended I read this when they were about 20 pages in. So I went to the Amazon link above and had the book in hand within a day. Jon Gordon does a phenomenal job of infusing stories of coaches, business leaders, and successful individuals he has worked with from Dabo Swinney, football coach of Clemson to Alan Mulally former Ford CEO. Gordon talks about how each of the leaders he has worked with uses positive leadership over all else to impact their organizations. I personally enjoyed all the sport references and a chapter that discussed thinking like a rookie, a short blurb about how rookies in business industries often out perform veterans just because of their excitement. A very simple read, whether you are an educator, business leader, or just want to improve yourself, I highly recommend getting this book!

Play the Man: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be. By Mark Batterson

Play The Man


To be honest I had tried reading two other Mark Batterson books and I had difficulty finishing them. Not because I think the books were not good, just at the time of my life I was not ready for those particular books. This book was spot on. I read it in one week. Being a male is a matter of birth, but being a man is a matter of choice. Whether you share a spiritual root or not this book is awesome. I think more men could benefit from the lessons. If you are a lady reading this get this book for your man. Each chapter starts with a short history lesson about historical figures who accomplished some incredible feats of manhood. The message of each chapter is really simple to follow and topics like how to treat others, your wife, your kids, and how to just set the right example day in a day out were easily grasped. With an emphasis on family and happiness this book fell right in line with the vision Lauren and I share – happiness is in quality time and not material matter. I realized with one life to live it was time to pour into others outside of my teaching career and make sure I grow daily so I can set the example for my future son’s ( I am speaking boys, Jack and Kam are currently the names I am speaking).

 Like I said in the time saving post, you can read a book a month just by taking bathroom time and reading.

Your future self will be glad you read (these books)


Ok enough on the book stuff, take me to a financial post: Read about the HELOC Acceleration Process !! (Warning it is deep)


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