November Book Recommendations

I finished six books in November, three fiction and three non-fiction. I would recommend all of them but two are books in the middle of the series. Here are a few thoughts on each.


David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Battling Giants: 8.5/10 rating

Once again, Malcolm Gladwell fails to disappoint. The book has a fascinating opening as Gladwell shows a convincing argument on why the battle of David and Goliath should be viewed differently than tradition tells us: David was the safe betting money. In this book, Gladwell uses 10 stories (one chapter for each) to show why the Davids of the world often have the advantage over the Goliaths. He talks about second and third-order consequences of the decisions the presumptive favorites make and how they can help the underdog. Like all his books, Gladwell causes you to pause and think. He looks at various angles to stories that others may not think of. Strongly recommend.

Fight Club: 8/10 rating

Fascinating and quick read. Love the movie and the book. Rare case when I split them even. Granted, I watched the movie first so I had the suspense of not knowing the ending. This book reaffirms I prefer long fiction books. There isn’t much added to the book that the movie didn’t portray. It’s still amazing this was a debut novel.


The Prince: 7/10 rating

An interesting read from Niccolo Machiavelli. The Prince is a political treatise aimed at educating new princes of the 16th century on how to best succeed in their positions. Machiavelli creates this 'how-to' text by drawing on many lessons from history. He references the successes and failing of many past political figures and leaders, often drawing from Greek and Roman histories. He also draws on his personal political experiences. The book provides many valuable lessons that apply to anyone in a leadership position.


Force: The Biomechanics of Training: 7/10 rating

A solid review of the role physics plays in athletics. The book covers key concepts and misconceptions relating to physics and training principles, such as the difference between peak force and impulse. It doesn’t dive into specific exercises much - occasionally use kinetic graphs of jumps and squats. Still, a useful read that will cause you to pause and consider the details of chosen exercises, such as contraction speed and time. In PT clinics, exercises are often prescribed with only muscle groups, movement patterns, sets, reps, load, and maybe rest being considered. The speed of contraction and influence of load on speed and time should be considered as well. A dry read at times but quick and valuable for physics.


Additional fiction books that are part of two series I highly recommend: