So I started the book a day challenge on Friday the 12th April, right after i wrote the article. It was sooner than I intended but it worked out well. And since then have listened to 7 whole books.

The books I listened to

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim

 – 2hrs 51mins

Link on Audible.com

What’s it about?

Imagine the little book of calm, useful phrases and teachings to make you more mindful of your situation and of others.

Verdict?

Was decent, was interesting enough, I don’t agree with everything, however there were still lots of interesting points.

The Tao Of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff– 2 hrs 46 mins

Link on Audible.com

What’s it about?

Explaining Daoism with examples of how Winnie the Pooh goes about his days, the things he does and the insights he has.

Verdict?

Actually pretty interesting. Some of Pooh’s poems / songs are actually pretty profound.

Wouldn’t actually want to watch Winnie the Pooh though, it seems too slow.  Maybe if you were high.

Sam Harris – Free Will – 1 hr 14mins

Link on Audible.com

What’s it about?

Some guy rattling off about Free Will, and how it does or doesn’t play into your life.

Verdict?

It’s mostly a load of wank. 100% recommend you skip this book.

I’ve heard a lot about Sam Harris, but this book was just pointless as if he was trying to win an arugment about his understanding of Free Will with a friend and just couldn’t let the matter slide.

I’m finding it more difficult to listen to his stuff after this kind of book.

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments – 53 mins

Link on Audible.com

What’s it about?

Going through the logical fallacies by reading aloud and acted drawings in the print version, and taking time to describe how these logical fallacies work with a number of examples

Verdict?

Decent. I have several friends that would greatly benefit from listening to/ reading such a book.

I wonder if it would be a good idea to write a logical fallacy book just for political discussions and debates.

Out of Africa by Karen Blixen – 1 hr 7 mins 

What’s it about?

It’s an autobiography of a Danish author that lived in Kenya in 1913 for 18 years. Apparently they made a movie about it that’s not bad. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out_of_Africa.

Verdict?

Not bad. I wouldn’t be rushing off to watch the movie anytime soon, because this book seems to condense 18 years of life into just over 1 hour, and I feel like there really should be more to it than that. But was good for a short listen, especially given the time period.  The voice actors were very good as well.

The Messaging Connection -How to Increase Profits by Connecting with People the Way They Want – 2 hrs 37 mins

Link on Audible.com 

What’s it about?

A guy that runs several businesses telling you about different ways you can outreach to customers and potential customers. Mainly deals with email, sms messaging, e-businesscard/ v-cards, MMS, facebook advertisements and combinations of all of them.  While it may sound slightly outdated, there are actually some really decent tips that you apply to pretty much everything. It’s the way of thinking you should be applying.

Verdict?

Decent.  It’s actually written in 2018, despite what I said above.  The book is read by the author himself and it sounds a bit unprofessional, however he talks quickly and the information is sound.

Definitely worth a listen to improve your business acumen.

 

You have the right to remain innocent by James Duane – 2 hrs 34 mins

Link on Audible.com

What’s it about?

I professor of law that’s essentially giving your advice for why you should not talk to the police unless you’re in a routine traffic stop, or have been victim of a crime.

Explains a ginormous amount of examples to back up his point, and it’s quite frightening.

Apparently lawyers and police people all tell their children not to talk to police… and so that’s quite telling as to how you should respond as well.

Verdict?

A really worthwhile book.  Every American should read it.

It makes me wonder about Australia’s particular situation, and how it works here.

We don’t have the same laws, different value systems, less racism, and I guess slightly different rights.  Will need to talk to my brother’s friend who is a policeman to get his point of view.

Even if you’re not American, you should probably read this book too + he reads quickly and it’s easy to listen to.

Additional books

I also managed to listen to 2 short fantasy style books, that didn’t fit the mindfulness focus of the challenge.

There were:

The Silas Kane Scrolls by Rick Gualtieri, Authors & Dragons book 2 – 3hrs 36 mins

Link to book on Audible.com

Klaus Encounters the legend of Klaus Richter, Authors & Dragons book 3 – 2hrs 53 mins

Link to book on Audible.com

These books are part of the ongoing Dungeons & Dragons role playing game and podcast done by a bunch of fantasy authors.

I’ve written about them before.

These books are short ‘get to know the character origin’ books and amusing enough.

Brandon Thighmaster was the 1st book in this series.

 

Did I complete all the ones I set out to complete?

No.

I originally planned to read a 6 hour book called ‘How to stop feeling like sh*t’ (the * is actually part of the books title) 

However once beginning this challenge I quickly realised that it is very difficult to complete it if the books aren’t reasonably short.

Especially if you want to gain any real information from it and take notes for it.

I took notes for all the books I listened to during this challenge.

And I really would not have wanted to listen to a 6 hour book, because it would have taken at least 10 solid hours of listening and taking notes, and it would have meant I would just have spent the entire day lying in bed, just listening to the book.

It’s just not reasonable.

The other thing was that I thought I would have the increased speed function to listen to a book at 1.25 x speed or whatever… but I did not.  So 6 hours would actually be 6 hours, or 10 hours I say because I would need to take notes.

The other book was going to be ‘The Wizards of Once’ , another nearly 6 hour book. It’s a fantasy book, written by the same person that wrote ‘how to train your dragon’ so I wouldn’t have had to take notes… but even so… 6 solid hours of a book is just unreasonable.

If you’re going to do the challenge yourself

Here are my tips if you’re going to try this yourself:

  • Pick your books in advance.
  • Make sure no book is more than 3 hours long
  • Take notes, because you want to actually get something from these books in the end.
  • Choose a bunch of them for which you can actually learn something.
  • Choose books that you’ve been putting on the back-burner for a while, and with this challenge you can finally cross them off your list

For those people that say they ‘Read a book a day’ (every single day, not part of a challenge)

Honestly, I think they’re just lying to you.

They’re either picking very short books.  Which is fine, but there’s only so many of them.

OR are not taking any notes, and therefore are only able to recall precursory information from those books they are apparently reading/ listening to.

OR are speed reading, and are also not taking in all the information from the books.

You can hear someone talking, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re listening to them. And there’s a big difference.

Be very wary of people that try to make that claim… because I just don’t think it’s true.

It could be true, if that’s all they do.  They are retired, and that’s their hobby and that’s all that they’ve chosen to do.

But a 11 hour book, even listened to at 1.3 x speed, and whilst taking notes… you’re still going to be taking around 10 hours.

Most difficult book to listen to

Sam Harris – Free Will. 

I’m really glad this book was only 1 hr 14 mins long.  Because it was a book of mostly wank, and it would have driven me crazy if I had to listen to any more of it.

Most recommended book

‘You have the right to remain innocent’ OR ‘The things you only see when you slow down’.

You have the right to remain innocent is very American based (USA law) however it’s interesting to know regardless.

The things you only see when you slow-down is more life based.  I don’t agree with all of it, but its good thinking that will help you feel better about your life.  And I think everyone needs a bit of that from time to time.

What I feel after this challenge

Tired.

Honestly just tired. I’m glad the challenge is done, and if I would have to do it for any longer I think I would have been annoyed.

Where to go from here?

I’m going to listen to some fantasy / sci-fi books to let my mind relax a bit.

I’ve taken in too much information recently with these books and I would like to go through my notes to consolidate it all, possibly writing small reviews for each book.

There’s a new Star Wars book that has just come out ‘Master & Apprentice’ the story of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.  So that sounds pretty good

I am a huge Star Wars fan.

Also, there’s an autobiography of Charlamagne Tha God called ‘Black Privilege’ which I’d like to listen to.

I think next challenge for me will be dietary/ exercise related, or maybe even work related.

Maybe an article a day would be good….plus very beneficial.