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Top Book Summaries – in 3 Sentences or Less

Top Book Summaries

Our Top Book Summaries – to help make life simple.

In our Ultimate Reading List, we have shared some of the best books to get your hands on.  Now we want to make life even easier for you with our espresso sizes book summaries!

We have summarized each book on this page in just three sentences! To give you an idea of what the books is about and its key ideas.  Of course, nothing beats the actual book, but we know what its like to be time-poor, so this is a great place to start if you want to get the general gist of a book.  We hope you enjoy!

 

Our Book Summaries by Title

Here is our ever growing list of my short sharp book summaries, placed in alphabetical order by title. We hope you enjoy! And if a books top ideas really grab you, buy the book!

 

10% Happier by Dan Harris

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Practicing meditation and mindfulness will make you at least 10 percent happier. Being mindful doesn’t change the problems in your life, but mindfulness does help you respond to your problems rather than react to them. Mindfulness helps you realize that striving for success is fine as long as you accept that the outcome is outside your control.

 


A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen by Anna Quindlen

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

The only thing you have that nobody else has is control of your life. The hardest thing of all is to learn to love the journey, not the destination. Get a real life rather than frantically chasing the next level of success.

 


The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Zander and Benjamin Zander

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Everything in life is an invention. If you choose to look at your life in a new way, then suddenly your problems fade away. One of the best ways to do this is to focus on the possibilities surrounding you in any situation rather than slipping into the default mode of measuring and comparing your life to others.

 


The Art of War by Sun Tzu

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Know when to fight and when not to fight: avoid what is strong and strike at what is weak. Know how to deceive the enemy: appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak. Know your strengths and weaknesses: if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

 


Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Randomness, chance, and luck influence our lives and our work more than we realize. Because of hindsight bias and survivorship bias, in particular, we tend to forget the many who fail, remember the few who succeed, and then create reasons and patterns for their success even though it was largely random. Mild success can be explainable by skills and hard work, but wild success is usually attributable to variance and luck.

 


Free Will by Sam Harris

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

We do not have the freedom and free will that we think we do. Yes, you can make conscious choices, but everything that makes up those conscious choices (your thoughts, your wants, your desires) is determined by prior causes outside your control. Just because you can do what you want does not mean you have free will because you are not choosing what you want in the first place.

 


Incognito by David Eagleman

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Conscious thought has a surprisingly small impact on your life and most of your behaviors are driven by the unconscious mind. There are competing beliefs within your unconscious mind that are all battling for the single output of your conscious behavior. The complex interactions between your genetics and your environment determine the trajectory of your life.

 

 


The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Over the course of history, human behavior has changed, but not human nature. No matter who is in power, the rewards gradually accrue to the most clever and talented individuals. Ideas are the strongest things of all in history because they can be passed down and change the behavior of future generations—even a gun was originally an idea.

 


Manual for Living by Epictetus

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The Book in Three Sentences:

Some things are in your power and some are not—do not confuse the two and do not desire the things that are not in your power. It is our opinion of things that determines how we feel about a particular event, not the event itself. Think carefully about how you spend your life because people often spend their lives chasing things that are neither as desirable nor as important as they seem

 


Mastermind Dinners by Jayson Gaignard

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Hosting dinners with like-minded people is one of the most powerful way to build fantastic relationships in business and in life. You should think carefully about who you invite to these meals and look for uncommon commonalities that make it more likely the guests will resonate with one another. Be the gatekeeper of your network and assume responsibility for the people you surround yourself with in life.


The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner

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The Book in Three Sentences:
All of life is practice in one form or another. Actively practicing something is very different from passively learning. You will never reach a level of performance that feels complete, so learn to love the art of practicing your skill.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Human history has been shaped by three major revolutions: the Cognitive Revolution (70,000 years ago), the Agricultural Revolution (10,000 years ago), and the Scientific Revolution (500 years ago). These revolutions have empowered humans to do something no other form of life has done, which is to create and connect around ideas that do not physically exist (think religion, capitalism, and politics). These shared “myths” have enabled humans to take over the globe and have put humankind on the verge of overcoming the forces of natural selection.

 


Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

What makes humans different from every other animal is that we think about the future. However, our brains fall victim to a wide range of biases that cause our predictions of the future (and our memories of the past) to be inaccurate. Because of these mental errors it is remarkably difficult to predict what will make us feel happy.

 


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Finding something important and meaningful in your life is the most productive use of your time and energy. This is true because every life has problems associated with it and finding meaning in your life will help you sustain the effort needed to overcome the particular problems you face. Thus, we can say that the key to living a good life is not giving a fuck about more things, but rather, giving a fuck only about the things that align with your personal values.

 


This is Water by David Foster Wallace

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Learning “how to think” really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It can be easy to spend our entire lives accepting our natural default ways of thinking rather than choosing to look differently at life. The only thing that is capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see life and how you construct meaning from experience.

 


What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

Behavioral problems, not technical skills, are what separate the great from the near great. Incredible results can come from practicing basic behaviors like saying thank you, listening well, thinking before you speak, and apologizing for your mistakes. The first step to change is wanting to change.

 


When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

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The Book in Three Sentences: 

The memoir of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University, who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in his mid-thirties. Kalanithi uses the pages in this book to not only tell his story, but also share his ideas on how to approach death with grace and what it means to be fully alive.

 


 

 

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