Skin In The Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Skin In The Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Skin In The Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the fifth book in the authors series of books he calls Incerto.  This series is made up of the following titles; Fooled By Randomness (2001), The Black Swan (2007), The Bed Of Procustes (2010), Antifragile (2012), and Skin In The Game (2018).

Nassim is one of the brilliant minds of our time. He is a mathematician whose work has focused on problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty. He has an incredible mind making him an incredible mathematician, scientist, and a unique philosopher extraordinaire.  He is one of my favorite authors of all time.

In Skin In The Game he continues the wonderful journey started with the Incerto series. Skin In The Game is important to understanding the world. I’ll leave you with the authors own words from Skin In The Game,

“It is not just that skin in the game is necessary for fairness, commercial efficiency, and risk management: skin the game is necessary to understand the world. First, it is bullshit identification and filtering, that is, the difference between theory and practice, cosmetic and true      expertise, and academia (in the bad sense of the word) and the real world. To emit a Yogiberism, in academia there is no difference between academia and the real world; in the real world, there is.”

I highly recommend the Incerto series be read in order even though that is not necessary. So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!

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Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz

Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz

Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz is to date the best book on negotiation I have read.  As a professional that has made my living negotiating large business contracts for over 15 years I have read numerous books on negotiation including some from the world-famous Harvard University Business School group famous for negotiation. Some were better than others, but all were academic and seemed to lack real meat that I found useful in the “real world”.

I ran across this book from a friend that told me the author (Chris Voss) was a former FBI Hostage Negotiator and it peeked my interest. This book is different than other negotiation books I have read. It does get into some proven and useful negotiating tactics with great explanation and examples but most importantly it considers that negotiation takes place between two human beings and there are psychological and emotional factors that are not always rational, but very much human at play.

Consequently, I found this book to be valuable for negotiation skill building but most importantly very much on target with what my last 15 years of negotiating deals in the real world has shown me. This book hits the mark whether you are new to negotiating or a seasoned professional negotiator that is always looking to sharpen your skills. So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back! 

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The Big Lie by Dinesh D’Souza

The Big Lie by Dinesh D’Souza

The Big Lie by Dinesh D’Souza is a fantastic and important book. This author of many books and great documentarian has done it again with a very important book setting the record straight with well researched and supported facts.

In this digital age of misinformation were we are bombarded with millions of false messages from every type of medium possible, it’s more important than ever to get real facts to set the record straight.

D’Souza does this brilliantly.  He shows how the left will actually lie and call their opponents names such as “intolerant”, “racist”, “fascist”,  “Nazi”, “far right” and place themselves as the polar opposite on the left as the answer to the problem. However, using documented facts throughout history, even writings from those symbolizing these accusations like Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini and more, the author documents how those said to be on the far right were self-admitted leftist themselves. This is expressed in detail in their own writing and historical records of their speeches and policy making actions. They were clearly just different flavors of the left whether socialist, communist, fascist, Nazi or our modern day leftist such as democrats and progressives.

Yet the modern day leftist constantly accuses their fellow leftist as far right and try and pin their own evil reputations on their opposition. They constantly attempt to separate themselves from the real facts of who they really are and accuse their opposition of being exactly what they themselves are, thus The Big Lie.

The modern day leftist have dominated schools, media, and Hollywood in recent decades and use this to perpetuate The Big Lie like never before. This is a very important book to set the record straight. If you read just one book this year, this book is worthy of your time! A must read book for sure! So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!

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Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos

Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos

Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos is a wonderful read by a very important figure for our current times. Milo was the Breitbart managing editor for their technology reporting division but emerged as a very important figure among youth and young adults during the Trump election.

In a time where the Progressives have dominated the media and absolutely attacked free speech in the U.S. with political correctness, Milo emerged as a very important spark to reignite free speech and liberty among college campuses where the progressives have taken over and indoctrinated the our young people in this country.

The divisive leftist progressives attack and try to ruin anyone and everyone that doesn’t hold their views. They portray themselves as tolerant and inclusive but in reality their actions show they are neither unless you hold their views. Their favorite weapon is political correctness which they use to attack and label everyone with opposing views as “intolerant”, “homophobic”, “racist”, “bigoted” and much more.

Those attacks never worked on this liberty loving, outspoken, 2nd Amendment loving character that is very intelligent and articulate all though quite flamboyant. He became a huge hit speaking on college campuses with a new generation fighting back against the tyranny and brain washing on college campuses. His support of Trump absolutely made the progressives crazy.

The leftist tried all their usual attacks on Milo with no avail. They called him homophobic, racist, and bigoted which was hilarious considering he is openly gay and quite flamboyant. He is also an immigrant, Jewish, and very openly admits he prefers black men.  He is very intelligent and very articulate when it comes to arguing the real facts and absolutely destroying the non-fact based attempts to shut people up by the left.

He led a movement across college campuses calling out the leftist tactics and lies creating a new movement for liberty among American youth. A hero for sure.  In this book he tells this story. His many YouTube videos of the college campus talks are wonderful as well. The leftist pressured publishers to drop this book even though pre sales had already put it at the top of the bestseller lists. So he self-published, and of course with the left trying to suppress it I had to buy it! So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!


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Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green

Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green

Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green, is a hard to put down book. Tells the story of Trumps historic campaign and win but most importantly of all the players in this journey. The key figure I find fascinating is Steve Bannon that was so crucial to Trump’s win.

I think the story is told very accurately with exception of the authors trying to paint Steven Bannon as a radical right wing racist and Trump as a lunatic. He tells the story of the campaign extremely well but continues to make the major error the mainstream media did all along………..which is that everyone agrees with their own far left views. He subtly tries to paint Bannon and Trump as radical rightwing nuts and the lefties he is a part of as centrist while many of us view Bannon as centrist conservative and them to be radical left wing nuts. This error is why America pushed back and said no more, with hopes pinned on Trump to shake up the corruption and hopefully change the government run by leftist radicals for the last decades.

It’s easy to ignore the author’s clear leanings as he tells the story of this historic campaign and election in a quite enjoyable fashion. He and the radical left continue their identity politics placing them further out of touch with America and blinding them from reality at their own peril. Most enjoyable was the in depth telling of Bannon’s history, a fascinating and important key figure in this time of our history. So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!

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How To Wow by Frances Cole Jones

How To Wow by Frances Cole Jones

How To Wow by Frances Cole Jones is a good little book in a genre that I haven’t had interest in reading for many years. I was enticed to buy it because it got a rave review in something I read. It’s a very sound short read on presentations skills and influencing people.  Has particularly great section on how to use PowerPoint which is an amazing tool that everyone in the corporate America uses so poorly to this day even though many experts on presentation skills have coached on this topic.

A great short read for young professionals starting out or if you’re an established professional wanting to brush up these skills. So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!

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The Black Book Of Communism By Stephain Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin

The Black Book Of Communism By Stephain Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin

The Black Book of Communism is an important work by a group of western European academics to fully document the horrible crimes, terror, and repression committed by communist around the globe. So much work as gone into documenting the atrocities committed by Hitler and his Nazi regime but full documentation of the atrocities committed by communist painting the picture of a far greater number of people terrorized and murdered. This group of academics used archives newly released in the 90’s and do exhausting work of documenting many details of these atrocities.

The result is a very real picture of the impact of communism around the world which is a very horrible and dark picture full of atrocities and 10 times more people murdered by the communist regimes than by the Nazi’s. It’s a very important documentation of the real impact of communism.  I highly recommend this book for those who seek the truth. However this is not for the light reader, it’s a very detailed 760 page work. So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!


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Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is in the very similar vein as the bestseller titled Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner except what really got my attention was that  it is all based on the “new data” referred to these days as “big data”. The kind of data derived from millions even billions of people from the google search engine and many other internet portals. This data is extremely insightful not only due to it being such a large data set but also because people more honestly share what is on their minds when they believe they are anonymous at the keyboard.

This has always been a fascinating area of great interest to me for two reasons. I’ve always been interested in the truth vs. what people want to show themselves to be. More importantly the complete erection of big brother and snooping through technology and all the privacy and ethical issues that go with it has been an interest of mine for quite  some time.

This book is a fun, easy, and quick read. You learn a lot of interesting things about what is really on the mind of people based on what they search most often on google and other sites. The author even does touch on the privacy issues in one section, which I was glad he did. However, that part of the issue is something many books have been written about and is a complex and deep subject. So it was great he touched on it but barely scratches the surface in that regard.

This book is a fun and accessible look the topic of big data, technology, and privacy in our modern digital age and certainly worth your time so as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back! 

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The Bed Of Procrustes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Bed Of Procrustes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Bed Of Procrustes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a very fun and quick read of his philosophical aphorisms presented as a book of quotes. It’s literally a book you can read in one sitting. However please DO NOT choose this as your first book to read by this author.

Nassim is one of my favorite authors, a brilliant thinker and writer that doesn’t write unless he has something to say. Unusual for authors of bestsellers that once they reach that level of success churn out books for their publishers and for profit. I highly recommend you introduce yourself to this brilliant thinker’s writings by his first three books.   His first book, The Black Swan, brought the term “black swan” into our modern lexicon the way Malcom Gladwell did so with “tipping point”. I would start with The Black Swann and if you enjoy it read his second and third books, Fooled By Randomness, and Antifragile.  All are excellent books and have been reviewed on this site.

I normally would not read a book of quotes but was craving more from this author and did enjoy The Bed Of Procrustes. That being said it’s not a “must read” book for me as his others are but is a nice serving of his thinking.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a scholar, mathematician, statistician, and author that is an expert on randomness, risk, risk evaluation, and risk management that offers incredible insight for our modern times of big data and our supposed technological ability to predict and model everything.  His thinking is so important to keep our technological arrogance in check. So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!

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Transcending Fear by Brian Germain

Transcending Fear by Brian Germain

Transcending Fear by Brian Germain is an interesting book in the self-help genre that I had to check out since I know Brian. In my early skydiving years he and I both spent numerous years on the same drop zone. He has since built a great career and empire in designing parachutes, coaching, writing, and speaking.

My undergrad and grad degrees are in psychology which I think is why I’m often turned off by the peddlers of self-help books. Many of the people I have run into in psychology field need more help than the buyers of their books.

However, Brian has lived a life of thrill seeking and doing so, I had to check out his twist on overcoming fear. All that being said about my lack of appetite for self-help books, he actually wrote a useful book that cuts to the chase with some good advice from a person that has walked the talk in his own life. Fear holds so many people back from achieving their dreams and to me demands examination as the author does in this book.

His book references a lot of the great works in psychology but he delivers a more to the point, easy to understand book that to me is more along the line of great performance coaches used by top athletic competitors. His supporting stories from his own experiences are fun and illustrate his points well. A useful book in this genre that is worth your time. So as usual Hit The Books, They Don’t Hit Back!

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