Fall Update

Yes, it has been quite a while since I’ve provided an update. The study into Joseph Campbell’s life was a success and I have to admit that he was a very interesting individual. A Fire in the Mind by Robin Larson was a fantastic look into Joseph’s life beyond the Hero’s Journey.

Since finishing it, I’ve also read The Fourth Turning by William Strouss. This book is written by a history professor who has analyzed American history and found interesting patterns that link generational differences, societal differences, and the status of American economic and geopolitical success. While I wouldn’t use it like Biff did the Sports Almanac in Back to the Future 2, the idea that our issues and successes are cyclical can help us to deal with some of the societal stresses that plague our day-to-day lives.

Shortly afterward, I read Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. This was similar to other leadership books penned by other former members of the special operations world, where there are a few key ideas that are supported by war stories. Aside from the stories, those ideas could probably fit comfortably on one page if you included a chart or two. These books all have a common theme – servant leadership and personal accountability. While it wasn’t necessarily profound in my eyes, I’m sure there are some good takeaways that can be used to influence anyone’s leadership philosophy.

I also recently finished reading the Inheritance Cycle once again. This fantasy book series, by Christopher Paolini is easy to read and has an excellent story. The world he created and character development is top-notch and I would put it against almost any other series in the same genre. One of the main reasons I decided to purchase the 4-piece set again was to introduce the story to my children, which has worked out rather well.

I’m currently about a third of the way through a biography on Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. This book is well researched and well written. What I’ve learned the most so far is that da Vinci was a very smart and creative person. There aren’t really any actionable takeaways, though. He almost never finished a commissioned piece of artwork, which puts a bad taste in my mouth. Critics say that it is because he was a perfectionist, but that doesn’t excuse old Leo for not completing the jobs that he was paid to do. I’ve also learned that while I certainly enjoy art, I don’t love it to the level where I can sit and read about the history of these famous artists.

Finally, I also created a gaming YouTube channel to help lessen the impact of the pandemic. I’m not necessarily focused on the gameplay though, but with improving my video editing, commentary, marketing, and storytelling skills. It also gives me another opportunity to connect with the kids. I am happy to announce that my channel just surpassed 1000 subscribers, 30,000 video views, and I’ve been blessed with a strong and active community of supporters.

What’s next? I’ll probably read Christopher Paolini’s newest work – To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. After that, I’d like to revisit my old reading list. It is primarily comprised of classics and I’d like to complete it someday.

Do you have any book recommendations? Have you read any of these books as well? Let me know in the comments!