Welcome to my Updated Personal “Fitness Genius” 50,000 Page Non-Fiction library: The place to increase your intelligence with highly organized knowledge!
My library is divided by genres below for your convenience. Find a book. Read. Exercise your brain!
Skip to the bottom of the page for access to dangerous deep human knowledge…
I am not your “typical fitness enthusiast” because I am an avid reader and exercise my mind as much as my body. It is my opinion you can boost your IQ by reading and searching for answers much like exercise develops the muscles and body.
“The only good is knowledge, the only evil is ignorance.” – Socrates
My 50,000 page Non-Fiction Intelligence Library by Genre:
1. Socrates by Sean Sheehan (2007) – Wisdom. Learn by doing.
Get to know Socrates. Learn the Socratic Method.
2. Great Thinkers of the Western World by Ian P. McGreal – Articles on 116 of the most influential thinkers of the Western World. Great personalities and influencial people presented within.
3. Essential of Philosophy by James Mannion – A comprehensive guide to philosophy and great thinkers. Includes important minds including; Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and more.
4. Plato, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius: The Harvard Classics by Charles W. Eliot – Some of the classic thinkers. A great place to start with philosophy and pondering the world.
5. The Story of Thought by Bryan Magee – A picture rich version outline of many of the great thinkers of human kind!
- “You must know that it is no easy thing for a principle to become a man’s own, unless each day he maintain it and hear it maintained, as well as work it out in life.” – Epictetus, 1st century philosopher
Apply the Epictetus quote to your life: How will you ever improve yourself without working out your brain or your body daily or weekly? Improve your fitness and intelligence! Working on it makes it a habit. You can make exercise and reading habits in no time!
1. Extraordinary Minds: Portraits of 4 Exceptional Individuals and an Examination of Our Own Extraordinariness by Howard Gardner – A look at the lives and creative abilities of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sigmund Freud, Virginia Woolf, Mahatma Gandhi. A very informative discussion of how these geniuses lived their lives.
2. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner – A look at intelligence and intelligence types. Examines Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, and Personal Intelligences
3. Developing Minds: Challenge and Continuity Across The Life Span by Michael and Marjorie Rutter – 2 psychologists examining human life and struggles we all face from life to death.
4. INFLUENCE : The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini – Psychology applied to selling. Discussion of subtle persuasion techniques as related to marketing or selling. Read this to empower yourself next time you go shopping! – One of my personal favorites of all these books. A MUST READ!
Psychology / Motivation
5. Outliers – The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell – A look at successful people and their environment, what AROUND them helped them be successful.
6 Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell – A story about how people are quick to judge. Often this helps us save time by running on “autopilot”, but it can backfire.
7. (not pictured – E BOOK) As a Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book is written in terms of responsibility assumption. I see it as a self-help/self-motivational guide. This is more of a pamphlet because it is a quick read!
ECONOMICS and Consumer Psychology – (My personal favorites)
See what people do and why they do it. We are CREATURES OF HABIT!
1. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith – This is the “bible of economics”. Adam Smith is often considered one of the founders of economics. Most of the basic rules of trade come from this book. 1,100 pages, but many great basic rules about money.
2. Unequal Partners – A primer on globalization by William Tabb – A book about how the United States is on top of the economic food chain. It looks how other countries do not have what we have. (makes you appreciate what you take for granted)
3. Exporting America – Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas by Lou Dobbs – Learn about economics from a “big business” point of view. See where the big money goes and flows.
4. Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About The “Real” America: The 12 Community Types That Make Up Our Nation by Dante Chinni and James Gimpel – This book segments America by beliefs and values. This is a way to get a look inside the mind of fellow Americans. See how people live with varying political values, incomes, racial backgrounds, and other statistically relevant differences.
5. The Origin Of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics (Harvard Business School Press) by Eric Beinhocker – A look at people and wealth through an economic lense. This book focuses on intellect and knowledge as the driving forces of wealth.
“The origin of wealth is knowledge.” – Beinhocker
6. The Wal-mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works-and How It’s Transforming the American Economy by Charles Fishman – A great behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s largest companies. Understand how economies of scale reduce costs and pass savings to consumers. (Also see the negative side of outsourcing labor and bad working conditions overseas) (Not pictured)
7. Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) by Jeffrey Kluger – “Seen through the lens of this surprising new science, the world becomes a delicate place filled with predictable patterns – patterns we often fail to see as we’re time and again fooled by our instincts by our fear, by the size of things, and even by their beauty.”
8. Borrow: The American Way of Debt – How Personal Credit Created the American Middle Class and Almost Bankrupted the Nation by Louis Hyman – “The story of how American learned to love debt – and became dangerously addicted to it.” After reading this, you will never want to charge another purchase! You will also be wiser with your money.
9. Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior by Geoffrey Miller – “Geoffrey has mapped the connections between evolved human tendencies and consumer wants, needs, and choices.” One of the more insightful books that combines economics with marketing and consumer behavior. A must for anybody curious about the human relationship with products!
10. Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone – “An instructive and entertaining romp through the hits of recent research on decision making that will leave you amused, smarter, and wondering about what money and prices really mean.” – You will be disgusted with how marketers take advantage of basic psychology to make you pay more!
11. False Economy: A Suprising Economic History of the World by Alan Beattie – “Alan brilliantly illustrates how countries’ choices determine and, in some cases, sadly undermine their prospects for generations. This masterly global economic journey is a must read for all those keen to understand how today’s surge in state activism will impact national and international futures.”
12. Discover You Inner Economist by Tyler Cowen – “Tyler will change the way you think about an array of subjects ranging from ethnic food to marriage to our never-ending quest for novelty. It will give you a sense of the real possibilities the world has to offer, and show you how thinking better can actually help you live better.”
13. Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters by Bill Tancr – “There once was a time when we used to share our deepest secrets with our hairdresser. Now, we share those secrets with Google or Yahoo or MSN.com. We tell Google what we want, who we’re interested in, how we are feeling. We are what we search for.” This book is all about BIG DATA and insights we can gain from internet search patterns and online behavior.
14. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath – This book analyzes the difference between our rational and emotional brain. Many stories and examples demonstrate how we all use RATIONALITY to share ideas when EMOTIONS are what really move us.
15. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently by John Maxwell – This book discusses how to be effective in various communication situations including; one on one, small group, and large audience situations. A very easy read with a story-like flow. (This book could be classified as psychology/motivation/or communication but I placed it under economics because the way he breaks communication down into simple “economic” ideas)
16. Average is Over by Tyler Cowen – A critical look at how the class system is changing in America. Tyler analyzes jobs, education, class structure, and how the changing job market makes for a new information-based economy. He argues people should be proficient in modern (information/computer) technology to get ahead in life.
17. The Armchair Economist by Steven Landsburg – Landsburg demystifies the economics of everyday behavior in these diverting if not always persuasive essays. Why don’t promoters of sell-out rock concerts raise the advance ticket price? Because, suggests the author, promoters want the good will of teenage audiences who will buy lots of rock paraphernalia. Why are executives’ salaries so high? One reason, opines Landsburg, is that stockholders expect managers to take risks, and well-heeled executives are more likely to do so. Includes many other enjoyable analyses! (not pictured)
Consumer Psychology / Entrepreneurship
1. Brand New: How Entrepreneur Earned Consumers’ Trust from Wedgwood to Dell by Nancy Koehn – Discusses the orignins, backgrounds, and brief histories of famous companies including Dell, Starbucks, Heinz, and more.
2. Married to the Brand: Why Consumers Bond With Some Brands For Life by William McEwen – Hands down the BEST marketing book I have read. This shows us why people are obsessed with products that all perform the same function but carry a famous name. (ex: a purse functions well as a purse, regardless of where you purchase it, $20 at Target or $600 at Louis Vitton)
3. Cognitive Surplus: Creativity And Generosity In A Connected Age by Clay Shirky – “Clay Shirky forecasts the thrilling changes we will all enjoy as new digital technology puts our untapped resources of talent and goodwill to use at last.” This book talks about how we increasingly have MORE free time as technology frees us from manual labor. It connects this theme with the proliferation of faster access to data and the interconnectedness of people via access to data and knowledge. I recommend this quick read to everybody; only 213 pages!
* See the author talk about his book live: Clay Shirky appeared on a Ted Talk @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu7ZpWecIS8
MARKETING/ADVERTISING/COMMUNICATIONS (Academic books)
1. Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications by Clow Baack – A look at how advertisers create ad campaigns and focus on selling to specific consumer segments.
2. A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication by Richard Harris – “Examination of how our experiences with media affect the way we acquire knowledge about the world, and how this knowledge influences our attitudes and behavior”.
3. Organizational Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint by Eric Eisenberg, H. Goodall Jr., and Angela Trethewey – Analyzing how organizations communicate both inside and outside of themselves. Investigates how employees and managers relate to one another and other companies.
4. Reflect and Relate: an introduction to interpersonal communication by Steven McCornack – This book examines how people communicate.
5. The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the 21st Century by Richard Perloff – How and why we persuade ourselves and others. This book examines persuasion strategies via research and experiments.
6. Controversies in Contemporary Advertising by Kim Sheehan – A look at how advertisers use stereotypes, gender, sex, and cultural themes to sell products and services to the general public.
1. The Human Touch by Michael Frayn – A thought-provoking book about the world. “The world is what we make of it”. Discusses how we name objects, use objects, and create rules and contracts to deal with people and cultures.
2. The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil – TECHNOLOGY blast! This book investigates past to present changes in our technology. Ray speaks about size of computers, medical technology, and the future of people and technology combining which he calls “The Singularity”.
3. On The Shoulders of Giants (Illustrated Version) edited, with commentary by Stephen Hawking – Read original writings of Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein.
4. History’s Worst Inventions and the people who made them by Eric Chaline – Learn about the inventions that have changed society for the worst.
5. PATENTS: Ingenious Inventions – How they Work and How they came to be by Ben Ikenson – Read about patents and understand the process and uniqueness of each!
6. How Invention Begins by John Lienhard – Understand the process of inventing and many historical references.
7. Scientifica: The comprehensive guide to the world of science – Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Medicine – One of the most visually appealing books I own. This gives you the essential on each subject!
8. The Big Switch: Rewiring The World, From Edison To Google by Nicholas Carr – “Carr presents a persuasive historical analogy that computer utilities will replace in-house facilities as electrical replaced in-house generators…The Big Switch impressively discusses the positive and negative aspects of the coming World Wide Computer.”
9. What are You Optimistic About? Today’s Leading Thinkers on Why Things are Good and Getting Better by John Brockman – The same question answered by over 70 intelligent individuals. A great way to get multiple opinions on the same topic!
10. Is the Internet Changing the way you Think? The Net’s Impact on our minds and future by John Brockman – See how the internet consumes your time and alters your daily interactions with friends and businesses.
11. What Have You Changed Your Mind About? Today’s Leading Minds Rethink Everything by John Brockman – A great book that shows how we change our minds for various reasons. (Over 70 experts responds to this same question. You get to read multiple opinions on the same topic)
12. The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness by Oren Harman – Exploring science, evolution, genetics, and the lives of many brilliant minds to understand human kindness and giving. Learn why cooperation can help the human race much more than competition. (not pictured)
13. The Information by James Gleick – A look at how humans collect, analyze, and categorize data into information. The author discusses how technology and inventions change how humans use information.
(Familiarize yourself with great minds)
1. Einstein: Biography by Walter Isaacson – A MUST READ about one of the smartest, notorious, yet simple man to have existed!
2. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – Another MUST READ about an intelligent, stubborn, witty, creative, and visionairy unlike any to have lived. (not pictured)
3. WIZARD – The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius by Marc J. Seifer – The man who was instrumental in developing AC power. Thomas Edison’s rival. Also built the precursor to world wide wireless power/internet.
4. EDISON: A Biography by Matthew Josephson – The man behind the light bulb, motion picture camera, phonograph, and many other inventions. Another intelligent mind to investigate!
5. A LIFE OF DISCOVERY – Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution by James Hamilton – One of the fathers of electricity. A great mind to read about!
6. Reluctant Genius – Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention by Charlotte Gray – Father of the phone! Also, had interest in flying machines.
7. Nobodies to Somebodies by Peter Han – “How 100 Leaders in Business, Politics, Arts, Science, and Nonprofits Got Started”.
8. Onward – How Starbucks fought for it’s life without losing it’s soul by Howard Schultz. This book discusses the history, rise, ultra-fast expansion, contraction, and changes that occurred within the company. All from the founder’s point of view. A great read for aspiring CEO’s!
9. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin with Related Readings by Glencoe Literature Library – Although boring at times, this book is worth it’s weight in gold for character development. Ben discusses use of the Socratic method, expressing opinions versus facts, and how to interact with persons of all levels of status. Only 161 pages but very “dense” material.
10. Return To The Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, The Creation of Apple, and How it Changed the World by Michael Moritz – A general look at Apple, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and the conditions which inspired the creation of Apple.
11. American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, And Hereos Of A Hurricane by Walter Isaacson – “Walter Isaacson reflects on lessons to be learned from Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and others he has chronicled both as a biographer and journalist.”
Learn from the past.
People have a tendency to stay the same.
1. From Democrats To Kings: The Brutal Dawn of a New World from the Downfall of Athens to the Rise of Alexander the Great by Michael Scott – A great read about turbulent historical times. You will notice that history repeats itself time and time again.
2. Why The West Rules – For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris – This book examines Eastern vs. Western culture since the dawn of time. Examination of: Technology, warfare, politics, geography, disease, marriages, and inventions are applied to the development and destruction of society.
3. TimeFrame 3000-1500BC – The Age of God-Kings– by Time-Life books – Essential history!
4. TimeFrame 1500-600BC – Barbarian Tides by Time-Life books – Essential history!
5. TimeFrame 600-400 BC – A Soaring Spirit by Time-Life books – Essential history!
6. TimeFrame 400BC – 200AD – Empires Ascendant by Time-Life books – Essential history!
7. The Outline of History by H.G. Wells (1971 edition) – 1,100 pages summarizing human civilization. A must read for anybody curious about the past.
1. Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity by John Stossel (from the show: abc 20/20) – Increasing public awareness by disproving common myths and beliefs.
2. The Intellectual Devotional by David Kidder and Noah Oppenheim – “Revive your mind, complete your education, and Roam confidently with the Cultured Class”.
3. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How to Unlock Your Mind for Innovation by Roger von Oech – Open your mind, get creative, look at the world from a different perspective. Think different!
4. The 2011 WORLD ALMANAC and book of facts by World Almanac Books (senior editor: Sarah Janssen) – Not a daily reader, but a good book to randomly graze from time to time. I found many facts about obesity, income, wealth, health, and other facts relevant to fitness and stress.
5. The Extraordinary Origin of Everyday Things by Charles Panati – This book discusses how various products were created. This book could fall under science/inventions for it’s contents but is more of a general read.
1. Personal Trainer Manual: The Resource For Fitness Professionals by American Council on Exercise (1996) – My first book for academic study on fitness!
2. American Council on Exercise – Lifestyle Weight Management Consultant Manual (1996) A certification manual for personal trainers, focused on client behavior modification. (Less about the body and more about the psychology of exercise)
3. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training by National Academy of Sports Medicine (2008) 3rd edition – My second book for academic study on fitness!
4. SPORTS: The Complete Visual Reference by Francois Fortin – A complete visual reference of major world sports, olympic events, with rules and descriptions of each.
After a reading a few of these books…You will be well on your way out of Plato’s Cave.
Find free books at www.gutenberg.org
So what have I learned from all of this reading? I know who I am. I know what I want from life. I know I have a brain and a body that can be used to help others succeed. Socrates said it best, “Know thyself.”
I know myself. I am ready to change the world. Are you ready to join me?
– Justin Stobbs
Why think about the future when you can invent it?
What you do today can change tomorrow.
Do something different.
Invent a new you.
Create a new world.
Join me in my pursuit of a healthier, happier new world!
Be a part of the new fitness future!