Book notes: The Dictator’s Handbook

The Dictator’s handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith book summary.

The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith

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Synopsis: “For 18 years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. They start from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don’t care about the “national interest” – or even their subjects – unless they have to.

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Book notes: Kick Ass with Mel Robbins

Kick Ass with Mel Robbins by Mel Robbins book summary review.

Kick Ass with Mel Robbins: Life-Changing Advice by Mel Robbins

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Synopsis: “Want more out of life? You’re not alone. And best-selling author Mel Robbins is here to help with no-bullshit life and business advice that you won’t get anywhere else. Listen to private coaching sessions between the celebrated motivational speaker and people like you – people who want better relationships, to be healthier and more productive, to get unstuck from the destructive habits holding them back, and to take action on their dreams. As brilliant and inspiring as she is entertaining, Mel Robbins will empower you to live the kick-ass life that’s been waiting for you.” -Audible

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Book notes: Fire and Fury

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff book summary.

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

Synopsis: “With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

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Book notes: Meditations

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius book summary.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Synopsis: “One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets, and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions – a cornerstone of Western thought.” -Audible

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Book notes: Thug Notes

Thug Notes by Sparky Sweets, PhD book summary.

Thug Notes: A Street-Smart Guide to Classic Literature by Sparky Sweets, PhD

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Synopsis: “Sparky Sweets, PhD, and Wisecrack proudly present this outrageously funny, ultra-sharp guide to literature based on the hit online series Thug Notes. In this audiobook you’ll find hilarious plot breakdowns and masterful analyses of 16 of literature’s most beloved classics, including: The Catcher in the RyeTo Kill a MockingbirdPride and PrejudiceThe Color PurpleHamletThings Fall Apart, and more!

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Book notes: I Can’t Make This Up

I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart book summary.

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

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Synopsis: “Superstar comedian and Hollywood box-office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

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Book notes: Pre-Suasion

Pre-Suasion book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini


Synopsis: “The author of the legendary best seller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini, shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself but in the key moment before that message is delivered.

What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? Using the same combination of rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic best seller, Robert Cialdini explains how to capitalize on the essential window of time before you deliver an important message. This “privileged moment for change” prepares people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change minds, a pre-suader must also change states of mind.

His first solo work in over 30 years, Cialdini’s Pre-Suasion draws on his extensive experience as the most cited social psychologist of our time and explains the techniques a person should implement to become a master persuader. Altering a listener’s attitudes, beliefs, or experiences isn’t necessary, says Cialdini – all that’s required is for a communicator to redirect the audience’s focus of attention before a relevant action.” -Amazon

Opening thoughts:

Influence easily made it into my top 10 books, so it’s safe to say that picking up this book was an easy decision. I’ve been on this sales, negotiation, marketing train the past few months so I figured I should keep it going.

Key notes/ideas:

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Book notes: The Tao of Seneca

Tao of Seneca book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

The Tao of Seneca, by Seneca presented by Tim Ferriss Audio

Synopsis: “The Tao of Seneca (volumes 1-3) is an introduction to Stoic philosophy through the words of Seneca. If you study Seneca, you’ll be in good company. He was popular with the educated elite of the Greco-Roman Empire, but Thomas Jefferson also had Seneca on his bedside table. Thought leaders in Silicon Valley tout the benefits of Stoicism, and NFL management, coaches, and players alike – from teams such as the Patriots and Seahawks – have embraced it because the principles make them better competitors. Stoicism is a no-nonsense philosophical system designed to produce dramatic real-world effects. Think of it as an ideal operating system for thriving in high-stress environments. This is your guide.” -Amazon

Opening thoughts: Recommended by Tim Ferriss on several occasions. How could I say no? This installment has been on my Audible wish list for a while now, so it was only a matter of time. Going in, I had no idea what Stoicism was. However, based on what Tim says, it’s an effective framework by which to operate in your daily life. Also per Tim’s recommendation, I would listen to these letters separately and reflect on each one. I would listen to one letter each time I got into my car and commuted to work, so I listened to two letters per day.

Key ideas/notes:

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