Book notes: Born a Crime

Born a Crime Trevor Noah book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah


Synopsis: Trevor Noah, one of the comedy world’s fastest-rising stars and host of The Daily Show, tells his wild coming-of-age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. In this Audible Studios production, Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

The stories Noah tells are by turns hilarious, bizarre, tender, dark, and poignant – subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty, making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a color-obsessed world, thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn’t commit, thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters, and more.” -Amazon

Opening Thoughts:

All I know about Trevor Noah was that he took over as host for The Daily Show on Comedy Central after John Stewart left, that he’s hilarious, and he’s South African. Other than that, I knew nothing about Trevor. I saw the ratings and reviews and was instantly sold. I’ve been looking for a good autobiography to pick up, but thought this would be a separation from the typical books I read about business moguls, high performers, and wealthy people. The last book I read about a comedian was Steve Martin’s book, which was a good time as well.

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Book notes: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Mark Manson book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

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


Synopsis: “In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F*ck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is – a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.” -Audible

Opening thoughts:

I’ve read several of Mark Manson’s blog posts and I am definitely a fan of his work. I think he gives great advice for the most part and I respect the level of success he has created for himself. I also appreciate that he seems to want to help others live a better life. I saw this book and all the good ratings it received so I decided to buy it for my April reads.

Key notes:

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Book notes: Rejection Proof

Rejection Proof book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang


Synopsis: “Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. Despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed and spiraled into a period of deep self-doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no without letting it destroy him. Thus was born his “100 days of rejection” experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis.

Jia learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way, and here he shares the secret of successful asking, how to pick targets, and how to tell when an initial no can be converted into something positive. But more important, he learned techniques for steeling himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence – a plan that can’t be derailed by a single setback.

Filled with great stories and valuable insight, Rejection Proof is a fun and thoughtful examination of how to overcome fear and dare to live more boldly.” -Amazon

Opening thoughts:

If I’m not mistaken, I heard this guy’s story from his when someone posted his TED talk on my newsfeed. His presentation was fantastic, and I never knew he actually published a book about his story. I had actually seen the book cover pop up on my recommended reads, but never read the synopsis until recently.

My mom recently finished reading this book and absolutely loved it, so I’m sure I would enjoy it as a part of this month’s reading list. I always like to have a more narrative-type book grouped with a more business book, and maybe a more general personal development-type book.

Key notes/ideas:

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Book notes: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid


Synopsis: “The astonishing and riveting tale of a man’s journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over “rising Asia”. It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and recrossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.” -Amazon

Opening thoughts: Another Tim Ferriss recommendation. Apparently, this book is supposed to have a unique twist to conventional self-help books in that it tells the fictional story in the first person. I believe I heard him reference this book twice in his podcasts so I decided to put it on my list. I chose it for my February list just to add to the variety of my reading this month.

Key ideas/notes:

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Book notes: Open

Open book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Open by Andre Agassi

Synopsis: “From Andre Agassi, one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court, a beautiful, haunting autobiography.
Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely limned. Alongside vivid portraits of rivals from several generations—Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer—Agassi gives unstinting accounts of his brief time with Barbra Streisand and his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. He reveals a shattering loss of confidence. And he recounts his spectacular resurrection, a comeback climaxing with his epic run at the 1999 French Open and his march to become the oldest man ever ranked number one.

In clear, taut prose, Agassi evokes his loyal brother, his wise coach, his gentle trainer, all the people who help him regain his balance and find love at last with Stefanie Graf. Inspired by her quiet strength, he fights through crippling pain from a deteriorating spine to remain a dangerous opponent in the twenty-first and final year of his career. Entering his last tournament in 2006, he’s hailed for completing a stunning metamorphosis, from nonconformist to elder statesman, from dropout to education advocate. And still he’s not done. At a U.S. Open for the ages, he makes a courageous last stand, then delivers one of the most stirring farewells ever heard in a sporting arena.

With its breakneck tempo and raw candor, Open will be read and cherished for years. A treat for ardent fans, it will also captivate readers who know nothing about tennis. Like Agassi’s game, it sets a new standard for grace, style, speed, and power.” -Amazon.

Opening thoughts: A friend of mine actually bought this book for me back in college but I never picked it up because I wasn’t really into books at the time. 5 years later, I saw this book on a recommended reading list from someone I respect so I kept put it on my to-read list. Since I already had the physical book,  figured I might as well read it. I’m not really into tennis but I’ve had great experiences reading biographies and autobiographies of top performers so I figured I’d get a ton of value and learn a lot of great insight, especially in a field I have no familiarity with.

12 Life Lessons of Open

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Book notes: Awaken the Giant Within

Awaken the Giant Within book summary by Marlo Yonocruz

Awaken the Giant Within (abridged) by Anthony Robbins


Synopsis: “Anthony Robbins already has unlocked the personal power inside millions of people worldwide. Now in this revolutionary new audio production based on his enormously popular Date with Destiny™ seminars, Robbins unleashes the sleeping giant that lies within all of us — teaching us to harness our untapped abilities, talents and skills.

The ultimate program for improving the quality of every aspect of your life — personal or business, physical or emotional — Awaken the Giant Within gives you the tools you need to immediately become master of your own fate.” -Amazon

Opening thoughts: Tony Robbins always delivers. I’ve had this book on my list for awhile now, but kept putting it off because I don’t like reading the abridged version of anything. I figured that based on the reviews, I’m sure it would deliver value and cover some of the main points of the full version. At the same time, I felt I needed something short to offset Open, which was 18 hours long.

Key ideas/notes:

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Why fitness bootcamp is the worst thing ever

Several months back, a coworker of mine was telling me about this fitness bootcamp she was doing at OC Fit. It sounded pretty intense, but she kept going so I assumed she liked it.

Last week, we found a Groupon for 21 days of unlimited classes for $17. That’s a pretty amazing deal considering the price of the monthly membership. Sure, why not. We decided to buy it.

When we got there, the first thing I noticed was the loud, high energy, clubbing-type music. Lots of sweaty people around the gym were lifting weights, then shuffling between workouts each time the 50-second buzzer went off.

I found where the Irvine masochists hang out.

 

It felt like going clubbing, but without the dancing or fun. It was similar to when we went to Soul Cycle a couple weeks back.

To be honest, it didn’t look that bad. They weren’t going a hundred miles an hour, so I figured I could keep up.

I was wrong.

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