No Ledge

Since the beginning of 2019 I have made it my aim to read at least one book each month.  The books I have chosen to read are those that will equip me with the information I need to improve my education, career, relationships with those around me, spirituality and so much more!

I have provided an honest review of each month's readings which can be viewed using the links below.  I hope that you will be inspired and join me on my journey throughout the rest of 2020.

They say knowledge is power - claim yours today!

November 2020

The New Jim Crow
Michelle Alexander

A lot to unpack in this book.  Kudos to Michelle Alexander.  She has received much deserved publicity considering the topics she decided to tackle, fact check and spark conversations by many artists, entertainers, officers and politicians.

For the last 5 years I have been on a mission to understand advantages and disadvantages concerning politics and our system.  I have so much more to learn but this book, The New Jim Crow ignites much needed bread crumbs to start raising red flags towards our judicial system, police decision making, more importantly our prison system.

Alexander does a masterful job comparing and contrasting poor black plight to the Civil Rights movement of Jim Crow; while sprinkling statistics, court cases, and laws that confirm her thoughts.  I would recommend this to many especially those that want to change the narrative of our society for the better.  I will say, the few challenges I had with Alexander, she only takes a stand from one perspective and accountability is not used often.

August 2020

Moby Dick
Herman Melville

By many, Moby Dick is considered as a classical read.  Making the decision to read a few this year, I am starting to understand more about these “classical” reads.  They are very similar to movies we categorize similarly; the books, like the movies have a very detailed story within the story plot.

Although Moby Dick is about a whale being hunted by a mortal predator, Captain Ahab, it's actually about one man's persistence to catch a one of kind white whale.  Throughout the narrative, Captain Ahab makes decisions against better judgment due to his revengeful thinking, that can cost him not only his life, but the life of his subordinates.

This book is not for an easy Sunday read.  Author, Herman Melville goes in great depth detailing the whaling industry, the significance of the species and most importantly, why they were hunted.

I would only recommend to those who inspire to write or those wanting to extend their understanding towards classical literary writers.

July 2020

The Beautiful Ones

I am biased.  Prince was and still is a top five artist of mine.  Although he was a larger-than-life musical icon, who sold more than 100 million albums worldwide; only a handful of individuals knew things about him.  His personal life was equivalent to a sealed zip-locked bag.  Private.  Simple.  He considered himself no different that all.

'Beautiful Ones' is an easy read, worth taking a quick glimpse at Prince's thoughts, unseen photos and handwritten lyrics throughout his musical journey.  He was a person of curiosity who dedicated his life to master instruments' knitting tailor-made notes, funk, and language to craft a distinctive tone.  I would encourage anyone who has a desire to run after their dreams, to take a seat and read.

June 2020

The Road to Character
David Brooks

Covid - 19 has produced a shift no one has seen before.  For many, this pandemic has rebalanced the scales from 'resume virtues' - external success, back to 'eulogy virtues' - internal gratitude...  A reshaping for all to draw back to things most important; altruism, selflessness, bravery, courage, empathy...  The Road to Character illustrates the invisible fight between the two roads.  Instead of a step by step manuscript, author David Brooks scribes the stories of individuals who made the shift, personifying the core moralities one should aim to achieve.

May 2020

Great Expectations
Charles Dickens

From the moment of birth, we are given a manual of expectations to be filled.  Expectations injected from outside sources such as parents, siblings or environmental circumstances eventually subside, leaving one standing toe-to-toe in a tug of war versus happiness or reality.

The author, Charles Dickens of Great Expectations was fully aware of this conundrum.  This book has been labeled a classic due to the understanding that we all have a bit Charles Dickens' character, Pip in us... Seeking self worth through what society determines; until more times than not, as we mature, we exhale after the realization that happiness is an internal process and not some external situation such as status or wealth.

A brilliant read.

The Seat of the Soul
Gary Zukav

Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey and the late Maya Angelou; public icons for decades as they advanced in their respected careers.  Externally they accumulated trappings physically measurable, however it's their internal evolution that propelled many immensely.

These three figures, acquainted with connecting to higher self, alignment with purpose and releasing the wheel of superficial strength, inspired me to read (they endorsed) Gary Zukav's, Seat of the Soul.

A book inspiring those seeking to find their inner connectivity to life and others' those that integrate before and after we are here.

April 2020

How To Read A Financial Report
John A. Tracy & Tage C. Tracy

Kudos to John and Tage Tracy.  Well written.  I recommend this to anyone, currently or striving to be an entrepreneur, private investor, or seeking to purchase by acquisition.

The Tracy's organize numbers, income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements into it's clearest form, making it simple for both the fledgling or accomplished capitalist.

Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain

Written thirteen decades ago, 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' characterizes different societal circumstances but similar school of thought from tensions that continue today.

With vernacular this honest, Twain's undertone explores the fact - quality people exist in unpleasant conditions.

All too often the public generalizes and discriminates subconsciously based on religious affiliation, political preference, tone of skin, culture, background, et cetera... but this American novel plants the seed of reflection as Huck narrates his adventures.  Classic.

March 2020

Business Secrets from the Bible
Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, relentlessly elevates civilization with divine information through applied Biblical business truths.

When Rabbi Lapin communicates, we should devour his concepts, terms, and notions.  He's a messenger for the Lord's language.  Rare individuals are able to comprehend the Word of God; remodeling it into permanent understanding, useful for contemporary life.

February 2020

Tools Of Titans
Tim Ferriss

Easily and decisively - without question one of the most preeminent books I have read.  A publication bundled with awareness, brainpower, and penetrating insightfulness.  My highlighter dried out.

January 2020

How Children Succeed
Paul Tough

As a parent myself, a great read to collect informative well researched particulars to consider during child raising.

We all want the best for our children.  Education is usually the most important consideration.  Author Paul Tough begs to differ.

How To Eat To Live
Elijah Muhammad

I stated last year how eating and understanding my biology has been a priority.  Based on surface optics, NOI brothers live well.  I am a firm believer, what is in us will penetrate outwardly; better or worse.

Many applications must function at optimal use (along with a bit of luck) in order to have a long life.  That being stated, “controlled balanced eating habits is a must”.  Elijah Muhammad gives heartfelt nuggets, drawn upon from his religious beliefs in order to help those that have not acquired basic eating direction.

Very surface level wisdom and somewhat redundant; but hey, repetition is the father of learning.

Born A Crime
Trevor Noah

Brilliant.  Must read.  A fan or not of Noah's, his pinpoint - surgical story telling sewn simultaneously with humor, confusion and legalistic oppression births a timeless fashionable memoir.

Noah's mother, like many young men is his constant.  As the ancient ages have shown us, a caring mother - son relationship is held at high esteem.

Quit Like A Millionaire
Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung

No trust fund, gimmicks or luck needed to follow the authors blue print.  Many ways to skin the cat of finance.  If you desire to stop existing in a 9-5 system and want to mold your lifestyle into budgeting and traveling the globe at an early age this is book is for you.

Reproducing the next Apple, Tesla, Microsoft is a class that most would not sign up for, however replicating Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung' blue print for early retirement for travel and geographical arbitrage is simple to follow.  With detailed step by step process, you too could retire early.

December 2019

Thou Shall Prosper
Rabbi Daniel Lapin

The wisdom of Rabbi Daniel Lapin has and will continue to help masses across all sectors of religious and non religious individuals.  No matter how successful or sophisticated the reader may be, Lapin's informative way helps the reader construct a helpful, honest, transparent and useful view of Jewish business traditions.

30 Lessons for Living
Karl Pillemer

Reading the wisdom spoken from those that have lived a long life creates a warmth alongside thought provoking situations.  A lot of the things the author touches on we have heard, however reading it from those we do not have affinity with - allows it to sink in deeper.

For those wanting to put life into a perspective of balance, love, relationships, career, kids etc.  Please read.  Especially those that have yet to enter that season of life.

Jake's Mountain Road
Wayne Clawson

I went to school where this shocking story took place.  I remember hearing the story and taking “The Walk for Awareness” on campus, but it never connected with me until I read this book written by Wayne Clawson.  My empathy goes out to all the families.  Very informative but sorrowful.

Jay-Z Made In America
Michael Eric Dyson

Eric Dyson is a modern day brilliant mind who scribes cultural icons.  A must read for those who enjoy Shakespearean word play.  Dyson juxtaposes lyrical street content with mainstream political subliminal messages by dissecting the mind of one of the most influential artist of our time, Jay Z.

November 2019

The Reason for God
Timothy Keller

I recommend this book for readers looking for spiritually-challenged questions that have a deep layer of substance.  The author's style is very similar to the late great C.S. Lewis where pondering questions can not be answered with surface knowledge of the Bible.

Those that choose to broach topics on Christianity with family, friends and/or coworkers, before doing so take a glimpse of a playbook from Redeemer Pastor Keller who has set up shop for years in the heart of New York.  As stated, “layer substance” so if a reader is looking for an emotional quick fix, I would read elsewhere.  However, if he/she is in the mindset of intellectually learning - start here.

October 2019

What Would The Rockerfellers Do?
Garret B. Gunderson

Powerful families have come, gone and some still here.  Vanderbilt, Disney, Carnegie, Kennedy to name a few.  No matter the era - The Rockefellers have thus far mastered the process of transferring wealth by being their own bank, utilizing cash value insurance.

For those aspiring to be their own bank by pulling back the blinds from the family that mastered the process - please read.  The knowledge is beneficial during your lifetime and when you are gone.  Enjoy.

September 2019

5 Day Weekend
Nik Halik & Garret B. Gunderson

I advocate for conventional and unconventional ways to invest.  If you are either or, I recommend this book.  Halik and Gunderson get your wheels turning.

The authors hit on key points and if handled strategically, can be utilized effectively for short and long term wisdom.  The books vision is for each reader to push beyond their personal beliefs when it comes to financial freedom and not limit themselves based on what their circumstances say.

Gunderson and Halik inspire readers to connect deeper with their purpose of life and living while becoming a driver of their destiny.

Whether you are a conventional or unconventional investor you can gather some nuggets from the pages.

August 2019

Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Economist Levitt and Dubner in an unconventional way, debunk claims that have penetrated into the minds of many generations.

Potential readers will unpack hidden details about theories that have created a conundrum among fellow citizens; students and teachers, real estate agents and sellers, parents and children etc.

The erection of topics presented, give clear-eye glimpses of human behavior in the extremities of poverty, abortion, drug dealing, baby naming, cheating teachers.  I recommend for anyone inquisitive about illusion versus reality.

Better Dads, Stronger Sons
Rick Johnson

Many young boys are out in the world without a GPS to manhood.  The Bushido (way of the warrior) is now lagging at a far distance to other movements.  Whether you currently have children or not - this book is pivotal to educating yourself with proverbial wisdom.  As the saying goes - The father builds, never destroys.

July 2019

You Herd Me!  I'll Say It If Nobody Else Will
Colin Cowherd

Calling ALL sports fans... one of the most vital vehicles I have been riding since a toddler has been the sports - especially basketball.

I am not an avid sports talk radio or tv show watcher/listener, but I do watch/listen to The Herd on Fox Sports weekdays from time to time.  Colin's book sprinkles inquisitive thoughts and provocative statements; chapters that make the mind say, “isn't that interesting”.  He definitely drops nuggets for the reader to take to the barbershop and have countless debates.  Must be in a sports fan's collection.

Dave Ramsey

As an entrepreneur myself I have definitely enjoyed the wisdom of Dave Ramsey in his book, EntreLeadership.  I have been fortunate to start my own businesses and will become more astute because of the jewels that Ramsey scribed.

This book is a simple yet practical read with first hand experiences from someone who has built a massive fortune and following by helping others move onward and upward by applying biblical principles, cultural partnerships and common sense into the workforce.

For anyone who has aspirations to build a company or anyone who has already started - READ THIS BOOK!  Mark pages that apply to your challenges and have all your partners, employees, etc. dive into the chapters that could be beneficial for growth.

There is a famous proverbial statement that urges me to advocate Ramsey's book - “Smart men learn from their mistakes, but brilliant men learn from the mistakes of others”.  I submit to all aspiring businessmen/women; learn from those that have done.  Enjoy.

June 2019

Understanding the Purpose and Power of Men
Dr. Myles Munroe

I have been a student of Dr. Myles Munroe for many years to date.  His seminars, youtube videos, sermons and books; I recommend.

We are living in times that can be an enigma to understand the purpose of women and men.  How can we both coexist together as one?  Roles have been changed due to women becoming more self sufficient, educated, ambitious; however, Dr. Munroe's basic principles can represent guidelines for us men and woman to keep in mind.

Many men are meandering through the road of life - LOST and CONFUSED; not knowing why they exist.  This book has chapters to help find the starting point to those who struggle finding their purpose.  Not only do I encourage males to open read this book, but females as well so they can understand God's original intent for men.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave
Frederick Douglass

A first phase memoir of one of the most prolific black males in our American history.  A detailed written book of his thoughts as a slave and how becoming free was his mission. &nbs;Do or Die.  What power it was learning to read and apply his knowledge to a tumultuous season in American history.  Frederick exemplifies the power of the mind and strength of his inner soul.

Killing Jesus
Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

A dive into the story of the most influential person to ever walk the face of the Earth.

Whether religious or not I recommend getting a better understanding of Christ's purpose, the ways of historical laws compared to modern society, and the enigma that surrounds all things Christianity.

May 2019

Think & Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill

My recommendation for an annual read.  Even though the book targets those who seek riches; you can utilize the methods discussed in the chapters for all aspects you so desire.  Think and Grow....can be a title for whatever an individual decides to accomplish.  Definitely ponder each chapter as you apply the principles through your life.  A MUST READ!

Child Guidance
Ellen G. White

I recommend for anyone who is expecting a child, has a child or considering.  Although the writer narrates completely from a spiritually religious perspective I do challenge anyone inclining their behavior to bring up their children in a manner that focuses on planting the seed of love, nurturing, understanding, patience; give the book a shot.  Their is no “ONE” way to raise a child however Mrs. White does have a gamut of chapters to at least dab into and create some experience.  A long read but the information has the reader turn the pages rapidly.

April 2019

Just Mercy
Brian Stevenson

Unless we have truly witnessed live The Justice System and how challenging it can be we only know what we have heard via mainstream media.  Here is an author who gave his life fighting for another life to get he or she off death row.  A must read to anyone seeking compassion and purpose driven opportunities.

March 2019

The Deep State Exposed
James Rickards

Although I follow the laws of the land I do not live my life based on who's running Washington.  Where most see black - look for white in order to see between the lines.  People fear the unknown, become a student to be aware of agendas so we can be proactive and not reactive.

February 2019

Gang Leader For A Day
Sudhir Venkatesh

A riveting adventure into the heart of gang culture from leader and spectator perspective.  Author, Sudhir Venkatesh decides to learn the intricacies of under world gang life by befriending and learning from one of the leaders of a well known gang in Chicago.

The author illustrates an opaque view about housing projects, proximity, police, street justice, corner stores, crime, drugs, justice system, death and the trap.  I recommend for those curious to understand trickle down economics from top to bottom.

Poverty, Riches & Wealth
Kris Vallotton

A good read for those seeking understanding of Biblical principles of wealth.  The pastor/author not only preaches the gospel but he is a business owner teaching application for those interested in financial augmentation.  Very informative for those looking to expand from riches to wealth.

The Third Door
Alex Banayan

Each of us has an inner voice that constantly echos our thoughts.  Society, family and friends plant the seed of doubt and therefore we procrastinate our desires/purpose.

The Third Door inspires readers to reconnect.  The author challenges his audience to take back their life, by giving you descriptive testimonials from successful individuals such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett etc...

A must read for those looking to start a new life of business/innovation/start-up.

January 2019

Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X
Randy Roberts & Johnny Smith

Two world figures with synonymous beliefs and lives due to their oratory skills molded a generation of men and women.  A very in depth look at how misinformed individuals become duped by the wolf in sheep's clothing and lose their once unbreakable relationship over politics and religion.

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play
Kobe Bryant

My favorite basketball player of all time - not because he was the best physically, but the scientific breakdown of the game he had.  He was the Quincy Jones of footwork, Michael Schumacher of precision body angles and Jason Bourne - like assassin specialist.  In this easy read, Kobe takes the reader inside the mind explaining in depth the mentality that forever will be linked to him.

35 Days to Good Health
Bernard B.Beale

My birthday came a day early this year!  Although I am rather young I have to be mindful I am not a spring chicken.  As a former professional athlete, I spent hours on crafting the external parts of my body.  Although this is a still a significant allocation of my day, I have now prioritized as much or more, in studying how my internal well-being functions along with simple changes to consider in order to remain healthy, pliable, and vigorous.  No matter how we slice it, we are what we eat and Mr. Beale has committed countless hours studying the balance of food, water, exercise etc, to name a few.

Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete
William C.Rhoden

The title alone is very intriguing - an oxymoron.  The author breaks down how sports in the black communities have hindered growth amongst themselves beyond the game and makes a strong stance of systemic engineering in order for athletes to lose control.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Alex Haley

An introspective look into the life and times of one of the most popular black American figures.
Alex and Malcolm give an in depth look of how experiences from society cultivate our thoughts into things that produce action; good or bad.
This is hands down the top 5 book I have ever read.  His story had a profound impact on me due to the challenges he pursued to overcome for his community, his brilliant mind and evolving global presence.  I highly recommend to anyone no matter what religious, political, cultural background.



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