Amazing Book: The Way Of Kings

January15

I finished reading The Way Of Kings a few days ago and it is hands down one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read! It was written by Brandon Sanderson and is the first book in a 10 part series which will slowly be written over the next ten years. Brandon is also the writer who is finishing the Wheel Of Time series.

The book is 1,300 pages and a little slow to start, but only because it has to build stories around the main characters who are in different locations, by mid way you are sucked in and feel like you know the characters incredibly well and are just hoping the next chapter keeps going with their story. Brandon is a genius at developing systems of “magic” or power in all his books and this one is no different. I won’t ruin it but it works well and I like it even more then the one he created in the Mistborn series. In addition the political intrigue is fantastic.

I can’t recommend this book enough!

“Life before Death. Strength before Weakness. Journey before Destination. – The Way of Kings

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Best Books Of 2010 By Category

January1

I finished the challenge to read 100 books in 2010 and figured I would do a list of recommended books out of all of them. I’m going to do the challenge again this year, it was nice to write little mini reviews and have something remind me to read.

5 Best Fantasy Books + Historical Fiction
*I’m combining these as there are a few that blur the lines.

1. The Warded Man series by Peter Brett. The third book is due to be released soon and the story places you in a world much like our own (perhaps ours many years from now) where demons rise out of the ground and towns have to be protected by complex wards. This story follows a very driven individual who wants to discover how to use the wards to go on the offensive and reclaim the world from the demons that emerge at night. Well written and fascinating world.

2. The Blade Itself series by Joe Abercrombie (3 books). One of the most unique fantasy novels I’ve ever read, it starts off normal but very quickly you realize that this is a dark series with a very unique outlook and sense of humor. I highly recommend it!

3. The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. The books place you in a world of revolution where some individuals can burn metals they ingest to give themselves super powers. Highly recommend, fantastic writer, and a very balanced system of powers.

4. The Long Man and The Point Man by Steven Englehart. I can’t wait for more of these, imagine that James Bond loves rock music, was in Vietnam, and also that alchemy and magic are real (and well explained) and he can live forever and so on. The universe is amazing, and the writing is fantastic.

5. Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. I love historical fiction and this is one of the best novels I have read in that genre. Everything takes place in the 9th dynasty of China and reading it is like picking up pure crack, very hard to stop.

Runner UP: The Deed Of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon. A old school three book fantasy series which is a little slow to get started but sucks you into a fantastic story and world. Reminds me a lot of wheel of time. And also a mention to The Hunger Games series which is also fantastic.

3 Best Sci Fi Books

1. The Truth Machine. Imagine that there is a machine that can tell if anyone is lying, what affect would that have civilization. Great book!

2. Freedom by Daniel Suarez. This is the sequel to one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read Daemon. If you want to glimpse the future pick up these books.

3. The Lost Fleet series of 6 books by Jack Campbell. A classic old school space adventure, a quick fun read!

3 Best Business Books

1. Build To Last by Jim Collins. A lot of people have mentioned this book and I am happy to say it was a fantastic book. I have already digested through third parties and my own goals a lot of what he talks about, but this book is a must read for anyone trying to build a company or business. My copy has bookmarks every other page and I had to pause to write notes on my iPhone every few pages.

2. Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization by two authors. Since I manage a customer service company this was a great read and it really generated a lot of ideas. Plus I think over the coming years with FaceBook and twitter customer service is going to become more and more important to any organization.

3. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. A great book that gave me a lot of ideas on how to improve our customer service. Tony did a nice job on this book and it spawned pages of ideas.

3 Best Non Fiction Books

1. War by Sebastian Junger – This is a must read for everyone, Sebastian lived with a platoon of soldiers in one of the most violent areas of Afghanistan. If you want to know what soldiers go through in combat read this. I haven’t seen the documentary Restrepo which is based on this but I would imagine that would also be good to watch.

2. The Coming Population Crash by Fred Pearce. A fantastic book that examines the growth of the world’s population and what we have done in the past and the impact of future growth. Great book and it will be an interesting 20 years with some of the demographics changes. I agree with him that we are going to reach a max population point in the next 50 years and then things will stabilize.

3. My Father, the Captain: My Life With Jacques Cousteau. I love Jacques Cousteau and found this a fascinating read about a really impressive character.

3 Best Travel / Learn About Other Countries Books

1. Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France But Not The French. One of the most fascinating books I’ve read in the last few years. France has an amazing social and political system and this book explains it from a micro and macro level with writing that is easy to digest. Read my full review of this book here. I learned so much.

2. Peter Hessler clinches second this year with Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time In China and Country Driving: A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory

3. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. Bill is one of the funniest amazing writers I’ve ever come across. I’ve read a few of his books and plan to read them all but this one clinches the bronce this year. The book is hilarious while showing you Australia. Like did you know that Australia has 12 foot long earth worms? Probably not, Bill Bryson fixes that lack of knowledge. Also check out A Short History Of Nearly Everything, I wish I had that in college.

Runner Up: Julia Child’s My Life In France. Not only is she a fascinating person who I admire, but she also shows you what France was like after WW2 as well as American politics. What I saw was not something history has shown from such a personal level (especially some of the anti communist McCarthy era politics they went through).

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).


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