What I Read: Q1 2023

Jonathan Farrell
5 min readMar 31, 2023

Discipline is Destiny, Ryan Holiday

This is the second book in the series on the cardinal virtues: Courage, Discipline, Justice, and Wisdom. Much of the content feels repetitive if you’ve read his other books but I consider it a good kind of repetitive. Stoicism should be practiced and that’s what reading Holiday’s books feels like. And still, there are many nuggets buried in here. I love starting off a new year with a book like this.

Dominion, Darius Hinks

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this up. I’ve been painting Age of Sigmar figures recently — though not playing the game yet — and I wanted to tie in some storyline to make it interesting. It worked. The book fueled my painting and the painting fueled my reading. Everything came to life. The story provides a “mortal” look into the world of Sigmar. There isn’t a crazy amount of lore. It provides just enough to get you going and keep things interesting. Fast-moving, well-written and has a wonderfully imagined climax. This is a great, natural introduction to the world of Age of Sigmar. I can’t wait to read — and paint — more.

The Nineties, Chuck Klosterman

This isn’t history in the traditional sense and it isn’t necessarily a fun nostalgia trip through the nineties. It feels like the post-mortem of a transformative decade, an in-between time from the old world that is irretrievably gone and the reality we now live in. Significant events are analyzed from a modern perspective through music, politics, movies, and the news. This is the first book I’ve read from Chuck Klosterman so I wasn’t familiar with his writing style. There is no real flow to the “story” progression and it felt a bit jumpy at times. But in the end, it all seemed to make sense. This was fun to read.

The Little Red Writing Book, Brandon Royal

Short and sweet, this book covers the basic principles of good writing very effectively. Full of information on structure, style, readability, and grammar. Easy to read, full of examples for both “correct” and “incorrect” usages. A nice little grammar and style guide that is fun to read.

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads, Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden

I’ve been reading this since last April when my daughter was born. The sections are grouped by month and since she is about to turn 10 months I finished up with the 10–12 months section. This reads like a Boy Scout handbook — with sketch drawings and illustrations of practicality and function with a twist of fun. Some of the advice is hilariously out of date and it doesn’t really cover topics in enough depth to be used as a standalone reference. This would make a great baby shower gift and is better read before the baby is born.

The Great Money Reset, Jill Schlesinger

Although most of this book wasn’t relevant to my current situation, it was refreshing to read a personal finance book with new ideas. It is framed in a modern context — post global pandemic — as many people have begun questioning their financial lives. Jill, in a very conversational tone, helps to identify and navigate those questions with the help of a collection of personal stories and advice. For those looking to “reset” their money plan, this is a great place to start. There are a lot of great sparks that should produce some productive financial thought exercises.

I received an Advance Review Copy and am happy in sharing my review. I thank the publisher and author for the opportunity to read it.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Burton G. Malkiel

Another classic that has been on my list for a while. This is a foundational book that many modern investing influencers are based on. There is a decent amount of theory with supporting evidence. It can feel a bit dense at times but it’s not overly complex. It’s more in-depth than most investing books out there and it will help you understand at a slightly deeper level, getting a glimpse of the caveats and complexities of the markets.

Nexus + Other Stories, Dan Abnett + Many More

This collection is meant to serve as an introduction to the various factions within the Warhammer 40K universe. The stories work nicely as a primer for the different kinds of characters and moods within the factions. Some were really good while others were lacking a bit. A couple of them completely consumed me and I couldn’t put the book down. Overall, very enjoyable and a great starting point for 40K fiction. I already have my next reads bookmarked!

Do Hard Things, Steve Magness

This is a different kind of book about toughness. Interesting and thought provoking, drawing on research and stories from different spheres of life. As a runner, I felt like I could really translate and appreciate Steve’s message. Great insights, relatable stories, and well grounded. Whether you are an athlete, a manager, a coach, or a person who is simply trying to be the best you can be, this book will make a difference.



Jonathan Farrell

Full stack developer, philanthropist and triathlete focused on user experience, innovation and making the world a better place. https://jonathanfarrell.info