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In his Autobiography, Steel Magnate and Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie writes a glowing tribute about Colonel James Anderson, the man who opened his library to young boys in the community and in the process encouraged young Andrew to become a life long learner.

“As the twig is bent the tree’s inclined.” The treasures of the world which books contain were opened to me at the right moment. The fundamental advantage of a library is that it gives nothing for nothing. Youths must acquire knowledge themselves. There is no escape from this.


With all their pleasures the messenger boys were hard worked. Every other evening they were required to be on duty until the office closed, and on these nights it was seldom that I reached home before eleven o’clock. On the alternating nights we were relieved at six. This did not leave much time for self-improvement, nor did the wants of the family leave any money to spend on books. There came, however, like a blessing from above, a means by which the treasures of literature were unfolded to me.

Colonel James Anderson–I bless his name as I write–announced that he would open his library of four hundred volumes to boys, so that any young man could take out, each Saturday afternoon, a book which could be exchanged for another on the succeeding Saturday. My friend, Mr. Thomas N. Miller, reminded me recently that Colonel Anderson’s books were first opened to “working boys,” and the question arose whether messenger boys, clerks, and others, who did not work with their hands, were entitled to books. My first communication to the press was a note, written to the “Pittsburgh Dispatch,” urging that we should not be excluded; that although we did not now work with our hands, some of us had done so, and that we were really working boys.  Dear Colonel Anderson promptly enlarged the classification. So my first appearance as a public writer was a success.

My dear friend, Tom Miller, one of the inner circle, lived near Colonel Anderson and introduced me to him, and in this way the windows were opened in the walls of my dungeon through which the light of knowledge streamed in. Every day’s toil and even the long hours of night service were lightened by the book which I carried about with me and read in the intervals that could be snatched from duty. And the future was made bright by the thought that when Saturday came a new volume could be obtained. In this way I became familiar with Macaulay’s essays and his history, and with Bancroft’s “History of the United States,” which I studied with more care than any other book I had then read. Lamb’s essays were my special delight, but I had at this time no knowledge of the great master of all, Shakespeare, beyond the selected pieces in the school books. My taste for him I acquired a little later at the old Pittsburgh Theater.

John Phipps, James R. Wilson, Thomas N. Miller, William Cowley–members of our circle–shared with me the invaluable privilege of the use of Colonel Anderson’s library. Books which it would have been impossible for me to obtain elsewhere were, by his wise generosity, placed within my reach; and to him I owe a taste for literature which I would not exchange for all the millions that were ever amassed by man. Life would be quite intolerable without it. Nothing contributed so much to keep my companions and myself clear of low fellowship and bad habits as the beneficence of the good Colonel. Later, when fortune smiled upon me, one of my first duties was the erection of a monument to my benefactor. It stands in front of the Hall and Library in Diamond Square, which I presented to Allegheny, and bears this inscription:

To Colonel James Anderson, Founder of Free Libraries in Western Pennsylvania. He opened his Library to working boys and upon Saturday afternoons acted as librarian, thus dedicating not only his books but himself to the noble work. This monument is erected in grateful remembrance by Andrew Carnegie, one of the “working boys” to whom were thus opened the precious treasures of knowledge and imagination through which youth may ascend.

This is but a slight tribute and gives only a faint idea of the depth of gratitude which I feel for what he did for me and my companions. It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it, as the founding of a public library in a community which is willing to support it as a municipal institution. I am sure that the future of those libraries I have been privileged to found will prove the correctness of this opinion. For if one boy in each library district, by having access to one of these libraries, is half as much benefited as I was by having access to Colonel Anderson’s four hundred well-worn volumes, I shall consider they have not been established in vain.

 Source: The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, 1920.

Barack Obama is one of my favorite people of all time; his story profoundly inspires me. On his 2008 Election victory night and inauguration, I remember how teary I was to see the first Black American President get inaugurated. His campaign slogan “Yes we can” was so moving and apt for that moment with the turmoil in the world back in 2008. Barack’s message of Hope keeps me going during the tough times, and when the chips are down, I usually ask what would Barack do? That I admire Barack is an understatement, I adore and look up to him.

Michelle and Barack are also my favorite couple in the world; I love what they are building, their resilience, and their message of hope for a brighter future. I miss hearing him speak as the president of the United States of America; even though he is not perfect like all of us, he radiated hope for a brighter day with the way he carried himself.

I don’t remember anticipating a book the way have expected this book: A Promised Land: The Presidential Memoirs, Volume 1, set to be released on November, 17th 2020. You can pre-order the memoir from the official website: Obama Book.

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing – Theodore Roosevelt

Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook

In Unfu*k Yourself, Bishop explains the concept of Getting out of your head with a series of seven assertions:

I am willing.
I am wired to win.
I got this.
I embrace the uncertainty.
I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.
I am relentless.
I expect nothing and accept everything.

Assertion One: I am Willing

Willingness is a state in which we can engage with life and see a situation from a new perspective. It starts with you and ends with you.

I first explored the idea of reading 100 books in a year in 2016. It was part of my new year resolution and have tried to do it yearly ever since: a

2016

Goal: Read 100 Hardcover Books
Outcome: Read 50+ Books by December 31st 2016

2017:

Goal: Read 100 Books from my Amazon Kindle.
Outcome: Read 80+ Books by December 31st 2017

2018:

Goal: Read 100 Books from my Amazon Kindle
Outcome: Read 10+ but stopped to make & execute some life decisions (Relocation et al)

2019:

I did not set the goal to read 100 Books but read some books: was not counting but I guess I read 20+ books all year round.

I am presently committed to reading 100 books in 2020 through my 100 Books reading Challenge, You might be wondering how do I intend to read 100 books in 365 days? Here are the strategies that would enable Me (you) achieve it:

  1. Start with Why

Goal Read 100 Books by December 31st 2020

January 2020-7

  1. Relentless: True Story Of The Man Behind Rogers Communications by Ted Rogers
  2. MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins
  3. Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age by Brad Smith
  4. Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry
  5. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
  6. Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins
  7. Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday

February 2020 – 9

  1. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
  2. Artificial Intelligence: Modern Magic or Dangerous Future? by Yoris Wilkis
  3. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker 
  4. 12 Rules of Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
  5. The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth by Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D
  6. Rethinking Reputation: How PR Trumps Marketing and Advertising in the New Media World by Fraser P. Seitel 
  7. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You ThinkBook by Anna Rosling Rönnlund
  8. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  9. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop (7/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary

March 2020 -11

1. Africa’s Business Revolution: How to Succeed in the World’s Next Big Growth Market Hardcover – by Acha Leke , Musta Chironga , George Desvaux 

2. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy by Héctor García

3. Stop Doing That Sh*t: End Self-Sabotage and Demand Your Life Back (Unfu*k Yourself series) by Gary Bishop

4. The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

5. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team By Patrick Lencioni (7/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary

6. Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (8/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary

7. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear (9/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary

8. The ABCs of Success: The Essential Principles from America’s Greatest Prosperity Teacher by Bob Proctor

9. No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity by John C. Maxwell

10. Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership by John C. Maxwell

11. The Leader’s Greatest Return: Attracting, Developing, and Multiplying Leaders by John C. Maxwell

April 2020 – 9

  1. How to Lead When Your Boss Can’t (Or Won’t) by John C. Maxwell
  2. Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It by John C. Maxwell
  3. Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work by John Maxwell
  4. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (8/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  5. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
  6. The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki (9/10): Print Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  7. The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Bob Iger (9/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) Audiobook | Book Summary
  8. The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch (7/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  9. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield ((7/10) : Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary

May 2020-8

  1. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice by  Shunryu Suzuki  
  2. The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (8/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown (9/10): Print Kindle (eBook) Audiobook | Book Summary
  4. Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) (8/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  5. A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen (9/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  6. On Writing Well by William Zinsser (8/10): Print Kindle (eBook) | AudioBook | Book Summary
  7. The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness by Lolly Daskal (7/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  8. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey 

June 2020-6

  1. Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (8/10): Print eBook (Kindle) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  2.  No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy
  3. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (9/10): Print | eBook(Kindle) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  4. Rising Strong by Brené Brown (8/10): Print | eBook (Kindle) Audiobook | Book Summary
  5. The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga (9/10) : Print | eBook (kindle) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  6. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker (9/10): Print | eBook (Kindle) Audiobook | Book Summary

July:7

  1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy (9/10): Print | eBook(Kindle) Audiobook | Book Summary
  2. 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam (7/10): Print | Kindle (ebook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  3. The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde
  4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (10/10): Print | Kindle | Audiobook | Book Summary
  5. The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon (7/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  6. I Will Teach You to Be Rich, No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works by Ramit Sethi 
  7. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

August -9

  1. The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware (9/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) Audiobook | Book Summary
  2. She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey 
  3. The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker (9/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  4. Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter (9/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  5. Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried
  6. Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game by Mark Miller (7/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) Audiobook | Book Summary
  7. Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo (8/10): Print | eBook (Kindle) Audiobook | Book Summary
  8. How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov (8/10): Print | eBook (Kindle) Audiobook | Book Summary
  9. Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 by John C. Maxwell (9/10): Print | Kindle (eBook) Audiobook | Book Summary

September- 6


1.Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (9/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
2. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb. Print | Kindle(eBook) Audiobook | Book Summary
3. The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime! by MJ DeMarco. Print Kindle (eBook) Audiobook | Book Summary
4. The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Wash. (9/10) Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
5. Made In America by Sam Walton. (9/10) : Print Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
6. Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg. Print Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary

October-7

  1. Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier. (9/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  2. The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger. (9/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  3. The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes by David Robson (8/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  4. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin.(8/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  5. Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc. Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  6. Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion by Gary Chapman. (8/10): Print Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary
  7. Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder by Chip Conley. (8/10): Print | Kindle(eBook) | Audiobook | Book Summary

November -6

December -4

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