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Reading List Updates - Lone Wolf and Cub, Ultimate Sales Machine, Think and Grow Rich, Greatest Salesman in the World

I finished the Lone Wolf and Cub series, which was excellent. It's 28 books, a tale of a fallen samurai out on a quest for vengeance. Very philosophically deep and powerful. The whole series is very, very good, though I feel it dragged on a little bit at the end. There's an amazing duel between a great marksman and Itto, and then then Itto hijacks a ship to Edo (modern day Tokyo). After that, the series kind of meanders around - it could've ended in 2-3 books after that, but instead it went much longer, introducing a new antagonist and plotlines, fleshing out the backstory of the primary antagonist... it seemed just unnecessary, which is why I had a hard time getting through the last five books after enjoying the first 20 so much.

With that said, it's one of my favorite stories and my favorite comic of all time now. Well, calling it a "comic" doesn't do it justice - it's beautifully drawn, with lots of great philosophy and deep points. You definitely want to read at least the first three books. I wrote about this in Rule an Empire, a Fistful of Rice, with excerpts from the comic and discussion on the philosophy. If you're curious about the series, go read that post right now - I think you'll enjoy it, it's been a favorite around here.

I finished "The Ultimate Sales Machine" by Chet Holmes. Wow, that was a great read. Brilliant. Highly recommended, probably the best business book I've read since The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.

I listened to "The Greatest Salesman in the World" on audio - a very nice book, quite moving. It has some basic lessons for sales and life in the form of a narrative back in Biblical times. The audio was recorded by its author, Og Mandino, some 20 years after the book came out, so he's in his 50's or so. Really lovely, thoughtful piece, with good lessons. I really enjoyed it. His voice is nice to listen to too - it's very different from professional vocalists who are more steadfast, this one feels more like your grandfather is telling you a story.

Be the User but not the Slave of the Gifts of Fortune (quote)

On Mike Dariano

This is why Marcus, immediately after advising readers to spend time thinking about how much they would miss their possessions if these possessions were lost, warns them to "beware lest delight in them leads you to cherish them so dearly that their loss would destroy your peace of mind." Along similar lines, Seneca, after advising us to enjoy life, cautions us not to develop "over-much love" for things we enjoy. To the contrary, we must take care to be "the user, but not the slave, of the gifts of Fortune." Page 83.

I just recently finished reading A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy and no recent book has resonated quite as strongly with me. I enjoyed so many parts of this book that I didn't want to write a traditional review but instead wanted to share direct quotes that will explain much better than I what Stoicism is and is not.

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