my name is phillip

This is my little corner of the internet

I like books, music, cooking, Gardening, mountaineering, and building embedded systems

Books I've Read Recently


I'm sorry to say that I've neglected this list. Somehow, I didn't get any notifications that people signed up, so I never sent anything out. But I see there are four of you in the crowd, and I want to thanks you for your interest in what I have to say.

Things have been quite busy with remodeling our house and running a business. Keeping up with my reading notes and publishing them on the website has taken a back seat. At the least, I figured I could take a moment to recommend some of my favorite reads from the past three months.

The Triumph of Christianity provides a historical view on the growth of Christianity. As the marketing blub asks, "How did a religion whose first believers were twenty or so illiterate day laborers in a remote part of the empire became the official religion of Rome, converting some thirty million people in just four centuries?" The concept truly is astonishing, and Ehrman provides a look into the Roman world and the historical growth of Christianity.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry is a short pop-science book by NDT. He starts the book off by exploring the formation of the universe after the big bang. He reaches far and wide in his astrophysics summary, teaching us about dark matter, Einstein's "biggest blunder", and how post-apocalyptic scientists won't even be able to tell that there are other galaxies. My favorite part was the taste of a cosmic perspective - we are a part of this grand, interesting universe.

The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully was recommended by a mentor after Gerry Weinberg passed away. As a consultant, I think it's one of the most important books I've read. But this book is also useful for anyone who serves as an advisor, team lead, or persuader. Plus the book is full of amusing anecdotes and quips about human nature that we can all relate to.

I picked up Rites and Symbols of Initiation as part of an ongoing deep-dive into mythology, psychology, and religion. Eliade explores traditional rites of initiation from around the world, highlighting commonalities about the initiatory experience. Reading this book makes me wonder how much we've lost by largely discarding our initiatory rituals.

Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching is my favorite religious texts. Every time I revisit the book I gain more and more insight into its strange and wonderous pages. Red Pine's translation of the Tao Te Ching is my favorite. Each passage has accompanying commentary and notes on his approach to the translation, both of which are helpful to anyone studying this test.

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry is a beautiful collection of sacred poems put together by Stephen Mitchell. Stephen also has an excellent translation of the Tao Te Ching.

Direct Truth is a new book by Kapil Gupta. Kapil has some interesting insights into performance and our conditioning which have caused me to heavily rethink my perspective. Direct Truth is a good read, though I think Atmamun is his best book

These books are next up on my reading list:

I hope you've found something in here that piques your interest. I think that dedicating an hour a day to reading is one of the fastest ways to improve yourself. For the small price of a book, you can gain access to the wisdom someone gathered over their lifetime, if not hundreds of lifetimes. A new idea or perspective has tremendous power to change your life. Don't miss out on this valuable human treasure.

Until next time,


2019 is off to a wild start