Everything changed on Christmas Eve of 2020.

My wife came home with a couple of pregnancy tests, and the next thing I knew, shit got real.

But hey, I had a lot of time before the kid showed up in August to keep living life as I’ve lived it for the last few years.

And I continued my lovely morning routine of sitting down and reading in silence for an hour.

For those that have been longtime readers of mine, you know I’ve been an avid reader for nearly a half decade now.

Shit. This is the fifth installment of my year end wrap-up of books I’ve read.

You can check out the others here:

Perhaps you’re an ardent bibliophile like myself. And if that’s the case, then I hope you add some of the books below to your collection.

But like I’ve done each year for the last five years, here’s a rundown of what I’ve read over the last year with a brief sentence or two about what I learned from each book. 

*Note: some of what I learned are sentences directly taken from said books because the author said it better than I could summarize. These will be marked with parenthesis. Everything else will just be italicized*

So, um, like, most of what you “think” you know about pregnancy is probably wrong(ish).

Want to really feel like you’re a part of the story? Read this while sleep deprived with a newborn, and it’s damn near the same as running from Trollocs and Fades.

(The addict seeks to escape the pain of being human in one of two ways—by transcending it or anesthetizing it.)

Women are goddesses with a power men can never touch.

Never mouth breathe, always breathe through your nose.

Bravery is doing something when you’re scared, even though it scares you to the bones.

(Hopers must be sincere in their hope; they must ideally be able to show this by performing actions that have at least something to do with the outcome that they hope will occur.)

So, tires don’t really touch the road. The rubber is literally floating at such a small distance above the road due to the repelling of the tire and the road. This means that really two people are never touching when they touch. I can’t stop thinking about this fact.

(How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.)

(“It’s so poignant, the whole idea of going back and seeing your parents before you were born what happened to them and how having courage in a single woman can change your life. That’s really powerful.

And it’s something you need to remember to be a good person every day. That’s why people watch back to the future over and over again. You need to remember every day that your actions count.

It’s one of those amazing pieces of art we’re all kind of came together and worked. We all know most movies aren’t like that. It’s like lightning in a bottle. If it was just hoverboards in a Time Machine, it wouldn’t have endured, but the ideas of friendship, how are you’d better live your life great or you’re going to be miserable when you’re 47 years old, these are all universal themes that are interesting and inspiring to people.” – Lea Thompson on Back to the Future)

We should appreciate the power within plants more than we probably do. Also, coffee is probably why the Enlightenment happened. Cool.

Testosterone is a really cool hormone. 

True freedom comes with its own constraints that few men would be willing to accept.

Bee Wilson is the best food writer of our generation.

Yet again, the Sith are way cooler than the Jedi.

Hi, my name is Robbie Farlow. I like drugs. And I believe adults should have the freedom to choose what they put into their bodies, they should have access to all the information on any drug they consent to consume, we need to end the war on drugs, and the United States needs to be more like Portugal in how they approach drug use and rehabilitation. 

(Our beliefs on profanity are largely a social construct.)

(Culture creates our myths.)

(The best albums give you something you didn’t know you wanted.)

Grammar is fucking cool.

Steve Martin spent years trying to find his voice. And then, once he did, the magic happened.

(One does not have to be traumatized by trauma; one can grow from trauma.)

The coach is responsible for forwarding the action of the client.

(Once you understand the true authentic power you have, there’s no need to prove it.)

What you believe is what you become.

Germs don’t fuck around.

This is the sequel that no one wanted or needed really, but we got it anyways.

It took place in Kentucky, but it felt like it happened down the road from where I grew up in NC.

(Getting the most out of life means choosing wisely and well.)

(If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.)

Many come to bodybuilding to run from a weakness, the become strong or look strong to not feel weak. But that running can lead to extreme behavior and a loss of true self.

(Quality leadership is neither the product of one great individual nor the result  of odd historical accidents. Rather, it comes from deeply bred traditions and communities that shape and mold talented and gifted persons.)

So, we really need to take a larger look at plastics and how they interact with our

Heartbreak is the greatest muse for any writer.

(Observation, which requires consciousness, determines existence.)

Sports are great. The price some pay for that greatness is more than most are willing to pay.

(Whatever connects you to yourself and inspires you is spiritual work.)

How Dave Grohl feels about Paul McCartney is how I feel about Dave Grohl.

Philip IV is one of history’s greatest assholes.

Without Genghis Khan, those of us with European heritage would still be wearing tunics, paper money would probably never have become a thing, Russia wouldn’t really exist, the West would have never tried to circumvent the globe to get to the East, stringed instruments would be plucked and not bowed, cannons may never have existed. Seriously, Genghis and the rest of the Mongols moved human history forward more than Rome, Persia, Greece, and Egypt combined.

Stories sell.

HBO had some banging shows. Also, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the best shows of all-time, and Emily agrees with me.

Too bad my son decided he was going to have none of this. I could have read something else this year. Thanks, kid.

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