What I’m Reading: The Future of Performance, How to Change the World, and “Imaginary Time”

I’m always fascinated to learn what other people are reading – especially those people I admire.

When Tim Ferriss shares his latest book club recommendation, I listen.

If Ramit recommends his favorite psychology books, I’m going to buy one of those titles.

When my daughter demands I read Everyone Poops for the 7th time, you can bet your next race registration fee that I’ll be reading more about poop.

Today I’m going to share the three must-have books that I’m reading right now.

Most of them aren’t about running – can you believe that I have interests outside of training theory and periodization models?! – but all of them are fascinating books that will change how you view the world.

If you only read about running, check out my extensive list of recommended running books. Or you can see what was on my bookshelf last year here.

Faster, Higher, Stronger

Faster Higher StrongerI first mentioned this book in episode 4 of Q&A with Coach. I still haven’t finished it (I have a bad habit of reading 3+ books at once) but it’s awesome.

Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes – And What We Can Learn From Them by Matt McClusky wins the award for longest sub-title. But also for the cool factor.

From the inside flap:

“Examining the ever-evolving intersection of sports, science, and technology, McClusky explores:

  • Tricks for the brain to help the body fight fatigue
  • Nutritional hacks that fuel athletes
  • The huge impact data can have on training
  • Smart ways to  speed up learning a new skill
  • The competitive benefits of being a late bloomer

Brimming with cutting-edge science and gripping anecdotes, Faster, Higher, Stronger is a fascinating, exhilerating look at how far we can push the boundaries of our bodies and minds.”

Awesome, right?

What I’m particularly interested in is the chapter on recovery. Few runners realize that recovery is just as important as training and there are countless insights in that chapter alone that could change your training.

For example, did you know that one-off efforts and high intensity efforts are negatively impacted by lack of sleep (obviously), but sustained efforts and aerobic work seem to suffer an even larger setback?

So, your CrossFit buddy who has a 20-minute WOD might razz you for needing your beauty sleep before a long run, but there’s a physiological reason why you need more sleep than he does.

Check out the book on Amazon here.

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World

BoldSometimes, I buy a book simply because the author is someone I need to learn about.

In the case of Bold, co-author Peter Diamandis is like a modern-day Benjamin Franklin:

  • After getting degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering from MIT, he got his MD from Harvard Medical School
  • A NYT-bestselling author, he’s the founder of more than 15 high-tech companies
  • He’s the executive chairman of the Singularity University (goal: to solve humanity’s biggest problems)
  • Founder of Planetary Resources, Inc., which hopes to mine asteroids for mineral resources
  • Cofounder of Human Longevity, Inc., which hopes to extend average human lifespan by 30 years

If someone with that type of resume writes a book about how to change the world, I’m going to buy it in a second.

And I did.

Diamandis’ coauthor is also no slouch. Steven Kotler is a NYT-bestselling author and director of research at the Flow Genome Project. His work has been translated into 35 languages and his articles have appeared in over 70 publications.

The opening chapters are stunning, exploring how exponential technologies like 3-D printing, artificial intelligence, and synthetic biology can combine with “moonshot thinking” to impact the lives of billions around the world.

If you’re interested in thinking at scale, science fiction-like technology, and the power of crowdfunding, then Bold is a must-read.

A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of TimeI’m a space geek.

I devoured Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson. I’m fascinated by the Fermi Paradox. And in college, I bought a book about string theory.

So it’s no surprise that I’m reading Stephen Hawking’s classic book A Brief History of Time

Where else can you nerd out on the fate of the universe? Or the difference between “real time” and “imaginary time?”

Or my favorite mind-bender: is there a boundary to the universe or is it unending?

My brain hurts just thinking about it.

If learning about black holes and the possibility that time didn’t even exist before the Big Bang gets you riled up, you have to read A Brief History of Time. 

See more details here.

What’s On Your Reading List?

These are just a few of the books in my “to read” pile. You’ll also see:

Now it’s your turn – what’s on YOUR reading list?

Leave a comment below telling the SR community what you’re reading. If you’re like me, you love book recommendations, so this should be fun.

Thanks and enjoy!

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