2014-A year of good books

Books on dresserSo for the year end blog, rather than just go on about my life’s events, I saved that for last, and figured I’d give useful information about the books I’ve read or listened to this year so other bookworms could benefit.

Thanks to the online library, technology and boring jobs, I went through many more audiobooks than I would’ve read myself.  First I’ll list my top five, then for those that want to delve further, you can read a longer list.


Top Five Josh Books for 2014

This was tough to narrow it down, because there’s so many good ones!

  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
  • Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis
  • The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman
  • Jab Jab Jab Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary V-The reason I chose this was, because Gary V is one of the few people who can actually teach social media from a business perspective.


Josh’s 2014 Book List

My rating system:

* Fair to decent

** Pretty good

*** Sort of awesome

**** Awesome

  • The Everything Store (Amazon/Jeff Bezos bio)  ***
  • The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman ****
  • Jab Jab Jab Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary V ****
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu *
  • AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War by Tom McNichol **
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb ***
  • Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis ****
  • Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris ****
  • Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception ***
  • Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo ***
  • Put Your Dream to the Test by John Maxwell **
  • Driving Change-The UPS Approach to Business **
  • Power Ambition Glory by Steve Forbes and John Prevas-Compares historical empire builders with today’s business leaders.  Excellent read whether your interests are in business or in history. ***
  • Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell ****
  • My Cross to Bear by Greg Allman **
  • Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider ***
  • Vicksburg from Civil War Battle Series by James Reasoner ***
  • Into the Wild-by Jon Krakauer **
  • The First-time Manager by Loren B. Belker, Gary S. Topchik **
  • Thinking for a Living: How to Get Better Performances And Results from Knowledge Workers *
  • Super Mario-How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan ***
  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow ***
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins ****
  • American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper by Chris Kyle ***
  • Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran’s Brutal Evin Prison by Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh **


Josh’s 2014

Man vs Wild

Look what I got for Christmas. Now in case I jump out of a plane to the Sierra Nevada I can learn from Bear Grylls how to survive. Yeah, buddy.

On a more personal note, it’s been a good year and I’m gradually seeing breakthrough, here’s the summary:

  • New neighborhood-Vancouver
  • New used car-Dodge Intrepid
  • New camera-Nikon 7000 with 18-140mm VR lens and Sigma 10-20mm lens.
  • New job position-Package Dispatch Supervisor-That just means I do logistics on the computer and help the full-time PDS as well as helping manage the preload wrap-up.  There are so many things yet to learn, but I’m glad for the challenge.
  • New major-I’m switching to business at PCC, because it’s more versatile, and I enjoy business more than designing or programming.
  • Adventures-Silver Falls Ten Falls Trail, Lincoln City retreat, Skydiving, backpacking Washington coastline, backpacking Indian Heaven Wilderness


That about sums up my year.  Still single, but why “hang in there” when you can be alive and do something with your life?  Of course there are still ups and downs, struggles, wounds, and triumphs, but I’m very thankful for the friends God has put in my life, what He’s done this year, and the direction He’s taking me.  Here’s to a great new year!

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New Camera

Christmas is over.  (Sigh of relief)  Work’s been crazy, but we made it through.  As a present to myself I got a Nikon 7000 along with two cool lenses, an 18-140mm VR lans and a Sigma 10-20mm.  I took it up Rocky Butte in the evening, and also got some inside shots of the Robinsons’ Christmas decor.

Here’s a photo slideshow.  Enjoy.

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From Negativity to Destiny

Serving at the feastOne thing I appreciate about UPS is they give everyone a chance if they can work hard and focus in the midst of stress.  For an entry-level part-time job, they give good benefits and reimburse college courses so we can get an education in.

Many have worked there for years either moving up in management or staying with teamsters.  So often it seems like family, just regular people trying to make their way through life.  Being in management I often hear the brokenness of people who can barely manage the stress, but are so thankful for the life and the rewards.

Continue reading »

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A Leap of Faith (Literally)

josh taylor parachutingOur group made our way into the plane, loaded in gear.  Yes, I was scared, but somehow I knew it was going to be okay.  As the Monster energized jump-trainer situated the number three passenger in the back, the pilot put his finger to his lips and closed the hatch behind the trainer as his back was turned.  When he was done and got out to situate the next jumper, he bumped his head.  “Pilots…” he murmured, though he was laughing himself.  He then helped the rest of us in.

Okay, so here we go…  Continue reading »



Ice Bucket Challenge

Okay I took the challenge!

This is one of the craziest trends I’ve seen.  Everywhere I look on Facebook is another challenge.  I took the challenge, because I was dared, and I’m all for good causes.  However it is good to do your research before giving.

So if you are interested in ALS, check out this link for ALS research at John Paul 2 Medical Research Institute which does not use stem cells in their research.

Also speaking of causes, this is beside the point, but is urgent right now.  There’s a pressing need at the moment to help the refugees in Iraq who have been forced out of their homes.  Please consider supporting World Vision’s Rapid Response team to Iraq as well as praying for those victims.

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.  -Hebrews 3:13

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Be Alive

They had seen so much of death, that life mattered less than the moments of being alive. Wade Davis-Into the Silence

This quote was about Mallory and his expedition to Everest and how the apocalyptic Great War had influenced them.  It was one of the best history books I’ve listened to, but you can get the basic idea by listening to his lecture.  Yes, it’s long, but well worth it.  I think about these guys and the sacrifice they made, and am so grateful for the freedom and peace I have in my own life.


My Own Adventures

I might not fight in a war or climb Everest, but I enjoy taking time to enjoy small adventures of my own. The bloggers are saying we should travel more and I agree.  Travel enriches your life, educates you, brings you out of your comfort zone, etc.  That’s all awesome.  But the cheapskate that I am, travelling to other countries is expensive.  I mean, yeah, follow your passion, but people spend so much money and time following their passion, they never make any money to truly change things.  Hence the hipster scene of Portland.  Better to invest the money…

That being said, what’s the next best thing?  Backpacking in the Northwest! Continue reading »


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