Read This: The Manward Reading List

Oh no… We taught you how to speed-read… but forgot to tell you what to read.

It’s clear that the Manward brethren enjoyed the Know-How we shared on Friday. Lots of folks wrote us with kind words.

But a few folks wisely pushed things a bit further.

What should we read? they asked. What’s worthy of our time?

Ah, our answer is simple.

Read it all.

If you can get your hands on it… pick it up and turn the pages.

Of course, that’s not all that useful of advice. After all, readers want to know what’s on our nightstand… what we’re devoting our time to this week.

We’ll share what we’re reading, but it comes with a caveat. We read to expand our own context. Our aim is to deepen our understanding of the projects and ideas that are forefront in our own mind.

Your list will – and very much should – look different.

That said… here ‘tis.

Keeping At It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government (Paul Volcker) – We mentioned the former Fed chief a few times last week. His rich comments on the current state of the nation got our attention and had us nodding along.

We’ve read books on every living Fed chairman. And we’ve read what can only be considered encyclopedias on the history of the world’s interest rates. So when we read Volcker’s latest work, our idea wasn’t so much to toe his ideology. No. Our aim is to expand and richen our own.

If you want to understand the swamp, sometimes you need to hold your nose and pull your head under its murky waters.


Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People and a Better World (Joel Salatin) – We hope Joel’s name is familiar. We featured an interview with him in October after he invited us down to his world-famous farm. (Click here and then here.)

This book is marketed as a sort of manual for sideways-looking farmers… but it’s not that – at least not entirely.

It’s a commonsense look at the connections between our food, our economy and our health. And it’s really interesting.

If you’re looking to eat smarter – or, perhaps we should say, be a more informed consumer of food – the book is a worthy read.

It rhymes with so much of what we muse about each morning.

Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution (Doug Fine) – We grabbed a copy of this book, as we’re quite excited about the fortunes of the nation’s hemp industry. As Washington wises up to its ludicrous prohibition efforts, much of the confusion and myths of hemp will quickly disappear.

They’ll be replaced with immense opportunity.

The book does a decent job of showing what’s ahead, but it’s already outdated – even though it was published just a few years ago.

Overall, the analysis is mostly surface level with a clear political bias. Even so, for folks looking to get another point of view on what will soon be a booming industry, it’s worthy of your time. It’s a quick read.

How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships That Really Work (Shari Harley) – As you know, we’re serious about our Connections. After decades in the business world, we’ve found an MBA to be helpful… but it’s the “gift of gab” that truly transforms the good into the great.

Our Triad makes it quite clear that we need to spend as much time building and nurturing our relationships as we do on our money and our Know-How. That’s the aim of putting our nose in this book.

One of the greatest skills a man can have is the ability to clearly communicate what he needs and wants. After all, if you can’t say it… you can’t get it.

Farmacology: Total Health from the Ground Up (Daphne Miller, M.D.) – This is a book we’ve been listening to while we’re on the road. We downloaded it on a whim and are glad we did. While it’s not an example of the world’s best storytelling and it tends to meander, the idea is sound.

It reminds us that we truly are what we eat.

Some of the studies it reveals are fascinating. For example, the author talks of a crazy type of bacteria that when taken from the guts of fat rats and placed into the guts of skinny rats… the skinny rats plumped up in a week, with no changes to their diet.

With plenty of examples like this, the book has us eager to dive into deeper, richer material on the subject.

We got it for free, so we certainly got our money’s worth.

We’d love to hear what you’re reading. Drop us a note at