Reading St. Josemaria’s The Way

Reading this book now.
 
It’s on sale in Amazon. Go here: http://amzn.to/2qhc6aj
 
This is what I love about St. Josemaria Escriva: He is tough. He has grit. He is very manly. He sounds a lot like a strict father or a stern uncle — or a tough coach, or an army general, or a Navy SEAL officer, or a knight — giving you a jolt of reality, shaking and waking you up, telling you things you needed to hear. And for some reason, too, he reminds me of Johnny Cash.
 
He has a no-nonsense, straightforward style that I really love. Because Christian spirituality is not for wimps. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s for warriors, because the Christian life involves struggles and battles and waging wars against the self, temptations, and real evils in the world.
 
I’m just a few pages into the book and already I found these gems:
 
“Don’t let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and of your love.”
 
“May your behavior and your conversation be such that everyone who sees or hears you can say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ.”
 
“Maturity: Stop making faces and acting up like a child! Your bearing ought to reflect the peace and order of your soul.”
 
“Don’t say, “That’s the way I am — it’s my character.” It’s your lack of character. Esto vir! — Be a man!”
 
And my favorite:
 
“You clash with the character of one person or another… It has to be that way — you are not a dollar bill to be liked by everyone.
If your character and that of those around you were soft and sweet like marshmallows, you would never become a saint.”
 
Wow!

Today’s Free and Bargain Books

Hello, fellow bibliophiles!

Do you like ebooks? How about bestselling ebooks? How about hugely discounted bestselling ebooks? How about free bestselling ebooks?

Me too!

Did you know that the Internet is flooded every single day with free or hugely discounted (read: 70% off) bestselling ebooks?

Me neither. Until recently.

I absolutely love books, especially if they’re free or discounted. I love sharing them, too. So I figured, hey, why not post them here for my readers?

Every day, I will post the links to these titles here in my blog. Take note, though, that they will only be free or discounted for a limited time (typically 24 hours), so get them as soon as I publish them here.

You’re welcome!

Here are the books for today, along with their descriptions:

Little Swan 
By Jonathan London and Kristina Rodanas

Before: $3.99
Now: $1

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

A young swan has much to learn before he migrates for the first time — but will a giant bear keep him from spreading his wings? A “lyrical text” illustrated with “stunning paintings” (Booklist) sure to delight children.

Cinderella
By K. M. Shea

Before: $2.99
Now: Free

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

An enchanting twist on a classic fairy tale: Cinderella has a daring plan to save her homeland — and the dashing Colonel Friedrich is determined to help. But can Cinderella trust a man who works for the kingdom’s cruel queen? With over 800 five-star ratings on Goodreads!

Darkest Journey
By Heather Graham

Before: $6.99
Now: $1.99

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

A New York Times bestseller from a “talented author” (Charlaine Harris): Charlie’s trip back to her hometown takes an unexpected turn when two Civil War reenactors are murdered — and her father becomes the prime suspect. A thrilling mystery with a supernatural twist!

The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Seven
Edited by Ellen Datlow

Before: $9.99
Now: $1.99

Amazon rating: 4/5 stars

From a Bram Stoker Award–winning editor, this anthology of chilling tales will take you into the darkest part of the night… Featuring work by Neil Gaiman, Laird Barron, Garth Nix, and other bestselling authors.

Legend
By David Gimmel

Before: $ 7.99
Now: $ 1.99

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

Druss, a fabled axe-wielding warrior, has laid down arms at last — but an unstoppable invasion forces him back to the battlefield! A perfect choice for Tolkien fans, with over 9,600 five-star ratings on Goodreads.

The Flight of the Silvers
By Daniel Price

Before: $9.99
Now: $1.99

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

An action-packed sci-fi read with over 1,100 five-star Goodreads ratings: When their world comes to a devastating end, Amanda and Hannah are transported to a new Earth where the laws of nature are completely foreign. “Highly recommended” (Library Journal starred review).

Final Witness
By James Scott Bell

Before: $13.99
Now: $0.99
Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars
Law clerk and devoted Christian Rachel has just been handed a major career opportunity. But when a key witness is found dead, Rachel will have to fight for justice with everything she has. A Christy Award–winning legal thriller!
 What the CEO Wants You to Know
By Ram Charan

Before: $22.00
Now: $1.99
Amazon rating: 4/5 stars
From a New York Times bestselling author comes a “book that should be read by everyone” (Jac Nasser, former president of Ford Motor Company): Learn how to develop the instincts of a great CEO using these savvy insights into truly successful businesses.
Furious Love
By Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger
Before: $11.99
Now: $1.99
Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars
A New York Times bestseller: At the peak of their fame, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton came together in an explosive romance. “Life outdoes movie melodrama in this raucous, intimate dual biography of Hollywood’s ultimate It Couple” (Publishers Weekly).
 You Are Here
By Christopher Potter
Before: $7.99
Now: $1.99
Amazon rating: 4/5 stars
Take a mind-boggling tour through the mysteries of the known universe in this “popular science masterpiece” (The Guardian) for fans of Bill Bryson and Richard Feynman. This astonishing read is “a wonderful, miraculous book: the whole universe bottled for your delight” (Stephen Fry).

Non-Book Review: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Have you heard of Tim Ferriss? You probably have. He’s a pretty impressive guy: Praised by Fast Company, Forbes’ Magazine, and Fortune Magazine as a businessman and entrepreneur; investor of companies like Facebook, Alibaba, Uber, Shopify, Twitter, and dozens of other successful startups; New York Times best-selling author; and host of his own hugely popular podcast.
 
This, Tools of Titans, is his latest book. It’s sort of a compilation of the best interviews he’s ever had with some of the most interesting, successful, and creative people in the planet. His podcast has been around for many years, so if you want to get the best of what those interviews had to offer but don’t have time to listen to thousands of hours’ worth of podcast episodes, you might want to read this book instead.
 
Also, look at that cover art. Awesome. Get the book here.
(My apologies for this non-review. I’ll have more substantial things to say after reading the book.)

Book Review: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Have you read this book? You should.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin is a leadership book that has application on businesses/organizations, groups, and individuals.

At the heart of the book lies this one principle: extreme ownership, and that is what the book is named after.
It’s partly theoretical (it talks about principles) and practical (it talks about ways the reader can apply these principles in real life). Each chapter also begins with the authors’ stories and experiences in the field of battle, so it reads a little bit like a war memoir. The lessons and principles are drawn from these.
I had so many insights, but these are my greatest takeaways:
1. The success or failure of your organization, business, or group, including your family, depends solely on you as the leader.
2. Ego is a good motivator for winning and succeeding, but too much of it will destroy you. You need to be utterly humble as a leader. Keep your ego in check because it’s not about you, it’s about fulfilling the mission of your company or group.
3. Discipline equals freedom. Motivation is overrated. Discipline is the only key to winning and succeeding.
I highly recommend it! Go here to grab your copy: http://amzn.to/2qdNa2F

Major News!

I have some major news regarding this blog! I’ve been thinking about it for quite a while, and I think now is the perfect time to do this.

I plan to totally overhaul the blog. What that means is that the contents that I will share here will no longer be limited to books, reading, and writing. It will include many other things as well, things I am also passionate about, like vlogging, which I’ve done recently.

I realized that writing and reading are just two of the things I love: I also am fascinated by business, entrepreneurship, startups, public speaking, philosophy, technology, camera gears, vlogging, travelling, luxury, parenting, and many other things. So from now on, I will be doing all sorts of things in this vlog. It will be colorful, exciting, new, fun, different, important, and valuable.

Of course, I’d still be writing stories, and eventually I’d still be able to come up with my own book in the near future. All of my other literary dreams are still there and I’d still reach for them. But I will be expanding to other fascinating interests and ventures and I’d like you to journey with me.

Ciao!

By the way, I really hope to meet each of you in person one of these days. I plan to travel the world with my family in a few years’ time.

I Just Started Vlogging!

 

I’ve been watching Casey Neistat’s vlogs for many months now. Man, they are so addictive! Casey is one of the most interesting and inspiring persons I’ve ever seen on the Internet.

His vlog prompted me to start my own YouTube channel and make my own vlogs. It’s called The Cuales Family Vlog and here’s the first episode:

Here’s the description:

This is our first-ever vlog! We are a Filipino family living in Cebu, an island south of Manila. We’re doing this, vlogging, for several reasons:

1. We want to document our kids’ formative years. Our son, Luke, is almost 5, and our daughter, Lizzy, just turned 3. We want to give them something they can look back to when they are older, namely these videos, so that they’ll see what they looked like, how they talked, and what they talked about. That’s more awesome than merely having photos of their childhood years.

2. We want to develop our English communication skills by constantly speaking the language while we’re vlogging.

3. We want to compel ourselves to be creative as frequently as possible.

4. We want to show our viewers what it’s like to live in the Philippines, and in particular, Cebu City, at least from our perspective.

5. We are just huge fans of Casey Neistat!

Music: Meant to Be by Arc North (feat. Krista Marina)