Book Reports – Summer Reading Jam


Somewhere over the rainbow, there’s an agency full of Canadian pride. They have a bookshelf stacked with love so high, with titles that are brilliant and pages that expound the beauty of life. This is what reading is like for Pixel Dreams in the summer time.

The team tally for June 2017 adds up to a total of 11 books read, including our carefully selected top 3, plus our thoughts on the rest of the books the PDT read this past month:

Top three books of the month

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
694 pages, Written by Timothy Ferriss, published 2017, Amazon rating 4.6

Kal’s Review: Loved it. At first glance, the size may seem intimidating (over 700 pages), but the chapters are concise and often humorous. It’s divided into three categories: Health, Wealth, Wisdom, and based on hundreds of interviews with elite performers. The book serves as a library of ideas and strategy. I particularly enjoyed that Ferriss welcomed a duality of thoughts and opposition. Definitely a great gift.

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
282 pages, Written by Marie Kondo, published 2016, Amazon rating 4.3

Lannie’s Review: I thought I was good at tidying up until I read this book. It’s taken my organization game to a new level. Lots of good tips are repeated to reinforce the points. Be mindful that Spark Joy was translated from Japanese; you will find ‘cute’ translations among adorable illustrations. If you still need persuasion as to how tidying can change lives, read ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ by the same author.

Daniel’s Review: A tidy house can change your life. The author channeled her obsession with cleaning into a successful career as an organizing consultant. The ‘KonMari method’ starts with embracing your possessions and respecting your feelings. It requires one to discard anything that doesn’t elicit joy. Many of the lessons require actually doing them, therefore an interactive video series might be an even better guide.

Sarah’s Review: Do the things in your life bring you joy? Based on that deceptively simple question, this book is a guide on how to reorganize, optimize and declutter your home. What was most striking was her advice to give thanks to the things that no longer offer joy before throwing them away. Thank them. It’s unconventional, yes, but telling of her broader philosophy.


Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
384 pages, Written by Phil Knight, published 2016, Amazon rating 4.9/

Trevor’s Review: A great autobiography documenting the life and career of one of the world’s most influential business executives, Phil Knight. The book’s humble tone takes you on a thrilling journey as you get an inside look at the hardships and triumphs of the company and its leader. The blood, sweat and tears, the laughs, the glory – it was a hell of a ride.

Honourable mentions

Lannie’s Review:
Having read ‘Screw It, Let’s Do It’ previously, I know it’s always an adventure with Richard! This book provides a lot of insight into the way Richard led the Virgin brand into a global success. It’s refreshing to hear about some of the mistakes he’s made. He jokes enthusiastically about his failures, that they are the reasons why we ‘Google’ for information instead of ‘Virgin-ing’ for it.
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur | 342 pages, Written by Richard Branson, published 2010, Amazon rating 4.7

Daniel’s Review:
Outliers explains that the most successful people in society are not the best and brightest, rather it’s those born into the right circumstances. Stories of rice paddies, airplane crashes, Bill Gates, and junior hockey leagues, are some of the many examples. Although the facts are convincing and the anecdotes are entertaining, there is a chapter in Zero To One that refutes Outliers’ thesis.
Outliers: The Story of Success | 299 pages, Written by Malcolm Gladwell, published 2008, Amazon rating 4.4

Sarah’s Review:
The first time I read this book, it was under duress (i.e. it was required reading for a philosophy course). Reading it today, the meaning hidden in the words of Socrates, as written by Plato, hit hard and deep. Why do I think the way I do? Why do I think some things are just, while others an offence to humanity? If you’re sure of the validity of your own beliefs, I dare you to read this book.
The Trial and Death of Socrates58 pages, Written by Plato, Cooper, Grube, published 2000 (3rd edition), Amazon rating 4.4

Mark’s Review:
A New Earth is a spiritual philosophical book that looks toward a future of conscious self-awareness. I am skeptical about certain parts that delve into vibrations and new age concepts, but the main aspect of ‘staying present’ was very meaningful to me. Anyone who is feeling lost, egotistical or angry could benefit from learning why and where their issues are coming from
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose | 309 pages, Written by Eckhart Tolle, published 2005, Amazon rating 4.4

Parth’s Review:
The Bargain from the Bazaar describes the current situation in Pakistan. Centred on Awais Reza, an ex-soldier turned merchant, who works at the famous Anarkali bazaar with his beloved wife and 3 sons. Through each son’s personality, the story shows different sides in the clash between liberal ideology and radical fundamentalism. It further displays that honesty and goodness ultimately prevails over evil.
The Bargain from the Bazaar: A Family’s Day of Reckoning in Lahore | 240 pages, Written by Haroon K. Ullah, published 2014, Amazon rating 5

Trevor’s Review:
A quick read. Mastermind Dinners is about connecting and building lifelong relationships with people over strategically planned dining. It’s filled with thought provoking and inspirational tidbits that can be implemented into everyday conversations with friends, co-workers, or even strangers. It was also interesting – because our man Kal knows the author!
Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins | 101 pages, Written by Jayson Gaignard, published 2015, Amazon rating 4.9

Team Stats

The PDT achieved power average of 323 pages-per-teammate through reading a total of 2262 pages in June 2017.

Now that we’ve launch a summer-of-reading amidst a life-of-adventure. Inspiration, romance, tragedy, triumph, and more await you with each fresh page. Take up a book and look out for subtle complexities. We are the PDT.

The Author

Sarah Eskandarpour
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