, ,

My Top 5 Books in 2017 : Medical, Personal Development, Business, and More

As if I wasn’t already a massive nerd and read a lot, somehow 2017 topped it off and I read more than ever.  I go through huge curiosity swings where I will find a certain topic and go nuts for a few months. Then, once I’m done I’ll just drop that area and jump to another thing completely unrelated.

This year more than ever I dove into some really complex topics from the medical world, some really “meta” style books in the personal development world and some more strategy/tactical concepts in the business world. Where ever my brain and headspace were in that month I just went wild. I scheduled one hour of physical reading per day in my calendar, and then usually set aside another hour of audiobook listening while commuting.

I decided to share an updated reading list from 2017 with the top 5 in every major category I chopped down through the year. I will highlight some points for the top ranking book in each category, the rest are just listed. Everyone has a link to Amazon if you are interested in checking them out. Enjoy!

Nerdy Medical / Rehabilitation Books

1 – Progress in the Biology and Translational Science: Mechanotransduction (Engler & Kumar)

In 2017 really tried to dig into the histological and physiological foundations of things we do every day in the rehabilitation, strength & conditioning, or sports training world. Mechanotransduction has become quite a big buzzword and emerging topic in these fields. Rather than just take the concepts people promote about mechanotransduction at face value, I took it upon myself to find the most current research written by scientists doing the lab data to read. This was the same for every book in this category, which is why there are some epically nerdy titles below. Despite being dense, this types of books really helped me understand the concepts and grasp the ideas fully for myself. It also sparked lots of practical application thoughts while reading.

2 – Handbook of Stress Vol 1: Concepts, Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior  / Handbook of Stress Vol 2: Neuroendocrinology and Neurobiology (Fink)

3 – Allostasis, Homeostasis, and the Cost of Physiological Adaptation (Schulk)

4 – Hip Arthroscopy and Hip Preservation Surgery Vol 1 and Vol 2  (Nho et. al)

5 –  Nonlinear Analysis of Human Movement Variability (Stergiou)

Honorable Mention – Biomechanics and Motor Control (Latash & Zatsiorsky)


Strength and Conditioning / Sport Training Books

1 – Advanced Strength & Conditioning: An Evidenced-Based Approach (Turner & Comfort)

I’ve read a lot of Strength and Conditioning books, many of which unfortunately were painfully dry to read or feel like they are just restating a lot of well-known basics. I felt like this book was very different, being able to blend really high-quality evidence, with basic science, and still offer practical level takeaways. I also really appreciated their chapters embracing some of the newer non-tissue level physiology like workload ratios and daily training environments. Definitely recommend this for new and seasoned people working in the strength and conditioning field.

2 – The Physiology and Training for High Performance (Macdougall & Sale)

3 – Handbook of Sports Medicine: Gymnastics (Russell)

and because they are closely related, I love gymnastics, and this just came out –

3b – The Science of Gymnastics: Advanced Concepts (Jemmi)

4 – Sport, Recovery, and Performance (Kellman & Beckmann)

5 – Strength and Conditioning for Sports Medicine (Jeffreys & Moody)

Honorable Mention – Monitoring Training and Performance of Athletes (McGuigan)


Personal Development

1 – Principles (Dalio)

I don’t think I have ever read a book that provided more value than Principles. Ray Dalio is a legend in the business and personal development world. I tore through this book because I felt like every page was offering fantastic ground level, every day, practical advice. I also gifted it to two of my best friends because I felt it was so well designed.  I’ll be the first to admit I know nothing about the international or finance world, but it didnt matter. The foundational values he developed through repeated failure and reflection were really incredible. Despite having some areas that may not be directly related to your field of work or interst. It’s no wonder it was the #1 Amazon Best Business Book of the year. I highly recommend people check it out.

2 – The Road to Character (Brooks)

3 – If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? (Raghunathan)

4 – Good People – (Tjan)

5 – Unf*** Yourself – (Bishop)

Honorable Mention – H3 Leadership (Lomenick)



(I found these better for car rides to hear author live, but everyone’s different)

1. The Great Courses Series: Stress and Your Body (Sapolsky)

Robert Sapolsky and George Fink are my spirit animals. I absolutely love their work, learn so much, and think they are hilarious educators. Dr. Sapolsky uses the “Stress and your Body” lectures from Stanford to goes through nitty-gritty neuroendocrinology and system-level effects that chronic stress has the body.  I’ve been away in the trenches for this kind of stuff, to get my next big area of study.  I have a few really in-depth blog post coming up in a few weeks for everyone, but definitely check it out.

Also check out Being Human: Lessons from the Frontiers of Science and

Biology and Human Behavior this: The Neurological Origins of Individuality

2. High-Performance Habits (Bouchard)

3. Resilience: Hard Won Wisdom For Living A Better Life (Greitens)

4. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. NACY Seals Lead and Win (Babin & Willick)

5. Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the NAVY Seals, and Maverick Scientists are Revolutionizing The Way We Work and Live (Kotler & Wheal)

Honorable Mention – Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (Vance)



1 – The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation (Johansson)

In a weird way, I feel like I was living this book out in real life over the last two years. This book covers the incredible neuroscience and psychology how how finding the intersections between seemingly unrelated fields leads to increidble new insight or innovation. By looing at the overlap between various fields, combinations of ideas can be engineered for new concepts to emergy. I spent 1/3 of my continuing educaiton time this year study fields not related to rehabilitation, personal development, or business on purpose based on this book.

2 – The Invisible Selling Machine (Deiss)

3 – Superfandom (Fraade – Blanar & Glazer)

4 – Innovating: A Doer’s Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong (Breva)

5 – What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School (McCormack)

Honorable Mention – Ego Free Leadership / (Hughes)



1 – Behave (Sapolsky)

You’re probably noticing a trend of Robert Sapolsky’s work popping up on my reading list. Truth be told, I’ve taken a very real and nerdy obsession with stress neuroendocrinology, epigenetics, structural neuroplasticity, and the role environment/culture plays in altered transcriptional level gene expression. I know, it’s getting weird. I promise in blogs to come I’ll outline why I think this actually matters to the fields I work in. Behave walks through some really incredible insights related do what makes us tick as humans. He outlines the timeline from seconds before a behavior (bad or good) occurs, and traces back the “why” influencing the behavior chronologically through minutes before, hours before, months before, and thousands of years before. If your interested in this type of work, this is a must-read.

2 – Tribe of Mentors (Ferris)

3 – Chasing Excellence (Sapolsky)

4 – American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers (Sale)

5 – The Origins of Creativity (Wilson)

Honorable Mention – How Emotions are Made (Barrett)