I’m all over the map. I read and listen to a wide variety of material, vacillating between learning about life, how things work, history and specifically how to do or build something. Then there is material for pure indulgent entertainment. I read both traditional paper books and on a Kindle. As much as I like holding a book and turning pages, there is something to be said for reading on an electronic platform - as long as your in the right light (not bright sunshine) and your battery is charged. I've found that information/instructional books – as in 'how to do' stuff is best in paper format where I can easily flip back and forth between pages and the index. 


I’ve started some lists of books, podcasts and Youtube channels that I’ve enjoyed.

By far the biggest influence for me the past few years have been 3 partners who are writers, podcasters and public speakers/presenters.  Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt and David Write host the Self-Publishing Podcast, The Smarter Artist, Authorpreneur's Almanac, StoryShop, Iterate and Optimize, and a few more podcasts which range from 10 minute bites of information/advice, to hour long BS sessions. You can check them out here on their website: https://sterlingandstone.net

After starting as individual self-published authors, they teamed up to write a ton of books and started the Self-Publishing Podcast (SPP) along with their Non-fiction best Seller; Write, Publish, Repeat. They are a wealth of information but not for everyone! I compare them to Click and Clack, the Car Guys. I knew they had good information, but at first I couldn't stand them. I wished they would stop the juvenile banter and stick to business. It took a little while to warm up to them, and when I did.... The SPP always starts with a bunch of banter between the guys. There is lots of swearing and frequent off-color remarks - though they are definitely not sexists or misogynists. Finally they get to the theme which is either about the craft or the business of storytelling writing and publishing. They frequently have guest who are pioneers or experts in this changing landscape of publishing and business. They also put on various workshops on the business side of writing. If you're thinking about going down this path of writing a book and hoping to sell it, you need to check these guys out. If you language sensitive, start with; The Smarter Artist, or the Authorpreneur's Almanac.

Amazon rules the publishing world – and they keep changing the rules! Bastards! These guys and their guests are up on the latest changes Amazon drops on us and how we need to adapt. 


Books I grew up on that shaped my life and shapes my writing today:

Swiss Family Robinson - Johann David Wyss

Robinson Crusoe  - Daniel Defoe

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn - Mark Twain

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

White Fang & Sea Wolf  & Short Stories - Jack London

PT-109 - John F Kennedy

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne

Five on a Treasure Island  - Enid Blyton

The Mad Scientist Club Series - Bertrand R. Brinely

Tarzan - Edgar Rice Burroughs

Conan series - Robert E Howard

Boy Scouts Handbook - BOA

Be Here Now - Ram Dass

Illusions and One - Richard Bach


Thrillers, Suspense and Horror 

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Finders Keepers and Squall - Sean Castello. These were both Free books that I recently stumbled across by accident. I was researching book covers and came across his website. It's a great find! They are somewhat short, easy reading and keeps you turning the pages. I will buy more of his material anytime!

Yesterday's Gone Series - Platt & Write

Fields of Prey - John Stanford

Numerous books by - Stephan King

Science Fiction? Kinda. Supernatural? Comedy/Satire

The Beam Series- Truant & Platt

Robot Proletariat - Truant & Platt

Invasion Series - Truant & Platt

Schrodinger's Caterpillar – Zane Stumpo

Sacre Blue and Lamb and Serpent of Venice – Christopher Moore

The Perfect Future - Kirk Mustard

The Ocean at the End of the Lane and American Gods - Neil Gaiman

Sum. Forty Tales for the Afterlives – David Eagleman

B is for Beer - Tom Robbins

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Everything Else by - Douglas Adams

Martin Chronicles and most other books by - Ray Bradbury

Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton 

Coma - Robin Cook

Dune series - Robert Howard


Traditional Reads & Contemporary Literature

Eat, Pray, Love and Committed - Elizabeth Gilbert

Wicked - Gregory Maguire

Devil May Care - Truant & Platt

The Fault in our Stars - John Green

The Ladies Room - Carolyn Brown

Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson



Life – Keith Richards

Clapton, the Autobiography  – Eric Clapton

Stevenson in Hawaii – Martha May McGraw

Yukon Passage - Keith Tryck

Guitar Lessons – Bob Taylor

Surely You're Joking and The Pleasure of Finding Things Out – Richard Feynman

Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom

Out of Africa - Isak Denison

Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramahansa Yogananda

My Wicked, Wicked Ways - Errol Flynn

Diary of a Drug Fiend - Aleister Crowley

Biography of Samuel Morse - ?

Biography of Thomas Edison - ?


Instruction / How To / Philosophy

Write. Publish. Repeat. and Iterate and Optimize - Truant & Platt

On Writing – Stephen King

250 Things You Should Know About Writing – Chuck Wendig

Life 101 & Wealth 101 - Peter McWilliams

Innumeracy - John Allen Palos

The Mathematical Tourist - Ivers Peterson

Flatland - Edwin Abbot

Short Stories

Louis Lamour

Zane Grey

O. Henry

Rod Sterling


 More Older Reads that made an impression either for the story or the descriptive language and flow of words.

Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and everything by Hermann Hesse

Another Roadside Attraction, and everything by Tom Robbins

Lamb, Coyote Blue, and everything by Christopher Moore

Shogun - Jame Clavell

The Teachings of Don Juan & the whole series - Carlos Casteneda

I re-read at least one of these books every year.


Connections - James Burke

Ring of Fire - Lawrence and Loren Burke

The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings & Sillmarillon - JRR Tolkein

Harry Potter - JR Rollins



A few of my favorite YouTube channels:

Chis Fox

Jenna Moreci

Joe Gilder

Red Barrns Audio

Sean Pratt

Booth Junkie


Produce Like a Pro

Chris Ronan Murphy

Mental Floss

Guitar Jamz - Marty Schwartz