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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

10 Guy's Guy-Approved Books with Life Lessons (Part 2)

Robert Manni - Monday, August 21, 2017


Great books find a permanent place in our consciousness. Their wisdom and teachings can be tapped at any time we need them.

Last week I took you on a tour of five books that rocked my world and gifted me with important life lessons. This week your Guy’s Guy presents the next five on the list, and they are equally important in their quality and teachings. So, let’s get right to part two of The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Ten Books with Ten Life Lessons.

6. CARIBBEAN – James Michener – I read this entire 882-page book years ago during a vacation to Anguilla. It spans the history of one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse areas of our planet. The book details the back-stories of all the lands and peoples bordering the Caribbean Sea, including Mexico and parts of South America. Michener is a master at “historical fiction”. In this massive tome he retells the stories about the beginnings and journeys of the indigenous peoples and their treatment by the Europeans. The tales are fascinating and horrifying. It all began with two tribes, the Caribs and the Arawaks. The Caribs were cannibals who viciously conquered and over time, wiped out the Arawaks and their way of life. The heat really gets turned up when the French, English and Spanish sailed to these lands and committed atrocities against the locals. The Europeans treated the peoples of these conquered lands unmercifully and with cruelty beyond comprehension. They were pure evil incarnate. Imagine French soldiers pulling a guillotine by cart from town to town, picking out random villagers to “test” out their killing machines as a way of maintaining fear and terror to hold sway over territories that often switched ownership between their European conquerors. And you wonder why at times the locals can seem a bit testy when you vacation to the islands. They have good reason, amigos.

What I learned: This fascinating book taught me that there is duality and often an unseemly underbelly to even the most beautiful places on Earth. And the levels of cruelty men foster upon their fellow humans are often unfathomable.

7. LIFE – Keith Richards – The man, the legend and the symbol of the rock n ‘roll lifestyle, wrote a lengthy and surprisingly well-written autobiography spanning his early years growing up poor in post-WWII London to his ascendance as the rock god we know and love. First and foremost, this is a story about a man’s love of music. We get insights into Keith’s open G tuning and the behind the scenes tales of his writing process and how he came to create the songs that Stones fans know and love. After reading the book I listened to the audio version that featured three separate narrators including Johnny Depp and finally Keith himself taking us through the final chapters of the book. It’s well done and it added another dimension to his life story. This is the best book on rock and roll to date, bar none.

What I learned: Keith Richards puts his pants on the same way you and I do. He’s got a unique personality and way about him, but ultimately he is a consummate professional and a very self-aware guy. He’s more layered than the drugged out image we have of him. And, he knows how to manipulate that to his advantage without selling out. He also taught me that artistic ideas can be picked out of the air if you are aligned and open to the right frequencies.  Richards takes who he is in stride and is a real Guy’s Guy. I had the opportunity to meet him by chance during the intermission to a Broadway show and found him to be friendly and very much himself. He taught me that it is possible to maintain who you are even when blessed with global success.

8. SIDDHARTHA – Herman Hesse – This short book might be the best book I have ever read. I find myself pulling it off my shelf for another read every 5-10 years and it never disappoints. It only takes a day or so to finish it and each time I’ve read this book it held a different meaning that coincided with what was going on in my life at the time.

What I learned – This book taught me that life is a journey with many twists and turns. We will be up and down, but we are always in the now and learning what we need to know whether or not we know it at the time.

9. SIDEWAYS – Rex Pickett – I picked this book up after watching the very entertaining feature film adaptation starring Paul Giamatti. The story is about a struggling novelist who grows as a man while learning about life, love, and friendship during a weeklong bachelor buddy trip through the wine country of Santa Barbara. It’s beautifully written. The book takes a few different turns from the movie and I think the screenplay puts a tighter focus on the tale. But, let’s give credit to Pickett for a very fresh idea and a well-crafted story that holds up well.

What I learned: This book and the film inspired me to write my second book and first published novel. Like many writers and the book’s protagonist, Miles, I experienced my share of rejection. But my belief in crafting stories about modern men in relatable situations about relationships and life in general provided the catalyst to write a second novel and get published.

10. THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE – Robert Manni – You probably knew this was coming, but how could I not include my first published novel. Since its publication I have never sat down and read my book cover to cover, although I will read a chapter now and then to my amusement. It’s a really fun story and about something dear to my heart. Since its publication I’ve launched the various components of my Guy’s Guy brand platform in an effort to bridge the communications chasm between the sexes and make the world a better place for men and the women who love them. I’ve got a popular website and blog, my podcast Guy’s Guy Radio, and lots more on the way.

I think you’ll agree that reading is one of the best tools for self-education. Beyond the mental muscles utilized while reading, books can take you to places you may never visit except in your mind.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK are all the readers and writers who contribute to our world through embracing the power of story.

10 Guy's Guy-Approved Books with Life Lessons (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Friday, August 11, 2017


Books can be powerful teachers. The special ones are just as influential as the most important people in our lives. I have been a voracious reader my entire life and cannot think of a time when I wasn’t in the process of devouring another book. Every book I’ve read has influenced me in some way, but a few stand out for their lessons and how they impacted my life. Some of them are funny, some are sad, but each one shares key insights and lessons on how to face this thing we call life. With this I mind, I’d like to share ten books that made a mark on my thinking, my knowing, and my life. I hope you will check a few of them out and see if you connect with them the way they connected with me. Here goes, in no particular order, the first five books in what I am calling – The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Ten Books with Ten Life Lessons.

1. I AM THE WORD – Paul Selig – Sometimes you enter a bookstore to seek out a book you’ve heard about or have been looking for. Other times the book finds you. This book, by channel and empath, Paul Selig, caught my eye while I was biding time, waiting for my wife to buy crystals at a new age store off Fifth Avenue and 14th Street in New York. I Am The Word is the first in a series of five channeled texts (more are on the way) from a group of Guides that work through Paul. Selig describes himself as a radio frequency that picks up communications from the Guides that focus on man’s vibrational frequency and ascension. I had to read this book a few times before the message took root in my consciousness.

What did I learn? Simple. After reading Selig’s books, I now recognize every person who crosses my path as an aspect of the Divine Source. When you start there, amazing things happen.

2. POST OFFICE – Charles Bukowski – Many people who’ve seen the movie Barfly think that Bukowski was simply a humorous drunk. But he was much more. Bukowski grew up in an abusive household where he survived regular beatings from his father. When he was of age to leave, he wandered around California and then all of America, working sporadically in odd jobs like in a pickle factory before returning home to make his mark as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. He is an amazing poet, as well as a talented essayist and novelist. Post Office is a novel. It’s a fictional depiction of his years toiling as a mail clerk before finally quitting his job at age 49 to write full-time on the advice of the publisher of Black Sparrow Press. All of Bukowski’s books are truthful, funny, and sad at the same time.

What did I learn? As an aspiring writer and a fellow human being who deals with pain and rejection like we all do, Bukowski’s works and writing skills both fascinated and inspired me to never stop following my dream no matter what obstacles confronted me.

3. MANCHILD IN THE PROMOISED LAND – Claude Brown – My older brother is a big reader also, so there were always books bursting from the small set of wooden shelves in the bedroom where we grew up. I was not even ten years old when I picked up his copy of Claude Brown’s tome about growing up in the very rough edges of Harlem in the fifties. This was the first serious book that I’d come across and I still recall it to this day. Junkies, pimps, whores, beatings and death splatter the pages of this incredible personal story of loss and redemption and triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. Brown describes a world that I knew nothing about.

What did I learn? I began to see the world from beyond my cushy suburban perspective and wanted to learn more about what too many people have to go through to survive and grow. And who knew? Now I live in Harlem.

4. STORY – Robert McKee – If you want to write, you need to find your voice and learn the craft. McKee’s book is considered the bible of screenwriting and of the art of crafting a story. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and penchant for creating characters and conflict, but until I read Story and attended a few of McKee’s seminars I’d never fully grasped the components that make up the engine of a good story.

What did I learn? I learned a lot from McKee, but the key takeaway was that a successful story consists of a main character that really wants something and faces an escalating set of obstacles to overcome before he can get it. Sounds simple? Try it sometime.

5. BALL FOUR – Jim Bouton – When I was sixteen I wrote a novella called, Off The Bench about our high school baseball team. I’d always been a good athlete and ballplayer, but by the time I reached my junior year I found myself riding the pines more often than I preferred. I used this time to observe my coaches and teammates, and the state of our team in a time following our coach’s death from a fishing accident and having the school’s legendary football coach taking over. Bouton’s book about the New York Yankees had come out the previous year, and it made a mark on me. He wrote the first behind the scenes tell-all about a professional sports team. And he made headlines when he aired out the behind the scenes shenanigans during the rise and fall of the Yankees teams of the sixties. It was a fun, rollicking, and eye-opening romp.

What did I learn?  After devouring this well-written book, I wanted to write more than ever. Bouton inspired me to write what I knew, to tell the truth, and make it fun.

Those are my first five books that taught me real life lessons. I think you can figure out why I enjoy reading so much and what it has meant to me over the years. I’ll be back in a week and I’ll reveal five more great books that provided some lasting lessons. Until then, enjoy the weather and bring a book along wherever you go.

10 Great Books from 10 Great Guests on Guy's Guy Radio

Robert Manni - Monday, January 12, 2015

Being a featured host of a growing Blog Talk Radio podcast has its advantages. I get to meet an array of very smart, cool and nice people from all walks of life, love and the pursuit of happiness. And I get to read many wonderful, spiritual books.

We’ve produced over 115 shows now and they are available for free on iTunes. Just click on bit.ly/guysguyradio and you’re set. There is a new show every Wednesday at 7pm ET. Okay, enough of promoting me.  Let’s call attention to the written works from some of the terrific people that I’ve interviewed. There are many more, but this is a good starter list of very helpful books that are available from Amazon or your favorite e-tailers.  And you can find most of them at your local bookstore. Of course all the authors have websites, if you are interested in learning more. So, in no particular order, here is your Guys’ Guy’s sampling of books that can help raise your frequency:

1. LIQUID LUCK by Dr. Joseph Gallenberger

I recently read this helpful guide for manifesting personal good fortune and I eagerly await delivery of the companion CD with the meditation. The book stands alone as a constructive guide for grounding and putting yourself in position to receive all the positive manifestations that you deserve. The writing is straightforward, clear and the book provides a great way to clear the negative mental monkey-chatter and doubts that can hold us back.

2. GOD WITHIN by Patti Conklin

Patti is one of the world’s foremost medical intuitives and vibrational healers. I participated in a cellular cleanse with her and Patti has been very kind and helpful when I faced some health challenges last year. She is also an awesome person.  Her book is clear, concise and confident. I’ve read it twice and I frequently perform her ColorWorks and Healing Pool meditations.

3. I AM THE WORD by Paul Selig

Since I stumbled upon this book a few years ago, Paul has gone on to become a leading empath and channel for his spiritual guides. He’s gone on to “transcribe” two more books that were also gifted by his guides. He travels extensively leading seminars and sessions with the guides. I’ve read his three books and can vouch for their transformational qualities. I’ve felt a real change in my being and knowing since the concepts took root in my consciousness.

4. MY LIFE CONTRACT by Joel Fotinos

This gem of a book helps set you on a path to accomplishments in ninety-day chunks. Straightforward, practical and honest, Joel helps the readers set themselves up for success by laying out a workbook plan that keeps them on track with their goals. Highly recommended.

5. THE EARTHKEEPER by Adam C. Hall

What a story! Adam achieved the American dream in all its glory and then woke up to the nightmare of his own life condition. He takes us on his journey to knowledge while opening his heart and displaying his wounds along the way. Adam’s Earthkeeper foundation is doing great things to sustain and maintain our natural resources and environment.

6. THE DIVINE MOTHER SPEAKS by Rashmi Khilnani

Rashmi has written three books that share her channeled journeys and conversations with Gaia, Babaji and Buddha. Poignant, illuminating and energetically charged, these books put the reader in touch with the universal consciousness. Rashmi is also co-producer of the new documentary film, iGod

7. ONENESS by Rasha

This is a charged text that takes the reader on a deep-dive into the meaning of our existence and how we can find more joyfulness in our personal journey. The text is channeled and gives the reader a deep experience while reading. The book blows open previous notions of truth that we thought we knew about the meaning of life. Incredible.

8. QUANTUM CREATIVITY by Amit Goswani

A retired professor from the theoretical physics department tackles the concept of creativity through the lens of quantum physics and offers up a new way to harness it. But, don’t be afraid. It’s reader-friendly as it combines art with science. Amazing.

9. DREAMS 1-2-3 by J.M. DeBORD

This fresh, contemporary work takes the reader through a step-by-step process for learning the language of your dreams. It isn’t your “hot dogs chasing donuts through the Lincoln Tunnel” take on symbolism either. The book helps you use dreams to reconcile your past and present issues and set you on a steady course for the future.

10. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE DEAD by Sondra Sneed

Magic happens when a former atheist interviews the source of infinite being. Sneed is a Godscriber who shares her dialogue between herself and the creator of the universe. It’s more an awakening and warning about man’s penchant for self-destruction than a touchy-feel-good  spiritual guide. Unique, to say the least.

There are many more authors and books I can recommend from my guests, but this list provides a good start to help you on a path to awakening. This week’s Guys’ Guys of the week are all of my wonderful guests that have visited me on GUY’S GUY RADIO. Thank you all!    


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