RECOMMENDED

Struggleism is reader-supported, and if you click a link to another site and make a purchase, Josh may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. He can't seem to stop talking about the things on this page and would recommend them regardless of any potential commission.

7 ESSENTIAL BOOKS

struggle through these

Despite the presence of the (paid) links below, Josh encourages you to borrow books from your local library instead of owning them. If you want to own a book, consider buying it used or locally. Josh also generally recommends eBooks over physical books if you have a Kindle.

ESSENTIALISM

Greg McKeown

Hands down the best book I've read in the past five years. As the book says, everything changes when we give ourselves permission to choose what we do.

Physical book

Kindle

A MILLION MILES IN A THOUSAND YEARS

Donald Miller

Our lives are stories. To live a more meaningful life, tell a better story:

  • foster deeper relationships

  • change how you view your suffering

  • start a project that helps others

Physical book

Kindle

HIROSHIMA

John Hersey

Hersey tells the story of the atomic bomb from the perspectives of six real-life survivors. Horror. And today's weapons are much worse. Required reading when deciding who should get the nuclear codes.

Physical book

THE COMPLETE FAR SIDE

Gary Larson

My Dad and I have been cracking up over these cartoons since I was a kid, and when I met the woman I'd later marry, I was thrilled to learn she's a fan too. The Far Side is still the GOAT...er, cow.

Physical book

TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES

Thomas Hardy

From the other Tom Hardy, Tess is beautifully written and tells the sad story of a young girl in rural England in the 1870s who suffers immense grief because of the foolishness and evil of others.

Physical book

Kindle

THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG

David J. Schwartz

I'm generally skeptical of self-help, but the section on actions that boost one's confidence is alone worth the price of admission. Now, I always try to sit in the front row at any meeting or presentation.

Physical book

Kindle

THE PRODIGAL GOD

Timothy Keller

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most famous stories in the world, yet I'd always gotten it wrong. It's actually about both sons, and each of them seriously misunderstands the father.

Physical book

Kindle

7 ESSENTIAL TOOLS

struggle with these

Josh urges you to borrow, rent, or forgo most things. He struggles to believe it himself, but things won't make any of us happier long-term. Nevertheless, he's found these tools to be worthwhile. Despite the presence of the (paid) links below, please consider buying used or locally.

SYNAPSE 19

Tom Bihn

Your backpack is too big and, with all of its straps, logos, and colors, isn't earning you any respect. Smaller bags are a way to get a little freedom by choosing the harder path of prioritizing what you carry.

Synapse 19

STAINLESS STEEL MUG

Zojirushi

I've had my Zoji for over three years, and I'm convinced it'd be impossible to design a better travel mug. It's compact, leak-proof, easy to use with one-hand, and keeps my coffee piping-hot.

 

Stainless steel mug

STANDARD MID-CALF LIGHT CUSHION

Darn Tough

Get seven identical pairs, and donate the rest of your socks. STYLE POINTS: Pair them with Crocs when you're at home. 'Socs n Crocs' are, in all seriousness, the best-performing 'slippers' I've ever owned.

Standard Mid-Calf Light Cushion

SCANBOT PRO + EVERNOTE PREMIUM

Various

When we went paperless, I assumed I needed a scanner to digitize our stacks of docs. I soon realized that 95% can just be shredded, and now I use my phone to scan and store the important ones.

ESV READER'S BIBLE, SIX-VOLUME SET

Crossway

Scripture is meditation literature, so the volumes in this set are made to feel more like ordinary books (thick paper, single-column, no verse numbers or cross-references, etc.) and less like reference material.

ESV Reader's Bible, six-volume set

12 INCH CAST IRON SKILLET

Lodge

A cast iron skillet can do it all. We use ours every day. Since cast iron is durable, you may be able to find a used skillet at a garage sale or flea market. Look for a rust-less Griswold or Wagner that sits flat.

12 inch cast iron skillet

KINDLE PAPERWHITE

Amazon

We rent a small apartment, and books take up space and are a pain to move. I often borrow from the library, and since I get eBooks I can mark them up and never lose access to my highlights and notes.

Kindle Paperwhite

NOT WORTH YOUR TIME OR MONEY

struggle against these

SCARVES

Get a Buff instead.

EXPENSIVE SUNGLASSES

Get cheap ones instead.

UMBRELLAS

Get a raincoat, and maybe some rain pants, instead.

©2019 by Josh Robertson