Top Recent Reads…

  • We’re about to make a big shift in how this podcast is created. Those of you on Anchor have probably noticed that I’ve been posting less, that’s because I’ve been ramping up more. Putting a pencil to paper to keep making this little podcast even better. You know what’s better than just audio? Well, obviously, it’s being able to watch on Facebook and YouTube or just listen to the podcast. Really, we, at the Maven Show are trying to give you the great content you want, NO NEED, in the format you’d like to gobble it up in. We’re not there yet, but we’re dang close.
  • Today we’re chatting three recent reads and in an effort to actually help a brother and sister out, I’m going to do more than give you three book titles and their affiliate links to the Amazon store. I’m going to break down some of the things I learned from reading this book. No, I won’t do a summary for you, but I will give you some takeaways that I hope will be helpful and that you, the gentle listener will be able to apply.
  • Remember, the goal here is for us to learn something. You know why?
  • Because I’m Rex Barrett with The Maven Show and I do the hard work of gathering what’s best in media, tech, and productivity and try to deliver a little fun all along the way, sometimes in the form of Top Three Lists and sometimes we’ll attend classes at Maven’s Leadership School in an effort to better ourselves and better this world.
  • Let’s jump in to a few books I’m recommending you read.

Segment One - Dangerously Sleepy

  • For those of you who know me or have been listening lately, I’ve been dang tired. Late nights and early mornings don’t do anything to help me be a better man. Ask my wife and kids.
  • Dangerously Sleepy: Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness by Alan Derickson is a book that addresses the fact that workers in the USofA are losing sleep.
  • The concept at play here is that sleep is cast as an enemy or a weakness while constant productivity and flexibility are glorified at the expense of health and safety.
  • This book tracks the association of overwork and sleep deprivation from the nineteenth century to the present. Looking at the overvaluation and the masculinization of wakefulness. Because, as everyone knows, only sissies go to bed early, or so some people are told.
  • I come in to work and the phrase or a variation of the phrase I hear over and over again is, “let me be until I have my first cup of coffee”. I know this isn’t just limited to my office, I’m sure it’s taking place in offices and universities the world over. We guzzle the good stuff and some even pep it up with some sugar, making it even tastier and bringing about that energy more quickly.
  • What a sad thing that sleep is considered a weakness. I know I’ve been tempted to tell someone I got a nine or ten hour night, but thought twice because I worried someone would think I was a lazy, family neglecting, bum.
  • This book walks you through how the invention of electricity is connected to Edison’s feeling that you need less sleep. Helps us see that sleep is oddly connected to masculinity and achievement. Then wraps up talking about the dangers of our lousy sleep patterns. Yeah, I’m talking about us being prone to disease and the likelihood of death. All because of a few missed winks.
  • This isn’t a joke and a Red Bull isn’t a good solution.
  • Read this book if you’d like to get motivated to sleep more and be more healthy because of it, ditching the stupid cultural ties of sleep to being a productive person.
  • Pick it up on Amazon, all the links are on the show notes at or in the show notes in this episode.

Segment Two - Deep Work

  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. This is a book I’ve mentioned a few times around here on The Maven Show. It’s been one of those transformational books in how I live my life. I read a heck of a lot, but I don’t know if I read even three deeply transformational books in a year. This one is coming with all the stars of recommendation I can muster.
  • Deep Work is the ability to focus without distraction when you’re working on a task that’s requiring you to really kick that brain into gear. This is a skill that allows you to master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Doing deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. We’ve lost the ability to go deep, instead, we’re in a frantic blur of emails and social media. Bogged down in a really terrible way to get real work done.
  • Think about it for a minute, in the time it takes you to listen to or watch this podcast or a few podcasts, how many notifications, emails, or texts will you get. You’ll probably get a few. As you get these distractions, do you notice that what you’re listening to, learning, working on, fades into the background as these notifications rise to the top. Have you ever been speaking to your spouse, your phone buzzes, and now the person you love the most in the world is tuned down to zero and whatever else, literally WHATEVER ELSE becomes more important. I’m ashamed to say, this is a lot of my life.
  • We miss important details because we allow distractions to have easy access to us while we’re doing important things. Technology is growing, changing, improving at an amazingly fast pace. Now, we have to develop new skills and abilities to focus on one task at a time without being torn out of our productive times by the very tech that’s trying to make our lives easier!
  • What’s a great first step? Turn off those notifications!
  • This book will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that multitasking is a dang myth and that there are practical steps you can do to move you from doing something pretty good to getting you into life changing work.
  • Again, check the show notes or head to to find links to all the books I’m talking about today.

Segment Three - Seinfeldia

  • Let’s wrap up with a really fun read. Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong.
  • Seinfeld is my favorite show ever. I remember being in high school and faithfully recording every single episode as it came out. I had STACKS of video tapes with only a few on each because I wanted to record with the highest possible quality. Fast forward to the time my house burnt to the ground. I met up with one of my best friends and he asked me with all seriousness after I told him of the fire, “Rex, did all the Seinfeld tapes burn too.” Yes. Yes, my friend, all the tapes burned. It was a very sad day. In 1996 we had no hope for anything resembling Netflix, so the loss was huge!
  • Of course, Seinfeld asked his pal Larry David if he wanted to create a sitcom. I don’t think that I’m lying if I were to say that this is one of the best shows of all time and millions of people would probably agree with that, even in 2017.
  • This little show that NBC didn’t even think anyone would watch just blew up and kept on for nine years and peaking at nearly forty million Americans watching each week.
  • Read this book to get a behind the scenes view of the show. Hear about “No soup for you!”, Jerry’s puffy shirt, and learn to dance like Elaine.
  • I really liked learning about how the internet helped make this show big, as chatrooms were blossoming in the mid 90’s and it gave a place for people across the US to chat it up and get excited about past and upcoming episodes. If you like to travel, all the locations of the show are plotted out for you too.
  • Really, really, fun stuff.

028 Wrap up and how to connect

  • Well, there we go, my friends. We have another episode in the books!
  • I’m posting a transcript of this podcast onto my website at http://Maven.Show. There you’ll find the links to every little thing I mentioned today.
  • If this is the first Maven Podcast you’ve listened to, please look up past episodes. We’ve covered how to make cold brew, productivity apps, comic books, several that cover the best in fast food, and one of my recent favorites, top ways to get your caffeine fix.
  • Do you have any thoughts, questions, or comments on what we talked about today? It’s easy to reach out…
  • Download the Anchor App in the App Store and call in to tell me about it. I might just publish your thoughts.
  • What to chat on Twitter? Find me @RexBOKC. Head to the Facebook page for the Maven Show at and coming soon, The Maven Show on YouTube. Yes, the camera gear has arrived and the batteries are charging as I speak.
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  • I’m Rex Barrett and you can find me at Maven.Show or where all fine podcasts are distributed.
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Rex Barrett @rexbarrett