The Steal Like An Artist Trilogy

lowing Austin Kleon for a couple of years. This year I had been trying, fairly successfully, to keep an Austin Kleon style logbook. Recently, I started to really pay more attention to his work and listened to a few podcasts he was on and decided that possibly his books might be just what I was looking for.

The Motivation Manifesto

As I read the introduction to this book, which it labels as “The Declaration of Personal Power”, it was getting me pretty excited to read the rest of the book.

“Why, having been endowed with the courageous heart of a lion, do we live as mice?

It seemed to speak to me in a way that I was looking for. At the time I started this book, I was in need of a little motivation.

I Am A Man

I rate this book a rare 5 stars. The main story is incredible, and although I’d heard it before, this book took it to a different level. Also it’s always interesting to read about the place where you live. Not only is this a United States Civil Rights story, but also a Nebraska story, and even an Omaha story – it’s very cool to think that the crux of it happened just a few blocks from where I live now


Similar to the last book I read, this book is about a boy from my home state of Nebraska who has some calling to violence. The previous book, Once an Eagle, was a fictional story of a soldier who goes to WWI and WWII and struggles with morality during it. This book, however, was the grim and factual recalling of the actual events that happened back in the 1950’s where Charles Starkweather and his 14 year old girlfriend did not struggle with morality at all as they killed 10 people.

Once An Eagle

Sam was easy to root for – an all American boy who was straight as an arrow morally and from my home state of Nebraska. He’s tough as nails when he needs to be and doesn’t have a lot of emotion – a sort of Rambo character. And just as Rambo had Colonel Trautman, Sam had his own mentor, Colonel Caldwell, to guide him when necessary.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Growing up as a young, black girl in the racist, early 20th century – during the Great Depression era would’ve been tough. Getting raped by your mother’s husband is obviously devastating. Getting pregnant as a teen as a result of questioning yourself and trying to prove something to yourself is traumatic.


This book was a little different than I was expecting, but all-in-all it was good. It had a LOT of different topics from evolution to religion to empires to economics to the future and beyond. So many different topics that it’s really hard to sum up and summarize and honestly, it might take awhile to process this book and I may need to revisit it at some point.

Into The Wild

Regarding the story of Chris McCandless as told in Into The Wild – I can relate to some degree and I think we all can probably relate a little bit. I think Krakauer says it best when he’s comparing Chris’s story to his own – “I suspect we had a similar intensity, a similar heedlessness, a similar agitation of the soul”. An agitation of the soul. This kid wanted more than the “successful life” of getting a good job and making some decent money.

The Wright Brothers

Before reading this book I knew that the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. I also knew that they ran a bicycle shop before that. I had probably heard of Kitty Hawk, but I don’t think I could’ve answered whether that was the name of their plane or what exactly it was. Otherwise, I was pretty clueless as to what these two brothers were about… and this was one of the reasons I started reading a lot more a few years back.

Sacred Hoops

While watching The Last Dance, it was easy to see that the most interesting character from The 1990’s Bulls team was Phil Jackson. How did he keep all of these superstars in check and working together as a team? In Hoop Dreams, which was written after the 1st 3-peat and before the 2nd, Phil describes some of his philosophies on coaching and on life.