I have been sick, which obviously sucks. So, since I haven’t been able to do too much in the way of blogging or podcasting, I thought I’d do another book review for a book I just finished. I’ll try to get back on schedule with the blogs and podcasts as soon as I am feeling better but in the meantime give this review a gander.
I read a lot of non-fiction. Anyone who has read the previous book reviews on this blog shouldn’t be surprised by that. Nor would anyone who knows me be surprised by that statement. It’s not that I don’t like fiction, I do. It’s just that my nonfiction reading outnumbers my fiction reading usually by about 2 to 1. I really have no explanation for it other than I like what I like. That said though, I don’t really do a lot of non-fiction in audiobook format. I typically prefer my audiobooks to be fiction. However, there are some notable exceptions to that. Things like David Goggins’ “Can’t Hurt Me,” Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s “Extreme Ownership,” and now the current book I am reviewing: Nick Koumalatsos’ “Excommunicated Warrior “.
In addition to that, there are actually very few times I will recommend an audiobook over a physical hard copy. That’s just me, I like to hold them and read them. Obviously I do listen to audiobooks, we just went over that, but typically there are certain times, things, and reasons, why I choose them. They’re usually not my go to format is what I’m saying.
That said, in this instance I highly recommend listening to the audiobook version of this book. The main reason for that is the way the book is formatted. It has the chapters of the book just as the physical copy of the book would, but in addition to that there are interviews by the author of various associates and friends of his in between the chapters wherein they discuss the previous chapter like a podcast. If you’ve listened to the Goggins book it is a similar format to that, albeit less polished, which actually aids the rawness of the subject matter and discussion. The beauty of this type of format is that it both provides valuable insight into what you’ve just read (heard) but also provides context and time to process what you’ve just gone over. For a book like this, one that is aimed at helping people understand and get through the various phases of transition, that type of additional content is invaluable.
The book itself is not quite an autobiography or war story, neither is it a self-help book. To try and pigeonhole it into those categories doesn’t actually work because it will never strictly fit those categories. Which is a good thing, it has value in those areas and more. Nick has nicely woven in personal experiences and real-world illustrations to aid in telling a story of how he went through the various stages people go through in times of transition. The book provides concrete usable actions pitted against some very raw and personal examples to provide context for anyone experiencing a transition phase in their life. It isn’t just “here’s what happened to me and how I got through,” its “people experience this, here’s what mine was like,” and “here are relevant examples of what professionals have found needs to happen for you to not just survive but thrive.” While that may sound like a warm and fuzzy anecdotal self-help seminar in the guise of a nonfiction book, it’s really more of a framework to use for building on your own capabilities in times of change based on concrete examples.
As the author repeatedly states, these lessons and principles apply to anyone encountering a stage of transition in their life, regardless of what this transition may be. While Nick Koumalatsos is a veteran, the lessons and strategies here are universal not military specific. Whether you have been in the military, plan to join the military or have no connection to the military in any capacity the usefulness of this book is the same. Everyone goes through transition phases in their life, and this book can help ensure that experience is a positive one.
I personally plan to listen to this book again, maybe even multiple times. I got a lot of value from it and I think if you’re looking for something that could even remotely fall into this category you’d be well served by listening to this book. Regardless of whether or not you’re looking for any titles that fit into this category, I still definitely recommend checking it out. This book has value, even if you don’t know you need it.
If you’re interested in checking it out, you can purchase it here.