Ken Recommends

Hey, friends. This is a low-pressure section of my site where I link to stuff I like. Every product here is something I personally own and recommend. Any clicks are welcomed as they are how I fund this site. I work a regular full-time job just like you, but hosting costs money. I hope this page is helpful. Thanks for stopping by! – Ken

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Recommended Reads

Enjoy some of my book recommendations. Again, these are only books I would personally recommend to friends.

Secular Reads

atomic habits james clear

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Forming good habits and breaking bad ones is how to work to become the person you want to be. Good habits make the action of making the best choices easier. This is a book I reference and consult constantly. There isn't a person that can't benefit from Atomic Habits by James Clear. My own copy is on loan right right with more friends wanting to borrow it after the next person is done.

meditation for fidgety skeptics

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book by Dan Harris and Jeff Warren

I meditate nearly every day and this is the book that taught me how. Putting aside all of the lotus-position cushion-sitting, the "ooommmm"ing and the "Namaste"ing, Dan Harris brings a book about meditation that even the biggest skeptic of meditation can embrace. This book is an insightful, funny, and very informative "how to" guide to meditation for those looking to make meditation part of their lives without all of the cosmic mumbo jumbo gooey-guru vibes.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

How you spend your days is how you spend your life. Take back your time by the power of saying "no." Because of this, we need to make space in our lives for the most important tasks, items, and people in our lives — the essentials. This book will help you determine what is and isn't essential to you and optimize your life to make space for it.

digital minimalism by cal newport

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in Noisy World by Cal Newport

This book helped me redeem huge chunks of my life from the anxious buzz of social media. Like many people, I used to waste hours every day on social media. For the hours spent, you'd think I enjoyed it, but I only grew more drained. This book by computer science professor Cal Newport explains how social media companies hook us, keep us coming back, and how we can manage our time online.

More Coming Soon

Because I only recommend products I've personally owned and enjoyed, I can only recommend so much. As I find more great stuff, I'll share it if I feel that it's worth sharing.

Spiritual Reads

pirkei avos the ethics of our fathers

Ethics of the Fathers: Pirkei Avos

This extremely short work (64 pages, half of which are in Hebrew) is an incredible look into the Jewish Rabbinic literature. Jam-packed with ethical teachings from Rabbinic masters, each line could be meditated upon at length. I highly recommend this work for those look for a first-look at Jewish ethics. (Keep in mind that some are oldschool, but most are completely relevant to today).

rebbe nachmans soul vol 1

Rebbe Nachman's Soul vol. 1 by Rabbi Shlomo Katz & Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld, zt"l

Within the world of Hasidic Judaism, there is a sect known as the Breslover Chasidim — their spiritual head being Rabbi Nachman of Breslov who lived from 1772-1810. This juggernaut of wisdom remains of the most quoted Jewish spiritual figures of all time. In the 1970s, a student of his work (Rosenfeld) gave a series of lectures on his works just before his own passing. Working from rough cassette recordings, Rabbi Shlomo Katz and many others worked to make this text possible. I have the problem that once I pick it up, I can't put it down. Every page is bursting with fluid spiritual wisdom. Reading it is a true delight.

A Shtikel Sholom by Barak Hullman

A Shtikel Sholom: A Student, His Mentor and Their Unconventional Conversations

Though I had the pleasure of attending a wedding in Israel officiated by Rabbi Sholom Brodt in 2009, I never had the pleasure of meeting him before he died just a few years ago. However, with this work, I feel like I've met him. Rabbi Brodt (who insisted even his students call him "Sholom") was a student of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. This work that was written by one of his friends and students delivers a collection of 1-2 page stories that will have you laughing, crying, scratching you head, or inspired to take your spirituality to the next level.

the sabbath by abraham joshua heschel

The Sabbath by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

This fairly short work (144 pages) breaks down the inner essence and heart of the Jewish Sabbath more than any other work I've ever come across. In this, the late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (an acclaimed rabbi who once marched along side Rev Martin Luther King, Jr.), discusses the spirit of the Sabbath the idea of making time holy.

first steps to a new jewish spirit zalman shachter-shalomi

First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit by Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi, zt"l

In this relatively short work (136 pages), the "Bebop Rabbi" and founding father of the Jewish Renewal and Havurah Movements gives short, yet insightful tips to allowing yourself to make the Creator a meaningful part of your daily life. For many Jewish people, this will be a refresher course to stoke the embers inside. For others, it will be a radically new look at living spiritually.

More Coming Soon!

Because I only recommend products I've owned and enjoyed, I'll be back to add more as I find things I can recommend.

Recommended Workout & Outdoor Gear

Whether I’m breakin’ a sweat or just hanging out in my hammock, here is what I use.

adidas dynamo 9 mens jump rope shoe

Adidas Duramo 9 - Men's Jump Rope Shoe

I'm not sure what anyone else uses these for, but they are my go-to jump rope shoes. The unique "cloud foam" soles feel like I'm walking/jumping on a memory foam mattress. Because jumping rope is nothing but jumping, these pad my feet extremely well. The tread is very grippy, but doesn't bite my jump rope like other athletic shoes did. If you're looking for a good jump rope shoe, I highly recommend checking these out. Keep in mind that they run about a half-size small.

DEGOL Speed Jump Rope

This is the first jump rope I purchased in my adult life and it's still the one I use the most. The grips are incredibly forgiving with fast ball bearings to eliminate tangles. I jump on asphalt and the rope has held up fine. The shorter handle length makes this rope perfect for traveling.

weighted leather jump rope with wood handles

Ring to Cage Deluxe Leather Jump Rope - Weighted

This was the second jump rope I purchased and it's still going strong. For a weighted jump rope with a vintage vibe, this is a great fit. The no-tangle design means smooth jumping with polished wood handles that feel like luxury furniture. Keep the length in mind. I overestimated and found myself tying several knots in the sides to make for a good rope. Still, the added weight make jumping with this rope a great workout for arms, shoulders, and back muscles.

grand trunk camping hammock with built-in mosquito net

Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro Mosquito Hammock

I wish I had known about this thing when I was in Boy Scouts. This is the only way I camp anymore. I always get an incredible night's sleep (have fun sleeping on rocks or in water, tent campers!) and the net keeps bugs at bay. The entire hammock also fits into a bag about the size of a small pineapple. Seriously, there's no better way to camp.

eno hammock rain tarp fly

ENO Pro Hammock Rain Fly

Before I got this, I hated it when it would rain on camping trips. With this, I almost hope it rains. I've stayed completely dry in overnight downpours with this rain cover. I've also just hung out in my hammock during daytime downpours while reading a book (truly a delight, I'd say). Whether you're looking to stay high and dry in your camping hammock or just have a good, super-lightweight rain guard for table or hangout spot, this is what you're looking for.

Recommended Tools & Gadgets

Here are some of the tools, gadgets, and items I use on a near-daily basis.

dreamhost quality website hosting service

DreamHost Website Hosting

After quite a bit of shopping around, I chose DreamHost to host my website. For less than I spend on Netflix, I get quality unlimited shared website hosting. While I only have this site with them so far, I can easily add host more for no additional charge aside from the price of the domain name. Also, if you're simply looking for a place to host one WordPress site, DreamHost makes it a snap to do so for an incredibly affordable price.

mpow bluetooth headphones with case

Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones Sport

Whether while jumping rope or just taking phone calls at my desk, I use these bluetooth-connected headphones almost every day (besides Shabbat, of course). They're so incredibly inexpensive for the quality you get. Other headphones would fall out when I jumped rope. Thanks to ear-holders (not sure what else to call them) these stay put. In addition to working out, I also use these as a headset for my phone when working. I've never had a complaint about the microphone from anyone. They also come with a handy carrying case to keep them from getting tangled in your bag or pocket.

More Coming Soon

Because I only recommend products I've personally owned and enjoyed, I can only recommend so much. As I find more great stuff, I'll share it if I feel that it's worth sharing.

Recommended Apparel

My closet is extremely limited, but here is what it mostly consists of.

More Coming Soon

Because I only recommend products I've personally owned and enjoyed, I can only recommend so much. As I find more great stuff, I'll share it if I feel that it's worth sharing.