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Ondrasik was born in Los Angeles, a child of a musical family. In his early years, Ondrasik learned the piano, and in his teens he learned to play the guitar and started to write music. While he also learned to sing opera briefly, he soon decided that he would like to be a singer/songwriter. Ondrasik graduated from UCLA with a degree in applied science and mathematics. While in college he continued to pursue music in his spare time. He adopted the name "Five for Fighting", an ice hockey term that means a five-minute major penalty for participating in a fight. Ondrasik is a lifelong fan of the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings.
John is an avid reader - books and reading having played an integral part in who he is personally and professionally. He shares his story and his journey with The Things We Read show and what have been his favorite books along the way.
00:00 - Introduction of Things We Read and the new Things We Read Show
02:05 - Introduction of guest, Five For Fighting (John Ondrasik)
04:20 - John's background, personally and professionally
06:05 - Inspiration and how and what books have helped influence his creative process
07:45 - Keys to his success and a holistically happy life
08:42 - Reference to Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, and his 10,000 hour rule
09:15 -John's original TWR Booklist
10:14 - Review and thought's on Ender's Game and sequels
12:28 - Books vs. Adapted Movies
13:16 - Discussion of Ayn Rand's books, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged
13:50 - Thoughts on audio books
15:39 - Political interests and books; John prefers fiction to non-fiction but references Michael Lewis' Flash Boys as one of his more preferred non-fiction, political related books
17:12 - In addition to his original TWR booklist, John added 5 new books for his most recent favorites. They include: 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Suttree by Cormac McCarthy, Dog Stars and Painter by Peter Heller, and Locked In by John Scalzi. He explains the reasons why he likes each one.
18:42 - TWR recently send a shipment of books to troops in Kuwait including one of John's other favorite non-fiction reads, Nassim Nicholas Taleb's, The Black Swan.
19:55 - We talk a little bit more about non-fiction books. John is an avid runner, running marathons regularly. Anyone interested in running, he recommends, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Haruki Murakami and Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.
20:30 - The last book John recommends in our conversation, is a novel by José Saramago, Blindness.
20:40 - Guess how many books John reads a week - he tells you here.
22:01 - Philanthropy efforts and how music allows him to communicate his passions to the world
23:57 - Stories of traveling the world singing for military veterans and soldiers
26:11 - John's efforts to raise money on What Kind of World Do You Want?
27:53 - E-mail FiveForFriends@aol.com to request a CD for Troops
28:39 - Discuss his new album, Bookmarks
30:10 - What music he listens to when he runs - his "Running List"
31:09 - What's next for Five For Fighting
31:47 - John makes an exclusive offer for all military
31:59 - Closing and goodbyes
32:45 - Credits and Thank you to supporters
Selected Links from the Episode:
- Five For Fighting Facebook
- Five For Fighting Twitter
- What Kind of World Do You Want?