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Publisher's Summary

Chop Wood Carry Water is the story of one boy's journey to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a samurai warrior. Guided by "Akira-sensei", John comes to realize the greatest adversity on his journey will be the challenge of defeating the man in the mirror.

This powerful story brings the train-to-be-clutch curriculum to life in a powerful and memorable way.

Some things you will learn....

  • No matter how it feels, you are always building your own house.
  • How and why you must surrender the outcome in order to be at your best.
  • Why you never want to have your identity wrapped up in what you do.
  • Why your strength lies in faithfulness to the little things.
  • How to develop a heart posture of gratitude.
  • How to use the biggest challenges as a training ground for greatness.
  • Why the process is more important than the goal.
  • Why comparison is the thief of all joy.
  • How to develop a growth mindset.
  • Why talent is more of a curse than a blessing.

©2015 Joshua Medcalf (P)2016 Joshua Medcalf

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Has moments but wears thin quick

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book is certainly not a waste of time but I started to find it very annoying as each chapter passed. It came across as way too simplistic and not very realistic considering the context. The underlying messages and stories told in each chapter certainly can help bring balance to someone in a crazy world. I just wish it didn't make me feel like I was dealing with a spoiled adolescent in John.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Similar to my reaction to previous chapters, simplistic.

Have you listened to any of Joshua Medcalf’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No and not sure that I would based on this one. Great potential with some moments but message gets lost.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe depending on the liberties taken by the producer. Potential is there but this was a lost opportunity.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Overly simplistic... perhaps meant for teens?

All of the content seems okay, but it is nothing original. It is every basic self help concept boiled down and told in a cheesy anecdotal story line with modern details. The Japanese sensei is a bit cliche and doesn't come across as a believable story at all.

Gave it three stars only bc the intent is good and it may be a good starting point for some young people.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Could not put this book down

Very powerful story. This should be required reading for all High School students. I cannot wait to get the other books.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love the message! My teenage daughter is reading this before she starts her volleyball season required by her coach! Great life lessons!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great life lessons thru story telling!!

This is exactly the things I preach to the young people I coach & mentor. Love how the life lessons are highlighted thru vivid stories!! Author has pleasant voice

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Eye and Mind Opening!

This book uses simple apologies to help open our minds to how the small simple task plays a Huge part in mastering our Craft. Now I look at the different exam or situations I face at work and in life as Opportunities to Learn and to Grow! So from now on I will faithfully chop wood and carry water so that I can master who God has created to to be as myself, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a servant, and as an employee. Thank you for writing this book!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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It's all about the journey...

Overall a great listen. I doubted for a while though. There are a few times when the book borders on the banal. "You have to embrace discipline... Pay attention to the little things..." There are also times when the central character comes across as very immature and whiny. But as I got farther in my view changed completely. The main character is on a journey of self discovery, mastery and growth. Such journeys have to start at a place where that mastery and growth has not yet happened. He *had* to start out flawed. That also makes him more relatable in the long run. I wouldn't say there are a ton of revolutionary, ground-breaking new ideas in this book. But the author does a very good job of reminding us of things (most of us likely already know) that are important, and of which we should be more mindful. He does so in a very engaging show (instead of tell) sort of way - that sinks in better too. That - i think - is the genius of this book. HOW the lessons are presented. The ultimate tying together of many small lessons to emphasize the overarching concept of learning to fall in love with the process of improving yourself (with all of the mundane, frustrating, tedious things that can involve) was done in a very enjoyable and impactful way. I definitely believe this is one title I will enjoy revisiting often as it is a wonderful kick in the pants for when we get mentally sloppy or careless about how we are living our lives and what we do with those lives every day. This book takes a very subtle approach to making a very profound statement. Enjoyed it very much.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too cutesy

Lessons included are worthy of learning but a very simple writing style and a little childish method of story telling

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    5 out of 5 stars
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You have to put in the work

Would you listen to Chop Wood Carry Water again? Why?

Yes, probably during every training cycle.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The main character's coach.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Chop Wood Carry Water?

Put in the time. The rest will come.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

very good and easy read

very encouraging and real! This book is a great reminder for real life hard work and how it pays off if you're willing to do the work!

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  • Carl Keeley
  • 05-24-17

Essential listening

Loved this book. Short and to the point.
Without a doubt one of my all time favorites.
So much so I've gifted it to at least twenty friends and clients already.