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Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Soul in the Game is a book of inspiring stories and hard-won lessons on how to live a meaningful life, crafted by investor and writer Vitaliy Katsenelson.

Drawing from the lives of classical composers, ancient Stoics, and contemporary thinkers, Katsenelson weaves together a tapestry of practical wisdom that has helped him overcome his greatest challenges: in work, fami
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 21st 2022 by Harriman House
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gorden lopes
Jun 08, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading Vitaliy's newsletter for the past 3 years and I have always looked forward to reading his articles and have been a big fan of the simplicity of his writing! This book has trully touched my soul in many ways, his amazing sense of humor makes difficult topics very easy to absorb, his ability to show his vulnerable sides of his life, his story telling ability (reminds me of Anthony Bourdains writing style). I have read half of the book and could not stop myself from giving a 5 s ...more
Elora Canne
Jun 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
The author’s insight into living your best life is profound. Soul in the Game was written over a number of years which added so much depth as we witness his life as a father, husband and even as an adult son himself. He tells of his personal growth through his work relationships, family relationships, creativity and hobbies. I loved his wit and wisdom!
Stephanie Akkaoui
Exceptional book. Insightful with lessons to be applied in every area of work and life. Great read.
Mian Javaid
Nov 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so much fun to read this book. So well written, enjoyed and learned life lesson along the way
Brinda Narayan
Jul 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When An Investor Infuses His Soul in The Game

In a world where people are often expected to inhabit polarities – pro-capital or pro-labor, liberal or conservative – Vitaly Katsenelson dwells in a rare liminal or middle space. He is, as he describes himself in his latest book, an investor with a soul.

He is the CEO of IMA, an investment management firm and also the author of wildly popular books on investing including Active Value Investing. With his works translated into many languages – Chinese,
Anish Kaushal
Aug 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
Fantastic book that’s not like other investment books. Read a lot of business books that repeat the same thing but this was unique. Vitaliy did a great job of explaining how to live a fulfilled and fruitful life, outside of just making money. Repeated a lot of what I’ve read from the ancient stoics and how to change your perspective on every day situations to be more calm and less stressed. Also love how the format was unique and not a typical non fiction book.

Some notes I took:

Stoic philosopher
Jun 25, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I started reading Vitaliy Katsenelson’s newsletter years ago for its investing content, but it is the family stories he includes that keep me hooked. With Soul in the Game, Vitaliy leaves his investment topics to the side and focuses on life, family, and self-growth. This was a good choice for him and for me. His shift to writing a book about living an active, engaged life grew him as a writer and matched well with my need for a post-Covid kick in the butt this summer to think about more importa ...more
Andy Ferguson
Jun 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
“Soul in the Game” is a refreshing and unique book that is both personal and global. Vitaliy’s writing style is easy to follow and appealing, with chapters broken down into brief snippets that are easy to digest and allow the reader to knock off a little at a time. His background as a Russian émigré is interesting, and his assimilation into American society and business from a standing start as a young adult is both inspirational and aspirational.

There are many relatable entries in this book tha
Oct 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I am a fan of Vitaliy, having read his email epistles for several years. This book is a compilation of his writings that were generated over time. The author runs a brokerage company that specializes in value investing. However, very little space is allocated to investing in this book.
Soul in the Game is divided into several sections. Most of the essays contain autobiographical examples which make it interesting and relevant. The section entitled Stoicism-The Philosophy for Life is most interest
Leif Smith
Jun 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Seeds for Explorers of every description

If we are wise we choose problems that merit persistent effort and exploration, so that our work can draw from within and outside of us previously unguessed stories, shapes, colors, and tones from which will gradually emerge a life resembling an artistic composition, one never, as Karl Popper declared in Unended Quest, ended. I love explorers of all kinds, and this book I would give to any of them, expecting each to find something of value. The author kind
John Flynn
Jun 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing
You can find some great ideas to live by written by a thoughtful man. I met Vitally at a investment conference a few years ago. Since then I’ve occasionally read his emails that are very well constructed. This is the first book of his I’ve read and I’m pleasantly surprised by the topic and the quality of the thinking and writing. This book dives into the mental development side of investment and thinking. The development of psychology of a investor is as important as learning the fundamentals of ...more
Karen Zeff
Jun 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I retired ten years ago from a 45-year career that involved research and writing. I wish I had this book sooner. There is so much in Vitaliy’s life that I can relate to, from his roots in Eastern Europe, to the impressive insightfulness of his children (and now my grandchildren). His views on the subconscious mind, brain health, visualization, maximizing use of time, adding value to the world, and achieving a meaningful life are relevant to any career.
I put off starting reading, thinking I neede
Aaron Force
Jun 21, 2022 rated it really liked it
Soul In The Game was a surprise to me in how sharing lessons from one's life can be so profoundly powerful. Based on his writing, I would consider that a casual conversation with Vitaliy would be one of those rare moments where you leave the encounter a fundamentally better, or at least wiser, person for speaking with him. This is fairly light and easy reading but don't let that fool you—there are plenty of insightful takeaways to be found within. Very well written and quite relatable, Soul In T ...more
Michael P.
Jul 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life, @vitaliyk takes you through his personal journey and how he has structured his life to live it to the fullest and in accordance with his values. A roadmap for anyone thinking about how to live the good life.

Vitaliy’s personal stories and learnings distill timeless wisdom spanning topics including habit formation, mindfulness, Stoicism, the creative process, and happiness. A requisite addition to any lifelong learner’s bookshelf.

Jul 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first discovered Vitaliy through his website ContrarianEdge, and I was immediately hooked on him. It was through Vitaliy that I discovered the great thinker Nassim Taleb. I was super excited for this book coming out, and it did not disappoint! The early parts where Vitaliy discusses his father and their relationship was especially touching to me.

We live in a world with chronic low and medium levels of stress, caught up sometimes in the meat grinder. Vitaliy helps us get some perspective to sor
J Sas
Jun 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This well-researched page-turner is a compendium of practical and philosophical advice (Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, among the best-known) for leading a sane life in a world that has other plans. It is chock-full of family anecdotes that were written with humor, heart, and humility. I whole-heartily recommend this book and will give copies to my teenage twins, with hopes they read it while they are young.
Anyanegbu Chinweike
Jun 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Here's a book that made me feel like I was part of another man 's life. I have never been so drawn into a book while reading it as I was with the whole narrative of "The Soul in the Game " like one watching a movie.
But more importantly is his enthusiasm, the will and the determination to survive against all odds and discovering himself each step of the way and his purpose in life.
---Anyanegbu Chukwunweike Michael, Minister, His Word in Our Hearts Ministry
Steven Marosik
Jun 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful blend of wisdom reinforced by nuggets of personal experience. The author’s candid vulnerability allows the reader to relate and emulate the stories of historical figures who lived exemplary lives before us but who in turn had their own vices and tribulations. Vitaly’s delivery and self deprecating humour makes this crafty work a must read for any lover of learning. I can see myself picking up this book again down the line to reinforce some life principles and core values.
Darren Finke
Jun 23, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I had the good fortune to read an advance copy of Vitaliy’s “Soul in the Game,” and I loved it! Vitaliy does a masterful job of taking his life experiences from growing up in Russia, moving to the US, raising children, learning Stoicism, and many other sources to give over practical lessons on life. His writing style is engaging, and his stories are eminently relatable. He shares so many great insights on how to lead a meaningful life. Well worth the read.
Oct 07, 2022 rated it really liked it
Wow, what an unusual book! It is well written and contains a lot of personal stories. It covers a lot of subject areas that were meaningful to the author. I read the book a few chapters a day so I could reflect on the material covered. It was like a daily vitamin. There was a lot to think about as he covered many subjects. I especially enjoyed the sections on the Stoics and the Classical music chapters, although there were loads of other practical chapters too! Nicely done Vitality!😎
Dilyan Krastev
Jun 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Vitaliy's new book Soul in the Game. It is a compilation of essays. The first part is about his early life in Soviet Russia and his early years as an emigrant in the USA. The second part is about stoicism. The whole book is written in an engaging, easy to read manner. I liked the honest, thoughtful and passionate advices on parenting, meditation, Stoic philosophy and daily life. ...more
Selena Maranjian
Jul 30, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to describe this book, other than to say that it's a mix of stories, wisdom, and memoir that offers a lot of insight into how we might live our lives better and be happier. Vitaliy's own life has been very interesting (so far!) and he shares a lot of what he has learned along the way -- with candor and humor. ...more
Mark Hillick
Aug 18, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been reading Vitaliy’s newsletters for a few years, and thoroughly enjoyed them so it was an easy step to buy his book.

The book is an easy read with lots of insightful takeaways on investing, stoicism and essentially living as the author walks the reader through his memoirs, family history, investments and observations.
Gary Mishuris
Jun 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Soul in the Game is not just a window into Vitaliy's life. It's an inspiring perspective on how to pursue your life with passion and meaning. Whatever your path, you will benefit from reading this book. ...more
Ayi Etim
A great book and a great guide to live a great life.
Bryan Baratian
Jul 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A compendium of astute life strategies interweaving bits of knowledge from parenting, stoic philosophy, financial markets, and overall existing. Looking forward to your next masterpiece, Vitaliy!
Claudiu Vlad
Jul 16, 2022 rated it it was amazing
One of the best book about how to live a life.
George Yang
Interesting life stories but I don’t fell as insightful as others comment. Love the stories about classical composers though
Jul 31, 2022 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Gustav J
Sep 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5 - really amazing book. Vitaly is number #1 on story telling. Learned a lot, had several new insights and new methods to practice. Recommend everyone to read it.
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Vitaliy Katsenelson was born in Murmansk, Russia, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1991. After joining Denver-based value investment firm IMA in 1997, Vitaliy became Chief Investment Officer in 2007, and CEO in 2012. Vitaliy has written two books on investing and is an award-winning writer. Known for his uncommon common sense, Forbes Magazine called him “The New Benjamin Grah ...more

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“Let’s start with soul – that’s the immaterial part of us, our essence, the dearest part of ourselves. The game is whatever creative endeavor we are deeply involved in, be it running a company, creating art, writing, investing, or making sushi – any creative pursuit that you believe is worthy of your effort and time. When you have soul in the game, this pursuit has all of you, every ounce of your attention and strength and love.” 0 likes
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