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Publisher's Summary

Equal parts memoir and road map to living a less stressful and more vibrant life, best-selling author Jesse Itzler offers an illuminating, entertaining, and unexpected trip for anyone looking to feel calmer and more controlled in our crazy, hectic world.

Entrepreneur, endurance athlete, and father of four Jesse Itzler only knows one speed: Full Blast. But when he felt like the world around him was getting too hectic, he didn't take a vacation or get a massage. Instead, Jesse moved into a monastery for a self-imposed time-out. In Living with the Monks, the follow-up to his New York Times best-selling Living with a SEAL, Jesse takes us on a spiritual journey like no other. Having only been exposed to monasteries on TV, Jesse arrives at the New Skete religious community in the isolated mountains of upstate New York with a shaved head and a suitcase filled with bananas. 

To his surprise, New Skete monks have most of their hair. They're Russian Orthodox, not Buddhist, and they're also world-renowned German shepherd breeders and authors of dog-training books that have sold in the millions. As Jesse struggles to fit in amongst the odd but lovable monks, self-doubt begins to beat like a tribal drum. Questioning his motivation to embark on this adventure and missing his family (and phone), Jesse struggles to balance his desire for inner peace with his need to check Twitter. 

But in the end, Jesse discovers the undeniable power of the monks and their wisdom, and the very real benefits of taking a well-deserved break as a means of self-preservation in our fast-paced world. 

©2018 Jesse Itzler (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Jesse is a risk taker and is always trying different things to get better. Plus, he's fun to go out with." (Tom Brady, New England Patriots, four-time NFL Champion, two-time NFL MVP)

"Living with a Seal is funny and compelling with practical wisdom that leaves the reader feeling elevated and empowered. It also deeply impacted my own personal journey to health, fitness and well being." (Cory Booker, US Senator for New Jersey)

"This is 100% Jesse. Do it differently and you get different results. That's the way he has operated his entire life and it has worked beautifully." (Mike "Coach K" Krzyzewski, Duke Basketball head coach)

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What listeners say about Living with the Monks

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Another amazing book!

First, let me just say that I feel like I'm on an adventure with Jesse and it's one the reasons that I'll read and listen to anything he wants to tell his audience. It's all so authentic, powerful and informative.

Second, I love the message in this particular book that focuses on the fear of the unknown, creating a life experience, trying something new, and doing it by shutting off social media, electronics, and all the disruptions of the outside world. It's a book everybody should read, especially young people.

The performance in this audio book is also fantastic. I kept thinking, Jesse should just do animated movies in the way he brings Seal to life and the brothers at the monastery.

Will be re-listening to this a few more times and sharing with friends!

28 people found this helpful

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OK ish

The beginning of the book shares a lot of the stories from Living With a Seal. A third of the book is about the process of writing the book. Then a third of the book is about Living With Monks. Not a bad book but nothing great. Feels a little forced.

10 people found this helpful

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Loved It!

Loved this book - funny, entertaining and I learned a lot without even trying 😊. A Great Listen

9 people found this helpful

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not my cup of tea.

Parts of the book were somewhat interesting. The author went into way more detail the necessary throughout much of the book. It felt like he was struggling to make diary entries into a book.

7 people found this helpful

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Finding balance in a busy world

Ever wanted to take a step away from your life and slow down to see how hectic it’s become? Well now you can through the eyes of the author who did just that. Jesse takes us on a spiritual retreat to show how slowing down and mono tasking can help bring more balance and fulfillment into your life. The book is well paced and filled with funny stories that keep the adventure moving.

6 people found this helpful

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Utterly disappointing

This book could only have been made in the jet stream of the success of “living with a seal”. However this version was more of a glimpse into what an excessively privileged life looks like. I cannot believe this book was even published. They should have done more research on the monastery, and at least stuck it out for a solid 30 days. Who cares about a 2 week trip, where you leave and return. I sincerely hope Jesse write another book to make up for this one. “Living with a seal” is such a gem, and I had such high hopes for this book.

17 people found this helpful

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Jesse you did it again!

After listening to you narrate the words you wrote in both Seal and Monks, I feel like I know you. True wisdom guised in hysterical stories and amazing experiences. Thank you! And please don't stop writing and narrating!

3 people found this helpful

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Must-read for Jesse fans

I think anyone can appreciate the unfiltered, authentic, and fun storytelling of Jesse Itzler. “Monks” makes the pursuit of a more mindful path accessible to the typical busy person who is consumed by work, family and technology. This is not in the same genre of Thich Nhat Hanh or even Gabby B, but it’s an engaging read (er, listen!) with an amusing cast of characters, and my fave parts were his take-aways at the end of the book, and how applicable his learnings are to my own daily life.

7 people found this helpful

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I didn't want it to end!

I've listened to both audiobooks by Jesse Itzler and the fact that he narrates them adds a huge plus in my book. This book was just as entertaining and insightful as "Living with a Seal". I can't recommend it enough!

6 people found this helpful

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Living with the Monks

Too many of the same stories from living with a Seal. I did not enjoy this one. Disappointed after reading first book.

5 people found this helpful