“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” — Mortimer J. Adler
This was going to be a post on the books I’ve enjoyed reading in 2016. I will mention some of those but instead, I’ll keep it forward-looking and hopefully get a recommendation or two from readers of this blog!
There’s so much to read/consume/entertain yourself in 2017, that reading a WHOLE book, seems like a luxury. It’s a bit like what Netflix did to movies – who has time to watch a FULL movie? Let’s just watch an episode (or two) of our current show (I’m watching The Crown). So, if I do manage to avoid online news, blogs, social media, Netflix and the occasional movie, below are the books I’d love to read in 2017.
I’ve read Sapiens; an amazing book on the history (and origins) of mankind, and thoroughly enjoyed Yuval Noah Harrari’s style and research. It was educational and entertaining at the same time. His new book, Homo Deus, is a look into the future of humanity and if it’s anything like the first, I can’t wait to read it. Funny that I’ve bought the book as a gift to two people already, and my own copy also came to me as a gift (karma!).
The Emperor of all Maladies
Siddhartha Mukherjee won the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction 2011 for this book, which is a biography of cancer. Siddhartha brings an incredible perspective: he’s a is a cancer physician and researcher, a stem cell biologist and a cancer geneticist (and an incredible author). I recently read his latest book, The Gene (a biography of the Gene), and I struggled to put it down. He’s an incredible teacher and historian; entertaining and very personable.
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
if you’ve read The 4-Hour Work Week, you know what to expect from Tim Ferriss. In his latest book, he took his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, where he interviewed nearly 200 top performers, athletes, entertainers and military commanders and turned it into a book on their tools and tactics for fitness, money and wisdom. It’s the ultimate ‘new year’s resolution’ book probably (as it makes you feel a bit shitty about not being extraordinary enough and hopefully gives you a kick in the butt to do better). Another book I highly recommend in this genre is Mastery.
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
From George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984:
The tyranny is epitomised by Big Brother, the Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality but who may not even exist. The Party “seeks power entirely for its own sake. It is not interested in the good of others; it is interested solely in power.
Read the cliff notes if you’re not into “oldies”. Let’s hope that the worst parts remain fiction. The book was published in 1949, but somehow has never been more relevant than in 2017.
You know those books where you feel like you’re the last person on earth to read them? for me this is one of them (the same happened to me with Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan). The book came out in 2012 and tells the story of a world so shitty, that people escape reality by being plugged into VR utopia. I also loved Ernest Cline’s bio:
“ERNEST CLINE has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone. His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture fulltime as a spoken word artist and screenwriter.”