Let me start this post by wishing everyone reading a very “Happy New Year.”
A few years ago I decided that I wasn’t reading as much as I would’ve liked, and I made a resolution to read at least 2 books per month.
I was out of practice, and sitting down for several minutes on end in deep concentration was not easy.
Like most adults living in the “Age of Information,” my brain had adapted to quick bouts of stimulus from multiple sources spread out across the day.
I decided to treat this endeavor as a form of mental exercising, and I started with a slow, gradual approach, just as I would any type of athletic pursuit.
Sooner than later, 15-20 minutes of sustained focus turned into an hour or more of intense intellectual enterprise, daily.
I can honestly say that it has been the single greatest custom that I have developed in my twenties, and something that I look forward to doing every single day of my life.
2016 was a great year in reading for me, and I managed to get through 34 pretty amazing books.
I would like to share them today in an effort to inspire you to pick up this life changing practice.
If you are an avid reader already, hopefully you find a book or two in my list that you can add to your catalog.
I will go through the entire list, first, and at the bottom of the post you’ll find “My Top Picks” of the entire bunch.
Links for each will be provided, so that if a title catches your eye you can get some more info, and even purchase a copy if you are so inclined.
- My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy Of Israel, by Ari Shavit
- The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr
- The Swerve: How The World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt
- Michael Jordan: The Life, by Roland Lazenby
- Between The World And Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Auto Biography Of Malcolm X As Told To Alex Halley
- Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
- Unstoppable: Harnessing Science To Change The World, by Bill Nye
- A. Lincoln, by Ronald C. White, Jr.
- Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, by Sherry Turkle
- The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmond Morris
- Theodore Rex, by Edmond Morris
- The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller
- Dreams From My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance, by Barack Obama
- The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers, by Christopher Vogler
- Saving Capitalism: For The Many Not The Few, by Robert B. Reich
- The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master The Art And Science Of Personal Magnetism, by Olivia Fox Cabane
- Bacardi And The Long Fight For Cuba, by Tom Gjelten
- The Republic, by Plato
- Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau
- Walden; Or, Life In The Woods, by Henry David Thoreau
- Self Reliance And Other Essays, by Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Gandhi, An Auto Biography: My Experiments With Truth
- The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success: A Pocketbook Guide To Fulfilling Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra
- Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu
- Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig
- The Wisdom Of Insecurity: A Message For An Age Of Anxiety, by Alan W. Watts
- Society Of The Spectacle, by Guy Debord
- Poetics, by Aristotle
- Politics, by Aristotle
- A People’s History Of The United States, by Howard Zinn
- Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In, by Bernie Sanders
- Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes
- Stronger Together: A Blueprint For America’s Future, by Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine
“My Top Picks“ (In No Particular Order)
- A People’s History Of The Unites States
- The Republic
- Tao Te Ching
- Bacardi And The Long Fight For Cuba
- Dreams From My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance
- The Auto Biography Of Malcolm X As Told To Alex Haley
- Between The World And Me
- Alexander Hamilton
- The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
- My Promised Land: The Triumph And Tragedy Of Israel
- The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains
- Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
- Saving Capitalism: For The Many Not The Few
- The Wisdom Of Insecurity: A Message For An Age Of Anxiety
I encourage each and everyone of you not to neglect your education outside of your particular field of expertise, and to remain infinitely curious of all things at all times.
Strive to learn about people and places that are different from what you are accustomed to, and that challenge any preconceived biases and/or stereotypes you may have of the world and the people around you.
If the material above isn’t enough for your appetite, and you’d like to check out last year’s reading list, you may do so, here.
For a guide on how to structure your quarterly reading, so that you stay well rounded and intellectually robust, click here.
Here’s to a prosperous and academically accomplished 2017.