Books are magical. In a world of digital distractions that pull us to the shallows, books invite us to explore the depths. Here are some of my recent reads. As you can tell, I'm a sucker for anything in the "reimagining capitalism" space at the moment. I'm always on the lookout for new recommendations, so let me know what books you love!
Why Fish Don't Exist is everything you love about books, all wrapped up in one. Equal parts history, memoir, science, and philosophy, Lulu Miller weaves a masterpiece that gets you thinking about the big questions of meaning and purpose within a gripping narrative.
Little Fires Everywhere is the best novel I've read in a while. Celeste Ng is great, the story is captivating, and you'll love it. I like how it touches on themes of conformity, order, values, and creativity.
Winners Take All definitely challenged my worldview. It's about how rich people from "MarketWorld" fail and cause harm in their efforts to solve social problems (problems that they helped to create). I do wish more solutions were discussed.
First off, Valerie Kaur is incredible. She's a Sikh activist, filmmaker, and lawyer, and an incredible writer. See No Stranger is a memoir and inspiring guide to working for social justice and learning to love yourself and others.
Sapiens is the best book out there on the big-picture evolution of humans. My biggest takeaway is the way that stories like money, religion, and government have allowed our mass cooperation. Harari is a pure genius.
The New Jim Crow is a harrowing account of how the American criminal justice system has built a racial caste system that creates rather than prevents crime. The solutions to mass incarceration are within reach, but the system needs serious upending to serve true justice.
Rob Bell is probably my favorite modern spiritual teacher. He's got a knack for making the particular universal, and vice verses. I found myself re-reading and underlining passages on nearly every page. Everything is Spiritual will captivate you no matter your religious background or beliefs.
How to Change Your Mind explores the history, science, and usefulness or psychedelics, as well as Pollan's experience with them. These long-taboo drugs are set to revolutionize mental health treatment and offer a path to the discovery of our innate oneness. This book might change how you think about your mind.
The battle for AI dominance between the U.S. and China is a fascinating and under-appreciated issue that AI Superpowers addresses. The book offers fascinating insights into the future of global commerce and culture, as well a surprisingly personal take on how AI can help us be more human.
"Love yourself. Then forget it. Then love the world." Poetry! I love how Mary Oliver's poems wander with her through nature and soul, revealing how to be present, curious, and kind. Reading from Devotions helps me return to a sense of wonder about life.
I often struggle to read "classics," but this one is both excellent and timeless. Steinbeck has a knack for stories that captivate, raise big questions, and peer into family dynamics. East of Eden far surpassed my expectations.
Money is an essential part of life, but our current economy rewards greed and punishes the generosity that is equally innate to human existence. Sacred Economics provides a radical vision of a world that puts community and flourishing above profit.
Doughnut Economics is an excellent primer on the economy we need to create. Raworths donut model for creating human flourishing within the bounds of the planet is genius, as are her specific ideas for designing an inclusive and prosperous economy.
Steve Jobs is one of the most complex and incredible figures of the past century. His ability to invent the future, motivate others, and bend reality to his will were incredible. He was also at times quite a jerk. Isaacson lays out the whole story in this brilliant bio.
Just Mercy is a moving story of Bryan Stevenson's life and work. The book cuts deep on themes of compassion, forgiveness, and humanity. We are all more than the worst thing we have ever done, and Stevenson shows us a better way to be with each other.
Once you get going reading Where the Crawdads Sing, you won't want to stop. Owens is a masterful writer, and she touches on what it means to be in love, in community, and in nature. The unique setting and dramatic plot of this novel will keep you on the edge of your seat. Give it a read or listen
I highly recommend everything Chip & Dan Heath write—they're some of the clearest writers out there about social science and decision-making. The Power of Moments shows you how to create memorable experiences. The implications for business, relationships, and life are immense.
Michelle Obama draws you into her life story and gives you a peek into the chaotic, complex, and exhilarating life of a first lady. Her writing is witty and her storytelling heartfelt. Becoming is an inspiring memoir that will make you feel hopeful about the future. I enjoyed the Audible version.