So many books, so little time ~ Frank Zappa.
My goal for 2019 is to read 52 books, one book every week.
The Last Lecture (2008, Jeffrey Zaslow and Randy Pausch)
I was in high school when I first watched Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. The lecture's title was Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, and contains two of Randy's "head fakes". A head fake is a term taken from football, where a player moves their head to fake a change in direction and deceive opponents. Randy's Last Lecture contains intellectual two head fakes. The first is that the lecture isn't actually about how to achieve your dreams, but how to lead you life. The second head fake is even better and I'll let you experience it for yourself. The book allows Randy to elaborate on his philosophy and talk about what was happening behind the scenes before, during, and after the last lecture.
When Breath Becomes Air (2016, Paul Kalanithi)
When Breath Becomes Air was independently recommended to me by three different friends. Suffice to say, I had high expectations before reading. After three days, I can say that my expectations were shattered as I was emotionally floored by its heartbreaking story. Breaking my heart is one thing, but to simultaneously provoke, inspire, and challenge is a feat few pieces of literature have done. I tend to reread very few books, but I have no doubt that I will continue to revisit these pages for many years.
Bad Blood (2018, John Carreyrou)
Bad Blood is an amazing story to experience. The first part of the book sets the stage by identifying the key actors and telling the story of Theranos up to a point. Then the tone dramatically shifts to the first person as the author tells the story of how he first broke his investigative reporting piece about Theranos. This second half was a thriller and after one chapter into the second half I was hooked and had to finish the book that very night.
The Courage to be Disliked (2013, Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi)
The Courage to be Disliked is structured as a conversation between a Philosopher and a Youth. The Youth attacks the Philosophers beliefs throughout the novel and plays the role of the cynic that lives in our own heads. As it presents all sides of the argument, I feel the conclusions it draws quite convincing.
Wild (2012, Cheryl Strayed)
Wild was a wild ride. It was inspiring to see Cheryl face and overcome adversity. The most uncomfortable parts for me was her interactions with predatory men. These moments emphasized her vulnerability doing this hike alone, and made me feel sick to my stomach while reading.
Bridge of Clay (2018, Markus Zusak)
The Bridge of Clay has a non-linear narrative that tugs on your heart strings time and time again. We learn about Clay, the second youngest of five boys, and the trials and tribulations that his family has gone through. It's from the perspective of his eldest brother and that really puts you in the center of it all.