Even with a busy travel schedule this month, I somehow found plenty of time to get some good reading done! As always, it’s a wide variety of books, but fascinating nonetheless. Here’s my book recap for November 2017.
The idea of success has always been fascinating to me and Gladwell, one of my favorite authors, takes this exploration to the next level in Outliers. Through his detailed and entertaining analysis style, Gladwell debunks so many of the myths associated with success, and instead, offers proof that success has way more to do with when and where you were born, your initial community, and the opportunities presented to you. From airline pilots to Jewish lawyers to technology giants, Gladwell shows that we have to spend less time looking at successful people, and more time at the factors around them.
David & Goliath
I had read this book a few years ago, but after reading Outliers this month, found myself wanting more Gladwell. Using the classic Biblical story of David the shepherd defeating Goliath the giant (and using science to show how that happened), Gladwell goes deep into the art of battling giants and the systems they represent. Gladwell profiles civil rights activists, people with dyslexia, students and teachers, and political heroes who all, starting from a disadvantage, overcame obstacles using very different strategies to make it happen. It’s a fascinating, detailed, and entertaining read from Gladwell!
Leadership On The Line
Ronald Heifetz & Marty Linsky
We all love to toss around the word “leadership” and how it important it is to practice it on a daily basis. But very few people take the time to examine why and how leadership is so difficult all the time. Heifetz and Linsky, creators of the adaptive leadership philosophy and two of my favorite leadership gurus, wrote this book so people could “stay alive through the dangers of leading”. While the examples are a generation old (it was written in 2002), the wisdom is necessary for anyone practicing leadership.
The Rosie Project
Among all of my non-fiction reads, I love to find a great fiction book and The Rosie Project was just that! My work’s book club picked this book and I found myself so attached to the characters and plot I read it in 2 days. The story follows Don, a genetics professor, on his quest to find the perfect woman to marry through a sixteen page survey that will find the perfect woman. Rosie is not initially that perfect woman, but an unlikely friendship turns into an incredible love adventure full of twists, turns, and lots of laughs. This is just a sweet, generous, and loving story for everyone to read!
Marc Lamont Hill
There has been a growing transformation throughout the United States since Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014. And yet, after the killing Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray and too many others, we are still searching for accountable for state-sanctioned violence against the most vulnerable and disposable in society. Hill’s thorough documentation of these tragic events, as well as analysis of the factors that created them, is a haunting and inspiring call for us to “consider a new world in which everyone has a chance to be somebody”.