Top 10 Favorite Books

img_0334The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
Given just months to live because of terminal cancer, Randy Pausch gave an inspiring lecture at Carnegie Mellon University about everything but dying. In this powerful and inspirational book, Pausch teaches us some of the most important lessons for living a life full of meaning, happiness, and truth.

The_Color_of_Water_coverThe Color of Water
– James McBride
Serving as a powerful tribute to his mother, McBride explores his own confusing identity through a deep exploration of his extended family, education, and opportunities in life. I see so much of my own life through this book (Black, Jewish, New York, education, etc.) and it’s been a personal favorite since first picking it up.

Between the World and MeBetween the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
Written as a thoughtful and intentional memoir to his teenage son, Coates reflects upon the race, power, and privilege through his own experiences growing up in Baltimore, attending Howard University, and living in New York.. Echoing the review of Toni Morrison, this book is required reading for everyone.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
– Seth Grahame-Smith
What if vampires were real? What if they had an enormous impact on all facets of the world? And what if Abraham Lincoln was the most powerful vampire hunter in the United States? This novel will give readers the untold story of one of our most famous and consequential presidents.

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch AlbomTuesdays with Morrie
Filled with love, courage, and faith, Albom paints an incredible picture of the relationship between himself and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor who is dying of ALS. Through their weekly conversations and reflections, Morrie’s wisdom is the advice all of us need to hear to live a more meaningful and happy life.

51VYZ+gf58L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Just Mercy
– Bryan Stevenson
We live in a country that perpetuates incredible injustices against the most vulnerable in our society; and that’s what Bryan Stevenson is trying to fight. Through numerous personal stories and reflections, Stevenson brings to life the tears and nightmares of men on death row, communities completely devastated by injustice, and the harmful impact of our “justice system”. A necessary read full of hope, redemption, love, and justice.

A1D5JLDcEfL.__BG0,0,0,0_FMpng_AC_UL320_SR216,320_.jpgThe Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
A true classic! Set during the boom of the 1920s, Fitzgerald sucks us into the complicated lives of Nick Carraway, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, and, of course, Jay Gatsby. All of the twists and turns of this novel show us all of the sides of love and lust, boom and bust; if you weren’t forced to read this in school, now is the time to pick it up.

51kaUcYd9+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Dreams From My Father
– President Barack Obama
Written after his selection as President of the Harvard Law Review, President Obama’s memoirs tell a story of a young man not following the traditional trajectory of a politician, let alone President of the United States. It’s a deeply personal and revealing look at the life of one of the most consequential presidents of all time.

lvorwell7n-1-web1984 – George Orwell
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” From its first sentence, 1984 will captivate any reader with its truly harrowing adventure set within a negative utopia. An absolute classic that makes us consider some of the biggest questions in our world, including the instability of democracy around the world.

51Z0nLAfLmL._SY346_The Alchemist
– Paulo Coelho
I was assigned this book in one of my leadership classes, yet it is so much more about living a meaningful and happy life. It follows the journey of a young boy and his quest to discover a treasure in Egypt; but along the way, he finds so much more. Here’s one of my favorite quotes: “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”

Below is a list of books that I’ve read in the last few years, either for school or pleasure. Let me know if you’re interested in borrowing any of them – happy to make sure you get a copy in front of you!

12 Years A SlaveSolomon Northup
Dreams From My Father – Barack Obama
I Am Malala –
Malala Yousafzai
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela – Nelson Mandela
Acts of Faith – Eboo Patel

1776David McCullough
1984 – George Orwell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Of Mice & Men – John Steinbeck
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Martian – Andy Weir
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Seth Grahame-Smith
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You – Peter Cameron
Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union – Michael Chabon
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie Flagg
Lola – Melissa Scrivner Love
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Assassination Vacation – Sarah Vowell
The Wordy Shipmates – Sarah Vowell
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari
John Adams – David McCullough
From Abraham to Obama: A History of Jews, Africans, and African-Americans – Ephraim Isaac & Harold David Brackman

Judaism & Israel:
While Standing On One Foot – Nina Jaffe & Steve Zeitlin
Why Be Jewish – Edgar Bronfman
How Jews Became White Folks – Karen Brodkin
Eight Questions of Faith – Niles Elliot Goldstein
My Promised Land: The Triumph & Tragedy of Israel – Ari Shavit
Start-Up Nation – Dan Senor & Saul Singer
The Great Latke-Hamentash Debate – Ruth Fredman Cernea
I Am Jewish – Various Authors (Inspired by Daniel Pearl)
The Chosen – Chaim Potok
The Millennials – Thom & Jess Rainer
Recharging Judaism – Rabbi Judith Schindler & Judy Seldin-Cohen

Life & Society:
For One More Day – Mitch Albom
The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
Together Is Better – Simon Sinek
The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother – James McBride
Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto – Mitch Albom
David & Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell
Giving – Bill Clinton
What Would Ben Stein Do? – Ben Stein
The First Phone Call From Heaven – Mitch Albom
Happiness: Lessons From A New Science – Richard Layard
Bounce – Matthew Syed
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
The Next America – Paul Taylor & The Pew Research Center

Leadership & Productivity:
The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
Start With Why – Simon Sinek
Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek
How to Win Friends & Influence People in the Digital Age – Dale Carnegie & Associates
Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds – Carmine Gallo
The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande
The Work – Wes Moore
Working Out Loud – John Stepper
Leadership On The Line – Ronald Heifetz & Marty Linsky
The Startup Way – Eric Ries

Politics & Policy:
The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama
Game Change – John Heilemann & Mark Halperin
Double Down – John Heilemann & Mark Halperin
The Power of Citizenship: Why John F. Kennedy Matters to a New Generation – Scott Reich
The Unwinding – George Packer
Ill Fares the Land – Tony Judt
Merchants of Doubt – Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes
The Gatekeepers – Chris Whipple
Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents – Richard Neustadt
Experience and Education – John Dewey
The Battle for America 2008 – Dan Balz & Haynes Johnson
It’s Even Worse Than It Looks – Norman Ornstein & Thomas Mann
Conversations With Power – Brian Michael Till
What Happened – Hillary Clinton
Beyond the Messy Truth – Van Jones
The President’s Club – Michael Duffy & Nancy Gibbs

Social Justice:
Rachel And Her Children – Jonathan Kozol
The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? – Beverly Daniel Tatum
Interfaith Leadership – Eboo Patel
Racism Without Racists – Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Possessive Investment in Whiteness – George Lipsitz
The Price of Whiteness – Eric Goldstein
Whiteness of a Different Color – Matthew Jacobson
March (1, 2, 3) – John Lewis
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison – Shaka Senghor
Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
The Other Wes Moore – Wes Moore
Class Matters – New York Times Correspondents
Notes From No Man’s Land – Eula Biss
How the Irish Became White – Noel Ignatiev
Speaking Truth To Power – Anita Hill
Nobody – Marc Lamont Hill
Evicted – Matthew Desmond
Becoming Ms. Burton – Susan Burton & Cari Lynn

Beyond the Phog – Jason King

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s