Evan’s Bookshelf

Evan’s 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!

Dreams From My Father – Barack Obama
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
– Nelson Mandela
12 Years A Slave – Solomon Northup
I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai

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

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

History & Politics:

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

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

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

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

Millennial Generation:
The Millennials – Thom & Jess Rainer
The Next America – Paul Taylor & The Pew Research Center

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

Beyond the Phog – Jason King

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