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I finally read Cal Newport’s classic about focus. His methods can be applied to many situations, even if you don’t work in a job requiring it. Staying focused is good for the brain and, apparently, we need need to practice that. Distraction is the enemy of concentration. No matter your age, you need to ability to concentrate.
Who knew a style guide could be so entertaining? I borrowed this book from the library but I’m going to have to purchase my own copy to highlight and tab. If you write, you need it.
A hilarious look at comedian Jim Gaffigan’s life in New York City. Published in 2013, it tells of the daily struggles of living with five young children in a two-bedroom apartment. I laughed until I cried at some parts.
Melinda Gates documents her journey into philanthropy with first-hand investigations of the status of women in the world. This book gave me all the feels: anger, heartbreak, sadness, and revulsion, but it was also inspirational and impressive. You may not know much about Melinda Gates but you should pay attention to her.
Written in 1974, Michael Collins tells his story about how he became an astronaut and what he saw firsthand in one of the most amazing feats in human history.
A different perspective on the Apollo program astronauts from journalist Andrew Smith. This book was published in 2006 and documents Smith’s interviews with the remaining astronauts.
The best book I’ve read in a long time. Thank God for the Wall Street Journal’s John Carreyrou. You might think the story of Silicon Valley start-up would be dull but this reads like a thriller. Couldn’t put it down. I knew that it was about Theranos but I had no idea about the actual story. I can’t wait until they make a movie from this book, although they will have to figure out how to keep the science from slowing down the intrigue and drama. Highly recommend, must read!!
I tell everyone I know to listen to Side Hustle School with Chris Guillebeau. It’s a daily podcast that’s usually about 10 minutes telling the story of someone with a side hustle. His new book showcases 100 of the best stories of the first year of the podcast. It’s got descriptions, links, and full-color photos of each side hustle. I think it’s a great coffee table book to peruse for inspiration.
The inspiration for NBC’s New Amsterdam, Eric Manheimer’s stories from 14 years of filling notebooks about his days as medical director of Bellevue Hospital in New York City are haunting and breathtaking. There were times I had to take a break from reading. While I enjoy the TV show, it doesn’t have the depth of the book. The enormity of the problems is overwhelming but his description of each family’s tragedies brings it down to the human level.
Lisa Brennon-Jobs is the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Sounds great until you learn what kind of man he was and how he treated her. What surprised me was the amount of detail from her childhood. I could not come up with that many stories and so much description from my own past. I thought of her story while I was watching “Rocketman,” since there were some commonalities.
At age 54, Dani Shapiro and her half-sister did DNA tests for fun and it led to a painful discovery. She was conceived with the help of a fertility clinic that did not use her father’s sperm. Her previous books are about her ancestors and now she learns that she’s not even a part of that family. This story is more about identity than the search for her biological father, who is found but is not exactly thrilled. It definitely makes you think about your genetic connection to ancestors and what that means.
Michael Hyatt is well-known as a leadership and productivity guru. In this new book, he offers a system to “achieve more by doing less.” Michael has a template for the perfect week where he block-schedules the 168 hours available each week. If you compose endless emails, you may want to learn about his 39 email templates. He also teaches how to have conversations about reducing your obligations and saying no to new ones, without hurt feelings.
“We reserve the word discipline for those things we don’t want to do. It’s a matter of focus. If you design your life so that you spend most of your time working on things you are passionate about and proficient at, the discipline to do those things comes easily.”
This book was recommended in an online book club that I joined through Goodreads and was a Bill Gates recommendation. It’s the story of a woman who was raised by a bi-polar, fundamentalist Mormon father and her subservient mother. She never went to a school and did not receive any home-schooling but now has a Ph.D. from Cambridge. It’s a disturbing yet compelling story.
I went through a period where I only read 19th Century Russian literature so this book has a familiarity to me. Without having to bleep through the diminutives, it’s an easier read. What strikes me is the Count’s adaptability under house arrest at the Metropol Hotel in 1920s Moscow. This book was one of Bill Gates’ summer recommendations.