In need of a last-minute Christmas gift idea? Here are seven books I read this year that may be the answer for that special book-loving someone in your life:
- Principles for Dealing with The Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail by Ray Dalio. I picked this one up and put it back down a few times this year as there is a lot to absorb. His concepts are not for the faint of heart, but he provides incredible perspective on what we are experiencing in our world and what is to come.
- Advise and Consent by Allen Drury. I love reading classic literature and this 1960 Pulitzer winner is a gem I stumbled upon this year. It’s a great story that will help you appreciate what has changed – and all that has not changed – in American politics.
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling. This book came out in 2017 and I was surprised that I didn’t hear about it until this year (shame on all of you for not recommending it to me!). This is a really fascinating read with some great perspectives. My one caution is that Rosling (a Swede) has a big section near the end about the American healthcare system that I take great exception with. He actually breaks some of his own rules laid out early in the book in his analysis. But the first two-thirds of the book is outstanding.
- Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides. Engaging read about a period of our history about which I knew very little and a fascinating man of whom I had only ever heard a name (ever heard of Carson City?). Well-told history on how the southwestern part of the U.S. came to be part of the country and enlightening stories about the clash of culture (and arms) between the white men, the Mexicans and the native Americans.
- Living Life Backward: How Ecclesiastes Teaches Us To Live in Light of the End by David Gibson. I got to spend some time with David this year – he is an incredibly deep thinker – and I quickly dove into this book. Expect some quotes from Living Life Backward in my next book.
- The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Like his other books, brilliantly and beautifully told story. Towles may be my current favorite literary writer. Wait, there is also Backman…
- The Winners by Fredrik Backman. Samesies. Backman somehow reveals incredible perspectives of life amid his wonderful stories. He creates depth in his characters as well as anyone.
- Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union by David Satter. I read this early in the year when Russia invaded Ukraine, along with some other books on Russian history. This is one I would recommend as Satter tells some incredible stories that give insight into Russian culture.
There you have it. Oh, and I am creating my reading list for next year. Any recommendations? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!