This web site is focused on financial advice and perspective, but we thought it would be helpful to exit the realm of money to provide a glimpse of our other interests. We thought we would share some insight into our varied personalities by identifying some of our favorite recent books.
Perhaps one of these reads will pique your interest.
Gary Brooks’ Recommendations
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Get good at saying no so that you have the time to say yes to the most important things in your life and the truly great opportunities that come along. Simplify. Move toward minimalism. Get rid of all the stuff that has no social, psychological or economic value. You don’t need to do everything and keep everything.
Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
How did homo sapiens evolve to dominate Earth? Harari covers a lot of material in a way different than I ever learned it in history class. From the beginnings of agriculture and science to work of storytelling to build human networks, Harari provokes a re-thinking of much of what you “know.”
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Biographies are my favorite. It’s hard to single out one. This autobiography of “The Boss” gets a slight edge over other good ones I’ve read recently. Runners-up: Shoe Dog (Phil Knight), Elon Musk, The Everything Store (Jeff Bezos), The Wright Brothers, Call Me Ted (Ted Turner).
Allyn Hughes’ Recommendations
Grant by Ron Chernow
A very well written biography of Hiram Ulysses Grant, who became Ulysses S. Grant due to a clerical error. Grant was a fighter in the Mexican war, an alcoholic and a poor businessman who ended up helping to win the U.S. Civil War for the north and became the 18th president of the United States. A fascinating review of both the best and worst traits of this very flawed but ultimately heroic man.
Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution by Dak George and Dina Roth Port
A fun-to-read primer on how to train your puppy using positive training techniques. The electronic copy of this book is complete with links to short videos which show how to put these techniques into practice. Our five-month old golden retriever has loved doing the training every night.
The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
The story of how two Israeli psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, met and worked together to help create the field of behavioral economics. This book follows their lives as independent scientists, and then successful collaborators to produce a series of studies that changed how social scientists think about how people perceive their reality. These insights led to a Nobel Prize and ultimately changed both of them.
Anh Thu Tran’s Recommendations
When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Dr. Kalanithi, a brilliant neurosurgeon, discovers he has terminal lung cancer at the prime of his life. He chronicles his decline over the remaining year and a half. While facing death, he reveals that it is life’s quietest moments, such as holding his wife or baby, that often hold the greatest meaning.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
A sweeping novel that begins with the improbable union between a gifted surgeon and a beautiful nun and ends with their son taking up his father’s place at a humble hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With the unlikely discovery of his mother’s letter decades after her death, the son is finally able to link past and present and, in so doing, shows that sometimes past is not past at all.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
This compilation of short poems by Lebanese-American poet covers far-ranging topics from love and children to joy and sorrow. Through poetry that reads like prose, Gibran demonstrates that the best writers have a deep understanding of the human heart and the human condition.
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