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Best books you've read this year

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message 1: by Nikhil (last edited Jun 29, 2016 04:45PM) (new)

Nikhil | 4 comments Mod
So, to kick things off, what are some of your favorite books you've read this year so far?

Fight Club
I finally got around to reading "Fight Club" more than a decade after seeing the movie, and it blew my mind.

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
If you like WWII books, I highly recommend "With The Old Breed" and "Unbroken." The first is a marine's account of two grueling land battles in the Pacific Theater. The second is the story of an army air corpsman who went down over the Pacific, survived on a raft for 47 days, and then became a POW through the end of the war. Neither are for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached.

The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon
"The Emerald Mile" is an adventure story about a boat ride through the Grand Canyon, but also an exploration of the politics surrounding the operation of the Glen Canyon dam.

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
The best leadership book I've read this year is "The Obstacle is the Way." It's basically an overview of Stoic philosophy with instructions on how to get your mindset right to do what's necessary. I listen to it on repeat when I have a big slog or deadline coming up.

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
"In the Kingdom of Ice" is another real-life adventure tale of polar exploration at the turn of the 19th century. It has some steampunk charm and the author paces the story very nicely. A real page-turner.

The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
I'll round out with a more typical business book, "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton Christensen. This one is a classic, the theory is sound and backed by a lot of data, and it popularized the term "disruptive innovation." I've read some of Prof. Christensen's other stuff but this is the foundation for the rest.

What have you enjoyed reading recently?


message 2: by Claudia (last edited Jun 30, 2016 04:07PM) (new)

Claudia (clalalaudia) | 2 comments I’ll be real honest, most of the books I’ve read this year are the equivalent, in time and brainpower, of an episode of reality TV. Which is really great in its own way. But a few of the more serious ones that have made it through this year:

The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness by Todd Rose
This one is a quick read, but really thought provoking. I think this is a really good starting place for thinking about how individualization can be an asset in school, the workplace, and life in general. It challenged some pre-conceived notions I had about how useful “average” can be when measuring people’s value.

Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners by Laura Claridge
I have a few versions of Emily Post’s classic reference, Etiquette, and it’s shockingly funny. Her life is also fascinating. Who knew that the woman who literally wrote the book on manners was a divorcee? And a novelist. Architect’s assistant. Someone who absolutely despised snobs. A fun read (if you’re into this sort of thing).

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
I read Into Thin Air a few months before this one. Both are excellently written and very dark, but this one especially feels like a hard punch in the gut. It’s nauseating, depressing, and should infuriate everyone. Plus, I think it easier to digest than something like The Hunting Ground (which I do not recommend seeing with your significant other at 11 am on a Saturday, unless you really are looking to ruin a weekend).

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Dr. Brene Brown
I rated this highly and proceeded to get a number of self-help recommendations. Even so, I think this is useful book. I was reading it around the same time I went to take the GRE, and it was very reassuring. She does highlight that part of daring greatly is that you will fail. Not maybe. Definitely. But I think she’s right. If you don’t fail sometimes, you’re really not trying hard enough.


I’ve read maybe 3-4 Palahniuk books over the year, and he just isn’t terribly interesting to me. I think a lot of that had to do with the reoccurring necrophilia in the first two books I read (Lullaby & Snuff). I’ve heard Fight Club is one of his best though, so maybe it’s time to try another.

The Emerald Mile is definitely going on my list. I'm intrigued by Outside Magazine's "Literary All-Stars" (see: Krakauer).


message 3: by Nikhil (new)

Nikhil | 4 comments Mod
I haven't read any other Palahniuk other than a short called "Guts," and I definitely think he goes for the gruesome shock factor stuff. There was nothing redeeming about that short story. Fight Club was cool because of the social commentary.

Thanks for the tips, I'm putting "The End of Average" on my list. I think I already have a few Krakauer books on my list but I'll definitely look into "Missoula."


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