Best audiobook for a 4 hour drive? Bios and nonfiction top categories for me
Book mentions in this thread
The Courage To Be Disliked
by Ichiro KishimiThe Japanese phenomenon that teaches us the simple yet profound lessons required to liberate our real selves and find lasting happiness. The Courage to be Disliked shows you how to unlock the power within yourself to become your best and truest self, change your future and find lasting happiness. Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 19th century psychology alongside Freud and Jung, the authors explain how we are all free to determine our own future free of the shackles of past experiences, doubts and the expectations of others. It's a philosophy that's profoundly liberating, allowing us to develop the courage to change, and to ignore the limitations that we and those around us can place on ourselves. The result is a book that is both highly accessible and profound in its importance. Millions have already read and benefited from its wisdom. Now that The Courage to be Disliked has been published for the first time in English, so can you.
by Phil KnightIn this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his lime green Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed $8,000 his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of startups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all startups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable symbols in the world today. But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, in a memoir that is candid, humble, gutsy, and wry, he tells his story, beginning with his crossroads moment. At 24, after backpacking around the world, he decided to take the unconventional path, to start his own business—a business that would be dynamic, different. Knight details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream—along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls the formative relationships with his first partners and employees, a ragtag group of misfits and seekers who became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.
by Matthew McConaugheyFrom the Academy Award®-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction "Unflinchingly honest and remarkably candid, Matthew McConaughey's book invites us to grapple with the lessons of his life as he did--and to see that the point was never to win, but to understand."--Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck I've been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me. Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life's challenges--how to get relative with the inevitable--you can enjoy a state of success I call "catching greenlights." So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops. Hopefully, it's medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot's license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears. It's a love letter. To life. It's also a guide to catching more greenlights--and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too. Good luck.
Born a Crime
by Trevor Noah#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times * USA Today * San Francisco Chronicle * NPR * Esquire * Newsday * Booklist Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love. Praise for Born a Crime "[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah's] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah's family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author's remarkable mother."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "[An] unforgettable memoir."--Parade "What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her--and an enormous gift to the rest of us."--USA Today "[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar."--People
by Bill BrowderExpelled from Russia after exposing corruption in Russian companies, an investment broker describes how his attorney was detained, tortured and beaten to death for testifying against Russian law enforcement officers who stole millions in taxes paid to the government. Illustrations. Tour.
Hero of the Empire
by Candice Millard'Completely engrossing' Andrew Roberts From The New York Times bestselling author Candice Millard, this is the gripping true story of one dramatic - and emblematic - year in the early life of Winston Churchill At the age of twenty-four, Winston Churchill believed that to achieve his ambition of becoming Prime Minister he must do something spectacular on the battlefield. Although he had put himself in real danger in colonial wars in India and Sudan, and as a journalist covering the Spanish-American War in Cuba, glory and fame had eluded him. Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899 to write about the brutal colonial war against the Boers. Just two weeks later, he was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape - but then had to traverse hundreds of miles of enemy territory alone. The story of his escape is extraordinary enough, but then Churchill enlisted, returned to South Africa, fought in several battles and ultimately liberated the men with whom he had been imprisoned. Churchill would later remark that this period, 'could I have seen my future, was to lay the foundations of my later life'. Candice Millard tells a magnificent story of bravery, savagery and chance encounters with a cast of historical characters - including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener and Gandhi - with whom he would later share the world stage, and gives us an unexpected perspective on one of the iconic figures in our history.
When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead
by Jerry WeintraubHere is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him--the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood--he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door. "All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," he writes. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read: 'Jerry Weintraub Presents.'" In When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead, we follow Weintraub from his first great success at age twenty-six with Elvis Presley, whom he took on the road with the help of Colonel Tom Parker; to the immortal days with Sinatra and Rat Pack glory; to his crowning hits as a movie producer, starting with Robert Altman and Nashville, continuing with Oh, God!, The Karate Kid movies, and Diner, among others, and summiting with Steven Soderbergh and Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen. Along the way, we'll watch as Jerry moves from the poker tables of Palm Springs (the games went on for days), to the power rooms of Hollywood, to the halls of the White House, to Red Square in Moscow and the Great Palace in Beijing-all the while counseling potentates, poets, and kings, with clients and confidants like George Clooney, Bruce Willis, George H. W. Bush, Armand Hammer, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Bobby Fischer . . .well, the list goes on forever. And of course, the story is not yet over . . .as the old-timers say, "The best is yet to come." As Weintraub says, "When I stop talking, you'll know I'm dead." With wit, wisdom, and the cool confidence that has colored his remarkable career, Jerry chronicles a quintessentially American journey, one marked by luck, love, and improvisation. The stories he tells and the lessons we learn are essential, not just for those who love movies and music, but for businessmen, entrepreneurs, artists . . . everyone.
Born Standing Up
by Steve MartinSteve Martin has been an international star for over thirty years. Here, for the first time, he looks back to the beginning of his career and charmingly evokes the young man he once was. Born in Texas but raised in California, Steve was seduced early by the comedy shows that played on the radio when the family travelled back and forth to visit relatives. When Disneyland opened just a couple of miles away from home, an enchanted Steve was given his first chance to learn magic and entertain an audience. He describes how he noted the reaction to each joke in a ledger - 'big laugh' or 'quiet' - and assiduously studied the acts of colleagues, stealing jokes when needed. With superb detail, Steve recreates the world of small, dark clubs and the fear and exhilaration of standing in the spotlight. While a philosophy student at UCLA, he worked hard at local clubs honing his comedy and slowly attracting a following until he was picked up to write for TV. From here on, Steve Martin became an acclaimed comedian, packing out venues nationwide. One night, however, he noticed empty seats and realised he had 'reached the top of the rollercoaster'. BORN STANDING UP is a funny and riveting chronicle of how Steve Martin became the comedy genius we now know and is also a fascinating portrait of an era.
Zero to One
by Blake MastersWHAT VALUABLE COMPANY IS NOBODY BUILDING? The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them. It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1. This book is about how to get there. ‘Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how.’ ELON MUSK, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla ‘This book delivers completely new and refreshing ideas on how to create value in the world.’ MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO of Facebook ‘When a risk taker writes a book, read it. In the case of Peter Thiel, read it twice. Or, to be safe, three times. This is a classic.’ NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB, author of The Black Swan
Leonardo Da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson"He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The [bestselling biographer] brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Drawing on thousands of pages from Leonardo's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from standing at the intersection of the humanities and technology. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history's most memorable smile on the Mona Lisa. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo's lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions. His ability to combine art and science, made iconic by his drawing of what may be himself inside a circle and a square, remains the enduring recipe for innovation. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it; to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different."--Jacket.
by Yuval Noah Harari**THE MILLION COPY BESTSELLER** 'Interesting and provocative... It gives you a sense of how briefly we've been on this Earth' Barack Obama What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? Yuval Noah Harari challenges everything we know about being human in the perfect read for these unprecedented times. Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us. In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. 'I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who's interested in the history and future of our species' Bill Gates **ONE OF THE GUARDIAN'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21st CENTURY**
The Spy and the Traitor
by Ben MacintyreThe son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, Oleg Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. The CIA officer assigned to identify him was Aldrich Ames, who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets. -- adapted from jacket.
by Ashlee VanceIn the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.” Elon Musk spotlights the technology and vision of Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, who sold one of his Internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius’s life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits. Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary, visionary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy. Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.
Never Split the Difference
by VOSS/RAZ'A master of persuasion.' Forbes'This book blew my mind.' Adam Grant, bestselling author of OriginalsA former FBI hostage negotiator offers a new, field-tested approach to negotiating - effective in any situation. After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a kidnapping negotiator brought him face-to-face with bank robbers, gang leaders and terrorists. Never Split the Differencetakes you inside his world of high-stakes negotiations, revealing the nine key principles that helped Voss and his colleagues succeed when it mattered the most - when people?s lives were at stake. Rooted in the real-life experiences of an intelligence professional at the top of his game, Never Split the Differencewill give you the competitive edge in any discussion.'Filled with insights that apply to everyday negotiations.' Business Insider'A stupendous book.' The Week'It's rare that a book is so gripping and entertaining while still being actionable and applicable.' Inc.
The Comfort Crisis
by Michael EasterUnlock the evolutionary mind and body benefits of engaging with nature, leaning into boredom, and taking on hard physical challenges. Unlock the evolutionary mind and body benefits of engaging with nature, leaning into boredom, and taking on hard physical challenges. In this bold call to action that blends the latest in health science with adventure writing, health and outdoors journalist Michael Easter investigates how our soft, temperature-controlled, overfed, under-challenged lives are actually killing us, and argues that only by becoming comfortable with discomfort can we become mentally sharper, physically harder, and spiritually sounder. Easter's exploration takes him around the world to interview many of today's leading scientists and rewilding experts. He travels to an Icelandic genetic lab that has uncovered a gene that makes us harder to kill, the mystical country of Bhutan to study what death can teach us about happiness, a secret location where Special Forces soldiers are teaming up with Mayo Clinic researchers, and the remote Alaskan backcountry on a demanding thirty-three-day bowhunting expedition and nature cleanse in one of the last wild lands on Earth. Along the way he uncovers what he calls a rewilding prescription: a framework for embracing discomfort both in nature and within ourselves that will dramatically improve our health and happiness and help us rediscover what it means to be human. Following this plan will lead to better life satisfaction and increased creativity, and will lessen anxiety and burnout. Break out of your comfort zone and explore the wild within yourself.
The Fourth Turning
by William StraussNATIONAL BESTSELLER • “A startling vision of what the cycles of history predict for the future.”—USA Weekend William Strauss and Neil Howe will change the way you see the world—and your place in it. With blazing originality, The Fourth Turning illuminates the past, explains the present, and reimagines the future. Most remarkably, it offers an utterly persuasive prophecy about how America’s past will predict its future. Strauss and Howe base this vision on a provocative theory of American history. The authors look back five hundred years and uncover a distinct pattern: Modern history moves in cycles, each one lasting about the length of a long human life, each composed of four eras—or "turnings"—that last about twenty years and that always arrive in the same order. In The Fourth Turning, the authors illustrate these cycles using a brilliant analysis of the post-World War II period. First comes a High, a period of confident expansion as a new order takes root after the old has been swept away. Next comes an Awakening, a time of spiritual exploration and rebellion against the now-established order. Then comes an Unraveling, an increasingly troubled era in which individualism triumphs over crumbling institutions. Last comes a Crisis—the Fourth Turning—when society passes through a great and perilous gate in history. Together, the four turnings comprise history's seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and rebirth. The Fourth Turning offers bold predictions about how all of us can prepare, individually and collectively, for America’s next rendezvous with destiny.
The Square and the Tower
by Niall FergusonThe instant New York Times bestseller. A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we're living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks. "Captivating and compelling." --The New York Times "Niall Ferguson has again written a brilliant book...In 400 pages you will have restocked your mind. Do it." --The Wall Street Journal "The Square and the Tower, in addition to being provocative history, may prove to be a bellwether work of the Internet Age." --Christian Science Monitor Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. It's about states, armies and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change? The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks. However, in The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that networks have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. Just because conspiracy theorists like to fantasize about such networks doesn't mean they are not real. From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from the founding fathers to Facebook, The Square and the Tower tells the story of the rise, fall and rise of networks, and shows how network theory--concepts such as clustering, degrees of separation, weak ties, contagions and phase transitions--can transform our understanding of both the past and the present. Just as The Ascent of Money put Wall Street into historical perspective, so The Square and the Tower does the same for Silicon Valley. And it offers a bold prediction about which hierarchies will withstand this latest wave of network disruption--and which will be toppled.
The Surrender Experiment
by Michael A. SingerShares stories from the author's pursuit of enlightenment, from his years as a hippie introvert and successes as a computer engineer through his work in humanitarian efforts, counseling readers on how to navigate confusing aspects in the spiritual journey.
The Things They Carried
by Tim O'BrienA classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing. The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
TOOLS OF TITANS
by T. FerrissThe latest groundbreaking tome from Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek. From the author: “For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads. “This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met. “What makes the show different is a relentless focus on actionable details. This is reflected in the questions. For example: What do these people do in the first sixty minutes of each morning? What do their workout routines look like, and why? What books have they gifted most to other people? What are the biggest wastes of time for novices in their field? What supplements do they take on a daily basis? “I don’t view myself as an interviewer. I view myself as an experimenter. If I can’t test something and replicate results in the messy reality of everyday life, I’m not interested. “Everything within these pages has been vetted, explored, and applied to my own life in some fashion. I’ve used dozens of the tactics and philosophies in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars and saved me years of wasted effort and frustration. “I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.”
Trillion Dollar Coach
by Eric SchmidtThe team behind How Google Works returns with management lessons from legendary coach and business executive, Bill Campbell, whose mentoring of some of our most successful modern entrepreneurs has helped create well over a trillion dollars in market value. Bill Campbell played an instrumental role in the growth of several prominent companies, such as Google, Apple, and Intuit, fostering deep relationships with Silicon Valley visionaries, including Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt. In addition, this business genius mentored dozens of other important leaders on both coasts, from entrepreneurs to venture capitalists to educators to football players, leaving behind a legacy of growing companies, successful people, respect, friendship, and love after his death in 2016. Leaders at Google for over a decade, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle experienced firsthand how the man fondly known as Coach Bill built trusting relationships, fostered personal growth—even in those at the pinnacle of their careers—inspired courage, and identified and resolved simmering tensions that inevitably arise in fast-moving environments. To honor their mentor and inspire and teach future generations, they have codified his wisdom in this essential guide. Based on interviews with over eighty people who knew and loved Bill Campbell, Trillion Dollar Coach explains the Coach’s principles and illustrates them with stories from the many great people and companies with which he worked. The result is a blueprint for forward-thinking business leaders and managers that will help them create higher performing and faster moving cultures, teams, and companies.
How to Change Your Mind
by Michael PollanNew York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018 A New York Times Notable Book The #1 New York Times bestseller. A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs--and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research. A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan's "mental travelogue" is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.
A New Earth
by Eckhart TolleAwaken your life's purpose in 2019 with the help of A New Earth, the international bestseller. 'An otherworldly genius' Chris Evans' BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show _________ Are you ready to put aside ego and be awakened? Right now the world is filled with angry, raging egos. But there is a better way and in A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle provides the spiritual framework for all of us to move beyond ourselves in order to make this world a better, more evolved place to live. Shattering modern ideas of ego and entitlement, self and society, Tolle lifts the veil of fear that has hung over us during this new millennium, and reveals a path to happiness and health that every reader can follow. Awaken your purpose, discover your potential, and change your life. 'A wake up call for the entire planet. A New Earth helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be and to put ourselves in the now' Oprah Winfrey
Billion Dollar Whale
by Bradley HopeNamed a Best Book of 2018 by the Financial Times and Fortune, this New York Times bestseller about the 1MDB scandal exposes how a "modern Gatsby" swindled over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs in "the heist of the century" (Axios). Now a #1 international bestseller, BILLION DOLLAR WHALE is "an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale" (Publishers Weekly, starred review), revealing how a young social climber from Malaysia pulled off one of the biggest heists in history. In 2009, a chubby, mild-mannered graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business named Jho Low set in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude--one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. Over a decade, Low, with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others, siphoned billions of dollars from an investment fund--right under the nose of global financial industry watchdogs. Low used the money to finance elections, purchase luxury real estate, throw champagne-drenched parties, and even to finance Hollywood films like The Wolf of Wall Street. By early 2019, with his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing criminal charges in Malaysia and in the United States, Low had become an international fugitive, even as the U.S. Department of Justice continued its investigation. BILLION DOLLAR WHALE has joined the ranks of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood as a classic harrowing parable of hubris and greed in the financial world.
Command and Control
by Eric SchlosserFrom famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, comes Command and Control a ground-breaking account of the management of nuclear weapons A groundbreaking account of accidents, near-misses, extraordinary heroism and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: how do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? Schlosser reveals that this question has never been resolved, and while other headlines dominate the news, nuclear weapons still pose a grave risk to mankind. At the heart of Command and Control lies the story of an accident at a missile silo in rural Arkansas, where a handful of men struggled to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States. Schlosser interweaves this minute-by-minute account with a historical narrative that spans more than fifty years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policymakers, and military officers to ensure that nuclear weapons can't be stolen, sabotaged, used without permission, or detonated inadvertently. Looking at the Cold War from a new perspective, Schlosser offers history from the ground up, telling the stories of bomber pilots, missile commanders, maintenance crews, and other ordinary servicemen who risked their lives to avert a nuclear holocaust. Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with men who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. It reveals how even the most brilliant of minds can offer us only the illusion of control. Audacious, gripping and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism. Eric Schlosser is the author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness, as well as the co-author of a children's book, Chew on This. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, the Nation, and Vanity Fair. Two of his plays, Americans (2003) and We the People (2007), have been produced in London. 'A work with the multi-layered density of an ambitiously conceived novel' John Lloyd, Financial Times 'Command and Control is how non-fiction should be written ... By a miracle of information management, Schlosser has synthesized a huge archive of material, including government reports, scientific papers, and a substantial historical and polemical literature on nukes, and transformed it into a crisp narrative covering more than fifty years of scientific and political change. And he has interwoven that narrative with a hair-raising, minute-by-minute account of an accident at a Titan II missile silo in Arkansas, in 1980, which he renders in the manner of a techno-thriller' New Yorker 'The strength of Schlosser's writing derives from his ability to carry a wealth of startling detail on a confident narrative path' Ed Pilkington, Guardian 'Disquieting but riveting ... fascinating ... Schlosser's readers (and he deserves a great many) will be struck by how frequently the people he cites attribute the absence of accidental explosions and nuclear war to divine intervention or sheer luck rather than to human wisdom and skill. Whatever was responsible, we will clearly need many more of it in the years to come' Walter Russell Mead, New York Times
by Jocko WillinkAn updated edition of the blockbuster bestselling leadership book that took America and the world by storm, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. Sent to the most violent battlefield in Iraq, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s SEAL task unit faced a seemingly impossible mission: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, they learned that leadership—at every level—is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails. Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training that helped forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After departing the SEAL Teams, they launched Echelon Front, a company that teaches these same leadership principles to businesses and organizations. From promising startups to Fortune 500 companies, Babin and Willink have helped scores of clients across a broad range of industries build their own high-performance teams and dominate their battlefields. Now, detailing the mind-set and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult missions in combat, Extreme Ownership shows how to apply them to any team, family or organization. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic such as Cover and Move, Decentralized Command, and Leading Up the Chain, explaining what they are, why they are important, and how to implement them in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership revolutionizes business management and challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.
Feeding the Dragon
by Chris FentonA deeply revealing memoir of big wins and hard lessons from a seasoned executive caught smack in the middle of the trillion-dollar soft power struggle pitting China against Hollywood, the NBA, and American business. “Paced like a thriller, with comparable doses of international intrigue and conflict, Chris Fenton’s bracingly candid business memoir Feeding the Dragon takes readers deep behind the scenes of Hollywood’s shaky foothold in China. Dealing at the highest levels with Chinese government officials and major American brands like Disney, Marvel, and the NBA, the former Olive Garden waiter-turned-entertainment-industry-power-broker disarmed and defied authorities on both sides of the superpower divide to make billions—and history. Thanks to a brisk, page-turning storytelling style and an evenhanded, insider-level perspective decades in the making, Feeding the Dragon manages to be both timeless and timely. Captivating details on Robert Downey Jr., LeBron James, Kurt Cobain, Michael Phelps, and Marvel Universe creative mastermind Kevin Feige (among others) will enthrall average fans and aspiring moguls alike. But the beating narrative heart remains Fenton’s down-to-earth recounting of a headline-making journey. Ultimately, the intrepid exec builds a compelling case for the power of “cultural diplomacy”: mutually-beneficial, soft power-sharing exchanges as a better way forward than the hardliner battle lines being drawn across Beijing, Washington, and Los Angeles. Teeming with urgent insights about unlikely alliances and dangerous misperceptions, Feeding the Dragon is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of the US-China relationship and the bottom-line realities of show business and professional sports today. Even better, it’s a supremely entertaining ride for anyone who simply loves a great story…. Chris often told me about projects and plans off-the-record that I wouldn’t have reported on anyway, because they all seemed wildly improbable. Every single one came true. And now they’re all down on the page.” —Jamie Bryan, Fast Company contributor
by Yuval Noah HarariYuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods. Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda. What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.
How the World Really Works
by Vaclav Smil"Vaclav Smil is my favorite author."--Bill Gates An essential analysis of the modern science and technology that makes our twenty-first century lives possible--a scientist's investigation into what science really does, and does not, accomplish. We have never had so much information at our fingertips and yet most of us don’t know how the world really works. This book explains seven of the most fundamental realities governing our survival and prosperity. From energy and food production, through our material world and its globalization, to risks, our environment and its future, How the World Really Works offers a much-needed reality check--because before we can tackle problems effectively, we must understand the facts. In this ambitious and thought-provoking book we see, for example, that globalization isn’t inevitable--the foolishness of allowing 70 per cent of the world’s rubber gloves to be made in just one factory became glaringly obvious in 2020--and that our societies have been steadily increasing their dependence on fossil fuels, such that any promises of decarbonization by 2050 are a fairy tale. For example, each greenhouse-grown supermarket-bought tomato has the equivalent of five tablespoons of diesel embedded in its production, and we have no way of producing steel, cement or plastics at required scales without huge carbon emissions. Ultimately, Smil answers the most profound question of our age: are we irrevocably doomed or is a brighter utopia ahead? Compelling, data-rich and revisionist, this wonderfully broad, interdisciplinary guide finds faults with both extremes. Looking at the world through this quantitative lens reveals hidden truths that change the way we see our past, present and uncertain future.
Leonardo da Vinci
by Walter IsaacsonThe #1 New York Times bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is “a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it…Most important, it is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life” (The New Yorker). Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson “deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo” (San Francisco Chronicle) in a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius. In the “luminous” (Daily Beast) Leonardo da Vinci, Isaacson describes how Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance to be imaginative and, like talented rebels in any era, to think different. Here, da Vinci “comes to life in all his remarkable brilliance and oddity in Walter Isaacson’s ambitious new biography…a vigorous, insightful portrait” (The Washington Post).
Rules for a Knight
by Ethan Hawke‘Never announce you are a Knight, simply behave as one. You are better than no one, and no one is better than you.’ When Sir Thomas Lemuel Hawke was a boy, his grandfather taught him how to be a knight. Now, on the eve of a battle from which he fears he may not return, Sir Thomas writes a letter to his children so that he may pass on all his hard-won lessons, deepest aspirations and most instructive failures. Full of adventure and wit, the letter provides a guide for living a good and noble life – a reminder that without a little agony none of us would bother to learn a thing; that we must work together as brothers or perish together as fools; that a friend loves you because you are true to yourself, not because you agree with him. And, most importantly, it shows that there is no obstacle that enough love cannot move.
Talking to Strangers
by Malcolm GladwellTHE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER 'Compelling, haunting, tragic stories . . . resonate long after you put the book down' James McConnachie, Sunday Times Book of the Year The routine traffic stop that ends in tragedy. The spy who spends years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon. The false conviction of Amanda Knox. Why do we so often get other people wrong? Why is it so hard to detect a lie, read a face or judge a stranger's motives? Using stories of deceit and fatal errors to cast doubt on our strategies for dealing with the unknown, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual adventure into the darker side of human nature, where strangers are never simple and misreading them can have disastrous consequences.
The Bitcoin Standard
by Saifedean AmmousWhen a pseudonymous programmer introduced “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party” to a small online mailing list in 2008, very few paid attention. Ten years later, and against all odds, this upstart autonomous decentralized software offers an unstoppable and globally-accessible hard money alternative to modern central banks. The Bitcoin Standard analyzes the historical context to the rise of Bitcoin, the economic properties that have allowed it to grow quickly, and its likely economic, political, and social implications. While Bitcoin is a new invention of the digital age, the problem it purports to solve is as old as human society itself: transferring value across time and space. Ammous takes the reader on an engaging journey through the history of technologies performing the functions of money, from primitive systems of trading limestones and seashells, to metals, coins, the gold standard, and modern government debt. Exploring what gave these technologies their monetary role, and how most lost it, provides the reader with a good idea of what makes for sound money, and sets the stage for an economic discussion of its consequences for individual and societal future-orientation, capital accumulation, trade, peace, culture, and art. Compellingly, Ammous shows that it is no coincidence that the loftiest achievements of humanity have come in societies enjoying the benefits of sound monetary regimes, nor is it coincidental that monetary collapse has usually accompanied civilizational collapse. With this background in place, the book moves on to explain the operation of Bitcoin in a functional and intuitive way. Bitcoin is a decentralized, distributed piece of software that converts electricity and processing power into indisputably accurate records, thus allowing its users to utilize the Internet to perform the traditional functions of money without having to rely on, or trust, any authorities or infrastructure in the physical world. Bitcoin is thus best understood as the first successfully implemented form of digital cash and digital hard money. With an automated and perfectly predictable monetary policy, and the ability to perform final settlement of large sums across the world in a matter of minutes, Bitcoin’s real competitive edge might just be as a store of value and network for final settlement of large payments—a digital form of gold with a built-in settlement infrastructure. Ammous’ firm grasp of the technological possibilities as well as the historical realities of monetary evolution provides for a fascinating exploration of the ramifications of voluntary free market money. As it challenges the most sacred of government monopolies, Bitcoin shifts the pendulum of sovereignty away from governments in favor of individuals, offering us the tantalizing possibility of a world where money is fully extricated from politics and unrestrained by borders. The final chapter of the book explores some of the most common questions surrounding Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin mining a waste of energy? Is Bitcoin for criminals? Who controls Bitcoin, and can they change it if they please? How can Bitcoin be killed? And what to make of all the thousands of Bitcoin knock-offs, and the many supposed applications of Bitcoin’s ‘blockchain technology’? The Bitcoin Standard is the essential resource for a clear understanding of the rise of the Internet’s decentralized, apolitical, free-market alternative to national central banks.
The Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James BrownCast aside by his family at an early age, abandoned and left to fend for himself in the woods of Washington State, young Joe Rantz turns to rowing as a way of escaping his past. What follows is an extraordinary journey, as Joe and eight other working-class boys exchange the sweat and dust of life in 1930s America for the promise of glory at the heart of Hitler's Berlin. Stroke by stroke, a remarkable young man strives to regain his shattered self-regard, to dare again to trust in others - and to find his way back home. Told against the backdrop of the Great Depression, The Boys in the Boat is narrative non-fiction of the first order; a personal story full of lyricism and unexpected beauty that rises above the grand sweep of history, and captures instead the purest essence of what it means to be alive. 'The Boys in the Boat is not only a great and inspiring true story; it is a fascinating work of history' Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea 'I really can't rave enough about this book . . . I read the last fifty pages with white knuckles, and the last twenty-five with tears in my eyes' David Laskin, author of The Children's Blizzard and The Long Way Home 'A thrilling, heart-thumping tale of a most remarkable band of rowing brothers' Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time
by J.R.R. TolkienThis lavish gift edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic features cover art, illustrations, and watercolor paintings by the artist Alan Lee. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum. Written for J.R.R. Tolkien's own children, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies worldwide and established itself as a modern classic.
The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch'A phenomenon' SUNDAY TIMES A lot of professors give talks titled 'The Last Lecture'. Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy? When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave, 'Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams', wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living. In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humour, inspiration, and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
Thinking in Systems
by Donella H. MeadowsIn the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Meadows' newly released manuscript, Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute's Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life. Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking. While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner. In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.
Tuesdays with Morrie
by Mitch AlbomMaybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague? Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it? For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago. Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying of ALS - or motor neurone disease - Mitch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final 'class': lessons in how to live. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world. Praise for Tuesdays with Morrie: 'This is a true story that shines and leaves you forever warmed by its afterglow' Amy Tan 'A moving tribute to embracing life' Glasgow Herald 'An extraordinary contribution to the literature of death' Boston Globe 'A beautifully written book of great clarity and wisdom that lovingly captures the simplicity beyond life's complexities' M Scott Peck
Under the Banner of Heaven
by Jon KrakauerTraces the events that surrounded the 1984 murder of a woman and her child by fundamentalist Mormons Ron and Dan Lafferty, exploring the belief systems and traditions, including polygamy, that mark the faith's most extreme factions and what their practices reflect about the nature of religion in America. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 300,000 first printing.