Why my 2017 goal of reading a book a week was a failed success
Despite the absence of a new Justin Timberlake album or a Barack Obama presidency, 2017 was fantastic. Rejuvenated by two geographical moves and a career change, there was a new rhythm of a life that motivated me to take up a few new goals.
Specifically, an ambition to read a book a week.
Sadly, despite two weeks left in the year, I am unlikely to reach this goal. Nonetheless, it’s been one of the most fulfilling endeavors of my life.
I’ve been grateful to have read up on s number of serious topics — economist Joseph Stiglitz’s views on 21st century globalization, Han Hermann Hope’s thoughts on the history of failing Democracies (#toosoon), Ta-Nehisis always insightful commentary on race in America, the third time I read Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow was just as dope, and Lizzie Collingham’s wonderful take about colonialism and Indian food.
And the not so serious — Mark Pendergrast’s account on the history of coffee, John Stewart’s thoughts on his time at the Daily Show (#missyoualready), and Mitt Romney’s fictional take on America in his book No Apology.
Theoretical physicist John A. Wheeler noted, “As our island of knowledge grows, so dies the shore of our ignorance.”
I will unlikely remember every detail in every book, but I feel like my island of knowledge is a bit more fact-based, a tad more more empathetic, and a lot more humble and cognizant about the shores I need to still tame.
Below are the books I read this year. I’d love to get your thoughts on any you might have perused through as well. Additionally, please let me know what great pieces of literature I am missing out on.
Here’s to finally reading 52 books in 2018!
The Art of Grace by Sarah L. Kaufman
The Story of my Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner
Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Taste of Empire: How Britain’s Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World by Lizzie Collingham
The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman
The Fix by Jonathan Tepperman
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything by Rosa Brooks
Earth the Sequel by Miriam Horn
Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Daily Show: An Oral History by Chris Smith and Jon Stewart
Hit Makers by Derek Thompson
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Nahajan
Cosmopolitan by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Doughnut Economics by Kate Ramworth
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Plague by Albert Camus
Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott
The Whistler by John Grisham
Brown is the New White by Steve Phillips
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Building the New American Economy by Jeffrey D. Sachs
Globalization and Its Discontent: Revisted by Joseph Stiglitz
The Rooster Bar by John Grisham
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
Real Impact by Morgan Simon
Arrival City by Doug Sanders
The Space Within by Michael Neili
Scarcity by Eldar Shapir and Sendhil Millainathan
Better Living through Criticism by A.O. Scott
Sensemaking by Christian Madsbjerg
Democracy: The God that Failed by Hans-Hermann Hope
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
No Apology by Mitt Romney