Hello and happy new year!
I’ve always been a reader, but 2016 was the year I committed reading to habit. It went from a passive activity to an active part of my daily routine. It became my nightcap while laying in bed, and my break activity throughout the day. In total, I read 55 nonfiction books, across a range of topics from health to habits to religion to evolution. You can view the entire list here.
Below I’ve compiled that short-list that was the best of the best, and more importantly, ones that I believe others would find benefit in reading.
This is a book about how to be remarkable at your work. The title comes from a quote from comedian Steve Martin – when asked the secret to success he answered “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” This book provides practical application to what that looks like in reality, and leaves the reader motivated (and equipped) to go out and be the best that they can be in their craft. Not through fleeting passion or inspriation, but through being the best you can in your field.
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
There have been 5 mass extinction events throughout history, where the vast majority of species on the planet were wiped out from various cataclysmic events. This book explores the path we’re currently on, and the possibility that we’re creating a 6th extinction event in front of our eyes, and at a rate that history has never seen before.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Racism has tainted the United States since its earliest days, and it still runs rampant today. This book is a blunt reality check about what life in poor black America is really like. The author wrote the book as a series of letters to his son, who was growing up in middle class America, but merely one step removed from the reality of life for millions of black men and women across America. This book is important. Please read it.
Faith & Doubt by John Ortberg
Rarely do you see a person of faith, in any religion, talk openly about the doubt that accompanies their faith. This book is an incredibly refreshing read as the author spits his personal inner journey onto paper, asking the questions that many of us have (and will continue to) struggle with.
Tim Ferriss is arguably the the best person in the world at deconstructing success. He digs into the “why” of success, and extracts the actual formulas that lead people to being the best in the world in their field. This book is a recap of over 200 interviews with insanely high achievers, and he pulls out the most actionable nuggets from each interview. It’s a mammoth of a read, but should be a staple on a lot of bookshelves.
There were A TON of other incredible books that didn’t make this short list. If you see one on the complete list that sounds interesting just shoot me an email to adam(at)adamgriff(dot)in and I’m happy to let you know my thoughts on it.
In 2017, I’m creating a system of note-taking for the books I read so that the information is committed more to memory and habit than passive reading allows for. I’m excited to share that process with you after I’m comfortable with it.
What books did you read this year that you can’t stop recommending? Shoot me an email and let me know!
Cheers to a health and happy 2017, with continued learning and creating the best version of ourselves possible.