Seven Books and a Music Video - for Summer 2019

Photo by  Ethan Robertson

As we enter the summer of 2019, below are seven books to consider.  

  • "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson - The New York Times said, “We learn what the material world is like from the smallest quark to the largest galaxy and at all the levels in between. The basic facts of physics, chemistry, biology, botany, climatology, geology -- all these and many more are presented with exceptional clarity and skill.”

  • "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" by John Carreyrou - Bill Gates said, “The story [about Theranos] is even crazier than I expected, and I found myself unable to put it down once I started. This book has everything: elaborate scams, corporate intrigue, magazine cover stories, ruined family relationships, and the demise of a company once valued at nearly $10 billion.” 

  • "Educated: A Memoir" by Tara Westmore - The book appeared on many “best of the year 2018” lists. It is a  riveting memoir about a young girl who grows up within the constraints leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.

  • "Exhalation: Stories" by Ted Chiang - In The New Yorker, Joyce Carol Oates said, “Illuminating, thrilling. . . . Like such eclectic predecessors as Philip K. Dick, James Tiptree, Jr., Jorge Luis Borges, Ursula K. Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, China Miéville, and Kazuo Ishiguro, Chiang has explored conventional tropes of science fiction in highly unconventional ways.”

  • "Team of Teams;  New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World" by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, Chris Fussell -  Because "the old rules no longer apply", the authors discuss adapting to the challenged faced in Iraq - and lessons that may be relevant to businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations.

  • "The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance" by W. Timothy Gallwey - Published in 1972, the author (a tennis coach) illustrates how to pursue peak performance in many activities beyond tennis. The book is a mix of Zen thinking and sports psychology.

  • "The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph" by Ryan Holiday -  Popular with sports teams such as the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, the book discusses how stoicism can help confront difficult situations. Examples about John D. Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart, Ulysses S. Grant, Steve Jobs and others are included.  

Also, David Byrne (Talking Heads) recently spoke in San Francisco about topics including addressing homelessness and the non-linear path of invention and creativity. Before his presentation, a video of Byrne performing “One Fine Day” with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus was shared with the audience.  Check it out here  

Paul Dravis