📚 The Reading Journal #043
Clear Thinking, Lebron, Vanderbilt and a Life Worth Living
Charles Dickens, the celebrated British author known for his vivid portrayals of Victorian society, was an enthusiastic amateur magician. Dickens had a deep interest in the world of magic and illusion, and he performed under the stage name "The Unparalleled Necromancer, Rhia Rhama Rhoos." His fascination with magic even influenced some of his literary works, with characters like David Copperfield being named after a famous magician of the time. This lesser-known facet of Dickens' life highlights his multifaceted talents and his enduring curiosity.
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📚️ Staff Pick of the Week
Clear Thinking: Turning Ordinary Moments into Extraordinary Results
Clear Thinking, by Farnam Street founder Shane Parrish, emphasizes the importance of making effective decisions and recognizing critical moments that shape our lives. Parrish asserts that many people operate on autopilot, driven by behavioral defaults influenced by biology, evolution, and culture. The book provides tools to identify these pivotal moments and reshape our responses, enabling us to harness our reasoning and rationality for better decision-making. By sharing stories and mental models, Clear Thinking serves as a guide for optimizing decision-making, gaining a competitive edge, and living a more intentional life.
🎥 Reading Talk's
📈 Rising Quickly - Week of April 24, 2023
Lebron by Jeff Benedict
LeBron James, the greatest basketball player of the twenty-first century, overcame a challenging childhood in Akron, Ohio, to become an NBA icon and billionaire. His incredible journey from a lonely, impoverished child to a globally influential figure is detailed in Jeff Benedict's biography. Alongside his decorated career on the court, LeBron has grown into a powerful social activist, engaging in political issues and advocating against social injustice. Benedict's in-depth account provides an inspiring and unprecedented portrait of LeBron, exploring his relationship with fame, power, and the evolution of his social activism. Drawing from extensive interviews, primary source documents, and video footage, this biography is the definitive account of LeBron's extraordinary life.
🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of April 24, 2023
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
In Anthony Doerr's critically acclaimed, bestselling novel, a blind French girl, Marie-Laure, and her father flee Nazi-occupied Paris to find refuge in Saint-Malo with her reclusive great-uncle. Meanwhile, in Germany, orphan Werner Pfennig discovers a talent for building and fixing radios, which leads to his enlistment in tracking down the resistance. As the story unfolds, the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner intertwine in occupied France, revealing how people attempt to do good for one another amidst the devastation of World War II.
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📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of April 24, 2023
Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper, the great-great-great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, teams up with historian and novelist Katherine Howe to document the rise and fall of the legendary Vanderbilt dynasty in their New York Times bestselling book. Starting with the Commodore's relentless pursuit of wealth, the narrative follows the family's fortunes as they built shipping and railroad empires. However, subsequent generations squandered their inheritance, with the last Vanderbilt leaving the opulent Breakers estate in 2018. This captivating account offers an insider's perspective, chronicling the family's journey from Manhattan's wharves to Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, Newport's summer palaces, European courts, and modern-day New York, presenting a quintessential American history of triumph and tragedy.
🆕 New and Noteworthy
Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most by Miroslav Volf
A Life Worth Living, based on the popular Yale class, addresses the essential question of what makes a good life. Authored by Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun, and Ryan McAnnally-Linz, the book tackles the crisis facing Western culture by encouraging individuals to seek meaning in their lives. Drawing on world religions and secular insights, the book offers guidance, roadmaps, and reflective practices to help readers discover and cultivate a life worth living, ultimately answering the universal question: How are we to live?
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