📚 The Reading Journal #053
Sam Bankman-Fried, Seth Godin and Making Time
Agatha Christie, the acclaimed queen of crime fiction, had a remarkable personal experience that directly influenced her writing. During World War I, Christie worked as a nurse in a hospital dispensary, where she gained a vast knowledge of poisons and their effects. This firsthand exposure to various toxins and their symptoms later became instrumental in her crime novels, where poison often played a central role in the murders.
Christie's extensive understanding of poisons allowed her to craft intricate and realistic murder plots, making her stories all the more captivating for readers. She employed her expertise to create ingenious methods of poisoning and accurately depicted the symptoms and effects in her narratives.
In fact, her knowledge of toxicology was so comprehensive that during World War II, the British government approached Christie and requested her assistance in creating an educational booklet for soldiers on identifying potential enemy poisons. Her contribution helped raise awareness among military personnel about the dangers they might face in the field.
This fascinating intersection between Christie's wartime experience as a nurse and her subsequent literary career showcases how real-life encounters can profoundly shape an author's work, adding authenticity and depth to their storytelling.
📷️ Bookshelf Humble Brag
Want to show off your library? Send us a picture to be featured in the Reading Journal.
Looking to read some of our previous Journals? You can find them here.
📚️ Staff Pick of the Week
Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon by Michael Lewis
When Michael Lewis first met him, Sam Bankman-Fried was the world’s youngest billionaire and crypto’s Gatsby. CEOs, celebrities, and leaders of small countries all vied for his time and cash after he catapulted, practically overnight, onto the Forbes billionaire list. Who was this rumpled guy in cargo shorts and limp white socks, whose eyes twitched across Zoom meetings as he played video games on the side?
In Going Infinite Lewis sets out to answer this question, taking readers into the mind of Bankman-Fried, whose rise and fall offers an education in high-frequency trading, cryptocurrencies, philanthropy, bankruptcy, and the justice system. Both psychological portrait and financial roller-coaster ride, Going Infinite is Michael Lewis at the top of his game, tracing the mind-bending trajectory of a character who never liked the rules and was allowed to live by his own—until it all came undone.
🎥 Reading Talk's
📈 Rising Quickly - Week of July 3, 2023
The Dip by Seth Godin
In Seth Godin's bestselling book, he challenges the conventional notion of winners and quitters, arguing that winners are actually the best quitters. He introduces the concept of "the Dip," which refers to the difficult period following the initial excitement of a project, job, or endeavor. Godin explains that winners are able to identify whether they are in a temporary setback that will improve with perseverance or a dead end, known as a Cul-de-Sac. Winners actively seek out and overcome the Dip because they understand that the bigger the challenge, the greater the rewards. By quitting the wrong endeavors and focusing on the right ones, individuals can achieve success, profits, and long-term security. Whether you're at any level in your career, this book provides insights to help you determine if you're facing a worthwhile Dip or if it's time to quit and find a more promising path. Contrary to popular belief, winners do quit, and it is through quitting that they ultimately win.
🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of July 3, 2023
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....
📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of July 3, 2023
Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
In their book, the authors address the common issue of being constantly busy and distracted in today's fast-paced world. They question why we fill our calendars with meetings and spend hours on social media despite knowing it's not the best use of our time. They propose that it doesn't have to be this way and offer a solution to regain control over our time and attention. Drawing from their experience as creators of the "design sprint" at Google Ventures, they present a four-step framework that enables individuals to design their days effectively. The book provides customizable strategies that can be adapted to fit different lifestyles and habits, emphasizing small shifts in our environment rather than radical lifestyle changes. By reading "Make Time," readers will discover ways to optimize their energy, focus, and time, allowing them to prioritize what truly matters to them instead of passively reacting to external demands.
🆕 New and Noteworthy
Making It So by Patrick Stewart
From his acclaimed stage triumphs to his legendary onscreen work in the Star Trek and X-Men franchises, Sir Patrick Stewart has captivated audiences around the world and across multiple generations with his indelible command of stage and screen. Now, he presents his long-awaited memoir, Making It So, a revealing portrait of an artist whose astonishing life—from his humble beginnings in Yorkshire, England, to the heights of Hollywood and worldwide acclaim—proves a story as exuberant, definitive, and enduring as the author himself.
✍️ Quote of the Week
What did you think of this newsletter?
Here's your chance to tell us what you really think...
If you are interested in sponsoring The Reading Journal, you can learn more on our advertise page.