📚 The Reading Journal #059

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Wager and Random Acts of Medicine

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Ernest Hemingway, the Nobel Prize-winning author known for works like "The Old Man and the Sea," "A Farewell to Arms," and "The Sun Also Rises," was an avid traveler and adventurer. He served as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, worked as a journalist during the Spanish Civil War, and was present at the Normandy Landings during World War II as a correspondent. Hemingway was also a passionate big-game hunter and deep-sea fisherman. He lived in various places around the world, including Paris, Key West, and Cuba. His adventurous life and the places he lived significantly influenced his writing, infusing his work with a sense of realism and authenticity that became a hallmark of his style.

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📚️ Staff Pick of the Week

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," a groundbreaking and influential book by Stephen R. Covey, has captivated readers for nearly three decades, transforming the lives of individuals across various occupations and age groups, including presidents, CEOs, educators, and parents. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, this timeless classic has been updated with modern insights by Sean Covey. The book's central framework consists of seven habits: 1) Be Proactive, 2) Begin with the End in Mind, 3) Put First Things First, 4) Think Win/Win, 5) Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, 6) Synergize, and 7) Sharpen the Saw. These habits, which have become integrated into the daily lives of millions, provide a principle-centered approach to solving both personal and professional challenges. Covey's book emphasizes living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity—core principles that equip individuals with the security to adapt to change and the wisdom to seize the opportunities that change presents.

🎥 Reading Talk's

📈 Rising Quickly - Week of August 14, 2023

Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson

For most of human history the world was a magical and enchanted place ruled by forces beyond our understanding. The rise of science and Descartes's division of mind from world made materialism our ruling paradigm, in the process asking whether our own consciousness—i.e., souls—might be illusions. Now the inexorable rise of technology, with artificial intelligences that surpass our comprehension and control, and the spread of digital metaphors for self-understanding, the core questions of existence—identity, knowledge, the very nature and purpose of life itself—urgently require rethinking.

Meghan O'Gieblyn tackles this challenge with philosophical rigor, intellectual reach, essayistic verve, refreshing originality, and an ironic sense of contradiction. She draws deeply and sometimes humorously from her own personal experience as a formerly religious believer still haunted by questions of faith, and she serves as the best possible guide to navigating the territory we are all entering.

🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of August 14, 2023

Little Fires Everywhere

From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Our Missing Hearts comes a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned—from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren—an enigmatic artist and single mother—who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town—and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood—and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

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📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of August 14, 2023

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder

On January 28, 1742, a makeshift vessel carrying thirty emaciated men arrived on the coast of Brazil. These men were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had embarked on a secret mission during a war with Spain in 1740 and wrecked off the coast of Patagonia. After being marooned for months, they constructed a makeshift craft and sailed nearly 3,000 miles to safety, initially being hailed as heroes. However, six months later, another boat landed in Chile with three castaways who claimed that the thirty men were mutineers. This second group described a tyrannical senior officer and a descent into anarchy while stranded, with factions warring for control over their desolate surroundings. In response to these conflicting accounts, the Admiralty convened a court martial with life-and-death stakes to uncover the truth. "The Wager," written by Grann, is a riveting narrative that delves into human behavior under extreme conditions, artfully recreating the world of a British warship, the desperation of the castaways, and the tension of a high-stakes trial.

🆕 New and Noteworthy

Random Acts of Medicine: The Hidden Forces That Sway Doctors, Impact Patients, and Shape Our Health

In "Random Acts of Medicine," Anupam Jena, a University of Chicago-trained economist and Harvard Medical School professor and doctor, and Christopher Worsham, a critical care doctor at Massachusetts General who researches health care policy, provide a unique and enlightening perspective on the medical field. Through ingeniously devised natural experiments—random events that serve as unintentional experiments—Jena and Worsham reveal the hidden forces that shape our health care experiences and outcomes. They explore significant and potentially life-changing questions, such as the optimal timing for medical procedures, the choice between experienced and novice doctors, and the necessity of recommended surgeries. Written in an engaging and insightful style, "Random Acts of Medicine" empowers readers to look beyond the authority of the white coat and better understand the dynamics that influence medical practice and potential improvements.

✍️ Quote of the Week

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

W.C. Fields

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