📚 The Reading Journal #061
Bad Blood, The Comfort Crisis, Scott Adams and SBF
Franz Kafka, the influential Czech-language writer known for surreal and nightmarish tales like "The Metamorphosis" and "The Trial," left a directive for his close friend Max Brod to burn all of his unpublished works after his death. Thankfully, Brod did not follow these instructions. Instead, he took it upon himself to publish many of Kafka's writings posthumously, and it's because of this decision that much of Kafka's most influential work is available for us to read today. If Brod had followed Kafka's wishes to the letter, the literary world would have been deprived of some of its most profound and thought-provoking works.
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📚️ Staff Pick of the Week
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
In 2014, Elizabeth Holmes's startup, Theranos, valued at $9 billion, promised to revolutionize blood tests with groundbreaking technology. However, the technology was a sham. Despite her portrayal as the next Steve Jobs, Holmes had been deceiving investors, the FDA, and her staff for years. When journalist Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal began investigating, he faced threats and potential lawsuits from Holmes and her team. Nonetheless, he unveiled the truth, leading to the company's dramatic downfall and positioning Theranos as one of the most significant corporate frauds since Enron. This account exposes the dangers of unchecked ambition in the high-stakes world of Silicon Valley.
🎥 Reading Talk's
📈 Rising Quickly - Week of August 28, 2023
The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self
In "The Comfort Crisis," journalist Michael Easter argues that the modern comforts we enjoy may be at the root of various physical and mental health problems. Traveling from NBA training rooms utilizing ancient Japanese practices to Bhutan's lessons on happiness and death, from neuroscience labs studying the role of nature in mental well-being to rugged Alaskan expeditions, Easter explores the essential role of discomfort and challenge in human evolution and well-being. By seeking out visionaries and researchers who advocate for the transformative power of discomfort, Easter presents a compelling blueprint for enhancing our health and happiness by stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing life's inherent challenges.
🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of August 28, 2023
The Secret History
Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic. Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
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📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of August 28, 2023
Reframe Your Brain: The User Interface for Happiness and Success
In "Reframe Your Brain," Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and author of influential self-help books, offers a comprehensive guide to achieving long-lasting happiness through the power of reframing thoughts and perspectives. Leveraging his expertise in hypnosis and persuasion, Adams presents over 160 novel and counterintuitive ways to reframe common perceptions. For instance, instead of focusing on managing your time, he suggests managing your energy; rather than seeing critics as foes, consider them your mascots. These reframing techniques are applicable to a range of life areas including personal well-being, career success, and mental health. The book aims to empower readers to transform their lives by simply altering the way they perceive and interpret situations, arguing that even if a small fraction of these reframes resonate with you, they can dramatically change your life.
🆕 New and Noteworthy
Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon
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.
✍️ Quote of the Week
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