What happens when you ask 15,800+ smart people what the best book they’ve read this year is? That’s exactly what I recently did on Twitter.
Here is what people said.
Hunger — A true classic of modern literature that has been described as “one of the most disturbing novels in existence.”
The Painted Bird — “Through the juxtaposition of adolescence and the most brutal of adult experiences, Kosinski sums up a Bosch-like world of harrowing excess where senseless violence and untempered hatred are the norm.”
The History of Love — “a hauntingly beautiful novel about two characters whose lives are woven together in such complex ways that even after the last page is turned, the reader is left to wonder what really happened.”
The Catcher in the Rye — Believe it or not, I read this for the first time last year.
The Signal and the Noise — “examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data.” I loved this book. (Pair with Bayesian updating.)
Promise at Dawn: A Memoir — A romantic, thrilling memoir that has become a French classic.
The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger — This is the third time someone has recommend this book to me.
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think — Arianna Huffington says: “it’s a reminder of the infinite possibilities for doing good when we tap into our own empathy and wisdom.”
Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles — “To identify the economic stars of the future we should abandon the habit of extrapolating from the recent past and lumping wildly diverse countries together.”
Human Action: A Treatise on Economics — “the first comprehensive treatise on economics written by a leading member of the modern Austrian school of economics.”
Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential — “You will never look at people the same way again—including yourself—after this lively look at how we make character judgments.”
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles — I bought this a few weeks ago.
The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing — See my interview with the author.
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right — Gawande is one of my favorite writers.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption — “A great story about a young man who grew up on the streets of Southern California to become not only a famous runner but a decorated hero in WWII.”
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created — “A deeply engaging new history of how European settlements in the post-Colombian Americas shaped the world.”
Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health — … the first book to reveal the nutritional history of our fruits and vegetables. Starting with the wild plants that were central to our original diet, investigative journalist Jo Robinson describes how 400 generations of farmers have unwittingly squandered a host of essential fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. (Pair with The Botany of Desire)
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World — “Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change and conflict, in a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them.”
What Is Called Thinking — Says one amazon reviewer: “If you read only one philosophy book in your entire life, this is the one to read.”
Antifragile — Just read it.
The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths — A searching, captivating look at the persistence of myth in our modern world. (This is a continuation of Straw Dogs, a book I recently received)
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
Leave a note in the comments.