Tyler and I are back for our latest installment of our “In-Flight Reading” series. We’re both trying to read more than ever this year, and we wanted to share each of our favorites of the season so far.
As always, let us know if you read any of these and what you think, and please, please, please tell us what you’re loving lately, too.
For the Love
“One of the best parts of being human is other humans. It’s true, because life is hard; but people get to show up for one another, as God told us to, and we remember we are loved and seen and God is here and we are not alone. We can’t deliver folks from their pits, but we can sure get in there with them until God does.”
I finally got around to reading For the Love after nearly every woman in my life mentioned it. Jen Hatmaker makes you feel like she just made a cozy little spot for you on her front porch, sat you down with a cup of coffee, and spent the next hour leveling with you about what’s important in this life. She’s hilarious, and she talks about how we as women need to stick together in the fight against the need to be Pinterest-perfect and embrace a life full of grace, love, and with room for messes.
Everything I Never Told You
“The things that go unsaid are often the things that eat at you–whether because you didn’t get to have your say, or because the other person never got to hear you and really wanted to.”
Definitely one of the heavier reads of my year so far, Everything I Never Told You tells the story of a mixed-race family who lost their 16 year old daughter in the 1970’s in a series of mysterious and tragic circumstances. Celeste Ng, a brilliant and profound writer, had me wide-eyed and on the edge of my seat from the first chapter. I don’t want to give anything else away, but if you can stomach a tear-jerker, this book should be at the top of your list, too.
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
I’ve never been one to highlight or underline a book. Not in school, not for fun. IF I were, however, Anne Lammott’s Bird by Bird would’ve had me scribbling in a frenzy. You know when you find a book that you connect with so much that you start reading way too fast, eyes glazing over, in an attempt to engulf the entire thing all at once? That was me with Bird by Bird. Lammott’s quirky, light tone cuts straight to the point as she details her best advice to aspiring writers–mostly geared toward fiction writers, which I am not. A lot of what she talks about, in my opinion, can apply to anyone doing anything creative. Her step-by-step, don’t-take-yourself-so-seriously approach throws perfectionism out the window and encourages her readers/students to just start.
The Undoing Project
“No one ever made a decision because of a number. They need a story.” – Daniel Kahneman
I have been on a kick recently of only reading practical and applicable nonfiction books for personal or business development (see below picks). I had pretty much hit my wall and knew I needed something to change up the pace. Of course, I still went nonfiction (Ruth is shaking her head). Michael Lewis is one of the most renowned nonfiction storytellers of the day. His hits include The Big Short (which was adapted for the big screen) and Flash Boys (a must read!). This time, I picked up The Undoing Project, which follows the life and work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two Israeli psychologists who achieved groundbreaking work in the field of decision making. It is a fascinating read, not only for understanding the science that went into their findings, but also for getting to know the men behind the work.
Tools of Titans
“What you do is more important than how you do everything else, and doing something well does not make it important.”
Back to the more practical side of things, folks. Tim Ferriss made it on the map by writing one of our favorites, The 4-Hour Workweek. Since then, he has authored several New York Times best-selling books and started one of the most successful podcasts out there. On his podcast, he interviews world-class performers in every field imaginable, telling their stories and focusing on the habits that made them successful. It’s one of my favorite podcasts. Tools of Titans is basically a collection of the highlights of the podcast in book form. Each chapter is dedicated to a guest and covers the most important takeaways. It took me a few months to get through this book, but every time I put the book down, I left feeling inspired and ready to take on the world.
“You just have to make the choice to actually do it. I am so tired of excuses. Why not try something new? Be optimistic, exhibit patience, shut your mouth, and execute.”
We featured Gary Vaynerchuk on our last “In-Flight Reading,” too. He’s back at it with his latest and greatest manifesto on building a business in 2018. I could not wait to read this. Literally. I pre-ordered it on my iPad and was reading within minutes of the release. This book is the sequel of his most popular book Crush It, which was well ahead of its time in 2009 and focused on building a personal brand through social media. Crushing It builds on the foundation of that premise, chronicles stories of people who have been successful implementing the principles, and lays out the tactics for being successful on the different social media platforms. If you’re an entrepreneur or want to be, read this book. Now.