5 More Books for You to Enjoy this Winter

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Bill Gates recently published his list of five books to enjoy this winter. It inspired me. I actually read one of the books on his list, which never happens. We both read An American Marriage this year. An American Marriage is, as Gates says, “the story of a black couple in the South whose marriage gets torn apart by a horrible incident of injustice.”

Both Gates and I agree the book is “heavy but thought-provoking”. I tore through it even though I had a love/hate relationship with the characters. Tayari Jones is an excellent writer. She drew me in and even though I was disappointed and frustrated with some of the characters, I kept reading. I think I finished An American Marriage in a week!

Below are five books I think should be on everyone’s reading list.

Code Girls

Code Girls, by Liza Mundy. I tore through Code Girls. It’s one of the books that combines stories and history in a way that makes you feel like you’re living it. I loved reading about the development of the cryptography profession. I thought the young women who worked for the Army and Navy, decoding messages that were part of turning the United States into a powerhouse. Reading about how men fought abroad and the women supporting their efforts back home was a feel-good story of Americans working together to accomplish something great.

Read the full Code Girls review.

The History of the Future

The History of the Future by Blake J. Harris. Wow, this book is a must-read for anyone who’s interested in virtual reality, uses Facebook, or is concerned about Big Tech. Harris is an excellent author. He tells the story of Oculus and its founder, Palmer Luckey, how he started a company that was bought by Facebook, then in 2016, Luckey was forced out of the company he started and the technology he brought back to life.

Read all articles about The History of the Future.

Valley of Genius The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley

Valley of Genius by Adam Fisher. My mind was blown reading this book. Learning about the history of Silicon Valley from the people who lived it explains so much about technology companies and culture today. This is a must-read to see why tech plays the role it does in our lives and what the magic is that makes Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley.

P.S. I spoke with Fisher in preparation for my 2018 Keynote at Cincinnati Startup Week. He’s a cool guy and made reading his book extra special.

The Coddling of the American Mind

The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt. Are you concerned by what you hear about on our college campuses? Are you trying to understand why our country seems so divided? Do you want to raise independent, anti-fragile children? Then you need to read this book. Lukianoff and Haidt turned an article they wrote for The Atlantic into a fascinating book that everyone should read.

The Years that Matter Most

The Years That Matter Most by Paul Tough. I heard Tough speak about the research that went into writing this book at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. I found it so interesting that I had to buy his book (he signed it for me). It is a must-read for anyone who has kids or friends kids that are getting ready to go to college. Tough uncovers the truth behind the SAT and ACT, why colleges are changing the value they place on these standardized tests, and so much more. I’m only halfway through, but I had to put it on this list because Tough is blowing my mind about college. It’s a whole different ball game.

What are your favorite books of the year? Any I should add to my reading list? Let me know in the comments below!

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