You may have seen my latest ‘annual top reads’ post, but I decided I wanted to do an extra post that was a bit special – the books that have been most compelling for me over the last 10 years.
Each of these books has become one that I often refer to or recommend; has fundamentally shifted the way I think about something; or has introduced a critical new concept to the ‘furniture of my mind’.
I will say it was very difficult to narrow down the list, but each of these books has made a significant impact on me during the 2010s, and I would highly recommend all of them.
So without further ado, and in no particular order…
Looking for holiday reads now that Christmas is over? Want to plan to read more in 2018? Here are my top 10 reads from 2017, in no particular order, plus the full list of books I read throughout the year.
As the inimitable Dr. Seuss so memorably put it, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!”
Plus, in a world that’s increasingly distracted and insular, making reading a regular part of your life helps develop both your focus and your empathy, increasing the potential for you to bring your best both to tasks and to relationship. That sounds to me like a good way to set yourself up for the best possible 2018!
It’s that time of year again! If you’re looking for ideas on what to read in 2017, here’s a round-up of the books that stood out to me this year. If you’re looking for tips on how to read more in 2017, check out this earlier post on ‘4 Easy Ways to Read More’.
There were a few stand-outs for me this year in my reading list, including my first ever read of the Harry Potter series (what?! How could I have never read them before? I know…), and a successful second attempt at reading Thomas Piketty’s 700-page book on economics and inequality, ‘Capital in the 21st Century’, which I had tried and failed to finish when it came out a couple of years ago. I’m so glad I gave it a second try, because it turned out to be SO fascinating. I also started reading a few of the titles on the list of ‘A Year of Reading the World’, which gives suggestions for books translated into English from each nation in the world.
Here are the top 10 books that I found most impacting, significant or enjoyable, along with the rest of my reading list for the year –
There’s a famous parable about six blind men and an elephant. Each of the men approach the elephant from a different angle, and, using only their sense of touch, discuss what they find. ‘It’s a rope’, says the man holding the tail. ‘No, it’s a tree branch’, says the one holding the trunk. The man holding the tusk thinks it’s a pipe, and on they go, disagreeing, until a king approaches and explains the elephant as a whole animal. The lesson, of course, is that they were all partially right – it’s just that each of them had access to a different part of the truth, and none of them, with only his own perspective, had the whole picture.
The reason this parable has been around for hundreds of years and been retold throughout numerous cultures, is that it contains a simple, powerful truth about human nature – we have a tendency to blindspots. We find ourselves viewing the world from a particular perspective, and tuning out voices that might conflict with that understanding. Yet there are a few simple things we can do to help correct for this tendency, and so be in the best position to see the true big picture and make the best decision in light of that.