Total Pages Read: 1,694 | Inspired by Cal Newport
Loonshots by Safi Bahcall | Paperback
Bahcall, a physicist-turned-businessman, uses phase transitions and the theory of emergence to explain how companies, organizations, and empires interact in order to nurture loonshots — the crazy ideas that are initially widely rejected before finding massive success, like statins and StarWars. I am impressed with Bahcall's ability connect several different stories and ideas into a unique and coherent argument. I enjoyed how he supplemented his writing with figures, graphs, and illustrations that appear on almost every page. If this sounds interesting to you, then I recommend listening to his podcast episode with Tim Ferriss.
Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides | Kindle
Hampton Sides has a unique ability to write historical non-fiction that reads like a novel. Ghost Soldiers is about a secret mission carried out by US Army Rangers and Philippine guerrillas to rescue American POWs from the Japanese during World War II. It’s a great book for anyone who enjoys reading history.
Deep Work by Cal Newport | Hardcover
Deep Work, as defined by Newport, is "a professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate." Newport argues why Deep Work is valuable, rare, and meaningful, and he offers suggestions for how you can implement it into your life. For more details, see my book notes.
A Lion Tracker's Guide To Life by Boyd Varty | Hardcover
After I heard Boyd Varty on The Tim Ferriss Show I just had to buy his book. Varty is a life coach in South Africa who brings his clients on wilderness safaris to compliment their healing process. Through storytelling, Varty uses lion tracking as an analogy for finding one's purpose in life. It's a small, pocket-sized book of only 160 pages, devoid of extraneous words. I'd recommend it to anyone and I would read it again in the future.
Sphere by Michael Crichton | Kindle
I was inspired to read this book after Cal Newport told a story about Crichton getting his first book deal while in Harvard medical school. Sphere is a science-fiction novel about a team of five scientists who are recruited by the US Navy to investigate an extraterrestrial spaceship at the bottom of the pacific ocean. However, we soon realize that the US navy isn’t telling the full truth and the team must figure out how to survive.