The Perfect Book – At the Perfect Time: My Favorite Books of 2017

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. TysonA look back at the events surrounding the murder of Emmett Till, a 14 year old boy from Chicago that was visiting his uncle in the Mississippi Delta in 1955. The book explores the culture of the White South and causes of racial tensions prior to the murder that allowed a knowing community to acquit two white men in the murder of a 14 year old black boy. This all happened in 1955 and is a powerful reminder that we aren’t that far removed from horrible racially motivated incidents such as these. We must not forget

Sand by Hugh Howey – An alternate post-apocalyptic future where the trying times for an estranged family are brought back together to protect the existence that they hated only days before. In this future the cities we now live in are covered by hundreds of meters of sand and in order to survive you must scavenge from these old buried cities. They have technology that allows them to dive under the sand and pull up old treasures such as coffee pots and briefcases to sell. It’s an easy novel to get lost in and written very well just as the Wool Series was, also written by Howey. If you like a little bit of syfy or post-apocalyptic worlds then this book is for you.

Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual by Jocko Willink – If you aren’t familiar with Jock Willink you should be.  He’s a retired Navy Seal and founder of Echelon Front, a management consulting business, and author. His first few books are amazing as well. He’s an impressive guy and in this book he walks you through what it really means to be disciplined and what it can do for you. It’s full of very actionable information such as workouts and meal plans. The book is full of so much simple advice that when executed with discipline can make serious changes in your life.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown – This book is my number one of the year and I loved it so much that I wrote an entire article on it.  Link Here.  It’s monumentally important to understand that in order to be who you want to be you must stand for what you believe in which will most likely mean standing alone.  It takes a major amount of courage to “Brave the Wilderness” but there is no other substitute for it.

December 1941: The Month that Changed America and Saved the World by Craig Shirley – This book is not my usual read because it is less narrative and more of a detailed dive into the history of an event. I very much enjoy history but I tend gravitate toward a more historical narrative non-fiction type of story telling. This book is the story of the month that the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. It goes day by day and gives a ton of detail and if you’re interested in getting context on the world during that time there is no better book.

Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb – This book is the historical narrative non-fiction that I was referring to before. It’s a great book about finding one of the most sadistic Nazis that ever existed, nicknamed the “The Jewish Specialist”. After the war he escaped Germany and fled to South America where he hid until he was discovered living under an alias with his wife. This book is a top notch spy novel but the crazy thing is that it is all non-fiction. It’s a fascinating read how the inner workings of a spy agency in the 1950’s and what it takes to capture a fugitive.

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on it by Chris Voss – Chris Voss was formerly a hostage negotiator for the FBI and he uses some of his real life experiences to illustrate how to be a top tier negotiator. Whether it be with the FBI negotiating for hostages taken by the cartel or how to get the best price on a new car all the tips and tricks are the same. It’s a very fun read with a lot of very useful and actionable information. Even if you don’t use one piece of information for negotiations from this book the stories he tells are certainly worth your time.

Thanks for reading and if you have any reading recommendations for me I would love to hear them.

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