This was a year full of great literary discoveries! From dipping my toes into sci-fi classics to getting a better understanding on some topics that are currently top of mind for most of us. The full list can be found here.
This year I decided to focus in a few major areas
- management and leadership
- entrepreneurship & history behind high-performers
- personal development & curiosity
In All the light we cannot see, Antony Doerr tells the story of Werner and Marie-Laure, two kids that were forced to grow up and face their fears during peak of World War II. Werner is an orphan in a German mining town and has a great knack for science and technology, while Marie-Laure lives a Parisian, secluded life with her father, who works at Museum of Natural History.
This book is so beautifully written, full of detail and sensory allusions, that it's easy to get immersed in the plot.
Other fiction books I enjoyed
Management & Leadership
This was one of my favorite summer books, and it's still is my top pick for leadership and management.
Daniel Coyle's The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups is incredibly practical and inspiring! It deconstructs company culture as we know it and provides a fresh, simple yet not simplistic, framework to create successful groups. One that is based on safety, vulnerability and purpose.
He also reminds us that the meaning of culture comes “from the Latin cultus, which means care”. Thus, caring should be the basis of a company's culture.
- Measure what matters, by John Doerr
- The effective manager, by Mark Horstman
- Learning to delegate as a leader, by Esther Schindler
Entrepreneurship & history behind high-performers
Even though we mostly associate entrepreneurs with technology moguls, Leonardo da Vinci had indeed an entrepreneurial spirit. In Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson does a fantastic job at telling Leonardo's personal story, which still has a few gaps and parts that are still being verified, as well as telling the story of the artist, scientist and technology visionary.
Leonardo da Vinci was, first and foremost, a brilliant observer: of nature, of people, of systems. His ideas and creations were so far ahead of his time, that he was regularly disregarded as a heretic, absurd and plain mad. In hindsight, we can see how methodical curiosity lead him to explore concepts that today we take for granted in areas like architecture, engineering, and natural sciences.
- Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance
- Start something that matters, by Blake Mycoskie
- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, by Brad Stone
Personal development & curiosity
This book was a fantastic surprise!
The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat, by Stephan Guyenet goes in depth into the science of on a handful of topics around health and nutrition that we, for sure, heard about multiple times. What's really special about this book is how Guyenet makes the connection to neuroscience, with the role the brain plays when it comes to our eating habits.
For instance, he explains why and how our body can crave and be addicted to fats and sugar by tracing it all the way back to how we evolved and the impact of our environment, such as living in an industrialized country that has an abundance of food.
To me, this was going a many layers deeper into how our body works and the importance the brain has in regulating such a crucial functions like eating and nourishing our bodies.
Hope you enjoyed my highlights from this year.
Happy reading 📚📚📚 and Happy 2019!