Top 8 Books Of February 2017
We uncovered some good reads here.
Let’s unpack them for you.
1.The Boys in the Boat
Daniel Brown’s inspiring true tale of the hardscrabble nine-man crew team from the University of Washington who valiantly persevered during the Great Depression and fought against all odds to win the gold medal in Hitler’s 1936 Olympics is hard to put down.
Told from the vantage point of one of the crewmen, Joe Rantz, Brown toggles brilliantly and effortlessly between the lives of the poor, tough-as-nails crewman and their battle to make the team, and the degree to which Hitler staged the Olympic Games to show the world the outward signs of supposed German perfection.
You don’t have to know anything about crew racing, or even like it, to be drawn to the sheer determination and strength of character, the emotional highs and lows of Joe and his teammates.
Brown delicately but pointedly draws the reader into this moment in time. His majestic piece includes romance, dejection, determination, and ultimately ends with the triumph of the American spirit over the dark clouds caused by Nazism and Hitler in the run up to World War II.
“The Boys in the Boat” is the amazing story of the nine working-class guys on the U.S. Olympic crew team.
The team competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and went head-to-head with the German team, which rowed for Hitler.
The book is an extraordinary look at how this improbable team came together and eventually surprised the entire world.
Written with incredible detail, “The Boys in the Boat” will have you literally on the edge of your seat, as Brown details every race in a way that has you cheering (even in your own thoughts) for the rowers. You can’t go wrong with this one.
2. Real Heroes
An impactful collection of stories, “Real Heroes” has given me hope for the future, strengthened my motivation to fight for liberty, and moved me to tears.
The book is packed with fascinating stories of incredible human beings, inspirational quotes, and takeaway lessons.
This is not a book to necessarily read from beginning to end, but one to keep close to you for frequent inspiration of what humans with courage, character, and conviction can accomplish.
3. Playing To The Edge
An insightful read into the workings and role of the U.S. intelligence community told as only could be by the former head of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Playing to the edge provides the reader with a great view into important decisions made in a post-9/11 world to keep the U.S. safe.
Hayden’s clear storytelling is matched only by the fascinating details he provides of key programs and interactions with top officials and elected leaders.
The book also provides a humanizing glimpse into a world that is by necessity secretive to show how security professionals and leaders strove to use every weapon in their arsenal to protect the U.S. while remaining in the bounds of constitution.
In other words, they were playing to the edge.
4. Chaos Monkey
Equal parts entrepreneurial guide, cultural study, and rock-and-roll style tell-all, “Chaos Monkeys” gives you an insider’s view of the modern tech startup revolution in Silicon Valley.
Written by someone who survived through both startup disasters and corporate success (the author held a prominent position at both Facebook and Twitter), the book delves into the world of advertising technology and how it truly shapes our modern experiences.
You don’t need any knowledge of the subjects going in.
He also intersperses the explanations of “server-side caching” with humorous personal stories, such as flooding the Facebook campus with home-brewed beer!
5. All The Light We Cannot See
In a new take on the familiar World War II narrative, Anthony Doerr delivers a clear snapshot of the complex relationships between human nature and the divine, good and evil, love and duty, and wonder and utility.
But more than that, we are taught what it feels like to have compassion for an enemy.
Impressively, Doerr communicates these complexities and delivers emotion without becoming overly sentimental or trite.
Through complementary and intertwining story lines, we are shown the light we cannot see—humans too often miss possibilities that lie just outside of what is immediately apparent because we are too focused on what is visible.
6. How Not To Be Wrong
If you want to impress your friends, just tell them you’re reading a book about math—for fun.
Ellenberg’s book covers topics from number theory to the Pythagoreans to the law of diminishing returns in a way that makes the theoretical relevant to everyday life.
Combine that with a healthy sense of humor and even those who call themselves “arithmophobes” won’t be able to put it down.
Summed up, this book helps the reader think more critically about the assumptions he or she is making and why.
This helps the reader distinguish Ellenberg’s own political biases from the points he makes about inference, expectation, and linearity.
7. 4 3 2 1: A Novel by Paul Auster
The Millions’s call it the “Most Anticipated” book of 2017. Vulture described it as the “Most Exciting Book Releases for 2017”. The Washington Post named it one of the “Books to Read in 2017″
All these credits are enough to get us wondering what’s so special about 4 3 2 1: A Novel by Paul Auster.
This is Paul’s first book in seven years.
As you leaf through it, it feels like a personal story.
He describes a life growing up in Brooklyn, with pivotal happenings that change your perspective on certain things.
The hero of the novel is Archie Ferguson, and his penchant for choices that his four different lives demand.
His father starts out with the same career, and Archie falls in love with the same (type) of girl.
The book seems to be a convergence of time and circumstance within each of Archie’s different lives. His past propels him, his circumstances form him, and regardless of which life we are reading, time will ultimately take him.
And the credits continue…
Chicago Tribune called it one of the “Books We’re Excited About in 2017”
while it made the cut as Town & Country‘s “5 Books to Start Off 2017 the Right Way”
8. Impossible Fortress
Impossible Fortress has been called a ‘nerd book come true.”
Seth Grahame-Smith, New York Times bestselling author of ‘Pride and Prejudice; dubbed it
“A sweet, funny, and moving tribute to nerds and misfits everywhere.”
14-year old Billy Marvin of Wetbridge, New Jersey, is a nerd, but a decidedly happy nerd.
Afternoons are spent with his buddies, watching copious amounts of television, gorging on Pop-Tarts, debating who would win in a brawl (Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. Or T.J. Hooker?), and programming video games on his Commodore 64 late into the night.
Then Playboy magazine publishes photos of Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White, Billy meets expert programmer Mary Zelinsky, and everything changes.
And we mean…