A Basket of Books

As a kid, I brought home library books by the laundry-basket-full. My books-per-week rate has gone down substantially as other responsibilities have grown, but I still love reading.

My current “basket” is relatively small, though it holds more than the books below. A few of the books I’m currently excited about/intrigued by:

  • Questions Are the Answer, by Hal Gregerson. I’m several chapters in. Interesting discussion of the power, uses, and abuses of questions.
  • The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker. This was a magical book when I first read it 20(ish) years ago; it still is, partway through my current re-read. Drucker was a prophet of business, lucidly describing the effective “knowledge worker” long before most others. Actually, his whole corpus is wonderful. Also pick up The Daily Drucker for a daily, one-page nugget of (frequently) transformative thought.
  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, by David Epstein,  is a book I haven’t yet read, hadn’t even heard of till recently, but am very excited about starting soon. It sounds like he interacts with a lot of other interesting ideas: Gladwell/Coyle/Syed/Dweck on the development of talent and growth mindset, the tension between “deep dive” and “broad survey” approaches to knowledge (and the magic that happens at the intersections of fields), and in general, something approaching the “latticework of mental models” that Charlie Munger uses for evaluation of ideas through diverse frameworks. (See Poor Charlie’s Almanack, Shane Parrish’s Farnam Street, or a simple Google search for more on Munger and models.)
  • The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality I’m barely past the introduction. My initial sense is that it will be an interesting, and non-simplistic, examination of how economic growth moves the “average” upward, how it causes inequality…and how inequality can, in turn, contribute to economic growth. The author starts with a story of his father’s “great escape” from mining…and a reflection on the many in similar circumstances whom his father’s “escape” left behind, then uses this as an example of the many “escapes” that happen. I’m looking forward to seeing how the author interacts with the ethics of the issues.

Other books will wait for another day.

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