What’s Jack Reading?

I don’t read fast, but I read a lot. Here’s a list of books I’m reading and books I’ve recently read.

pod

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow

This is a novel I have been meaning to read for years. I first heard of the book when someone asked comic book writer Jonathan Hickman what he was reading. Winslow is a journalist who knows more about the Mexican drug trade than most. My first exposure to Winslow’s writing was his incredible piece in Esquire about the modern Heroin problem in America.  I am genuinely enjoying what Winslow does with his incredible knowledge of the drug war in a fictional setting.

 

tribe

Tribe by Sebastian Junger

I had never read Sebastian Junger before but, like most people I knew his name as the writer of The Perfect Storm. I learned of this book from the Joe Rogan podcast where Junger was a guest last June. Tribe is basically about how us humans like to live in small groups of no more than 50 people who all depend on one another in an egalitarian society and the consequences of living in modern society where such arrangements are only found in war and catastrophe. It is a quick read, but a good one.

 

On-Tyranny

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

I learned of this book from the excellent Waking Up podcast by Sam Harris. Snyder impressed me on the show and his tiny book is equally impressive though very small. Some have called this a ‘guidebook to the Resistance’. I think that is overstating it. It is more guidelines for the Resistance. It is saying, “Here are the things to watch out for when the fascists try to take power.”

sapiens

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

I have so many books I want to read that it is rare that I reread a book, but Yuval Harari’s Sapiens is one of the best books I have ever read. History books tend to start no earlier than 10,000 years ago because that’s when we started writing stuff down in one way or another, but Harari’s book goes back a couple hundred thousand years to when Homo Sapiens first showed up. In our modern world it is easy to forget that for most of the time that humans have existed we were not unlike most other animals on the planet. Until we were. I am picking up all sorts of things that I missed the first time around. And I am looking forward to reading Harari’s sequel which I have already purchased.

 

Books I Read Last Year

the-martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

I first learned about The Martian when I watched the trailer for the upcoming Ridley Scott movie starring Matt Damon. Then a few friends of mine told me how good the book was. I’m only a few chapters in, but so far it is riveting.

bloods-a-rover

Blood’s A Rover by James Ellroy

The third book in Ellroy’s epic America Underground Trilogy. This one takes us from 1968 to 1972. As with the other two books, Ellroy weaves a secret history through real events.

netsmart

Net Smart: How To Thrive Online by Howard Rheingold

A book by the guy who coined the term ‘virtual communities’ about how best to use the Internet. It’s a user’s manual for what you’re doing right now.

Books I’ve Read

ColdSixThousand

The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy

This is book two of his Undercover USA trilogy. The first one, American Tabloid told the fictional secret history behind the election of JFK and the Bay of Pigs. It ended seconds before the JFK assassination. Book two picks up seconds later and follows the fall out of JFK’s killing along with the assassinations of RFK and Martin Luther King. His trademark staccato sentences take some getting used to, but it’s a great ride.


The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
war of art

Is there something you want to do but you need a kick in the ass to get going? This book is that kick in the ass. Pressfield systematically goes through every objection in your head that stops you from accomplishing your goals and destroys them. It’s a quick life-changing read.

whyhirejennifer

Why Hire Jennifer? by Richard W. Lewis

If personal branding and skill based resumes are unfamiliar things to you, then Why Hire Jennifer? will get your thinking into the 21st century. For those who are familiar with these things, there isn’t much new but every bit of advice in Why Hire Jennifer? is worthwhile and true.

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