When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
Justin Hazelbrook (my old mate) recommended me this book and warned me that it might get a bit emotional. He was right. It’s an end of life memoir from an extremely talented person who is struck young, with cancer.
Through Sand & Snow – Charlie Walker
Probably my book of the year. Charlie is best known for appearing on Joe Rogan after going through a show trial of sorts in Russia, but believe me, that is only the tip of the spear when it comes to Charlie’s experiences. When he was 22 he set off on a bike journey that would not see him return for 4 years and travel him to every corner of the Africa/Europe/Asia globe. We recorded a podcast together in December. It will be published in January.
The best marketing ideas are built around the profoundly irrational. This is the premise of Rory’s amazing book, Alchemy. Also maybe my book of the year. Rory appeared on the podcast this year, #115.
Joseph Anton – Salman Rushdie
After Salman was attacked earlier this year I decided I wanted to learn more about him. He has famously lived under Fatwa for more than 25 years now. This book is an autobiography written in 3rd person in narrative fashion from birth up until he moves to New York in the mid 2000’s. I listened to this over a few days walking the Augustleden hiking trail in Sweden.
Wanting – Luke Burgis
Rene Girard, Peter Thiel, David Perrel, Jonathan Bi and mimetic theory seem to be everywhere. This book explains mimesis and its implications. I liked it and speak about it further in the annual review.
Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
The definitive biography on Steve Jobs. I absolutely loved this book and was left thinking just how much of an arrogant, self centred prick, narcissist, asshole horrible to person to be around Jobs would have been… yet, I admire him and want to emulate (some things) him. Also there is the most remarkable Robert Friedland anecdote.
How The World Really Works – Vaclav Smil
Buy and listen to, or read this book just for chapter 1. It is top to bottom energy. What it is, how we convert it, and how it (literally) is at the bottom of every possible thing that happens in our lives and the lives of others. Carlos Araque leans heavily on Smil, as does Bill Gates, I am now in the Smil fanboy camp and eagerly awaiting what he writes next.
A Bigger Picture – Malcom Turnbull
The former PM of my great country. Turnbull is often criticised for being a bit of self centred show-off, and someone who lies as effortlessly as he breathes, but I don’t exactly see it. Australia is rife with ‘tall poppy syndrome’ and I suspect he is someone who suffers greatly from it. Turnbull is an overachievers overachiever. If I can emulate just a slice of his success I think I will be pretty content.
The Black Count – Tom Reiss
Another contender for my book of the year. This is a biography of one of the most interesting fellas from history. The Black Count is the story of Alexandre Dumas (Count Of Monte Cristo, 3 Musketeers) father. He was the black general in Napoleons army and quite the famous figure in his time. There are amazing details of this fella I speak about in my podcast with Bill Homewood. Read or listen on for more. Truly this is an incredible life and story.
Breathe – Rickson Gracie
The autobiography of one of the greatest Brazilians who ever lived. Rickson Gracie has lived one of the most remarkable lives of anyone in history. He is a bit of a big day when it comes to certain things. Heavy on the spirituality and I suspect extremely impulsive, but this book is a terrific snapshot of one of the most influential martial artists of all time.