Weekly Non-Fiction Reading List 3.15.21
This week, I finished 7 books from some great authors. I’ve been really interested in some new topics as well! I’m down 15 lbs this year and want to learn more about weight loss, so I read a book about the new science behind how we burn calories. I also read an incredible book about empowering students and some other great topics. Enjoy!
Each of the links to the books are affiliate links, so if you use my link to purchase any of these books, some comes back to support what I do (and it also helps fund my reading habit).
Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy by Herman Pontzer PhD
I’ve always struggled with my weight, but during my 8-year drug addiction, I put on over 200 lbs. I’ve been sober for 8.5 years, and I’ve been struggling to take the weight off. Something that drives me nuts is all of the non-scientific contradictory information about diet and exercise out there, so I decided to check out this book from Herman Pontzer. I must say that Pontzer did an incredible job with this book, and I think it’s perfect for a wide range of readers.
I’m more of a psychology guy than a biology guy, but Pontzer was able to break down how the body functions in a simple way. There are still a few concepts I may need to go back and revisit, but his overall thesis was easy to grasp. What I really enjoyed about this book was how the author dispelled a lot of myths about diets, exercise, metabolism, and more. My only critique is at the end of this book, I personally didn’t leave with many solutions, but that’s not what this book was about. Fortunately, Herman replied to me on Twitter and recommended some other great books that I can check out.
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan by Seth Roberts
I fell in love with the work of Noreena Hertz when I read her newest book The Lonely Century, and she quickly became one of my new favorite psychology authors. As someone who loves to read books on thinking flaws and decision making, I was ecstatic when I found out that she had another book called Eyes Wide Open, which is all about this subject. I’ve personally read dozens of books on this subject, so it’s difficult to provide me with a new perspective or different spin on research, but Noreena nailed it. Just like in The Lonely Century, Noreena has an ability to fill in the gaps that other authors leave open while also providing a unique view on these interesting subjects. If you want to become a better decision maker, you need this book ASAP.
Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Heffernan
How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices by Annie Duke
The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win by Maria Konnikova
Like many people, I absolutely loved Grit by Angela Duckworth. And if you enjoyed that book, you definitely need this book from Anindya Kundu. Kundu expands off of the idea of “grit” by explaining that there’s more, which comes in the form of student agency. The only thing that bums me out about this book is that I don’t think it’ll get nearly as much credit as it deserves. It should be up there with Grit as one of the most popular books about how young people can overcome adversity and succeed.
Although I don’t think it was the intention of Grit, I think it’ll be more well-received that The Power of Student Agency because Grit plays into our distorted idea of what it takes to succeed. While Grit focuses on the power of the person, Kundu reminds us that it takes the community to help young people succeed. Kundu has done in-depth research that shows how far people can go when they have the support of their families, teachers, and communities. I think what I loved the most about this book is you can tell how badly Kundu legitimately just wants to see people thrive. You can tell there’s no other agenda or motive other than wanting to help shift society to give young people a fair shot at success.
Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank
The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael Sandel
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career by Scott Young
This book easily became one of my favorite books as soon as I started reading it. I have this unquenchable thirst for knowledge, which is why I read hundreds of non-fiction books each year, but sometimes I have turning my knowledge into something useful. I write and create YouTube content, but this book from Scott Young gave me a whole new assortment of ideas for how I can receive dividends from all of the knowledge I acquire. This book taught me that I can use my love of learning as a sort of super power that can help me at my job, help me with my son, and a lot more. I’ll definitely be re-reading this book for years to come.
Deep Work (Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World) by Cal Newport
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown, Henry Rodiger and Mark McDaniel
I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know much about James Baldwin for a long time, and that’s exactly why I got this book from Eddie Glaude Jr. Once I learned who Baldwin was, I was intrigued to learn more about him because he wasn’t only an activist, but he was also a sort of philosopher. In this book from Glaude, it’s part biography of James Baldwin while also applying Baldwin’s lessons to the current stay of racial injustice in America. You see how far we’ve come but more importantly, you learn how much farther we still have to go. I’m extremely happy that I took the time to read this book and now understand why there was so much hype around it on launch.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law by Jody Armour
A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes
The greatest delusion that we all choose to live in is that we choose to believe that humans are rational creatures. This isn’t the case at all, which is why I love reading books like this one from Leonard Mlodinow. I heard about this book while reading one of my favorite books, The Elephant in the Brain. This book is awesome and dives into a bunch of different subjects such as our emotions, preferences, ego, and other aspects of the psyche that are unconcious throughout the day. By learning about these brain flaws, we can all make better decisions and move closer towards rationality.
The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson
The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber
Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind by Gary F. Marcus
As a skeptic and person who believes in having calm discourse, I decided to read this book for my 2nd time. This book is one of my favorites when it comes to having conversations with people who disagree with you. As I read this book again, I used techniques in my everyday life at work, with friends and family, and with others I chat with. The tips and tools in here are very practical. But although I love this book, I don’t follow the authors on Twitter because they don’t seem to follow their own advice. This is definitely one of those situations where I’ve learned to separate the art from the artist.
Giving the Devil His Due by Michael Shermer
Free Speech And Why It Matters by Andrew Doyle
If you need help with your mental health, I highly recommend the service I use, BetterHelp. They’re an affordable online therapy service, and by using this affiliate link, you help support The Rewired Soul.