Many writers have imagined the future in their work, inviting us to travel through time.
We asked Lynn Lobash, manager of the New York Public Library’s Reader Services department, to recommend the books about the future that everyone should read. Here are 11, and you can see more recommendations at the NYPL’s site.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is set in a dystopian future where an oppressive and religious organization takes over the US government.
Kolbert combines vivid descriptions of natural wonders, like the Great Barrier Reef, and wild experiences, like venturing into a bat cave, to explain Earth’s present and possible future.
Klein challenges readers to abandon capitalism and restructure the global economy and our political system to move toward a greener future.
These thinkers consider the future of work, salaries, equality, technology, and climate change, among other topics.
In a grim future, citizens are constantly monitored and controlled by Big Brother and the Thought Police.
In Huxley’s future, babies are born in labs, and society discourages individual action and thought.
The orginal article.
At its simplest, clean eating is about ingesting nothing but “Whole” or “Unprocessed” foods.
At first, clean eating sounded modest and even homespun: rather than counting calories, you would eat as many nutritious home-cooked substances as possible.
Clean eating has been attacked by critics such as the baker and cookbook author Ruby Tandoh for being an incitement to eating disorders.
A few weeks later, Anthony Warner – a food consultant with a background in science who blogs as The Angry Chef – published a book-length assault on the science of clean eating, calling it a world of “Quinoa bowls” and “Nutribollocks” fuelled by the modern information age.
Why has clean eating proved so difficult to kill off? Hadley Freeman, in this paper, identified clean eating as part of a post-truth culture, whose adherents are impervious, or even hostile, to facts and experts.
A second version of clean eating was spearheaded by a former cardiologist from Uruguay called Alejandro Junger, the author of Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself, which was published in 2009 after Junger’s clean detox system had been praised by Gwyneth Paltrow on her Goop website.
Alice Liveing, a 23-year-old personal trainer who writes as Clean Eating Alice, argued in her 2016 book Eat Well Every Day that she was “Championing what I feel is a much-needed breath of fresh air in what I think is an incredibly saturated market”.
McGregor’s main concern about clean eating, she added, was that as a professional treating young people with eating disorders, she had seen first-hand how the rules and restrictions of clean eating often segued into debilitating anorexia or orthorexia.
The orginal article.
The most successful people often are serious about self-improvement, which can come in the form of a good book.
“It may not be the newest shiny object on the shelf, but it certainly remains one of the best books for teams I have ever read. You don’t have to have a creative-based business in order to appreciate the fact that Catmull just knows how to work better with people, and how to make those people thrive. It’s an inspiration to me to see the meticulous detail and passion by which he continuously achieved this, even through failure, and how humble he was in the process. It’s a must-read for every entrepreneur and leader of people and at every level of business from startup to Fortune 500.”.
“Influence explains the psychology of why people say yes, and how readers can apply this understanding to their personal and professional lives. Dr. Cialdini is a world-renowned expert in persuasion who brings 35 years of experience researching why people are moved to change behavior. The book includes six universal principles, with direction on how to use these guidelines to master the art of persuasion. I’ve used these principles to accomplish goals in my personal and professional lives, including everything from helping my employees reach their career goals to helping our global technology consulting company close new business. I recommend this book for anyone in a leadership position.”
“Today, hyper-adaptability is more important than economies of scale and corporate process efficiency. Companies need to organize in autonomous teams and align them toward the most important goals. They need to be more agile. This is the best book I have read describing this shift toward a new normal in organizations and how to build and lead them.”
“A lot of the people I meet or that I’ve worked with complain and ask why they are not getting anywhere in their career or why they’re not a director after just two years. I believe all of us need to understand that input correlates to output. This book is a fabulous read to understand that exceptional talent is a function of hard work over time. There are no shortcuts in life: 10,000 hours of practice or 10 years. This book is the starting point and a blueprint you can follow to be successful.”
“After reading hundreds of personal development and business books, this one is my all-time favorite. To succeed in business, and in life, it’s important to first establish strong fundamentals. This book provides the tools and guidance to easily understand the power of setting goals, advancing personal development, seeking knowledge, controlling finances, mastering time management, and building a winning team. Almost anyone can get value from it, regardless of the person’s age, experience, business, or stage in his or her chosen journey. The late Jim Rohn was a master teacher and business mentor. He has truly helped shape who I am today, and significantly influenced my approach to business.”
“Cognitive dissonance is one of the most powerful forces in our personal and professional lives. It helps explain why we often unnecessarily repeat mistakes and defend entrenched positions. As this book explains, our brain wants to insulate us from making mistakes, so it allows us to rationally justify contradictions in our mind. So rather than learning from our mistakes, we tend to double down and get further entrenched in our position as a defense mechanism. This book is essential for leaders of companies to read, as it can help increase self-awareness, both in ourselves and our teams. The ability to detect and act on cognitive dissonance is a competitive advantage in all aspects of our life.”
“In his latest book, Sanborn inspires others to unlock their true potential. He emphasizes that the only limitation we have is that which we place upon ourselves. This book provides a framework and insights for how to be the best version of you. Thank you, Mark Sanborn, for encouraging continuous improvement. You inspire us to embrace the journey.”
The orginal article.
I started reading a new book every week two months ago.
I share the books I read with my Postanly Newsletter subscribers every Friday.
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write. Simple as that.” says Stephen King.Reading opens your heart to new ideas, new cultures, and new worldviews.
You don’t have to spend a whole month reading a single book.
Even insanely busy and succesful people like Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday MAKE time to read. “I just sit in my office and read all day” says Warren Buffet.
Life is too short to read books you don’t really want to read.Tim Ferriss, New York Times Best-Selling Author says, he reads 1-4 books per week.
“If I’m going for speed, I’ll use the following, which can help you 2-3x your word-per-minute rate in 15-20 minutes without sacrificing comprehension: Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes It takes some practice, but it works when time is of the essence.”It’s now 80/20 for me - what you read is much more important than how much or how quickly you read.” says Tim.Why One a Week?First, figure out why: why one books a week?
Don’t just read a book a week because you want to crush a goal or embrace successful people’s habits.
The orginal article.
Someone once asked the great short story writer Jorge Luis Borges “Don’t you regret spending more of your life reading than living?”.
“There are many ways of living, and reading is one of them When you are reading, you are living, and when you are dreaming, you are living also.”What does Borges mean? Isn’t living, well, living?
“Looking back into your own past, among the landmarks of your life, you will find that great readings occupy a place no less significant than actual happenings - for instance, a long and adventurous journey through strange lands, which you undertook in a certain year, may in retrospect appear no less memorable than your first exploration of A la recherche du temps perdu; or again, you might realize that your encounter with Anna Karenina, or with Julien Sorel proved more momentous than meeting most of your past acquaintances. Who is to assess the relative significance, the specific weight that should be ascribed to these diverse experiences in the shaping of your personality?”Our memories are not so different from the stories we find in books.
One time, an older girl I did not know came up to me and said, “Why are you reading books? It’s a beautiful day. Go out live a little!”.
Even as an adult, someone will occasionally tell me to put my books away and go live.
Reading is not living, and every moment spent in a book is a life less well-lived.
Here’s something else to think about - what if reading makes you live more?
“Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom realize the enormous extension of our being that we owe to authors. We realize it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense, but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. My own eyes are not enough for me. in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.”The cat has nine lives as a boy who read, I guess I had a thousand.
The orginal article.
Now I’m not saying you should completely cut out books from your life.
If books are your only way for learning a new skill - be it cooking, building relationships, displaying leadership, marketing - you’re learning too slow.
I’d relied on books too much, to the point where I failed to realize my own greatest tool: my intuition and my taste buds.
After just a few short weeks, I’d learned how to fix up a dish if it turned out too spicy.
Human error > bookWhen you learn a skill through human error, you learn at an accelerated pace.
Want to learn how to talk to people? Walk up to them and start talking.
Want to learn about the culture of (country)? Book a trip there for 3 weeks.
Want to learn how to build a business? Try selling something first.
The orginal article.
Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, writes that, “In the old days, you could stand on a small hill or a wooden stage to be heard. That was your platform.” In the literal sense, that’s a platform.
Today, people think of a “Platform” a bit differently.
In my definition, a platform is the combination of the tools, relationships, access, and audience that you have to bear on spreading your ideas-not just once, but over the course of a career.
So a platform is your social media and the stage you stand on, but it also includes your friends, your body of work, the community your work exists in, the media outlets and influencers who appreciate what you do, your e-mail list, the trust you’ve built, your sources of income, and countless other assets.
A platform is what you cultivate and grow not just through your work, but for creative work, whatever it may be.
It’s now a huge platform that, by his estimation, grosses more than $20 million a year in revenue.
As creators, to do our work without a platform is to be at the mercy of other people’s permission.
As business people, to not have a platform means we are dependent on having a certain job, or backing.
The orginal article.
The people who accomplish the most in life are serious about self-improvement, which often comes in the form of a good book.
“Edgar Schein is one of the seminal researchers and authors of organizational culture. In his final series of books as an elder he shows how our leadership mindset needs to change from doing and telling to more of a humble mindset of listening, asking questions, and creating environments that are adaptive and collaborative. This is the first of three books along the humble inquiry theme, in addition to Humble Consulting and his future book Humble Leadership.”
“Empowering and reinforcing perspectives for modern times. The former provides an encouraging account of people who take control of their lives and empower themselves in the face of challenging health issues. The second looks at the workings of the brain that control our behavior. Both are useful for choice and perspective with illness, relationships, deaths of loved ones, and work-life balance stress. These books provide a chance to recalibrate, rethink, and reassess our interpretation of degree of happiness and stress in our lives-and may leave us feeling more connected in the process.”
“This book has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. The notion of taking charge of your own destiny and not being stuck or complacent has resonated throughout my career in the hospitality industry. To be successful in any endeavor, you can’t be afraid to go places and take risks, and I think the essence of this book can be applied to many goals in business.”
I come from a lineage of physicians and so I had to rely on books such as Rich Dad Poor Dad to teach me the value and strategy of growing my business and maintaining successful cash flow and having positive debt.
“While running a business you’re bound to run into obstacles and frustrations that can become quite exhausting. This book helped me define necessary goals within the business and accomplish them through simple yet powerful techniques that transpired into a stronger team, exponential growth, and a more enjoyable working environment. This book is perfect for any entrepreneur who’s looking to make positive changes within their business and accomplish goals in a more efficient manner.”
“The Art of Thinking Clearly helped me improve my decision-making abilities, recognize possible mistakes preemptively, and provided me with the skills to avoid them. The book is all about slowing down and avoiding rushed decisions while applying rational thinking to every choice-from major business decisions to interactions with individuals that trigger emotional responses. The Art of Thinking Clearly provides a realistic, logical, and pragmatic approach to strategic thinking for life.”
“Ben Horowitz is one of the most prolific Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs and one of the most successful VCs in the past decade. His book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, provides uniquely applied advice and perspective on the realities of building a high-growth startup. I found it to be a must read for me and my team-as we meet the same challenges that Ben successfully navigated again and again.”
The orginal article.
I am reading many fewer books these days, and even fewer of the kinds of books that require hard work.
Soon I’m over at CNN.com reading Donald Trump’s latest tweets and details of the latest terrorist attack, or perhaps checking tomorrow’s weather.
Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows” analyzes the phenomenon, and its subtitle says it all: “What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.” Carr spells out that most Americans, and young people especially, are showing a precipitous decline in the amount of time spent reading.
After an hour of contemplation, or deep reading, a person ends up less tired and less neurochemically depleted, thus more able to tackle mental challenges.
If we can’t reach Buffett’s high reading bar, what is a realistic goal? Charles Chu calculates that at an average reading speed of 400 words per minute, it would take 417 hours in a year to read 200 books-less than the 608 hours the average American spends on social media, or the 1,642 hours watching TV. “Here’s the simple truth behind reading a lot of books,” says Quartz: “It’s not that hard. We have all the time we need. The scary part-the part we all ignore-is that we are too addicted, too weak, and too distracted to do what we all know is important.”
We have to build a fortress with walls strong enough to withstand the temptations of that powerful dopamine rush while also providing shelter for an environment that allows deep reading to flourish.
For deep reading, I’m searching for an hour a day when mental energy is at a peak, not a scrap of time salvaged from other tasks.
I’m still working on that fortress of habit, trying to resurrect the rich nourishment that reading has long provided for me.
The orginal article.
After just six sentences, the reader knows Claudia intimately, and is ready to go to the Met.
In the “Mixed-Up Files,” Claudia and her brother Jamie-chosen as her travelling companion because of the twenty-four-dollar fortune he’s amassed by cheating at cards-take a train from Connecticut to Grand Central Terminal and walk all the way uptown.
Undeterred, we walked through the Greek and Roman galleries and sat down in front of the ancient sarcophagus in which Claudia hides her violin case.
In the “Mixed-Up Files,” Claudia and Jamie take baths in the pool one night.
Our guide read from the scene, in which Claudia and Jamie climb “Under the velvet rope that meant that the restaurant was closed to the public. Of course they were not the public.” It’s a delightful scene, combining the pleasures of being naked in public, of unexpectedly profiting-as Claudia scrubs herself down with the powdered soap she’s been hoarding from the public restroom, Jamie discovers the trove of wishing coins on the floor of the pool-and, above all, of getting away with something, which remains the underlying thrill of the book.
In the book, Claudia and Jamie become amateur art historians, investigating the provenance of this piece; Claudia, in particular, becomes obsessed with the statue.
Claudia’s main reason for running away is, vaguely, “Injustice,” and when the narration shifts to Jamie’s perspective Konigsburg uses “Sculpture” as a verb.
As Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler tells Claudia, the real adventure is coming home with a secret.
The orginal article.