Audible has to be the best thing about my life right now. *Looks at you* Oh, second best. *We smile*
Here’s a review of some recent books wrinkling m’ ol’ noggin.
1) Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood: 5 out of 5 noodles
I think we have a human imperative to spend a portion of our time learning about new cultures, different backgrounds, and others’ struggles. I can’t think of a more splendid way to be human than to dive into the story of Trevor Noah, the son of a black African mother and white European father and who grows through the veins of apartheid, poverty, and circumstance to become a world-famous comic and host of The Daily Show.
What is most genius about this book is the way Noah blends his painful past with comedy that shows his deep, sophisticated appreciation for the world. His voice imitations are on-point, are so I highly recommend this as an audiobook. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to date him. Trust me, I’ve never been wrong about anything.
2) Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last: 3 out of 5 noodles
I was high off of Sinek’s Start With Why and took his sequel for a spin. Here are the juicy bits:
- There are four chemicals that move us forward. Endorphins mask our pain and explain things like runner’s high. Endorphins were born from survival in harsh circumstances and it doesn’t do us much to seek out this chemical release. Dopamine is the goal-achieving chemical that drives competition and accomplishment, but is not rational. The chemical that is responsible for finishing your annual report is the same one that rewards you for addiction. Dopamine: for your friend who is always “too busy.” Serotonin is the leadership chemical that is released when our trust in others is reaffirmed. Combined with oxytocin–the chemical of love–true leadership is bred, workers feel they belong, and companies thrive.
- Good leaders think compassionately and creatively, and for the long-term.
Nothing new here, but perhaps a good reminder for struggling leaders or warning signs for antsy workers.
3) Oprah Winfrey’s What I Know For Sure: 4 out of 5 noodles
Does one even need to recommend Oprah? Uh, she published her wisdsom, y’all. Eat it up like you know what’s good for you, duh.
(That being said, it’s not for everyone. It’s slow, thoughtful, and peaceful. You basically have to want to read it.)
4) The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, & Douglas Carlton Abrams’s The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World: 4 out of 5 noodles
The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, two best friends and moral leaders from very different parts of the world, spent their (likely last) reunion discussing the importance of cultivating joy. Both in their eighties, they spend a week imparting a united message to readers beyond their traditional purview to emphasize that having both been survivors of major oppression and sorrow, they believe the key to a joyous life lies in gratitude and humor. Joy, beyond religious differences. Joy, beyond tragedy. Joy, even beyond simple happiness.
- The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish — Can’t decide how many noodles to give it. Definitely 3, or 6.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson — Spoiler alert: It’s mediocre as f*ck.
What are you reading? Can I join? Shoot me an email at email@example.com and we can talk about books or politics or plan our next trip. Also, hmu for any of these books for free on Audible.