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One Book a Week

Updated: Jul 12



My wife and her brother announcned it: "we're reading fifty-two books in 2022."


A challenge was laid down and I wanted in. Reading is on par with love, sunsets, and snow skiing—you can't have too much.


Ernest Hemingway said:


“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was."


I saw John Fish, a Harvard student speak in person in 2018 and wondered why this young man was celebrated on the internet. Perhaps it was this video. Perhaps it was his decision to read a book a week. It did indeed change his life.


Almost nobody does enough of two things: drink water and read. It takes years for someone to write a book. A blog post (such as this), a written article, or a television show might take hours or days (weeks at most). Social media and most emails and texts require almost no thought and these life sucking zombies are not worth your time.


Let me get to the point. I'm reading more books this year and you should too. Post the title, author, and your thoughts in the comments. Audio books count.


January:


Good Prose by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd


This belongs high on the list for non-fiction writers. I enjoyed it despite the slow going. It's pithy and doesn't feel like a linear narrative. That's not a bad thing. Each sentence is packed with wisdom and I learned more about writing than most how-to-write books. Some nights I set it aside preferring to read something that moved along. I enjoyed the two authors taking turns telling what is what like to work with one another. The reader gets the opportunity to get in the head of a writer and editor on the same topic.


Between You and Me by Mary Norris


This is the perfect book for you if you want to geek out over words and punctuation. Norris does a marvelous job weaving her life story with grammar lessons. You'll learn when to use who vs. whom, the appropriate uses of the asptrophe and comma, and a history of Merriam-Webster's dictionary. This is high on my list for writers and editors. Who put the hyphen in Moby-Dick? Norris will tell you.


Do I Make Myself Clear by Harold Evans


Don't be like the masses whose writing is full of zombies. I'll keep this one close by for reference.





A Drinking Life by Pete Hamill


Loved this even more than The Tender Bar.






Travels With Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck


My favorite line: "We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”





February:


The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank


I'm embarased to say, although I've known about Anne Frank's family since I was in junior high, I never knew what happened to her.


Ernst Schnabl wrote, "out of the millions that were silenced, this voice no louder than a child's whisper...It has outlasted the shouts of the murderers and has soared above the voices of time."


Shackleton's Incredible Voyage: Endurance by Alfred Lansing









Fast-Draft Your Memoir in 45 Hours by Rachel Herron









March:


Walden by Henry David Thoreau









Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov







April

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

How to Begin by Michael Bungay Stainer

May

Atomic Habits by James Clear

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelhio

The dip by Seth Godin

How to Write a Lot by Paul J. Silva, PhD

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr


June Talking to my Daughter About the Economy or, How Capitalism Works and How it

Fails by Yanis Varoufakis


July The Psychology of Money by Morgan Hausel

This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan


What books are on your top ten list? Add the titles in the comments!

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