I hadn’t read a lot of non fiction since completing grad school but I got back into it last year. Most of the books I really enjoyed last year fell into only two categories.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand – This author is amazing at making you fall in love with the main character! The story is completing captivating and you won’t want to put it down. I love how the author included newspaper articles and letters to make the story more alive.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – I flew through this book because I couldn’t wait to get to the parts that affected my life (working at Motorola and Palm). I think everyone has their own Apple stories which makes reading this book more engaging! Fast read with pictures!
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – I had never heard of He-La but WOW! You fall in love with not only the family this book encircles but also the writer and her passion for finding out the truth about He-La. Very engaging book, fast read and easy to read!
Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A memoir of family by Condoleezza Rice – If you are expecting a book about what it was like to work for Bush…this ain’t it! Its about her family and how they influenced her life. Born in racist and dangerous Birmingham, AL her parents, both teachers, kept her focused on school. They knew that power was in education! Fast and powerful read!
Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger – If you are looking for a lot of dirty secrets…this book doesn’t really have it. I really enjoyed Arnold’s humor and his work ethic! Like Condoleezza’s book it was VERY interesting to hear the REAL story behind the headlines. Having lived in CA it was interesting to read what his intentions were when deciding to run for governor…oh and of course it was fun to read about all his movies!
The Blind Side: Evolution of the Game by Michael Lewis – Read this book even if you saw the movie…especially if you love football! This book is about Michael Ohr and the family that adopted him but really its so much more. I especially liked the parts that described the efforts that the mom did in poor parts of Memphis…they didn’t just stop with Michael!
Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio J. Mendez, Matt Baglio – WOW! Another great book that you should read even if you have seen the movie. This book was actually written AFTER the movie because the author really wanted you to know what really happened! I loved the insider’s look into the CIA and the suspense that led up to the rescue. Super fast and easy read!
Jim Collins – His books including Good to Great are fast reads and very relevant! The look at successful companies and why they are successful…great books for leaders and people who want to be leaders!
Why Good Girls Don’t get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do by Kate White – Very relevant book for women who feel like they just can’t get ahead! How to be gutsy…not bitchy!
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – A pretty controversial book these days but I think it gives you some great points on how to “lean in” and “sit at the table”…she argues that a lot of the reasons women don’t get a head is because we don’t assert ourselves more. So relevant that I sent it to a lot of my friends and family! (Note – the mommy stuff wasn’t relevant to me so I skimmed through those points)
Scrappy Women Series by Kimberly Wiefling – Very relevant and honest series of business books…geared towards women but the Scrappy Project Management book is excellent!
More to come….