Good reads this holiday season
If you are seeking interesting books for the holiday season, consider the following options that have stuck with me throughout the year. If you want a deeper dive, you can listen to the interviews I conducted with the authors on my podcast, Jill on Money.
“Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport
If you have tried to turn off notifications or limit your email check-ins to a set period of each day, you may have felt as though those actions don’t go far enough to take back control of your technological life. Newport’s book helped me discover a more thoughtful and purposeful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes and under what conditions.
“When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” by Daniel H. Pink
Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology and economics, Pink shows us how to use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule. He also tackles larger issues, like the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers or get married. Pink’s practical takeaways provide compelling insights into how we can live richer, more engaged lives.
“What It Takes: How I Built a $100 Million Business Against the Odds” by Raegan Moya-Jones
This is a tell-all and brutally honest tale that offers advice to entrepreneurs, especially women, about how to succeed despite all odds. Moya-Jones doesn’t hide from her own shortcomings and digs into topics most entrepreneurs shy away from, even the prickliest of things like parental guilt, butting heads with investors (or co-founders), what to really do when you’re running out of money and how to leave with your head held high.
“Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” by David Epstein
In an examination of the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists, Epstein discovered that in most fields, especially those that are complex and unpredictable, generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Epstein argues that people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will thrive. “The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society” by Binyamin Appelbaum
As obituaries and words of remembrance flowed after revered economist and Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker’s death, I thought about this engaging journey through modern economic history. Applebaum traces the rise of economists who believed in the power and the glory of free markets. Their policies transformed global governments and businesses, though in the end, they have failed to deliver on their promise of broad prosperity.
“Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles — and All of Us” by Rana Faroohar
It’s been a long time since technology companies have lived up to the founding philosophy “don’t be evil,” espoused by Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Faroohar focuses on dominant companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon, who have essentially figured out how to monetize our data and our attention, sidestepping out-of-date regulations along the way. Faroohar also provides fixes to the current state of play.
Jill Schlesinger, CFP, is a CBS News business analyst. A former options trader and CIO of an investment advisory firm, she welcomes comments and questions at [email protected]lon money.com.