2018 was a year of contrasts.
From a personal level, things have never been better. I got promoted, bought a house, and got married. As I said, for me, things have never been better.
However, America seems to be edging itself closer and closer to outright fascism. Migrant children are dying because Government agents are kidnapping them. The Federal government is shut down — although the Republicans control all levers of the federal government. Our institutions are dying; seemingly at the same time.
So much is happening, and yet except for the mid-term elections, there doesn’t seem to be much hope against the constant attacks. In a 2016 interview with the New York Times, President Obama remarked that reading allowed him to better digest the constant bombardment of information pointed at the office. It slowed the assault, helped separate the signal from the noise, and gave him perspective.
Here are the books I read in 2018 along with a quick recap. Some are hopeful, others aren’t. They all provide some context to today’s ever-changing landscape. If reading recommendations are your thing, here are my recommendations for 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Contrary to what I want to believe 2015 is nearing an end and that means it is time to create my annual list of recommended books. If 2014 was my personal apocalypse, 2015 was the most demanding, unpredictable, and rewarding year of my life. Reading-wise I found myself diving head first into the civil rights movement and graphic novels, only to circle back to sports, entrepreneurship and science fiction. Hopefully you find something on this list worth reading; I know I did. If reading recommendations are your thing, check out last year’s The Best 38 Books I read in 2014 and The Best 27 Articles I Read in 2014.
It’s the end of the year, which means it is time for ugly sweater parties and “best of lists”. 2014 was a pretty eclectic year in reading for me. For a short time I got obsessed with the journalism of Jon Ronson and then the novels of David Benioff, only to meander down to Presidential biographies. One thing you won’t find is a lot of business books. Even though I write a lot about business you won’t find many business books on this list. The reason is simple. You’ll learn more about strategy and leadership from LBJ than you will from any business advisor.
If you missed my earlier post on 2014’s best articles you can find it here.
Now to the books.
Why spend the time identifying the 27 best articles I read all year? The better question should probably be, “Why not?” I selected each article based on the following criteria:
- The work should most importantly be interesting
- The work should help explain the business, political and social world we live in.
- The work should provide historical context to the modern world.
- The work should make you laugh (See Jones, Jerry)
Without further ado, here they are.