Welcome to the this month's Reading List, a collection of what I've read, skimmed and watched over the past month. Although February was only 28 days, I was still able to pack in a considerable amount of reading and I hope you get a lot of this month's collection.
Everything mentioned below is something you can feel confident about clicking on. I've read the book, skimmed the article and watched the video and they are only on here because I recommend it
Tools of Titans - Here's a bold prediction for you. Tools of Titans will be one of my top three reads of the year. At more than 700 pages, it packs an insane amount of information, advice and action steps from the world's top performers, millionaires and some of the brightest minds. From Tim Ferriss, comes his newest book, Tools of Titans, which is really a notebook of all the juicy tidbits from the interviews he's conducted for his podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show. The book is broken down into three sections: health, wealth and wise interspersed with content from Tim's blog. Even better than all the knowledge, is a look into how one person (Tim) takes notes and listens to the people he interviews. I usually feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish something, especially something of this size, but this book left me with wanting more. Good thing I can always go back and re-read it.
The Plot Against America - Strange times call for interesting reads. Going off of a recommendation from Off the Shelf (excellent book review site), I was drawn to this book because of its fictional alternative history mirrors our own so closely. Set in 1940 as Franklin Delano Roosevelt goes up for re-election for an unprecedented third term, his opponent, Charles Lindbergh rivals him with an America first message. He wins the presidency and goes on to form an alliance with Nazi Germany, instead of the Soviet Union, putting many Jewish families in a constant state of fear. This national story is paralleled with the story of nine-year-old and his Jewish family and how they deal with changing times. Published in 2005, this book strikes a nerve in 2017.
The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything - You've probably been influenced by Raymond Loewy, yet you probably don't realize it. He's done more to shape the aesthetic of American Culture in the 20th Century than any other person, from designing the Exxon logo, Lucky Strike cigarette pack, Greyhound buses to even the blue nose of Air Force One. As a designer, he had an uncanny sense to create something new, yet familiar and nostalgic at the same time. His theory of design lives on in many of the products you use today.
Finding Wisdom in the Letters of Aging Writers - In a world dominated by the young or people who fight to stay young, it is taboo to talk about something that eventually happens to all of us, growing old. The best thing to do to prepare yourself for the inevitable is to gain insight from people who experienced the frailness of old age. Hear it straight from writers Samuel Beckett, Saul Bellow, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.
How the New York Times is Clawing Its Way into the Future - In an age where the free press is being attacked daily and people are bombarded by fake news, the New York Times is a visionary leader in the news/publishing world. This is a fascinating look into their future, which other media will soon follow suit.
A Conversation With Brian Eno About Ambient Music - Brian Eno, one of music's most influential and innovative figures, considers himself a "non-musician," yet he creates and produces a prolific amount of music. After reading this interview, where he touches on his process, how he sees music and discusses the current state of affairs, you'll want to go on an ambient deep dive.... or listen to Joshua Tree by U2, the iconic album he produced.
In the Time You Spend on Social Media Each Year, You Could Be... - Stop scrolling through your Facebook feed and pick up a book. You'll be surprised how much you can get done.
Letter of Recommendation: Presidential Biographies - If you think we're experiencing dire times, read a presidential biography to gain some perspective. Believe it or not, we've been here before. Remember Chester A. Arthur, an untrustworthy New Yorker, who ascends to the presidency? How about that time Calvin Coolidge once went into a major depressive funk and "checked out" so to speak? This is the best line and a great reminder: "Presidential biographies don’t tell you that everything is going to be O.K., but rather that nothing was ever really O.K. to begin with."
Here's How Barry Jenkins Made Magic With Moonlight - It took 8 years for Barry Jenkins to make Moonlight, this year's best picture and I can't wait to see it after reading this article.
Abstract: The Art of Design - Think Chef's Table, but with designers. This documentary series follows eight different designers, (from illustration, footwear to stage design) to show you how they see the world, what their creative process looks like and how they go about solving problems. Not to mention, each episode is beautifully shot.
That's it for this month. How you read anything good lately?