19 most important books of the year

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What criteria we used to select books: High ratings on Amazon and GoodReads sites;

The ideas of the book should help to improve life, or it should present an interesting concept, or tell an interesting story.

We recommend that you take notes and read each of these books. For your convenience, we have provided the description of each book with a link to key ideas.

Talking to strangers cover by Malcolm Gladwell

In his book, Malcolm Gladwell uses real-life examples to show the sometimes tragic consequences of misunderstanding, condemnation of strangers, and the conviction of one’s righteousness. Immediately after its release, Malcolm Gladwell’s book became the # 1 bestseller and the best-selling non-fiction book on Amazon.

Loserthink by Scott Adams

The author believes that thinking is the same skill as any other, and it can be developed and improved. Loser thinking has nothing to do with innate stupidity. It is an unproductive way of thinking that, unfortunately, is common for most of us. Immediately after its release, the book became the # 1 bestseller in the Political Humor section of Amazon.

Indestractible by Nir Eyal

In her book The Uninterrupted, Nir Eyal addresses the issues of deteriorating ability to focus on work, the impact of technology on a person and increasing dependence on it. Despite the fact that many books and articles have been written on these topics, Eyal’s book is notable for the fact that the author proposes to first understand the true reasons for our susceptibility to distractions, and then adopt the methods of neutralizing them. Immediately after its release, the book became the # 1 bestseller in the Amazon Product Design category.

“Everything is F” by Mark Manson

As Manson points out, his book is directed against nihilism, both external and internal. By examining nihilism, he argues for a hope that can unite people, not the other way around. Yes, indeed, humanity has come a long way of evolution and has made unprecedented progress in medicine, security and welfare. But this is all history, and we need to look to the future. Hope is required for problems that still have to be solved. Immediately after its release, the book became a bestseller and entered the top 5 best-selling books on Amazon in the non-fiction genre.

“Mamas last hug”, Frans de Waal

Many primates behave like humans, have the same physiological reactions, the same type of brain, the same facial expressions, so it is not surprising that their inner experiences are so similar to ours. They cannot express them in words, but that does not mean that they do not exist. De Waal is confident that someday the science of emotion will be the next step in the study of animals.

How To Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson

Today, many types of psychotherapy use, in fact, the same methods that were discovered by the ancient Stoics to help people cope with life’s difficulties and live life to the fullest: to accept its finitude, not to run away from obligations, to meet the blows of fate with dignity. Donald Robertson, a practicing psychotherapist and modern stoic, talks about this in his book Thinking Like a Roman Emperor. He reveals the parallels between stoicism and modern psychotherapy and, using examples from the life of Marcus Aurelius, shows how to use these approaches in practice.

Alchemy by Rory Satherland

At the beginning of the book, Sutherland asks the question: What would you do if you were faced with the task of releasing a new soft drink? The rational approach is to create something that tastes good, is cheaper than analogues, and that will be bottled in larger bottles. Guided by naive logic, we narrow the world down to abstract economic models and metrics. But this approach is too narrow, it makes you see only a small part of reality, in which, if you move away from rationalization, you can find real magic.

Upheaval by Jared Diamond

Sometimes crises come suddenly, for no apparent external reason, as, for example, during natural disasters – tsunamis, earthquakes or accidents. But more often than not, crises are the result of long gradual changes that eventually led to an “explosion”. In the center of the book is an examination of such global processes, lasting for decades. Bill Gates included this book in his list of recommended books. Jared Diamond’s book is Amazon’s # 1 bestseller in the Violence in Society section.

Good reasons to a bad feelings by Randolph Nesse

Through the evolutionary perspective that the author of this book offers, we can find the root causes of bad mood, depression, anxiety, jealousy, guilt, and develop far more effective ways to help the suffering than ever before. Perhaps thanks to a new approach, we will be able to answer the question that people have been asking since ancient times: why is our life full of suffering? And also to understand why so many people suffer from emotional pain, anxiety disorders and addictions, why modern therapies are so unreliable and whether we can change this.

Loonshots by Safi Bacall

The word loonshot is a play on words – it is derived from the words longshot (great risk, long-range shot) and loon (crazy, insane). The book’s author, physicist, popularizer of science and entrepreneur in the field of biotechnology Safi Bacall, uses it as a term to refer to innovative projects that have long been considered insane, as, in fact, their authors. Lunshots are born in the minds of inventors, but large groups of people are needed to fully implement them. If these groups, such as large companies or research organizations, reject moon shots, he risks being forgotten forever.

“Ultralearning” by Scott Young

In his book, Scott Young combines effective methods of rapid learning, his system is designed not so much for fans of learning, but for ordinary people, students and professionals. Many people suddenly decide to change their profession or learn a new skill within it. Someone dreams of adding a new skill to the existing ones, perceiving each unexplored skill as a challenge. They will also benefit from superfast learning, the principles of which the author outlined in his book. The book became a # 1 bestseller in the Career Learning section and a bestseller in the Wall Street Journal.

The body by Bill Bryson

We do not always treat our own body with understanding and care. Most of us like junk food, forget about physical activity, staring at a TV or computer screen. But our bodies manage to cope with this, pulling useful substances from the garbage that we stuff in our mouths and struggling with harmful influences for many years. Human bodies have their weaknesses, they are imperfect. Women give birth in pain due to too small a pelvis. We are not able to repair damaged organs, as some fish are able to do, capable of growing new tissue even on a damaged heart. Nor can we produce our own vitamin C, and almost all animals are capable of this. But do not forget that we were once single-celled organisms and since then have come a long way of evolution. Immediately after the release, the book became the # 1 bestseller in the Amazon Anatomy sections; Growing up and aging; “Humor and Entertainment”, and also entered the list of 20 best-selling books in the genre of non-fiction.

Range by David Epstein

In his best-selling book The Range: Why Generalists Win in a Specialized World, research journalist David Epstein talks about a new approach to learning across fields and professions that is redefining the traditional notion of success. The book became a bestseller in The New York Times and Amazon.

Civilized to death by Christopher Ryan

The author of the book, journalist and writer Christopher Ryan, does not deny the main benefits of civilization, mainly related to the comfort and achievements of medicine. Like most people, he uses a computer, a car, the services of doctors. Christopher Ryan suggests thinking about the provocative question – have we not lost more in the course of civilization development than we gained? There are cases in history when little children from Indian or Polynesian tribes were tried to be introduced to civilization, although they mastered a different language, skills of European life and ideas about Christianity, at the first opportunity they fled back to their forests, never to return.

“Maybe you should talk to someone” by Laurie Gottlieb

Despite the fact that the book was written by a professional psychotherapist, it does not provide any life-affirming advice in the spirit of self-help and positive thinking – perhaps because it describes a period in the author’s life when she was in a difficult situation herself and visited the doctor herself to get out of the crisis. The reader sees not only a wise and insightful doctor who teaches life and is ready to give advice for any occasion, but the same person like himself – insecure, inclined to doubt himself and others, and at the same time sincerely wanting to help his patients. There were many of them, but Lori Gottlieb limited herself to a few characters, changing their stories, biographies and names, so that they got collective images. It is difficult to reach them, they talk about suffering, but they are not at all eager to get out of the state of suffering and find its cause.

Chasing My Cure by David Fudgenbaum

During his studies, the author of the book fell seriously ill. For a long time, no one could make a diagnosis until a rare disease affecting the lymph nodes was discovered – Castleman’s disease (sometimes translated as Castleman’s disease), a cure for which has not yet been found, and the patients are doomed to painful death within a year or two. However, David not only did not die, but also started a family and became a father, continuing his medical practice. Moreover, he independently began to research his disease, created a society for specialists in Castleman’s disease, applied innovative methods and looked for new remedies for it. How did he do it? The book became the # 1 bestseller in the Amazon Mind and Thinking section.

The Moment Of Lift by Melinda Gates

In his book, the author discusses why it is important to fight for women’s rights and how neglect of women is holding back the development of the world. Until now, millions of women are deprived of the opportunity to plan a family, that is, to have as many children as they are able to feed. In some parts of the world, women are struggling to decide on their own when to marry and whom. Many women cannot even get primary education, get a loan, get a divorce, get a car license, ride a bicycle, study a computer. Many are limited in basic human rights at the legislative level. And even if these rights are enshrined in law, women are neglected in many cultures. The book became a bestseller immediately after its release. It is ranked # 1 in Amazon’s Gender Studies section.

The Plan: The Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas Christakis

Nicholas Christakis is a well-known scientist with a very high citation index, physician, biologist, specialist in social phenomena. Christakis observed diverse human communities and their characteristics by analyzing historical data describing collective behavior in his laboratory. Today he can say with confidence that things are not so bad. Our capacity for love, friendship, cooperation and learning has not gone anywhere. Thanks to this, people are able to understand each other and form good societies. Our community is inherent in us by evolution, the desire for cooperation is inherent in our genes. And therefore, despite all the differences, we can achieve mutual understanding.

Read only useful and proven books. Charge up with ideas for the next year!

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