Last year I decided to read more 📚 and watch less TV 📺. After a huge success last year (managed to read 50+ books), I decided that there was no reason for stopping this year 💪!

With the first quarter of the year in the books (pun intended ;), here are my favorite reads so far with a quote from each:

Disclaimer: I make a point to read outside the circle of my own beliefs, so my personal views do not necessarily agree with the content of the books or quotes blow.

The Books

Talking To Strangers | Malcolm Gladwell

Just think about how many times you have criticized someone else, in hindsight, for their failure to spot a liar. You should have known. There were all kinds of red flags. You had doubts. Levine would say that’s the wrong way to think about the problem. The right question is: were there enough red flags to push you over the threshold of belief? If there weren’t, then by defaulting to truth you were only being human.

Seeing Like a State | James C. Scott

The principles of scientific forestry were applied as rigorously as was practicable to most large German forests throughout much of the nineteenth century. The Norway spruce […], became the bread-and-butter tree of commercial forestry. Originally, the Norway spruce was seen as a restoration crop that might revive overexploited mixed forests, but the commercial profits from the first rotation were so stunning that there was little effort to return to mixed forests. The mono-cropped forest was a disaster for peasants who were now deprived of all the grazing, food, raw materials, and medicines that the earlier forest ecology had afforded.

The Code Breaker | Walter Isaacson

Much of the attention paid to CRISPR these days involves its potential to make inheritable (germline) edits in humans that will be passed along to all the cells of all of our future descendants and have the potential to alter our species. These edits are done in reproductive cells or early-stage embryos. This is what occurred with the CRISPR baby twins in China in 2018.

The Book of Why | Judea Pearl, Dana Mackenzie

If I could sum up the message of this book in one pithy phrase, it would be that you are smarter than your data. Data do not understand causes and effects; humans do.

The Challenger Sale | Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson

What sets the best suppliers apart is not the quality of their products, but the value of their insight—new ideas to help customers either make money or save money in ways they didn’t even know were possible.