Books To Read In 2017


The half-century struggle between the U.S. and the Soviet Union is one of the most dramatic and consequential period in modern history. In this highly readable account, the authors explain the essential events, persons, and ideas that shaped the Cold War, from Harry Truman’s strategy of containment to Ronald Reagan’s simple yet powerful philosophy of “We win, they lose.”


If you read one book written in 2016, read “Hillbilly Elegy.” To be sure, you should read more than one book written in the past 12 months, but if one is all you have time for, J.D. Vance’s masterful look at the trials and tribulations of the Scots-Irish of Appalachia must be it. It will go a long way to explaining the political earthquake that saw Donald Trump get elected.


“Dancing in the Glory of Monsters” is the authoritative account of the series of wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo that killed as many as 6 million people, more than any conflict since World War II. It is brilliantly researched, and makes the complexities of what is often referred to as “Africa’s World War” accessible.


“The Boys in the Boat” is the amazing story of the nine working-class guys on the U.S. Olympic crew team. The team competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and went head-to-head with the German team, which rowed for Hitler. The book is an extraordinary look at how this improbable team came together and eventually surprised the entire world. Written with incredible detail, “The Boys in the Boat” will have you literally on the edge of your seat, as Brown details every race in a way that has you cheering for the rowers. On top of the list for me! Definitely!


The book is packed with fascinating stories of incredible human beings, inspirational quotes, and takeaway lessons. This is not a book to necessarily read from beginning to end, but one to keep close to you for frequent inspiration of what humans with courage, character, and conviction can accomplish.


This book can restore common sense on a wide variety of issues to anyone who has been fooled by the spin and deception of the mainstream media. Chapters include: “Black Education: Achievements, Myths and Tragedies;”


Scholar E.D. Hirsch Jr. is most famous for his 1987 work, “Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know.” His most recent book centers on the same theme, but has much wider implications. Hirsch argues and beautifully highlights that there is no such thing as a general skill, be it reading, writing, or critical thinking. Schools need to teach common knowledge, to challenge children, and to avoid falling for trendy nonsense about individual learning styles.


In a new take on the familiar World War II narrative, Anthony Doerr delivers a clear snapshot of the complex relationships between human nature and the divine, good and evil, love and duty, and wonder and utility. But more than that, we are taught what it feels like to have compassion for an enemy.

Impressively, Doerr communicates these complexities and delivers emotion without becoming overly sentimental or trite. Through complementary and intertwining story lines, we are shown the light we cannot see—humans too often miss possibilities that lie just outside of what is immediately apparent because we are too focused on what is visible.

Head to your nearest bookstore and grab your copy now. When the world is quiet, and the silence of the night engulfs your mind, your thoughts start to wander to far off places…that’s the time to get lost in the world of books…Happy reading!

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