We’re one-third of the way through 2017 (I know it’s gone by fast), so I thought it’s time to share the top 3 books I’ve read this year so far. As of writing this blog post I’ve read 20 books in 2017, so there’s quite a selection to choose from.
Let’s get started!
#3 — Elon Musk’s biography by Ashlee Vance
Vance takes you on an amazing journey through Musk’s life. Among many other credentials, Musk is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. You are given raw insight into the trials and tribulations of Musk’s personal and professional life. Ever wondered what it’s like to have an ambitious dream and turn it into a career? This book sheds some light! You’ll learn that business is brutal! The stories shared in this book prove that successful people who push the limits of innovation aren’t always liked and definitely make some enemies along the way. If you want to see what it takes to be an innovator or entrepreneur, this book is for you!
#2 — Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Another entrepreneur in my top 3! Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook. The concepts discussed in this book are based on a university class Thiel taught at Stanford. The core principle that Thiel discusses is that you want to create a monopolistic business. Now, this sounds contradictory to what you may have learned, but Thiel goes on to explain and justify his ideas clearly.
I loved this book because it made question some commonly held business principles that I assumed are true. This book should be mandatory reading at business schools in my opinion! If you’ve got a business idea, are trying to understand what it takes to push limits of innovation, or are an entrepreneur, this book is for you!
“All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.”
#1 — When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Nothing has topped this book so far! This book has had a big impact on my life. The late Dr. Paul Kalanithi reflects on his life prior to and after being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer at age 36. Kalanithi’s writing was very powerful, and made me contemplate life. This book definitely put things in perspective for me. Kalanithi discusses life, death, and how to live life in the face of death.
I was brought me to tears and gained an appreciation for living in the moment. With Kalanithi’s extensive medical background, I think this book is perfect for current doctors and med students as it offers unique insight into diagnosing and being diagnosed. For the rest of us “common folk” you will have a new-found appreciation for life and probably start questioning your purpose.
“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.”