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If we were to define the word “philosophy” in both its academic and colloquial sense—that is, actual “philosophy” and the more casual “She responded philosophicallywe might say that it means both to get to the fundamental truth of things as well as to view things calmly and with perspective.

And with this definition, we can also clearly say what the opposite of philosophy and philosophical is. It’s the device in your pocket. The one whose home screen looks like this:

Or this.

Or this.

Or maybe you carry a little device on your wrist that hits you with little vibrations to tell you breaking news about the weather of half the continent.

The constant interruptions and distractions of our society are, to me, the opposite of philosophy. Getting caught up in minutiae. Getting caught up in things that don’t matter. Getting caught up in things that are designed to exploit and antagonize us and our emotions.

I’m not just referring to apps and games and phone calls of course. I am mostly referring to the news. Take Donald Trump’s media diet, which as I understand it, far predates his presidency. Every morning he gets up very early and watches Fox & Friends, which he calls the most honest morning show. If you’ve ever watched Fox & Friends you know that’s definitely not true. He reads multiple newspapers a day. He has his online news printed out and brought to him, and then he reads them. In the evening he watches all the magazine shows like Sean Hannity and before it was cancelled, The O’Reilly Factor, which are basically just opinions about things that happened earlier in the day and then chimes in with his own opinion on Twitter while he does it. And on the weekend he watches Saturday Night Live.

I don’t think it’s a partisan point to say that that sounds absolutely awful. Although, I would venture to guess, it’s not far from the diets of most of you reading this. Maybe you’d sub in more time on Facebook. Or you’d watch Rachel Maddow instead of Sean Hannity. Maybe you don’t print out articles but you save yours to Pocket or Instapaper and read them while you’re in the bathroom or on the train. And maybe you also consume a steady diet of ESPN and CBS Sports for your fantasy team. Or maybe you follow the movie business or the stock market.

The amount of information we consume on a daily basis is embarrassing.

I know it is for me.

I remember after the 2016 election, I’d read more news that year than any other year of my life. Like nearly everyone in America, I was convinced (though not exactly excited) that Hillary would win. I read all those opinion pieces that said she was going to win and why she was going to win and why this election was just an aberration. Then the actual election returns sent my wife into labor.

My son was born on November 9th. I was in the hospital with the nurses and my wife and me had a few minutes for a break. And what did I find myself doing? Reading another news from a person whose articles I’d read many times over the past several months who had been totally and completely wrong every step of the way. Here I was in seemingly one of the most important moments of my life reading more information from this person pretending that he hadn’t been wrong the entire time.

Now that’s an extreme example, obviously, and I sympathize with the fact that the election was a traumatic event for a lot of people. So here’s something a little more common: I live in Texas so this year I found myself glued to the coverage of Hurricane Harvey. This was a real thing, it was coming to my area, and I needed to know if I should evacuate and what I needed to prepare for. There was so much on the line for me: my house could have been destroyed, there could have been flooding, etc. Thankfully we were mostly unscathed (though we did end up with some very costly repairs). If you remember, Harvey was followed almost immediately by another hurricane. Irma came up the coast of Florida just 10 days after Harvey left Houston. I found myself watching the coverage of Irma, too, and it was as riveting and dire. But here’s the thing: I don’t live in Florida. Of course, what happened to those poor people in Florida or Puerto Rico was important but that doesn’t explain why I was watching it with the same seriousness I had consumed the coverage days before. This is what is so brilliant about what the news producers can do: Tune in, we have a breaking news alert, follow this, see what’s going on, look at these compelling pictures. All the while I’m neglecting the bigger things in my life—literally the repairs that need to be made from the hurricane I just survived!

Although we’ve had newspapers for as long as the modern state has existed, previous generations didn’t have to deal with this. Leaders didn’t. Citizens didn’t. It might have taken months for news to make it from one coast to the other coast or across the Atlantic. So leaders of past eras were able to more naturally take this longer view. Citizens too. Even the run-up to WWII, arguably the most important and deadly event of the 20th century, developed over 6 years. Meanwhile, we’re following the news like the world spontaneously combusted.

If you want to see how much the internet has changed things here’s an ad posting for the Washington Post from a few years ago. They’re looking for a blogger to post 12 times a day. I don’t know if any of you blog for a living, but it is very hard to come up with 12 articles in one day. After about 5 or 6 you just start making stuff up, so if you wonder why the news is the way that it is, this is largely a part of it. There used to be a finite amount of space, even a 24/7 news network only has 24 hours in a day. And there are reruns, commercial breaks.

To me, nothing captures our news and social media ecosystem quite like this photo:

Credits: Evy Mages

For an internet publisher, they have infinite space. They have an unlimited amount of things that they can publish, so as you would expect we have lots more news than we’ve ever had before. It’s exhausting and it manipulates us and it works us up into these fits.

We must give credit to Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker, who five years before the rise of fake news accurately detailed the extent to which most news is fake.

“Fake news. I don’t mean fake news in the Fox News sense. I mean the fake news that clogs up most newspapers and most news websites, for that matter. The new initiative will go nowhere. The new policy isn’t new at all…The product isn’t revolutionary. And journalists pretend that these official statements and company press releases actually constitute news…Fake news, manufactured, hyped, rehashed, retracted—until at the end of the week you know no more than at the beginning. You really might as well wait for a weekly like the Economist to tell you what the net position is at the end of the week.”

He’s saying most of the things that you read aren’t going to go anywhere—it’s not revolutionary, it’s not new, it’s not important. These are press releases, government statements, manufactured hype, speculation, opinions about things. Why? Because reporters are trying to write 12 posts a day. Reporters are trying to beat other outlets by five seconds so they can get all the traffic for a “scoop” that is going to be rendered irrelevant by the “scoop” that comes out tomorrow.

It’s true for platforms too. As a former data scientist at Facebook explained,

“The fundamental purpose of most people at Facebook working on data is to influence and alter people’s moods and behaviour. They are doing it all the time to make you like stories more, to click on more ads, to spend more time on the site.”

Facebook is not unlike a casino. You ever notice that there are no clocks in a casino? They don’t want you to know what time it is or how long you’ve been there. Facebook is sort of the same thing. It’s designed to keep you in Facebook as long as possible, clicking as many things as possible. Uploading, sharing, intertwining your life into the social network. So on the one hand that is a large part of why we are so obsessed with the news despite our understanding of how misleading it often is.

The same goes for every other publisher or platform. Television doesn’t want you to get up and take action, they want you to sit through the commercial break. A news outlet doesn’t want you to be so outraged by an article that you do something, that you decide to change the world, they want you to be so outraged that you sign a Change.org petition and then consider it a job well done.

But I would say that there’s another part. I would say that one of the other reasons for our news addiction is ego. Facebook and news publishers understand how much of our identity is tied up in this consumption and that’s what they manipulate. It’s this need to be seen as well informed. We have this great word now: virtue signalling. Knowing everything that’s going on in the world, having an opinion on these news stories, having the right opinion on these news stories, we believe says something about us. We want to be in the club of the elite, smart, informed intelligent, compassionate, interesting people. We don’t want to be on the side of the ignorant people or the people who have tuned out. These are what the publishers exploit. They know some people on the right want to hear this and some people on the left want to hear that and that’s exactly what they cater to. That’s exactly the content that they create.

Credits: John Holcroft

Ah, but this is not philosophy. Epictetus said it best. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid with regard to external things.”

In other words: Stop watching the news. Turn off all the alerts on your phone. Alerts for texts, for social media, remove the news sites from your phone as well. Delete Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—all of them. You can still consume information of course, but see what happens when you don’t carry it around in your pocket and allow it to interrupt you in the middle of everything that you do. No wonder we don’t have time for philosophy or thinking about these big issues when we’re pinged by every CNN breaking news on our wrists in real time. If we can remove ourselves, create some distance between those breaking news alerts and our reflective, contemplative time, we’re going to be able to think about bigger and more important things.

Aziz Ansari got in trouble a couple months back for saying he had stopped reading news on the internet. His response was great: “I’m not choosing ignorance. I’m choosing to not watch wrestling.” He’s still learning and reading—he’s just not following the show that we call the “news.” He’s come to the same conclusion that Obama came to in office—that political television is the absolute worst thing you can watch, and that saying away from it is how you “stay focused on the task, as opposed to worrying about the noise.”

And of the information you do consume, ask yourself about its half-life. I found it fascinating to learn that the most popular book in the state and defense departments right now is Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian War. What does it say that the people who have access to the best intelligence on the planet—spies, dossiers, diplomats, satellite imagery—are reading a book published about a war between Athens and Sparta 2,500 years ago. But it makes sense: The wisdom in that book has stood the test of time. It goes to the essence of human nature and to conflicts between great powers.

The news is designed, by definition, not to last. It’s the ticker tape of what the sociologist E. Robert Kelly once called the “specious present.” So you’ll read something else tomorrow and you’ll read another new story the following day. Since you don’t pay for it they have to create lots and lots of it to make for in volume what they lack in margins. So ask yourself: Is this thing that I’m consuming likely to still be relevant, still be important, in a day? Or in five days, or in a week or in a year or five years?

I urge you to take that bigger picture. In one of the poet Lucian’s dialogues he takes flight and flies above the earth and he’s able to see the petty squabbles of the day in perspective. Even armies fighting each other, he says, look like ants fighting over a tiny mole hill. That’s the view that we want to take on these things. (In fact this is a pretty common device in ancient philosophy from Plato to Marcus Aurelius). That’s the view that we want to take on these things to give us perspective, to show us what really matters. Whereas if we’d zoomed in on these things and focused on the things that matter to our identity we lose the larger picture.

Speaking of larger pictures I would encourage you to take a second to look again at the famous blue marble photo. You’ve probably seen it a hundred times and not known the story behind what you were looking at. The photo was taken in 1972 by the astronauts on the Apollo 17 mission. It was taken approximately 18,000 miles from earth—it’s actually the first photo of earth that we have in its totality. It’s amazing to think that for all of human history up until that moment we had never been able to actually see what the earth looked like. The highest viewpoint that you could get would have been on a mountaintop. It’s only in the modern era that we have the gift of this perspective and yet all we’re focused on is the tiny minutiae of what happens to have made the news that minute.

The reason I ask you to look at it is that the few astronauts—the couple hundred people out of the billions who have ever lived—that have had the privilege of actually seeing the world from this perspective in person talk about this thing called the overview effect. They say when you’re in space and you’re looking down on earth, you feel this wave of tranquility and peace and perspective that you could never have on earth. One of the astronauts who talks about this says that when you see this you are struck immediately with a sense of global consciousness and a compassion for other people that it makes you want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”

There’s a neighbor of mine in Austin who is the oldest living veteran in the United States and we sometimes sit on the porch and talk. He was born in 1906—he’s 112 years old. He lived through two world wars, the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, segregation. Nothing gives me the Overview Effect quite like sitting next to a human being who was born when Theodore Roosevelt was president. The oldest living veteran when Richard was born was a veteran of the Blackhawk War which was fought in 1832 against the American Indians. So again, history seems very long but only two lifetimes takes you back to almost the very beginnings of this country.

When Richard sits on his porch, he sees the neighbors he knows by name, and people he has helped. He sees the trees he planted himself. He cherishes his friends and his family and enjoys his cigar while he shakes his head at the absurdity of life. This is the attitude that I think allows us to endure the craziness of the world. Are we heading in a good direction or a bad direction? I’m going to be who I’m going to be, I’m going to do the right thing in the moment and I’m not going to be whipsawed from one direction to the other.

When you look at earth from all those thousands of miles away you feel that larger feeling—that oceanic feeling—that connectedness. The stresses and the distractions that we carry in our pockets or we wear on our wrists or we see on our computer when we sit down to work don’t seem so significant and the conflicts we have don’t seem so insurmountable and the right thing doesn’t seem so far away. This egotistical desire to know exactly what’s going on, to understand every fight and the causes of every problem? It falls away.

Walker Percy, who is my favorite novelist, has a remarkable passage that I’d like to close with.

“Can a man stand alone, naked, and at his ease, wrist flexed at his side like Michelangelo’s David, without assistance, without diversion…in silence? Yes. It is possible to stand. Nothing happened. I listened. There was no sound: no boats on the river, no trucks on the road, not even cicada. What if I didn’t listen to the news? I didn’t. Nothing happened. I realized I had been afraid of the silence.”

All this noise. All this news. We are afraid of the silence. We are afraid of looking stupid. We’re willing to drive ourselves insane—miserable—to avoid that.

And what would happen if we stopped?

We could live. We could get real clarity. And with it, maybe we could be the little bit of change that we want to see in the world.

Ryan Holiday is the best-selling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. Ryan is an editor-at-large for the Observer, and he lives in Austin, Texas.

He’s also put together this list of 15 books that you’ve probably never heard of that will alter your worldview, help you excel at your career and teach you how to live a better life.

After defeating—facing barely any resistance—the then-reigning world champion, Jack Johnson is unquestionably the best boxer on the planet. Yet it is 1910 and the idea of a champion black boxer is intolerable to the sport, so a challenger is found to try and beat him. That man is Jim Jeffries, the “Great White Hope,” the former champion, called out of retirement like some deranged Cincinnatus to defeat this black menace.

In some ways, what followed was one of the nastiest and lowest moments in the history of sports. Johnson is hated by the crowd. They booed and shouted horrible things, 20,000 people in a near riotous state the entire fight. Jeffries, his opponent, led the charge against Johnson, saying he would “reclaim the heavyweight championship for the white race,” and taunting: “I propose to give him the worst beating ever given any man in the ring.”

And yet it is also one of the most beautiful moments in sports. Because of how Johnson responded to it. There is Johnson, in the center of the ring in Reno, Nevada with the focus of so much hatred on him, somehow still enjoying every minute of it. Smiling, joking, playing from the opening round until the finish.

Not that he simply took the abuse. Instead, Johnson designed his fight plan around it. At every nasty remark from Jeffries’s corner, he’d give his opponent another lacing. At every low trick or rush from Jeffries, Johnson would mock him and beat it back—but never lose his cool. And when one well-placed blow opened a cut on Johnson’s lip, he kept smiling—a gory, bloody, but nevertheless cheerful smile. The entire fight Johnson was calm, always in control, taking the energy of the crowd as a challenge, to see if he could perform and excel, whether they wanted him to succeed or not. Every round, he got happier, friendlier, as his opponent grew enraged and tired, eventually losing the will to fight. Johnson wasn’t just the ideal sportsman, he was a dominant force in the ring too. Each jeer from the crowd, from his opponent, brought the response it deserved and no more—he let Jeffries dig his own grave. The fight ended with Jeffries on the floor and every doubt about Johnson silenced.

The author Jack London happened to be in the audience that day. And when we remove the disturbing and open racism from the great author’s ringside reports, we find a remarkable paragraph.

“No one understands him, this man who smiles. Well, the story of the fight is the story of a smile. If ever a man won by nothing more fatiguing than a smile, Johnson won today.”

Jack Johnson had come to possess a power not unlike the ones the Stoics commanded themselves to have: Cheerfulness in all situations, especially the bad ones. Who knows where Johnson learned this, but he clearly did. And using it, he managed to turn the terribleness of his situation into fuel.

This is a power because it is so surprising. The racist crowds in Reno had hoped that their hatred would get to Johnson, that he would see how much they disliked him and it would shatter his confidence. Jeffries and his team thought they could make Johnson angry and that in his anger he would fight poorly or irrationally. But to see the man respond to everything with a smile, to respond even to a bleeding, gushing cut on his face with cheerfulness? It was deranged. How do you beat someone you can’t even get to? That gets happier the more you throw at them?

If we can, let’s use this as a metaphor for life. The world is going to try to knock us down. We will face unfairness, animus, even evil. How will we respond? With anger? With rage? By letting it get to us?

No. We should instead respond with the excitement and smile of a Jack Johnson. Writing in his own personal journal which would become known as Meditations, Emperor Marcus Aurelius would say: “A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.” This is what Johnson did. Beautifully, wonderfully, bravely. He met it all with a smile.

For these reasons in my pocket I have a coin (which I had minted myself) that says amor fati on it. It has a picture of that fire that Marcus Aurelius was talking about. That phrase, amor fati comes from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who said we should not merely bear what life throws at us, but love it. That’s what amor fati means. A love of fate.

When I touch it I like to think of Johnson’s smile, the smile that wins, that wears down opponents and obstacles. And I try to put one on my face and keep going. Because what else am I going to do?

We know that in overcoming adversity we emerge stronger, sharper, empowered. We know that inevitably we will later come to see that whatever we are experiencing right now was for the best. So why not just skip ahead and feel that now? Why wait? Why not smile now?

It may be that the people around us have trouble understanding this. It may be that this smile is a tiny drop in an ocean otherwise filled with blackness and evil. No matter.

If we want to win and we want to live, there is only response.

Amor fati. Cheerfulness. That indefatigable smile.

I carry that coin with me, alongside another one, that says memento mori. Life is finite. It can end at any moment. Who says you have the time to wait to feel better about this later? Who says you can afford the passage of months and years to give you that perspective about your situation?

There is only right now. There is no time to be miserable or angry or bitter.

We think of that other Nietzsche line, the one turned into a cliche at this point: What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

Whatever is happening, however horrible the things they’re throwing at you, as long as it doesn’t kill you dead on the spot, there is only one response:

Love it.

Embrace it.

Use it.



Every year, I try to narrow down the hundred plus books I have recommended and read down to just a handful of the best. The kind of books where if they were the only books I’d read that year, I’d have still have felt like I made a big leap in my education.

I know that people are busy, and we don’t always have time to read as much as we like. Nothing wrong with that (though if you want to read more—don’t look for shortcuts—make more time!). What matters is that when you do read, you pick the right books.

My reading list email is now nearly 90,000 people, and I can tell pretty quickly when a recommendation has landed well. I promise you—you can’t go wrong with any of these. (Also as an accidental confirmation of what I wrote in Perennial Seller, the newest book in this list is 5 years old and the oldest is 79 years old.)

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Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True Story of D-Day Vol I & Vol II by Anthony Cave Brown and The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader by Fred I. Greenstein
I have recommended a lot of books on strategy over the years but these two books are two of the best. And I’d never even heard of them before this year. Bodyguard of Lies is in a sense about D-Day but it’s more fully the history of almost every special, covert operation of the Second World War (in fact, Vol I focuses so much on prehistory that it ends with D-Day starting). The premise here is that the Americans believed that the war could be won by overwhelming force. The British—Churchill especially—knew better. They knew how bad their position really was, how far behind they were. Thus the Churchill quote: “In war the truth is so precious it must be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.” The result was a strategic campaign of misinformation, deception, and intelligence designed to disorient and confuse the Germans and Japanese. The Allies had broken Enigma, they could read the German’s communications, but how could they act on it without giving their access away? How could the Allies hope to land in Europe without being met with overwhelming resistance? Well, they needed to keep as many German troops as possible occupied in different theaters, they needed to spread their defenses out as far as possible, they needed to make the obvious intended landing spot too obvious so that they would assume an attack would come elsewhere. And don’t even get me started about the covert agents they had working inside Germany and the conspirators working against Hitler from the inside. Anthony Brown doesn’t just tell you all this happened, he shows you how it happened, explained why it happens and makes you understand how expertly done it all was. The book is a masterclass in the art of strategy. (No wonder it was one of John Boyd’s favorites).

The Hidden-Hand which I read around the same time is equally a masterclass in leadership. It will give you not just a new appreciation of Eisenhower, but teach you how real leaders get things done: it’s not through talking, it’s not through looking tough, it’s through organization, delegation and through behind the scenes influence. I had no idea how Machiavellian Eisenhower was—and while that might seem like an insult, it isn’t. The perception of Eisenhower was that he was a sweet old guy who didn’t keep up on the day-to-day goings of politics but this was all a brilliant act. He wanted to be seen as above politics, when in reality, he knew exactly how to make hard decisions and steer the country in the direction it needed to go. For instance, people think Eisenhower didn’t do enough to take down Joseph McCarthy. Eisenhower is the one who took McCarthy down—he just didn’t think the president should be seen doing such a thing (His rule was: Never engage in personalities). Eisenhower was what a leader was supposed to be—both an an impressive and inspiring figurehead as well as an effective executive. Our leaders today could take a lesson from that.

I’ve already raved about both these books to a number of politicians, CEOs, and writers I know. I am also using them as a source in my next book, Conspiracy. Please read them.

Montaigne & Magellan by Stefan Zweig
There are two kinds of biographies: Long ones which tell you every fact about the person’s life and short ones which capture the person’s essence and the lessons of their life. These two biographies by Stefan Zweig are brilliant, urgent and important examples of the latter. They are what I would call moral biographies—that is, books that teach you how to live through the story of another person. If you’ve been struggling with the onslaught of negative news and political turmoil, start with Montaigne. Why? It’s the biography of man who retreated from the chaos of 16th century France to study himself, written by a man fleeing the chaos of 20th century Europe. When I say it’s timely, I mean that it’s hard to be a thinking person and not see alarming warning signs about today’s world while reading this book. Yet it also gives us a solution: Turn inward. Master yourself. Montaigne is one of humanity’s greatest treasures—a wise and insightful thinker who never takes himself too seriously. This book helped me get through 2017, no question.

Now if you’re looking for some inspiration and excitement, Magellan is the book for you. What makes a man an explorer? What made Magellan so he could find a passage he had no reason to be certain he could find? And how thankless a job! This man fights multiple wars for his country, is wounded in battle, does more than duty and then, when he has an idea for an exploration of his own, is insolently rejected by his King. So he switches countries and finds backing for that same exploration, convinced he possesses a secret that will allow him passage to the Indies. He is completely wrong. He suffers mutiny, starvation, complete demoralization. He has been misinformed and yet, he finds a passage anyway, not just to the Indies but to an entire new world—becoming the first to circumnavigate the world…and yet he dies before he can enjoy the fame he so justly deserved.  Where does this determination come from? Where does this sense for leading and solving unsolvable situations come from? How did he do it? There are some books where you feel like everything the writer did led up to this masterpiece they were born to create: that might be what this book is. It’s just perfect in every sense. Cannot recommend highly enough.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel by Karen Joy Fowler & Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey
In chaotic times, novels are a way to find peace and keep that flicker of vulnerability alive and nurtured. My favorite fiction book this year was recommended to me by the wonderful Vanessa Van Edwards (Captivate). I’ve always loved strange books about animals (list here) and nothing could be stranger than a novel about a 1970’s family who raised a chimp like it was a human. The story is funny, heartbreaking—like literally will make you cry heartbreaking, especially if you have children—and beautifully written. The same goes for Bright Shiny Morning which I loved just as much. Like stayed up until very late at night loved it. New Orleans is my first favorite city to read about, Los Angeles is the second (here’s a whole list of books to read about LA). Frey’s characters are tragic, complicated, hopeful, ambitious, naive, gorgeous, selfish, wonderful. They are, in their composite form, Los Angeles embodied. The book is also cleverly arranged—broken up in a sort of meta play on the novel. Ask the Dust is still my favorite LA novel (probably my favorite novel of all time) but Frey does the genre a great service. But what about all the controversy surrounding him? I never cared about it, but this book makes it all irrelevant. I wish I had read it when it came out in 2008, so please don’t make my mistake by waiting.

Want more?
Ok, I couldn’t stop there. This year I loved Bruce Catton’s This Hallowed Ground: A History of the Civil War and A Stillness at Appomattox. If you want to understand the Civil War and you want to see one of the greatest non-fiction writing ever, read Catton. The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen who is not only one of my favorite authors, he is a personal hero. After I read this book (in two days), I ended up writing up a piece about all the ways he has influenced me over the years. I’ve never really been a science fiction fan but The City and The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke was beautiful and moving. I also loved Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God, and I wish more celebrity memoirs bothered to do what he did with this book: You know, actually teach people stuff in the form of concrete lessons instead of just talking about their lives. I read The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey because I have a son, but it’s worth reading for anyone, parent or not. Written by a middle school teacher and education expert, the book is an exploration of how one raises self-sufficient children who are responsible for themselves. I read this book not long after reading Senator Sasse’s The Vanishing American Adult and found it to be a great companion. We forget that homework doesn’t matter, grades don’t matter—only what the process they represent matters. Children are not a reflection of their parents, they depend on their parents to raise them into adults who can be reflections of who they uniquely are.

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And of course, I’ve also got lists of my favorite books from 20162015201420132012 and 2011.

Want signed copies of my books for Christmas gifts? BookPeople.com has them here. I also hope you’ll add journaling and notecard-taking to your 2018 reading routine. I also did a new and updated edition of Trust Me, I’m Lying you might like (with analysis of the 2016 election, Russian media manipulation and everything else that’s happened since the release five years ago). And if you want to see the coin I carry in my pocket everyday, here it is.