Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
Fall of Giants is a magnificent historical epic. The first novel in the Century trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. Follett leads me from the Welsh mining pits to Woodrow Wilson’s White House to the German Embassy in London and beyond. The characters’ struggle to survive in a war-torn world puts in perspective my own challenges. Follett humanizes history in a way that humbles my pursuit of modernity. I recommend this novel for fiction and nonfiction lovers alike.
To Read: The Remarkable Ordinary by Fredrick Buechner
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The Glass Castle is a heartbreaking memoir of poverty, addiction, and survival. Jeannette Walls grew up in the Appalachian Mountain Range with parents whose free-spirited ways and inability to hold any steady work left her and her siblings hungry, cold, and left mostly to their own devices. I was stunned by the level of poverty that can exist here in the US. Jeannette and her siblings are inspiring in their resilience, ingenuity and ability to continue dreaming of a better life. This is a classic memoir in a sense and recommended read for any fan of that genre.
To Read: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones; Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
To call this book a “productivity book” would be selling it short. Getting Things Done is more of a lifestyle than a set up suggestions or instructions. David Allen lays out a system for managing tasks, and completing projects that can not only help someone in their job, but the principles can be applied to your daily life. I recommend this book to anyone who not only would like help with their job, but is open to a new way of looking at their days.
To Read: I’ll Push You by by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck; Home by Marilynn Robinson