Welcome to part III of a special series of posts in the run up to the holiday season! I asked some of the lovely authors that have previously appeared on the site about their Christmas book recommendations for this year. They graciously replied with some fantastic book picks! (Read Part I here & Part II here)
Hopefully these book recommendations might help you with your own Christmas shopping gift ideas too! :-)
Q. Is there a smart thinking book that you are looking forward to reading this Christmas, or one you would like to give or receive as a gift?
I am enjoying Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman, a book about productivity which understands we are humans, not machines.
America and the World: A History of U.S. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy by Robert Zoellick
Bob Zoellick, former World Bank President and US Deputy Secretary of State, has written an engrossing book that tells the stories of US history through the lives of those who played crucial roles. It is intriguing how many key events were shaped by leadership and also circumstance. I am partial to a book about history being told through the lens of those who influenced those events as in my own book, The Great Economists. It avoids the reader having to learn about history through dry facts; instead, readers can see history being made by looking at those events through the lens of the people who were there. Therefore, Zoellick’s masterful telling of America’s rich diplomatic history through its most influential figures makes this my recommended Christmas book.
The Elements of Choice by Eric Johnson is at the top of my list. Eric's academic papers have enhanced how I approach everything from writing to teaching to parenting. I've heard the book is even more valuable!
I could recommend the following two books:
The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World by Nichola Raihani
Admittedly the subject of this book is close to my heart. I work with ants and all ants are all social, but cooperation actually arose in many different groups of animals and importantly also in us humans. And at this moment in history with a world-wide climate crisis, understanding under which circumstances cooperation can arise and persist, even in large groups, is as important as it has ever been.
I found the book really well written and easy to follow!
Invisible women – exposing data bias in a world designed for men by Caroline Criado Perez
This book was a present from my daughter, who studies law. I read it during my vacation in South Italy. And I think it is a good idea to read it at a time where you have time. The book is data rich, so at least I was unable to read it all at once. But the data presented are revealing and convincing. I think the author really opened my eyes on a new angle to address the question of inequality. The book convinced me that many decisions, which determine our life outside of our homes, public transportation, social benefits, tax laws, yes even the presence of public toilets, are made not thinking on how they affect women. An important read, especially for all kind of decision makers
I think my pick would be The Power of Us.
It’s my favorite book of 2021 so far. It’s about the science of groups and group influence, and it’s just excellent.
Peter T. Coleman
I would recommend The End of Bias: A Beginning : The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias
because it understands how bias accumulates in complex systems, is hopeful, and is written by a science journalist with a degree in poetry!
Huge thanks & míle buíochas to Ian, Linda, Leidy, Susanne, Katy, & Peter for their great Christmas book picks!
Watch out next week for Part IV of the series with more author recommendations :-)
Image Copyrights: Vintage Publishing (Four Thousand Weeks, The Social Instinct, Invisible Women), FABER & FABER (Conflicted), Little, Brown & Company (America in the World), Penguin Books Ltd (The Great Economists), Oneworld Publications (The Elements of Choice), Flatiron Books (Subtract), Octopus Publishing Group (Empire of Ants), Headline Publishing Group (The Power of Us), Penguin Putnam Inc (How To Change), Metropolitan Books (The End of Bias), Columbia University Press (The Way Out).