Here are some of the books I’ve enjoyed most in 2022.
A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini – I first read it around 2010 or 2011, but early this year, I went back. It is a sad and powerful story of love, friendship, and the enduring human spirit. It is a testament to the resilience and strength of women and a moving depiction of the struggles and triumphs of life in Afghanistan. Yes. You will cry (just like I did).
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens – A beautifully written and moving story about the power of survival, the resilience of the human spirit, and the enduring mystery of human connection. It is a captivating and heartwarming tale that will stay with readers long after they finish the last page. Yep. There is a Netflix movie that you can watch but like the known phrase, “the book is much better!”
Numbers don’t lie by Vaclav Smil is an exploration of the key global trends shaping the world today and how they will impact the future. Smil, a renowned scientist and author (whom I need to thank Mr. Gates for the intro), examines a wide range of issues, including population growth, economic development, energy, resource use, and environmental change. He uses data and statistical analysis to provide a clear and nuanced view of the key trends shaping the world today and the implications of these trends for the future. Throughout the book, Smil discusses the challenges and opportunities presented by these trends and offers insights on navigating them. He also highlights the importance of addressing these trends in a holistic and integrated way and the need to consider their complex interactions and implications. This is a thought-provoking and engaging book that offers a fresh perspective on the key global trends shaping our world. It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the forces shaping the future and how we can prepare for and address them.
Noise by Daniel Kahneman explores the concept of “noise” in decision-making and how it can lead to flawed judgment and poor outcomes. Kahneman, a Nobel laureate in economics, argues that noise is a pervasive problem in decision-making and can lead to biased and irrational conclusions. He defines noise as random or unpredictable variations in judgment that can distort or obscure the underlying reality. Noise can come from various sources, including individual biases, the influence of emotions, and the complex and uncertain nature of the world. Through examples and case studies, Kahneman demonstrates how noise can lead to flawed judgment and poor outcomes in various contexts, including business, finance, and politics. He also offers practical strategies for reducing noise and improving decision-making, including using statistical analysis and developing more robust decision-making processes. It is a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of the role of noise in decision-making and how it can be addressed to improve judgment and outcomes.
Call Sign Chaos by Jim Mattis is a memoir and leadership guide written by Mattis, a retired four-star general and former United States Secretary of Defense. In “Call Sign Chaos,” Mattis reflects on his more than four decades of military experience and the lessons he learned about leadership, strategy, and building solid relationships. He shares stories from his time as a Marine Corps officer and his experiences leading troops in various challenging situations, including the Gulf War, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other conflicts around the world. Throughout the book, Mattis emphasizes the importance of integrity, humility, and the need to learn and adapt constantly. He also discusses the challenges of leading in an increasingly complex and interconnected world and offers practical advice on navigating these challenges and making effective decisions. “Call Sign Chaos” is a compelling and thought-provoking book that offers valuable insights into leadership and strategy. It is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the challenges of leading in a complex and rapidly changing world.
The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson is a biography of Jennifer Doudna (who is living nearby :), a biochemist and one of the pioneers of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology, and an exploration of the scientific and ethical implications of this groundbreaking technology. The book tells the story of Doudna’s early career and her research on the CRISPR/Cas9 system, allowing scientists to edit the genetic code of living organisms precisely. Isaacson traces Doudna’s journey from her early work on the CRISPR/Cas9 system to its development into a revolutionary gene-editing tool that has the potential to change the course of human history. Isaacson also discusses the scientific and ethical implications of gene editing and the potential for using CRISPR/Cas9 to treat diseases, enhance human abilities, and even create new life forms. He explores the complex questions and debates surrounding the use of this technology and the potential consequences of using it to alter the fundamental building blocks of life. “The Code Breaker” is a compelling and thought-provoking book that offers an engaging exploration of the science and ethics of gene editing. It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the potential and pitfalls of this revolutionary technology.
A Thousand Brains by Jeff Hawkins explores the nature of intelligence and how it emerges from the brain’s structure and function. Hawkins, a computer scientist and founder of the company Numenta, argues that the brain’s ability to generate intelligent behavior is not a result of a single “general intelligence” or a collection of specialized abilities but rather a function of the brain’s hierarchical structure and its ability to generate predictions. He proposes a new theory of intelligence based on the idea that the brain comprises a hierarchical network of “predictive processing units,” which use the experience to make predictions about the future and generate appropriate responses to new situations. Through a series of examples and case studies, Hawkins illustrates how this predictive processing model can explain a wide range of intelligent behaviors, including perception, decision-making, learning, and problem-solving. He also discusses the implications of this theory for artificial intelligence and the potential for developing more intelligent machines. “A Thousand Brains” is a thought-provoking and engaging exploration of the nature of intelligence and how it emerges from the brain’s structure and function. It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the mysteries of the human mind and the potential for artificial intelligence.
Endure by Cam Hanes – It’s a good one. I won’t make any spoilers here; check what Joe said: “Cameron Hanes is a master at one of the art forms that gets the least amount of attention: the art of the maximized life.” or some other quote from the book: “The true art of a full life is to minimize those moments when your inner bitch wins the battle and maximizes your ability to rise and grind.”
The four winds by Kristin Hannah – A beautiful story of love, loss, and the enduring power of hope set against the backdrop of the Great Depression. The book follows the story of Elsa Martinelli, a young woman living in the Texas panhandle during the 1930s. Elsa is a strong and determined woman, but her life is turned upside down when the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression hit the region, forcing her and her family to flee their home. As Elsa struggles to survive and find a new life in California, she is faced with challenges and heartbreaks that test her resilience and her faith. Along the way, she meets a cast of characters who become her family and support her through the darkest times. Through the enduring power of love and the strength of her spirit, Elsa can overcome the challenges and hardships of the Great Depression and find hope and purpose in a world that seems full of uncertainty. “The Four Winds” is a powerful and heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, and the enduring human spirit. It is a beautifully written and poignant story that will stay with readers long after they finish the last page.
True Colors by Kristin Hannah – A sad and heartwarming tale of the enduring power of love and family bonds. It is a beautiful and uplifting story that will stay with you.
“Educated” by Tara Westover – A powerful and inspiring memoir about the transformative power of education and the resilience of the human spirit. It is a testament to the strength of the human will to overcome adversity and achieve one’s goals, no matter how difficult the path may be.
- The Fix by David Baldacci
- How to Decide by Annie Duke
- Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
- How the world really works by Vaclav Smil
- Memory Man by David Baldacci (as you can tell… I like David. A lot)
- End Game by David Baldacci
- Sons of Wichita by Daniel Schulman
- The fault in our stars by John Green (you might also want to listen to his conversation with Steven Levitt)
In case you need some more books, here are some from Mr. Obama:
- The Light We Carry — Michelle Obama (Yep – he is a bit biased on this one)
- Sea of Tranquility — Emily St. John Mandel
- Trust — Hernan Diaz
- The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams — Stacy Schiff
- The Furrows: A Novel –Namwali Serpell
- South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation — Imani Perry
- The School for Good Mothers — Jessamine Chan
- Black Cake — Charmaine Wilkerson
- Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands -Kate Beaton
- An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us — Ed Yong
- Liberation Day — George Saunders
- The Candy House — Jennifer Egan
- Afterlives — Abdulrazak Gurnah
As for the sport front
I got some interesting stats from the good people of Strava:
This should be 360 days, but it’s ok 😉
Some good memories from unique places with (even more) special people.
It’s like climbing Everest ~17.5 times.
As we say in Hebrew, “Ba Ketana” – means, ‘it’s no big deal.’
The Ironman in Sacramento was a powerful event. I did a new PR on the swim (49min!), and the bike went well (5:41), even with the strong winds. However, on the run, the first half marathon was good, but the second one went poorly. I felt intense nausea from the 22km and did my best not to vomit as I knew the body needed the calories. In the end, it cost me around 50mins. But that’s life. Easy doesn’t make memories, and this one was very far from easy.
When I saw the one and only, I got myself and ran the last 6km to the finish—another Ironman in the books.
It was a great experience and one that I will remember.
I also did the Mt. Charleston Marathon (while sick) and the Haute Route Dolomites.
But this post should be shorter. I will get back to these two powerful events later.
Be strong, and remember to rise up.