The 9 Best Books I Read in 2017

The 9 Best Books I Read in 2017

Okay, I’m gonna do the entire video balancing these on one finger. Nevermind. Hey, what is going on guys? So today I thought I would do another book recommendation video, but I do want to tell you up front, that this is a little bit different than my previous book
recommendation video, which was all about books I think that every student should read. By contrast, this is a
list of the best books that I personally read this year, so while every book on
this list is educational and I found to be very useful, I’m not necessarily going to say that you have to read this book
if you’re a student, but I do think that you’ll
find a lot of the books, on this list interesting
no matter who you are. Case in point, the first book on my list is The Code Book by Simon Singh. Now, this is a book that teaches
you all about the history and the ins and outs of cryptography, the science of encoding
and decoding messages. The book basically gives you a comprehensive overview of this topic and it starts all the
way back in Roman times and goes over Caesar ciphers and monoalphabetic substitution ciphers, moves onto polyalphabetic
substitution ciphers and then goes into the modern day and covers things like
Diffie-Hellman key exchange and public private key cryptography and even quantum cryptography. Now, the book is lacking a
little bit in practical details about how to secure your online life, though we did do a podcast
episode all about that that you can check out in
the description down below, but it is an absolutely fascinating read and I could not put it down
once I started reading it. Second on my list is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit
of Less by Greg McKeown and we did have to look
up how to pronounce that on Forvo before making this video, so I’m pretty sure I have that right, but if you’re Irish,
then you can correct me. It is an Irish name, right? – [Man] No idea. – Boy, now I have to look that up. – [Man] Also, one of them said McKeown. – This book talks all
about how to prioritize the most important things
that you’re doing in your life and focus on those things, how
to work without distraction and this book was really important for me because as an entrepreneur
and a creative person, I get a ton of ideas and if I
don’t keep my mind restrained a little bit, I’m easily
able to just go off and get distracted on a new idea before finishing something
that I’m already working on, so reading this book
really shifted my mindset and made me take single-minded
focus on an important task a lot more seriously
than I had in the past and this was one book that we
did talk about on the podcast, so if you want an overview
or a summary of it, I’ll have a link in the
description down below. The third book on my list is a big one. Debt: The First 5,00
Years by David Graeber was a fascinating read, and admittedly, I’m actually not done with this book yet, but I am about halfway through and it is really really interesting if you have any sort of inclination towards reading about economics. I actually heard about this book back when I watched the money episode of the Crash Course World
History Series with John Green and the idea that it explores
is really fascinating. Basically, in classical economics they teach this idea that
before money there was barter. Basically, before you
had coins to trade with, you took your cow to the market and you lopped off part of its leg and you traded that for some rice, but the thing is while
this theory is taught in most intro to economics textbooks, anthropologists have
found almost no record of any society that ever used pure barter before the development of money. Instead they used informal debt bonds, which eventually became
formalized by the development of money and IOUs and
banking and so forth. Anyway, again, this is
not the kind of book that’s gonna help you
balance your own checkbook or save more money efficiently, but it is a fascinating introduction into how economics really works. Next up on my list is
the Elon Musk biography by Ashlee Vance and you may
have seen this one coming since I did make an Elon
Musk video pretty recently. I’ve been getting more and
more into reading biographies and in the past couple of
years I’ve read biographies on Jeff Bezos, on Steve
Jobs, and on Elon Musk and I have to say the one on Elon Musk inspired me the most and I
came away with more respect for him than I did for the other two. Obviously, all three of these men are or were wildly successful and they all definitely had glaring flaws that I don’t wanna emulate,
but out of the three, I came away with the feeling
that Elon Musk has this just driving motivation to
improve humanity as a whole. That’s the reason I made my
video on Musk in the first place and listening to his biography, because this is one that I
did listen to as an audiobook, was really motivating for me. It made me wanna put more
effort into my own work. Book number five on my list is The Big Short by Michael Lewis. Now, if you’ve seen
any of my conversations with my friend Taha on Twitter, you will know that The Big Short is my favorite movie of all time and earlier this year,
after watching the movie for probably the third time,
I decided it was high time that I actually read the
book that it was based on and this book is an excellent overview of exactly why the financial
crisis of 2008 happened, so if you have any interest in
recent history and economics and why the markets all
crashed the way they did and how corrupt the system really was, this book is a fascinating read and it’s honestly a lot
of fun to read as well, though it will probably also make you mad. All right, book number six on my list is How To Not Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical
Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg. Like the title implies,
this is a book about math, but before you go
clicking out of this video if you don’t like math,
it is not a math book. You’re not gonna have to work on problems. It is a simple introduction
to certain math concepts. In fact, he has one page
that teaches you calculus in one page, at least the
fundamental concepts of it, and moreover, this book spends
a lot of time talking about statistics and how statistics
are misinterpreted or misused by the media or by people who
have an agenda to further, so by reading this book,
even if you don’t go pick up a math minor in university or
study the concepts further, it is going to give you a
more intuitive understanding of statistics and you’re gonna
be able to more accurately interpret the ones you
see in your everyday life. Book number seven on my list is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and this is another book that
we covered on the podcast this year and it is probably
the best book I have ever read for when you are struggling
with procrastination. This book is basically a meditation on the work of an artist,
the daily consistent work put in over years and years. It deals a lot with the
concept of resistance and how to defeat it, and honestly, if you have a lot of
trouble putting inconsistent daily work into things
that you’re striving to do, this is a really good read. Book number eight on my list is Kitchen Confidential
by Anthony Bourdain and I picked this book up because, as you might have heard
in my previous video, I’ve been really into cooking recently. Now, this book, while wildly entertaining, is not a how-to on the science of cooking. There actually is a book
called The Science of Cooking which I also picked up
but am not doing with yet, but this book is more
of an exposé on the life of a professional cook and
if you’ve ever watched any of Anthony Bourdain’s TV shows before, you will know that he is an
incredibly entertaining guy and that definitely transfers
over to his writing. Now, I will say that
this book did teach me a couple of things, which
is why it’s on this list. If it was just entertaining, I probably wouldn’t have put it on there. It actually has a chapter that talks about why restaurant food tastes
different than the food you make at home and he also
talks a little bit about some of the basic tools that
you can add to your kitchen to be a better cook yourself, but for the most part, the
book is mainly full of stories of Bourdain’s time as a
cook and eventually a chef, and because it’s Anthony Bourdain and because he does narrate the audiobook, I highly recommend listening
to it rather than reading it. And finally, the ninth book on my list is Good To Great by Jim Collins and this book was really
useful to me as an entrepreneur because it’s all about how companies go from good or mediocre to great. The entire book is based
on a five-year-long study that looked at data from
hundreds of different companies and identified the ones that
spent a really long time in the mediocre zone and then
finally had a transition point to greatness that was sustained and I took a lot of
lessons away from this book that I tried to apply to my work and to my own company, but
one of the most important was the concept of Level 5 Leadership. The book explains that a
Level 5 Leader is somebody who embodies two incredibly
important characteristics. First, they have an indomitable
will and work ethic. They’re willing to put
in whatever it takes to further the goals of the company, but at the exact same
time, they are humble. They live by that excellent
quote from Harry Truman. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish “if you do not care who gets the credit.” After I read that, I took that to heart. I realized that I run a business where my face is basically on everything, but there are a lot of elements that I have been able to let go that have actually improved
because I’ve done that. So guys, that is my list of the best books that I’ve read this year and
I would love to hear from you. What are the best books
that you’ve read this year? Let me know down in the comments. Also, I have all these books linked in the description below,
so you can check them out if you want and for the ones
that we did happen to analyze on the podcast, I will have links to those podcast episodes as well. Beyond that, if you enjoyed this video, you can give it a thumbs up
and you can also subscribe right there if you wanna get notified when I publish new videos and
you can also click right there if you wanna get a free copy of my book on how to earn better grades. You can also find our
latest podcast episode right there where we recapped 2017 and kind of did a little year in review and if you wanna find one more video on this channel, click right there. Thanks for watching and I’ll
see you in the next video.

100 thoughts to “The 9 Best Books I Read in 2017”

  1. Hey Thomas, I am building a list of books as my reading goals for this year and your video was really useful. I love your channel, you are a really smart guy with quality information to share!

    Thanks from your Brazilian fan!

  2. You are so smart and interesting:) Can't wait to read more and grow as a person in 2018. I will definitely add these books reading list!

  3. I would recommend Grit (The power of passion and perseverance) by Angela Duckworth and a book called The Noticer by Andy Andrews. Both great reads for 2018.

  4. "You Are Not So Smart" by David McRaney and "Talking to Crazy" by Mark Goulston were the highlights of 2017 for me.

  5. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (creator of the webcomic xkcd).

  6. You should read “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari. I just finished it and I can say it is the best book I have ever read. I couldn’t put it down and that is saying a lot considering I hated history all through school. It is very well written and added to my insight of the human existence. Xo

  7. Thomas, do prefer to read actual paper books? Do you utilize modern day tech such as, audiobooks or digital books on your smart devices more than reading actual books? Why or why not?

  8. A book that I started reading in January of this month and has been knocking my socks off is John Yorke's Into the Woods. As a screenwriter, I want to be able to improve my craft to the level necessary to break into the industry and this book might just be the closest one to doing that. Another book that I found at the tail end of 2017 is the Little White Lies guide to Making your Movie. It is easy to get through with informative and simply explained information on the art of filmmaking and even provides watch-lists for films that you can ingest to gain a better understanding of the different facets of the trade.

  9. I've written some short stories myself for fun , my english might have some vocabulary and grammar issues but i hope you enjoy them thanks in advance for those who will read them

  10. I suggest you to read the book “ fast thinking and slow thinking“. The book “good to be great“ was criticized in this book that there is not such a statistical causality between the identified factors and the success of the companies. ;-))

  11. i have been here when you just had 200k subscribes now you just about to hit 1million. kudos to you for your dedication.

  12. These books are for children who want to keep the status quo . Buying into Elon musk and neo liberalism shows how trendy and stupid this channel really is. Maybe read some real authors like Chris Hedges or Daniel Ellsberg . Instead of being a technocratic joke that only thinks about themselves.

  13. P.s you give Thomas Frank the author of listen liberal a bad name. Thomas Frank the YouTuber is a pathetic neo liberal that should join Alex Jones network

  14. I just read this book it's an awesome short story

  15. Hey Guys, you can watch out some great business & inspirational books here:

  16. You should read "I am David" it's about a boy who was raised in a concentration camp and doesn't know anything about himself, so when he escapes he tries to learn how to live a normal life.

  17. Unfortunately you lost me with "Good to Great". The only thing worth knowing about the book is that it is a study in data mining and has zero predictive or diagnostic capability as witnesses by the performance of the companies termed great after the publication of the book. You will get more business insight reading a Charlie Brown strip.

  18. Hope i can understand english book, its pretty hard to understand specially if the word is non familliar to me, havin english as a second language is fckin horrible, specially if u want to read american novel.

  19. I love math and economics so im definitely interested reading a few of these thanks for the recommendationss

  20. All forgetting that Elon Musk is an egomaniac who shuts down dissenting press and abuses his workers. He's a capitalist just like Bezos, and he is the problem.

  21. You inspire me to want to learn more : ) best books of this year: Reinventing organizations (the illustrated version), The Coaching Habit, The little book of Hygge.

  22. Please rivew this book, '🌹treasure without Map' a great war fictional love story, strictly effected by terrorism. .. available on amazon

  23. Thanks for this great video! There are at least three books that you made me want to read! My favorite book this year is Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins, quite simply an amazing biography/self-help book that make you realize that you are probably pretty soft and not using your full capacities.

  24. A friend of mine told me that square root of 3 is not a number.

    Once I tried proving that the nth root of any non-perfect exponential integer is always irrational.

    Let x be a real number with k decimal digits.
    As we've learned from primary school, x^2 has 2k decimal digits, x^3 has 3k decimal digits, and x^k has k^2 decimal digits.

    Let's take a perfect exponential integer, 4 and a square root.
    The square root of 4 is 2. 4 has 0 decimal places, 2 has 0 decimal places.
    Let's now take a non-perfect square and take its square root.
    Square root of 3, is not 1 and is not 2.
    3 has 0 decimal places, so the square root of 3 must have 0 decimal places, contradictory to both cases (1, 2 not fulfilling)

    So it has come to my conclusion that square root of 3 is irrational.

    But my friend said, that I was wrong. I, in fact, have proven that square root of 3 is not a number. I said, "Wait, what?" And I got it afterwards. He said there was a false claim, which delegitimizes the whole proof. Which is, if you know that x has k decimal places and x^n has kn decimal places, it is not a certainty that if x^n has kn decimal places, then x has k decimal places. Square root of 3, as we've shown, was a counterexample.

    It was a horrible mistake. 😅

  25. How do you read so many complicated books? You dont have a job? Your job requires to read so many things? Are you a genius? Or how? I just cant grasp the idea of reading so many books, because of lack of time, responsibilities and other things I have to focus on. I wish I could do that.

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