Books I Missed Reading In 2015

These are books I have not had the opportunity to read in 2015 but look very interesting, so hopefully I will get to them soon!!!

The Fly Trap Fredrik Sjoberg

The author is an entomologist and studies hoverflies in his native Sweden. I don’t have a clue what a hoverfly is and I am not sure if it really is a main part of the story. The author examines himself and entomology in general in why he does what he does and explores the beauty of small things. This, for some reason, looks very appealing to me from the standpoint of why someone does what he does and attempts to understand it. I suppose I have the same problem and concerns.

Here are some reviews:

From The New York Times

Another From The Guardian

And From The Swedish Review

Ghettoside: A True Story Of Murder In America Jill Leovy

Based in South Los Angeles, and unfortunately a pattern in America that is become too common, a young black man is shot on the sidewalk near his home and his assailant jumps in a nearby SUV and drives away most likely thinking that he would never be caught. But John Skaggs, a detective is assigned to the case and this book moves at a quick pace in describing what has become a tragic and as I mentioned earlier too common occurrence in American life. This interests me from the point of view that we are considering building a new jail here in Madison County, TN and I hope this book gives me some insight.

Here are some reviews:

The New York Times

From The LA Times

And The Washington Post

Check out this video featuring the author:

Neurotribes: The Legacy Of Autism And The Future Of Neurodiversity Steve Silberman

This is the winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction and explores autism and our understanding, acceptance of autism and how we can better integrate this part of our society more fully. Silberman uncovers the underbelly of autism research and its history and the great strides we are making to have full acceptance of this bewildering cognitive difference in humans.

Here are some reviews:

From The New York Times

From The Guardian

From The Blog Marginal Revolution

Here is a video to check out:

The Prize: Who’s In Charge Of America’s Schools? Dale Russakoff

The author shows us the aftermath of Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million pledge to the Newark, New Jersey school system and even with the support of governor Chris Christie and mayor Cory Booker, the education professionals in Newark protect their turf at all costs. Russakoff shows how the teachers in the trenches and the students, who battle with poverty and violence fare. I am looking forward to reading this and seeing what is happening in America’s education battle. Is their a need for more money? What is the answer?

Some reviews:

From The Chicago Tribune

The New York Times


Here is an interview with the author, Dale Russakoff:

The Shape Of The New: Four Big Ideas And How They Made The Modern World Scott L. Montgomery and Daniel Chirot

The authors explore four big ideas that came out of the Enlightenment: freedom, equality, evolution and democracy and how the men such as Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Darwin and Karl Marx used their thinking in moving mankind forward. The book argues that we must understand the history of these ideas and how these thinkers and their writings put these ideas in place and for us to continue to move forward with these ideas we must understand how they came into being and their history.

Some Reviews:


From The New York Times

Kirkus Reviews

SPQR: A History Of Ancient Rome Mary Beard

This exhaustive history of Rome by the author is a tribute to research in understanding how Rome came into being from a village in Italy to over one million residents during this time period. It explores the evolution of thinking and how the government shaped Europe, North Africa, and The Middle East during this period as well as it explores the thinking of the people about democracy, inequality and entire groups of people that have not been heard from in this period about Rome. I am excited about reading this because, I hope, it will give me some new perspectives about how I think about Rome and its people.

A review:

A Review From The Guardian

A video from the author, Mary Beard:

$2.00 A Day: Living On Almost Nothing In America Kathryn J. Edin And H. Luke Shaefer

When I read the title of this book, I assumed it was a misprint. I had no concept that over 1.5 million American households survive at this level of subsistence. Absolutely incredible!!!. The authors give us evidence that a low-wage does not even come close to being able to provide for families in America. Of the seven books, that I found that I needed to read here, this is number one on my list!!!

Here are some reviews:

Mother Jones

The Huffington Post

Here is a video from one of the authors, Kathryn J. Edin

Some Thoughts About Luck From Various Authors

“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”

Oprah Winfrey

“The amount of good luck coming your way depends on your willingness to act.”

Barbara Sher

“Your competition is not other people but the time you kill, the ill will you create, the knowledge you neglect to learn, the connections you fail to build, the health you sacrifice along the path, your inability to generate ideas, the people around you who don’t support and love your efforts, and whatever god you curse for your bad luck.”

James Altucher

“I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.”

Denzel Washington

“Look, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, sometimes you need a bit of luck.”

Bear Grylls

Articles Of Interest From The Archives

The New Economies Boom And Bust Towns From the October, 2013 issue of The Atlantic, As usual, an insightful article from Richard Florida about cities in the U.S.

Where Is Lending Headed In The U.S.? If you don’t know about peer-to-peer lending you need to check this out from Time Magazine, July 27th, 2015

A Look At The Other Side Of Sports In High School Amanda Ripley does a great job in showing the other side of high school sports in the October 2013 issue of The Atlantic.

Joseph Mitchell From The New Yorker’s Nemesis I am fascinated with anything written by Joseph Mitchell of New Yorker fame and anything about Joe Gould is up my alley.

How Do I Invest When Markets Go Down? From the September 19th issue of The Economist and very thought-provoking.

Some Thoughts On Learning From Various Authors

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Henry David Thoreau

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

Mark Twain

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Groucho Marx

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

Louisa May Alcott

Some Thoughts About Mistakes From Various Authors

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

John Wooden

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”

Johnny Cash

“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”

Benjamin Franklin

“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”

Niels Bohr

“I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being–forgive me–rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.”

J.K. Rowling

Some Thoughts On Values From Various Authors

“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”
Pope Paul Vl
“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”

Ayn Rand
“At the end of the day, the position is just a position, a title is just a title, and those things come and go. It’s really your essence and your values that are important.”

Queen Rania of Jordan
“Make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ, and seek to follow Him every day. Don’t be swayed by the false values and goals of this world, but put Christ and His will first in everything you do.”

Billy Graham
“I think the world would be a lot better off if more people were to define themselves in terms of their own standards and values and not what other people said or thought about them.”

Hillary Clinton

Some Thoughts On Motivation From Various Authors

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Zig Ziglar

“There’s always the motivation of wanting to win. Everybody has that. But a champion needs, in his attitude, a motivation above and beyond winning.”

Pat Riley

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Money is not a motivating factor. Money doesn’t thrill me or make me play better because there are benefits to being wealthy. I’m just happy with a ball at my feet. My motivation comes from playing the game I love. If I wasn’t paid to be a professional footballer I would willingly play for nothing.”
Lionel Messi

“I don’t think I ever expected anything like an Oscar ever, to tell you the truth. That is not my motivation when I do these roles. I really am motivated by being able to work with great people and create a body of work that I can look back and be proud of.

Leonardo DiCaprio