2014: Books

Just came across this unpublished draft from December, and I am inspired to publish before it gets absurdly late.

I read some great books last year, the below 10 being my favorites:

1- Infinite Jest- David Foster Wallace

This consumed my spring. I cannot imagine anybody immersing his or herself in this book and not emerging with some type of love for this book, the author, and the entire experience of reading it.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be now, but I urge everyone to make time for this book’s universe.

2- Jitterbug Perfume- Tom Robbins

A joyful romp across centuries and around the world with delightful characters on the simple mission to live forever.  I read most of this book with a bemused grin on my face, and was actually sad for a few days when it was over.

3- Let the Great World Spin- Colum McCann

A delicate, intricately constructed portrait of a city and a few of its individuals.  I completely fell for the spell this book cast.

4- White Noise- Don Delillo

This book really only has one “note” it hits throughout, but to me it completely succeeded as a (disturbingly prescient) social satire.

5- Remains of the Day- Kazuo Ishiguro

A sweet, sad book which lingered with me.  I read this during the summer, and still frequently think of the last scene.

6- Dataclysm- Christina Rudder

The online dating and consumer internet usage insights range from amusingly trivial to actually profound, but this book deserves to be the Freakonomics for Big Data.

7- Libra- Don Delillo

This was my first Delilo, and it took a bit to warm up to use his trademark suspenseful paranoid atmospherics and distant characters, but I really enjoyed this book.

8- Zeitoon- Dave Eggars

Read this in one sitting.  It is an alarming, enraging account written with lucidity, tension, and precision.

9- The Alliance- Reid Hoffman

Presents a useful framework for reconsidering the employee-employer relationship.  I found it very helpful in my various career conversations and negotiations this year.

10- Financial Lives of Poets- Jess Walter

Not exactly the deep or even particularly unique take on the financial crisis as experienced by average joe it was sold to me as,  but an entertaining enough book about a relatable guy in desperate circumstances with spots of serious hilarity (treehouse anyone?).

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