I don't have kids, friends, or much going on aside from work and riding bikes, so that gives me lots of time to read. What does that mean for you? I can give you some super baller book recommendations so you can be 100% sure your book-reading adventures are worth the time and effort. Luckily for you, over the last few weeks, I've read some real doozies. Here are my favorites.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyou
I couldn't put this one down. Carreyou details the rise and fall of the fraudulent blood-sample company, Theranos, led by the now-infamous Elizabeth Holmes. A tail of greed, lies, and obsession with Steve Jobs (and black turtlenecks), Bad Blood is really the story of how easily it can be to stomp on your moral compass when people are willing to give you tens of millions of dollars. I can't recommend this book enough. Pick it up at your local bookstore or on Amazon.
Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
Before you make assumptions based on the title, this isn't a book just about collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia. Isikoff and Corn also intricately detail what can only be described as the complete incompetence of the Democrats as they dealt with Clinton's server questions, repeated cyber attacks by Russian and other state actors, as well as with John Podesta's emails being hacked. Between Trump's campaign routinely bragging about being in touch with Kremlin operatives and Paul Manafort's blatant corruption, it's hard to tell which party was trying harder to look completely incapable of running a race for Student Senate, let alone running a country. If your confidence in democracy and morality of our political leaders needs any additional kicks to the abdomen, this book is for you. Buy it at your local bookstore. Or, if you must, get it on your Kindle from Amazon.
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday
I'm usually not one for these types of books, by I really dig reading Ryan Holiday's stuff on Medium, so I gave this one a shot. It's really short and only $6 on Kindle, and it's worth the time and investment. The book makes the point that traditional marketing is dead and that new, ingenious methods are by far more practical for small businesses and startups. He's not wrong. The face of marketing has changed radically in the last five years and is completely unrecognizable to best practices and efforts of a decade ago. The book isn't going to tell you how to be the next big thing, but at $6, you're a fool to think he's going to give you a customized plan. But it does get you thinking about unconventional ways to sell more widgets and whatnot, so he's done his job if you ask me.
War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence by Ronan Farrow
Another page-turner, Ronan Farrow is on a mother effin' roll right now. He's the guy who brought down Harvey Weinstein with his supremely ballsy reporting, and his first book is an absolute gem. In the book, Farrow demonstrates key moments in American history when empowered diplomats had the resources and range to end armed conflicts or prevent them from happening in the first place. His time spent with Richard Holbrooke shapes his perspective, with Holbrooke being portrayed as the last diplomat of a breed largely extinct - much to the detriment of the U.S. and to the benefit of the military-industrial complex. If Foreign Relations is your bag, this one is certainly worth picking up at your bookstore of choice, local library, or on Kindle.
A couple of other mentions, Unbelievable by Katy Tur and Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie.
Any recommendations? Send them my way via Electronic Mail.