Here’s a peek at what our UnCollege fellows and staff are reading this fall:
Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) by Chade-Meng Tan. One of Google’s earliest engineers breaks down emotional intelligence in a google/science way. Along the way providing evidence that mindfulness and vulnerability are not only important in life but key components to success and happiness
Shakespeare’s Sonnets. A challenging read for sure, but the imagery in his words is unparalleled. Worth reading for anyone with any interest in poetry or english literature.
Second Treatise of Government by John Locke. If you want to know where a lot of America’s founders believed about government, you should know that many of them studied from this work. It influenced the government we’re in now so highly that many of the concepts - once you get past the Old English writing - are common sense to us now.
Sovereign by Ted Dekker. The third book in a trilogy about a medieval, dystopian future where people have no emotions. Dekker’s fast-paced style never bores and he writes plot twists like no other. Always a step ahead of his audience, he’s up there with Stephen King in quality.
The Social Animal by David Brooks. It’s a story of success told on a level deeper than the surface. It’s about the hidden qualities in us that can’t be measured, but in the end are what actually lead us to success and happiness.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Explores the science behind habits and how they affect our lives and businesses.
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. Why character, confidence, and curiosity are more important to your child’s success than academic results.
The Art of Self-Directed Learning by Blake Boles. If you’re looking to learn more about self-directed learning, this one can’t be recommended enough. It’s a short read, but the content is jam-packed with advice and understanding about self-directed learning, how it really works, and how to make it work for you.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It explores adventure but also questions imagination.
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. The story is about travelling, facing human cruelty, and finding inner beauty without dogmas. Science, witchcraft and religion become important parts as the books progress. The characters are amazing. These books helped me realize how great and important imagination is, and also how much human beings can be amazingly evil or beautiful.
Reveries of the Solitary Walker by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The true story of a philosopher trying to come to terms with his solitude and find happiness in nature. It’s written in a really beautiful way while being autobiographical at the same time.
Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. What I really like about it is that it’s not dumbed down. It’s written in a way that you can understand, but you still sometimes find yourself looking up words. The concepts aren’t dumbed down either, like most things these days are. I like it when authors treat their readers like intelligent human beings.
Zero to One by Peter Theil and Blake Masters. About how to innovate in any industry, and why innovation and progress shouldn’t be limited to technology and Silicon Valley.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. What I like about it is the stream-of-consciousness style of writing, so you know what the main character is thinking, but it is also a well-crafted narrative.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I like it because it’s anti war. It does a good job of mirroring our lives and talks about things that most people are afraid to address and is honest about them.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It’s narrated by death, which is awesome, and it gives a really honest account of of World War 2. What I really like about it is how it captures what it’s like to be going through adolescence on the brink of World War 2.
No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay. A book of poetry that really links together family, love and the importance of human connection.