I had a chance to catch up on a lot of reading recently, and there are a number of great books. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah I’ve been watching Trevor, and I was reading such heavy books, I thought hey I’ll just read this. It’s Trevor growing up in South Africa, where the categories are so arbitrary and he doesn’t fit any category, but the whole idea of this South Africa, and what that was like. His insightfulness comes through very well. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance It’s an amazing story of a kid who grows up in Kentucky and Ohio, in a hillbilly family and manages to become a lawyer graduating from Yale Law School. The chaotic nature of being in a family where resources are short, people are unhappy, people turn to drugs, alcohol, you can’t count on your parents to be around. I really felt I got a glimpse of something honest. The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal This is one that my wife Melinda found. Incredibly well-written. It’s about a young man who dies and his heart’s being transplanted to another patient. You know be ready to cry a little bit, as you get so connected to the people. A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter He’s a very thoughtful person about big issues. He didn’t go into politics just to win. He had a certain viewpoint about behavior and he had a nuanced view of racial relations and it shows how brave he is. Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari He wrote Sapiens, and he’s again telling us about where humanity is, what we’ve achieved, and how to think about the problems that are close to not being problems. War. Famine. Health. And looking at where do we go from here? Those are some of my recent favorites. I hope you’ll try a few of them and enjoy them this summer.