The year 2017 was a year for the books, both figuratively and literally.
Between the seismic shift in the political landscape and the ever-present culture wars, the world doesn’t look the same as it used to. This past year, Glenn took a deep dive into the human psyche and devoured both fiction and non-fiction alike to try and figure out where we are as a country and where we are headed — and a few here and there just for fun.
If you are a fan and looking to be on the same page as Glenn for 2018 or have one on your Christmas list, here is a list of books on his nightstand this past year.
Defying Hitler: A Memoir
by Sebastian Haffner
Written in 1939 and unpublished until 2000, Sebastian Haffner’s memoir of the rise of Nazism in Germany offers a unique portrait of the lives of ordinary German citizens between the wars.
When I read Defying Hitler and I saw how the Weimar Republic got out of hyperinflation, it makes total sense. You’re like, “oh, my gosh. That’s it. This is what’s coming.” And it’s all going to be electronic.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
by Yuval Harari
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.
This is such an important book for the center of this country. Because you feel as though you’re left out. Nobody is listening to you. You don’t know what they’re doing in Washington. You don’t know what the elites are doing. This book is the book that the elites are reading. And it is fascinating. I disagree with this guy on some major fundamental issues, but this book is so important because it tells you what is coming.
Tulipmania: Money, Honor, and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age
by Anne Goldgar
In the 1630s the Netherlands was gripped by tulipmania: a speculative fever unprecedented in scale and, as popular history would have it, folly. Tulipmania is seen as an example of the gullibility of crowds and the dangers of financial speculation. But it wasn’t like that.
If you look at history, what happens right before a devastating crash? Crash of 1929, the Tulip Crash, all of it. Okay? What happens is, usually there is a buildup for, you know, just under ten years. And it gets crazy. And people are saying, it could never go higher. Then people start to have a run — now, think of this with bitcoin.
by A. G. Riddle
From the author of the #1 bestselling The Atlantis Gene comes a new novel in which the world’s past and future rests in the hands of five unwitting strangers in this definitive edition of A. G. Riddle’s time-traveling, mind-bending speculative thriller.
If you’re looking for a good book to read, any of his books are great. Especially if you’re into the futuristic paradox that we are beginning to go into. Departure is about time travel and quantum computing and what is in store with us in the future. And it’s really good.
Pandemic (The Extinction Files, Book 1)
by A.G. Riddle
From A.G. Riddle, the worldwide bestselling author with OVER 3 MILLION COPIES SOLD, comes a sci-fi thriller readers are calling "addictive" and "an achievement that takes the genre to the next level."
I was on holiday, and I downloaded a whole bunch of books. And one of them, was Pandemic. I think that’s the first one that I read. And I’ve never done this. You know, at the end of the book, it says, “hey, write to the author. Tell me what you think.” So I did. And so I wrote, “hey, just finished one of your books. And I really enjoyed it.”
I’m already into the second book. And it’s really great.
He builds his fiction around some facts that I want to find out more about.
Genome (The Extinction Files Book 2)
by A.G. Riddle
A code hidden in the human genome…Will reveal the ultimate secret of human existence. And could hold humanity’s only hope of survival.
If you’re at all curious about what the future holds and where do we come from and what is the next turn? He gives you some food for thought. It’s all sci-fi obviously. But it’s quite good.
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
by Ray Kurzweil
A radical and optimistic view of the future course of human development from the bestselling author of How to Create a Mind and The Age of Spiritual Machines who Bill Gates calls “the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.”
I’m a big fan of Ray Kurzweil. At the same time, he scares the living daylights out of me. Because I don’t hear a lot of talk about ethics. I hear a lot of talk about what can be done and what is coming.
Origin: A Novel
by Dan Brown
Origin is stunningly inventive — Dan Brown’s most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.
I was in the bookstores a couple weeks ago, and I just bought a stack of books. And Origin was one of them.
The premise intrigued me, which is a guy like Elon Musk has figured out, you know, where we came from. And says that he can disprove God. And I thought, “Okay. Let’s see where Dan Brown is going with this one.” I know it’s going to make the Catholic Church look bad. I got that. What else is he going to do?
I urge you to read this book. It’s a great Dan Brown book. It’s in the same spirit as the Da Vinci Code.
You will spend a lot of time on Google looking things up, going, “that’s not true. Is that true?”
And believe me, I spent a lot of time on Google. And a lot of the stuff in it is true. I mean, it’s a real “faction” book, rather than fiction. It’s got a lot of truth to it, and you’ll learn a lot about history and everything else that you didn’t know.
Conclave: A novel
by Robert Harris
The best-selling author of Enigma and Fatherland turns to today’s Vatican in a ripped-from-the-headlines novel, and gives us his most ambitious, page-turning thriller yet — where the power of God is nearly equaled by the ambition of men.
Robert Harris is a great novelist, great writer. And he wrote a few years ago, Conclave. And it’s all about the Pope dying. Some intrigue. And what happens in the conclave to get the next Pope, etc.
It’s so amazing to me that it doesn’t matter if it’s the conclave or if it’s, you know, over in Europe or here. All politicians are exactly the same. They’re exactly the same.
The Atlantis Plague: A Thriller (The Origin Mystery, Book 2)
by A.G. Riddle
The Atlantis Plague is the second book in The Origin Mystery, the trilogy that has become a global phenomenon.
Great storytelling. Really, really great storytelling. I really enjoyed it.
Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane
by Brett King
The coming Augmented Age promises a level of disruption, behavioral shifts and changes that are unparalleled.
Brett King is a futurist. He has written a great book, Augmented: Life In the Smart Lane. And I’ve been reading it for a while now and digesting it really as we go, and it has been a springboard for so many other books that I have been reading because of this book.
Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win
by Luke Harding
An explosive exposé that lays out the Trump administration’s ties to Moscow, and Russia’s decades-in-the-making political game to upend American democracy.
There is a book that I’ve read, that I think is an absolute must-read. In fact, I had everybody on my staff — I kind of assigned it to everyone. And everyone says the same thing. The title turns them off. And they think they know what this book is. Well, don’t judge a book by its cover.
He has written a terrifying look at what is really going on with Russia and the United States. And it is a bipartisan problem. This is something that no one is really paying attention to.
The Second Messiah: A Thriller
by Glenn Meade
Some secrets are never meant to be revealed. For behind this mystery lies a revelation that will make you question everything you believe in.
Artemis: A Novel
by Andy Weir
The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller — a heist story set on the moon.
Leonardo da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson
The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.
The Content Trap
by Bharat Anand
Harvard Business School Professor of Strategy Bharat Anand presents an incisive new approach to digital transformation that favors fostering connectivity over focusing exclusively on content.
An Officer and a Spy
by Robert Harris
A whistle-blower. A witch hunt. A cover-up. Secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, and government corruption. Welcome to 1890s Paris.
The Fear Index
by Robert Harris
High tech finance and sophisticated computer programming combine in this terrifying and fiendishly smart new novel from Robert Harris.
The Lessons of History Paperback
by Will Durant, Ariel Durant
A concise survey of the culture and civilization of mankind, The Lessons of History is the result of a lifetime of research from Pulitzer Prize–winning historians Will and Ariel Durant.
by Erik Hamre
Dangerous Brains is a thought-provoking techno-thriller in the blockbuster tradition of the Andromeda Strain. It is a book that will stay with you long after you finish.
If next year has any hope of keeping up with this year, there is definitely plenty on this reading list that could shed light on how that might happen. So long 2017 — good riddance!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Whenever we post recommendations, Glenn has us add hyperlinks to make them easier to find, review or purchase. He does this because he's lazy and wants to get to the source without searching for it. We try to tell him patience is a virtue. He hasn’t listened so far. In doing so, we're required to clearly alert you that we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.