Top 20 Books on Glenn's 2017 Christmas Recommended Reading List

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Written in 1939 and unpublished until 2000, Sebastian Haffner's memoir of the rise of Nazism in Germany offers a unique portrait of the lives of ordinary German citizens between the wars.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

Departure

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.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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."

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.”

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

Origin: A Novel

by Dan Brown

Origin is stunningly inventive --- Dan Brown's most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Glenn's Review:

Great storytelling. Really, really great storytelling. I really enjoyed it.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Glenn's Review:

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Buy: Amazon

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.

Buy: Amazon

Dangerous Brains

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.

Buy: Amazon

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!

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.

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, and Pat Gray discussed the Trump defense team's arguments in the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

"This is different than what the Democrats were doing," Glenn said of the Trump team's impeachment defense. "We know the case of the Democrats, they just kept going over and over and over, for three days, the same stuff. The Republicans, at least on Saturday, did not ... and I thought it was really, really good."

Glenn added, "The president's defense was very compelling."

Watch the videos below to hear Glenn's top takeaways from the president's defense team:

Part 1: Why the president's defense is 'very compelling'

Part 2: Top takeaways from president's impeachment defense

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Americans are getting crushed by healthcare costs. In 2018 alone, we spent $3.6 trillion on healthcare — that's more than $11,000 per American and nearly a fifth of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It's on everyone's minds, which is why it has taken center stage in the Democratic party's primary. Of course, the solutions offered by the current crop of presidential candidates would do nothing to help alleviate that enormous spending. In fact, it would only add to it — what with Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All and Joe Biden's proposed ObamaCare expansion.

However, what also deserves attention in discussions about plans that increase the government's role in health care is how religious organizations would be affected. Faith-based hospitals and health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) play an important role in America, often serving as a critical provider and/or facilitator of payments for medical services in many states. If plans like Medicare for All were implemented, these groups would be at risk of going bankrupt or being severely curtailed due to the elimination of choice that comes with these proposals.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives. And more Americans should consider them.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives.

As mentioned, one such option is a health care sharing ministry. In this model, individuals contribute money into a pool managed by a religiously or ethically-affiliated organization, and costs for medical treatment are shared by people who adhere to that organization's belief system. Typically, applicants are required to sign a statement of faith in order to be accepted. It's basically like a subscription service: consumers pay a set amount of money into the ministry every month. Then, when they have a medical need or incident, they submit a claim to the ministry. Members whose claims are approved are reimbursed by the ministry from that pool of funds. Note, these ministries don't cover procedures they deem immoral.

Because providers are often getting paid in cash under this model — and typically within 90 days — patients are able to negotiate significant discounts, in some cases slicing procedures' costs to a fraction of the initial price. Insurance companies, by comparison, tend to not pay dollar for dollar on claims, and certainly not in cash. Additionally, insurance companies usually have onerous paperwork requirements, forcing doctors to spend half of their time on electronic health records and desk work. This increase in demand for administrative work is partly responsible for the United States leading the world in administrative costs in healthcare.

There are various types of HCSMs, each offering different benefits depending on what the individual needs — and a lot of savings on monthly plans. Take Christian Healthcare Ministries, for example. It's resulted in enormous savings for its members. Whereas the average healthcare plan can cost about $400 a month on the low end (with high deductibles), CHM plans can run between $78-172 a month for a single person. These kinds of plans are particularly great options for people who are relatively healthy and young, where the need for doctors and prescription drugs is less likely.

HCSMs have seen explosive growth in popularity recently. In 2014, there were only approximately 160,000 members. By 2018, membership ballooned to about 1 million HCSM members around the United States who have shared over $1 billion in medical expenses. But unfortunately, many people still feel locked into the traditional — and expensive — health care insurance model. HCSMs provide a way out, and, depending on their belief system, people should research them and see if there's one that best suit their needs. If more people deviate away from the traditional health care insurance market, insurance companies would be incentivized to adjust their pricing. That won't be possible, of course, if plans like Medicare for All are implemented.

Health care is one of life's biggest expenses, and voters are understandably desperate for a plan that cuts costs without compromising quality of care or access to it. Alternative options to health care insurance such as HCSMs are practical, free-market solutions that saves money. Americans should sift through these options before subscribing to plans that will only break the bank.

James Czerniawski is a Young Voices contributor. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCz19.

Bill O'Reilly: Adam Schiff is in 'wonderland' during the Senate impeachment trial

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On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, Bill O'Reilly gave his latest take on the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and explained why he thinks House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is like "Alice in Wonderland."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

youtu.be


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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Friday to discuss the latest developments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

According to Cruz, Thursday was a "very consequential day" in the otherwise tedious and redundant impeachment proceedings.

"Yesterday, the House managers effectively threw Joe Biden under the bus," Cruz said. "They doubled down on what they started doing on the first day of arguments, which was making their entire case ... based on the proposition that there was zero evidence to justify investigating Burisma [the Ukrainian natural gas company that paid then-Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to sit on the board]."

Cruz went on to explain that every time the Democrats, namely House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), rehash the "zero-evidence" argument, they open the door for Republicans to present the overwhelming evidence that contradicts those claims.

"That proposition, that there's zero evidence to investigate Burisma, is utterly and completely absurd. So, I'm looking forward to Saturday when the president's lawyers will begin presenting his case. Because what the Democrats have done, is they have opened the door to this. And I hope the president's lawyers will stand up and systematically lay out the case," Cruz said.

"They've been arguing that Hunter Biden is completely irrelevant to this case. Well, the House managers have now, through their arguments, made Hunter Biden not only relevant — he was always relevant — but critical now," he continued. "They built the entire case, like a house of cards, on the proposition that there was no reasonable basis to investigate Burisma. And that's just absurd."

The two also discussed Cruz's new podcast, "Verdict with Ted Cruz," which he records with Daily Wire host Michael Knowles each night following the Senate trial.

"Last night's podcast went through systematically ... all of the overwhelming evidence of corruption from Burisma that any president, not only had the authority to investigate, but the responsibility to investigate," Cruz said. "And that, ultimately, is why President Trump is going to be acquitted at the end of this process."

Watch the video below for more details:

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