Discover more from Three Book Thursday
On The Quest for Living a Moral Life, Questioning Your Long Held Beliefs, and Conquering Ski Racing
Books that changed my life
Here is your weekly dose of books that changed my life. Three powerhouses!
1. Living a full life
The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life
Not what I would’ve expected from David Brooks…this is one of the most impactful books I’ve ever read. It is filled with wisdom. I think about this book almost daily–it is that thought provoking (and why I included more than the usual three bullet points).
Principle: When you have nothing but your identity and job title to rest on, then you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others.
Insight: The dinner table is the key technology of social intimacy
Insight: Happiness is the proper goal for people on their first mountain. And happiness is great. But we have only one life, so we might as well use it hunting for big game: to enjoy happiness, but to surpass happiness toward joy. Happiness tends to be individual. Joy tends to be self-transcending. Happiness is something you pursue; joy is something that rises up unexpectedly and sweeps over you. Happiness comes from accomplishments; joy comes from offering gifts. Happiness fades; we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn't fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude, and hope.
Quote: A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. -Kafka
Quote: How you spend your days is how you spend your life. -Annie Dillard
Question: What would you do if you weren't afraid?
Authors: David Brooks
Themes: Living a full life, Personal development
My personal notes from the book
2. Decision making
The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds
Are you familiar with the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by the Nobel Prize laureates Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman? It was one of the most exciting and fulfilling reads of my life. You’ll learn more about it in an upcoming Three Book Thursday. So how’s the The Undoing Project related to Thinking, Fast and Slow? I consider it a prequel. It dives into how Tversky and Kahneman formed their relationship. If you want your beliefs challenged or want to understand why you make decisions the way you do, start here. Not only was this book incredibly informative, but it was entertaining. It is full of fresh perspectives.
Principle: The big choices we make are practically random. The small choices probably tell us more about who we are. Which field we go into may depend on which high school teacher we happen to meet. Who we marry may depend on who happens to be around at the right tie of life. On the other hand, the small decisions are very systematic. That I became a psychologist is probably not very revealing. What kind of psychologist I am may reflect deep traits.
Insight: People pay an enormous price to avoid mild embarrassment.
Quote: Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one. -Voltaire
Manipulation of perception: Which line is longer-the top or bottom?
Answer: They are the same length.
Take away: If perception had the power to overwhelm reality in such a simple case, how much power might it have in a more complicated one.
Author: Michael Lewis
Themes: Decision making, Human psychology
My personal notes from the book
Rise: My Story
This is one of the most vulnerable accounts I’ve ever read by an athlete. Rise is the story of Lindsay Vonn. My interest in Vonn is special because my daughter has been following in her tracks and I wanted to learn as much as I could about ski racing. Well, this book definitely opens that door and gives you as real as a perspective as you’ll ever get outside of being a racer yourself. Vonn experiences so many ups and downs in her life both personally and professionally-reading about how she managed so many set backs yet went on to become one of the most decorated skiers of all time is inspiring. The title, Rise, could not be more apropos to Vonn’s life. You do not have to be a fan of ski racing to appreciate this book. It is truly one of the best written athlete memoirs.
Author: Lindsay Vonn
Themes: Memoir, Sports, Ski racing, Peak performance
That’s a wrap. Thanks for reading!
P.S. Do you have a favorite book that changed your life? Please share it with me by replying to this email.
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