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David has been writing and publishing since 2006.  

Book recommendations from the first half of 2024

Jul 1, 2024 | Reflections

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Happy 4th of July week

For years, I have shared periodically what I’ve been reading.  Increasingly, I have found my goal to be to start more books but finish less. Hopefully this is not a sign of a lack of commitment, instead, far too many books are published that could have been 80-100 pages (and not the 250-300 that seems standard). Once you get the main ideas, there is not a lot to be gained by persisting to the end.

I have found a nice side effect to be though, the books that I do finish are generally of exceptional quality. So that end, I thought I’d share five of my favorites from this year’s reading pile. All of which are were excellent.

Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians by Tara Isabella Burton

Today’s cultural moment is defined by the quest to become an authentic individual. But as Burton unpacks, this impulse is not new. From Montaigne, to the Dandy movement, to the Marquis De Sade, self-creation is a centuries old impulse. A helpful understanding of the history and critique of our current cultural impulse.

The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

Famed music producer Rick Rubin may be a modern day Yoda, and certainly some of the chapters of The Creative Act have a bit of the vibe of the famed jedi master. More than anything though, Rubin is a careful student of the practice of Creativity and how to encourage the artist in us all to move towards more creative mental spaces. I was skeptical of the hype this one has received, but it’s well worth a read.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

This was a Christmas gift last year that I blew through during the New Year’s lull. Author and former pastor, John Mark Comer wrote a thought provoking look at the impact of busyness and hurry, and how that intersects with the ancient practice known as Sabbath.

Command and Control by Eric Schlosser

An older one, Command and Control tells the story of the US nuclear weapons programs following WWII. If you enjoyed Oppenheimer and want to know what happens next – this is your read. More than anything it is a harrowing expose of unknowable risks embedded in highly complex systems (like thousands of world destroying nuclear bombs) and how that intersects with human concepts like leadership and power.

The Dynasty by Jeff Benedict

While I’m not particularly a fan of football, Benedict is an excellent storyteller. The Dynasty tells the story of the New England Patriots, from Robert Kraft’s journey to ownership, Bill Belichek’s path to coach, and the unlikely rise of Tom Brady as starting quarterback.


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Nashville, TN