If I were to create a list of my all-time favorite books, I would have a difficult time and always feel like I left one off. So instead of doing that, I decided to share a few of my favorite books from over the past couple of months. Before I jump into those books, I should mention that 99.9% of books I read are non-fiction and are typically sports related, inspirational, autobiographies & biographies, and books about ordinary people.
The Legends Club by John Feinstein
- I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loves college basketball, but more particularly anyone who appreciates the rivalry of basketball in North Carolina (North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Duke). It profiles coaches, Dean Smith, Jim Valvano, and Mike Kryzewski as they go through recruiting wars, personal rivalries, pressures associated with the job, and their drive to win. Not only do you learn about the coaches, but it covers various players in detail and you pick up on how NCAA basketball has evolved over the years from recruiting to rule changes. It’s not a quick read (actually, it’s quite long and detailed), but so worth the read!
Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
- This is a wonderful book that stories Jenna and Barbara Bush’s unique life from Texas to the White House and everything in between. They reflect on their favorite memories, mistakes as teenagers, life in the public eye and their family. While it is certainly interesting to hear first hand experiences from former first daughters, this book also does an excellent job of welcoming you into what “normal” family life is like for the Bushes. Two aspects of the book I found most interesting is when they talked about 9/11 and their unique and classy Gans, Barbara Bush.
The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews
- Andy Andrew’s is one of my favorite authors and speakers because of his unique storytelling ability and motivational wisdom. This true story takes place during WWII and tells a heartwarming story about how a German U-boat officer washes ashore into a small Alabama town and looks to Helen for survival. This books takes you through unexpected turns, loss, forgiveness, and letting go. A truly inspiring story.
Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas
- Jeanne Laskas profiles individuals from air traffic controllers at LaGuardia Airport to coal miners. She takes readers into the daily lives of those that make this country work. My favorite part about the book is that you actually get to know the people she profiled and their personal lives beyond their daily jobs. It is a very interesting and insightful book that reveals the hidden heartbeat of America.
Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker
- Bianca Bosker was a Professional Journalist who quit her stable job to discover an industry where people spend their lives on the quest for flavor, so she could uncover the question: “what is the big deal about wine?” In this book you learn about underground tasting groups, exclusive New York restaurants, California wine factories, fMRI machines, the grueling process of becoming a certified Sommelier, and how Sommeliers devote their life to flavor. This was a super interesting book, but the biggest takeaway for me actually has nothing to do with wine; it had to do with the motivation and drive behind Bosker. She spent an entire year chasing this industry and learning about it. The underlying motivation and drive to do so was fascinating to me. This certainly isn’t an inspirational book, it’s strictly informational, but trust me, once you read it and think about how much time, resources, and studying she put into this…you’ll be motivated yourself to learn, discover, or pursue a new hobby, interest, or job that you’ve always dreamed of chasing.
The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews
- Imagine that another Andy Andrews’ book makes the list! This short, 100 page book will take you 20 minutes to read and will be the most thought provoking, motivating book you’ll read this year. I’d give you a summary, but it would be quicker for you to just read the book….it’s that good!