I've gifted it twice already.
Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop.
This is a fantastic cookbook if you are interested in cooking Chinese food and a great reason to become interested if you are not. The author is a fine thoughtful writer and has really good taste and recipe judgement. The result is an intriguing collection of simple but good to amazing recipes with almost no duds. I've made over 60 of the recipes this year and almost all were a success. I love food and cooking and have over 70 cookbooks but this one has given me the most pleasure.
* 1491 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1491:_New_Revelations_of_the_A...
* Stranger in a Strange Land (the "Original, Uncut version") https://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Strange-Land-Robert-Heinlein...
1491 is about the societies in the Americas prior to European contact. And if anyone knows of any books on the topic that have been written since then (and thus are even more up-to-date with the current state of the field), I'm very, very interested.
Stranger in a Strange Land is just... excellent. I really appreciate Heinlein and I like his world view. Though I've never read the traditional "cut" version, I've talked with people who have read both and I'm sold on the unabridged version. As an aside, if you enjoy Heinlein, then I also recommend reading "For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs." It was Heinlein's first book, but was never published (until recently, of course). It's not polished, but it is very interesting to see how he had already formed in the 1930s a lot of the ideas that would dominate his writing for the rest of his career. A good and enjoyable read.
An incredible look into the lives of the working poor and what it actually means to try and get out of poverty in America. It's a beautiful book. http://thenewpress.com/books/moral-underground
Some amazing insights in AI, Augmented Reality, and a distributed manufacturing society.
- John Taylor Gatto's "The Underground History of American Education"
- Carroll Quigley's "Tragedy and Hope"
I always say this if I can, but I reread it again, and it's still great.
For those of you who don't know, it's a story about chasing down a hacker at the dawn of the computing era (mid 80s, AFAIK). It's riveting, and absolutely true.
* "The Elements Of Computing Systems", by Nisan and Schocken
Accompanies www.nand2tetris.org and leads you through implementing logic gates, a CPU, Assembler, right up to a functional computer, with the help of simulator software on a PC. Fascinating, but requires 100-200 hours to complete all the exercises.
* "The Rosie Project", by Graeme Simsion
Easy to read novel about a man searching for a wife, as recommended on Bill Gates' blog
* "Island Of The Lost", by Joan Druett
A true story of survival after being shipwrecked on a remote island
* "River Town", by Peter Hessler
The experiences of an English teacher who spent two years working in China
Fundamentally about being agile, adaptable, transparent, collaborative and decentralised. You could say it's about digital transformation but on a military scale. An excellent companion to some other books mentioned here, such as Deep Work (this book is a constructive counterpoint in many ways), Extreme Ownership, and Ego is the Enemy.
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Leif Babin and Jocko Willink
- "In the Garden of Beasts", Erik Larson: An excellent history of diplomatic relations between the US and Germany leading up to WWII.
- "Dune", Frank Herbert: Most of you are probably familiar with this book.
When Breathe Becomes Air
Story about the meaning of life. Not sure how anyone can go through this and not cry. (First book I've ever cried reading)
Also, Citizen of the Galaxy and Double Star are really good reads in the same sort of vein of political-minded science fiction.
"Did you know..." applies to everyone, no matter how far they are.
Pitch Anything - Oren Klaff