It’s time for a new edition of What I’m Reading, and I’m sharing three books I think you’ll enjoy. Thanks again to those who keep the book suggestions coming!

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by [Carreyrou, John]

  • Remember Elizabeth Holmes, the supposed “female Steve Jobs” of the medical industry whose company, Theranos, was a complete fraud?
  • This book tells the story, and I could not put it down. It’s written by the reporter who helped break the story, and I think he did a great job here.
  • For non-fiction especially, it’s a real page-turner and I definitely recommend reading it if you’re at all interested in this crazy story.

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by [Hurston, Zora Neale]

  • It took almost a century for this book to be published, and I’m so glad it was.
  • I think this description, taken directly from Amazon, gives a great synopsis:
    • In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama…to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.
    • In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship…She talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man…talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.
  • If you want to get a nearly firsthand account and expand your perspective and knowledge on these topics, read this eye-opening, historical book.
  • Note: Hurston insisted the book be written in the dialect of Lewis, which takes some getting used to but is a worthwhile aspect that enhances the account. You might also try the audiobook.

To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret by [Jenkins, Jedidiah]

  • I’ve mentioned Jedidiah Jenkins on this blog before, and his book is now out.
  • The way he explained things on podcast interviews over the last few years is what really made him stand out to me, and now I’m enjoying his book quite a bit. He can put things into words that I’ve thought but haven’t been able to articulate.
  • His book is a little more of a play-by-play of his bicycle trip from Oregon to Patagonia (and more about his experience with religion than I was expecting), with nuggets of Jedidiah wisdom, details about his personal struggles, and ways in which he intentionally seeks growth shared along the way.
  • Travelers, adventurers, and big-thinkers should enjoy this book!

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