I read some great books in 2016 and Antifragile by Nassim Taleb comes out first. He discussed the philosophical idea of things that gain from disorder. Nassim makes the idea easy to grab by explaining that we do not have a word for the exact opposite of fragile – most people say robust, but that is wrong; fragile means something that gets harmed by disorder, take for example the fate of a coffee cup during an earthquake. The opposite has to go beyond resilience, hence Antifragile.
The Habits of the Mind, intellectual life as a Christian calling by James W Sire. I have always loved the idea of intellectualism, but quite a lot of people think this idea is antithetical to Christianity but the book argues the opposite, by giving examples of how Jesus himself engaged in intellectualism. Some of us should follow suite the book argues.
Enchiridion by Epictetus. Enchiridion is one of the best text I have read on stoic philosophy, it was compiled by Arrian a second century disciple of Epictetus in 135AD. And all it’s says can be summarized in 6 words, “whatever happens, gracefully, suck it up”
Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. What does it mean to be poor, what makes people poor, and what makes people stay poor, Poor economics answered some these questions, it’s deeply researched with slew of data. If you want to learn about poverty, Pick it up.
Lastly, Deep Work by Cal Newport, it is probably the most provocative book I read in 2016. We live in a time where distractions are just way too much, and this is preventing people in completing cognitively demanding tasks. Cal Newport discussed some practical and sometimes extreme measures of getting work done via deep work. I love it.