One of my favorite things about the limbo week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is getting a little space to read for pleasure. If you have any downtime and feel like getting a present for yourself, this week’s Snow Report is just a list of the best books I read FOR FUN in 2018:
A young Japanese Don Draper type gets caught up in a conspiracy involving sheep, ghosts, a mysterious authoritarian villain, and a girl with magic ears. If that doesn’t get you excited, then just read it for an amazing writing lesson on clever chapter transitions. (A Wild Sheep Chase, by Murakami)
A young Saudi Arabian woman who lives in the first city on the Moon gets caught up in a lunar heist involving petty smuggling, aluminum mines, space tractors, and oxygen deprivation. If that doesn’t get you, the easy-to-understand science lessons the author sneaks in will make you feel super smart. (Artemis, by Andy Weir)
A seasoned American journalist and devout Materialist investigates the crazy history of psychedelics, including how Nixon banned LSD because of Vietnam despite overwhelming research showing it helps depression and addiction recovery many times better than any drug on the market. He then decides to try a bunch of psychedelics himself at age 60 and rethinks his views on humanity (and God). This true story will turn your brain delightfully upside down. (How To Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan)
And if you didn’t get the chance to read my own books that came out this year, here’s two more fun reads to check out!
An unstoppable Soviet hockey team, a gang of pirates that saves America, a young woman who took down a corrupt hospital system, and more show us the hidden science of being a great team player—along with high-stakes stories about Jewish soccer kids, communist artists, underdog activists, and a guy who tried to build a dome over a small town in Vermont. I’m honored and humbled to share that Dream Teams was a #1 bestseller this summer, and swept the business and political world this fall. (Thank you all who supported it!)
Why do twice as many people trust JK Rowling as Queen Elizabeth? What’s the brain science behind the Hopi proverb, Those Who Tell The Stories Rule The World? My main man Joe Lazauskas and I explore the art and science of telling great stories in the business bestseller The Storytelling Edge. If you’re in marketing and haven’t read this, the Kindle version is only $11 right now. ;)
Finally, if you plan on honing your own writing chops a little this holiday break, check out this year’s archive of interviews with authors on their writing process at https://blog.shanesnow.com/ (which I recently repurposed as a blog just about writing. The rest of my articles on other subjects can now be found at http://shanesnow.com/articles).
Wishing you love and a happy end of 2018!