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Welcome to the latest edition of our irregular and irreverent newsletter. Thanks for being one of more than 110,000 subscribers. (The reading time for this newsletter is less than 4 minutes).


Whoa. What a year. 2016 no doubt will go down as one of the most tumultuously bizarre and bizarrely tumultuous years of the early 21st century.

Below are 15 non-fiction books, in alphabetical order by author, that helped me make (a little) sense of the world this year — or at least gave me the opportunity to escape it.

The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime 
by Toshio Ban

Tezuka is probably the most important creative force that Americans have never heard of. In the world of Japanese manga and anime, he’s a combination of Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, and Elvis.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans 

Two Stanford professors show how to apply design thinking to one of your most important projects: your life. Also check out this Pinkcast with the authors.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade 
by Robert Cialdini

From the amazing Robert Cialdini comes a powerful sequel of sorts to his legendary book, Influence.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
by Matthew Desmond 

A sociologist’s detailed look at life in low-income housing and trailer parks; one of the most powerful books I’ve read in years.
(Buy it at Amazon,, IndieBound)

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth

Passion and persistence toward long-term goals outweighs talent in circumstances ranging from spelling bees to West Point.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Ten Restaurants That Changed America
by Paul Freedman

A social history of America told through iconic restaurants like Sylvia’s, Chez Panisse, and Howard Johnson.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (paperback) 
by Atul Gawande

Although this book is a clear-eyed and often uncomfortable look at end-of-life issues, it is also an uplifting view of what makes us human.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War
by Robert J. Gordon

This 700-page tome isn’t exactly light reading, but it tells the remarkable story of how a batch of innovations from 1870 to 1970 transformed American life — and why today’s innovations won’t give the economy the same kind of lift.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
by Adam Grant

Lots of smart science and savvy advice on how to stand up and stand out from the dynamic Wharton professor.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Lab Girl 
by Hope Jahren

The riveting memoir of a geobiologist (no, really) that is a funny and moving meditation on science, commitment, and love.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

March: Book Three
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

A graphic novel (the third of a trilogy) from the incredible John Lewis. This volume covers the U.S. civil rights movement from 1963 to 1965 in compelling and cinematic style. A great read for young people — and for the rest of us.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
by Michael Lewis

My dream in life: To be able to write as well as Michael Lewis and to think as well as Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family (paperback)
by Amy Ellis Nutt

A middle-class couple in Maine adopts two identical twin boys. Early in their lives, one boy insists he’s a girl. This remarkable book traces the family’s subsequent journey. An urgent and beautiful read.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
by Carlo Rovell
A slim (81-page) book that helped me (almost) understand relativity theory and black holes.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)

The Arab of the Future 2 
by Riad Sattouf 

Another graphic novel, this one the latest edition of the moving and extremely funny story of a boy whose childhood finds him hopscotching from France to Libya to Syria.
(Buy it at Amazon,, Indiebound)


In the last edition of this newsletter, I recommended 11 email newsletters that I thought were worth your time. (You can see that list here).

But I also asked for your newsletter recommendations. And you came through. Holy moly, did you come through.

The response was huge, but we’ve now managed to sort through all the entries. Here’s a link to a page that lists the top 48 newsletters that you, dear readers, recommend to each other:

Top 48 Reader-Recommended E-mail Newsletters 


This was also the year that I began experimenting with a new way to convey ideas — super-short videos (most briefer than 2 minutes) known as “Pinkcasts.” Many of you have provided smart feedback along the way that has helped improve these videos. For those who’ve missed a few, or who are dying to watch them again, here are the three Pinkcasts that have been the most popular with viewers so far:

Pinkcast 1.2: A Simple Trick for Getting the Right Stuff Done (79 seconds)

Pinkcast 1.6: How to Anticipate (and Prevent) Big Mistakes (154 seconds)

Pinkcast 1.12: Why You Should Write a Failure Resume (124 seconds)

You can watch any of our 14 videos here: The Pinkcast

That’s all for this edition. As always, thanks for reading our own humble newsletter. I wish you a peaceful, prosperous, and positive 2017

Daniel Pink