A Fisherman’s Buoys: The Most Influential Books of 2016

I’ve only read five of these books. But I plan to read them all.

First, I should mention the book Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Although I read this book in 2015, I believed it has paved the path to all of my future reading by putting a name on a philosophy that was already part of my being.

When it comes to human psychology and philosophy, I think labeling is important. Prior to reading Minimalism, I was like a fisherman floating around an endless sea every now and again finding a spot that was good for fishing.  Then I would aimlessly set out again to find another good spot, sometimes getting lost in the process. Once I had read the book, it was as if monstrous-sized buoys with LED lights were placed in all of my good fishing holes. Not only could I easily see them now, but I could navigate between them with ease.

The buoy system is my philosophy of Minimalism. The buoys themselves are the tenets of that philosophy, focusing on passions, relationships, contribution, health, and growth.  How I decide to navigate between them defines my psych, I suppose.  It was this navigation that led me to all of the books I decided to read in 2016. 
So, which were the most influential? (A total of 33 books were read in 2016, just FYI).
  • Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
  • Give and Take by Adam Grant
  • The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • Republic, Lost by Lawrence Lessig
One of my passions is reading. There are several books I have read for the pure enjoyment of reading them or to learn something new.  One such book that I found very moving was Half the Sky. It is a tough book to get through, but a very important one.  It opened my eyes to a world I think very little about in my own little bubble, and that is the way women are treated globally.

Did you know, for example, that the U.S. is the worst among developed countries and ranks 61st globally in maternal health?

The Primal Blueprint has changed my life health-wise. I now live as Grok would, the fictional primal being referred to quite often in this book.

Republic, Lost has educated me and given me the depth I will need in order to make the contributions that I want to make in society. In particular, advocating for Represent.US and Our Revolution.

Daring Greatly has done wonders for my personal development and growth. I cite this often now, and most recently on the first day of my statistics classes.

Although Give and Take may fit more into the contribution and growth categories, I’m using it here to highlight my relationships with people. In Give and Take, you will read about givers, matchers, and takers, and it will get you thinking of what type of person you are in life. When I thought critically about my relationships with students, I feel like I’ve been more of a matcher. This book has been very influential in how I will develop relationships with students from now on as I strive to be more of a giver. 

2 thoughts on “A Fisherman’s Buoys: The Most Influential Books of 2016

  1. That is one solid list, my friend. I also felt uncomfortably like a matcher after reading Give and Take, and have been striving to be more of a giver. Also might be time for me to re-read Daring Greatly. The first time I read it, in 2014, I wasn't ready for it and failed to absorb a lot of the material.

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