2021 was the first year I consistently read the whole year since elementary school. While reflecting on the past year, I have come to a conclusion: books are pretty awesome. Books allow people to escape from reality, have their thoughts and imagination dive into a beautifully imagined worlds, follow the highs and lows of those they adore or have their mind blown about topics they didn't realize were so deep in nature. The harder the book is to get through, the stronger and more satisfied I would feel after finishing it. There's also something therapeutic about opening and holding a physical book when so much of my time is spent looking at a screen.
Below are the top 3 books that I read over the past year.
Deep Work: In a world with so much going on, it's so easy to get distracted. It's even easier to become overwhelmed by the speed the world moves at, and the feats others are achieving. Honing in and focusing on one's own craft can at times feel "insert negative word here". That's why I really enjoyed reading Deep Work. It opened my eyes to how I approached my work, in terms of being more effective with my time and blocking out time for technical tasks.
Geese are Never Swans: One of my biggest inspirations growing up was Kobe Bryant. A very polarizing figure, he embodies characteristics such as having a consistent work ethic, being a multi-faceted individual and being a family man. Geese are Never Swans is a great dive into the mind of Kobe Bryant and similar athletes who are pursuing not just greatness, but being the best in the world. It can feel like a very lonely path, which can sometimes make being an athlete more mentally draining than it is physically
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: It was hard not to want to read this book when it has such a catchy title and is written by one of the brightest minds in the world. Bill Gates paints the constantly escalating problem that is climate change in such an interesting way. He lays out where we currently are at in terms of damage we put on the Earth's atmosphere, then proceeds to dive deeper into avenues we as a society can develop and innovate in. In turn, this would reduce our annual carbon footprint.