— Review by Rachel Kushner “In July, after the coup in Turkey, during the escalating Trump campaign, I read Orhan Pamuk’s “A Strangeness in My Mind.” Despite being a six-hundred-and-twenty-four-page novel about a man who sells boza—a low-alcohol fermented wheat drink of waning popularity in the Balkans and the Middle East—this novel is of gripping relevance to anyone who wants to understand either the sociopolitical landscape of Turkey or sociopolitical landscapes more generally. Pamuk did six years of field research, talking to street venders, electricity-bill collectors, and the builders and residents of Istanbul’s many shantytowns—a population that has typically voted for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the increasingly authoritarian populist who has been the head of state since 2003—and then wove the information he collected into the individual experience of this one street vender, a dreamer type who suffers from a condition that he calls “a strangeness in his head.” The book pumped me up about the possibilities of the novel—the way that it can do a kind of work that social analysis and even history, with its limited access to private life and unspoken desires, can’t: namely, tracing the relationship between large-scale historical change and the thoughts and feelings that fill a given person’s head at any given moment. I found it as head-exploding as “War and Peace,” and more comforting. It gave me a window onto a part of human experience, and a part of Istanbul’s geography, that I thought I didn’t and couldn’t understand”
2.Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli MK “Get confused by science fiction because you can’t separate what’s real versus what’s been made up? Italian theoretical physicist and writer Carlo Rovelli uses a conversational tone to untangle the most complicated yet most beautiful advances in science in modern history. Lesson topics range from Einstein’s theory of relativity to black holes, and you’ll feel a whole lot smarter for having read this elegant, straightforward little book”
3. Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday: A great books in business and personal strategy. According to Ryan “Many of us insist the main impediment to a full, successful life is the outside world. In fact, the most common enemy lies within: our ego. Early in our careers, it impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, it can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, it magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. At every stage, ego holds us back.” In fact, if ego is not checked it can ruin not only the leader but can ruin an entire organization, nation or continent.
4. Bargaining for Advantage by Professor Richard Shell: Written by Director of Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop. Reveals best practices from the world’s top dealmakers. Shows you how to avoid the perils and pitfalls of negotiations.
5. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl: A series of grisly murders is rocking the streets of nineteenth-century Boston. But these are no ordinary killings. Each is inspired by the hellish visions of Dante’s Inferno. To end the bizarre and bloody spree, no ordinary detective will suffice. Enter the unlikely sleuths of the Dante Club: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, and J. T. Fields — renowned scholars with the skills to decipher the devilish clues. But can this band of bookish gentlemen outwit a crafty killer? A terror-stricken city — and their own lives — depend on it.
6.The Lose Your Belly Diet: Change Your Gut, Change Your Life by Travis Stork: Based on exciting new research about the dramatic benefits of vibrant gut health and a diverse gut microbiome, Travis Stork’s plan nurtures your gut while helping you burn off excess weight and harmful belly fat.