Books So Good I Read Them Twice

Sometimes, a book resonates with you in such a way that finishing it feels like leaving a friend. The kind of books you want to revisit, to see what else you can discover within their pages. I've got a handful of those, books that have made it back to my bedside table for a second round. Here's a shortlist of those gems and why they're worth a second read.

Deep Work by Cal Newport

In a world bursting with distractions, Cal Newport’s "Deep Work" is a beacon of focus. It's all about mastering the art of concentrated work without the constant ping of notifications. Newport makes a compelling case for why deep work matters in achieving success and satisfaction in one's career. I revisited this book to remind myself how to cut through the noise and dive deep into my work. While you're at, check the podcast and his embryonic expansion of Deep Work into The Deep Life.

Power and the Idealists by Paul Berman

"Power and the Idealists" is a thought-provoking journey through the lives of 1968's radicals and how their experiences shaped the world politics of their time—and ours. Berman's narrative captures the transformation of political activism over the decades. This book earned a second read because of its insightful analysis of political movements and the complexities of idealism versus reality. A challenging read for the progressive left in its case for liberalism.

Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky’s classic examination of the media's role in shaping public perception and opinion is as relevant today as it was when first published. "Manufacturing Consent" delves into the propaganda model of the media, highlighting the control and influence exerted by powerful elites. Reading it again and replacing The New York Times with Joe Rogan and Fox News is a reminder of the critical eye needed when considering the modern media environment.

The Cruelty is the Point by Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer’s collection of essays in "The Cruelty is the Point" provides a piercing look at the cultural and political landscapes of contemporary America. His exploration of racism, identity, and politics is both enlightening and unsettling. The book’s candidness and depth made it an essential reread for me, especially in our current socio-political climate.

10% Happier by Dan Harris

Dan Harris's "10% Happier" is a refreshingly honest take on the search for peace in the chaos of daily life. It's a skeptic's guide to meditation, detailing Harris’s journey from a high-stress news anchor to finding solace in mindfulness. I found myself flipping through its pages again for its practical advice on navigating the complexities of modern life with a bit more serenity.

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" is a classic playbook for community organizing and activism. Its insights into effective political strategy and the dynamics of social change are as applicable today as they were when first penned. The book's pragmatic approach to creating change drew me back for another read, offering timeless lessons on making a meaningful impact.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo’s guide to decluttering your space and by extension, your life, is more than just a manual on tidying up. "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" presents a philosophy towards possessions and joy that’s both simple and revolutionary. Revisiting Kondo’s method was a reminder of the peace and clarity a well-organized space can bring. Often misunderstood as a case for "throwing out all your stuff", Kondo makes a case for a life of beauty and meaning.