If you have been following me on Instagram for a moment, you might have noticed that during the year 2017, I have read on average one book every single week; which leads us to 52 + 1 (novel) books during this year.
I will present you my top five books of 2017 — in a future post I will list all of the books I read throughout the past year.
In this post I will list of these books from the least impactful to the most impactful to me.
Note that by impactful I mean these that have somehow impacted the way I think and most importantly the way I see the world; Also, please note that this is a subjective view of them; I am just going to talk about couple ideas that I have found from each book. If you want to talk about any of the books, or want deep insights from me, feel free to tell me about that.
Let’s get started !
5. ON CHINA, 2011 – HENRY KISSINGER
This is one of the five books that I have read from Kissinger this year.
Mr. Kissinger gives us some very interesting memories and impressions about the attitude and personality of the various Chinese leaders he had the opportunity to meet:
- Mao the philosopher professor, still out for a good nuclear war;
- Zhou the Mandarin Confucianist, affable and always calm;
- Deng, more inside and pragmatic.
He did not talk about Tibet or Xinjiang, where the Uyghurs are however regularly excited and trained and funded by NGOs, resulting in periodic massacres of Hans, or the attack last week in Tiananmen for example; not a word about the role of the United States in the “spontaneous” mobilization (as in Ukraine in 2004, and as for the Arab Spring, you know?) of 1989, or of those which arise periodically, as for example this group of lawyers, all trained in the United States and of Protestant denomination, who have been campaigning since 2008 for a revision of the Constitution.—the book is quite biased, in my opinion.
Bref, I am not going to spoil it to you. If you are interested to read it, you can find it on Amazon or any other bookstore.
4. CAPITALISM AND FREEDOM, 1962 – MILTON FRIEDMAN
In this book from Friedman, the author, shows in particular, the in fact “to start the pump“, the major programs of government spending, aggravate inflationary trends and unemployment, and above all, that they prove almost irreversible, creating long term a growing dependence on the state, and a structural debt, difficult to absorb.
We find in Milton Friedman’s text profound convictions for freedom in all its forms, and not the henchman of the devil whom Naomi Klein and other leftists like to describe in order to criticize him more easily. Far from being a blind fanatic, Friedman seeks to reconcile the defense of freedom and pragmatism, to propose new solutions adopted to the world of 1962 and today. Therefore, the ideas from the book are still relevant today. If you want to read this book, I highly recommend you to read The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith.
3. LE GÉNOCIDE VOILÉ : ENQUÊTE HISTORIQUE, 2008 – TIDIANE N’DIAYE
This written documentary has literally changed the way I interpret African History.
When thinking about colonialism we usually think about westerners coming and enslaving African people. Despite the truth of this fact, we are not taught the way Arabic people did the same centuries before the first western colonization wave in Africa
This book shows that long before the Atlantic Treaty by “Westerners”, Africa was looted from its human reserves by the Saharan Arab-Muslim trade. Trafficking that lasted 3 times longer and that made 5 times more victims.
I highly recommend it to you if you are interested in learning more about subsaharan history. After reading this book, you really should consider reading L’Histoire de l’Afrique Noire by Joseph Ki-Zerbo
Sorry, I have not been able to find it in English, I have read it in French.
2. THINK AND GROW RICH, 1937 – NAPOLEON HILL
Napoleon Hill learned the secrets of success thanks to Andrew Carnegie. When he discovered the secret, he decided to devote his life to developing and sharing this secret with others. He spent 20 years analyzing and interviewing the richest and most successful men on the planet to find a common philosophy.
Be aware that when talking about “riches” in the book, it is mainly referred to goals that you set for yourself that you may want to attain.
It is a great book in term of personal development, despite the fact that it has been written 80 years ago, advices given by Hill (observed in these highly successful people) are still revenant for these who want to set goals and reach them.
1. THE WEALTH OF NATIONS, 1776 – ADAM SMITH
If I were to summarize this book in one simple sentence, I would say that it has the “secret” or a National Prosperity (in some ways). If you are interested in politics and economy, might have already read it, otherwise, just go and grab it.
You will learn about what an economy is, trade, wages, banking, monetary policy, taxes, public debts, agriculture, history, the list goes on and on.
It is my favorite book of the year for the simple fact that it taught me so many things about The System that I was not even aware of.
The accuracy of this piece, even put into today’s context is stunning; specially this sentence:
“Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.”
The more wealth we create, the more inequality results out of this. It seems obvious, but it is just one part out of more than 500 pages of accuracy.
Smith’s reasoning is modern even today! For instance, when two events seem to operate in parallel, he must find out if there is a real common cause. Another example of his modern and progressive mind, he was very aware of the unfairness of the system , of the powerful rich, of the human need for happiness and freedom.
I do not necessarily agree with all his ideas, but we will talk about that later.
Anyways, if you are interested in this book, you can pick it up on Amazon or any other bookstore.
I will post another article in which I will list all the books I have read this year. And some other posts in which I will share my notes on these five books more in depth and some that I think are worth being shared with you guys such as The Prince, from Niccolò Machiavelli or World Order by Henry Kissinger.
Which one are you going to pick up first?