Buzz books are the kind that you can’t stop reading. In recent weeks, I’ve seen social media feeds light up about these books, particularly because they include some profound insights. One author tends to post fresh insights from his own book; others have such a vast following that readers seem to cling on to the author’s every word.
1. Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes
A highly entertaining read especially for someone in the journalism field, this book about the famous news show on CBS is filled with insights about the people and topics on the program. It’s written by a long-time producer who recently retired.
2. Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer
A book about living longer by one of my favorite authors? Sign me up! I’ll go on record saying this is one of my favorites of the last few years. The history of vaccines is fascinating and eye-opening, and I was surprised fertilizer is such a lifesaver (because it means more crops).
3. The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War
Malcolm Gladwell is back at it, this time with a book that is a stark departure from his previous material. The well-known writer has become a stellar podcaster as well. This book grew out of several episodes; this book has a story arc that is riveting and well told. (Shout out to the publisher for quoting me on the back of the book!)
4. Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment
There’s a lot of noise in the world. One recent book seeks to explain what to do about that. Noise is about how we make decisions and judge what is right. At times, we might be influenced by factors like time of day and whether we had a good night sleep.
5. The Premonition: A Pandemic Story
Reading about the pandemic is not my favorite thing, but this book by Michael Lewis is full of new insights. The title is a hint about what could be in store if a pandemic arrives again, but if it does, Lewis explains how scientists will need to push the boundaries of medicine yet again.
6. Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service
For a business-minded reader, this book about the rise of the Secret Service and endemic problems is a recipe for what to do (and not to do). It fits in that same category of insightful historical books like Spymasters and The FBI Way.
7. Kennedy’s Avenger: Assassination, Conspiracy, and the Forgotten Trial of Jack Ruby
Dan Abrams is a favorite author of mine because of his storytelling ability and how he makes history come alive. His latest book recounts the trial of Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald in cold blood. The trial adds color and texture to the lawyers, courtroom, and historical events.