The Saturday Read – Summer Reading Suggestions from TED speakers and attendees

Last week BuzzFeed Books posted a short quiz that professed to know how old you are based on your reading habits. Go ahead, take the quiz. You may find you have shaved 10 – 20 years from your chronological age. I’m once again enjoying my 23rd year.

The good news, we have more time to read, and this year the folks at TED have provided us with over 70 summer book suggestions from speakers and attendees.

After reviewing the list, I’ve picked a quartet of speakers and stories they recommend.

David Eagleman, neuroscientist and author:

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. “A series of very short stories that are all about the same thing: a single city in Kublai Khan’s empire. It’s mother’s milk for my own fiction writing.”

Dave Isay of StoryCorps:

The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge by Gay Talese. “An ode to the men who built the Verrazano-Narrows, it centers around the question, ‘Who are the high-wire walkers wearing boots and hard hats, earning their living by risking their lives in places where falls are often fatal and where the bridges and skyscrapers are looked upon as sepulchers by the families and coworkers of the deceased?’”

David Rothkopf, foreign policy thinker and senior editor of the FP Group:

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner. “My dad worked at Bell Labs, and my first summer jobs were there as well. It epitomized the power of pure research, and showed how big science and big government could collaborate. It is gone now, and its disappearance raises many questions about our future.”

Tony Fadell, Founder and CEO of Nest:

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough. “By offering evidence that traits like empathy, determination and self-control tend to be better predictors of success than IQ, Tough will make you think differently about raising kids in a highly competitive world.”

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