May 24, 2022

Archives for December 2021

The Adjuster’s Bookshelf: My Top 10 Books from 2021

Reading is a big part of my life. Always has been. A daily reading session is one of my Keystone habits. I typically have two books going on at the same time and try to knock out 20 pages a day on each.

As we get close to the end of 2021, I offer a highly personal and admittedly idiosyncratic list of what I consider to be the best books read during 2021. To lend context, I’m on pace to read about 65 books this year, with a huge backlog on my “To Read” on-deck circle. (To see a listing of all the books I’ve read so far in 2021, check the Goodreads app or connect with me there.)

In order of ranking, here are my picks for the best books I’ve read this year:

1. “Freaks of a Feather: A Marine Grunt’s Memoir” by Kacy Tellesen. An electrifying military memoir, hard to put down yet hard to read at times. Tellesen traces his story from a young man fantasizing about joining the Marines, his tours in the Middle East, and his struggles to readjust to civilian life. Terrific book!

2. “The Dark Fields” by Alan Glynn. This is the book on which the movie “Limitless” was based. One of the few novels I read in 2021. I’m a huge fan of both the movie and this book.

3. “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” by Oliver Burkeman. The title refers to the estimated amount of life expectancy that the average person has at birth. Those who know me well know that I’ve been preoccupied (obsessed??) with time management and personal productivity since the 1970’s. Author Oliver Burkeman takes a novel twist on this topic with his theme basically that we CAN’T “do it all.”

4. “The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self” by Michael Easter. This book is the embodiment of the Stoic principle, “Do hard things.”

5. “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning” by Tom Vanderbilt. A first-person journey of the author who sequentially tackles disparate skills, including (but not limited to) chess, surfing and performing in a choir. An interesting story of an autodidact.

6. “The Long Game: How to be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World” by Dorie Clark. Dorie Clark has been on the business school faculty at Duke’ Fuqua School of Management and has written a terrific career guide on the need to be patient.

7. “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion” by Eliott Brown. This book closely tracks a Hulu documentary on Wework’s fiasco. It reads like a novel and is hard to put down, even though we know the ending.

8. “Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire” by Brad Stone. A compelling narrative of a modern-day business titan and, depending upon what day you check, the richest or second richest man in the world. Order it . . . off Amazon!

9. “Alpha: Eddie Gallagher and the War for the Soul of the Navy SEALs” by David Phillips. An absorbing Chronicle of a Navy seal accused of war crimes and the culture of the special forces that created challenges in prosecuting this SEAL Team leader.

10. “The Art of Adjusting: Writing Down the Unwritten Rules of Claims Handling” by Chantal Roberts. True confessions: the author is a colleague and friend. Also, I blurbed the book. That said, Ms. Roberts pulls back the veil surrounding the business of claims adjusting to provide practical insights that you won’t find in most staid insurance textbooks, leavened with her own droll sense of humor.

Honorable Mention: “Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business” by Paul Jarvis. As a solo entrepreneur, I found this book resonating with me, in terms of how to craft a lifestyle that is financially sustainable without the headaches of adding staff and chasing endless growth.

Biggest disappointment: “Edison” Edmund Morris. I’ve been a big fan of Morris and, in particular, his titanic three-volume work on Theodore Roosevelt. However, this book was weird. Morris got the brilliant idea of relating a biography in reverse chronological order. In other words, he started with Edison’s funeral and worked backwards through his life, ending up with his birth. The rationale for this was not apparent to me and made for a disorienting reading experience, weighing in at 800+ pages. Maybe he did it because he thought it would be a virtuoso biographical performance but it made no sense to me. Call it the Benjamin Button met5hod of biography but it just did not click.

How about you?

What have been the best, most impactful books that you read this year?

YouTube You Tube     Facebook Facebook     Twitter Twitter     Linked In Linked In
Disclaimer   |   Sitemap   |   CLM Advisors
Quinley Risk Associates, LLC © 2012. All Rights Reserved.
Website support provided by Aivilo Web Solutions, LLC.