awards and honors | December 12, 2022

The Best Books of the Year: #1 Amazon Nonfiction, Top 10 New York Times, and More!

Lavin is proud to see books written by our exclusive speakers named to so many year-end Best Books lists—including, for a second year running, Amazon’s #1 nonfiction title and a Top 10 New York Times entry. If you're looking for a great read (or gift!) for the holidays, check out these books and the brilliant speakers behind them.

Johann Hari’s Stolen Focus
Amazon #1 Nonfiction Book

Amazon Top 20 Business Books; Financial Times Best Politics Books; Non-Obvious Book Awards Most Important Book

Why can’t we focus anymore? And how can we get back our attention? In his instant New York Times bestseller Stolen Focus, Johann Hari reveals the causes of our lost focus and proves that we can still take back our minds — and our flow, attention, and productivity. In an age of distraction, we have never been more in need of Johann’s clear-eyed, practical strategies for reclaiming our focus.

 

Hua Hsu’s Stay True
New York Times 10 Best Books

New York Times 100 Notable Books; TIME 100 Must-Read Books; Washington Post 10 Best Books; Kirkus Best Nonfiction Books; Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction Books; New Yorker Best Books; Pitchfork 15 Best Music Books

Stay True, a national bestseller, tells the story of Hua Hsu’s university friendship with another Asian-American student, exploring how friendship helps us figure out who we are. In this  "once-in-a-lifetime book" (New York Times bestselling author Jia Tolentino), Hua touches on Asian-American identity and the importance of telling diverse stories—among many other topics, like grief, pop culture, and being young.


James Kirchick’s Secret City
New York Times 100 Notable Books

In his instant New York Times bestseller Secret City, James Kirchick uncovers the untold stories of gay heroes (from aides to spymasters) working behind the scenes in Washington to bring about massive social change. Secret City is not just gay history, it's American history—it gives us a more accurate understanding of our past, and proves that ordinary citizens can make extraordinary change.

 

Cassie Holmes’s Happier Hour
Amazon Top 20 Business & Leadership Books

The key to happiness? Superstar UCLA professor Cassie Holmes says it’s time — making the most of the 24 hours we have. In Happier Hour, she shows us how we can make the best use of our most limited resource, and get more focused, productive, and purposeful (among many other benefits). She offers research-based strategies and tips for restructuring our schedules, helping us focus on what really matters in life.


Douglas Rushkoff’s Survival of the Richest
Amazon Top 20 Business & Leadership Books

Tech elites are eroding the planet before trying to literally escape it—for island bunkers, Mars, or the Metaverse—but it's not too late for us to reclaim it and build the world we want to see. In Survival of the Richest, Douglas Rushkoff gives us a hilarious and eye-opening glimpse into the world of tech, and proves that creating a world of human connection and community is actually easier than we think.

 

Chuck Klosterman’s The Nineties
Amazon Top 20 History Books; Kirkus Best Nonfiction Books; NPR Books We Love

"Wonderfully researched, compellingly written, and often very funny, this is a superb reassessment of an underappreciated decade from a stupendously gifted essayist" (Booklist). In The Nineties, an instant New York Times bestseller, Chuck Klosterman explores the massive cultural shifts of the '90s, unpacking how the decade continues to affect us today, using the past to give us a glimpse into our future.


Reza Aslan’s An American Martyr in Persia
NPR Books We Love

In An American Martyr in Persia, Reza Aslan—a foremost voice on democracy and religion—tells the story of a forgotten fighter in Iran's first revolution a century ago, who died for the same ideals Iranians are striving for today. Reza helps us to understand Iran’s current revolution by looking to the past, and asks us to consider what we owe to those around the world who are fighting for the rights we take for granted.

 

Patti Smith’s A Book of Days
Pitchfork 15 Best Music Books

A Book of Days, punk rock legend Patti Smith’s latest New York Times bestseller, offers us a glimpse into the creative processes of one of our most legendary artists as she explores birth, death, and the everyday through original photographs and witty, thoughtful captions.  "Part calendar, part memoir, and part cultural record, the book serves as a rich exploration of the author’s fascinating mind" (Kirkus).


Greg Hoffman’s Emotion by Design
Porchlight Business Book Awards Marketing & Sales Longlist (winner announced January 12)

As Nike's former Chief Marketing Officer, Greg Hoffman led all their most memorable recent campaigns, working with athletes like LeBron James to cement Nike globally as a marketing leader. He knows that the world's greatest brands don't just reach customers—they create powerful emotional bonds with them. And in Emotion By Design, he offers practical strategies for turning emotion and storytelling to our advantage.

 

John List’s The Voltage Effect
Porchlight Business Book Awards Leadership & Strategy Longlist (winner announced January 12)

The key to making our great ideas scale? John List says it's voltage. In The Voltage Effect, John explains the traits that any good idea needs in order to grow. He draws on his experience as Walmart's Chief Economist—and his time working with companies like Google, Facebook, Uber, and Lyft—to show us how to develop these traits in our own ideas and help them take off.


Bill McKibben’s The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon
New Yorker Best Books

What happened to our American Dream, and how can we get it back? In The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon, bestselling author Bill McKibben weaves his story with the story of our nation to prove that the world we want is still within reach. Amidst overlapping crises, we can still come together for the world we want to see. Bestselling author Heather McGhee calls it a "clarion call to fight for our common future.”

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new speaker | December 09, 2022