What to Read This Weekend: featuring Gish Jen, Michael Lewis, and Victor Frankl

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Viktor Frankl What to Read This Weekend: featuring Gish Jen, Michael Lewis, and Victor Frankl

Hi everyone,

Here are this week’s reading picks:

1.”My Muse was an Apple Computer,” by Gish Jen: another tribute to Steve Jobs, but also a compelling account of the life of a writer.

2. “Betting on the Blind Side,” by Michael Lewis: I’m reading Michael Lewis’ new book, Boomerang, which reminds me of how much I loved his last one on the 2008 crash, The Big Short. Lewis is the only person on earth who can make financial catastrophe entertaining. Here he is on Michael Burry, a solitary investor who was one of the few to see the crash coming.

3.  “Why to Believe in Others,” by legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl: This is a passionate talk Frankl gave decades ago on the need to overestimate people:

“If we take man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take him as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”

And here’s a quote from Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, describing the experience of sensitive people in concentration camps:

“In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen. Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain (they were often of a delicate constitution), but the damage to their inner selves was less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom. Only in this way can one explain the apparent paradox that some prisoners of a less hardy makeup often seemed to survive camp life better than did those of a robust nature.”

(That’s Frankl in the photo up top.)

Have a wonderful weekend.


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  1. Jim R. on 15.10.2011 at 12:38 (Reply)

    After the Bible, Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” is the most powerful and meaningful book I’ve read in my life.

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