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Books We Love: A Reading List for 2019

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Who doesn’t love a good book?


New hardcover books with stiff spines and crisp pages. Big art books with glossy photos of far-away places. Ancient books with yellowed, dog-eared pages and penciled-in notes. Mini-classics you can hold in the palm of your hand. There’s nothing better than a good book during the dark winter months.

Christmas is a great time to think about books and create a reading list for the year to come. It’s also the perfect time to buy books for the people you love.

And here’s the deal–reading isn’t just fun. It’s good for you. Yep, you heard that right. It’s good for you.


Benefits of Reading


Did you know that reading improves your memory, strengthens your analytical thinking, and increases your focus and concentration? And we’re not talking about reading online. We’re talking about reading a book. Books don’t have links to pertinent articles and ads for shoes and t-shirts. Books have words and sentences and stories and progression. Books require focus.

And guess what? Books can reduce stress. Research shows that reading for a short 6 minutes can reduce stress levels by 68%! And a recent study, following readers and non-readers, found that readers tended to live 2 years longer than non-readers. There are so many benefits to reading. Reading regularly lowers your risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, alleviates depression, and improves sleep. What’s not to like?

Here at AM Transport, we love reading and we love books! If you’re looking for a new favorite or a last minute gift, look no further.


Here’s a list of some of our favorites


Lincoln in the Bardo

by George Saunders was a great read.  Really told the story on having unlimited feelings in a finite world. Recommended by Jesse Baker

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

By Yuval Noah Harari. If you’re interested in the history of humans, specifically Homo Sapiens, and how we came to be, this is the book for you. Yuval Noah Hurari does a masterful job weaving story and facts in this brief but detailed 400 page read.  Recommended by Erik Jensen

Don’t Point That Thing at Me 

By Kyril Bonfiglioli. Witty and very readable. The kind of protagonist you find morally dubious but can’t help loving. Recommended by Elliott Brazil

Girl Wash Your Face 

By Rachel Hollis. I just felt like she was speaking directly to me in most of the book. There are so many things that we, as women, need to be reminded of. Great read (or listen)!  Recommended by Hillary Steber

The Daily Stoic 

By Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman. I love this book. It centers me and gives insight on how to live a better life. I look forward to rereading it in 2019 and each year after. Recommended by Michael McKinney

Deep Work 

By Cal Newport. Cal Newport brings awareness to just how distracted we all are at work and in our personal lives. It reveals how these distractions are harming our ability to do “deep work” that is meaningful and fulfilling. Thankfully, it provides practical strategies to overcome the shallow busy work we often mistake for productivity and migrate to knowledge-based work that brings true value. Recommended by Michael McKinney

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future 

By Ashlee Vance. Elon has had his share of publicity this year. Mainly for his Twitter rampages, but there is a lot more to the man than that. I made it a point to read his biography to find out more about him. This book did exactly that. From dissecting his outrageous work schedule to covering his childhood and personal relationships. I feel that I have a much better grasp of Mr. Musk after diving into this book. Recommended by David Abell

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches 

By John Hodgman. In a word hilarious. Hodgman is a funny guy, and these stories don’t disappoint. But they are also poignant, pointed, and provocative–a tender, honest, humorous exploration of what it means to be human. Recommended by Bridgett Jensen

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life 

By Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Rosenthal died on March 13, 2017, but devoted readers still have her words. Encyclopedia is one of my favorite all-time books. I’ve read it several times and given many away. It’s a life-story told in vignettes and encyclopedia-style entries that reminds us we are all connected by our beautiful, messy, ordinariness. Recommended by Bridgett Jensen

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit 

By Michael Finkel. Interesting account of a person who chose isolation from the rest of society.  The irony is that he was still very dependent on society and resorted to stealing from others to survive. Recommended by Rob McClain

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets 

By Sudhir Venkatesh. Venkatesh gets a firsthand view of the crack epidemic by studying and ultimately befriending the leader of Chicago’s Black Kings–Chicago’s most violent gang. Recommended by Rob McClain

Shit Town and Season 1 of Serial.

Both are produced by the Serial/This American Life team, and they do a great job of telling two good stories. I’ve never been able to sit down and actually read an entire book, but being able to listen and do things around the house is perfect for me. Recommended by Heath Houchin

The Wild Shores – America’s Beginnings

By Tee Loftin Snell (A National Geographic book). This book examines the early settlers of America and how hard it was to get a foothold in North America. It explores the successes and failures of the European settlements and the author actually travels the coast of North America to visit the first settlements.  Recommended by Jimi Fehrenbacher

Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More 

By Morten Hansen. Hansen challenges the widely-assumed position that top performers work harder or more than others. The thoughts and evidence presented dispels this belief. This is a great read for employees, as well as, team leaders. Recommended by Jason Doris

Turtles All the Way Down 

By John Green. Green’s depiction of the emotional angst of adolescence is eerily accurate. It’s eery bc who can put into relatable words the complicated feelings, thoughts, and interpretations of that age group? This dude can! He’s a wonderful storyteller with funny, intelligent and authentic characters. Recommended by Kathleen Carey for her husband, Joel







Have you read any of the recommended books? What did you think? Or maybe you read a couple of books you’d recommend to us? Leave your comments or recommendations here. We’d love to add a few new books to our 2019 To Read List!















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