With winter in the rear-view mirror, I thought I’d take a break this week from MacRo musings on the world of commercial real estate and veer off into the universe of good reads.
I have always been one who enjoys a good book, and there is often nothing better to do than to find a quiet corner (or a hammock) to relax in to turn a few pages of an intriguing story.
Just to have a book in hand can give you the feeling of excitement that you’re about to step into another realm of conscientiousness. A time of enjoyment that can occupy your mind for hours.
One of my biggest challenges has always been how to find the time to finish one book, much less the next … and my wish list has always been a long one.
Try reading at night … that sure is a nice quite time, right? For me, this time is so quite that within a matter of minutes I’m fast asleep. So, two pages a night just doesn’t cut it.
Evenings and weekends are good, but for a guy like me who enjoys the outdoors whether it’s yardwork or hiking, time becomes more limited for gettting in a few good reads.
A Solution Right in Front of My Ears!
It was March of 2016, and with only a couple of day’ notice my wife and I were invited to attend an event at the Weinberg Center of the Arts to hear renowned attorney and author Bryan Stevenson speak about the good work he has done in challenging bias against the poor and minorities in the criminal justice system. His talk was part of the Ausherman Foundation’s Frederick Speaker Series, and we were told that we would have a chance to meet him after his talk.
Now, I had watched a segment about Mr. Stevenson on the CBS news show 60 Minutes a few years earlier and was impressed enough to remember the interview and the work he had done. I wanted to learn more so I looked up his book on the web. It looked like a good read. I knew I had no time to find that corner or jump into the hammock for the weekend … I had my “Honey-Do” list to tend to in the yard, and there was no way that I was going to beg my way out of that!
But there was an option … Audible.com! I’ve listened to a few audio books over the years; so why not accomplish both tasks in one weekend?
I downloaded the Stevenson book onto my iPhone, plugged in my earbuds, and after two days of spring cleaning in our very large back yard … I was schooled for Stevenson’s presentation … and ready for my next book.
… and the Next Book and the Next Book and On and On
Well, twelve months and forty something downloads later, all I can say is that I sort of got hooked. And once hooked, it is amazing how many ways you can “hear” a good read.
Here are the top 30 (in no particular order) that I have enjoyed:
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J. D. Vance
- The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson
- A Life in Parts, by Bryan Cranston
- Alone on the Wall, by Alex Honnold and David Roberts
- Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics, by Charles Krauthammer
- Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894, by Daniel James Brown
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown
- In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, by Erik Larson
- The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
- Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson
- Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History, by Erik Larson
- Thunderstruck, by Erik Larson
- The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War, by Victoria E. Bynum
- Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
- Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
- Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, by Donnie Eichar
- Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure, by Donald Kladstrup and Petie Kladstrup
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
- The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History through the Heart of the Grand Canyon, by Kevin Fedarko
- World Order, by Henry Kissinger
- On China, by Henry Kissinger
- The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia, by James Bradley
- The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, by Michael Pillsbury
- The Light Between Oceans: A Novel, by M. L. Stedman
- The Girl on the Train: A Novel, by Paula Hawkins
- All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel, by Anthony Doerr
- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
- A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Yes, while I enjoy fiction, I do enjoy historical based non-fiction.
Tomorrow, my wife Nancy and I are heading south down I-95. Guess what we will be doing?
Rocky Mackintosh is President of MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He has been an active member of the Frederick, Maryland community for over four decades. He has served as chairman of the board of Frederick Memorial Hospital and as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Frederick Mutual Insurance Company. Established in 1843, it is one of the longest enduring businesses in Frederick County.