Holiday Gifts for Expats and Global Citizens: 10 Great Books from 2021

Chad Creveling |

By Peggy Creveling, CFA and Chad Creveling, CFA

As the year-end holidays approach, have a look through our annual list of good books from 2021.  Although we’ve selected these with the expat reader in mind, as another challenging year draws to a close, we hope everyone can enjoy a break over the holidays. While some are more serious, others are just for fun. Most of these titles have digital and audio versions available, which makes getting them to your friends or loved ones that live far away that much easier.

 

  1. The Travel Book – A Journey Through Every Country in the World by the Lonely Planet.  Get ready for a journey through every country in the world. In this fourth edition of The Travel Book each country features an all-new profile that includes details of when to visit, what to see and do, and how to learn more about the country’s culture from its film, music, food and drink.  All brand new, incredible photography illustrates each country, depicting what life is like in each nation from photographic portraits of people to beautiful landscapes and vibrant scenes of street life. Supported by colourful and detailed mapping, this title will bring the world to life for a new generation of travellers.
  1. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson.  The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a compelling account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies…. The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation….a life-science revolution. “Isaacson lays everything out with his usual lucid prose; it’s brisk and compelling and even funny throughout. You’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of both the science itself and how science gets done — including plenty of mischief.” – The Washington Post 
  1. Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love: Recipes to Unlock the Secrets of Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer: A Cookbook by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi. From the New York Times bestselling author and his superteam of chefs, this is Ottolenghi unplugged: 85+ irresistible recipes for flexible, everyday home cooking that unlock the secrets of your pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Led by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad, the revered team of chefs at the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen gives everyday home cooks the accessible yet innovative Middle Eastern-inspired recipes they need to put dinner on the table with less stress and less fuss. "Chock-full of tasty ideas, this lets readers reap the rewards of being resourceful" —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  1. The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel by Kati Marton. The Chancellor is at once a riveting political biography and an intimate human story of a complete outsider—a research chemist and pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East Germany—who rose to become the unofficial leader of the West….Famously private, the Angela Merkel who emerges in The Chancellor is a role model for anyone interested in gaining and keeping power while holding onto one’s moral convictions—and for anyone looking to understand how to successfully bridge huge divisions within society. “A fascinating picture of a powerful woman whose repeated denigration of power only concealed how wedded she was to power as a means of getting her own way.”— London Times Literary Review
  1. Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World by National Geographic, Ann Williams (Editor) and Douglas Preston (Foreword).  Archaeology is the key that unlocks our deepest history. Ruined cities, golden treasures, cryptic inscriptions, and ornate tombs have been found across the world, and yet these artifacts of ages past often raised more questions than answers. But with the emergence of archaeology as a scientific discipline in the 19th century, everything changed. Blending high adventure with history, this chronicle of 100 astonishing discoveries from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the fabulous "Lost City of the Monkey God" tells incredible stories of how explorers and archaeologists have uncovered the clues that illuminate our past.
  1. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant. Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn….Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds--and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he's right but listen like he's wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. “In a world of aggressive certitude, Adam Grant’s latest book is a refreshing mandate for humble open-mindedness. Think Again offers a particularly powerful case for rethinking what we already know . . . that is not just a useful lesson; it could be a vital one.” —Financial Times
  1. An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang. Once one of Silicon Valley’s greatest success stories, Facebook has been under constant fire for the past five years….It turns out that while the tech giant was connecting the world, they were also mishandling users’ data, spreading fake news, and amplifying dangerous, polarizing hate speech. Time after time, Facebook’s engineers were instructed to create tools that encouraged people to spend as much time on the platform as possible, even as those same tools boosted inflammatory rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and partisan filter bubbles. And while consumers and lawmakers focused their outrage on privacy breaches and misinformation, Facebook solidified its role as the world’s most voracious data-mining machine, posting record profits, and shoring up its dominance via aggressive lobbying efforts. “The ultimate takedown.” – New York Times Book Review
  1. The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World by Arthur Herman. For millennia Norwegians, Danes, Finns, and Swedes lived a remote and rugged existence among the fjords and peaks of the land of the midnight sun. But when they finally left their homeland… these wanderers—including the most famous, the Vikings—would reshape Europe and beyond. Their ingenuity, daring, resiliency, and loyalty to family and community would propel them to the gates of Rome, the steppes of Russia, the courts of Constantinople, and the castles of England and Ireland….In The Viking Heart, Arthur Herman melds a compelling historical narrative with cutting-edge archaeological and DNA research to trace the epic story of this remarkable and diverse people. “Mr. Herman is at pains to remind us that the Viking world was never just a stage for mayhem. It was, he says, ‘about daring to reach for more than the universe had gifted you, no matter the odds and the obstacles.’—The Wall Street Journal
  1. Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth by Avi Loeb. In late 2017, scientists at a Hawaiian observatory glimpsed an object soaring through our inner solar system, moving so quickly that it could only have come from another star. Avi Loeb, Harvard’s top astronomer, showed it was not an asteroid; it was moving too fast along a strange orbit and left no trail of gas or debris in its wake. There was only one conceivable explanation: the object was a piece of advanced technology created by a distant alien civilization. In Extraterrestrial, Loeb…outlines his controversial theory and its profound implications: for science, for religion, and for the future of our species and our planet. A mind-bending journey through the furthest reaches of science, space-time, and the human imagination. "In this passionately argued, visionary book, astrophysicist Avi Loeb urges us to abandon the arrogant fantasy that we are the only sentient life form in the universe...The clues, as Loeb carefully reviews them, are fascinating."--Stephen Greenblatt, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author
  1. Under A White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert.  One way to look at human civilization (says the author) is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. In Under A White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish, which lives in a single tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a “super coral” that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth….She examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face. “If you like your apocalit with a side of humor, she will have you laughing while Rome burns.”—MIT Technology Review

 

About Creveling & Creveling Private Wealth Advisory

Creveling & Creveling is a private wealth advisory firm specializing in helping expatriates living in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia build and preserve their wealth. The firm is a Registered Investment Adviser with the U.S. SEC and is licensed and regulated by the Thai SEC. Through a unique, integrated consulting approach, Creveling & Creveling is dedicated to helping clients cut through the financial intricacies of expat life, make better decisions with their money, and take the steps necessary to provide a more secure future.

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