2023 in Books: Lea From the Faircado-Team Recommends

This holiday season we have a special series of blog posts, all showcasing the favorite books of some of the Faircado team members and what exactly it is they love about them. So if you’re looking for a book to put on your reading list, this is the perfect one for you. In this one, Lea our Product Marketing Manager is going to talk about her best books of 2023.

 

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” – Jennette McCurdy

I  usually don’t enjoy autobiographies.
I never enjoyed iCarly.
I actually actively disliked Sam as a character (turns out so did she).
And I usually don’t go for books that are overly hyped and on everyone’s reading list (TBR). How can something so hyped be actually any good and of real depth, right?

These were the thoughts I had whenever I looked at my TBR list and saw this title pop up.

Oh boy, was I wrong with this one…

Nevertheless, after a long and thorough conversation about (non-fiction) books and their often occurring repetitiveness, I jumped over my shadow and followed their recommendation to finally get started on this one. And let me tell you, seldom have I enjoyed being wrong as much as this time!

This book is so honest, conflicting, and well-written as only a few others I have ever read before. You feel her empathize with the love she has for her mother while feeling hate at what this woman does to her daughter in the name of love. A feeling hard to describe and even harder to endure. This book could have easily become a story of self-pity, hate, shame, and revenge. However, it’s none of that. Through her witty, straight-to-the-point style of writing, she makes this a book you want to keep on reading. She doesn’t get hung up on remaining in a certain time period for too long for the sake of showing off a certain aspect of her fame, instead, it’s about what shaped her and these moments she describes with honesty, that for the lack of a better word is simply amazing.

And I can say in all honesty, that I am looking forward to reading whatever it is she decides to write next.

Book cover of "Jenette McCurdy - I'm Glad my Mom Died"

 

“Der Vorleser” – Bernhard Schlink

The story is narrated by Michael, who, as a teenager, has an affair with an older woman named Hanna. One day, she disappears, and Michael gets to meet her only years later. When she is on trial for war crimes, she has committed during WW II.  Michael grapples with the moral implications of Hanna’s actions and the impact they have on their lives.

It’s hard to put my finger on what exactly it is that makes this one of my favorite reads of this year. And I feel like the same goes for the content of this book. What is it about really?

The sexual relationship between a young man and an older woman? Illiteracy and shame? The Holocaust? Justice?

It’s about all of it and so much more.

Schlink manages to write a book about all these sensitive topics and still not make it a book about hate. It’s beautifully written, touching and an absolute must-read. In case you are currently learning German, I’d also recommend you read it in German, as it is relatively simply written and a quick read, and I believe that even when giving translations the benefit of the doubt, they will not be able to compete with Schlink himself.

cover of "Der Vorleser" by Bernhard Schlink

 

“Stillness Is The Key” – Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday claims that all great people have one quality in common – he calls it Stillness. I’d call it the ability to remain calm when everything around you moves fast.  A scenario completely foreign to a 20-something figuring out adulting in the 21st century – so he hit quite the spot with that one.

In general, Ryan Holiday is one of those authors I adore reading. Whatever he publishes, I read. It’s as simple as that. And there’s also a reason for it – he combines one of my favorite topics, Stoicism, with one of my favorite traits, the ability to explain complex ideas in a way that a child would understand. What’s more, he never sounds dogmatic. There is no right or wrong in the way he explains his ideas, plus he’s got a way of combining stories about ancient philosophers with present-day relevance that doesn’t just make you understand his ideas but, what’s more important, remember them.

All in all, Ryan Holiday will make you wonder how not everyone would want to be a modern-stoic, and if you’re anything like me, quickly grow to be one of your favorite authors.

Stillness is the key by Ryan Holiday

“Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion, who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
I am outgoing. I spent most of this year solo traveling, meeting strangers, and getting to know new people. It’s easy to approach people on the street and ask for help. Many people of my team at work would even call me a social butterfly. Despite all that, I’m an introvert. Big groups, networking events, clubs, and acquaintances – none of these things bring me energy. In the slightest.
Quiet is not just a book for introverts learning to come to terms with their introversion in a society that glorifies extroversion. It’s also a book for extroverts, learning about introverted qualities that might be worth adopting at times, but also because it offers a roadmap for understanding your introverted loved ones. Don’t get me wrong, this book doesn’t glorify introverts – it quickly becomes apparent that neither introverts nor extroverts could live out their highest potential without the other and that either side can learn from the other.

But let me say that much: if you’re an extrovert and have an introvert in your life that you care about, read this book purely out of love for them.

Quiet. The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking.

 

“Das Ende des Kapitalismus” – Ulrike Herrmann

Democracy, prosperity, a longer life, more equality, and education: Capitalism has achieved many positive things. At the same time, however, it is ruining the climate and the environment so that humanity’s very existence is now under threat. “Green growth” is supposed to be the salvation, but economic expert and bestselling author Ulrike Herrmann disagrees.

I recommend this book to absolutely everyone who holds a conversation with me for more than 10 minutes.

Herrmann does a great job explaining the rise of capitalism and why it can’t be reconciled with environmental protection. Why some apparent truths about the prosperity we live in are blatant lies, and why we need to rethink the way we live. While all of this already sounds great, it doesn’t sound like a really earth-shattering revelation. However, I think this is a great introduction to dive into why the Circular Economy is the best solution to problems we are currently facing because she manages to explain two very complex topics, climate change and Capitalism in such simple terms that this could easily be made into mandatory reading in school.

"Das Ende des Kapitalismus" by Ulrike Herrmann

“A Life on Our Planet” – David Attenborough

David Attenborough is probably the most famous nature documentator in the world. He’s experienced places and seen wildlife that many of us can only dream about. But he’s also seen the decline of all of it. This book is his witness statement to the greatest mistake we’ve ever made – destroying our home. At the same time, it’s a love letter. A love letter to this beautiful planet we reside on and the beauty surrounding us in every moment. Absolutely beautifully written and sparked a lot of gratitude.

A life on our planet by David Attenborough

 

“The Power of Geography: Ten Maps that Reveal the Future of Our World” – Tim Marshall

In general, I’d probably recommend this whole series. If I had to decide on one, it’d be this one though. For a very simple reason – it covers the underdogs. The all too often overlooked countries, regions, and continents that play a vital role in many conflicts and help us understand past events. What’s great about this series is that it doesn’t just show an overview of what happened in the past, but also gives you a glance into what conflicts or developments might await us in the future.

The power of geography by Tim Marshall

 

“The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate.” – Peter Wohlleben

In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware.
A beautiful book for anyone who wants to learn more about the nature that surrounds us. Through every page you can tell how much Wohlleben loves what he does, and he conveys this appreciation to all his readers. And if you’re like me and you’re a German native who, for whatever reason, decides to read this book in English you’ll gain a ton of vocabulary to talk about trees. Who knows, might come in handy one day…

The hidden life of trees by Peter Wohlleben

 

Our team members get their books through Faircado because it is the easiest, cheapest, and most sustainable way to shop for secondhand books. Faircado is a browser extension that will automatically pop up when you look for a book, and there is a secondhand alternative for it.

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