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The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia
David E. Hoffman
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Diana Burgin, Katherine Tiernan O'Connor
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Arun Gandhi, Marshall B. Rosenberg
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Eric Metaxas, Timothy Keller
Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63
Taylor Branch
The Path to Power
Robert A. Caro
The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity
Paul A. Johnsgard
Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
Robin D.G. Kelley
Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead - Brené Brown

By and large, I'm pretty averse to self-help books. I can't stand the didactic tone, and I rarely trust any "analysis" contained within. I didn't have either problem with Brown's book. While she did back up her analysis with (what seems to my untrained eye to be) solid sociological research, that wasn't really where my trust found root. It probably grew more from the lack of that aforementioned tone. She seems to be simply presenting a viewpoint which she expects to stand on its own, with little attachment to whether it will be adopted by the reader. There's something refreshing in her authenticity and casualness. And the analysis itself turned out to be pretty interesting. It's not really full of groundbreaking new information/advice, but it's still a paradigm shifter. Most of what Brown has to say derives directly from a point at which she arrived after gradual—even reluctant—research: namely, that vulnerability is the key to living a fulfilling life. Beginning from that point leads to some interesting conclusions, and provides a fresh new way to see many aspects of contemporary life.