5 books high performers should read this month

The book: Mind and Matter

By: John Urschel and Louisa Thomas

The Gist: John Urschel has had an unlikely career path. While playing as an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, he simultaneously pursued a PhD in mathematics at MIT. In this memoir, he explores what happens when you have two equal—but widely disparate—passions. The result is an inspiring treatise on finding your true calling (or two).


The book: The Garden Chef

By: Phaidon editors

The Gist: With 300 stunning photographs, this collectible tome provides a glimpse into the diverse gardens of some of the world’s most celebrated chefs. You’ll encounter Alice Waters’s tiny backyard kitchen in Berkeley, California, and Skye Gyngell’s sprawling estate in rural Hampshire, England. Each chef also shares gardening tips, plus favorite plot-to-plate recipes including a spicy arugula-and-walnut pesto from Waters and crisp elderflower fritters with honeycomb from Gyngell.


The book: Anthony Bourdain Remembered


The Gist: “He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown,” wrote former President Barack Obama. This moving tribute honoring Anthony Bourdain brings together memories and anecdotes from a wide range of fans including journalists, musicians, and big name industry professionals like Eric Ripert and José Andrés (the latter of whom recently opened a massive Spanish food hall in Hudson Yards.)


The book: Range

By: David Epstein

The Gist: Journalist David Epstein searched for the roots of athletic performance in his first book, The Sports Gene. Here, he investigates the concept of success. By examining acclaimed athletes, artists, scientists, and more, he makes the case that it’s generalists, not specialists, who end up excelling, and that developing broad interests and skills is more of a primer for prosperity than zeroing in on one field or vocation.


The book: How to Raise Successful People

By: Esther Wojcicki

The Gist: A foreword by the three “Woj” offspring—Anne Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of 23andMe, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and Janet Wojcicki, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco—gives an immediate hint that this is no ordinary parenting book. Their mother, and renowned high school journalism teacher, Esther Wojcicki offers an insightful and refreshing antidote to today’s helicopter-style of raising children. “We’ve made parenting into an incredibly complicated, unintuitive endeavor, filled with fear and self-doubt,” she writes. “There is a better way.”