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Cal Fussman (Best-selling Author)"I [note: Tim Ferriss] asked Cal, "If you were a billionaire and could give 2 to 3 books to every graduating high school senior in the country this year, what would they be?" His answer (updated since the podcast) is: "For everyone: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. For females: West with the Night by Beryl Markham. For males: The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. That's a good start for a journey".
WEST WITH THE NIGHT appeared on 13 bestseller lists on first publication in 1942. It tells the spellbinding story of Beryl Markham -- aviator, racehorse trainer, fascinating beauty -and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and 30s.
Markham was taken to Kenya at the age of four. As an adult she was befriended by Denys Finch-Hatton, the big-game hunter of OUT OF AFRICA fame, who took her flying in his airplane. Thrilled by the experience, Markham went on to become the first woman in Kenya to receive a commercial pilot's license. In 1936 she determined to fly solo across the Atlantic -- without stopping.
When Charles Lindbergh did the same, he had the wind behind him. Markham, by contrast, had a strong headwind against her and a plane that only flew up to 163 mph. On 4 September, she took off ... Several days later, she crash-landed in Nova Scotia and became an instant celebrity.