So starting this year, I made a resolution that I’d “read more”. I quickly discovered the best way to actually do that was to listen to books on my phone while I took the train to and from work. Below are the books I read (listened to) in 2012 and a short review of the book.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
If you’re in a tech related field this book is very interesting, and should probably be read. If you’re not it really carries two basic messages – 1) With the power of your own will you can drive to your goals and 2) Anything is possible – see this link to fully get it: STEVE JOBS ADVICE
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
As it turns out Albert Einstein is the most interesting person I’ve ever read about. Having only historical knowledge about him going into the book, I felt like I learned a lot about what life was like in his time along with what revolutionary really means. It’s a very long book, but the story is worth that time.
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
So I’m totally a history nerd – if you hadn’t noticed from my previous posts. Ben Franklin to me is someone I never really got to know as a figure in history and the biography Walter Isaacson compiles is great. Similar to the Einstein book its long, but the substance is very good – showing off a number of insights into Franklin’s various motivations throughout life.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t by Jim Gollins
I’d encourage anyone I work with to read this. Puts a lot of things in perspective in the context of working at Walgreens, but also at a large company that is growing. (READ THIS) Suggested to me by Jasbir Patel
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
So the title of this book includes “Why We Do What We Do”… which if you know me is kind of my thing. The book itself has a lot of good insights in it around how habits form and how they evolve, including a number of great examples of the theories at work. Not something I’d see most people reading but if you’re in the business of building business it has a lot of great insights for a startup.
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
This book drove me to do what it’s title says. I will admit that while listening to this book I had some of my better ideas of the year. I couldn’t identify one specific thing it did for me, but I can identify the state of mind it provided me. I’d encourage anyone in the ideas business read and enjoy it.
Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck — Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins
So I liked Good to Great so much that I got this book too. It was just as good, complete with a number of additional insights on driving company growth and evolving the right way. (READ THIS…TOO)
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
Great Book, one that I plan to re-listen to again and again. Suggested to me by Adam Kmiec
Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall
This book basically was just a guy showing off that he knew Steve Jobs. It had one good insight and its in the title… just make life simple. Make the experience simple. Make your decisions based on simple principles.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
If you in your life ever plan to lead or build a product/service that is customer facing please READ THIS BOOK! This was a referral from my at the time boss Rich Lesperance.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
This book is a blend of the concepts covered in the Imagine book and the Habits book – making it a good read but not something filled with great “new” insights.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Do you work in Corporate America… if so this book is basically a guide to politics sourced from 16th century insights about court life. A great read for those who want to “Play Chess, not Checkers“.
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 by Robert Dallek
This is a history book, I’m a history nerd… so it worked for me. Most people will find it dry.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
This is a behavioral sciences book on crack. Read it and let it drive your creative side… you’ll be surprised at how you start seeing the tasks at hand.
The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else by Daniel Coyle
A book based in neuroscience, it has a lot of interesting points about how we evolve as humans to be able to accomplish great things with well thought out practice. I’d suggest it to anyone in a growth period of their life as it offers a strong perspective on how to get the most out of the time you spend on something.
So those are the books. My next books include Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Truman by David McCullough, but I’m always looking for new suggestions so feel free to let me know others you think should be read.
Thanks for Listening,