The Best Books I Read in 2013
Four years ago I decided I wanted to invest more in improving myself and made the effort to maintain a habit of reading everyday. I started slow the first 2 years, reading 8 books each in 2010 & 2011. The next year I started to get my rhythm down and read 18 books in 2012. This year as of this date I’ve read 38 books and I’m on pace to read 40 before New Year years.
A majority of the books I read are non-fiction and are around finance, economics, technology, history, design and psychology. These areas revolve around my passions and now that I have control over what and when I read I am able to be more consistent with my reading and well as find more enjoyment in it. My curiosity for learning all about the world is a life long journey and building the foundation and habits for self-learning from a early age has been vital. Another motivator has been a video by Carl Sagan called How many Books Will You Read in Your Lifetime? This is a serious question we should all ask ourselves.
Below are a list of books I’ve read that stood out the most and I would recommend to anyone.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This timeless book from Dale Carnegie is a story about respect and empathy. We all should take notice on the little things, showing out appreciation for others and commitment to building a relationship. The lessons from this book are the common sense kinds that we sometimes forget, that if we had been aware of, could have opened up many more opportunities and lasting friendships. The principles described in this book can help you in many areas of your life and really show you how simple it can be to live a life with less conflict. Emotional intelligence is really important as well with our ever more connected society.
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath
In a world that’s gone digital, with even more voices, you want your ideas to get through the noise, be noticed and remembered; you want your idea to stick. When marketing anything, keep these six concepts in mind if you want your message to stick: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and Stories. Effective communication is vital for a successful career and in these times, in which the barriers to entry for starting a business are so low, you will want to know how to get your message across. I had trouble putting this book down, it was a bit sticky, but you can be sure to pick this one up and learn this effective framework of communication.
Get more insight into how the mind works and improving how you learn, organize your thoughts and think about solutions. Even though some topics around software development were discussed, non-technical individuals can get tremendous value from this book. Hunt uses lessons from psychology, sociology, neurology and cognitive science to structure facts in an actionable way. I highly enjoyed this book and hope you will too.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
The lessons of history are your tools to use today. There are many forms of power and it is your responsibility to understand them, as to not fall victim to abuse or manipulation of power. After reading this book I feel like I now have 48 shields. The insights from this book are practical and will aid you in your freedom to grow. You will be more aware to not just judge people by their intentions, but more objectively from the decisions they make. Personal power is the result of this new kind of awareness as well as uncovering patterns of opportunity which can lead to informed action or even inaction.
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcom Gladwell takes a look into the advantages of having perceived disadvantages where underdogs find opportunities to make it out on top. Vice versa strengths are not always advantages. David and Goliath guides you into asking difficult questions about ourselves and the rest of society. One situation which showed dyslexics developed abilities that brought them great successes showed how limitations can be strengths. This book has plenty of twists and tales to take hold of your attention and the relevancy of this book can’t be understated in a world that become so uneven.
What were some of your favorite reads in 2013?