So… I failed.
I did not read one book per week in 2013.
Close, but no cigarillo.
Alas, here’s a brief rundown of the last few books I read – a couple Must-Reads among them….
Libro 44 :: The Power of Habit 2012 by Charles Duhigg
The reason most of your new 2014 resolutions will forgotten (statistically speaking…sorry) by April 1 is due to habits.
We all have them.
Habits are a shortcut.
Habits are automatic.
Habits are an auto-pilot.
We just follow the script.
Our lives are largely made up of unconscious habits, but rarely do we strategically design them to our benefit. This book will help make your habits more conscious.
For example, we focus more on goals than habits.
Instead of focusing on goals, “Ok… I will lose 30 pounds by April.” you’d be better served by focusing on habits. “Every Monday, Wednesday & Sunday I will drive to the gym at 7 am without fail.”
That habit – driving to the gym 3x a week – may enable the 30-pound loss goal.
Once you’re at the gym, you’ll know what to do.
You’ll do something.
The hard part is getting to gym consistently.
Duhigg’s tips on habit awareness and development will help you achieve your goals via habits. The author also shares the greatest workplace safety story I’ve ever read. It involves Paul O’Neill (no – not the baseball one…) and ALCOA. That chapter alone is worth the book’s pricetag.
Libro 45 :: Wait 2012 by Frank Partnoy
Wait: The Art and Science of Delay was very good. Partnoy dissects the difference between intelligent/optimal delay and the sinister step-sister, Procrastination. His chapter on personal discount rates is fascinating too.
While you’ve heard some variation of the 3M Post-It Notes story, Partnoy re-tells it with a depth and clarity deserving of its own case study.
After you’ve read The Power of Habit, read this and you’ll be done thinking about thinking for a while…..
Libro 46 :: Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson
“Twitter is for morons who can’t express thoughts longer than 140 characters. The only thing worse than micro-blogging is….”
“Blogging is for journalist-wanna-be’s who are convinced the world will be worse off if we never hear their uniquely original views on Duck Dynasty.”
“Facebook is for attention-seeking stay-at-home moms (and grandmas) with a need to stay relevant. And for businesses. (Like me, please!)”
“Instagram is for narcissists who can barely express their thoughts with a photo and 20 characters.”
With the arrival of every new social media platform comes a familiar cycle:
- Mild Annoyance
- Forget Password
- Awareness of new social media…
With each cycle the familiar outcry: Our society is getting dumber! Look at how far we’ve fallen!
Thompson makes a compelling contrarian case for how this new tech is making us smarter.
Thompson says it’s not a binary equation – it’s not either the technology or us.
Humans + Technology = Better than humans alone.
Humans + Machines = Better decisions
Sure, Big Blue beat Kasparov at chess and Watson won Jeopardy!, but Siri is still like your 2-year old nephew: It’s cute for a bit, but you don’t want to interact with it for very long.
This book will help you look at the world ca. 2014 in a new way.
You should read it.
Libro 47 :: Brothers Emanuel by Zeke Emanuel
Three boys from Chicago.
One becomes a world-renown doctor.
One becomes a Hollywood super-agent.
And one becomes the Mayor of Chicago while living in Washington, D.C.
Nature or nurture?
A bit of both.
In this interesting, but largely benign book on the Emanuel boys – Zeke, Rahm and Ari – written by Zeke, you see the upshot of letting your kids swear, fight, and talk politics, race and religion at the dinner table.
Don’t underestimate the intelligence of young kids.
They pick up everything.
Libro 48 :: WikiLeaks by David Leigh and Luke Harding
Biggest government leak(s) in history.
The man behind it all is a tall Aussie hacker/vagabond with long blond-hair, a penchant for flamboyance and the occasional rape charge.
If it sounds like a movie, it has become one.
Julian Assange is a character.
Here’s an interesting link to peruse – a verbatim meeting between Assange and former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt.
This book is excellent, but well within the crowded space of thinking about decision-making (Wait, The Power of Habit, Thinking, Fast and Slow….).
The dust jacket claims Harford “could well be Britain’s Malcolm Gladwell.”
That’s about right.
(For better or worse.)
Libro 50 :: How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
I read this book – which was C+ material – and then remembered why I knew the author’s name.
And got caught again.
So The New Yorker fired him.
So did Wired Magazine.
Then people started digging… Apparently there were inaccuracies, plagiarism and/or unsavory literary stunts pulled in this book too. It was pulled from the shelves.
But not all the shelves… Obviously.
Bottom Line: Accidentally reading a book you didn’t want to read is a sign the Libro 52 Challenge has run its course.
Thanks for reading.
I appreciate it.
Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com). What’s his 2014 New Year’s Resolution?
43. The Firm by Duff McDonald
44. The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg
45. Wait by Frank Partnoy
46. Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson
47. Brothers Emanuel by Zeke Emanuel
48. Wikileaks by David Leigh & Luke Harding
49. Adapt by Tim Harford
50. How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
Categories: Libro 52 Challenge