Turn on the evening news, and you will be overwhelmed with the tragic events of the day:
- Terrorist attacks
- Horrific storms and natural disasters
- War, or the imminent threat of one
- Mass shootings
- School violence
- Animal attacks (e.g. sharks, bears, lions, etc.)
And the list goes on. It’s pretty easy to come to the conclusion that the world is a lot more dangerous, unsafe, and scarier than it’s ever been.
If you subscribe to the premise that the world is a more dangerous place, you should grab a copy of Factfulness by Hans Rosling. Rosling takes a measured, fact-based approach to show that the world is not as dangerous as the media would lead us to believe. Using numbers and statistics, he shows us that the world has never been a better and safer place than it is today.
When in between books on my reading list, I’ve been taking a break to explore the works in the Amazon Forward Collection. So far I’ve read Summer Frost by Blake Crouch, which I really liked, and Randomize by Andy Weir, which was decent. For my next selection, I chose Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin.
Business books are generally very dry. Most times it feels like you’re reading an academic textbook or business journal article. Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything fundamentally wrong with that style. You can learn a lot from a good business book. I just find that it’s more enjoyable and easier to read a business book that teaches its concepts through an engaging, interactive story.
The first business book I read that was written in this style was The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt. He used a fast-paced fictional story to show how his Theory of Constraints principles were applied to make a factory more efficient. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already. Since then, I’ve read a number of other business stories, including my latest read, The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon.
In addition to having a (ridiculously) long reading list, I also have a library of books that I’ve purchased and haven’t read. Some of these books have been sitting on my digital and physical bookshelves for 5 years or more. Usually this happens because I see the book through one of my daily deal emails from Amazon. The book title looks interesting, the description fits with one of my preferred reading genres, the reviews look promising, and the price is too good to pass up.
Such was the case with On Basilisk Station by David Weber. I saw the book in an Amazon Daily Deal email in January 2014 (date thanks to Amazon for keeping track of my purchases). The book fit with one of my preferred reading genres, science fiction. The reviews were encouraging. And the price was certainly too good to pass up since it was free.
From there, the book sat on my digital bookshelf. Each year when putting together my reading list, I had every intention of reading it. It just never made it to the top of my reading list, until earlier this year. So after languishing for over 5 years, I finally read On Basilisk Station.
One of the (few) blogs that I follow on a daily basis is A Learning A Day written by Rohan Rajiv. It’s interesting to read his observations on life, what he has learned, and how he is applying the lessons learned.
In addition to his observational posts, he occasionally makes mention of books that he has found particularly insightful. At the end of 2017, he wrote about 5 books that had a significant impact on him. Given my interest in self management and self improvement, one of the books that looked particularly interesting on his list was Mindset by Carol Dweck.
How was the universe formed? What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What is our purpose in the universe?
These are questions that have occupied philosophers across generations for centuries, even millennia. And it’s these topics that author Sean Carroll tackles in The Big Picture.
I’ve been on a bit of a roll over the last year when it comes to reading productivity books. A few of the titles I’ve read include The Miracle Morning, Getting Things Done, The 80/20 Principle, Deep Work, and Get It Done. Next up on my list was Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. It was recommended to me by a customer contact a couple of years back and finally reached the top of my 2019 reading list.
I really like the idea behind the Amazon Forward series. They pulled together six up-and-coming science fiction authors and had each of them write a short story.
I started off the series by reading Summer Frost by Blake Crouch, which I thoroughly enjoyed. For my second read in the series, I chose Randomize by Andy Weir. I’ve read other books by Weir which include The Martian and Artemis. The Martian was the best book I read back in 2014, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.
Based on my experience with Summer Frost and my prior experience with Weir’s writing, I was looking forward to diving in to Randomize. Here’s my take on it.
I’m continually on the lookout for ways to improve. I especially like reading books that provide tips and techniques on managing myself. With each book I read, there is often at least a couple of things, and sometimes more, that I learn about and can incorporate into my daily routine.
It’s one of main reasons that I became interested in The Miracle Morning, which is available in numerous versions. There is a generic title that is applicable to everyone and other versions tailored to specific occupations. For example, there is a version for real estate agents, one for salespeople, one for writers, and one for college students. Since I spend the majority of my days running my own business. I chose to read the version titled The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs by Hal Elrod and Cameron Herold.
Ever since reading Wool, I’ve been a fan of author Hugh Howey. I’ve read quite a few of his works including Sand, Beacon 23, Hurricane, Half Way Home, and numerous short stories. They vary in terms of genre, though he has a tendency to lean more towards science fiction, which is how I discovered him. What I find distinctive about his writing is how immersive and engaging his stories are. He has a knack for building vivid environments in your mind, developing relatable characters, and telling a story.
Every year, I do my best to have a least one Hugh Howey book on my reading list. For 2019, that book was Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue.