Here is a breakdown of the books I’ve read this year (including the day I finished them). If you see any book that you’ve read or have questions about please send me a message. I appreciate any and all feedback.
4/4/12 – The Exceptional Presenter offered solid, useful advice for anyone who needs to present to others. Some of the advice was standard presentation best practices, but overall I found it to be comprehensive and still a quick read.
4/16/12 – The Daily Six was another self-help book I found myself sucked into. I don’t have a problem with books that attempt to impart positive strategies to change our live, but I think most miss the point and don’t accomplish what they set out to do. Like most self-help lit reading this book and being positive is better than watching the news and getting depressed, but there are better books out there if you want real, lasting change.
4/16/12 – The Willpower Instinct is one of those books that people looking to make a change in their life should read. Kelly McGonigal explains the nuance of willpower and offers extremely useful steps in incorporating the power of willpower into our lives. This book is highly recommended.
4/20/12 – How Would You Move Mount Fuji? was a fun read about the puzzles some companies (especially tech companies) use to find talent. Being a trivia buff and collector of obscure facts, this book was a fun read and an interesting look into how creativity can be found…
4/20/12 – Borrowing Brilliance was a great book on innovation and really opened my eyes to the fact that borrowing from a diverse group of inputs is probably the best way to come up with new and exciting solutions to intractable problems. If you think you can’t be innovative or creative you should read this book.
4/21/12 – Succeed is another great book that should be read by any and all self-help junkies out there (including myself). Rather than running out the tired old saws that being positive and willing good things into your life Heidi Grant Halvorson gives us proven methods to help us reach our goals. One of the best books I read this year so far.
4/24/12 – The Happiness Advantage is another great book for the self help crowd who want effective, useful advice on their road to success.
4/25/12 – The Science of Getting Rich is a well known book in self-improvement circles. Skip it as there is no “science” in the book beyond the law of attraction. I want to be rich and if I want it bad enough I will be rich. If I don’t get rich I didn’t want it bad enough. So either way the author gets off scot free. Kinda like The Secret.
4/25/12 – Quiet is for those millions out there who are not the life of the party, don’t want to necessarily have all eyes on them and find joy and satisfaction in quiet time alone and with their own thoughts. There is nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with us.
4/27/12 – Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a quick read and comes with an online test to see where you score on different emotional intelligence indicators like self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Shiny book and plenty of supporting material found online, but I think there are better books on this topic out there.
4/27/12 – Smart Thinking was a quick read that I really enjoyed. I thought Markman made good points and had grounded, effective advice for all of us who want to be more productive.
3/1/12 – The Halo Effect really opened my eyes to the ways in which business successes and failures are all too often explained after the fact and usually with faulty reasoning. Phil Rosenzweig explains the reasons behind the halo effect and as the subtitle states, “…and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers.” Before you read any business classic that claims to have the secret formula of management success read this book first!
3/6/12 – Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez was recommended by a family member who had read it in college. It was an interesting portrayal of one man’s struggle in the world of academia (in which he excelled) and keeping his Latin roots alive. Although I found him at times very complimentary of his own accomplishments; almost at the edge of narcissism, his story did make me reflect on my journey. And I appreciate any book that makes me think.
3/22/12 – The Fear Index by Robert Harris was a last-minute read that I came across while searching the internet. I don’t read much fiction, but novels centered around finance and high-tech usually catch my eye. It was a fast-paced novel about a brilliant hedge-fund manager whose ultra-sophisticated trading program takes on a life of its own and attempts to corner the market. And we are talking about the world market. The ending was conventional, but still a fun read.
2/12/12 – StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a book I’ve seen on the bestseller list for what seems like years, but it wasn’t until recently that a former co-worker was reading it for his job that I decided to take a look. If you have read/done Now, Discover Your Strengths in the past I would say save your money and keep using those results. I explained why in my review of StrengthsFinder 2.0 that I did soon after I finished the book. I’m not saying the book isn’t helpful, as my 5 strengths of Context, Learner, Individualization, Discipline and Intellection are spot on, it’s just the concept is the same in Now, Discover Yours Strengths and I see no reason people should spend more money for the same results they received a few years back.
2/13/12 – Get Rich Click! by Marc Ostrofsky has great tips and practical advice on making money on the internet. I had started the book back in August of 2011, but picked it up again after finishing The Dragonfly Effect and Grouped last month. I’m still adding to my internet/social media/monetization toolkit and this book was very helpful through the sheer number of ideas it generated and/or reinforced for me.
2/29/12 – The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry can help anyone who thinks creatively in their job. Henry lays out best practices that help the reader in coming up with ideas and insights using tactics on organizing our creative life. I wrote about his thoughts on consuming the right stimuli to keep us creative in my post Creativity Leverage – The Accidental Creative. A great read, especially for someone like me who is trying to make their living creating every day.
2/29/12 – Clutch by Paul Sullivan is another example of a gifted reporter analyzing a subject using detailed research and extensive interviews. The book is nicely broken down into three parts: Why People Are Clutch, Why People Choke and How To Be Clutch. Sullivan makes clear that most of us won’t face the life or death or billion dollar decisions that the characters in his narrative face, however we can still learn important lessons from them that are transferable to our professional life, personal life and of particular interest to me – the golf course.
1/1/12 – As part of my effort to build this site I’ve begun a program of educating myself on all the relevant social media platforms. You can even follow me at @bookleverage on Twitter now. As I’ve mentioned before I’m a huge fan of the For Dummies series and can think of no better way to learn a new subject or topic than these fun, instructional guides.
1/4/12 – I wrote about the impact this book had on me in one of my first posts. It reminded me of the power a great book can have at the right time and although he may never know it, Seth Godin and this little book has had a huge impact on me this year.
1/18/12 – My fiancée was taking a Latin American studies class and she had to read this book about the “disappeared” in Argentina. The “disappeared” were those sentenced to concentration camps during the military crackdown of 1976 – 1979. This was a jarring recounting of the brutality and torture that the author endured while in captivity.
1/24/12 – This book deals with using social media to effect social change. Since I’ve been on Twitter I have come across many more titles in this genre and everything I have read so far has helped me in building this site. The authors have written a quick read with a ton of actionable material – especially for a newbie such as myself.
1/25/12 – Another title on social media, this book argues that it is small groups of friends that drive decisions on the social web and not the highly touted “influencers” that Gladwell and others so often point to as the controllers of influence on the internet 2.0. This book was very helpful in understanding how friends, friends of friends and other close connections drive decision-making on the web today.
1/25/12 – Seth Godin has two things going for him in my opinion. One, he makes you think in new and constructive ways with every book he publishes. Two, his books are quick reads that can be finished in one sitting. This makes it even more likely his message will get heard in our go-go-go society. Telling people it is OK to quit is the type of contrarian advice we need to hear and this book does an admirable job of explaining why.
1/26/12 – I told you I like these Dummies books! I feel so much more comfortable with Facebook now after having read this book. It not only is helping me with this website, but the connections I’ve made with my extended family is priceless. If you are hesitant to jump into Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform I can’t recommend these books highly enough.