Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review of Non Fiction Books of the Second Half of the Year

Here is the recap the highlights of the non fiction books I finished since June.
This year I listened to or read on my kindle app about 1 book a week.
For the full list go to www.bettworld.com/about_me.asp#books

Personal Development:
Willpower - By Roy Baumeister, John Tierney
Success can be traced to two main factors: Intelligence and Willpower. This book focuses on the one factor we can effectively influence. The authors give lots of studies to back up their practical ways to increase your willpower. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get more out of their life, kick bad habits, or wants to raise self disciplined kids.

The 4-Hour Workweek By Timothy Ferriss
Ferriss' controversial book should be read by anyone who wants to be more effective in all aspects of their business life. He gives lots of productivity tips. He also teaches you how to create an automated money generating business. Ferriss' methods might be far too extreme for the average person, but I think anyone can become more productive just by listening to his philosophy of work life balance.
Finish the whole book before you judge it.

Talent Is Overrated By Geoff Colvin
Talent is another one of those traits that is a factor in success that we are either born with or not.
Colvin compiles surprising research on success and finds that the core is deliberate practice followed by coaching instead of a gift. I recommend this to anyone who is serious about improving their performance in the things they are passionate at including work.

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey
Wondering why your relationships feel like work? Son of the famous Stephen Covey discovers Trust is the grease in the machine which allows everything to flow.
Lack of trust makes your transactions take longer and cost more. He digs into the importance of trust in many ways. I recommend this book if you are having issues in your relationships at work or at home.

59 Seconds - By Richard Wiseman
Wiseman gives a series of scientifically proven exercises you can do in 59 seconds to live a happier more successful life. I've implemented several of them to help me with Novel Writing Month including:
I hung abstract art- Abstract art increases a person's creativity
Brought live plants into my work area- Live plants (not pictures or fake plants) increase a person's productivity
Decorated my work area with Green - Green boosts creativity. See the picture.
He gives many more concrete tips you can do in 59 seconds.

The Social Animal By David Brooks
This is one of my favorite books of the year. Here is a copy of the write up I wrote earlier.
David covers an entire couples lives from before they were born onwards and their social interactions, professional careers, political careers almost as a novelist would with emotions and descriptions. Where this books differs from a novel is at each step in their development he includes a summary and examples of research on that aspect of life. He wraps us up in his characters, who are quite interesting and lead interesting lives, but he is also teaching us an enormous about of information and putting into context of how we live day to day.

Business books
Start with Why - By Simon Sinek
Companies with a clear answer and who can communicate the answers to "why they are in business" resonate with consumers who identify with those answers.
Sinek gives lots of examples and exercises to help you come up with your answer to Why, What, and how.
I highly recommend this book if you are starting a new company or wondering where your previously successfully company went wrong.

The Ultimate Sales Machine By Chet Holmes
Holmes definitely knows how to sell and he gives it to you straight in his 12 step plan. He covers everything from time management to how to interview and identify the best sales person. He says that you can know the 12 steps, but you won't be successful unless you implement them with "pig headed discipline" Better read the book, Willpower along with this one.

The Intelligent Entrepreneur By Bill Murphy
Murphy masterfully tells the stories of three successful entrepreneurs. I found the structure of the book helpful. He writes a chapter in their stories following all three in each phase of their adventure. Then follows it with a chapter dedicated to analyzing the lessons they learned in that phase. He brings in research and references other examples in these analysis chapters. This book focuses on those starting large companies, but the lessons can be applied to smaller companies as well.

If you want to know how I finish so many books, I always listen to books when I am not reading text. I listen to my audible books on my iPhone on my audible app. I buy the books from audible because it’s easier than getting them from the library and fiddling with CDs. I listen when I am driving, cooking, showering, walking around.
I also listen to them on high speed. In this way I can finish more than one a week if I work on it.

Try it next year.

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