Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Books I am Glad I read in 2011

I read a lot, some people would say too much, but I would say not enough.  The books I am listing were discovered by reading other people's lists, hearing about it on radio or tv. or reading in a newspaper or magazine, a personal recommendation or sometimes even just wandering around the library.  If any reader discovers something they end up reading (and enjoying) I feel the whole effort worthwhile.  At least I took someone away from some tv. fluff.  If not, I hope you move onto some other more inspiring list.








I mix up fiction and non fiction. I read non fiction as a sort of self improvement effort. Good fiction is very distracting for me. Many of the books listed have been a blog or a newsletter post.

In my zeal to improve myself I extracted some good stuff from "The Go-Giver" (as opposed to the Go getter);

"Willpower" hit a nerve. Read more:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/10/willpower-and-two-of-my-all-time.html

the combination of "Mindless Eating" and "Mindful Eating" which complemented each other.   Read more:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/09/mindless-eating-cf-mindful-eating.html

"Tell to Win" had some good models for anyone trying to sell anything (very much including ideas).  Read more:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/09/mindless-eating-cf-mindful-eating.html

My son came home for the holidays and loaned me a book to read before his flight left.  "23 Things They Usually don't Tell you about capitalism."  A real mind opener.  Read more:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/12/23-things-they-dont-tell-you-about.html

In my determination to understand the world a little better I would recommend: "The Great Disruption" (a realistic way in which we will be forced to change our ways);   more here;  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/07/great-disruption-is-it-really-on.html

"Why the West Rules for now" analyzes cultural rivalries and predicts some possible future scenarios.  Read more;  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/05/why-west-rules-for-now.html 

I only read two biographies this year, which is something I hope to boost in 2012. Both were very good. One was "Team of Rivals" about Lincoln and his challenges getting elected and dealing with slavery and the American Civil War. Really excellent in covering how he dealt with his "rivals" in a very constructive manner. http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/11/team-of-rivals-has-lessons-for-today.html

 Roger Ebert, the film critic who I admire beyond his usually excellent reviews wrote "Life Itself".

The most distracting novels included "2030" and "Bliss". Bliss is a book from Turkey and was made into a movie that struck me. Both versions of "Bliss" are very interesting, but with different endings. The author is most amazing. Read more about "2030" here:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/09/2030-not-that-far-away.html   Read more about "Bliss" here:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/05/turkish-delight-in-book-and-movie-form.html

Science Fiction is a category onto its own, although I acknowledge the best is as satisfying as any regular novel. Come to think of it "2030" qualifies as a vision of the future that we might not like, although it has many good things about it. Under the influence of Barry Finn I got interested in the WWW triology by Robert Sawyer and it captivated me as much as anything all year.  Read more at http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/09/conversion-can-sneak-up-on-you-too.htmlhttp://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/09/conversion-can-sneak-up-on-you-too.html

One book made me laugh a lot--"one night at the call center." I not only found lots of laughs in the main body of the book, but also how it was framed and the acknowledgements. I will be looking for more laughs in 2012.  Read more:  http://www.johnfdavidson.com/2011/10/chetan-bhgat-new-discovery-for-me.html

Often sophisticated consumer websites will tell you if you like this you'll probably like that. It is a good idea, but I also like to do it with real people. I am interested in your lists.

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