I am an avid book reader, always looking for inspiration, ideas, and insights. Over the last year I have read a number of inspiring books, each one containing at least one key takeaway that sticks with me. I think that sharing these insights here on my blog would be useful, but the idea of writing a detailed review for each book just did not resonate with me – there are usually enough other online resources to get this information. I really just want to share the key ideas and encourage you to read the books if you want to learn more.
My plan, therefore, is to have a series of posts over time, starting with this one, that list the books and key ideas I have found noteworthy. I decided to title the series “Remarkable Books”. The reading I do is mostly focused on the fields of software development, information technology, business, and personal development so the majority of books I discuss will come from these areas.
Without further ado, here’s the first list.
It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navyby Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. The command and control style of management is obsolete. The author, a former commander of the US Navy ship Benfold, demonstrates through his personal journey that even the military - the one place you would think command & control management would work - benefits from a more enlightened leadership style based on caring about your people, communicating constantly about your objectives, and challenging them to be the best.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi. He passionately presents his life philosophy of connecting with others and establishing relationships to form a powerful personal network. His examples demonstrate the high value of such a network while revealing that it is really about altruistically helping others in need. Ironically, the act of helping without expectation of reciprocation is what creates such a powerful and valuable network. He also provides insights into the lifestyle of C-level executives of large companies.
Master Your Workday Now!: Proven Strategies to Control Chaos, Create Outcomes, & Connect Your Work to Who You Really Are by Michael Linenberger. I view this book as the successor to Getting Things Done, as it provides what I believe is an improved productivity and task management system based on a more robust conceptual foundation. I have implemented significant portions of Michael’s system already and am quite pleased with the results.
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health by Colin and Thomas Campbell. This book is in the field of nutrition and health, which is outside of what I normally cover on this site, but the simplicity and significance of this book’s message was so powerful that I had to pass it on. The message is this: Nutrition – what you eat – is an extremely significant factor in determining your health (specifically, whether you remain free of chronic diseases), and many scientific studies demonstrate that a primarily plant-based diet is significantly healthier than a diet with higher levels of animal-based foods such as meat and dairy.
In creating this list I started to flip through some of these books again and was re-inspired by what they had to say. I highly recommend you check them out.
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