A friend asked me to recommend books to read in 2014. I am doing a quick research and putting together a list. I want to share my top 10 so far. You may want to add some of them to your reading list for 2014.
#1: FOCUS BY DANIEL GOLEMAN
In Focus, Psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, author of the #1 international bestseller Emotional Intelligence, offers a groundbreaking look at today’s scarcest resource and the secret to high performance and fulfillment: attention.
Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long overdue discussion of this little-noticed and under-rated mental asset. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to survive in a complex world.
#2: TO SELL IS HUMAN BY DAN PINK
The book presents a compelling case that regardless of our jobs, we’re all in sales now, and offers many fresh insights for selling products and services–as well as ourselves and our ideas. It’s a brilliant tour of the new landscape of pitching and persuading, and it has had a significant, lasting impact on my everyday behavior.
I learned how to be more resilient in the face of rejection, how to write a more enticing email subject line and a more interesting tweet, how to become a better social cartographer by drawing a discussion map of who talks to whom in a room, and even how to convince my 5-year-old to clean up her room. I loved reading about why Bob the Builder is smarter than The Little Engine That Could, how Pixar’s template can be applied to pitch a startup to investors, and what happened when Dan cold-called the so-called king of cold-calling. The book also debunks a series of myths: it turns out that extraverts aren’t the best salespeople, we no longer live in a world of “buyer beware,” and telling yourself “I can do this” isn’t the best way to boost your motivation.
#3: David And Goliath by Malcom Gladwell
Malcom Galdwell is easily one of my favorite authors. His books The Tipping Point and The Outliers have been some of the best books I have read in a long time. In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.
#4: Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty?
In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way-and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with why.
Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire.
#5: The Flinch by Julien Smith
Julien Smith has delivered a surprise, a confrontation, a book that will push you, scare you and possibly stick with you for years to come. The idea is simple: your flinch mechanism can save your life. It shortcircuits the conscious mind and allows you to pull back and avoid danger faster than you can even imagine it’s there. But what if danger is exactly what you need? What if facing the flinch is the one best way to get what you want? Here’s a chance to read the book everyone will be talking about, before they do.
What’s more interesting about this book, there is a free Kindle edition.
#6: “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton Christensen
This is one of the most important books I read in 2013 and I am recommending it to everyone in 2014. Christensen’s lucid observations and penetrating insights using business theories is designed to help any reader —student or teacher, mid-career professional or retiree, parent or child—forge their own paths to fulfillment.
#7: The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Tim Ferris
The 4-Hour Chef isn’t just a cookbook. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure guide to the world of rapid learning. Tim Ferriss takes you from Manhattan to Okinawa, and from Silicon Valley to Calcutta, unearthing the secrets of the world’s fastest learners and greatest chefs. Ferriss uses cooking to explain “meta-learning,” a step-by-step process that can be used to master anything, whether searing steak or shooting 3-pointers in basketball. That is the real “recipe” of The 4-Hour Chef.
I don’t read a lot of fiction but it could be a good way to widen my reading horizon. So I am adding 3 fiction to the list. All of them from Nigerian authors J.
#8: Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
The author of Mr. Fox serves up an inventive retelling of the Snow White story, centering around Boy, a woman who marries a widow and gives birth to a son, Bird, whose dark skin reveals that the family has been attempting to “pass” as white.
#9: Every Day Is for the Thief by Teju Cole
The author of Open City has penned a novel about a Nigerian who returns home after spending years abroad.
#10 Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.