11 Brilliant Reads in 2011

Books are not dead. If anything, they are more alive than ever now that we can read whenever and wherever on our smartphones, tablets and laptops. I started a vlog series this year featuring reviews of fiction and non-fiction reads inspiring me or aiding my temporary escapes from reality. I am never more happy than when reading a book. Forget Tiffany & Co. – walking into a Barnes & Noble takes my breath away. Here are some books I read or re-read this year that may help you ring in the new year on the right note:

  1. Mindset: The new Psychology of Success – This has to rank #1 on the list because it has caused me to rethink what I think I know about abilities versus talent and the differences between a fixed and growth mindset. My husband read this book first and would not stop quoting from the text, so I had to break down and read it for myself and so happy I did.
  2. Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy – Travel through time with Sophie, a fourteen-year-old girl, as she embarks the journey of understanding herself and the meaning of life. This book cannot be consumed quickly and requires one to digest the questions and take the journey alongside Sophie. You couldn’t ask for better teachers than some of the greatest minds our history has known!
  3. Bossypants – Read the book or download the audiobook (tune out the holiday music or your chatty third cousin in-law) and I guarantee you will laugh…and laugh continuously throughout the book. Tina did not wait for her life dream to be handed to her on a silver platter. Her hard work ethic and determination spurred her forward then and today. Let this bossy gal give you a swift kick in the pants to get you on your path to success.
  4. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Originally released in 1936, this book is as applicable today as it was then. This is the best business, community, relationship…life book, I have ever read. Make it a ritual to read once a year (or more, as needed)!
  5. The Hedgehog and the Fox — "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This fragment of verse by the Greek poet Archilochus describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin’s essay on Tolstoy’s work. This essay is discussed in another great follow-up read, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t.
  6. Speaker for the Dead – The second book in the Ender series, is more powerful than the first book because the author examines how a culture is born and what happens when different cultures collide. I could not put this book down.
  7. Sound Business – After watching the TED talk given by author, I wanted to learn more about the science of sound helped organizations master the art of listening.
  8. Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities – This book examines where communities and technology intersect and a good primer for anyone with community management responsibilities.
  9. The Creative Habit – Creating masterpieces take time and hard work. There is no magic formula, other than making a commitment to yourself and confronting your fear. The practical experience and advice in this book may help you start 2012 without any excuses to block your path.
  10. Hunger Games – I read the entire series because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about…now I know and the books did not disappoint, but the first book was the best. This is not so much a science fiction story as it is the tale of human survival. Would you survive?
  11. Inside the Magic Kingdom: Seven Keys to Disney’s Success – The tips may seem like common sense, but certainly not common practice. Discover how community is built into the culture of Disney and learn some insider secrets about Disney that will help you with Trivia Pursuit or temporary rock star to your kids.

So, what will you be reading as you stand in that crazy airport security line or trapped inside a car on the four hour drive to the middle of nowhere? You will be reading The Flinch – my bonus #12 book for you. There are no excuses in 2012.

What was on your must-read list in 2011?

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  • http://nextcommunications.blogspot.com/ Richie Escovedo

    Cool list. I was happy to see Inside the Magic Kingdom make your list. Our school district staff read this together last academic year. Our superintendent led book studies at every single campus and department/area to discuss lessons and how we might be able to apply them at the public education level. It was really pretty cool.

    I also want to read the hunger Games since it seems everyone in my family zipped through them without me.