10 Books I liked Reading in 2016

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies and it offers a great opportunity to relax and learn at the same time. I have shared below the 10 books I liked reading in 2016. I have also reviewed some of them so if you are interested you can check it out by clicking the related links.
Deep Work by Cal Newport – This was a good read. The main thesis is to not get distracted and have distraction free zones to produce your best work. So switch off social media, take time for solitude and that’s when the best work shows up. The author defines deep work as “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” There are also references to Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis' and their absence from Twitter as evidence that social media usage is unnecessary for writers though this may not be applicable to everyone.
Thank you for being Late by Thomas Friedman - He says you have to work faster than the escalator, you need to work harder and regularly reinvent yourself. The key is to make sure you engage in lifelong learning and play by the new rules and only then you can be in middle class. It is a wonderfully written book on technology, Globalization and climate change. Though it is dubbed as an optimist's guide the book also shows that we are in for big changes and we have to adapt quickly to thrive in the marketplace of tomorrow.
Find your Extraordinary by Jessica Dilullo Herrin -Dream bigger, live happier and achieve success on your own terms. This is the premise of the book Find your extraordinary by Jessica Dilullo Herrin. While it doesn’t have a step by step plan for how to launch your business or get better in your profession it does offer good insights into the mindset need to succeed. It is inspirational and motivational. Check out my review here The six P's of Entrepreneurial Spirit.
The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly – This is a good book on the latest trends in technology. It is well written and easy to understand. There is in-depth analysis on artificial intelligence and Virtual Reality. This quote is really interesting “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”
Originals by Adam Grant – This is by far one of the best books I have read on innovation. It was a riveting read with a lot of actionable insights. Adam Grant has done an excellent job in communicating succinctly that creativity is something which is within the grasp of all of us. Yes there are some deja vu moments but as Adam Grant suggests we should look for vu jade moments as well. Originality is an act of creative destruction. You can check out my lessons learned here Originals - 11 Lessons Learned.
Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool – Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool is an absolute gem on how we can all become exceptional performers. If you have read Outliers or Talent is Overrated you know the 10000 hour rule. Well this is based on the research Anders Ericsson did in 1993. His basic argument is 10000 hours was only an average and it was based on his study of great violinists. The point he makes is this was the amount of hours the best violinists in his study put by the time they reached age 20. However he cautions that this was only an average which means there were people below and above that number. He says that Gladwell mentioned that all of them in his study put in 10000 hours which is not correct. He also says this doesn’t mean they were experts based on his observations. In fact he said they still had scope for improvement.  Here is my review of the book What it takes to be the best.
Grit by Angela Duckworth – This is a wonderful book which gives in-depth insight into what it really takes to succeed. It is not talent but grit that is more important. She starts the book by saying that during her childhood she was told by her dad that she was not a genius. After winning the award she thought what her dad said about her was true but you can achieve a lot through sheer grit. Some examples are drawn from West Point and the spelling bee contests. The main thread of all this research is the winners are the ones who stay till the end and they don’t have higher SAT scores or IQ but they have enormous resilience and perseverance. An example provided is Chia-Jung Tsay whose musical accomplishments are plenty and she said “I loved music so much that I used to practice four to six hours per day.” Please check out my review here.Grit Review
Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg- It is an engaging read and goes into the habits of productive people and organizations. Nothing revolutionary but it is very well written with a lot of great stories. Please check out my review here. Smarter Faster Better review.
The Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss – The Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris has something for everyone. I skipped the health section and read the wealthy and wise sections. They were excellent. If you have not followed his podcast this would be a real eye opener. However like me if you have listened to some of the podcasts it is great to have all the information in one place. This is not an easy book to review but I have just jotted down few of the things I learned. Here is the link 14 takeaways from the Tools of Titans.
Ego is the enemy by Ryan Holiday – Ego is the enemy by Ryan holiday is a well-researched book. The bottom line of the book is that don’t allow ego to make you complacent and arrogant. A lot of historical stories are shared to showcase this.The book consists of three parts. Part one is about Aspire and here Ryan argues that most of us don’t reach our destination. Part two talks about success and Ryan argues that we stop listening, we stop learning, and we lose grasp on what matters. Part three talks about failure and Ryan argues that we all face setbacks but ego makes it tougher to face those failures. Here is my review Ego is the enemy by Ryan Holiday.
There you have it the 10 books I really enjoyed reading in 2016. Please share your favorite books below. Thanks for reading this post.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.


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