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The 14 Books That Shaped Me In 2011

Here are the books that nourished my soul, satisfied my curiosity, and shaped my thinking in 2011.

Of the fourteen books in the stack,

  • Twelve were non-fiction, two were fiction.
  • Two were paperback
  • Twelve were on the Kindle
  • Two were audiobooks from Audible
  • One was both Audible and Kindle
  • One was both paperback and Kindle

And now for the list, in the order consumed:

  1. Freedom: A Novel
    — Jonathon Franzen
    Interesting, but I don’t understand what all the buzz was about surrounding this book.
    Rating: * * * (out of 5) | Fiction | Kindle
  2. The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles
    for Breakthrough Success

    — Carmine Gallo
    Great insights into making your dent in the universe.
    Rating: * * * * * | Non-Fiction | Kindle
  3. The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel
    — Michael Connelly
    A delightful page-turner.
    Rating: * * * * | Fiction | Kindle
  4. What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There: How Successful People
    Become Even More Successful

    — Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter
    Important book for leaders and executive coaches. Learn from the master.
    Rating: * * * * * | Non-Fiction | Kindle
  5. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
    — Michael Lewis
    The better of the two books I read on the financial meltdown. Michael Lewis is brilliant at weaving a narrative. Malcolm Gladwell says that Lewis is the best story teller writing today. I couldn’t agree more.
    Rating: * * * * * | Non-Fiction | Kindle
  6. The 4-Hour Workweek
    — Timothy Ferriss
    Important concepts for earning a livelihood in the 21st century. Overlook the fact that the author can be less than appealing at times.
    Rating: * * * * | Non-Fiction | Kindle
  7. Green for Life
    — Victoria Boutenko and A. William Menzin M.D
    Trying to eat healthier. This blend of science, passion, philosophy, and recipes is a great help.
    Rating: * * * * * | Non-Fiction | Paperback / Kindle
  8. Under the Tuscan Sun
    — Frances Mayes
    Wonderfully written with vivid images that appeal to all the senses. Do not see the movie of the same name — the book and the movie bear almost no resemblance to one another.
    Rating: * * * * | Non-Fiction | Paperback
  9. All The Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
    — Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera
    A well-written account of the near apocalypse created by the recklessness in the financial industry.
    Rating: * * * * | Non-Fiction | Kindle
  10. Steve Jobs
    — Walter Isaacson
    Jobs was an iconoclast and a personal hero. Recommended.
    Rating: * * * * * | Non-Fiction | Kindle
  11. Crush It!: Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion
    — Gary Vaynerchuck
    Gary is an Internet sensation who has worked hard for his success. He is also an extrovert who has played very well to his strengths. Good insights but not as universally applicable as he would like to believe.
    Rating: * * * | Non-Fiction | Audible
  12. One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value
    — Marc Effron and Miriam Ort
    An important book for human resource leaders and organizational change agents.
    Rating: * * * | Non-Fiction | Kindle
  13. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms To Fail
    — Clayton M. Christensen
    Blew my mind! Best book of the year. Very important concepts for people in business, those aspiring to be, and anyone who wants to make sense of the rapidly shifting landscape in our lives.
    Rating: * * * * * | Non-Fiction | Kindle
  14. The Sociopath Next Door
    — Martha Stout
    Four percent of the population (1 in 25 people) lack a conscience. This very well-written book helps you understand where they come from, how they work, and how to deal with them. Martha Stout sculpts with characters and stories the make a potentially dark and technical topic extremely interesting and understandable.
    Rating: * * * * * | Non-Fiction | Audible / Kindle

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