• Pierre Battah

Summer Reading List 2017

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

Summer reading season is upon us. I have book recommendations that promise to turn you into a freak, another to apply the science behind reaching your peak at whatever you try and a new release to inspire you to be an ingenious Canadian. There are also books about a friendship that changed the way we think, one to make you more influential and the evidence based tools of how to do your very best under pressure.

Podcasting is the theme that runs through many of the books on this summer’s list. Not that any of the books are about podcasting but two of the books are written by hugely successful podcasters, namely Stephen Dubner of the Freakonomics and Tell Me Something I Don’t Know podcasts and Timothy Ferriss whose podcast is the number one rated business podcast and by times the number one ranked podcast period as determined by number of downloads. Most of the other books caught my attention by hearing the authors interviewed on leading podcasts or by their books being mentioned by notable podcasters in any number of shows on topics from business to non-fiction writing and others.

As usual some books are very fresh having been released in late 2016 or early to mid 2017, while others go back a bit. If you are like me, catching up with the quality titles that got away is just as much fun as snatching up much anticipated new releases.

Don’t forget the sunblock as you get caught up in these many evidence based tomes:

1. The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, Michael Lewis. – No how to’s or tools in this one just a fascinating story of an unprecedented and incredibly unique working relationship between brilliant academic colleagues. They re-fashioned how to select effective leaders in wartime all the way up to a Nobel prize some forty years later. Lewis (Moneyball) at his finest.

2. Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain, Stephen J Dubner Steven D Levitt. – the two Stephens pull back the curtain of how to solve problems, be more creative and look at things differently to make progress and get better outcomes. As with all their titles, this book includes captivating storytelling and rich examples. Great chapter on the “3 hardest words” …and love is not one of them.

3. Ingenious: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, and Happier by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins. - Who knew peanut butter, life jackets and the dump truck were Canuck inventions? Governor General David Johnson and serial innovator and Chair of the National Research Council Tom Jenkins that’s who. They are looking to inspire all of us with stories of Canadian ingenuity in Canada’s 150th year.

4. Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything - Fast, Michael Pantalon. – This evidence based technique is a must for anyone who wants to help others make significant change to their behaviour or performance. The time tested and proven 6 question technique is incredibly powerful, respectful and a great resource for managers, coaches and parents.

5. Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise , Robert Pool and Anders Ericsson. - Imagine incorporating the deliberate practice techniques that propel world class musicians and other expert peak performers to go well beyond being just good enough. Fascinating science to put those practices to work for the rest of us.

6. Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most, Hendrie Weisinger, J.P. Pawliw-Fry. - Bad news: pressure makes us do worse…good news: a scientist and a performance coach can help us do better.

On my summer reading list:

7. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. - What do you get when a rock star academic and best-selling author (Originals) befriends a young suddenly widowed rock star CEO and bestselling author (Lean In)? A very human story of loss and how we can all build our resilience muscle using the latest research on the topic in lieu of opinion and speculation.

8. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, Timothy Ferriss. - How to be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise from author (The Four-Hour Work Week) and Silicon Valley positivity beacon Ferriss. This 650-page titanic of a book will reportedly delight his followers and arm his detractors. I’ll tell you where I land on the other side of this gargantuan read…thankfully the font is large and its surprisingly light weight!

Stay out of the hot sun all you freaks and freakettes.

Have you pre-ordered Humanity at Work yet?

If not, get it today on Amazon!


#BusinessBooks #LeadershipBooks

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