The second half of the year is upon us – are you halfway through your reading goals yet? Here are seven books to motivate, inspire and entertain you from now until Labor Day (or later).
After eons of human progress, we know one thing for certain: there is no better engineer than Mother Nature. Neuroscientist Susan Hockfield, former president of MIT describes how the brightest minds are devising cutting edge solutions that incorporate nature’s wonders to tackle our most pressing problems. Cancer-detecting nanoparticles, mind-controlled bionic limbs, and computer-engineered crops are no longer in the realm of science fiction, she explains.
An eye-opening look at how progress and nature do not always have to be at odds with each other.
Melinda Gates has written her first book after decades in the limelight. In an age where every public personality feels compelled to (co-)write and plug books about their own life, Melinda instead tackles gender inequality, explaining how gender bias effectively squanders half the world’s potential. She and husband Bill have already donated over $45 billion through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the name of alleviating poverty.
Melinda’s unique life, insight and universally-applicable principles are a must-read for responsible business leaders everywhere.
Despite our angst, Americans are among the most generous people on the planet. However, uncountable billions in charitable donations over decades have not had as tangible an effect on countering poverty as we would have liked. The authors uncover imperfections and loopholes in the traditional framework that prevent huge injections of finances and a world of good intentions from producing equivalent real-world results. They conclude that innovation is the answer, not handouts.
If your company has a Corporate Social Responsibility plan (CSR), you need to read this book.
It is natural to assume that the most reliable and rewarding path to success is laid by single-minded focus. David Epstein doesn’t just contradict this assumption but uses examples of successful athletes, artists, inventors and scientists to validate the contradictory argument. He reveals that generalists, not specialists, are best equipped for success because they possess better creative skills and agility, and can visualize connections their peers cannot.
Once in a while, a book comes along that upturns all our preconceived notions about success. This one does it with evidence.
What if everyone could teach themselves to be creative? Tech entrepreneur Allen Gannet demystifies creativity and shows you how you can train your mind to innovate as and when you like. His approach eschews the notion that some people are born with the ability to think outside the box while the rest are not. Instead, he demonstrates through hard data that creativity is simply a dormant skill that anyone can unlock.
Creative individuals drive team performance – use Gannet’s tricks to unleash your creative side, or that of your entire team.
Time management books are a dime a dozen but none of them are like Randi Zuckerberg’s. Mark Zuckerberg’s sister categorizes everything she could do in a day under one of five headings - Work, Sleep, Family, Friends and Fitness - and then picks three on which to focus that particular day. She says that using this system of rotation can help you find the perfect balance in your life.
Allocating days to dedicated tasks and rotating the focus may be the secret to managing your brand, your family life, or anything else at which you want to excel.
Within each of us is the counter to the chaos that seems to rule our lives. Brian Solis describes in this book how he managed to tame negativity and chaos through a unique set of exercises and thought experiments. One of the main areas on which he focuses is the disruption to our lives caused by our online habits and addiction to digital escapism. Best of all, it is done without sacrificing the advantages we get from our devices.
A timely book that may help you uncover why it seems you never have enough time.