January 13, 2014

Do you care what I have been reading?

If you don't - and I wouldn't blame you - ignore this post.

Over the next few days, I'll summarise the non-fiction books I've read in 2013 in Twitter format, using the hashtag #condensedBooks. Until then, here is a list of the books I read and tweeted about the previous year (i.e. in 2012):

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right
Why you'd want your surgeon to operate on you by checklist. Best book I read in 2012 (The Checklist Manifesto, by Atual Gawande)

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Being able to remember 10,000 random numbers doesn't mean you'll remember where you left your keys (Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer)

Chess grandmasters aren't particularly smart. They've just practised a lot (Bounce, by Matthew Syed)

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry
Psychopaths can be fun, too (The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson)

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed
This book confirms what I always knew: Lumberjacks are the pinnacle of manliness (The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant)

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
Improvement is a question of character (Better, by Atul Gawande) 

Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)
Cheap things don't sell (Priceless, by William Poundstone)

The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care
Personalised medicine is more than just genomics (The Creative Destruction of Medicine, by Eric Topol)

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
Just because people don't agree on what's moral doesn't mean that there is no right answer (The Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris)

Who: The A Method for Hiring
It's really, really hard to hire the right people. Checklists help (Who, by Geoff Smart and Randy Street)

Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--and Even Iraq--Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport
Football clubs should spend more on signing data crunchers and less on aging celebrity footballers (Socceronomics, by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski) 

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
The central mission of a startup should be to learn what to do, not how to do it (The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries)

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground
Credit card fraud has a certain nerdy glamour to it (Kingpin, by Kevin Poulsen)

The Genome Generation
Agrigenomics is at least as exciting as other sub-disciplines of genomics (The Genome Generation, by Elizabeth Finkel)

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Don't rely on common sense when trying to motivate people. They are too complex for that (Drive, by Daniel Pink)

How We Decide
The hardest problem is to know when to stop thinking and trust your instincts instead (How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer. This book has been retracted by its publisher since I read it)

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change
Will power rules: "Self-discipline has a bigger effect on academic performance than does intellectual talent" (The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg)

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