Reading list


Explicit and direct instruction (**) A slightly geeky book but for anyone who interested in the concept of direct instruction it’s well worth a read. Its short and punchy and consist of a series of individual essays nicely referenced to the research that support the views being expressed.

The age of surveillance capitalism (***) I must start reading a few books that aren’t very good. This is excellent and possibly one of the most important books about the way economics at its most fundamental level e.g. the price mechanism, is changing. The price mechanism a key aspect of Smith’s invisible hand  is being corrupted by data. Thus making data more important than weapons. Don’t be put off by the economics reference this is a very good, if not slightly scary read.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (***) – Another excellent book from Harari, taking many of the observations from Sapiens and telling the story as to what may happen to humans in the future. The title translates into Human God, read into that what you will.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (***) – Thought provoking and has original, or at least to for me observations about human behaviour and the way as a species we have evolved. But this is not a book about the past, it will explain why we continue to fight wars and make what at times may seem to be illogical decisions. I have always liked the term, “Stone age man, in a space age world”, this book will give you many examples as to why this may be true.

Mindset – Carol Dweck (***)  Arguably the book that inspired many. The logic being that there are two types of mindset,  a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. Its partly based on your attitude to intelligence and if you think it can be improved, but the whole ideal of growth goes beyond that. People with fixed mindsets find it difficult to cope with failure, while a growth mindset actually leads to brain development i.e. yes you can improve your IQ. Well worth a read

Grit the power of passion and persuasion (***) – A very interesting read and a good addition to the books like, Talent is overrated, Outliers and Mindset. It adds another dimension to what makes people successful, and a quality that perhaps employers should be looking for rather than exam success.  

The stress test (*) – Well written by Ian Robertson, a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist. I had such high hopes for this book but at the end felt a little disappointed in what I had learned.

The future of the professions (***) – If you are thinking about becoming an accountant, lawyer, doctor etc you should probably read this. Your career may not be as long as you might expect. A book about how the professions are about to implode due to new technologies and the inefficiency of the current model. There is an excellent diagram on page 197 that shows the evolution of professional work and how it moves from creation (craft) to commoditisation.

The everything store (***) – Great book if you’re interested in Amazon, the changing pace of technology and what the man (Jeff Bezos) who runs it is like.

Turn the ship around (**) – The story of change management on a nuclear submarine set against the back drop of the rigid top down structure in the navy.

Sapiens – a brief history of humankind (***) – My sort of book, full of very interesting observations but at the same time well researched and well written. A book about human beings from origins to the future, with a great title for the first chapter, Sapien, an animal of no significance

Triggers (WIP) – What is it that shapes your behavior? Marshal; Goldsmith argues that our own beliefs and environment play a major part. A trigger is anything that reshapes our thoughts and actions. A good book for behavioral change.

Back catalogue – just a sample

  • The innovators dilemma
  • The Google story (***)
  • Start with Why (***)
  • Brain rules (*)
  • The one room school house (**)
  • Talent is overrated (***)
  • Five minds for the future (***)
  • Mind Gym (*)
  • The human mind
  • Outliers (***)
  • Tipping point (***)
  • David and Goliath (**)
  • 7 habits of highly effective people (**)
  • The man who mistook his wife for a hat (*)
  • Six thinking hats (***)
  • The wisdom of crowds (*)
  • The black swan (***)
  • The long tail (*)