WORTH READING: Get Smarter! Start the New Year With the Five Best Books I Read in 2011. What books are on your list?

Here are the best five books I’ve read this year. They are so good they are all on my top-ten of all-time list. In the comment section please share the names of the best books you’ve read this year and if you are willing add a sentence or two on what you found so good about each book.

The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt is the smartest book I’ve ever read — filled with valuable and fascinating insights and information.

Very different than the Happiness Hypothesis, The Happiness Advantage is filled with data and anecdotes demonstrating how a positive attitude -- happiness -- can improve productivity as well as enhance emotional health and satisfaction.

Provides persuasive solid evidence that good ethics can be good business. Trumps the valuable insights in "Good to Great"

Switch is a mind-expanding book on how individuals and organizations can accomplish meaningful, positive, and lasting change.

Covers similar ground as Switch but adds meaningful insights and practical strategies.



Comments 5

  1. My best 5 that I’ve read this year:

    1) The Bible – I get something new out of it all the time; you will see it in first place in my list every year

    2) Jesus At They Saw Him – by William Barclay. People known by the titles they carry. The same can be said about Jesus. A discovered a hidden pearl of high value when I found this book and took it home to read.

    3) Cuentos de Amigas – Laura Freixas, an anthology of stories by the leading XX Century Spanish female writers. Not only reading at least one good book written in spanish keeps my 2nd language alive and current, it sharpens all of senses and I see the world in a deeper hue, listen to new phonetic sounds, enjoy the aromas and the taste of the world!

    This year I started working in a newly created position at the company I work at and it was new for me as well. So the first thing I did was search for books by leaders in the field of Inside Sales. Two of them are:
    4) Lead Generation for the Complex Sale by Brian J. Carroll
    5) Smart Calling, Art Sobczak

  2. The best 5 books I read in 2011 all consist of textbooks. However, they are the best because I learned, I improved, and each help me get closer to my degrees.

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  3. The best books I’ve read this past year are (in no particular order of importance):
    • “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life” by Father James Martin, S.J. – A wonderful book on the incredible importance of humor and laughter in one’s spiritual life…and how lacking such could almost be described as heretical. Father Martin shows the reader how one’s faith should always lead them to joy. Sadly, he notes (and I agree), that far too many of those claiming a deep faith are far too grim.

    • “Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything” by Joshua Foer – A somewhat forgetful journalist describes his entry and his success in the U.S. Memory Championships, detailing the incredible efforts memory champions go through to memorize extensive speeches and books…at times drawing upon long forgotten memorization techniques employed by Medieval scholars. I came away realizing how much of our brains we fail to use.

    • “The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World” by Edward Dolnick – A great mixing of history and science, describing the beginnings of a transition for a superstitious age to an age based on scientific study and reason, exploring the works and beliefs of great scientists such as Newton, Hooke, and others. The author finds a way to make the controversy over who invented calculus (Newton or Leibniz) fascinating to even those who may have hated math. An amazing exploration of how the “scientific method” is really a rather recent phenomena in history of humans.

    • “Life” by Keith Richards – An incredible autobiography by the great Rolling Stones guitarist. Revealing for its detail into the life of a wayward, drug-addicted rock ‘n roll superstar…but very poignant in so many paragraphs as Mr. Richards so willing reflects on his life…the good…the bad…the hurts felt…and the hurts caused. I came away so impressed with his introspective ability, despite so many years he wasted through addiction.

    • “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life” by Father James Martin, S.J. – Another great book by Father Martin detailing methods of finding God in all things in life…the Ignatian way. Though written from a Jesuit perspective, at the outset…and throughout the book…Father Martin makes a determined effort to show those of other faiths…or no faith at all…how such meditative techniques can be fruitful in anyone’s life. In particular, the insights of St. Ignatius can be so helpful in discerning important directions we need to make about life, work, love, friendship, and so on. This book really changed me and changed the way I pray.

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