Every year, I strive to read at least 100 books. Most of them either fall into the research category (a synthesis of different studies), or are novels. Here are my top 4 best reads from 2014:
I’ve long known that I’m something of an introvert, but this book me proud of that fact. Author Susan Cain draws on a great deal of groundbreaking research to explore the idea that, in a world where the virtues of extroversion are extolled, there are many unspoken benefits of introversion.
Free from Skill Cookbook
Much of the talk of the benefits of failure are filled with feel-good platitudes, but Megan McArdle’s book on the subject sheds new light on the subject. She reveals that failure is not only an important learning experience, but an essential part of growth.
There are plenty of books on how to earn money, ways to save money, and happiness… but this is the definitive collection of research on how to use money well to maximize quality of life.
If there’s anybody who can speak about the creative process, it is Ed Catmull, founder of Pixar. He has spent his life attempting to understand how to scale up creativity, and understands that while the process should not (and cannot) be systematized, an environment which fosters creativity can be created. I’ve quoted this book several times on the blog already and found some of his insights to be wonderfully profound.
Brandon Sanderson (Novel)
I’ve long been a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s worldbuilding. The first book in the Stormlight Archive was a strong start, but this sequel is in a category of it’s own.