Books I Have Read

I have found these books useful. I hope to make this an annotated bibliography. We’ll see how much time I spend on this.

Survivor books:

I first started reading survivor books, because that’s what I thought I was, a survivor. In a sense, I am.

Lawrence Gonzales wrote a great book, Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. I learned a lot from this book. A friend, John Horne, gave it to me. It took me a year to crack it. Once I did, I had already learned the lessons. But the fact that he articulated the lessons I had learned was helpful.

I also read Amanda Ripley’s The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why. I enjoyed it and learned from it. Not as much as Gonzales, but some.

I also read Sherwood’s The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life. The book is good reading. He does not gather the lessons as Gonzales or Ripley do. And there is a cult about the web site.

Balance and Neuroplasticity books:

Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense by Scott McCredie. I bought the Kindle edition and was unable to make any notes, annotations or clippings. I complained to both the publisher and Amazon. Neither took action. I tried to find the author online to explain, but he must be the only author who does not want to connect with his readers. Oh well.

This was the first book that mentioned the BrainPort. Great read. Also the first book that says specifically something like this: We all lose our balance as we age, so use it or lose it. Very well written. Read whether or not you have balance issues!

Norman Doidge’s The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science is a different approach. This book is all about neuroplasticity in all kinds of settings. When I read this book, I knew the BrainPort would work for me. My input to my vestibular system is broken (literally, the nerves are severed), but that means I have alternative pathways into the brain. And, since I have not been sitting around eating bonbons and I have been challenging my vestibular system with dance, and challenging my brain with work I had a shot of making my brain work in alternative ways.

Resilience Books:

Al Siebert wrote a book called The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back from Setbacks. He describes 5 levels of resiliency. Level 1 is physical health. Level 2 is problem solving. Level 3 is knowing yourself. I’m going to make you wait for the rest until I blog about them.

Lawrence Gonzales wrote another terrific book, Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience. He has a very different take on resilience than Siebert does. His chapter 14 is entitled “The Science of Adaptation: There’s No Revenge Like Success.” How can you not like a chapter like that?? Read my entire review here. I loved the book.

Carol Dweck wrote a wonderful book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In it, she discusses the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. If you have the fixed mindset, you believe you can only do what you were born with. If you have the growth mindset, you believe you can acquire new skills and learn. I believe in the growth mindset. So should you. It’s how you build your self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-concept.

Barbara Fredrickson wrote Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveales How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive. I’m not done reading it yet. It’s not about “put on a happy face and all will be well.” Thank goodness. I am way too cynical for that! But she has 10 emotional states to increase our “positivity palette” and that helps us build better lives each day. I dunno. I feel better. I’m keeping it. Maybe when I’m done reading I’ll be able to explain it better.

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin Seligman. You can learn to be optimistic. Not crazy happy optimistic. But sufficiently optimistic so you keep the bad thoughts at bay, and help yourself take that next step every day. See my review of the book.

Influence Books:

I was reading influence books for my program management book, tutorial, and talks. Too many of them are about selling ideas, which just doesn’t fit for me. In Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, they have lots of ideas about how to accomplish things, such as “Deliberate practice with clear feedback.” Okay, now you’re talking.

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