Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Top 10 Authors

Being the avid reader I am, here's a list of 10 authors whose work I've enjoyed over the past few years:

10. Jay Fiset - Author of "Reframe Your Blame" which is that book where the exercises are really the secret sauce of this excellent book.  While there is the sharing of Jay's past trials and tribulations with finding how to be personally accountable that is enjoyable in its own right, jumping into the exercises to see how these ideas apply to oneself is what makes this such a powerful book.

9. Dan Pink - Author of "Drive" which is about motivation that includes a reading list that is just what I could use at times to take some of the ideas further.  Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation is quite an interesting idea to ponder.  The concepts of autonomy, mastery, and purpose are also some powerful ideas to see how well these fire me up to get me going on something new.

8. Tom Rath - Author of Gallup Press' "StrengthsFinder 2.0" and "Well-Being" which both have on-line assessments that can be useful in applying what one gets from the material in the book.  My strength themes are Learner, Achiever, Responsibility, Intellection and Strategic.  I suspect those who know the themes and know me could easily see how these relate to me.  It is quite something to get these kinds of results and have steps to take to refine how these can enhance the quality of one's life.

7. J.D. Meier - Writer of "Sources of Insight" blog that has lots of great ideas for improving productivity and how to view the world.  I've often enjoyed how he responds to so many posts on his blog and enjoys having conversation.  His book would be "Getting Results the Agile Way" that is about how to apply a software development methodology to other areas of one's life.

6. Thomas Friedman - Writer of "The World is Flat" that is quite the book about early 21st century history on more than a few levels.  I've also enjoyed his NY Times articles as he writes with conviction in a no nonsense way that I find refreshing at times.

5. Seth Godin - Writer of "Tribes" that discusses how people come together and form communities to some degree.  The book actually advocates being passed onto someone else who may be helped by it that made me want to go, "Aaawwww."

4. Gary Zukav - Writer of "Seat of the Soul" and "Soul Stories" that were both quite interesting books for me to enjoy and intellectually process.  While conveying the type of material that is quite radical, it is done clearly and with some compassion so that the transition is somewhat smooth.  I did enjoy seeing him on Oprah a few times.

3. Jack Canfield - Writer of "The Success Principles" and co-author of "The Power of Focus."  Both books are interesting for having lots of ideas and theories to bump up one's game in the world.  While the books took me a few months to get through, they are the type of books that more than a few people will go, "Huh?" to seeing someone read them.

2. Marcus Buckingham - Writer of "Go Put Your Strengths to Work" and "StandOut."  The latter had an on-line assessment I did last Christmas.  My top roles are Pioneer/Teacher.  Like the StrengthsFinder book .there are action steps to take from this and apply in one's life.  There is some emotion in Marcus' writing that is quite cool yet at the same time it is rather simple writing.

1. Frank McCourt - Writer of "Angela's Ashes," "'Tis," and "Teacher Man."  The writing style is what sticks out the most for me.  As depressing as the subject gets at times, there is still a ton of humor found in the pages of these books about his life in the US, Ireland and the back and forth challenges he experienced growing up in the manner he did.  While he passed away over 3 years ago now, his books will live forever.

Special mention to John Bogle who founded the Vanguard group, popularized index funds, and wrote more than a few books of which the last I read was titled simply, "Enough."  I'm not sure how many people would have the courage to write a book calling for a return to some basic principles yet that is what Bogle writes in this wonderful little book.  Anyone got some other authors that may be interesting within this subject matter?

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