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Books Read in February ’16

Ambitious reading plains laid at the outset of February were met by the unpredictability of the sweeps workload. I know I could search back at all the Books Read posts leading up to a sweeps month and they would say much of the same, but this one had some departmental shuffling that really kept me on my toes.

In some ways March slows down. With a two-week spring break and another prep week after that, work demands should be more even. We do still have, however, quite a bit of work to do for the wedding and to prepare for Portugal, so balancing those demands with a desire to get reading and learning back on track will be key.


The Sellout by Paul Beatty – After a few months of my nominating this for our book club, this was selected for February. As a satire, it has great characters and moments where I caught myself actually laughing, which is rare, even with books that are consistently funny. As a story, the zaniness can get in the way of the narrative, which makes the reading experience jarring at times.


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck – This book’s core idea of a growth vs. fixed mindset has been widely distributed and dissected across the internet. I had hoped that there would be more substance to the book than just example after example of group studies where people were primed with either a growth or a fixed idea, and how well the growth group performed. Nevertheless, understanding how we can be conscious of our mindset allows us to actively pursue changes and to open ourselves to opportunities.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini – The core ideas in Influence have also been widely disseminated, but I did enjoy this one for the way in which Caldini breaks down how people and companies try and persuade us, and how we can (and should) become more aware of it.

What about you? What’ve you been reading?

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  1. Finished Ivan Doog’s “Last Bus to Wisdom,” his first fiction I’ve read. 1950s Montana and east with his signature ability to capture place as well as hobo life post WWII. Currently reading “Waterlogged” by Dr. Tim Noakes, detailing hydration and endurance athletes. Appreciate the history and science of his many years of study.