Book list of a curious Architect

Book list of a curious Architect

Books I’ve read. Sorted by my top recommendations with short summaries, partly with additional notes. Hopefully you find something on the list that you can take away with.

 

Books I’ve read:

(sorted by my personal ranking)

 

The Happiness Advantage - The Seven Principles That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn AchorThe Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
by Shawn Achor

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

A masterpiece of positive psychology about “How Happiness gives your brain and your organization the competitive edge”. Up front, that is not some kind of a superficial “think positive and everything will be better” kind of book. This is a fundamental masterpiece to change your mindset through deep understanding and in that way to develop a lasting change. Most companies and society, in general, follow this formula: If you work harder, you’ll be more successful and if you are more successful than you’ll be happier. In short: This is scientifically broken and backward.

Shawn Anchor reversed that formula through his research. The statement: “Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.” If you can raise somebodies level of positivity in the present than their brains experiences what he calls a happiness advantage. Once we accept this new order in the working universe, we can change the way we work, interact with colleagues and lead-out teams to give our own career and the whole organization the competitive edge.

Shawn Anchor is one of the worlds leading experts on human potential. The book is based on research from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives worldwide and on his work at Harvard University. The book describes seven actionable and proven patterns to develop a new perspective that fuels success and achievement. Highly recommend reading it to improve both, your personal life and your company outcomes.

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve listened to the book on Audible in English.

 

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale CarnegieHow to Win Friends & Influence People
by Dale Carnegie

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

“The magic of interpersonal relationships.” Easily the best book I’ve read in my entire life. When I first heard about it, I didn’t really resonate with the title about influencing people, because I had some negative association with the word “influencing” and I didn’t like the idea about it at all. But then I gave it a try because my curiosity was bigger than my rejection of the title. It turned out, that the word “influencing” is, at least in my understanding, totally misplaced because in context it rather means that you can establish great relationships with a natural and honest appreciation of people, by showing them respect and esteem. So glad that Dale Carnegie put his knowledge about the magic of interpersonal relationships into this timeless book.

Initially published in the 1930’s, this book is still highly relevant today and I highly recommend it. At every time back in history, it was important to form and maintain relationships with other people. Your success depends for the most part on your ability to interact with the people around you. Whether this applies to succeeding in private or business relationships, Dale Carnegie studied the fundamentals of human interaction and put it in this priceless masterpiece.

Go to Amazon Page 

Note: I’ve listened to the book on Audible in German. 

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. CoveyThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
by Stephen R. Covey
How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

Go to Amazon Page

Listened to on Audible in English.

 

 

 

Deep Work - Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal NewportDeep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
by Cal Newport

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

How can you be able to create valuable work in a totally distracted world?

How can you make sure, that you do not drift away into shallow work and distraction and finding yourself at the end of a workday without achieving any notable results? Nowadays, chances are that this scenario might seem familiar to most people. There is a simple formula: Shut out any distraction and focus on the task at hand and only on that task.

Our generation is experiencing an interconnectedness with people and media, on a level that has never been seen before in human history. We are all faced with a constant information overload. Social Media is everywhere around us, large Open Office Spaces are on the rise, and all that is changing our way we work and ultimately affects our ability to work deeply and focused, and eventually to produce real results.

The author defines Deep Work as the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. Moreover, he underlines the fact, that Deep Work and focus is one of the most valuable skills in our economy and it is becoming increasingly rare. The insight: If you master this skill, you’ll achieve extraordinary results.

Cal Newport is a brilliant thinker and this book is an eye-opener. However, he is not arguing against the sources of distraction but rather that we need to find a way to deal with it and not letting distraction keep us from achieving real results. First, we need to be aware of it. Second, we desperately need to sharpen and train our ability to work deep.

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve listened to the book on Audible in English.

 

 

The Personal MBA - Master the Art of Business by Josh KaufmanThe Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
by Josh Kaufman

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve listened to the book on Audible in English.

 

 

So Good They Can’t Ignore You - Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal NewportSo Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
by Cal Newport

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

In this book, Cal Newport answers the question about “How do people end up loving what they do for a living?”. At the time, he was about to enter the working life himself and was searching for serious answers to that question. In search of a strategy, he studied many people who ended up loving what they do and analyzed their secrets to a fulfilling working life. It turns out that the common mantra of “follow your passion” can be actually damaging advice. He found out that the people he met didn’t start with a preexisting passion, rather the passion is some sort of a side effect that comes later. His advice is: Instead of running around trying to find your passion, “chose something that seems interesting and then work hard to get really good at it.” Narrow it down and then get as good as possible as quickly as possible, because satisfaction, motivation and then passion almost always build on a foundation of skill.

Cal Newport is a brilliant and clear thinker and I really appreciate his ability to express these skills in writing. This book definitely changed the way I think about work and “passion” and it also underlines the value of honest curiosity in work and personal life. If you are in search for answers to the same question on how to find work you really love, I highly recommend reading this book.

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve read the classic hardcover book in English.

 

A Guide to the Good Life - The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. IrvineA Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
by William B. Irvine

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve read the classic hardcover book in English.

 

 

The Daily Stoic - 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen HanselmanThe Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve read the classic hardcover book in English.

 

 

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier HanssonRework
by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve read the classic hardcover book in English.

 

 

The Art of the Good Life - 52 Surprising Shortcuts to Happiness, Wealth, and Success by Rolf DobelliThe Art of the Good Life – 52 Surprising Shortcuts to Happiness, Wealth, and Success
by Rolf Dobelli

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve read the classic hardcover book in German.

 

 

Start with Why - How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon SinekStart with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
by Simon Sinek

Go to Amazon Page

How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

Note: I’ve listened to the book on Audible in English.

 

 

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now by Gordon LivingstonToo Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now
by Gordon Livingston

How strongly I recommend it: 9/10

The idea: Learn some important things about life today, without spending a whole life yourself to come perhaps to the same results. It seems obvious: Commonly you get smarter the more you experience, hence it needs age to accumulate knowledge about life. Then it needs some sort of honest reflection to develop an understanding of what happened, to then create an individual strategy to cope with similar things in the future.

Gordon Livingston is a psychiatrist who has spent the last thirty years listening to other people’s most intimate secrets and troubles. That led to a large amount of knowledge about what most of us are grappling with throughout life. Indeed, there is some great wisdom in this book. The chapters are relatively short  and range from fundamental life lessons, to personal development, to the improvement of relationships with others and the relation and mission as parents. In that regard, I didn’t resonate with every chapter, since some might apply for various phases of life but the ones I do resonate with provided some brilliant wisdom. The book has no fluffy life coach style. It is a serious expression of his honest insights as a psychiatrist.

Some chapters I liked: We are what we do / We are afraid of the wrong things / There is nothing more pointless, or common, than doing the same things and expecting different results /  Our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses / Life‘s two most important questions are „Why?“ and „Why not?“ The trick is knowing which one to ask. This book is a brilliant and short read (167 pages) about some fundamental wisdom of life. Highly recommend it to everyone who is curious about what might be important in life.

Go to Amazon Page

Note: I’ve read the classic hardcover book in English.

 

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