Summer Reading 2016

During the school year I pine for time to read books thoroughly. So, I make up for it during the summer. Below are the books I have read this summer, and a brief comment about the book.

Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent by Nolan Bushnell (@NolanBushnell)- A very fun and insightful read about creativity and innovation in the tech industry from a video game and industry giant. His 52 “pongs” are easy to read but are very deep when considering how to encourage creativity in an organization.

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About by Paul Collier- I teach IB Economics, and I chose this as my second book to read this summer so I could better understand and relate Development Economics to my students. Dr. Collier not only outlines the “traps” of the countries of the bottom billion, but he also identifies why G8 countries should care. He also offers very insightful recommendations to improve the situation. More aid is not usually the answer, but that is the only tool most policy-makers use. An easy book to digest, even if you do not understand economics. The implications of his work are astounding for international policy-makers now and for the future.

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson (@StevenBJohnson)- I finally got to the end of this book. It took me more time not because it was not a good read, but because my summer got more involved than I had planned. This book is different than a typical “innovate-in-your-business-now” book. It instead highlights trends that have spurred innovation from the printing press through Twitter. Especially if you enjoy the history and record of scientific breakthroughs, this book will complement your knowledge of innovation well.

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary- My boys and I read books together in the summer. I like to encourage longer chapter-book reading, and I picked this up having thought I read it in elementary school. If I did, I long forgot the story and the style it was written in. The ending is quite mature in how the main character deals with the divorce of his parents.

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt- One of my students picked up a free copy of this book at a school conference and handed it to me. It is certainly a good read for those interested in Economics and those with a desire to read through some mucky detail. Written in 1946, it also provides a nice post-WWII view of classical economics. More modern economists will find reason to dispute some of his claims, but reading this book will prove insightful into economic though and the implication on all stakeholders.

Henry and the Paper Route by Beverly Cleary- Another book my boys are urging me to read with them.

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell- In progress.