Monday, January 21, 2008

Some Interesting Reads During My Travels

The last couple months have been full of traveling for me. South Africa in November, Austin, Texas for the holidays, and I just got back from the Yucatan, Mexico this past weekend. I have a lot of writing to do to catch up on what Amor is doing in South Africa and in Cancun. But for now I would like to mention some books that I have read while all this touring has been going on. That's one of the advantages of travel when you are flying is that you can often find some time to get some reading done if you want to. I happen to carry a laptop with me everywhere I go which always has several downloaded eBooks on it. My rolling travel case always has a book or two in it as well. I normally have abouts five books I am reading at any time. Too bad I can't actually read them all at the same time. I'm not that good, but I can go back and forth between them very easily. I may not be ADD, though many people think I am, but according to the latest leadership personality test I took, the Enneagrahm System, I am "scattered" at times. We'll have to explore that one some more at another time.

So, here are the books I just finished this past week:

1. A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. One of our board members mentioned this book a while ago and then our management consultant "Buddy" bought it for all our leadership to read. Powerful book on what the present and future is becoming as we enter what the author describes as the "conceptual age". In a sense its a "how to book" helping us prepare for this coming age. The book provides six aptitudes that the author feels are essential for relevance in this future: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning. In my library... this is a must read!!!!

2. What Type Of Leader Are You? by Ginger Lapid-Bogda. I found this book by accident wandering around my son's books store at the University of Southern California. I often enjoy just browsing through bookstores, especially university bookstores for new books and to see what people are reading. I have taken a lot of personality tests over the years such as , DISC, Myers Briggs, and TKI. They are often powerful tools to understand our strengths and our weaknesses as well as how our various personalities work in conjunction with other peoples' personalities. This one was very insightful, even after having taken all the previous tests. There are nine Enneagram Types described in this book and it gives you amazing insight into how we view things and function. You can use the book to find your style but it looked a little bit too time consuming so I went online at the Enneagramin Institute. For ten dollars you answer about 144 questions in about 40 minutes. The results should prove very interesting to anyone and this book and the other resources at the Ennegramin Institute should give anyone ample resources to dig even further.

3. Lifehacker by 'gina trapani'. This book was a spontaneous buy at a bookstore going out of business. I couldn't resist buying a $24 book for $10. I had already heard about this book in a book I am currently reading discussing blogging. It sounded interesting enough since I was intrigued to see how someone who was writing a blog about "technology tricks to turbocharge your day" turned it into a book. For the record, this book is for the "technically savvy" person who is looking for ways to save some time. It explores time wasting areas of email, repetitive tasks, creating digital to do lists, shortcuts for the web, and the one I enjoyed the most, security. This is a book you would probably keep on your shelf as a reference book. Its also one of those books you can get overwhelmed with, considering all the information the author throws at you. I consider the ten bucks I spent worth it just for the password tips the author gave.

Want to know what books I am reading now? Ok, I give in.

1. Living Life, a Journal for Spiritual Formation and Reflection.
2. Blogging Heroes.
3. Revolution of Hope by former Mexican President Vicente Fox.
4. Class, Race, and Inequality in South Africa.
5. Hyper-Border: The Contemporary U.S.-Mexico Border and Its Future.

OK, I have written enough about this. I have got to get back to reading some more great books. Talk to you later.

Read any good books lately? I would love to hear about them.

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