Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
June 14, 2013 8:34 PM

Summer Reading 2013

There have been a slew of new business books that have come on to the market lately.

Summer should be here... some time soon, right? If you're looking for something to read, here are some new releases that will grab your attention and enrapture your mind (in alphabetical order):

  • Choose Yourself - Be Happy, Make Millions, Live The Dream by James Altucher. About the book: "The world is changing. Markets have crashed. Jobs have disappeared. Industries have been disrupted and are being remade before our eyes. Everything we aspired to for 'security,' everything we thought was 'safe,' no longer is: College. Employment. Retirement. Government. It's all crumbling down. In every part of society, the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. No longer is someone coming to hire you, to invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It's on you to make the most important decision in your life: Choose Yourself. New tools and economic forces have emerged to make it possible for individuals to create art, make millions of dollars and change the world without 'help.' More and more opportunities are rising out of the ashes of the broken system to generate real inward success (personal happiness and health) and outward success (fulfilling work and wealth). This book will teach you to do just that. With dozens of case studies, interviews and examples-including the author, investor and entrepreneur James Altucher's own heartbreaking and inspiring story-Choose Yourself illuminates your personal path to building a bright, new world out of the wreckage of the old."
  • Converge - Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology by Bob Lord and Ray Velez. About the book: "To create rich, technologically enabled experiences, enterprises need close collaboration between marketing and IT. Converge explains how the merging of technology, media, and creativity is revolutionizing marketing and business strategy. The CEO and CTO of Razorfish, one of the world's largest digital marketing agencies, give their unique perspective on how to thrive in this age of disruption. Converge shares their first-hand experience working closely with global brands... to solve business problems at the collision point between media, technology, and marketing."
  • Decisive - How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath. About the book: "Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We're overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn't. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn't fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better? In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively readable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star's ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO's disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions."
  • Finding Your Element - How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson and  Lou Aronica. About the book: "Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk video and groundbreaking book, The Element, introduced readers to a new concept of self-fulfillment through the convergence of natural talents and personal passions. The Element has inspired readers all over the world and has created for Robinson an intensely devoted following. Now comes the long-awaited companion, the practical guide that helps people find their own Element."
  • The New Digital Age - Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. About the book: "Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley's great leaders, having taken Google from a small start-up to one of the world's most influential companies. Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas and a former adviser to both secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton; he was instrumental in helping shape the way the U.S. government thinks about technology. Schmidt and Cohen have traveled the world--from the hot spots of the Middle East and Africa to the more stable European and Asian nations--meeting with world leaders, entrepreneurs, and activists to see and hear firsthand about the challenges they face. With the authors' combined knowledge and on-the-ground experiences, they are uniquely positioned to take on some of the toughest questions about our future: Who will be more powerful in the future, the citizen or the state? Will technology make terrorism easier or harder to carry out? How will war, diplomacy, and revolution change when everyone is connected, and how can we tip the balance in a beneficial way? When broken societies are rebuilt, what will they be able to do with technology? In this book, Schmidt and Cohen combine observations about the physical world with their insights into our digital future to outline in great detail and scope all the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. This is a forward-thinking account of where our world is headed and what this means for people, states, nations, and businesses."
  • Present Shock - When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff. About the book: "Rushkoff introduces the phenomenon of presentism, or - since most of us are finding it hard to adapt - present shock. Alvin Toffler's radical 1970 book, Future Shock, theorized that things were changing so fast we would soon lose the ability to cope. Rushkoff argues that the future is now and we're contending with a fundamentally new challenge. Whereas Toffler said we were disoriented by a future that was careening toward us, Rushkoff argues that we no longer have a sense of a future, of goals, of direction at all. We have a completely new relationship to time; we live in an always-on 'now,' where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything."
  • Who Owns The Future? by Jaron Lanier. About the book: "Who Owns the Future? is a visionary reckoning with the effects network technologies have had on our economy. Lanier asserts that the rise of digital networks led our economy into recession and decimated the middle class. Now, as technology flattens more and more industries--from media to medicine to manufacturing--we are facing even greater challenges to employment and personal wealth. But there is an alternative to allowing technology to own our future. In this ambitious and deeply humane book, Lanier charts the path toward a new information economy that will stabilize the middle class and allow it to grow. It is time for ordinary people to be rewarded for what they do and share on the Web."

What's on your bookshelf for the summer of 2013?

By Mitch Joel


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