books to read: 2014 books to read

I was inspired by Bill Gates article- “The Best Books I Read in 2013”- to compile a couple of books I should/would read in 2014 and so help me God I will. Books, be it fictional or non-fiction has been my way of escape from the craziness of this world and also been a great source of knowledge that has mostly shaped the way I think, act or behave.

I became an ardent reader from the age of 7. My favorites were Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew! I would get lost in the world of Golliwogs, Fairies and Elves; go on adventures with the Famous Five and Secret Seven; and even help Nancy Drew look for clues when solving a case. I cried with the characters, rejoiced in their victories and often times I would be confused about the real world. Their world seemed more real to me. Reading was my escape from a world of pain, when I needed comfort or when I needed to just be- even now it still is. I would read on the way to school, break time, when eating, when the lights went out at bedtime and most times I would finish a book in 3 hours or if its a 4-in-1 book, I will stay up all through the night to finish it! I hated when the stories came to an end and will get so angry with my self for finishing it so quick.  I would beg and beg to borrow a book from my classmates! It’s a wonder I didn’t turn out to be a writer.

When I was about 11 years old, my dad will confiscate my dear Enid Blyton and lock me up in his study and insist  i read his books, books, which to me then, were really boring. That used to make me so angry and I won’t read anything till it was time to come out. His bookshelves were full of motivational and Christian literature. Well, one day, I got bored of just sitting down in the study and picked one- The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and wham! My life changed after that! And though I didn’t stop reading my Enid Blyton’s and Nancy Drew’s and graduated to Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, James Patterson and John Grisham, I started reading motivational and business books by John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar, Myles Munroe, Mike Murdock, John Mason, Anthony Robbins and Bill Gates. I grew up believing that there’s nothing that i can’t achieve; those books instilled in me the “never give up” spirit and the “can- do” attitude and that has helped shape who I am today! The only thing I couldn’t understand was why it was so hard for me to read my chemistry and physics books- that still baffles me! I started buying books with every last penny I had even just for the smell or the date it was published! For me, a house is not a home without shelves filled with books!

This year I read more fiction than none fiction books and this has affected my enthusiasm-my brain feels like its been clogged and my spirit weak. So, I am setting a goal for 2014, to read more books that will expand my knowledge, skills and equip me with tools that will help me design amazing solutions that will affect lives.

This is my list for 2014:-

1.Holy Bible, Woman Thou Art Loosed Edition by T.D. Jakes

Still my number one book since 2001, but in 2014, I want to make it a habit to read and study my bible daily. I love this particular edition- it has several pages that addresses emotional and spiritual issues from a biblical perspective and I have gotten strength from reading them at different stages of my life.

Woman Thou Art Loosed Bible

2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

I bought this book in 2009 but have never read it to the end just some chapters. This quote in the book has inspired me over the years whenever it seemed like I was far from reaching my goal- “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

Good to Great

3. Business Model Generation: A Handbook For Visionaries, Game Changers, And Challengers (Portable Version) by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur

Business Model Generation is a practical, inspiring handbook for anyone striving to improve a business model or craft a new one.

Business Model Generation

4. Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael J. Sandel

Justice-what is the right thing to do

5. Talent Is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent by John C. Maxwell

I bought this book in 2008, read it twice, lent it to some guy who misplaced it and I bought it again. It’s time I read it again.

Talent is never enough

6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

I still cant believe that I’ve never read this book.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

7. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation by Tim Brown

Design Thinking changed the way I think about what kind of designer I should be. I now define design in a broader term- as a tool to design tools and services for complex world challenges- I am that kind of designer now!

Change by Design

8. Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers by Jeanne Liedtka, Tim Ogilvie

Designing for Growth

Anytime I talk about Design Thinking, my boyfriend stresses that I read De Bono’s books on Lateral Thinking and Six Thinking Hats because he believes De Bono is the father of Design Thinking- well it wasn’t called that then.

9. Lateral Thinking by Edward De Bono

Lateral Thinking

10. Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

Six Thinking Hats

My life’s goal is to motivate youths to take responsibility for their education and design tools that will empower them to set goals, pursue their passions and create solutions that will improve the high school education system- that is why I started W.A.T.Future Initiative with a friend of mine, Hannah Johnson. I’m hoping these books below will inspire and equip me with some tools on how to be make this social innovation initiative effective and sustainable.

11. Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton M. Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson

Disrupting Class

12. Education in the Creative Economy: Knowledge and Learning in the Age of Innovation by Daniel Eduardo Araya

Education in the Creative Economy

13. Shaking Up the Schoolhouse: How to Support and Sustain Educational Innovation by Phillip C. Schlechty

Shaking Up the School HouseSome of the tools to be designed to help youths discover their passion in life might be an app, a game …, I don’t know yet but I figure I read books on technology to discover how technology affects innovation.

14. Design for Six SIGMA in Technology and Product Development by David Antis, Jeff Slutsky, David Antis

Design for Six SIGMA in Technology and Product Development

15. Questioning Technology: Tool, Toy or Tyrant? by John Zerzan (Editor), Alice Carnes (Editor), Jacques Ellul

Questioning Technology-Tool, Toy or Tyrant

And for my research, these 2 books are perfect. I have the PDF copies but there’s nothing like the real thing to highlight, bookmark, make notes and quickly page through for references.

16. Human Centered Design Toolkit- An innovation guide for social enterprises and NGOs worldwide published

Human Centered Design Toolkit

17. Design Thinking for Educators by Riverdale Country  School +

A creative process that helps you design meaningful solutions in the classroom, at your school, and in your community. The toolkit provides you with instructions to explore Design Thinking.

Design Thinking for EducatorsYou can click on the image of the HCD toolkit and Design Thinking for Educators to download the PDF versions from its websites.

I’m ready to be a pacesetter, an innovation activist and I know its going to be a lot of work. I leave you with these words by Jim Collins from his book Good to Great-

“When [what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine] come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.”

P.S. Click on the images to get a full review of the books. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and tell me what you think of them.

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