Saturday, October 23, 2010

If you don't understand, blame the professor!

I've always read more than my peers - both in volume and in content. I won't pass up a good book, whether it's the latest best seller or something a little deeper. As I became older and more confident, I took on some scholarly articles, and suddenly felt stupid. Some of that stuff took four or five readings to divine the meaning. Then I read some well-written articles and books on esoteric topics, and I had my aha! moment. It wasn't my competence in question; it was the talent of the author!
Here are some well-written books that cover the deep stuff without putting you to sleep:
Education of a Wandering Man
by Louis L'Amour - he manages to slide in a lifetime reading list.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peopleby Stephen Covey - it took me over a year to finish - not because it is a heavy book as some have claimed - but because the book demands life change. It's one of those books I wish I had read in my twenties. That and Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. I know this book is important because I keep referring back to it when I have my Big Ideas.

One of Betty Friedan's autobiographies, Life So Far: A Memoir I keep going back to her book, too. She keenly observes the broad reach of societal change and targets the tickly spots. A true prophetess of our generation. This is only one of Betty's autobiographies, because like the energizer bunny, she keeps on going! I intend to re-read her section on health and excercise as I graduate through to my senior years. Also in this category are the first two books by Malcolm Gladwell.

Modern prophets are people who make a prediction - sometimes at odds with popular opinion - that also happen to come true. I sit up and take notice of these people. What is it that they see that we miss? The authors of the generational books, Strauss and Howe, are also frequently, broadly, right.