What I'm reading in November

Issue 006

I finished these books pretty quickly, mostly by taking a couple long walks and listening while shooting around (basketball).

What You Do is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz

This is mostly written for founders or managers of teams. But it’s really got me thinking about the disconnect between some of the things that I believe and my actual actions. One example: I know how important it is to meet with friends, but I shy away from putting the effort into planning to meet with friends. (Everyone knows they should call their mom more often, fewer actually do it.) If your actions don’t reflect the values that you have, then do you actually have those values at all?

The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo

Again, another book about managing teams, which isn’t something I’m doing now or in the near future. But there’s still a lot of good lessons here that you can apply on a personal level. In particular there’s a chapter I really enjoyed that was about managing yourself. It can be really useful to sit down and figure out your strengths, weaknesses, and what you really enjoy doing and hate doing day to day. With that awareness, you can build toward a day to day with more things you enjoy and fewer things you hate doing. (It might be that you hate doing something because you’re not good at it and a little bit of focused effort to improve there can have an outsized impact in the long run.)

Loserthink by Scott Adams

Understand why you think the things you do. Understand why others think the things that they do. You’ll be able to change your mindset more effectively. This book does remind me of Daniel Kahneman talking about how knowing all he knows about how humans think, he still doesn’t have control over his initial thoughts and reactions to things. **But** it does mean he’s better at recognizing when he’s thinking irrationally and can start deploying the mental toolset to make thoughtful decisions. Loserthink will help you build up awareness around your thought process, and that’s the first step toward changing your mindset.

Still reading this 4th one.

Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez

I’m a few pages in. I’m reading this for a little bit of creative motivation. Everyone can make videos and share them with the world all on their phones. This book is about how Rodriguez made a Hollywood film on a non-Hollywood budget. When there was no chance that you could record video with something that fits in your pocket. I’m always interested in stories about working under constraints and the creativity that comes out of it, so I’m excited to get into this book.

Other books I’m sort of reading but haven’t yet fully committed to finishing: A Fighter’s Heart, Hackers and Painters, Dark Matter, Redshirts

Re-listening to these passively and hoping to pick some stuff up by osmosis: Compound Effect, Magic of Thinking Big, Expert Secrets