Some of last year’s books made a bigger impression that others. In this context I am talking about the work related books I got around to reading, now that my youngest is not on my arm all the time.

  • The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.  Why oh why did I not read this book before?  So many of the challenges I run into in my worklife when deploying innovative solutions were described, and most notably how incremental innovation is different from disruptive innovation in how solutions get into the hands, hearts and minds of people.
  • Disrupting Class by Clayton Christensen,  Curtis W. Johnson and Michael B. Horn.  If education is to be changed by ICT, what are the underlying principles and drivers that need to be considered? The book claims that if we want disruptive innovation in school, we need to focus on customized learning, one-on-one and school reform; not on small improvements of what happens in the class rooms today.
  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.  The discussion in this book about why smart people make stupid choices also turns out to be applicable to technology deployment.
  • The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman.  Striving for equal access to education, and lowering the gap between parts of society becomes more important after reading about what happened in the US as the vast gap in income has gotten much much worse in the past years.
  • Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman.  This book introduces some of the implications of climate change, Internet and the population changes.  When Internet flattens the world, and competition comes from anywhere, our world turns around.
  • Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn takes its title from a Mao quote “Half the sky is held up by women” and is the second most depressing book I read last year (the most depressing being Nothing to Envy about life in North Korea).  Did you know that almost all children dying of hunger are girls, as the boys are fed before the girls?  Did you know that every year a girl goes to school reduces the average number of children she gives birth to by 0.25?
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.  This book made me fall in love again with scientific method 🙂

Getting access to a Kindle and an iPad resulted in e-reading around the clock, including using the Kindle android app on my cell phone while on the bus.  The basic assumption of bookshelves being new, full or broken is changing, since adding books to the Kindle reading universe does not use shelf space.