Reading list 2020

Here’s a list of books I enjoyed recently which you might find useful as a communicator: four novels loosely arranged around the topic of empathy, three non-fiction books on ideas and how they spread and one essay on silence and where to find it.

Novels around empathy

In Machines Like Me, Ian McEwan drags us into an alternative reality where robots have become largely indistinguishable from humans (e.g. they pass the Turing test). It’s a great exploration into the boundaries of rationality, morality and emotions. (deutsch: Maschinen wie ich)

The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells explores how we become who we are and how our experiences stand in the way of understanding others as well as our true self. (deutsch: Vom Ende der Einsamkeit)

Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen is a phenomenal exploration into how we form our realities and how who we want to be has a huge impact on how we act and in turn how others perceive us. (deutsch: Die Lügnerin)

The Rosie Result is the conluding third book of the Rosie series by Graeme Simsion. The final part of the series sees eccentric genetics professor Don Tillman live with his eccentric son and along the way understand profound truths about himself. The book is an important look into how fragile the boundaries between different, special, and weird can be. (deutsch: Das Rosie Resultat)

Ideas – where they come from, how they spread, and how they stick

Where Good Ideas Come From is a fascinating read by Steven Johnson and investigates how to build yourself an environment in which great ideas thrive. (deutsch: Wo gute Ideen herkommen)

Contagious by Jonah Berger examines how ideas spread. If you need to make your ideas go viral, this books has some interesting findings.

Made to Stick by Dan & Chip Heath is one of my favorite books on communication for more than a decade. It explains what makes great ideas stick in the minds of your audience.

Silence

Silence by Erling Kagge makes a striking case for the power of silence and how you don’t need silent surroundings to find inner silence. Highly recommended. (deutsch: Stille)

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