Books that have had a big impact on me
These are books that I've thoroughly enjoyed. These come from all different genres, and they're all books I could pick up and read at any time.
- •Godric: A Novel by Frederick BuechnerOne of the most powerful books I've read. It's written in iambic pentameter, but once you get used to that, it's a powerful story about faith, suffering, life, and relationships. It's historical fiction about a 12th century saint based loosely on his life. Raises some great questions about what living a fulfilled life really means. Buechner is one of my favorite writers, and this is my favorite book of his.
- •Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingThe whole series is phenomenal and should be read, but the revelation about Horcruxes and Voldemort's past I think delve into really interesting conversation about what the true nature of evil is and why we should be careful about what we label evil
- •Mindset by Carol DweckThe way we perceive our situations and ourselves have a huge impact on what we are able to accomplish. Simply believing we are capable of doing something exponentially increases the chances we'll accomplish that thing. Had a pretty profound effect on how I go about my life and work
- •Why Don't Students Like School? by Daniel WillinghamI'm an instructional designer, so I try to help teachers be better teachers and students be more effective students. This book completely changed the way I see learning and why it can seem so difficult at times. This is a very challenging but encouraging book
- •The Power of Vulnerability by Brene BrownThis may only be available as an audio book, but Brown's examination of why we experience self doubt and shame is powerful, and her path to combat those feelings are insightful. My biggest takeaway from this book: we can only love others as much as we love ourselves
- •A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph KosterThis may seem like a niche book, but Koster's theory of what fun is and why we enjoy entertainment along with his proposition that games are fundamentally about learning has been very influential on my thinking.
- •Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph WilliamsIf Strunk and White is the elementary rules about writing, Style is the advanced rules. Williams not only goes over why we have trouble understanding bad writing (it often reflects bad thinking) he also gives clear rules about how to fix those mistakes with examples. Helped me become a better writer and a better thinker.