Life Changing Book List


Suggestions for business books originate from a variety of people and resources. Choosing “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle was based on a list of life changing books that one of the members, Sophia, found and sent. Sophia did not seem to care which book I chose since she wanted to read them all. I decided for the book club we would go with the one at the top, which was “The Talent Code.”

According to the blog post, “life-changing” for the author meant that when certain challenges arise he would know what to do based on flashbacks from a book he has read. (It did not say what he was trying to do for this particular one). Larry and LuMarie and I started the conversation with that idea. We all agreed that the main point of learning in chunks, or breaking things down into pieces, and practicing with corrections is an interesting concept. In fact, it actually put a name to what I had been doing when practicing for a presentation. Also, it is the same concept that Toyota uses, Kaizen, where anyone can stop the line when there is something to correct. Larry did like that it proved we could be doing a better job of learning. One part we all thought was missing was having a “how-to” type guide. The concept and the examples were great. Tools to use these ideas were not included.

This led us back to books we had already read. Here are the ones that would be included on our “life changing” list:

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. LuMarie chose this one because it was basically a guide throughout, and it especially helped those who ever felt socially awkward before reading it.
  • Larry’s choice was “Business Brilliant” by Lewis Schiff. He chose this book because it gives practical ideas to go from middle class to millionaire.
  • “The Autobiography of Ben Franklin” also made LuMarie’s list, at least when she read it in high school, because it made her more aware and purposeful in her choices.
  • The one I chose was “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis, which was one of the first KBBC book choices. My reason is that I not only liked reading it, I learned more about finance from that book than I had in my finance classes during grad school. Plus, I still remember much of it a year and a half later.

Other notes we discussed about “The Talent Code”:

  • Would a person with kids like it more? Many of the examples were about sports and music. Also, children are wired to absorb new information. It is more challenging to learn as we age.
  • One example that wasn’t was sports or music was the writings of the Bronte sisters and how they created their stories.
  • Coyle mentions that at different times of our lives we absorb new information better, although that does not mean those are the only times. One discussion comment is that there seem to be mental jumps in life, such as junior year in high school, and possibly odd numbered years.
  • The chapter on “ignite a hotbed” and KIPP school, plus the importance for those who are the first ones in their family to go to college.
  • The disturbing example of how pilots used to be considered fit to be one (not puking during a ride) and how they were trained before flight simulators.

The next KBBC discussion will be on “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. What would be a book on your “life changing” list?

Happy reading!


Stacy (a.k.a. “The Book Lady”)


1 Comment

Filed under 2014, KBBC Choices (by year)

One response to “Life Changing Book List

  1. Pingback: Book Club Turns Two | Kalamazoo Business Book Club (KBBC)

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