2016 reading list3

2016 reading list

Happy Day 1 of 2016!

What are your resolutions this year? Some of mine are to read and write more. In 2015 I found that it was a great way to gain a new perspective, be inspired by others, reflect, and improve communication skills (all necessary when fighting the good fight and trying to improve complex systems!)

I decided to put together the Recharted Territory reading list for the year ahead of time so you all know what’s coming and can plan your reading schedules. Around the end of each month I’ll post some takeaways from the book and tips for applying those ideas to your daily professional and personal lives.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the list.



Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath 

January is all about new beginnings and resolutions to change so I thought that “Switch” would be a great book to kick the year off with. I’ve read “Made to Stick” by the same authors and the advice was actionable, down-to-earth, and entertaining, so I’m looking forward to digging into this one.

Related: A quick tip to propel your change effort



The righteous mind

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

This book seems tailor-made for February, the month that includes Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and the beginning of Lent. If we can better understand what causes extreme polarization in politics and religion, I bet this book will include some helpful insights for improving relationships and coordination in our regular work and personal lives.

Related: Why your message isn’t being heard: Insights from morality research



the martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

Since a good portion of our ability to deal with complex problems is reliant on our mental grit and adaptability, this science-fiction bestseller seemed liked it would provide a good hit of inspiration to get us through the rest of the winter.

Related: How to deal with setbacks like a Martian



team of rivals

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Part I: Ch 1-11)

Uniting a divided country is one of the most important and complex problems so I’m excited to learn more about how it was accomplished. Given the length of this book, we’ll be splitting the reading in half and spreading it out over April and May.

Related: Ambition, underdogs, and empathy: Team of Rivals Part I



Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin  (Part II: Ch 12-end)

Related: What Lincoln can teach us about systems engineering: Team of Rivals Part II




Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

This book has been everywhere and recommended to me by everyone from the New York Times to my mom. It looks like it will be helpful for any of us who are introverts or who are trying to create environments where both introverts and extroverts can thrive.

Related: Quiet boss: Leadership for introverts



Thing Explainer

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe

For the July pick I was looking for the Recharted Territory equivalent of a fun beach read so I think this one will be a nice summer break.

Related: Explaining complex systems, simply



The resilient enterprise

The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage by Yossi Sheffi

For the August and September picks we move back into the tactical world. Since it’s hurricane season, why not learn about how to better prepare your business for life’s inevitable disruptions?

Related: Building resilient enterprises



The signal and the noise

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail- but Some Don’t by Nate Silver

The power of data nowadays is fascinating. It can be used for ground-breaking insights or to mislead populations. I’m interested to see what Nate Silver, founder of fivethirtyeight.com has to say about predictions and how to how to filter the signal from the noise.

Related: Signals and noise in complex systems



The Demon-Haunted World

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan

I’m excited to dig into this work by the late astronomer Carl Sagan. Part ghost story, part scientific exploration into the world of pseudoscience, this seems like a great fit for October.

Related: Witches, demons, and pseudoscience



Leaders eat last

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

I previously shared Simon Sinek’s TED talk on the simple yet powerful idea to “start with why” which is a core component of how I approach my personal and professional life so I’m excited to see what he has to say about teams and leadership.

Related: Leading modern tribes



Long walk to freedom

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

It’s so easy to get swept up in everything in December. Between the holiday preparation, parties, travel, and thinking about the new year, the month can fly by. I think reading this autobiography will help ground us as we close out 2016 and welcome the new year.

Related: Work like a freedom fighter


Related reading

Check out the books I read and commented on during 2015 here:


What other books are on your list for 2016?


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