Thursday, July 5, 2012

My brain on nonfiction...

I have recently read some interesting non-fiction titles with a lot of good ideas and information that I have found useful.  

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink 
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg 

Drive by Daniel Pink seems to be popular with lots of educational technology speakers.  Recently, I've heard the title mentioned during a keynote presentation and have come across various educational related blogs that mention the title.  It's been on my "to-read" list for a while.  I'm happy that I finally read it.  The book shares stories and research about how motivation works.  Pink lists three core factors that relate to motivation: autonomy, mastery and purpose.  We are motivated when we feel we have control over our work situation.  We are motivated by "just right" tasks that are not completely brainless or nuclear physicist difficult.  We are motivated when we feel our jobs have purpose.  

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer was my favorite book.  As I read it, I kept stopping to share with my husband. Imagine shares lots of interesting stories about how creativity works using well known people, artists and businesses as examples.  I took a lot way from this book.  As I read, I thought "I do that", "I used to do that," and "I need to try do more of that."  Everyone is creative.  The book explains how creativity works in the brain, how we encourage/discourage creativity and how being social helps us be more creativity.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg shares stories about how we form habits and how we change habits. I did not read it as a "how-to" book.  Instead, it helped me understand how habits form in the brain which is interesting stuff.  The most interesting thing to me about habits are how developing keystone habits in a work place influences all aspects of the work environment.

Please share any nonfiction titles that you've read recently that you have found helpful & interesting. 


  1. I haven't read Drive, but I have watched a really cool video that summarized it with cartoons. I recently read Reality is Broken for the Level Up Book Club. It is all about the benefits of gaming. We're now reading another gaming book by James Paul Gee. Most of my nonfiction reading is stuff from my library at school so I can advertise it more next year.

    1. This school year I want to work on improving our professional collection. I'm definitely going to add these titles to our collection.