What I’ve been reading (February 2014)

In my goal to read 52 books this year I’m on a nice pace. Right now I’m three ahead of the pace.  Some of those have been quite short and none have been literary tomes like The Count of Monte Cristo.  It’s interesting that this is a goal for so many people, to read more.  At Goodreads over 300,000 people have set a goal to read, on average, 56 books this year.

Two of the books I’ve read this year have been re-reads, Choose Yourself and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  I’m re-reading both of these because of a writing project I’m working on and both have been just as good the second time around.  I was wondering why this is and noted that each of these books manageable.  Like a drive you’ve made many times before and can be done in a few hours, these books have the same familiar journey that’s new each time.  They both also have a philosophical perspective that I need to have refreshed every few months.

This writing project has also taken up a lot of blogging time and my posts have been fewer as a result.  It’s been a worthy trade-off so far because the 15,000 words I have are ones I’m quite happy with.

On my shelf of books I also have How to Fail at Nearly Everything and Still Win Big by Dilbert Creator Scott Adams.  I’m also halfway through the Gamification course on Coursera.  This class has covered the ideas about Gamification and how to implement it.  In one sentence, Gamification is the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game settings.  The easiest way to spot this is by telling a friend about a set of  badges or points you’re quite proud of and seeing them make a confused face.

The course has been interesting so far – though slower paced than I would prefer – and I can’t believe it’s free.  That a school like Wharton Business would offer this to the general public amazes me and reminds me of the great things the internet can do.  It has also brought back small slivers of nervous energy when I submit assignments.  For nearly 8 years I’ve been the instructor assigning grades, not the one being graded. To have that flipped has been a reminder of what my students experience when they turn in assignments to me.  If you’re interested, there is still time to sign up and watch the videos and do some of the quizzes.


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