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10 Books Mark Zuckerberg Wants You To Read

10 Books Mark Zuckerberg Wants You To Read

Mark Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook when he was a computer science student at Harvard University, is one of the most influential leaders in the world, and at the beginning of this year, he began a challenge read a new book every two weeks. The challenge is called A Year of Books, and he invited anyone interested to take the journey with him and created a Facebook page to chronicle the journey, as well as provide a place for discussion of each of the books.

Zuckerberg has a specific goal in mind as he reads new books this year. He wants to learn more about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies, and these categories help in deciding what books to read.

Below are the first ten books in Zuckerberg’s Year of Books challenge.

1. The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’’t What It Used to Be by Moisés Naím

the-end-of-power

    The End of Power looks at the way power has been shifting away from those who once held it almost without challenge or question. This includes power shifting from large corporations to small start up businesses, from governmental agencies to the common people, and from men to women. Power shifts can be beneficial, especially in areas where power was abused by those who previously held it, but Naim looks at the way power is actually fading. Naim’s carefully researched book takes a thought-provoking look at the potential dangers of the shifts in power in today’s world.

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    2. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

     
    the-better-angels-of-our-nature

      This intriguing book looks at the history of mankind and makes the surprising assertion that humanity has actually become less violent and is currently at its most enlightened point in history. Pinker makes this claim despite all the evidence we see on the news on a daily basis. This is an interesting book that gives hope that human beings can be better and seem to be continually headed in that direction.

      3. Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh

      gang-leader-for-a-day

        This is the compelling story of Sudhir Venkatesh who, as a young sociologist, ventured to get an inside look at one of Chicago’s crack-dealing gangs. Venkatesh shows the unique struggles those in a gang face and how difficult it can be to get out of that way of life. What makes this story even more compelling is the unlikely friendship that Venkatesh and the gang leader known as JT develop.

        4. On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss

        on-immunity

          Eula Biss, as a new mother, explores the conceptions people have about vaccinations for children, specifically exploring the question of why people fear vaccinations. It is an intriguing account of human fear and the metaphors associated with injections and the implications for both those who choose vaccinations and those who do not.

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          5. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

          creativity-inc

            This book was one of the most anticipated of 2014. Ed Catmull was one of the co-founders of Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter and is now the president of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Studios. Pixar’s ability to create great films for the last two decades, as well as their creative culture, have made them one of the companies that business leaders and creatives look to for insight on how to create better and develop a solid team structure. Creativity, Inc. is the accumulation of Catmull’s best advice to those who want to learn from Pixar’s success.

            6. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn

            the-structure-of-scientific-revolutions

              This book, originally published in 1962, is a foundational text in the scientific community, which explores the processes of discovery in science. Kuhn saw scientific breakthroughs not as something gradual, but as something more revolutionary at the moment it occurs. This is an important book on the history of science.

              7. Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge by Michael Chwe

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              rational-ritual

                Chwe’s book is an examination of the rituals that permeate different cultures and exactly what causes them to become rituals that people share. This is an intriguing look at the role of common knowledge in the development of rituals.

                8. Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower by Henry M. Paulson

                dealing-with-china

                  Paulson has played a uniquely influential role in China’s development into the economic superpower it is today. In Dealing with China, the former head of Goldman Sachs guides readers through the organization structure of business in China and how to best benefit from and work with China.

                  9. Orwell’s Revenge: The 1984 Palimpsest by Peter Huber

                  orwells-revenge

                    Peter Huber challenges the ideas that Orwell put forth in his novel 1984 because it’s so obvious now that Orwell was wrong about the role technology would play in controlling people’s minds. Orwell’s Revenge is both a rewriting of 1984 with Orwell himself (as Eric Blair) as the protagonist and a discussion of the key themes of Orwell’s book.

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                    10. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

                    the-new-jim-crow

                      Michelle Alexander’s book looks at the continued racial divisions that still take place in our society. Though we should be in an unprecedented time of racial equality, Alexander argues that a racial caste system hasn’t been eliminated. It’s been redesigned. This is a remarkable book about the need to keep moving toward racial equality in American society.

                      Featured photo credit: Mark Zuckerberg F8 Keynote/Brian Solis via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                      Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

                      Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

                      How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

                      Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

                      The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

                      Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

                      Perceptual Barrier

                      The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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                      The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

                      The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

                      Attitudinal Barrier

                      Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

                      The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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                      The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

                      Language Barrier

                      This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

                      The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

                      The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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                      Emotional Barrier

                      Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

                      The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

                      The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

                      Cultural Barrier

                      Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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                      The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

                      The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

                      Gender Barrier

                      Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

                      The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

                      The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

                      And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

                      Reference

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