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Summer Reading List

August 01, 2016

I travel year-round, but especially in the summer. And when I’m away from the office and my day is not filled with meetings and calls, I like to get lost in a good book. This summer, I have three books that I am reading for the first time or re-reading. As you’ll see, they are not typical summer getaway reads, and coincidentally, they all have technology or science as their foundation. That’s not why I picked them though. I chose them because they have all intrigued me and can help me think about the world or my life in a new way. I hope you have the chance to enjoy these books or others that inspire you this summer.

Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge

If you’re anything like me, the title of this book alone is enough to draw you in. The authors argue that we need to stay active and healthy because our brains depend on it. Our bodies have been hardwired for thousands of years to stay moving to keep our brains activated and agile. When you are sedentary, your brain starts to slow down. The book is based on the latest findings in cell physiology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and experimental psychology, but written in a simple, no nonsense style, as evident in the chapter titled “Don’t Eat Crap.”

Blockchain Revolution by Don Tapscott

My good friend Jay Sales, who runs The Shop (VSP’s innovation lab), recommended this book. In his words, it “will change the world.” With that endorsement, I knew I had to read it. The author argues that the internet has changed how our world works. It has opened new doors for collaboration, education and even commerce, but has also highlighted vulnerabilities in our business systems. This book dives deep into those vulnerabilities and explores how blockchain technology, which powers the digital currency Bitcoin, will enhance collaboration and sharing by safeguarding peer-to-peer transactions. While not a traditional poolside read, it’s a page-turner focused on how technology can impact trust, security, and privacy for the foreseeable future.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Like most people, I’m always trying to improve myself. It’s not easy. This book addresses why this is the case, for individuals, communities and companies. The authors argue that the biggest obstacle to making change is in our mind. One part of our brain (the rational part) wants to push toward an outcome, like losing weight or getting healthier. But the other part of our brain (the emotional part) is comfortable in existing habits and might lead us opt for the delicious donut and push off the gym to another day. The authors explain how by uniting both sides of our brain, people are able to effect “transformative change.”

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