Margie’s Bookshelf

Reading is one of the most important ways to stimulate the brain and form new memories. In fact, reading actually improves your ability to think. I’ve gathered a few of my favorites to share with you and I’d love to find out what books you recommend too.

I’ll be adding to my bookshelf over time. Send me your suggestions – margie@learningtogo.info.

book-The-Accidental-Trainer

The Accidental Trainer: A Reference Manual for the Small, Part-Time, or One-Person Training Department
by Nanette Miner

Why I like it

Let’s face it – a lot of us become learning professionals by accident and need to catch up quickly on the job. The Accidental Trainer is a hands-on resource that provides these “accidental” trainers with the basic tools they need to be successful—from understanding the various roles they will play to identifying where best to apply limited time and resources. This book by Brain Matters 21015 speaker Nanette Miner offers a wealth of information for working within the constraints of a small, part-time, or one-person training department.

book-how-to-wirte-your-memoirs How To Write Your Memoirs-revised
by Johnny Ray

Why I like it

I believe everyone has an important story inside them and Brain Matters 2015 speaker Johnny Ray helps you bring that story to life in this eminently helpful book. One of the most prolific and successful fiction writers of our time, Johnny Ray gives you a step-by-step process by using your own story to create a book that others will want to read.

book-baby-brother Baby Brother Blues (Sammy Dick, PI Series: Book 1)
by Trudi Baldwin

Why I like it

If you saw Trudi Baldwin at Brain Matters 2015 you probably can’t wait for her new book on how to peak at 70 and beyond. In the meantime, enjoy her engaging fiction with the first book in her Sammy Dick, Private Investigator series and then go on to read books 2 and more. Everyone needs to have a little fun now and then and these book give it to you!

book-the-social-leadership-handbook The Social Leadership Handbook (2nd Edition)
by Julian Stodd

Why I like it

Social Leadership encapsulates the mindset, skills and behaviors required to be an effective leader in the Social Age. Under a social model, sharing and narrating trump command and control. It’s a collaborative venture with communities at the heart. This book is a guide for organizations looking to develop Social Leadership capability and for individuals looking to become Social Leaders. Julian Stodd is Founder and Captain at SeaSalt Learning: helping organizations thrive in the Social Age. You can buy his book on Amazon and catch his Learningtogo podcast for more information.

book-moral-molecule The Moral Molecule: How Trust Works
by Paul Zak

Why I like it

Dr. Paul Zak dares to talk about trust, emotions and altruism in a cynical world – and he has the neuroscience to back him up. I was privileged to interview Paul recently and this book holds a special place on my bookshelf, where I can grab it readily for information on oxytocin and the brain.

10 Lessons I Learned in My First Year in eLearning
by Tim Slade

Why I like it

Many of you know Tim Slade for his expertise in eLearning and his excellent blog on instructional design. Now he’s put his best insights into a new ebook and you can get it for free – just by signing up for his newsletter. Sounds like a win-win to me. In this book Tim shares insights from his career and from other experts in the field. I’m honored to be included with lots of great folks in this effort. (You can find my advice on page 49).

book-ten-prompts 101 Prompts for a Writer’s Journal – Reflecting on the Identity of the Writer
by Trish O’Connor

Why I like it

As a writer and a learning professional, I know how valuable the practice of journaling can be for clarifying your thinking and inspiring creativity. Trish O’Connor teaches people how to write and she put some of her best exercises in this little gem. Give yourself 101 days to better writing.

book-tick-tock Tick Tock This Makes Your Brain Rock
by Andre Vermeulen

Why I like it

The brain is probably the most complex structure we know. But you don’t need to become a neuroscientist to leverage the science of learning. You only need a basic understanding of your brain function and the simple strategies that will increase your brain fitness. Enjoy my podcast with Andre here and pick up this easy read to get you started with the application of neuroscience to your life.


book-lead-from-the-heart
Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century
by Mark Crowley

Why I like it

Our common belief in business is that the heart has no place in workplace management. In fact, most of us were taught that the heart acts like Kryptonite in leadership: it inherently undermines a manager’s effectiveness – and lowers productivity and profitability. Mark gets it right in this book, relying on brain science and common sense to bring kindness and caring back into leadership. A must for anyone with a heart. Listen to my podcast with Mark here.

book_mockup Brain Matters: How to help anyone learn anything using neuroscience
by Margie Meacham

Why I like it

OK, this might seem a little conceited, but the truth is that I often refer to my own book to remind me about something like “just where is that great article on oxytocin?” This little book also started my exploration of learning science, so it holds a special place in my heart. I’m proud to say that it was also a finalist for cover design and content as the Best Indie Book of 2015.


book-Performance-Focused-Smile-Sheets
Performance-Focused Smile Sheets: A Radical Rethinking of a Dangerous Art Form
by Will Thalheimer

Why I like it

Dr. Thalheimer takes time out from his myth-busting role to completely blow up the tired old “smile sheets” we trainers have used for decades. His innovative approach will give you a new way to look at post-training surveys. A must read for every trainer.

Real Learning: Work smarter, advance your career, and live a better life
by Jay Cross

Why I like it

In his last book, the late Jay Cross experimented with a companion community of self-directed learners to share their learning experiences. This book addresses the self-directed learning movement and how the modern learner decides what, when, where and how to learn. The vibrant community is still growing. You can join the conversation on Google Plus.

The Dragons of Eden
by Carl Sagan

Why I like it

When this book first came out, Sagan got some heat for daring to write about the brain and human development since his formal education was in astronomy and physics. But he was a teacher first and foremost and he was passionate about understanding the human mind. The Dragons of Eden is still one of the most beautifully written scientific accounts of our development as a species and the emergence of human cognition. I recommend it to all my students in my Essentials of Brain-Based Learning every time I teach it.

Suggestible You – The Curious Science of Your Brain’s Ability to Deceive, Transform and Heal
by Erik Vance

Science journalist Erik Vance has written a fascinating and informative book on how your brain can affect the way you perceive, remember and feel about the world around you. Perhaps one of the most important points he brings out is that so-called psychological effects, such as placebos, are physiologically real – there are actually physical, chemical and molecular changes taking place in your brain that product these effects.

2016-10-28_13-03-15 Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Todays Young Talent
by Bruce Tulgan

 

The number one challenge with today’s young talent is a problem hiding in plain sight: the ever-widening soft skills gap. Today’s new, young workforce has so much to offer—new technical skills, new ideas, new perspective, new energy. Yet too many of them are held back because of their weak soft skills.

book-27-challenges The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-Step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems
by Bruce Tulgan

Why I like it

Bruce Tulgan condensed 20 years of research into this book, a handbook for just about any leadership issue you might encounter. There’s a reason why this book has been on the top of the best-seller list for months – and why I wanted to interview Bruce on our podcast.

book-Platos-Bedroom Plato’s Bedroom – Ancient Wisdom and Modern Love
by David K. O’Connor

Why I like it

My favorite teacher in high school introduced me to Plato, beginning a lifetime love of classical philosophy. Dr. David O’Connor of Notre Dame University is an expert on this subject and this book is used as a text in many college philosophy courses. But don’t let that scare you away from this beautifully written, highly readable book. Plato’s Bedroom – Ancient Wisdom and Modern Love explores love, friendship and marriage through the dual lenses of ancient wisdom and the modern world. This book became a runaway best-seller in China, where Dr. O’Connor is known to millions as “Dr. Love.” Plato’s Bedroom is just getting onto the radar in the western world, so I wanted to schedule him for our podcast series before he gets too busy for our little page. Until his interview is posted, you can check out this brief interview on YouTube and buy his book on Amazon.

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
by Dan Lyons

Why I like it

If you’ve ever dreamed that someone would invite you to come join their tech start-up and make you a mega-millionaire, you might want to read this cautionary tale by Dan Lyons. I like this book because it gives a dose of sanity to the crazy myth of “overnight” successes in the tech industry and pokes holes in many of the “innovative” but not necessarily effective means used to hire, motivate and retain “creative” employees. The grass isn’t necessarily greener over there – and it might be full of dandelions.

book_triggers Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be
by Marshall Goldsmith

Why I like it

Brain Matters 2015 speaker and one of the most influential thinkers of our age, Marshall Goldsmith tells you how to achieve positive, lasting change in behavior: for yourself, your family and your teams using triggers to program your brain for success. Triggers, is solidly grounded in the latest discoveries in neuroscience about changing the brain to change our lives. I recommend his book to anyone who has a brain! You can also hear his podcast with me to get you started.

book-Future-Strong-coverL Future Strong
by Bill Jensen

Why I like it

If you attended Brain Matters 2015 you had the pleasure to see Bill Jensen share his “simple Bill” to work and learning. Now, in his new book, Future Strong, Bill reveals the five deeply personal choices that determine your relationship with the future. This book integrates all the disruptive changes coming at you with the choices you’ll need to make to face them. Future Strong is your road map to creating strong futures for you and your teams. I highly recommend it.

The Mentor’s Guide
by Lois J. Zachary

Why I like it

Mentoring is a critical component for developing new leaders and unleashing the genius inside your team. This book is considered the number one resource for new and experienced mentors. Don’t think this topic applies to you? Think again. If you’re not acting in the role of mentor for at least one other person you probably should be. Lois talked about the neuroscience of mentoring in her podcast last year.

books_Informal_Learning Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance
by Jay Cross

Why I like it

The late Jay Cross was one of the first learning experts to recognize the value of informal learning in our digital world. This book offers advice on how to support, nurture, and leverage informal learning and provides practical tips for maximizing the learning that happens outside of the classroom every single day.

book_Using_Video Using Video in eLearning
by Steve Haskin

Why I like it

This simple, easy-to-follow book takes the mystery out of video planning and production for eLearning. Brain Matters 2015 speaker Steve Haskin shares his tips and his creative ideas in an accessible format that made it easy for me to follow and implement. I’ve paid much more and learned much less. Every page has something valuable on it for the learning professional. If you want to start using video in your training and education programs but aren’t quite sure how to begin, this is the one book you need to buy.

book-courage-within-us The Courage Within Us: Profiles In Disruption, 7 Essential Character Traits For Today’s Crazy World
by Bill Jensen

Why I like it

This Brain Matters 2015 speaker interviewed 100 great disruptive heroes: CEOs, inventors and scientists, entrepreneurs and freedom fighters, firefighters and doctors, geeks and a couple of freaks … masters of disruptive innovation and change. His research uncovers the new “rules of the game” for creating disruptive change that works. Inspiring and exciting role models for every sort of change agent.

A Mind for Numbers
by Dr. Barbara Oakley

Why I like it

When I first encountered the Learning to Learn course on Coursera, I had no idea that it would become a global sensation and the most popular MOOC ever offered. I just knew that brain plasticity teaches us that we really can change the way our brains work, so I was drawn to Dr. Barbara Oakley’s masterpiece.

Now I’m adding her wonderful book that started it all, A Mind for Numbers. In this book, Barbara tells her own story of struggle with math in school and how she overcame it by discovering learning techniques. I have a lot in common in Barb (except that I don’t have a wildly successful MOOC just yet) so I really enjoyed this book and I think you will too. You might also want to revisit her interview on our podcast series.

The Geography of Genius
by Eric Weiner

Why I like it

Eric Weiner is author of the “New York Times” bestseller “The Geography of Bliss,” which has been translated into eighteen languages, as well as the critically acclaimed “Man Seeks God.” His latest book, “The Geography of Genius” studies how socially-acclaimed “geniuses” tend to run in packs. We have a history of geniuses befriending each other, competing with each other and helping each other reach new heights of insight and impact. He also explores some questions about so-called “modern geniuses” and found that the jury is still out, for example, on Steve Jobs. Personally, I’m voting for genius on that one, but apparently about half of you will disagree, based on Weiner’s research. Many of you know that I’m particularly interested in the concept of genius, as seen through the lens of the neurosciences. We dedicated our first Brain Matters conference to that subject next year and I’m working on my own book on the subject as we speak. I’m recommending all of Weiner’s books to anyone who is interested in the human condition and how our brain influences the quality of our lives.

book_mockup Brain Matters: How to help anyone learn anything using neuroscience
by Margie Meacham

Why I like it

OK, this might seem a little conceited, but the truth is that I often refer to my own book to remind me about something like “just where is that great article on oxytocin?” This little book also started my exploration of learning science, so it holds a special place in my heart. I’m proud to say that it was also a finalist for cover design and content as the Best Indie Book of 2015.