I read some great books on holiday

I recently went on a 3 week holiday (vacation for you North Americans) in the UK and whilst I was there I read some great personal development books as follows:

Introducing NLP: Psychological Skills for Understanding and Influencing People

Actually I read this book just before going on holiday but I wanted to mention it anyway. I’d heard about NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) before but I didn’t know much about it. This book was certainly a good introduction to NLP and it made good sense to me – particularly how people learn via different stimuli e.g. visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. I tried out some of the exercises and found them to be useful.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

I thought this book was great. It’s aimed at professionals who are already successful but who want to take it to the next level by examining and improving their interpersonal skills. For example someone may be the CEO of a company but could be poor at listening or might be a chronic interrupter. This book highlights common interpersonal flaws that people may need to improve, and certainly I found several that applied to me, not just in a professional sense but in my personal family relationships. Highly recommended if you want to hold the mirror up to yourself and stare right in it…

How to Win Friends & Influence People

I bought this book because I’d heard about it for years and wanted to find out what all the hype was about. Turns out it’s a really good timeless read with great tips in it and lots of interesting examples. You can apply the techniques to work, socialising or your home life. If you haven’t read this yet, get it!

The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking

I’m developing an interest in Public Speaking and will soon be joining a Toastmasters club. So I got this book to see what tips I could learn. Turns out it was a good buy. The main tip seem to be talk with a passion about something that you are knowledgeable about. Sounds obvious really. Also people that learn to become good speakers often get promotions or become better sales people or just experience better relationships due to being able to communicate more clearly. I used some of the tips in this book to make a speech thanking my Aikido sensei for a great Summer School and also to do a speech at my Engagement Party which went down well. I’m looking forward to doing more public speaking in the future.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

This book kept cropping up in conversations and on websites and so I thought I’d better find out what it was all about. It was as fun easy read and made a lot of sense. It challenges the idea that a house is an asset, which is interesting to me because I have a house and mortgage, but the explanation rings true. It also challenges the idea that getting educated and getting a good job will make you rich – something I already agree with. Basically the book is about amassing assets that generate revenue and living off the profit instead of amassing liabilities. There are lots of great examples in the book like how the author made tons of money on real estate without ever using any of his own money. A great read – I want my kids to read it when they are old enough.

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)

I heard a lot about Seth Godin and wanted to try out one of his books. The dip is about pushing through problems if the goal is worth it or knowing when to quit if need be. I was surprised to find it was such a tiny book that I read very quickly, but the premise is solid, although I would say that the core point was repeated quite a lot. An interesting read, but not sure it’s worth the cover price. See what you think.

OK that’s it for now, I hope that you benefit from reading some of these books. I’m reading another batch of books now and will post again in the future.

4 Responses to “I read some great books on holiday”

  1. Ben Says:

    My first time reading your blog and was actually surprised to find most of the books you read I’ve read. I’m a novice developer, in fact, I’ve been working on the same game in Blitz3D for about a year now, progress seems to happen in 3 month spurts.

    A couple questions for you.
    How frequently do you program?
    Do you ever get into this state of mind where all you can think about is programming?

    I know after I’ve been programming for a couple weeks straight it’s all I can think about. It’s like I can’t seem to focus on anything but programming.

    Thanks!

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Cool. How often I program is dependent on the phase of the project. In the design phase I don’t do any programming and that can take up 25% of the project time. Then when I’m doing the main construction of the game I program every day until the game is done. At certain points I might be doing more plugging in of art or sounds than programming, and later on testing, fixing bugs and localising which doesn’t involve as much hardcore programming.

    Yep I certainly do get into a mode where I think about my game all the time day and night.

  3. Ben Says:

    What does your design phase consist of? Do you plan how you’re going to structure the code?

  4. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Hi Ben, I like to come up with a general game idea, then play lots of similar games and make notes until I have a huge nebulous field of ideas. Then I slim it down into what is doable, then I made a giant To Do list in Excell. Luckily I don’t need to plan the game engine because I already have a framework, but I do need to plan the unique game objects and what each screen has on it etc. Of course the game will change in development but the design doc is a good guide. I’m used to doing it this way from my business software days but it can be fun to do “level 1″ design where you don’t even have a design doc, you just start prototyping. However, you often need to refactor code later on when you do that.