My Reading List

 

  • Weapons of Mass Instruction¬†by John Taylor Gatto

An incredible indictment of the foundations of mass schooling. Greatly influenced my thinking on how I want to teach in a way that allows students to take an education, rather than as recepticles to receive it.

  • Nonviolent Communication by Marshal B. Rosenberg

A life-changing book on communicating in a way that allows you to see what is alive in others, and promote collaboration and kindness, and reduce defensiveness.

  • Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

A very short and simple book that helped me realise that there is nothing altogether new, and that being inspired by others is not stealing.

  • Principles by Ray Dalio

An incredible insight into an enviable career. An idea meritocracy is the only place I want to work, and building a culture of diverse opinions and no fear of sharing them is something that sets Dalio apart.

  • The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

A book that helped me realise that I wanted to go into business for myself, control my time and learn how to provide real value for the world. Work smart and outsource everything you can. Great primer for entrepreneurial thinking.

  • Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson

A great book about changing how you work and not believing the lie that you have to “go big or go home”. Build your business around your needs, not the myths of society.

  • Creative Schools by Sir Ken Robinson

A great book highlighting the amazing work many schools are doing to encourage a new foundation for what schools could be, as cultural communities for self-understanding and dream fulfilment.

  • Linchpin by Seth Godin

Seth has a lot of books, but Linchpin really changed my view about what a person could achieve. Every organisation needs a Linchpin, the person who changes hearts and minds and makes their work into art.

  • Deep Work by Cal Newport

We are so distracted in our modern age, with phones, computers and constant access to easy dopamine fixes. When we take the time to set down undivided attention to a task, we can achieve incredible things.

  • Supercoach by Michael Neill

Change your thinking, change your life – this book came to me at the right time and made me realise that there are so many things about myself and my perspective that I have control over.

  • The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck

Another life chancing book that highlights how we allow our lives to be hijacked by our inner demons, our self talk and by lying to ourselves about what matters to us. A lot of great lessons about love, which Peck describes as “being willing to invest effort in the spiritual growth of oneself or others.”

  • The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer

We are all teachers in some sense, but nobody will learn what they can for us until we bring our authentic selves to the teaching process.

  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

An emotional rollercoaster of what lessons a great teacher wanted to leave not only for his students, but for his wife and children. Made me think a lot about what I want to teach in my last class.

  • The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

An excellent insight into values and political partisanship, and why we demonise outgroups while avoiding dealing with our own shortcomings. Especially important in these times.

  • How to Raise Successful People by Esther Wojcicki

Lessons from a highly successful parent, who encourages her children and students to think for themselves, never give up and strive for their dreams.

  • Extreme Ownership by Leif Babin and Jocko Willink

How do you lead people? The ex Navy Seal authors of this book explain how to gain the trust and devotion of others by taking resposibility for everything and working as hard as you can to do the best for others.

  • Cynical Theories by James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose

A masterful takedown of the critical theory foundations of woke ideology. Incredibly important book for understanding where the fringe far-left gets their ideas from.

Learning Lessons

For years after finishing my Philosophy and Psychology degree, I could hardly pick up a single book. After discovering self-improvement and education books, I haven’t stopped since. Here are some books that had a big influence on me.