Ok, it’s been quite a while since I posted anything here. In my defense, a baby and a full-time job have taken up pretty much all of my time.

In any case, I’ll be recapping the books I’ve read this year and trying to catch up to the present.

I’ll start with How to Win Friends and Influence People, which I read at the beginning of this year. This book was really great, and deserves more recognition than it gets. I think everyone should read it regardless of what they work in.

With a title like How to Win Friends and Influence People, some people get turned off, because they hear something more like How to Win and Manipulate People, like it’s a manual on how to get whatever you want. This book is anything but, and I’m sure that Dale Carnegie titled it the way he did on purpose. I bet he knew that snake-oil salesmen would be interested in a book about how to get whatever you want out of people, and he wanted them to read his book.

Like I’ve mentioned, this book is anything but a manual on how to manipulate people against their will. It is a book full of advice on how to help other people. The basic premise of every principle in the book is that the more you help other people and satisfy their desires, the more they will be willing to help you. If you’re going to ask the director of a large company for a grant, for example, it’s important to be confident when you meet with them and look them in the eye, but Carnegie argues that it’s even more important to ask them about their dreams, aspirations, and goals. It’s better to be familiar with the achievements that they have made than the achievements you have made.

In short, Carnegie believes that you will be more impressive, memorable, and influential if you focus on others than on yourself.

He teaches these principles by sharing true stories from the lives of very successful people until you’ve probably got it figured out that responding while angry is a bad idea. Then at the end of the chapter, he’ll share the principle “Responding While Angry is Never a Good Idea”.

I readily recommend this book to anyone looking to achieve something worthwhile, anyone looking to become a better person, anyone looking for a good self-help read.

5/5 would recommend.