Reader Daniella just sent this to me, which is quite cool -
I read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin a bit back, and I was very impressed with it. This was my second attempt at reading it - the first time, I didn't think it was worth reading since the language was hard to get through and the book was mostly anecdotes that I wasn't getting much from.
What I didn't realize was, the book was written at two very different time periods in Franklin's life. He wrote the first half as kind of a rough set of notes just for his family. Then about 10 years later, he finished it.
The second half of the book is where the gold is. Well, there's a number of interesting points in the first half, but I found the second much more practical and enlightening. Also, he cuts down on the slang and the English modernizes a bit for he second half. I'd recommend it.
Ben's time-tracking and goal-setting was interesting for me to see - makes me realize that there's not so much that's new in the world, and I've done a hell of a lot of reinventing the wheel. I liked how he singled out a bunch of virtues to work on explicitly, and that inspired me a bit to make some refinements.
At Amazon, it's currently free on the Kindle and cheap in paperback, so you probably want to grab a copy on Kindle if you've got one, and think about it in paperback - "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin."."
Thanks for linking that image Daniella, yeah, I enjoyed Ben Franklin's autobiography quite a lot. Lots of gems in there.
To me, the people who bring and brought positive change upon this world have several traits in common. I yet have to find one successful person that does not value his life enough to step back every single day to evaluate their doing and finding inner peace. They often know, how important it is for not ending up in the hamsters wheel, wondering why the time passes by so fast without any progress.
Thanks for the Kindle link to Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography. I've read a little about Franklin's life at various times but I've never read his whole autobiography. I've found it quite interesting thus far (~1/3 of the way through), particularly his many business successes/failures and his descriptions of life in general.
you can get the book here http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/148, and read it with a downloadable e reader http://get.adobe.com/reader/ if you don't want to have to buy it.
There should be some kind of productivity encyclopedia by this point... perhaps a Wikipedia page where all the old knowledge is gather and added to?
At any rate thank you for your suggestion, always nice to have another interesting book.
There are no new ideas, just old ones waiting to be rediscovered. You can almost guarantee that this sort of time planning was pursued to some degree in antiquity - the Greeks, Romans, Mayans, Aztecs all had societies of sufficient complexity that an individual would derive benefit from concious high-level planning of how they spend their time.
Just imagine how human society could have advanced by now if we didn't have to repeatedly rediscover the basics.
Think and Grow Rich: A marvelous book, but I was having a hard time finishing it. Then I realized - the last three chapters are pretty much fluff that repeat points already covered. I skimmed the last three chapters... it starts very strong, ends weak, but I'm happy it's finally done.
The Alchemist: What a masterpiece by Paolo Cuehlo. Read it in one day, couldn't put it down. Got me thinking a lot... lots of great quick ways to think, quick heuristics and mantras in there. Really wonderful short little book with some great lessons.
If I Did It: I read OJ Simpson's autobiography on a whim when I saw a copy. It's a weird book. It's about a guy trying to be a decent husband and having his marriage fall apart. Then he kills his wife. Oh, and it's OJ Simpson, and the most famous trial/legal story of the last 20 years. Weird to read the guy's perspective... it's weird in how surreal and normal it is. A famous guy marries a beautiful 18 year old girl but they don't have a really deep or mature connection. She doesn't take well to money and stability, gets unhappy, starts acting kind of crazy in the marriage. OJ acts crazy in response. They divorce. Then he keeps hearing her partying around town and doing drugs, flips out, and kills her. Weird reading it in his own words - I lived in Los Angeles for awhile, and the first part read like a fairly normal L.A. story with a rich, famous guy making a bad choice in a young beautiful woman without much depth or character. Then it gets kind of crazy at the end. It wasn't sad so much as weird. It's sureally normal in parts, and then ends with... well, you know. I wouldn't recommend you go out of your way to read it, but it's interesting for a few hours if you get a chance.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: Eliezer Yudkowsky's fanfiction is exceptionally good. If you're a reader of LessWrong at all, you'll love it. If not, you still might like it. He wrote it in "serialized" format where each chapter is a mostly self-contained adventure with plot arc, and then a cohesive whole. It works well, reads well, lots of good insights. He didn't really hit his stride and tone until chapter 15 to 20... if you like Yudkowsky's normal writing, give it until chapter 20. Trust me on this - Eliezer sets up a lot of backstory and forces some humor in the early chapters, and the tone isn't quite smooth... still good, but then wow, it kicks into overdrive around chapter 20 and it's just a page-turning must-read. It's free online at fanfiction.com and you can also find pdf compilations with some googling.
I was a pretty good reader as a kid. My mom recounts me sitting in the corner reading in pre-school instead of doing whatever other pre-schoolers did. In Kindergarten, I was praised for reading more books than any other kid. Throughout the elementary school summers, I dominated the summer reading programs in all the neighboring cities.
Eventually, I started to realize that all of these books are the same. Sometime when I was 10, I started to realize every book seemed to be about some derpy kid who eventually overcame his fears and saved the world, or at least his friend group.
I had the intellectual ability to read YA and adult books at the time, but not the emotional maturity. So, I hit a standstill.
Time passes on, I get into Classics (aka: any title whose name being uttered made me sound smart). I got a Kindle and subsequently got into Indie trash, at one point reading one book per day. Then the Kindle broke and I had no clue what to do.
I went through a massive overhaul on how I thought about reading, which leads us to how I read today.