Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin, 2007

I was always curious of how people become masters. Is it a gift? Can I do that? When I came across this book a week ago, I decided to read and learn from a master in chess and martial arts Josh Waitzkin.

While reading the book, I recalled many things that I learned from other sources. I found some similarities with Japanese technique called Shuhari. I also found familiar concepts about information chunking that I learned from an article in the Mind magazine a while ago. The new information kind of build on existing and it all clicked together.

This book is not a manual on learning. It does not have a quick summary of key points or action items. It requires thoughtful reading and discovery of what is true and important for the one individually. Personally, I found answers to lots of questions I had in my mind for a long time. It was fun to read. I would highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in leaning about learning.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How Would You Move Mount Fuji? by William Poundstone

I just finished reading this book. I enjoyed it a lot. I've learned new things about IQ tests, the history behind them. I liked the stories about interviews at Microsoft and Wall Street companies. I had three or more interviews with Microsoft over last 8 years . I finally understood why I've been asked to solve puzzles or answer a very strange question on every interview. :) The book has lots of information about puzzles, why they are useful on the interview, how to ask and how to solve them. The most interesting part for me was the description of cognitive aspects in solving puzzles and problems in general. I also liked the stories behind the top IQ people and their life experience. It is a non-fiction book, but it is very addictive, like a good fiction. I definitely learned a lot from it. I highly recommend it to everyone who is planning to go for an interview ... :)

The Art of Living: The Classical Mannual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus, Sharon Lebell

Epictetus is a Greek philosopher who was born as a slave in 55 A.D. and became a famous philosopher, the teacher of Marcus Aurelius, who became a ruler of Roman Empire. Epictetus dedicated his life to studying and teaching the art of life. This book is short, just about a hundred pages or so. I began reading this book last week (June 8, 2007). I am reading a few pages every day. Usually I am a fast reader. However, this book is different. It makes me think more than any other book I read for last few years. Every page has great ideas and thoughts about life. It makes me go over my values and believes once again. I am discoveing and learning new things about life, people and myself as I move from page to page.