Starting on a new path, making a better you — don’t we all aim for that. We don’t have to wait for New Year 2013 to start doing that. So start in the last quarter reading about ways to change whatever’s been nagging at you. It might not last, but at least you can say you tried to work on yourself a bit. Here are some books to start you by:
The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss fixated on one life-changing question: For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results? Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women.
Perfect for: Those looking to improve their bodies.
From his unique vantage point as editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, Mark Frauenfelder takes readers on a surprising tour of the vibrant world of DIY. The Internet has brought together large communities of people who share ideas, tips, and blueprints for making everything from unmanned aerial vehicles to pedal- powered iPhone chargers to an automatic cat feeder rigged from a VCR. Covers offbeat projects such as keeping chickens and bees, tricking out espresso machines, whittling wooden spoons, making guitars out of cigar boxes, and doing citizen science with his daughters in the garage.
Perfect for: Those looking to learn a little DIY.
Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
Perfect for: Those who want to learn from other great minds
Moonwalking with Einstein draws on cutting-edge research, a look at the history of memory, and tricks of the mentalist’s trade to transform our understanding of human remembering. Under the tutelage of top “mental athletes,” learn ancient techniques once employed by Cicero to memorize his speeches and by Medieval scholars to memorize entire books. Using methods that have been largely forgotten, Foer discovers that we can all dramatically improve our memories. Immersing himself obsessively in a quirky subculture of competitive memorizers, Foer learns to apply techniques that call on imagination as much as determination-showing that memorization can be anything but rote.
Perfect for: Those needing to get a grasp on their memory