Top 10 Reads of 2016

It's that time of year again! If you're looking for ideas on what to read in 2017, here's a round-up of the books that stood out to me this year. If you're looking for tips on how to read more in 2017, check out this earlier post on '4 Easy Ways to Read More'.

There were a few stand-outs for me this year in my reading list, including my first ever read of the Harry Potter series (what?! How could I have never read them before? I know...), and a successful second attempt at reading Thomas Piketty's 700-page book on economics and inequality, 'Capital in the 21st Century', which I had tried and failed to finish when it came out a couple of years ago. I'm so glad I gave it a second try, because it turned out to be SO fascinating. I also started reading a few of the titles on the list of 'A Year of Reading the World', which gives suggestions for books translated into English from each nation in the world.

Here are the top 10 books that I found most impacting, significant or enjoyable, along with the rest of my reading list for the year -

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Do you need to update your map?

Let's be honest for a moment. The West Wing is the best television show of all time.

And one of the best mini-stories in the series is, I think, the 'Cartographers for Social Equality' visit.

Some visiting scientists blow Josh and CJ's minds by explaining that how the Mercator Projection Map (our traditional world map)...

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How to do an internet-free weekend

I first started experimenting with internet-free weekends in 2011.

Two 'aha' moments combined to prompt me to start thinking that perhaps the discomfort might be well worth the effort.

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Can your device help you focus?

We all know that focus is powerful and our devices can be a big part of the distractedness problem. But what if they could also be part of the solution?

Reports vary on exactly how many hours the average adults spends on screens each day - different studies report anything between 7 and 12 hours. However, it only takes a few moments considering our own days, and the amount of time spent across desktops, laptops, phones and tablets to know that it's a significant part of our day, and often the place we're performing work that really requires us to focus and be at our mental best. 

So how, then, can we leverage our devices to actually help us to focus?

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Information Overload is Old News

The other day I was reading, and I came across a quote that made me do a double take.

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