February 2016’s Top Reads

In partnership with getAbstract, Training brings you February’s top three business books recommended to our readers.




More than 15,000 business books are published every year—an overwhelming choice for busy professionals. Therefore, in partnership with getAbstract, Training brings you February’s top three business books recommended to our readers.

“MOOCs and Open Education Around the World” by Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi M. Lee, Thomas C. Reeves, and Thomas H. Reynolds (Ed.) (Routledge, 2015, 224 pages, ISBN: 9781138807419; $27.72)

This compendium of 29 essays on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is useful and illuminating, but due to the nature of its construction, it can’t always flow smoothly: Very interesting chapters follow those that are solid, but less compelling. Because each scholar wrote his or her own chapter, the reader gains many independent insights, but some themes recur. Several of the authors have been part of groundbreaking educational experiments, and they continue to revolutionize higher education. As a result, getAbstract finds that this collection offers essential information for students; educators; educational administrators; and anyone interested in education, social change, or cyber-culture.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Importance: 8

Innovation: 8

Style: 6

The Immigrant Exodus. Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent” by Vivek Wadhwa (Wharton Digital Press, 2012, 106 pages, ISBN: 9781613630211; $13.20)

In this Economist magazine book of the year, Vivek Wadhwa—entrepreneur, job creator, and director of research for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University—argues that the United States faces a “reverse brain-drain” of crisis proportions. He presents shocking study findings that large numbers of Indian, Chinese, and other immigrants leave America after their H-1B skilled worker visas expire. These valuable entrepreneurs and employees return to their home countries for two clear reasons: U.S. visa policy is restrictive, and the government refuses to recognize how much these immigrants contribute. Wadhwa draws on his own experience as a child immigrant to make a cogent argument for immediate changes in U.S. policy. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends his concise, clear reasoning and accessible writing to entrepreneurs, immigrants, state and federal lawmakers, and anyone who wants to see the U.S. remain a world leader in innovation.

Rating (out of 10): 9

Applicability: 9

Innovation: 9

Style: 9

“How to Read a Book. The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading” by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren (Copyright 1940 by Mortimer J. Adler. Copyright renewed 1967 by Mortimer J. Adler. Copyright © 1972 by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. Reprinted by permission of Touchstone, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1972, 426 pages, ISBN: 9780671212094; $16.99

According to professors Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, schools don’t teach the higher-level reading skills you need to engage with and enjoy both informational and enlightening literature. You also need such skills to tackle books you might at first think are beyond your understanding. Those very books, the authors say, ultimately provide the most profound, lasting insights. Adler and Van Doren (yes, the Van Doren in the 1950s quiz show scandal), outline a systematic approach to help you build and sustain new reading abilities. These skills will help you connect with the most difficult, complex, or multileveled works. First published in 1940, this revised edition radiates an enjoyable, rare tweedy-professor ambiance. The authors love their pedantically precise syntax: A book “consists of language written by someone for the sake of communicating something to you.” In keeping with the biases of an earlier era, every pronoun is “he” and the prime reading list from the European and American canon has only two women (Jane Austen and George Eliot). Anachronisms duly noted, getAbstract recommends this clear manual to any reader pursuing personal growth and excellence. Executives, managers, and entrepreneurs will especially benefit from increasing their reading comprehension and retention.

Rating (out of 10): 8

Applicability: 8

Innovation: 8

Style: 8

For five-page summaries of these and more than 15,000 other titles, visit http://www.getabstract.com/affiliate/trainingmagazine