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A Year at Automobile University

Scion iPod
Last year I decided not to waste the massive amounts of time I spend in my car each week.  To utilize this wasted time I signed up for Audible and downloaded 2 audio books per month for listening to as I drove.  So how much did I learn?

My commute isn’t that long, only 20-25 minutes one way, but it adds up to a lot of time by the end of a year.  This 45 minute per day average equates to 225 minutes per 5 day work week or 3.75 hours per week.  Then there is usually another hour in the car on the weekend and a 4 hour round trip to Detroit at least once per month.  This gives me a total of about 5 hours per week of listening to audio books in the car.  So let’s say I take 2 weeks off work per year (which I don’t but really need to) the 5 hours per week multiplied by 50 weeks gives me a total of 250 hours.

Doing a quick search of how many in-classroom hours it takes to get a Bachelors Degree shows that it’s about 1,920 hours.  This is pretty close to the 250 hours per year I’m listening to audio books in my car.  Is it safe to say that I’m acquiring at least the education of someone going to school full-time during my commute? I believe so!  It is credited to Zig Ziglar for coining the term “Automobile University” and I’m hooked on it.

So what did I listen to in 2013:
To Sell Is Human by Daniel H Pink
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J Ratey
Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
Onward: How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing its Soul by Howard Schultz, Joanne Gordan
Platform by Michael Hyatt
Demand: Creating What Peole Love Before They Know They Want It by Adrian J. Slywotzky, Karl Weber
The Science & Technology of Influence: How to Get Anyone to Say “Yes” in 8 Minutes or Less! by Kevin Hogan
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Casteneda
Contagious by Jonah Berger
The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan, Julien Smith
In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy
Converge by Bob Lord, Ray Velez
Automate This by Christopher Steiner
Smarter Branding without Breaking the Bank by Brenda Bence
Why We Buy, Update and Revised Edition: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill
Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing by Roger Dooley
The New Elite by Jim Taylor, Doug Harrison, Stephen Kraus
The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely
I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards
Power by Jeffrey Pfeffer
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter
The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

There are always some that shine more than others.  I found myself recommending “To Sell Is Human” to almost everyone.  “Onward” gave me a whole new appreciation for Starbucks.  “Why We Buy” got me interested in social science and was the catalyst to many other audio books on this list.  “Brainfluence” I ended up buying in digital form to be able to reference on a regular basis and also purchased a hard cover copy for my boss.  And the 2 books about Google, “In The Plex” and “I’m Feeling Lucky”, proved to me that I fit the criteria and would have been a perfect employee for Google but they never would have hired me because I didn’t get good grades in school.

It will be interesting to see what the list at the end of 2014 looks like.  One thing I’m sure of is that it will contain more social science books.  Do you have some suggestions for me?  Leave them in the comments below.