Perennial Seller – Ryan Holiday

24th July 2017

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

Ryan Holiday has been a past popular favorite author of Learning How to Learners.  We’ve just read his new book Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts.  (Audible version, read by Ryan himself, here.) We have to say, we think Ryan’s book is itself a classic.   We’ve never really thought about what sparks a book, movie, or song to stand through time as opposed to soon becoming passé. If you’ve ever wondered about the creative process and wanted to make classic work that is of value to others, this is the book to read.  

Ryan’s past work includes

Memorizing a Deck of Cards

Here’s a new video from Nelson Dellis, 4 time US memory champion, on how to memorize A FULL deck of cards.  As Nelson reveals, memorizing a deck of card like this is a terrific exercise to help develop your general memorization abilities. (If you would like to join Nelson in helping to support research on memory, please take the Extreme Memory Challenge.)  

Military language training, vodka, and more!

After Barb went on Olly Richards’ podcast I Will Teach You a Language, she became another of Olly’s many fans. After the show, when we read Olly’s enticing description of their discussion, we’ll admit it even made us want to watch!  Here’s part of Olly’s show description:

Have you ever wondered what an intensive language programme is like in the U.S. military?

If you attended the Defense Language Institute…


  • How fluent would you be after your 18-month programme?
  • What do the classes look like?
  • What’s the teaching style?
  • All fascinating questions, I’m sure you’ll agree…

And I recently sat down with a very special woman to ask her about her experience learning Russian at the DLI as a teenager.

Dr. Barbara Oakley’s story is quite something… [Barb’s comment here–not really!]

  • Her experience on the 18-month intensive DLI Russian programme
  • Speaking “real Russian” on trawlers in the Bering Sea (vodka included
  • Why she quit the military to take a class in basic algebra
  • How she reinvented her career to become a professor of engineering
  • What led her to create the most popular online course of all time (with 2 million+ students)

Watch (or listen to) Olly’s conversation with Barb here.

Great Guide to Learning an Additional Language

And speaking of learning languages, Arthur Worsley, who did last week’s excellent “crunch” of A Mind for Numbers, has written a terrific guide to learning another language. Lots of quick but non-obvious tips.

Online Book Club with Scott Young

Many of you are aware of learning adventurer Scott Young from his great bonus interview in Learning How to Learn. Scott has started a Facebook book club.  This month’s reading is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. (Audible version here.) Sapiens was our 2015 pick for Learning How to Learn book-of-the-year, so Scott is starting out strong!

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team
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