The only measure of a great team is whether it accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish.Patrick Lencioni, in The Advantage
In the past two days, I read two books by Patrick Lencioni: Death by Meeting and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The books are quick reads — obviously. What might not be so obvious is the books are also entertaining, teaching in a form their author calls “a leadership fable.” In case you miss something along the way (not likely), the books include summaries of the points to be learned.
I’m looking forward to practicing what I learned within my team.
These are the books I finished, started, put on my shelf, and found interesting in 2011.
These are the books I finished reading in 2011.
33 David Brown recommended a video by Chris Martenson. Because of that, I found Martenson’s book, The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future Of Our Economy, Energy, And Environment — it was the first book I bought after getting a Nook for Christmas.
This is an eye-opening book, discussing how our economy is based on exponential growth, soon to collide with decreasing energy and resources. Let’s hope Martenson is overly-pessimistic while preparing for tougher times.
32 I bought The Enemy by Lee Child after swearing off Child’s books a few of his books ago. It’s always a crapshoot whether the ending is going to be a ridiculous machofest. I looked inside a checked the copyright date. Huh? It says 2011 but it’s not the latest Lee Child book. How did I get two books behind? Oops! That wasn’t the copyright notice. This book is seven years old and I was 50 pages in or so before before I started remembering bits and pieces. Oh well. People watch movies more than once. I guess I can read a novel more than once.
Finished December 6.
31 Flying to Sacramento, I read an inflight magazine article about three northwest authors. Stopping by a brick and mortar store later that same day (until I get my e-ink reader), I bought Executive Privilege by Phillip Margolin, one of the authors mentioned. Living near Portland, it was fun to read a plot that occurs partially in Stumptown.
Finished November 30.
30 I re-read Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels — apparently the second time reading it this year. Huh.
Finished November 14.
Finished November 4.
28 I re-read If God Is Love: Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland. This is the “sequel” to If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person. Both are great reads, and this one focuses on living a graceful life, full of humility, openness, and compassion.
Finished October 28.
27 I found Raid on the Sun: Inside Israel’s Secret Campaign that Denied Saddam the Bomb by Rodger Claire in my library/closet. Judging by the name on the inside flap, I borrowed it from brother Bob some time ago, long enough ago to have forgotten the borrowing. Oops!
Although this book documents Israel’s Operation Babylon, which occurred in 1981, it continues to be relevant today in understanding Israel’s attack on Syria’s nuclear reaction and the difficulties Israel would face in attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Started October 16 or so and finished October 21.
26 I read If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person near the end of last year and read it again this year. I like the graceful view of God that Gulley’s and Mulholland’s books on Universalism portray (though you might disagree with the basic premise).
Finished October 15.
Finished October 3.
25 I re-read The Bible: A Biography by Karen Armstrong after having another Bart Ehrman book recommended to me. Armstrong goes through the origins, authorship, and manners the Bible has been interpreted through the ages. And where Ehrman might advocate throwing the baby out with the bathwater, or even arguing that there is no baby to begin with, Armstrong might argue that you’re looking for the wrong baby, or even that the bathwater is what’s of value. “Midrash and exegesis were always supposed to relate directly to the burning issues of the day, and the fundamentalists should not be the only people who attempt this.” “What would it mean to interpret the whole of the Bibles as a ‘commentary’ on the Golden Rule?” “Today we see too much strident certainty in both the religious and the secular spheres. Instead of quoting the Bible in order to denigrate homosexuals, liberals or women priests, we could recall Augustine’s rule of faith: an exegete must always seek the most charitable interpretation of a text.” And the closing sentence: “The development of a more compassionate hermeneutics could provide an important counter-narrative in our discordant world.”
I dare say I’ll be lending this book to the person who recommended Ehrman to me. ;-)
I finished re-reading The Bible: A Biography on September 27.
24 I read The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (And Their Employees) by Patrick Lencioni as I re-read Lencioni’s books. They’re all quick reads with easily understood points.
Finished September 23.
23 I read The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson to continue to series I recently started. One more book in the series to go.
Finished September 22.
22 I bought Star Island by Carl Hiaasen in the airport on the way back from IDF and finished it the next day. Preposterous! And I mean it in the best way. Hiaasen’s books are always a bunch of stupid fun. :-)
21 I borrowed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson months ago and finally got to reading it while traveling for business to IDF.
Finished September 14.
20 I bought Damaged Goods by Heather Sharfeddin while on vacation in Sunriver. It’s not the style of book I’d typically read, but I’m a sucker for a book that takes place where I live. It was fun to read about Scholls, Dundee, Newberg, Hillsboro, etc. (Who knew Amazon has a list of movies filmed in Oregon?) I should have read this on vacation instead of trying to read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A Novel by John le Carre by the pool.
Finished September 8.
19 I decided to read The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni after finishing his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Like all Lencioni’s “leadership fables,” Four Obsessions uses a story to illustrate the points to be learned. In this case, although the story is interesting, I don’t think it teaches the points as well as Lencioni’s other books do. Fortunately, there is an appendix summarizing the points for reviewing later without re-reading the entire book.
Finished September 2.
18 I re-read What the Gospels Meant by Garry Wills. It’s an interesting book describing the different emphases and purposes of the four gospels.
Read from mid-July to the end of August.
17 I read An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison because Melissa finished it on her way to college and recommended it to me. It is an open, honest, and interesting look at manic-depressive illness from the inside. I wish I’d read it years ago. I will read other books by the same author.
I devoured the book, reading it from August 25 through 27.
16 I bought Fragile by Lisa Unger in Portland’s airport on the way to Sacramento.
I finished it August 24, a couple days later, in the wee hours of the morning.
15 I bought Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A Novel by John le Carre in preparation for our vacation in Sunriver. I’m not convinced it was entirely the right choice. I’ve sworn off reading a certain author because his characters are shallow and the plots are predictable. Yet, his books are billed as good “beach reads.” After attempting to read Tinker at the Sunriver pool, I think I understand the value of a beach read. John le Carre’s books are the opposite of beach reads. I found myself re-reading pages multiple times to keep the story in mind.
I finished the book August 10, after returning from vacation. Even then, I think I would catch more by re-reading the book. Yet, I don’t think I will. The payoff’s not worth it.
I think it’s time to return to non-fiction books (he says after buying a sci-fi book yesterday…
Hell’s Corner is an entertaining book with a lot of twists, but in my opinion, one twist too many near its end. It was clumsily introduced, ignored, and then reintroduced in an unbelievable fashion at the end. Sad. It wasn’t even necessary.
Finished July 26.
13 I re-read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni Zornberg while on a quick day trip to Folsom. It’s probably worth re-reading the entire series. Which one will be next?
Started and finished on June 15.
12 Melissa lent me Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis. It’s a book she read at college this past year. It’s an entertaining story, but I’m not sure I really understood it. I either need to re-read it or find an online discussion of it (or both).
Finished early June.
11 I bought Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card at the Sacramento airport on May 20 and finished it May 24. Ender in Exile is the direct sequel to Ender’s Game, or as Card calls it, a “midquel” to the Ender series of books. If you liked Ender’s Game, you’ll enjoy Ender in Exile. If you haven’t read Ender’s Game, don’t read Ender in Exile (and go read Ender’s Game).
10 I bought Worth Dying For: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child at Costco, and finished it the next day. It’s not literature, but it is a page turner.
Lee Child must be reading my book reviews, because we weren’t blessed with details of Jack Reacher buying clothes, taking showers, carrying only a toothbrush, and throwing down his gun so he can fight man-to-man with a bad guy. Actually, the last one occurred in this Worth Dying For. Maybe it won’t in the next.
9 Suzi asked me to preview Mortal Evidence: The Forensics Behind Nine Shocking Cases by Cyril H. Wecht. This is an interesting book, but I’d like more detail.
8 Suzi asked me to preview Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt. Started near the beginning of April.
It was a hard read, for a couple of reasons. First, Platt applies the Great Commission to everyone, specifically going on foreign missions. I know that’s not an uncommon interpretation, but Platt interprets it to mean foreign missions to be the role for all Christians. Second, Radical is a convicting book. That’s not an easy message.
There’s more info at radicalthebook.com, the book’s website.
7 Relevant Magazine interviews Rob Bell about Universalism in response to the “trailer” for his new book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. I want to read this. Added to my shelf April 5, finished two days later.
Bell is accused of being a universalist because of this book. From his interview, it’s clear he’d disagree. Instead, he quotes the many texts in the Bible stating that Jesus has saved all. I particularly like his interpretation of the Prodigal Son parable. It was a quick read, worth a re-read.
6 I originally read Dune by Frank Herbert in 1979. I can’t hear “Fantasy” or, for that matter, any song by Earth, Wind & Fire, without thinking of this book, they played so often while I was reading it.
Dune is as good as I remembered it. Now to find the rest of Frank Herbert’s “Dune trilogy.”
Read March 6-10.
4 Time to change the topic. I ordered Mastering Communication at Work: How to Lead, Manage, and Influence by Ethan F. Becker and Jon Wortmann last year but didn’t read it.
I finished with it on the plane to Sacramento. Wow! This book is great. I’m going to have to read it more than once.
3 I purchased The Bible: A Biography by Karen Armstrong after discovering it in a brick and mortar bookstore in Roseville, Calif. I read The Case for God by the same author last year. I started reading The Bible: A Biography on January 29.
I have two complaints, but first, a positive: The Bible: A Biography has lots of endnotes. There’s a lot of information to explore while reading it. Now for the complaints. (1) The book has endnotes. I wish publishers would use footnotes instead of endnotes. Yeah, the book will look more “scholarly” but those who actually want to read the notes could then do so without flipping back and forth to the end of the book and having to use two bookmarks. (2) Many times, the notes are just a Bible text citation. Why not take the extra effort to quote the Bible text?
I really enjoyed this book. Karen Armstrong writes with such loving understanding of her subject. She also increased my vocabulary (thankfully, there’s a helpful glossary in the back of the book).
I finished reading The Bible: A Biography on February 7.
2 I purchased Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan sometime in late 2010, while reading a couple of Marcus Borg books on historical Jesus. Borg cites Crossan often. I finished reading Jesus on February 6.
Crossan’s method for determining which events regarding Jesus are historical takes two steps: (1) nothing’s true unless it has at least two independent sources; and (2) even those that do aren’t true if Crossan doesn’t believe they could happen. You’d be right in assuming that Crossan doesn’t believe anything miraculous is historical. You might be surprised to learn that Crossan doesn’t believe Jesus was buried — maybe because Crossan would consider that miraculous as well.
Even under these extremely narrow definitions of history, there is a lot to learn.
1 Brandie Kajino recommended reading something by Marcus Borg. I bought The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions and Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith during the same trip to the book store and started Meeting Jesus first. I ended up starting Meaning December 10, before finishing Meeting Jesus. I didn’t finish the book until a business trip to Anaheim January 23rd.
These are the books I was reading at the end of the year. I don’t know why I often try to read more than one book at a time. I guess because different moods or places call for different types of books. Some books just sit in this status until I decide I’m not going to finish the book.
This year was especially crazy as I visited Powell’s mid-December and bought a bunch of books (and started a couple of them) and also got a Barnes & Noble Nook for Christmas (and downloaded a bunch of free samples, starting many of them, and not including any of them in the list below0>
This must be the year of the re-read for me. I started re-reading Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell on December 17.
During a lunchtime visit to Powell’s books (the same as for the book below), I bought a used copy of The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong. I love reading books by Karen Armstrong. She is able to describe religious movements with such understanding and compassion. Highly recommended.
Started early December.
During a lunchtime visit to Powell’s books, I bought a used copy of Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography by Bruce Chilton. Started December 6.
I discovered The Beginning of Desire: Reflections on Genesis by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg while wandering through my local Barnes and Noble.
Started April 19.
I received Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations by Martin Goodman as a present from Heather. She bought it for me when she was on a history trip to England. So far, it’s very interesting.
Started March 15.
I received The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin for my birthday. I had mentioned the book to Ashley. :-)
Started February 22.
On the Shelf
These books just sit while I continue to buy newer, more exciting books that push ahead of these. But I’ll get around to these … maybe. With an e-reader, this might just get worse.
During a lunchtime visit to Powell’s books, I bought Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography by Bruce Chilton, Jesus for the Non-Religious by John Shelby Spong, and The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong. All of the books were used so it wasn’t an expensive lunch. I would have paid much more to get electronic editions.
Cube neighbor Pam is cleaning out her cube in preparation for moving to HF. In the process, she gave me The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book has been recommended to me by multiple people. I’m glad to have it in my library. :-)
I bought The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic & International Bestseller; Revised and Updated Edition by Sogyal Rinpoche while shopping at Barnes & Noble with Ashley on February 13.
I know very little about Eastern religions. This book looks interesting.
These are books I’ve read about, that I’ve been told about, or that I’ve run across in the bookstore and don’t want to forget about. I use this list when perusing book stores and the local public library.
Brother Bob recommended The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics by Leonard Susskind while dropping off a bunch of other books for me to read. Looks like I’m going to be busy.
I discovered The Evolution of Faith: How God Is Creating a Better Christianity by Philip Gulley while looking up Philip Gulley’s (other?) books on Universalism to recommend. Looks like this is more of the same, which in my opinion, is a high compliment.
I learned about Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig while watching his talk on how money corrupts politics.
I discovered Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman while wandering through Barnes & Noble one evening. It will be one of the first books I get on my eReader.
Daniel H. Pink recommends The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer.
Online friend Duane Scott recommends A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran by Reza Kahlili.
Online friend Charlene Kingston recommends Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.
It’s not very often that I finish a book and want to start rereading it immediately! But that happened last night with Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. I learned so much about why I choose what I choose, and how to understand why other people choose what they choose! It’s fascinating.
On March 16, I watched a live webcast by Guy Kawasaki talking about his book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. Looks very good.
Charlene Kingston recommends Man and His Symbols by Carl Gustav Jung.
Stories like Bonhoeffer’s, as Mataxas has written it, should give us pause to consider how we may be inadvertently colluding with that which is evil and destructive to ourselves and others.
Art recommended The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley.
Cube neighbor Pam recommends The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. After reading the first chapter on The Morning Pages and The Artist Date, I’m intrigued. I will definitely search this book out.
Cousin Todd’s goodreads notice share a couple of books that look interesting, one which is The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. Allegedly, 4% are sociopaths, so statistically, I should know a couple. Maybe having done criminal defense, I met more than my fair share.
This is the second book from cousin Todd’s goodreads notice. I wonder if my local library has Slaves to Faith: A Therapist Looks Inside the Fundamentalist Mind by Calvin Mercer.
Frank Viola interviews author Craig Keener about his new book The Historical Jesus of the Gospels. It looks very interesting, though I typically wait for books to come out in paperback before buying them.
Just finished The Big Short by Michael Lewis, and it ends with a chilling thought about how f_____ we are. There’s no other way to put it.
It looks like an interesting book to read to understand credit default swaps.
Do you have any books you’d like to suggest I read?
These are the books I finished reading in 2017:
8 The Complete Maus, by Art Spiegelman.
7 Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty, by Patrick Lencioni.
4 Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business, by Patrick Lencioni.
3 Continuing my Pat Lencioni reading binge, I read The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, by Patrick Lencioni. Books like this remind me why I enjoy being a people manager.
2 Based on Connie Plowman’s recommendation, I read Strengths-Based Leadership, by Tom Rath.
1 I zipped through The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni. I’m binge reading his books this year.
What books have you read this year? Any you’d recommend?
These are the books I finished reading in 2010. Looks like I averaged one book every other week.
26 Brandie Kajino recommended reading something by Marcus Borg. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith looks like an interesting place to start.
I bought this book December 12 and finished it three days later. When done, I felt dissatisfied that I didn’t fully catch Borg’s views. I suspect I should re-read the book, having done most of my reading of it in the late, late evening. I’m going to finish the other Borg book I have first. I suspect it will answer any of the questions I still have.
25 I bought A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future on November 11, 2010 and finished it on the 28th. I bought it because I like his later book, Drive. While reading Mind, I found myself reading sections to my kids.
The heart of Mind is a discussion of six “senses” that are necessary for the Conceptual Age: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. Even better, after each chapter, Pink lists exercises and resources for developing that sense. I recommend this book.
24 I bought If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person on November 17 and finished it on the 20th. I read Gulley’s and Mulholland’s books on Universalism in the opposite order they were written. Actually, I think I’d recommend that order (though I am going back to read the other two).
23 I re-read Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution, also during my trip to Asia. This is a book that young Earth creationists should read.
22 I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values during my trip to Asia. Maybe that’s why I got confused at the end.
21 Yeah, I said I wouldn’t read another Lee Child novel. Yet, I read 61 Hours: A Reacher Novel on the plane ride from Portland to Tokyo. It was a good diversion, and largely avoided the problems of Gone Tomorrow.
20 I started reading The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships early September at the local Barnes & Noble. It’s an interesting book, and one worth a re-read.
19 I started reading The Black Swan on August 27 at the local Barnes & Noble. I sat down in an over-padded chair and read about four chapters. I returned the following Monday and bought it. I finished the book a couple of weeks later, on September 13. I’m looking forward to NNT’s next book: it will be about tinkering.
18 I read Die for You.
17 I read If God Is Love : Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World, by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland. Finished it August 6 on a flight home from Sacramento. The passenger in the next seat asked what I was reading. When I told him what it’s about, he asked, “If everyone goes to heaven, what’s the point of being good?” I think he’s a prime candidate to read the book.
I seem to be reading Philip’s books in the opposite order he wrote them. Just one more to go in this series (if only I could find it in a store).
16 I read If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus, by Philip Gulley. I discovered this book wandering the stacks of Barnes & Noble. I liked it enough that I had to read another book by the same author.
15 I read The Next Level: A Parable of Finding Your Place in Life in just a couple of days. A very quick read.
14 I discovered Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition from a post on Usability Post. It’s a quick read with solid, practical advice on making and testing web sites.
Now excuse me while go make a few changes to my site. ;-)
13 I reread Contact by Carl Sagan, I think for the third time. Finished it May 26. Now I want to watch the movie to see the differences. A couple of favorite quotes:
“Any faith that admires truth, that strives to know God, must be brave enough to accommodate the universe.” Palmer Joss
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
12 I found Protect and Defend: A Thriller in terminal B in the Sacramento airport on the way home. I finished it the next day on May 20.
Protect and Defend is your type of novel if you believe: (1) that the CIA lives up to its middle name; (2) that often, someone needs to be killed, and (3) that this killing is best done without the permission, indeed without even the knowledge of any elected official. On the other hand, if you remember the CIA’s incompetence, if you believe America’s actions have consequences beyond the immediate and believe accountability in government is mandatory, especially when laws are being broken, then this book will be at best escapist pulp, and at worst, offensive.
11 I started re-reading Flatterland: Like Flatland, Only More So on May 15 or so and finished it May 18. Just what I needed: another book in my computer bag. Maybe it’s time to make the move to an e-book reader.
10 Alan Webber recommends Daniel Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us in the same breath that he recommends Seth Godin’s Linchpin (which I *loved().
I bought this book April 26, started it May 5, and finished it May 12. If you don’t have time to read, or just want to know what Drive is about before you read it, watch this RSAnimate video on Drive.
This is the best book I’ve read so far this year.
9 I asked for and received The Case for God for Christmas 2009. I started reading it the following New Year’s Day. The book is packed with endnotes, a pet peeve of mine. It’s not that I dislike notes; I love notes. I just like them as footnotes so I can easily read them in parallel with the content. The author, Karen Armstrong, is on TED talking about the golden rule.
I finished this book May 7.
I just finished Seth Godin’s Linchpin. A game-changer. One of the most important books I’ve read in 12 months: http://bit.ly/6stlFm
I placed a hold request for this book at the Hillsboro Public Library on January 25, 2010. They e-mailed me to say it was ready and I picked it up February 14, 2010. Looks like I better boogie through it; they’re not going to let me renew it. So much for finishing it before I had to return it. I decided to buy it instead. That way, I could mark it up. And mark it up I did.
I’ll be re-reading Linchpin book soon. Highly recommended.
I have already begun to use many of the Switch principles in my own life and in my company. It is amazing how simple and effective they are. The book was an easy read and one that I will be going back to again and again. I have now added it to my list of top ten business books.
I couldn’t resist. I bought it March 30, started reading it April 24, and finished it three days later.
5 Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni is one of books I bought March 30. I read a bunch of his books last year. They’re quick reads with good, practical info. To emphasize the quick read point, I both started and finished this book on April 22. Like all of Lencioni’s books, Getting Naked has an interesting plot that made me want to keep reading. I took the book to Jamison’s science fair and had to explain the title. Executive summary: I like the book enough to give to the person who lent me the first Lencioni book I read and got me hooked. Thanks, Dave!
4 Every once in a while, I read an action-mystery novel and I’m reminded why I don’t read them much anymore. Lee Child’s Gone Tomorrow: A Reacher Novel is the latest, bought and finished April 4. My book review is here.
3 I bought a bunch of Bart Erhman books after reading his Misquoting Jesus, including The New Testament, which is intended as a textbook for a introductory college New Testament studies class. So far, it’s been a good survey of the history, competing forms of Christianity, and various methods for analyzing texts. I finally finished the book on March 29. This book will be worthy of another read and to serve as a reference for an unorthodox (though scholarly) summary of New Testament texts in their historical contexts.
2 Suzi gave me The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith for Christmas. I started it Super Bowl night and got half way through. I finished it the next day. It’s (obviously) a quick read, essentially a lengthened sermon on the story of the prodigal son, but spending more time on the elder son, than the younger.
My only disappointment with the book is that it didn’t follow through on being about the prodigal God, not the prodigal son(s).
1 Nearly a month into 2010 reading lengthy textbooks (and restarting books after already having read part way through), I hadn’t yet finished a book. It was time for a quick read: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.
I was able to check out a “non-holdable” copy of the book from the Hillsboro Public Library on January 25, 2010, and finished it within 48 hours. The Lost Symbol is a typical Dan Brown symbol-fest novel, with his religious views thrown in. To make the story more entertaining, I followed the action on Google Maps. Dan Brown makes it easy by giving the street addresses for important locations. Symbol has a few interesting plot twists, but when I reached the end, my reaction was merely, “Yeah, whatever.” And the book is misnamed. Meh.
On the Shelf
These are the books that were on my shelf to read at the end of 2010.
I purchased Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography sometime in late 2010, while reading a couple of Marcus Borg books on historical Jesus.
These are the books I discovered in 2010 and thought they looked interesting.
Michael J. Totten recommends reading The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations.
Art King and brother Bob both have recommended that I read Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time.
I found Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices from Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge. Unfortunately, I can’t remember how I got there; Working Knowledge is not something I’ve read before.
I ran across The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives while cruising a brick and mortar book store. I read a chapter or two and put it on the shelf. I will finish it later.
If I were ever to write a book – which my friends keep encouraging me to do – it has already been written. This would have been my book. I loved it from beginning to end.
Hugh Hewitt interviewed Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One on May 18. Hewitt disagreed many times with Alter. Alter said he was trying to be fair, writing neither a puff piece nor a hatchet job. Hewitt recommends Promise.
Robert N Lee ridicules The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. I tried to read the referenced Salon piece, but the ads on the side kept distracting me.
Oregon Faith Report notes that The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World won the 2010 Christian Book of the Year award. Even better: All royalties from the book benefit World Vision.
Brother Bob says his mens’ group is studying this book.
Gary Walter referenced Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You. Who can pass up a riveting book on conditional probabilities? Not me. ;-)
If you remember those Heathkit and Radio Shack introduction to electronics kits, this book will tickle your memories. It’s really an intro to embedded systems, and I do mean a basic start-from-square-one sort of work. The writing is crystal-clear and just irreverent enough to be fun.
Of course, I’d be getting it for Jamison. ;-)
Brother Bob recommends Judaism: A Way of Being by David Hillel Gelernter with a pithy statement: “Heavy reading.” He included a link to a Jay Lefkowitz review published in the Wall Street Journal on March 29:
Throughout “Judaism,” Mr. Gelernter uses imagery to amplify understanding. He notes that Judaism is filled with powerful images—the seven-branched Temple menorah, the Star of David, the tablets of the Ten Commandments. To grasp the essence of Judaism is to read the messages of these images or at least to contemplate their potential meaning. When Moses, upon first encountering God, sees a burning bush that is not consumed, Mr. Gelernter infers a metaphor for all of Jewish history: “Jews are slaughtered yet Israel is not consumed.”
Seth Godin recommends a bunch of books, of which Krista Tippet’s Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit is only one.
On a Horizon Air flight 2632 from SMF to PDX February 27, 2010, the man in seat 8E next to me was reading Let the Great World Spin: A Novel. Although he was only about half way through, he recommended the book. Looks interesting. :-)
From Oregon Faith Report comes the recommendation to read Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life .
Haught believes Christians who find evolution contrary to faith often do so because they are focusing mainly on the issue of life’s adaptive design and the notion of the gradual descent of all life from a common ancestry. In doing so, he argues, they overlook the significance of the dramatic narrative going on beneath the surface of life and the entire universe. Haught offers a compelling focus on evolution as an ongoing drama and accepts the possibility that we simply cannot—perhaps need not—make complete sense of it all until it has fully played out.
How can you pass up a book that describes itself as:
No more boring parties! No more dull meetings! No more getting stuck with a little kid and not knowing how to make her laugh. Perfect for extroverts, office cutups, actors and storytellers, practical jokers, and the unsung clowns who brighten all our days, MouthSounds is the book for people who would give anything to imitate a Toilet Plunger. Or a Sports Car Smash and Crash (with debris and rolling hubcap). Sound like Gollum while reading Lord of the Rings to a favorite nephew. Have meaningful dialogue with your dog. Hold the table spellbound by acting out “Titanic: The Movie” in ten seconds.
This book will inspire anyone who cares to read his incredible story of pursuing your dreams.
Just finished Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card. Worth reading for the Ender completists… but you knew that. ;-) -> http://bit.ly/bwkk1X
— Flashlight Worthy (@flwbooks) February 5, 2010
I’ve read most (all?) of the Ender series, so I’m looking forward to reading this one as well.
Bob Potter recommended Violent Prayer: Engaging Your Emotions Against Evil in a couple of tweets. Maybe not a ringing endorsement (at least, not for the first 50 pages), but Violent Prayer sounds interesting.
I discovered Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems and Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition from a post on Usability Post.
I wish they were about software UI in general instead of web design, but they should still be interesting.
Today is a good day. I bought three books and discovered another.
I started reading Linchpin by Seth Godin, but quit because I was getting frustrated. Not because I didn’t like the book, but because I’d borrowed it from the library. Getting books from the library is a good way to save money, but I don’t think the county would be thrilled if I marked it all up and then “forgot” to return it. Some books you want to own; this is one. I even got another couple for my team in California.
While wandering the store (I love brick and mortar book stores!), I ran across The Christian Atheist. It goes on my interesting books page. When my to-read stack gets a little lower, I’ll look for it again.
What new books have you bought or read recently?
Ashley and I biked to Bellatazza’s Caffe for morning coffee. Ashley completed her job training while I read more of Patrick Lencioni’s The Advantage. I questioned whether I should be reading a management book on vacation, but maybe that’s the trade-off for not checking my work email today.
After so much bicycling already this week, we decided to do a shorter morning ride, maybe just to Benham Falls and back. I said, “I think it’s only a mile or so off the bike path.”
I was wrong. According to the map, it’s 2.3 miles one way from the bike path, and that might only be to the falls’ parking area. The actual falls is farther than that. And it was a gravel and dirt road. Suzi and Jamison with mountain bikes and knobby tires were okay. Ashley and I with mountain bikes and smooth tires had it a little tougher. Heather and Melissa with their comfortable city bikes had it worst of all. Still, Lilly and Sweet Pea made the trek safely — and in style. :-)
Our total “morning” ride ended up being around 15 miles. So much for a shorter ride.
Mid-afternoon, Ashley and Melissa headed to the pool and Jamison and I headed for the tubing hill. After our first run, we ran into our cousins and sent them into the pool area to find Ashley and Melissa. Jamison and I tackled the tubing hill five or six more times, then followed them into the pool area. We went down the slides a few times and it was time to head back to our cabin. Where did the afternoon go?!
Predmores invited us over for a barbecue and diet cola and Mentos squirt. So much fun!
Afterward, we biked back, watching the sunset over our shoulders, and stopping to take some snaps.
Even with our “short” morning ride and no real evening ride, my odometer reads 89.7 miles — 20 miles for the day. :-)
I have a tradition of tracking the books I read. I also track the books I’m currently reading and books that I’ve discovered throughout the year that I’d like to read.
This year I read a lot of novels. I also experimented with graphic novels and manga. I found one graphic novel that I absolutely loved but wasn’t successful with manga. Maybe I need to keep looking?
Next year I plan on being more intentional by reading books that will increase my knowledge rather than just entertain me. There are many books on my “interesting” list that could keep me busy reading all 2013 long.
These are the books I finished reading in 2012:
33 I read The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly, having just read a couple of other Michael Connelly books. I think I have another author I like.
Finished December 17.
32 I read The Reversal by Michael Connelly, having just read The Lincoln Lawyer.
Finished December 12.
31 I had to read The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly after watching the movie version — it was that good. I was impressed how closely the movie followed the book, but the book was better (as usual). Now having watched the movie again, I know how much better the book is. Highly recommended.
Finished December 6.
30 I read The Rule of Nine by Steve Martini after checking it out of the local library. Nine is entertaining but formulaic and predictable. It also ends with a cliff-hanger, a big no-no for me. If you can’t make me want to read the next book in the series without leaving an unfinished plot element, it’s not worth my reading another book in the series.
Finished November 29.
29 I reread American Assassin by Vince Flynn. Through his books, Flynn advocates for a small, unaccountable cadre of killers who eliminate America’s foreign problems. When I first read one of Flynn’s books, I was amazed at their absence of regard for civilized behavior. Since then, we’ve learned that this disregard is not limited to mere authors of escapist, best-selling thrillers. I would suggest that Flynn’s limited cadre would be much preferred to what America now does openly.
Finished November 20.
28 I read King City TP by Brandon Graham. As Amazon’s book description says, “Joe is a catmaster, trained to use his cat as any tool or weapon. His best friend, Pete, falls in love with an alien he’s forced to sell into green slavery, while his ex, Anna, watches her Xombie War veteran boyfriend turn into the drug he’s addicted to. King City, an underbelly of a town run by spy gangs and dark dark magic with mystery down every alleyway.” Also, lots of silly puns, but I don’t think I was on enough drugs to fully enjoy this.
Finished November 19.
27 In my search for different types of books, I have been looking for manga worth reading. I found Gunslinger Girl Omnibus Collection 1 (Vols. 1-3) by Yu Aida at the local library and got a couple volumes. To read the reviews, Gunslinger Girl has some dark, deep psychological meaning. All I see is a book where young, injured girls are bought from their parents, given artificial bodies, pumped full of drugs that make them forget their former lives and let them think they love their handlers and then commanded to assassinate people. Twisted? Certainly, but where is any redeeming quality? I won’t be reading the next collection.
Certainly, there must be manga worth reading somewhere. Anyone have a recommendation?
Finished November 16.
26 Flying home from Sacramento, I picked up Zero Day by David Baldacci in the airport and finished it the next day. An enjoyable read, similar to a Lee Child book, but without such a quirky hero.
Finished November 9.
25 When I walked to the library, I also picked up Stitches: A Memoir by David Small. I finally found a graphic novel that I love! Although it is about 300 pages, it is a quick “read.”
Finished November 6.
24 In my continuing quest for a good graphic novel, I walked to the Hillsboro public library during lunch and checked out Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes: The Authorized Adaptation by Ray Bradbury (author) and Ron Wimberly (illustrator). It was a quick and confusing read. In a couple of critical areas of the plot (including the climax), I thought I might have skipped a page. I even went back and checked to make sure. Nope! A quick perusal of SparkNotes suggests there’s a lot more to the original. Maybe I should read it.
Finished November 6.
23 I have been looking for another graphic novel worth reading. Earlier in the week, I discovered the Y: The Last Man series by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Pia Guerra (Illustrator), and Jose Marzan Jr. (Illustrator). Stephen King’s comment, “The best graphic novel I’ve ever read” on the cover caught my attention. Unfortunately, there are either a bunch of smaller books for maybe $15 each, or some bigger, hardcover books for $30 each. Sorry, but I’m not spending that kind of money. I decided to try the library. Having a chance to go to the library, I discovered the graphic novel section and Y: The Last Man, Book 3, Deluxe Edition. Yeah, book 3. Not book 1. Oh well. I checked it out and finished it (more than 300 pages) the same night. Guess I’m going to place a hold on books 1 and 2. And maybe try to figure out how the smaller books fit in with the series…
Finished October 30.
22 While still on a longish business trip, I read Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston. It was interesting, but the main plot vehicle was so unbelievable that it felt like I was watching The Magic School Bus.
Finished October 20.
21 While on a business trip, I read V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (author) and David Lloyd (illustrator). It was okay (and makes me want to see how well the movie adaptation was), but wasn’t something I’d re-read. I’m still looking for a high-quality graphic novel. Do they exist?
Finished October 18.
20 I re-started and finally finished Rabbi Paul: An Intellectual Biography by Bruce Chilton. I will never read Acts and Paul’s writing the same way again.
Finished September 14.
19 I re-read Killing Floor by Lee Child. There are “guy novels,” that describe the inner workings of guns and their operations and “gal novels” focused more on the inner soul. This, like all Lee Child books, is more of the former.
Finished August 13.
18 Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger. There are “guy novels,” that describe the inner workings of guns and their operations and “gal novels” focused more on the inner soul. This, like all Lisa Unger books, is more of the latter.
Finished July 16.
17 I read Explosive Eighteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich. Good, stupid fun. :-)
Finished July 11 (sometime between 9:15 AM and 8:45 AM).
16 I purchased a few paperbacks for a trip to Taiwan. First I read Turning Angel: A Novel by Greg Iles.
Read July 5-6 (across the International Date line).
15 I’m not sure the Obamacare opinion qualifies as a book, but it’s longer than many I’ve read.
Finished July 3.
14 I took a class on continuous integration on April 3. The instructors recommended Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk by Paul M. Duvall, Steve Matyas, and Andrew Glover. Turns out, one of my co-workers won a copy in a random drawing at the end of the class. He lent it to me to read. Woot!
This turned out to be a nice introduction to continuous integration, discussing the various aspects of continuous build, test, notifications, etc. We’re already starting to implement some of the practices described in this book.
Read April 16 through May 10.
Read March 27-29.
Read March 25-27.
11 I bought The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins on opening day for the movie and finished it the next day. It’s good enough that I immediately bought the next book in the trilogy.
Read March 23-24.
10 Reading Jesus: A Writer’s Encounter with the Gospels by Mary Gordon is another of the used books I bought on a shopping spree at Powell’s Books.
Read March 11-18.
9 I bought Jesus for the Non-Religious by John Shelby Spong on a used-book shopping spree at Powell’s Books.
Summary: Take Jesus, subtract all the miracles and a theistic God. According to Spong, you’re still left with a loving, inclusive God fully realized in the complete humanity of Jesus.
Read March 5-11.
8 I started re-reading Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell on December 17. My brother’s mens group was discussing it. I got about half way through and got enamored with reading books on my Nook. March 4, I decided it was time to finish the book. I restarted at page one and read it straight through before getting out of bed.
I like it. (Yeah, not much of a review…)
7 Brother Bob lent me Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are by Bart D. Ehrman. I’ve read a few of Ehrman’s books. I thought Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why was good and really enjoyed The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. I didn’t enjoy this book as much. Ehrman is candid in saying this is his more “accessible” exposition on this topic. In my college courses, we joked about teachers who “waved their hands too much” instead of teaching the material. That’s what Ehrman did here: too much hand waving. I’m sure he has the material to back up his claims. I just wanted to see it.
Started late December 2011 and finished February 29.
6 Every year, Intel’s Sales and Marketing Conference invites a leadership consultant to inspire Intel’s SMG managers. This year was no exception — Steve Farber spoke. Incredible! Later that same day, I had a sample of his book The Radical Leap Re-Energized: Doing What You Love in the Service of People Who Love What You Do on my ereader and blew through it. I followed up with a purchase the next day.
I really enjoyed this book. It speaks to me about management/leadership in a style that resonates with me. Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof, or summarized, “Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.”
Read February 8-13.
5 Gary Walter mentioned A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN by Brian D. McLaren. It’s a long title and one that McLaren says he wouldn’t use now. He prefers something like, Stumbling Toward a Generous Orthodoxy.
In Generous Orthodoxy, McLaren surveys different groups within Christianity, looking for and claiming the good in each. Each chapter closes with discussion questions worthy of answering.
Read January 26 through February 4.
4 I sampled and then read The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design by Leonard Susskind after finishing another book by the same author. I’m finally starting to understand some of this stuff, but much of it still goes over my P-brane. Maybe I should watch Nova’s The Elegant Universe.
Read January 12 through 26.
3 The Time Machine by H. G. Wells was a free book I downloaded onto my Nook. I ran out of books to read so I read it. It was okay, but I think Felix J. Palma’s note is spot on:
“I read this wonderful novel when I was a boy and it immediately became one of my favorite books. Yet when I revisited it as an adult, I was surprised to find I didn’t feel that same rush of emotion.
“I realized that part of the reason I was so taken with the book as a boy is that I actually believed a time machine could exist and that one day perhaps I could also travel into the future.”
Finished January 16.
2 Brother Bob recommended The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics by Leonard Susskind late last year. This was one of the first few books on my new Nook. I might have read it quickly, but it is not an easy read. I suspect I would benefit from reading it again to really grasp the concepts it teaches.
Instead, I got a sample of another of Leonard Susskind’s books that I hope to read in short order.
Started January 6, finished January 15.
1 I downloaded The Evolution of Faith: How God Is Creating a Better Christianity by Philip Gulley after I got a Nook for Christmas. I was interested in reading this because I’ve read three other books by Gulley and James Mulholland over the past couple of years on the topic of Universalism. In Evolution of Faith, Gulley describes a “non-traditional” form of Christianity (would he call it that?) he believes enables religion to remain relevant and viable in the 21st century.
Finished January 6.
Here are the books I’m reading now.
I discovered The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks at the local public library. This is a book that I will find and buy.
Dave Sharrock tweeted a link to Mark Miller’s blog post Understanding the Next Generation,” which mentioned You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman.
I’m reading Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, and Patrick M. Lencioni. Let’s see what I can do for me EQ.
Started October 21.
These are books I’ve read about, that I’ve been told about, or that I’ve run across in the bookstore during 2012 and don’t want to forget about. I use this list when perusing book stores and the local public library.
Art King recommends a couple of books in the comments below: Why the West Rules–for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris, and The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker.
Gary Walter recommends Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
Bill Ferriter recommends a few professional reads for educational leaders. Of these, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman and Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere by Will Richardson looked the most interesting.
@sherileec mentions Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders by Jurgen Appelo. Because my team is making the transition to Agile development processes, this looks interesting.
Brain Pickings recommends Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt.
@jojohnson recommends Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga.
Bob Sutton recommends a bunch of books that every leader should read. These are the ones that I haven’t read and interest me.
Lawrence Lessig recommends It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein.
Eric Barker recommends Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims (and a bunch of other books in the same post). Looks good.
Cousin Sherilee recommends The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer recommends Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World by Bruce Schneier.
Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer recommends God’s Mechanics: How Scientists and Engineers Make Sense of Religion by Guy Consolmagno.
Donald Miller recommended Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff.
Seth Godin recommends The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen.
Lawrence Lessig tweeted The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman.
Michael Tardiff of SolutionsIQ gave me his business card with Pair Programming Illuminated by Laurie Williams and Robert Kessler written on the back. Oh, and a comment like, “Very illuminating.” One more book for my to-read list.
Alex Sloley tweeted Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility by James P. Carse.
Dr. Ahmed Sidky recommended The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century by Stephen Denning at AgilePalooza.
I learned about The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries at Intel’s 2012 Agile Conference. It was recommended again in an open space session at AgilePalooza.
Roy recommended Science For The Airline Passenger by Elizabeth A. Wood, on January 16. Looks like this is a used-only proposition.
Daniel H. Pink recommends The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., on January 2.
Do you have any books you’d like to suggest I read?
I have tracked (most of) the books I read for a while now. This year was no exception. (Though I did quit tracking during the middle of this year…)
These are some of the books I finished reading in 2013.
19 I read Poseidon’s Arrow by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler. I’ve read Clive Cussler books for a long time, too long, in fact. Clive apparently likes the name “Dirk” because it’s the name he gave to his protagonist, the protagonist’s son, and his own (co-author) son. I guess there’s something to be said for consistency. This book is something to read on a plane or a beach when reading anything too deep would result in losing the plot. There’s no risk of that here. You will lose your credulity along the way, though. Move along…
18 I read The Racketeer by John Grisham. I don’t really need to tell you a John Grisham book is good, do I?
17 I read Taking Ivy Seriously by Matthew David Brozik. A combination of IP law and a novel. What’s not to like?
16 I read The Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek. Similar to the plot of Black Like Me, a straight male comes out as gay and lives as such for one year. Although some circumstances seemed too contrived or convenient, I recommend this book for anyone who still thinks of LGBTQ as “other” or “them.”
15 I read Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. I’ll read anything these guys write. You should too…
11, 12, 13, 14 I read A Game of Thrones , A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows, the first four books in the never-ending A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. This series has been criticized for being filled with characters dying (both insignificant nobodies and assumed main characters). I became bored with the series more because dead characters came back to life after having been hacked so bad that they should have died. Well, that and it needs editing — extensive editing. I still can’t believe I bought and started the fifth book after reading this review.
10 I read What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell. I don’t expect Rob to get as much flack for this book as he did for Love Wins. Though, I could be wrong. Finished May 8.
9 Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress and How to End It by Lawrence Lessig is an expansion of his TED talk. Well worth reading if you have any interest in understanding corruption in our system of government and want to be part of the solution. Read April 4-5.
8 I read The Innocent by David Baldacci. Okay, that plot was just a little unrealistic. Escapist to the extreme. I’m not sure that’s a good thing… Finished March 20.
7 Josh Bancroft recommends Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson, linking Cory Doctorow’s review of the book. I read the ebook sample and was hooked. Not being a gamer, I’m not in this book’s target demographic. That’s fine. I found it to be an interesting and worthy read. Read March 5-14.
7 I read The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by Patrick M. Lencioni. After all, I love all of Pat’s1Maybe a little informal, but hey — I did get to meet Pat and shake his hand. :-) previous books. To top it off, I had the privilege of hearing Pat talk about org health, summarizing parts of this book and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team on February 6. I finished this book later that evening on the flight home.
This is a book I will re-read, outline, talk about with my team, etc. Started January 22.
6 I read The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau. This is a great book, one that should inspire most anyone to think of a side business (or even a main business) that they could start. It gives practical advice on getting started and how to grow or not. Finished January 29.
5 I re-read (I’m sensing a short pattern here) The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin. A humorous yet tender story of a man dealing with life. As I read this book, I had to read aloud paragraphs to family members nearby. Too funny! Finished January 23.
4 I re-read Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts by John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed. I last read Excavating Jesus in 2009 when I borrowed it from the library. I found a used copy at Powell’s Books and couldn’t pass it up. Finished January 19.
3 Dave Sharrock tweeted a link to Mark Miller’s blog post “Understanding the Next Generation,” which mentioned You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman. I figured it was worth checking out. After reading it, I wonder. You Lost Me does a good job of explaining how the world has changed and different classes of reasons why Christian Millenials might leave the church. Unfortunately, even though Kinnaman collected a lot of data on the topic, I’m not convinced that he really understands why or has the solution.
The 50 solutions proposed by others in the last chapter are much better.
Finished January 10.
2 I discovered Do the Work by Steven Pressfield on a list of Seth Godin’s favorite business books and then I found it in my local public library. I read it sitting in seat 3E on the way from Portland to Sacramento, and still had bunches of time to take pictures out the window.
This is another book that I will buy and re-read, multiple times.
Started and finished January 9.
1 I found The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks at the local public library. In early 2009, the British Humanist Association placed advertisements on London buses saying, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” This book is Rabbi Sacks’ response, about why it matters, what’s at risk, and why the conflict is misplaced, that science and religion need not be at odds with each other, and in fact, that both science and religion are stronger and better when they aren’t. In Partnership, Rabbi Sacks addresses evolution/cosmology, why there is evil in the world, and why so much of it seems to be exhibited by those claiming to be religious.
This is a book that I will buy and reread.
Finished January 1.
Do you have any books you’d recommend?
These are books I’ve read about, that I’ve been told about, or that I’ve run across in the bookstore during 2013 and don’t want to forget about. I use this list when perusing book stores and the local public library.
Karen Armstrong emailed a holiday message mentioning her book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. Somehow, I had missed this one.
William Carlton writes a book report on This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America’s Gilded Capital by Mark Leibovich.
Daniel H. Pink interviews Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D. and E. Tory Higgins Ph.D. about their book, Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence by Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D. and E. Tory Higgins Ph.D.
I learned about a bunch of books at Intel’s Agile and Lean Development Conference. I list them below:
A. It Starts with One: Changing Individuals Changes Organizations by J. Stewart Black and Hal Gregersen.
B. Ready, Set, Dominate: Implement Toyota’s Set-based Learning for Developing Products and Nobody Can Catch You by Michael N. Kennedy and Kent Harmon.
C. Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck.
D. The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Donald G. Reinertsen.
F. Lean Product and Process Development by Allen C. Ward.
Yup, this is the end of the Agile/Lean books.
Cousin Shelby mentions The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser and You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier in a blog post referencing “The Meme Hustler; Tim O’Reilly’s crazy talk,” a lengthy article by Evgeny Morozov.
Greg Mankiw (professor and chairman of the economics department at Harvard University) recommends The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World by Greg Ip.
Chris Coyier mentioned Execute by Drew Wilson and Josh Long. The book eats its own dogfood, having been written in only eight days.
Will Richardson of excerpts the introduction of The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning by James Paul Gee:
This book is about what it means to be smart and to be a fully awake participant in our high-risk global world in the twenty-first century. It is about what parents ought to do to forestall their children becoming victims in that high-risk world. The book is about how to think about the future before we humans don’t have one. We need to save our children and ourselves from the sorts of human stupidity to which we are all prone, but that are now way too dangerous to indulge in. To have a future we need to start exercising our smart side more, a side that today’s schools, colleges, and media have too often put to sleep.
We discussed The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr at school board. Looks worth reading.
What books do you think I should read?
- 1Maybe a little informal, but hey — I did get to meet Pat and shake his hand. :-)