Frank McCourt: Teacher Man: A Memoir
Beautiful story about teaching and life. Must-read for any teacher.
Orhan Pamuk: Snow
Complex, sad, beautiful. A wonderful novel by this Nobel prize winning Turkish writer.
Peter Greenberg: The Complete Travel Detective Bible: The Consummate Insider Tells You What You Need to Know in an Increasingly Complex World
Solid compendium of tips and how-to's for the travel buff in us all.
P. J. O'Rourke: Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism
As usual, some outstanding laugh-out-loud lines, but not as strong as O'Rourke's earlier books. I'd pass.
Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns
A fantastic novel #2 after Kite Runner. As the critics have said, Hosseini is an amazing storyteller.
Saul Alinsky: Rules for Radicals
A classic that has influenced Obama and Clinton, among others. Many interesting thoughts on organizing.
G. Pascal Zachary: The Global Me: New Cosmopolitans and the Competitive Edge
A good overview of the impact globalization will have on identity. Zachary argues a "mongrel" sense of self will be dominant.
Mark Penn: Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes
Chock-full of interesting facts, mini-trends, and predictions. Fun reading for the fun fact junkie.
Timothy Sykes: An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator & Created a Hedge Fund
A fun up-and-down saga of a college student who made a bunch of money in the stock market. Well written.
Ian Ayres: Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart
Not much new here: data trump anecdote, experts are overrated, people don't understand basic statistics, etc. I'd pass.
Philippe Legrain: Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them
A solid defense of liberal immigration policies.
Samuel P. Huntington: Who Are We: The Challenges to America's National Identity
An excellent, provocative read on Americanism and immigration. See my formal book review.
John J. Jr. Pitney: The Art of Political Warfare
A good overview of how military imagery and strategy is used in U.S. politics.
Kwame Anthony Appiah: The Ethics of Identity
A difficult, academic book, but contains many interesting points on cosmopolitanism and identity.
Susan Shapiro: Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus
Excellent memoir on writing and mentors. See my quick review.
Brent Bowers: 8 Patterns of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs
Quick overview of different tendencies of effective entrepreneurs. Not much new here, but good reminder.
Tyler Cowen: Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist
Chock-full of mind grenades. See my book notes.
Sebastian Junger: The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea
A famous, awesome account of the perfect storm -- and commercial fishing more generally.
Matt Richtel: Hooked: A Thriller About Love and Other Addictions
A pretty good thriller that will appeal to tech guys, especially those from SF.
David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest
I got through 3/4 of this 1,000+ page book. Massive but worth it. Search for "Infinite Jest" on my blog to see various posts about my experience.
Charles G. Koch: The Science of Success: How Market-Based Management Built the World's Largest Private Company
An OK book on Koch's libertarian principles applied to business.
Ethan Watters: Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family?
An interesting quasi-memoir, quasi-anthropological sketch. See my formal book review.
Jay A. Conger: The Practice of Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Leaders
An academically-oriented volume of essays on different facets of leadership, edited by Claremont professors. Solid, but dense.
Francine Prose: Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
A fun, instructive guide for writers. Uses tons of excerpts and close reading to make its points.
Nando Parrado: Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home
Stunning, inspiring, beautiful. See my review.
Carl J. Schramm: The Entrepreneurial Imperative: How America's Economic Miracle Will Reshape the World (and Change Your Life)
A quick look at why entrepreneurship is essential to America's competitiveness.
Joseph J. Ellis: American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
Excellent analysis of this complex man.
Jessica Livingston: Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days
A good archive of first-person accounts from entrepreneurs. Buy with my book and save on Amazon!
Penelope Trunk: Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success
Good career advice for the 20-something. See my review.
Richard Florida: The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent
A solid look at the "brain drain" issue and other factors affecting America's role as the lead importer of creative talent.
Douglas Preston: Tyrannosaur Canyon
Fun novel about a t-rex fossil in New Mexico. Great as audiobook, not sure it's a good text read.
Po Bronson: "Why Do I Love These People?": Understanding, Surviving, and Creating Your Own Family
An excellent collection of stories about families who have overcome challenges. See my quick write up.
Michael Lewis: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
An excellent storytelling job by Lewis. Highly recommended. See quick post.
Timothy Ferriss: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Compelling life hacks. See my long review here.
Jean-Dominique Bauby: The Diving-bell and the Butterfly
An inspiring, moving book written by a man completely paralyzed (written by blinking his left eye).
Bill George and Pete Sims: True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership
A solid book on leadership that focuses on the need to develop your own life story.
Seth Godin: The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
A great premise -- know when to quit -- but didn't really move me. It's a 90 page book; I think it could be a 10 page book.
Cormac McCarthy: The Road
Highly acclaimed, but I'd give it a 5 out of 10. I've read this plot before.
Steve Martin: The Pleasure of My Company: A Novel
Great novel -- brief but energetic. And funny most of the time.
Dennis Smith: San Francisco Is Burning: The Untold Story of the 1906 Earthquake and Fires
A solid, if at times drearily written, account of the largest metro fire in history. See my review
Neil Strauss: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
Fascinating and provocative book inside a world I didn't know existed. Here's my review.
Mark Fuller: Japan's Business Renaissance: How the World's Greatest Economy Revived, Renewed, and Reinvented Itself
Disappointing. They basically try to rebut all the Japanese stereotypes, but do so with flimsy evidence. Pass.
Walter Isaacson: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
A fantastic biography of one of history's most extraordinary people. See my review / notes
Marci Alboher: One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success
A good guide to building a customized career around the "slash". See my brief review.
Rory Stewart: The Places In Between
First person account of walking across Afghanistan...on foot. Pretty good, but I moved on after 200 pages.
Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections: A Novel
Widely acclaimed. Filled with post-modern prose. I made it 300 pages -- pretty good, but I got lost in all the different threads.
Peter M. Senge: The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
A "business classic" but I found it only so-so. Thesis: your organization needs to be a learning org to compete.
Roger Fisher: Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Widely considered the classic on negotiation, but I was underwhelmed.
Jeremy Blachman: Anonymous Lawyer: A Novel
Hilarious satire of a big L.A. law firm written in the form of blog entries. Must read for anyone in a law firm or considering that path.
Geeta Anand: The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million--And Bucked the Medical Establishment--In a Quest to Save His Children
Inspiring book about how far a parent will go to save his children. See my post.
Daniel Goleman: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
A classic. Awesome. Here are my notes from the book. Here's my blog post.
David Shenk: The Immortal Game: A History of Chess, or How 32 Carved Pieces on a Board Illuminated Our Understanding of War, Art, Science and the Human Brain
An awesome book on chess -- some history, some strategy, and some humor too. My brief review.
Joseph J. Ellis: Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
An awesome book. Highly recommended for a look at the men behind the Revolutionary Generation.
Stephen L. Carter: God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics
I usually like Carter, but as a pre-9/11 book, I felt like it was dated, and gave up after 50 pages.
Robert Wright: The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
Evolutionary psych is super interesting, but this book let me down. Got through 50% of it. I'm not interested in Darwin's life as much as the theories.
Paul Arden: It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be
Mildly interesting / motivating...got it as a gift. Thesis: you choose whether to be extraordinary.
Tim Sanders: Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends
Awesome book on how to bring compassion into the business world. See my notes.
Chris Anderson: The Long Tail : Why the Future Is Selling Less of More
The popular business book. I picked it up in Tokyo before my flight. Decent. You can probably just read the Wired article to get the point and skip the book.
Howard Schultz: Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
A nice read from the Starbucks founder on how he cultivated a luxury brand. See my review.
William H. Marling: How "American" Is Globalization?
Debunks the myth of pervasive "Americanization". Here's my quick review.
John C. Maxwell: 25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks
Some decent tips but not terribly original. The audiobook narrator has an annoying voice.
P. J. O'Rourke: Eat the Rich
The typical O'Rourke schtick; some funny parts but not consistent enough.
Bill Bryson (editor): The Best American Travel Writing 2000
A good collection of essays if you're on the road...though not as good as the general "Essays" version.
Gordon G. Chang: The Coming Collapse of China
Far too sensational for my taste. And a bit dated. Skip it.
Juan Antonio Fernandez: China CEO: Voices of Experience from 20 International Business Leaders
Some good, practical tips for international managers in China.
Susan Orlean (Editor): The Best American Essays 2005
Awesome writing and essays. Good for any non fiction lover.
Herbert J. Gans: Popular Culture and High Culture: An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste
A good rebuttal of the claim that pop culture is dumbing down society and the cause of all woes.
Ariel Levy: Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture
Solid read, but predictable. See my review.
Peter Hessler: River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
An outstanding recollection of two years in the Peace Corps in China. Awesome writing and great portrait of China.
Stephan Paternot: A Very Public Offering: A Rebel's Story of Business Excess, Success, and Reckoning
A breezy entrepreneurial memoir about theglobe.com. Poorly written but some entertaining moments.
Robert Townsend: Up the Organization: How to Stop the Organization From Stifling People and Strangling Profits
Timeless lessons from this old business classic.
Ori Brafman: The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
A good read on decentralized orgs. See my review.
Patrick M. Lencioni: Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business
Another good Lencioni book. His big point is to infuse meetings with conflict and drama, and to run different kinds of meetings (the standing-only, the strategy monthly, etc).
Michael Lewis: The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story
Another entrepreneurial journey story to help me as I write my own book. Great read -- Jim Clark is a maniac.
James M. Kouzes: A Leader's Legacy
A breezy book with not a whole lot new on leadership, but some good reminders. I was sent an advance copy by a PR person.
Chogyam Trungpa: Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior
Some inspiring moments, a quick read.
Michael Wolff: Burn Rate: How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet
A juicy, entertaining account of Silicon Valley life in early 90's. A bit dated, I think, but still some funny parts.
David Remnick: Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire
A Pulitzer Prize winning account of the fall of the Soviet Union. Very detailed and long. Motivates me to learn more about the SU, since I didn't get all the detail.
The Group of 33 / Seth Godin: The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable
Inspiring words of wisdom, tips, and stories. Good read for anyone in business.
Robert E. Rubin: In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington
Excellent memoir from the former treasury secretary. See my brief review.
Daniel Gilbert: Stumbling on Happiness
Chock full of nuggets. Required reading for people who pursue happiness with vigor!
Jack Goldsmith: Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World
A quick and provocative read about how national borders and laws are rejecting internet-utopians' prediction of borderless world.
Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things
This was supposed to be a very good novel about an Indian family, but I couldn't get into it. Will try again later.
Jeffrey Gitomer: The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness
A quick, solid overview. Probably could find notes online which would be cheaper and faster.
Barbara Pease: The Definitive Book of Body Language
Some very useful tips for thinking about how our non-verbal cues influence people.
Robert Baer: See No Evil
A sometimes gripping, sometimes too detailed account of a CIA officer on the ground in the Middle East. D.C. politics prevents him from doing his job effectively in run up to 9/11.
Lawrence Harrison and Sam Huntington: Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress
A good collection of essays on the role of culture in shaping societies.
P. J. O'Rourke: Holidays in Hell
Hilarious; He travels to the world's worst places and asks, "What's funny about this?"
Francis Fukuyama: America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy
Awesome summary and analysis of neoconservatism in the past and looking toward the future.
Walter Lippmann: Public Opinion
A classic. Some deep thoughts on democracy that will take some time to digest...
George Orwell: Why I Write (Penguin Great Ideas)
A let-down. Not enough on writing, too much on England. Pass.
Tyler Cowen: Creative Destruction : How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures
Excellent thesis on how globalization is providing more and better cultural choice. See my somewhat lengthy review.
Pascal Baudry: French and Americans: The Other Shore
A good compare-and-contrast book on French and American cultures. See post.
Cliff Atkinson: Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire
An excellent intro to make compelling PPT's -- all presenters should read this or his blog.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Fooled by Randomness : The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
One of the most important and best books I've read in years. See my post.
Citizenship Today: Global Perspectives and Practices
Some interesting (academic) essays on the changing role and legality of citizenship in a globalized world.
Fred Reichheld: The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth
A great book that got me thinking about customer satisfaction in a whole new light. See Chris Yeh's notes.
Karen Berman: Financial Intelligence: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean
Finance 101. Awesome, basic overview of the financial drivers of a business. Good for entrepreneurs not otherwise steeped in this stuff.
Andrew Tobias: The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
Pass. Not nearly as good as the last book on investing I read.
Pamela Walker Laird: Pull : Networking and Success since Benjamin Franklin
100 pages into it I got the point -- no such thing as self-made man, it's all about connections. The history is mildly interesting, but not worth the investment. Pass.
David Foster Wallace: Consider the Lobster : And Other Essays
As always, very excellent. See my formal book review.
Rough Guides: The Rough Guide to First-Time Around the World
Loaded with helpful travel tips and regional profiles.
David Sedaris: Me Talk Pretty One Day
Always hilarious...though I think "Dress Your Family" was better than this one.
Richard A. Posner: Sex and Reason
Too dense, a let-down because Posner is usually quite good.
Shunryu Suzuki: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
A good, quick, casual how-to on Zen meditation.
Seamus Deane: Reading in the Dark : A Novel
Wonderful Irish novel packed with meaning and mystery. "Reading in the dark" is the kind of terrific paradox that defines this novel.
Barbara Ehrenreich: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
A fun, witty, and depressing look at America's underclass. See my post.
Benjamin M. Friedman: The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth
A powerful thesis: economic growth is morally good. See my quick post here.
Sean Wilsey: Oh the Glory of It All
An entertaining portrait of San Francisco high social life, but also not entirely accurate.
Edna O'Brien: The House of Splendid Isolation : A Novel
Famous Irish writer....but not very good. Pass.
Michael Veseth: Globaloney : Unraveling the Myths of Globalization
Challenges the common rhetoric of pro or anti globalization. See my review.
Harold Gould Henderson: An Introduction to Haiku: An Anthology of Poems and Poets from Basho to Shiki
A quick overview and good examples. See my ode to haiku.
James Joyce: Dubliners : Text and Criticism
A book assigned for a class but a classic and well worth the read.
Michael Harrington: The Other America
A classic, but far too leftist for me and way too thin on *solutions*. Sadly, though, the poverty problems true in the 1970s are still true today.
Jean Baudrillard: America
A supposed classic but not enough beef for me.
Ron Suskind: A Hope in the Unseen : An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League
A moving, inspiring (and depressing) story. See my post.
American Society of Magazine Editor: The Best American Magazine Writing 2004 (Best American Magazine Writing)
Good set of award winning essays. See my post.
Steven Pinker: The Blank Slate : The Modern Denial of Human Nature
The most influential book I read in 2005. See my long post.
Arthur Plotnik: Spunk & Bite : A writer's guide to punchier, more engaging language & style
Some good tips along the way. Quick read.
J. Brooks Dann: Anecdotal: A Novel
A breezy novel about an SF dot-comer. I made it halfway. Not the best writing.
Juan Enriquez: The Untied States of America : Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future
Fun facts, data points, and quotes, but no serious intellectual framework. See post.
Brenda Ueland: If You Want to Write : A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
Some cute sections, but I got the point after 30 pages. Better for creative writing types.
Steve Cone: Steal These Ideas!: Marketing Secrets That Will Make You a Star
Virtually nothing new in this one. There are much better resources on marketing.
Antonio Damasio: Descartes' Error : Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain
It argues that emotion is essential to rational decision making. Contrary to popular belief! Good for those steeped in neurobiology.
Louise Erdrich: Love Medicine
Required reading and it sucked. Don't read it.
Jhumpa Lahiri: Interpreter of Maladies
Great short stories about India and America.
Stephen L. Carter: Civility
I love Stephen Carter, and his previous book Integrity, but this book fell short...It's just Carter's view of what's right and what's wrong in the world of manners and etiquette.
Wayne McVicker: Starting Something : An Entrepreneurs Tale of Control, Confrontation Corporate Culture
Another entrepreneurial memoir to give me ideas as I write my own...A fun story.
William Faulkner: As I Lay Dying
A classic. Difficult read, though, because of the multi perspectives. Shows the range of emotions people have around death.
Martha Stout: The Sociopath Next Door
A mildly interesting book that makes one very simple point: 1 in 25 Americans are sociopaths, and that explains a lot of nutty behavior.
Edmund S. Morgan: Benjamin Franklin
A fascinating man, but not as much on his personality as I would have liked. There are probably better biographies.
Kate Chopin: The Awakening
A necessary read for my English class. Some intriguing feminist themes...
Dalai Lama: The Universe in a Single Atom : The Convergence of Science and Spirituality
An excellent book on why science and Buddhism should be able to co-exist.
Huston Smith: The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions
The most authoritative and accessible read on the world's religions. Highly recommended.
Pankaj Mishra: An End to Suffering : The Buddha in the World
An overlylong journey of Buddha's life. I think there are more powerful works out there...
Jerry Kaplan: Startup : A Silicon Valley Adventure
A 10 year old book but helpful to see how Kaplan tells a compelling entrepreneurial story as I write my own book...
Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
Obviously a classic but I didn't take to it very much...
Richard Nisbett: The Geography of Thought : How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why
An excellent book that shows how Asians and Westerners think differently. See my brief review.
Sigmund Freud: An Outline of Psycho-Analysis
An excellent introduction to Freudian thought.
Rene J. Cappon: Associated Press Guide to Newswriting
Journalists only...for tips on newswriting.
Daniel Quinn: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
A readable novel about a teacher and pupil; the pupil discovers that humans are destroying the earth. See my review.
David Allen: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Good reminders on practical productivity strategies. See my quick review.
Richard N. Haass: The Opportunity: America's Moment to Alter History's Course
Weak in both its scholarly rigor and imaginative insights. Pass.
David J. Rothkopf: Running The World: the Inside Story of the National Security Council and the ARchitects of American Power
A must-read book for anyone interested in US foreign policy. See my lengthy formal book review.
Avinash K. Dixit: Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life
A mildly interesting book mostly covering game theory. A bit dated.
Erving Goffman: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
A classic sociology book - see my post.
Anne Lamott: Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
A book filled with wise words of wisdom and gentle reflections on life. Probably appeals more to the gal than guy.
Jonathan Lear: Aristotle : The Desire to Understand
Some interesting passages but still too esoteric for me, who's interested in philosophy but still searching for a very basic intro!
Mary Roach: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
An occassionally funny and very weird book that I never really got in to. If you like humorous spins on otherwise deathly topics - literally - check this out.
Kevin Phillips: Wealth and Democracy : A Political History of the American Rich
A good read for the historically inclined, but a bit of a slog. See this post.
Stephen L. Carter: Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby
A must-read, see my formal book review.
A. J. Jacobs: The Know-It-All : One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
Mildly interesting but too tiresome to make it through the whole book. Skip.
Stuart Woods: Two-Dollar Bill
Your classic trashy detective novel - a fun read.
Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
A best seller for a reason - a fun book that's a quick read.
Jon Krakauer: Under the Banner of Heaven : A Story of Violent Faith
A fantastic book for anyone interested in religion, extremism, Utah/Mormonism, or excellent literary nonfiction.
Roger McNamee: The New Normal : Great Opportunities in a Time of Great Risk
Nothing new and not very entertaining to read. Skip it.
Tobias Wolff: Old School
A good novel about an elite prep school.....requires some knowledge of American classical literature.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life (Masterminds Series)
A good follow up for fans of Flow; mostly the same but great reminders.
John Zagula: The Marketing Playbook: Five Battle-Tested Plays for Capturing and Keeping the Lead in Any Market
An excellent, instructive read for anyone involved in start up marketing.
Shinichi Yano: New Lanchester Strategy: Sales and Marketing Strategy for the Weak (New Lanchester Strategy)
I expected a lot more, so pretty dissapointing. Pass on this one.
Michael Hammer: The Agenda : What Every Business Must Do to Dominate the Decade
Nothing very original; pass on this one.
Robert G. Cooper: Winning at New Products: Accelerating the Process from Idea to Launch
Nothing too new, but some helpful reminders. See my post.
Constance E. Bagley: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law
A must-read reference book or early primer to the complex world of business law.
Bob Laird: The Case for Affirmative Action in University Admissions
Relevant for Californians only...not as much a "case" as a compilation of quotes from local papers. There are better books on the topic.
Robert D. Richardson Jr.: Emerson: The Mind on Fire
A nice biography of one of the country's most influential intellectuals. See my post.
Tim Tyson: Blood Done Sign My Name : A True Story
A passioniate story about a racist town in North Carolina during the Civil Rights era. If you're a history buff, read it. If not, skip.
Robert Boynton: The New New Journalism : Conversations with America's Best Nonfiction Writers on Their Craft
An instructional read for the aspiring journalist. See my post.
David Foster Wallace: A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again : Essays and Arguments
Highly reccomended - see my post.
Peter F. Drucker: The Effective Executive
A classic management book that simply must be read by all executives.
David A. Kaplan: The Silicon Boys : And Their Valley of Dreams
Terrible; dated and boring.
David Sedaris: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
A must-read book that makes the utterly mundane original and funny.
James Surowiecki: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations
A tremendously interesting collection of anecdotes and behavioral economics lessons. Highly reccomended.
Michael Shermer: Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time
A mildly interesting intellectual dismissmal of the crazy people of the world. A shorter, article-version of this book would be better.
Michael T. Kaufman: Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire
An excellent biography that sheds light into one of the most influential private citizens in the world.
David Callahan: The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead
Eye-opening examples of integrity lapses and good points about rampant cheating in America, but few realistic solutions offered.
Harvey Cox: When Jesus Came to Harvard : Making Moral Choices Today
Interesting tidbits on moral choices based on a class at Harvard but not worth the buy.
Dahlia Lithwick: Me v. Everybody : Absurd Contracts for an Absurd World
Hilarious - see my review.
Eric Liu: The Accidental Asian : Notes of a Native Speaker (Vintage)
An interesting if repetitive read on what it means to be Asian - or any race for that matter. A stark contrast in tone from Race Matters.
Cornel West: Race Matters
One of the seminal books on race in America. Academic prose but thought provoking ideas.
Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity
A great collection of essays - especially the Strategy Letters.
Michael Wilkinson: The Secrets of Facilitation: The S.M.A.R.T. Guide to Getting Results With Groups
A quick, informative read on excellent facilitation techniques.
Seth Mnookin: Hard News : The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media
A riveting account of the Jayson Blair scandal, but shallow on analysis. See my post here.
Robert Sullivan: The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City
A fun read if you're into urban naturalism; otherwise, skip it.
Lawrence Lessig: Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity
A powerful, provocative book that is required reading for anyone thinking about the digital media space and the law/IP.
Keith Ferrazzi: Never Eat Alone : And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
A good networking guide for the serious businessperson.
Stephen Jay Gould: The Mismeasure of Man
I needed to read this just so I can say I have - it's a classic when it comes to Darwinism, so interesting in that respect.
Michael E. Porter: Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries...
I'd read enough summaries to get the gist, but nice to see the source text for itself. Read the first 100 pages only.
Joan Didion: Slouching Towards Bethlehem : Essays
If you're from California, a great read.
Mark Haddon: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Vintage Contemporaries)
An eccentric novel about an austic kid. Interesting, but I couldn't make it all the way through.
Tom Atlee: The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
An interesting read if you like dialogue and deliberation stuff and are interested in democratic experiments going down abroad.
Sara Nelson: So Many Books, So Little Time : A Year of Passionate Reading
Thought it could be an interesting premise, turned out to be a bore.
Gary Erickson: Raising the Bar : Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar, Inc.
A great first person account of the story behind Clif Bar. You'll like it especially if you are an outdoors person.
Frans Johansson: The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts, and Cultures
A solid book based around a straightforward premise; quick read.
Steven Johnson: Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
Obviously, everyone has read this so not much new to report. It met its expectations for me decently.
Steven Johnson: Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life
Excellent - see my commentary here.
Thomas Sowell: A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles
An interesting political theory book...but pretty repetitive. See longer review here.
John Sandford: The Hanged Man's Song
A novel about a hacking group, FBI agents, and the like. The end becomes captivating, but I'm sure there are better mystery novels out there.
Arinna Weisman: The Beginner's Guide to Insight Meditation
A good starter's guide for one branch of Buddhism.
William Poundstone: How Would You Move Mount Fuji? Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle - How the World's Smartest Company Selects the Most Creative Thinkers
A fun and insightful book; reccomended for anyone in the high-tech job interviewing world (as employer or interviewee).
Paul Graham: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
If you like Graham's online writing, then you will enjoy this compilation of essays.
Steven Pinker: The Language Instinct : How the Mind Creates Language (Perennial Classics)
Boring writing, few interesting insights on the wonders of language.
Keith Yamashita: Unstuck: A tool for Yourself, Your Team , and Your World
A quick workbook for trying to get "unstuck" from a biz situation. Only get this if you're willing to write in the book.
Mark Katz: Clinton & Me: A Real Life Political Comedy
Hilarious and highly reccomended for anyone interested in laughing and politics.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Reccomended if you want to better understand how and why you get in the "flow" and time flies.
John Lusk: The MouseDriver Chronicles: The True-Life Adventures of Two First-Time Entrepreneurs
A fantastic read and required reading for any entrepreneur.
John Wooden: Wooden
A must-read for any player or coach involved in team sports.
Jim Lehrer: The Special Prisoner
Lean prose allows for a quick, captivating novel on a WWII prisoner...and murderer.
Neil Howe: Millennials Rising : The Next Great Generation (Vintage)
A breezy and relentlessly upbeat portrait of the "Millenial" generation. Only check this out if you are part of it!
J. M. Coetzee: Disgrace
A well written novel about a perverse professor in South Africa and race relations. Clear prose.
Michael A. Cusumano: The Business of Software : What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad
Decent but not enough meat on strategy to make it worthwhile to read cover to cover.
Rolf Jensen: The Dream Society: How the Coming Shift from Information to Imagination Will Transform Your Business
An interesting premise but I didn't find enougn new here to warrant the read.
Katherine Ketcham: Beyond the Influence: Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism
I wanted to arm myself to better help friends and those in need; a good starting point for understanding this disease.
George R. Stewart: Earth Abides
Bad book; it was required reading for a class.
Michael Pollan: The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
Decent book, interesting as it's from "plants view" of the strange human/plant relationship.
H. Keith Melton: The Spy's Guide: Office Espionage
I read this for some humor reading...obviously most of this stuff is a) illegal or b) unethical. Nonetheless, there are some funny examples of the CIA and KGB.
Seth Godin: Free Prize Inside: The Next Big Marketing Idea
One of the better marketing books I've read. A lot of cool ideas.
Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner
An excellent novel and highly reccomended.
Ben Mezrich: Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
Enjoyable and quick about some genius college kids - especially good if you are into the whole poker/blackjack world...which I am not.
Clayton M. Christensen: The Innovator's Dilemma
I finally got to this classic...But I think I need to re-read to fully grasp all the concepts. I almost fell to sleep during the history of the disk drive chapter.
Geoffrey Nunberg: Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Controversial Times
Each chapter is a few pages and is a compilation of Nunberg's NPR and NYTimes commentaries. Some very interesting sections but on the whole I wish there was more cohesion.
Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code
There's a reason why this is #1. But the first 200 pages are far better than the last 200.
Ben Cathers: Conversations With Teen Entrepreneurs: Success Secrets of the Younger Generation
Very short with some interviews with young entrepreneurs. Mildly interesting. I know Ben and support his writing endeavors!
Alistair Cockburn: Agile Software Development
Didn't find much new here; I hear the SCRUM book is much better if you're trying to get up to speed on Agile software dev.
Michael Lewis: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
A quick, fun book but you do need to be a baseball fan to fully appreciate his examples.
Dan Hill: Body of Truth : Leveraging What Consumers Can't or Won't Say
If you're a marketing or branding person, and interested in applying science/behavorial research to your efforts, this book will be useful. Focuses on the fact that consumers buy primarily from emotion, not rationale, and such decision is made within 3 seconds of considering offer.
Bill George: Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value
There are much better books on Leadership. Despite its critical acclaim, I did not find much new here.
Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything
I'll tell you what this book fundamentally says to spare you having to read all 700 odd pages: the planet and solar system is a very very very big place.
Richard A. Posner: Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy
A thick, academic read. If you're interested in democracy and its legal and philosophical twists, this is for you.
Marc Benioff: Compassionate Capitalism: How Corporations Can Make Doing Good an Integral Part of Doing Well
An insightful book if you're looking to integrate philanthropy but don't know where to start.