Books Read in February 2015

I read a few more books this month - partly because I started participating in Goodreads and found a challenge group...

The Relationship Edge in Business by Jerry Acuff

The book does have useful detailed tips, if you want a breakdown of ways to foster your business relationships. So it delivers on what it promises with some useful stories of the advice in action. But overall, it was still just ok.

Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern by Todd J. McCaffrey

This book is only worthwhile if you really like Pern. But assuming that's the case, it was great to see the different aspects of authors and fans who had worked with and lived lives influenced by Anne McCaffrey, especially since I recognized many of the names. I was glad for the glimpses I got by reading it.

Centaur of the Crime by Michael Angel

Really enjoyable read. The idea of a scientifically oriented mind in a fantasy world isn't new, but the way it was brought to life was great. The mystery unfolded in ways that surprised me but did have clues in place so it made sense that Dayna solved it.

Along Came a Demon by Linda Welch

Amusing light read with a couple decent twists. Felt more like a romance than a mystery. Won't bother with the sequels.

Science Friction by Michael Shermer

This collection of essays was somewhat uneven, at least to my personal taste. Some I really liked, some I just pushed through, I'm glad I read it though.

Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon by Richard Roberts

Still so much fun. I love the hurtling pace and the complexity of being heroes and villains at the same time. This book had greater depth to the motivations of the people around the three main characters and they grew too, as they should. It did feel a little odd that the nature of the story changed so much from the intro to the main action, but it was a grand adventure.

An Unlikely Safari Guide by Ella Craine

Detailed and funny bits about experiences as a safari guide. Ella has a clear voice and point of view and by looking at parts of Africa through her eyes I love them as much as she does, at least for a few moments.

A Scream of Angels by Joseph Nassise

I wanted to keep reading to see what happened, to find the answers to the bigger and smaller mysteries raised at the beginning. The religious-themed supernatural elements are well used in creating the story. I could do without some of the weapons detail and such, but I accept that as part of the book leaning more towards the military thriller genre. I appreciate there's a little character development, even in the middle of the adventure, and a sweeping story arc that began in book 1 and is going to continue onward. And I'll be getting that book to read too.

Brothers of the Dragon by Robin Wayne Bailey

Interesting world crossing novel. I liked it well enough to give it three stars but am still deciding if I'll continue the trilogy or not. I found the brothers distinctive and the way they became involved (and were partly already involved) in the new world they'd interested to be well done.

The Wide Lens by Ron Adner

Very good presentation of how to think about the ecosystem outside of an individual company that surrounds making an innovation successful. Clear writing and good illustrative stories.

Books Read Second Half 2014

For the first time in years, I actually didn't track what I was reading for some months. I also didn't read nearly as much as I did during various six months periods before this so it's not all that much of a loss to my records. My "to read" shelves have been getting more and more full in the meantime...

Onward to 2015!

Books Read in June and July 2014

R&D is War by Clifford Spiro

I loved this book. It was familiar in some ways, as I've been in R&D, and in some ways new because it included such great stories from someone who knew how to tell them.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The foundation of this story was a delightful setting of Cinderella in a science fiction world where she is cyborg, the prince is a person in his own right, and there's a lot of intrigue going on. The story doesn't fully wrap up in this book - no happy ending yet - but revelations and the beginning of a quest.

Bug Music by David Rothenberg

I would have never imagined this book could exist if I hadn't seen it. It's a whole text on the sounds that cicadas and crickets and such make, and how they are rhythmic and, in a way, music in their own right. Also how some musicians create music inspired by insects, based on manipulating their soundforms, and one memorable story of how the author once played alto sax while covered in cicadas.

You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen

She goes over details and broad sweeps of how men and women are different in conversation. One of the biggest was report talk versus rapport talked. And yet, in some ways my husband and I are backwards from the typical, but it was still very interesting to reread and pull closer to the front of my mind.

The Box by Marc Levinson

Amazing concept - that the development of container shipping changed business, manufacturing, and the geographic distribution of wealth across the world. The book itself is a series of historical stories that describe parts of how this happened and the actions of the main players in the shift. I enjoyed it very much.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock and Watson were my companions at lunch time for a couple months as I read through the whole collection story by story. I've been watching the BBC tv series so it was interesting to notice some of the parts they picked up and some of the parts that they changed.

Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner

The book described a nice model for facing the future. I can see why it resonates with some people. I just wasn't one of them.

Fangs for the Mammaries edited by Esther Friesner

Amusing short stories of vampires in suburbia.

Books Read in May 2014

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

I enjoyed this mind-stretching book, although it was a little like stretching in that I didn't really remember it afterwards. People do some weird things.

Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

The book took the interesting stories of Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics and pulled lessons from them, to make it easier to look for other counterintuitive elements and think differently. I enjoyed it but it didn't stand out in my memory.

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

This book and its approach to the philosophy of success impressed me. I definitely want to read the book. I'm also now interested in reading some of the classic stoic texts.

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles deLint

Really sweet modern, yet timeless, fairytale that is beautifully illustrated by Charles Vess. And I got the book because I met the author, one of my favorites, and the artist at a Fairy Festival at Sproutwood near to home.

Pitch Perfect by Bill McGowan and Alisa Bowman

A good selection of perspectives on how to communicate more effectively. 

How to Think on Your Feet by Cherie Kerr

The book was worth a read, but I won't be keeping it and think I got more out of Pitch Perfect.

Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work edited by Jack Canfield and others

Like all the others in this series, it was full of inspirational little stories.

Stupid Science by Leland Gregory

Funny, itty bitty science related stories. Amusing.

The Next Level by Scott Eblin

The book is intended more for the manager rising to an executive position, so the advice isn't currently relevant. But I still enjoyed seeing the presence and people skills I'd like to reach at some point.

Taekwondo by Bill and Katie Pottle

After earning my white belt black stripe I wanted to start learning more about the martial art and sport and this was the most accessible book to me. It was a solid introduction and I was glad to read it.