Books Read in September 2009

Club Dead and Dead to the World and Dead as a Doornail and Definitely Dead and All Together Dead and From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

Yes, I have this problem in STOPPING when I find a series I like. I started enjoying them more when I didn't have two conflicting stories (TV and book) going on in my head. In Club Dead Eric really shone and Sookie was fantastic. From Dead to Worse was a bit disjointed, as some others had complained, but it really wrapped some things up in Sookie's life and I appreciated its existence. There is a ninth book in hardback but I'll wait to read it until I find a library copy or it comes to paperback, especially as there is quite a divided opinion on if it's any good.

Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath

There are some specialized aspects about looking at a business from the point of view of someone in a large corporation and Jill goes over these in a very helpful way. I recognized some of the points she made from the work I do, athough I hadn't thought of them that way. I'll be rereading this one again for my own biz later. If you're interested in the book, make sure you also go check out her blog.

Fall of Light by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

The premise of this novel intrigued me and it lightly linked to others she's written in the same universe. It kind of wandered. There was some build up of tension but it never really hit a high point, it just kind of circled around into an odd sort of resolution. Perhaps that's more like life, where the Big Scene never comes, but it was odd to see it here. I enjoyed the novel, but wouldn't recommend picking it up unless you're already a fan.

To Engineer is Human by Henry Petroski

I didn't think the title really fit, even though he connected it via an analogy at the beginning of the book. The subtitle of "The Role of Failure in Successful Design" means a lot more to me. The stories were interesting and enough to make the point - often brought up in current innovation books - that we learn more from failure and we need to do so effectively, plus I always like Petroski's writing style.

Stop Second-Guessing Yourself -- The Toddler Years by Jen Singer

A delightful little book on parenting toddlers including what to expect and tips and stories from the author and others. Just enough information to confirm what I already thought I knew.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

It could have been shorter. But at least he was clear and methodical with the way he used the length of the book, leading you through his chain of logic in a way that inspired belief. It's a great example at looking at a problem from a different point of view and supporting a systems view with facts.

Dragon's Winter by Elizabeth Lynn

I spent a chunk of this book feeling like I'd read another similar one and it wasn't until I got all the way to the end that I realized I'd read its sequel a few years back. The book itself was pleasant and had a few interesting concepts, but the style of the plot progression was disjointed and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it unless you're a shapechanger buff.

How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will Too by Sal Severe

The concept is fantastic - that your behavior provides the framework for the way your child will react to you. I actually had read his first book - How to Behave so Your Child Will Too - a couple years ago just for the personal development aspect of it and was glad to get a refresher geared towards younger children like mine. I've implemented a couple of the techniques and may return for more as AJ gets older.

BusinessSpeak by Suzette Haden Elgin

I'd read the orginal flagship book, The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, previously and it was helpful to see the principles illustrated in a business setting. The author wrote variation on variation of the concept and really any of them will give you the basic ideas.

One of the more intriguing ideas for me was when someone says "If you really cared about this project, then you would do X" is that X is a trap. It's not what needs to be discussed. The response that will get you the most mileage is something along the lines of "When did you start thinking I didn't care about this project."

All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin

My second time reading this book and once again worthwhile. I hate stretching the nuances of words, but, as he says, All Marketers are Storytellers wouldn't have had quite the same pizzazz. MORE I really should just buy a copy when I feel like reading it the third time around instead of borrowing it from the library again.

On the Nightstand:

The Art of Project Management