Books Read in September 2010

The Art of Connecting by Claire Raines and Lara Ewing

This was a great book because it made practical the general and well-known idea of finding common ground to connect with even very different people. Chapter Two about the core principles struck me the most strongly. They won't mean too much without the explanations but they are: There's always a bridge, curiosity is key, what you assume is what you get, each individual is a culture, and no strings attached. If you're not a natural connector and you want to be better, then this book is well worth picking up.

Chaos by James Gleich

I love this popular science book and its ideas. I first read it in high-school, about the time I was taking a quantum mechanics semester elective (yes, I went to a magnet school), and loved the poetry behind the mental puzzles of the more rigorous classwork. I want to pull some of the concepts into Inventing Elephants at some point.

Red Hood's Revenge by Jim C. Hines

The third in a great fantasy series involving twists on fairy tales. A bit edgier than some and with more adventure but not actually dark in nature. 

The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore

I've heard the concept embedded into current marketing classes I've taken - that as the economy changes people will pay more for experience and it is in that arena that companies can escape commoditization. It's been about a decade since the book came out and the message is still relevant but the promise of it has not been fulfilled.  It was worth immersing myself in the idea by reading the book.

More than Petticoats: Remarkable Massachusetts Women by Lura Rogers Slavey

Interesting short biographies in a slim volume. I was most impressed by two I'd never heard of: an excellent navigator named Eleanor Creesy and an astronomer and teacher named Maria Mitchell. Apparently this is only one in a series that goes state by state.

The Think Big Manifesto by Michael Port

The book was smaller than I expected, but it didn't need to be any larger. It was powerful and I need to read it again to actually compare the ideas to possible actions.

On the nightstand: Nothing really... I have a different plan for October