Books Read in June 2010

Heroics for Beginners by John Moore

Why on earth did this book spend so long on my "to read" shelf? I picked it up one day, finished it the next, and chuckled at manipulation of fantasy story stereotypes of characters who were keenly aware of them and even capitalized some of them for emphasis. I think my favorite was that the only way to escape the Evil Overlord's fortress was through the gift shop... The plot and characters were nice too, of course, but they weren't what made the book fun for me.

Get Seen by Steve Garfield

I can only sort of claim I read this book because there was a lot more skimming going on. It's very much geared towards people ready to get going and needing careful details on how to actually carry out doing video, although it seems to be a great resource for that. I did enjoy the interviews with people who are using video.

The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams

What a convulated, layered, and detailed imagining of Faerie with a classic Hero's Journey embedded in it. Although that journey is a bit messier and more confused than they often tend to be. I enjoyed the book, but it's very long and I'll not be reading it twice.

Outside Innovation by Patricia B. Seybold

This in-depth coverage of using people outside your company to help create and improve on your products was intriguing. I'd known about open-source software, but hadn't realized how much Lego fans had contributed to the development of their robotic models. I was especially glad to read a b2b chemical industry study, since that's where my greatest interest lies.

The Collection by Gioia Diliberto

This was one of the novels I picked up for a window into another time and place. The story was told with a light hand, although it touched on some experiences that weren't as pleasant. I appreciated how much importance could be put on a dress and its stitches due to my own hobbies.

Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckworth

The philosophy here really hit me and I'll be keeping this one around to review later. I'd read about how we were selling experiences, not products, in other places, but there was a lot more to the book than that. Although it was published in 1997 I still found the ideas compelling and relevant. I especially enjoyed the section on the eighteen fallacies of planning. 

Ideas that Changed the World by Felipe Fernandez Arnesto

I enjoyed this history of the world told in ideas and blogged about it. It was fun to read something that was so visual as well. Each double page spread described one idea, with images, call-out boxes for details, and recommendations for additional reading.

Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned, Lunatic Cafe, Bloody Bones, and The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

Another set of re-reads. I have all but the last few books in the series (now at 16) and these are the first six. They change in nature as time goes on, becoming more adult and more about supernatural politics, but at the beginning they're more mysteries. It was interesting to be reminded of how Anita was at the beginning. And, of course, they were fun to read.

I started them up again because I'd read the recent graphic novel version of Guilty Pleasures and was curious as to how close it was to the original. It's almost an exact map. I think the drawing style is a little too pretty and pointy and could have stood to be a bit grittier, but enjoyed it anyway.

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

I'd heard good things about this book and am glad I finally got around to reading it. What impressed me the most was how seemingly effortlessly Gerstner provided the context for all he discussed, even for someone (like me) who didn't really have the background of the whole mainframe/PC thing. I enjoyed the story and hearing about a transformation like this from the man who'd directed it. I liked his attitude and approach. Although, wow, I wasn't expecting so much controversy when I skimmed the reviews on Amazon!

On the Nightstand:

Product Development, The Invention of Air, Purpose

Sidenote:

Halfway through the year I have read 72 books. About a dozen were fast fiction rereads.