Books Read in November 2012

Transient

Top Recommendation:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

A fantastic mingling of science, scientists, people, and social issues. Rebecca was an expert at weaving the different story lines together. I learned a lot from this book, both about cells and people, and enjoyed doing it. I highly recommend it.

More Read This Month:

Business Books:

The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

I found this very good, but the first time I read it I was left somewhat confused as to the point while kind of lost in a haze of goodness. A second review didn't help much. There were moments of clarity - the IMPACT equation model, the examples where each aspect of a company was evaluated by the model, specific areas where checklists were provided. There were great stories, too, of course.  But it was more like swimming in the ocean than going from point A to point B. Even so, I found it inspiring, and worthwhile.

You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt

This was very good. As she herself says, there is nothing surprising here, but it is told through the lens of her experiences and priorities, and she had a very interesting one. 

Managing Expectations by Naomi Karten

Excellent book about making sure you're doing what your customers need and communicating with them about it effectively. I'll also be applying the principles easily to internal corporate relationships.

Design Like Apple by John Edson

The book delivers on the promise of its title very clearly, breaking out and explaining key points similar to those I've seen in articles, etc. Unfortunately, I've never owned an Apple product in my life and so it didn't speak to me in the same way it would to a devoted fan. 

Backfire by Peter Burrows

I'd read Carly Fiorina's autobiography and was intrigued, but when I looked for background what I saw was a lot of controversy, so I decided to read this book as well for more context. It was a good story by itself and a good exercise on mental perspective. I don't know what conclusion to draw and don't feel the need to develop one.

Lies, Bribes, and Peril by Ron Cruse

What a great collection of stories from someone who was doing international business in unusual places earlier than many others. He doesn't pull out the takeaway points. But they are repeated across multiple stories. Primarily they deal with such things as the subtleties of "accomodation", understanding that local logic can be waaaay different, and that backup plans are good things. The number one thing to understand is that being there matters to business deals in ways that make the cost and complexity of the travel worthwhile.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

I enjoyed the read and could see why many people find it inspiring and useful. It wasn't what I'm after right now in my life, but I'll keep it in mind for if that changes.

Art Books:

Drawing: A Contemporary Approach 4th edition by Claudia Betti and Telli Sale

This is a textbook and reads like one, but it was interesting to see the possibilities and discipline from that point of view instead of the freer approach in the popular art books I've read. 

Acrylic Innovation by Nancy Reyner

It was very interesting to both see what other contemporary artists were doing with the medium, read the suggested exercises and resource lists, and generally look at possibilities. It worked pretty well on my Kindle Fire, too, although I would have preferred the paper version if I hadn't been taking advantage of my free book a month from the Prime Library.

Fiction:

Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey

I read this one mainly because I enjoy the world of elemental mages. It lived up to the odd pacing issues mentioned in its Amazon reviews and I'm glad I didn't pay full price.

Drawn by Marie Lamba

Innocently sweet young adult paranormal time travel mystery romance.

Graphic Novels:

The Stand: the graphic novel in six parts based on the book by Stephen King - Vol 1 - Captain Trips; Vol 2 - American Nightmares; Vol 3 - Soul Survivors; Vol 4 - Hardcases; Vol 5 - No Man's Land; Vol 6 - The Night Has Come

It's been a long time since I read the actual novel so I can't say how the adaptation relates to it. I did find the stories in the graphic novels compelling. Each volume was tied together so you don't need to read them all in a row like I did. The art style was both appealing and appropriate. The dead bodies, especially those from sickness, were extremely gross and disgusting, but it was fitting.