Books Read in February 2012

Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson

I tried to read this one when I was a teenager and ended up not getting far. I found Thomas annoying and the rape just stopped me dead. I never intended to pick it up again.

But I'd gotten a leather copy back when we were getting the Fantasy series from Easton Press. So I picked it up again to see if I wanted to sell it or keep it.

Being 35 definitely changed my view of the main character. I can feel his pain and the shades of grey and doubt involved in him struggling to understand his own life as a leper and then his immersion in the high fantasy world that he's charged with trying to save.

I will not be returning to this world, but I'm glad I read this one.

The Circle of Innovation by Tom Peters

It was kind of strange to read a book with this much typographic variety. I remember trying some years ago and putting it aside as too frustrating, but this time I enjoyed it. I can only imagine what his presentations must be like in person when his enthusiasm jumps out of a written page. The information was interesting and had some good ideas also.

The Language of Cells by Spencer Nadler

The essays are more about people and how they react to their health and less about the cells themselves, but the science is woven in and it's more than I had known before.

Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford

Cure and light story of if Jane Austen was living among us, a vampire, and still trying to get her last book published.

Painter's Wild Workshop by Lynn Leon Loscutoff

For a book that looked very organized, this one definitely had a chaotic and disorganized feel to it. I enjoyed reading the creativity bits and workshop ideas but have better books.

Today Matters by John C. Maxwell

I've enjoyed a number of his personal development books and always pick up something good. This one, focusing on what small things you can do on a given day and why that is important, was no exception.

Strange Circumstances by Marshall J. Stephens, David Chrisley, Weston Kincade

I bought this book because one of my friends is one of the authors. It was amusing and lived up to its description of exploring boundaries and throwing in twists but many of the stories felt unfinished somehow. It might have been a genre thing.

Color Drawing Workshop by Bet Borgeson

Some interesting and detailed thoughts on working with colored pencils. I especially liked the bits on color blending and developing interesting backgrounds.

Little Teal Book of Trust by Jeffrey Gitomer

Clear, easy to read, and with good action steps and stories, like his others in the color book series. As long as you've read one other book on trust in business, it will all be very familiar. If you haven't read any, this would be a good one to pick up.

How to Be a Writer by Barbara Baig

This was a fantastic book with practical ideas on using practice and freewriting to increase writing skills. It felt kind of like a week long workshop in a book.

Nefertiti by Nick Drake

Very immersive mystery from the point of view of a detective in ancient Egypt. That the main character was writing a journal instead of just speaking in first person without explanation was a bit awkward, even though it was integrated in the plot, but the fascinating detail Drake included and the strength of the overall plot more than made up for it.

Georgiana's Darcy Diary and Pemberley to Waterloo by Anna Elliott

Sweet sequels to Pride and Prejudice. The first person diary style is very unaffected and natural here. The stories develop well.

Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

A re-read of how to change when change is hard in preparation for writing some blog posts on this absolutely fantastic book.

How to Unspoil Your Child Fast by Richard Bromfield

This book focused on setting expectations and calmly removing privileges when they were violated. I don't think my daughter is spoiled, but she certainly expects to get her own way and sometimes shows a bit of attitude when she doesn't, so some of the ideas he presents will be relevant.

The Gauntlet Assassin by L .J. Sellers

Surprisingly riveting. The near sci-fi future feels very plausible and the mystery overlaid on what could be standard competition story keeps things moving. There are two story lines that move in parallel for much of the book. The characters in both are attracting, if not always attractive. The tension of wondering how they are related is well done, as is their gradual merging and eventual full explanation as the story ends.

Insights from Remarkable Business People by FT Press

Decent collection of short business essays. Nohting particularly stood out.