Books Read in March 2012

The Magazine Writer's Handbook by Franklynn Peterson

This was very interesting, although parts of it seemed a bit dated. The biggest takeaway for me was that magazine features are NOT the same as journalistic pieces. They laid out some structural notes which I immediately went and checked in the magazines I read. And, yep, they were valid. 

Power Listening by Bernard Ferrari

This wasn't quite what I expected when I bought it. There's some information about how to listen and how to avoid common traps, but at least half of it is more about how to ask questions to get the information to be revealed that you need to be listening to.

Carl von Clausewitz's On War by Andrew Holmes

I never tried to read the original and now I don't feel I need to. The author did a great job of putting an original concept into context, translating it to business, and providing a suggestion for action. It's interesting and easily digested.

Blah Blah Blah by Dan Roam

I love how he evolved his ideas further from The Back of the Napkin to make the tools more useful. It basically boils down to use a word, draw a picture but the book is about how to more effectively use that idea.

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

Wow. This makes me feel like I could actually write a work of fiction because I have a grasp of the necessary structure on which to apply the art and imagination. He bases his ideas off of his own writing and resources on screenwriting and they make a lot of sense to me. Very analytical, but also written for the seat of the pants writer who just hasn't had success yet.

Frost Moon by Anthony Francis

Surprisingly good. I love the magic tied into the tattos. I love the combination of spunk and fragility in the main character. I'm definitely getting the next one.

Up, Down, and Sideways by Mark Sanborn

I happened to be listening to a SUCCESS magazine interview with the author on the way to the airport and thought I should try the book out. When I opened up my Kindle I realized I'd picked it up when it was free. Cool. Now, I didn't get much new from the book that wasn't in the hour long interview, but either way the ideas were great. He focuses on the daily activities that will provide confidence in all economic conditions, not the same level of prosperity necessarily, but confidence.

The Secret Life of Dust by Hannah Holmes

This was almost entirely new information for me and absolutely fascinating. The book was dense with description and with story and I learned a great deal. Fantastic popular science book.

The Lark and the Wren by Mercedes Lackey

An enjoyable re-read. I always liked Rune's journey and desire to learn and play. I did try to move into the sequels and just lost interest, so they'll be going away.

The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker

In a way this was two books. The first part was about listening to the small cues and accepting when they tell you to be afraid. It gave some specific things to look for as well and ways that predators try to get to you. But the second part was more about things he'd seen, still on topic, but not as practically useful. If you haven't been exposed to these ideas, the book is definitely worth a read for the perspective it will give you. 

The Education of Vision edited by Georgy Kepes

I've been fascinated by the idea of this series of six books since I stumbled across it. Actually reading them is a harder slog than I'd originally anticipated! There were a few interesting ideas, but it's going to take another read throguh to extract them, which I won't be doing until I've gone through the whole set one time first.

What the Plus by Guy Kawasaki

A fun guide to the Google Plus social network, more useful for the average user than Brogan's, which was more geared to the business mind. I especially enjoyed how the book took advantage of the digital format with color screen captures and active links.