Books Read in July 2012

Stack of Books Read in July 2012

Top Recommendations:

The Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas

The first thing that struck me was the elegant language. The whole book was proof that you can be precise and discuss scientific concepts (with the long words, too)  without being dry or academic. The essays were beautiful and step by step reached from the smallest cell, through animal and human behavior, to the cell that is the earth.

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

Wow. This personal story of the white man in the Jim Crow era who medically turned his skin dark enough to pass as negro in the South so as to better describe what it was like there was compelling. Just as good were the parts appended onto the original manuscript which talked about the results from the publishing of the book. 

Other Books Read Last Month:

First Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Interesting and I could see why it's considered a modern classic, but don't really have anything to add to all that's been said before.

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

I liked the concept of weather mages being a dominant force protecting humanity from a malevolant planet and then the story ended up being good too. I'll try the next book in the series.

National Geographic Angry Birds Space by Amy Briggs

Okay, so all the birds added was a cuteness factor, but it was still amusing. The small book was in the classic National Geographic style, beautiful and easy to understand.

Essential People Skills for Project Managers by Steven W. Flannes and Ginger Levin

This was clear, concise, and informative. It's very obviously a book written for training purpose and it does its job well, but doesn't have any soul beyond the minimum needed to cover the topic.

Art Making, Collections, and Obsessions by Lynne Perrella

I enjoyed perusing the images and essays on the thoughts of various established mixed media artists, but didn't really come up with anything to keep. It was a nice trip into other's private worlds.

Building on the Promise of Diversity by R. Roosevelt Thomas

Basically this book elaborated on a single premise - that diversity includes more than race - it involves any difference in background, personality, or approach - and ALWAYS creates tension. So the author, a black man (and yes, I feel this is relevant to mention considering the topic) discusses history, corporate policies, ways to handle tension, and how he focuses on turning it all into business results not just political correct talk.

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford

An interesting philosophical journey in being able to work with your hands, not just for a profession, but also to simply fix things. The author is very well qualified, having gone both the route of trade and academic education in alternation. Some of the things he talked about regarding the intuition of experience really struck me. I want to think about these ideas some more.

Sketchbook Confidential edited by North Light Books

More than the collections book, I enjoyed seeing how different artists used sketchbooks, or just sketches, since not all were in books. Some were really loose, others careful plans. Some drew every day, others in spots. Some did little oil painting sketches. It expanded my idea of what might be worthwhile.