Books Read in August 2012


Curation Nation by Steven Rosenbaum

I've been thinking about curation in regards to how to handle my started and, umm, stalled materials science blog and because it's a big topic lately. Rosenbaum gave some really interesting context and ideas. 

Minifigure Customization by Jared K. Burks

This is pretty cool. I'd wondered how the custom minifigures were created after visiting Brickfair so I bought this book. There's printing slide on decals. And then there's paints and dyes. Clays and silicone molds. I'm not sure I'll ever get into this part of the Lego hobby but I'll definitely have a strong starting point from a knowledgeable source if I do.

Cybermancy and CodeSpell by Kelly McCullough

Number 2 and 3 in this series mashing Greek mythology and computer hacking were just as much fun as the first one. Fun might be a bit of an exaggeration as they're not light in theme. There's a lot of power and control and pain, but the main character (Raven or Ravirn depending on who you ask) is very easy to identify with and cheer for. He kind of reminds me of Vlad Taltos from Brust's Jhereg novels, actually.

Brainsteering by Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne

This was another book about asking the right questions, but this time the goal is to generate breakthrough ideas. It resonated enough that I'll be going over it again. It made me feel like I could really improve that ideation skill which is not my strong point because it used something that I can do well - combine and iterate.

Preparing CEOs for Success: What I Wish I Knew by Leslie W. Braksick and James S. Hillgren

While this book was meant to be more for potential upcoming CEOs than curious bystanders, it proved an interesting window into a world only a few people are a part of, since it was based on collections of interviews of actual CEOs of large companies. 

Pushing to the Front by Orison Swett Marsden

Great personal improvement book by the founder of SUCCESS magazine. It's older, of course, from 1911, but it holds up well in most places. The story after story and quote after quote were appealing additions to the general principles. I was pleasantly surprised by the early condemnation of tobacco (although one of the negatives is baldness...) and also by the inclusion of both genders, including the idea that married women should not retreat and become smaller.

The Dolphins of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

I had this on my bookshelf and thought I'd read it, but apparently not. I loved the interaction of the enhanced dolphins with the humans of Pern when they had not talked for hundreds of years. It was neat to see the characters I'd seen in other books move in and out of the story as well.

Carl von Clausewitz's On War by Andrew Holmes and Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings  by Leo Gough

I've appreciated these modern, business themed interpretations of classics, even though the reviews complain that it's not clear they are summaries and take-offs, not the original texts. No  ideas particularly stand out. They were more the absorb as you can type.

How to Be Like Women of Influence by Pat Williams, Michael Mink, and Ruth Williams

Good collection of twenty stories of amazing women. I had been familiar with all the names, but knew the details of less than half. I was especially impressed with Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton.

What Got You Here Won't Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter

I'd heard about this book multiple times and was somewhat dubious about getting it because I didn't feel like I'd gotten to the "here" yet of the book's title. I'm still not at the management level it's geared for., but I enjoyed reading it. I wasn't particularly surprised by the 5-6 of the 20 bad workplace habits that I could identify with and I'm glad I read the book now because the sooner I work at canceling them out the better it will be for me.

The Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

I thought this would take me a long time to read because it's thick but I just immersed myself in it over a few days and suddenly it was over. I really enjoyed it (especially since there was lots of Mat Cauthon, my favorite character) but I am so ready for this series to be over with book 14 in January.