"Outside of a dog, books are man's best friend. Inside of a dog it is
far too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
I read - a lot. Somewhere around two books a week for fifty years. Some of the books are worth mentioning. I'll add to the list below as I read more and as I remember books from the past and choose to use the time to add them to the list. The links are sponsored, but if something catches your eye feel free to borrow it from the library or buy them at a garage sale. You could even borrow it from a friend. I think it was Rochefoucauld who said - "People are so unreliable. If it wasn't for books I have borrowed I would have nothing left in my library."
"Amanda Ripley, a longtime TIME Magazine contributor, writes about human
behavior, risk and education reform, among other things. Her book, The
Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why, is the
first major book to explain how the brain works in disasters — and how
we can learn to do better. It has been published in 15 countries." - TheUnthinkable.com
I feel more informed to make safer choices than a week ago or at least understand better exactly why I fell short of the right response.
Read July 2010
My Old Man & the Sea was co-authored by David Hays and, his father, Daniel. It is a compelling account of the construction of their 25 foot un-powered sailboat and their subsequent 17,000 mile sea voyage. They traveled from Connecticut, down the east coast, through the Panama canal and around South America back home to Connecticut.
On Whale Island is the story of David, his wife and stepson spending a year on an island off Canada's east coast when the money from the best selling book (above) ran out. I found it a little annoying for some of its typos and incorrect technical details ("hydrochloric acid" boiling up out of storage batteries, etc.). Not a buy recommendation, but a borrow and enjoy it for its good bits recommendation.
Working Alone has been a boon for me in doing the construction of our shop/studio both last year and the year before. I found it very helpful with lots of good, practical suggestions for the solo builder. He advises which things you don't want to try on your own, as well.
If you are a serious, experienced contractor with years of experience you probably know all this stuff and the book is not for you.
However, if you are a former weekend wood worker who needs some advice on building a retirement project while everyone else is working during the week this book could prove useful.
The Dukan Diet is a book that I hope to be able to say "changed my life". If my daughter's concerns over high protein diets prove well-founded then maybe it could kill me. I don't think so, obviously, but what do I know?
This Doug Hall book paid for itself the first time I used it. Get it or one of the more current Doug Hall offerings if you want to market your small business. It really helps you focus on what you are selling and why somebody should consider buying it. If you don't know that, you are probably undermining your efforts. Perhaps you are working hard, but working against yourself.
Someone once said that "everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to make the trip". Randy Alcorn's book is said to give a pretty good account of what heaven is like. I'll let you know. I mean, I'll let you know what I think of the book. It comes highly recommended by someone who reads almost no books and by my by-far-better-half who read it based on that advice. It is on my summer reading list.
When Juanita saw the title of this book she rightly pointed out that I hardly needed advice in that department. It does offer on its, at times highly profane, pages ideas that could encourage one in the independence necessary for creative work and the cartoons produce the odd guffaw.
It was an order-fluffer added to get free shipping on a book order.
If swearing offends you don't read this. That said, its premise is another commentary on the Biblical admonition not to fear man (or his opinions). The Bible doesn't say not to fear women, but I digress.
Don't read much Stephen King, but this book is a fascinating account of the process of writing, both from an autobiograhical viewpoint as well as a look at the practice of some prolific writers of the past, including one author who penned (literally) two lengthy novels a year writing before he went to work each day at 8 A.M.
History that reads like a spy thriller. John Tyler gave me this book this spring. It is a fascinating account of the Yom Kippur war in 1972, how close the Israelis came to losing it and how they didn't. Hard to put done. Juanita has read it and enjoyed it as much as I did. It will get passed on when we go to the coast.
Read this book in March 2010. It is the least compelling of Malcolm Gladwell's book I have read. That said, it is pretty good. Malcolm has collected his most interesting of New Yorker articles from over the years and compiled them. They hold together pretty well and the pages turn pretty easily except when you stop to think about what he has written.
Although Malcolm Gladwell wrote "Tipping Point" first I read if after reading "Blink". It is a most interesting read, thought-provoking and informative, but falls just short of stunning in comparison to "Blink".
Did you know that if your child is born in December he has almost no chance of becoming an NHL hockey player? That and other facts are explained in this Malcom Gladwell thought provoking work. An interesting companion read is Talent Is Overrated
The subtitle of Drive is "The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us". And it was surprising to read some of the author's conclusions and the research that they were based on. There are situations when rewarding people acts as a demotivator! This flies in the face of Michael LeBeouf in his modestly titled "GMP: The Greatest Management Principle in the World" and Aubrey Daniels in Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Apply the Astonishing Power of Positive Reinforcement and his Skinnerian approach.
It offers excellent advice on how to structure work practices and rewards for maximum effectiveness. It also has helpful advice for motivation in your personal life. It tells you how to structure your diet and exercise programs to leverage the power of intrinsic rewards (those rewards that come from inside or from the task itself) versus extrinsic rewards (rewards from outside the task). It explains why we can use the goal of a class reunion or an upcoming wedding to lose weight, but that external forces like that are not enough to keep the weight off and what to do about that. Read April 2010.
The book has summary sections so you can read it in summary format as well as the whole thing. Could be a real time saver.
Bill Bryson's humorous account of him and another overweight out-of-shape middle-aged man walking the Appalachian Trail. I bought as an e-book and have read it twice through as well as numerous excerpts aloud to bore/entertain fellow passengers on road trips. The first Bill Bryson book of several I have read and clearly my favourite.
While I don't share the world view of A
Short History of Nearly Everything its descriptions of the infighting and treachery and egos involved in past "scientific" debate put the current nonsense over man-made global warming in perspective.