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The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
A third of the way through this book, I was afraid that it would be nothing more than another "here's how to present information graphically: you have ...more
not set
Nov 22, 2008
Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It
I remember when, in 2007, Larry Lessig, trailblazer and articulate champion of the movement for balanced copyright, announced he was retiring from the ...more
Feb 04, 2012
Feb 03, 2012
Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!
Interesting glimpses of the screenwriting industry, even if the style is sometimes aggressively informal to the point of excess.
The test screenings w
Jan 2012
Jan 01, 2012
A Framework for Understanding Poverty
Awesome. Easy to understand and immediately useful. WIN.

Some key points to remember:
1. Poverty is relative. If everyone around you has similar circums
May 08, 2013
May 28, 2013
The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media
Newspapers (now broadened to "the media") influence public opinion and the course of political affairs. This deft little book tells the story of media ...more
Dec 12, 2011
Dec 11, 2011
Younger Next Year: A Guide to Living Like 50 Until You're 80 and Beyond
I read this book on the recommendation of Neil Gaiman, which has probably triggered a measurable spike in sales of the book. (Not from me, though--I b ...more
May 10, 2011
May 09, 2011
Book: A Futurist's Manifesto
This is, as the subtitle promises, a book of essays. Consequently there’s no central theme: essayists explore the future of the book from the vantage ...more
Mar 30, 2013
Mar 29, 2013
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China
I've been reading the last few months, but struggling to find something worth saying about the books I've read. This excellent book, however, moved me ...more
Nov 03, 2012
Nov 03, 2012
Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking
My god, I am totally immune to the Philosophy of Mind. In both this, and "Who Am I? And If So, How Many?", I dropped out after a promising start once ...more
May 27, 2013
Jul 13, 2013
What Does China Think?
I'm used to superficial business books about China, and to be honest I thought that's what this was. But no, it proved to be more substantial and inte ...more
not set
Nov 12, 2010
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts
This is a book about fonts: their history, their production, their character, their use. I know, it sounds like it should be painful. So imagine my su ...more
Nov 10, 2011
Nov 16, 2011
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School
In northern climes they are wont, I am told, to leap from sauna to snow and back again. That is exactly what reading this book felt like. On the one h ...more
Mar 11, 2012
Mar 12, 2012
The Best Practice: How the New Quality Movement is Transforming Medicine
A horrifying yet hopeful book, which I guess is the inevitable pairing of emotions when you deal with insititutional quality. Hospitals are typically ...more
Dec 20, 2008
Dec 20, 2008
Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation
Wins, made of wins. The essay appreciating Werner Herzog left me colder than cold, but every other one was a winner. His writing style is beautiful an ...more
May 04, 2013
May 03, 2013
Art & Adventure of Beekeeping
Sweet and gentle book by a sweet and gentle man who really loves his bees. Even if you don't plan to raise bees, you'll be so impressed by his love of ...more
Feb 20, 2008
Feb 22, 2008
The Humble Little Condom: A History
This is a deeply deeply irritating book, and a disappointment. By rights, it should have been an interesting book: take a titillating topic, scour his ...more
Nov 20, 2010
Nov 12, 2010
Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate
Recommended by Cory Doctorow. I abandoned this for more exciting material: I was fascinated by the conundrum of signalling in the criminal world, but ...more
not set
Jul 13, 2013
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
An easy-to-read book that talks about what makes messages "sticky" (memorable). Draws from urban legends, good teachers, management, and marketing. It ...more
Jun 12, 2008
Jun 11, 2008
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible
It's hard to remember, at the end of a book, what you were thinking when you started it. I suspect I picked this up because its title promised a light ...more
Sep 11, 2011
Sep 11, 2011
Ethics: A Very Short Introduction
I read this book to get ideas for how to apply ethics to technological questions. I'm further along that path, but with more questions than answers. I ...more
Jul 08, 2010
Jul 08, 2010
The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire
Matt Taibbi writes like a wave breaks, a continuous chaotic turbulent line of prose that explodes and foams but carries you along, thrusts you ahead u ...more
Mar 23, 2011
Feb 02, 2011
Wer bin ich – und wenn ja, wie viele?
Begins with an excellent summary of neuroscience history, but lost me when it ventured into philosophy. I need to HTFU and grow some interest here, bu ...more
Apr 28, 2013
Jul 13, 2013
An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers
An interesting collection of sketches and commentary from artists, but I realized that I would probably have been more satisfied by a collection that ...more
Jan 29, 2011
Feb 01, 2011
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Not a great book, but the message is one everyone should read and absorb. Namely, achievement depends on mindset that accomplishment comes from effort ...more
Dec 2007
Jan 07, 2008
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
I picked up a hodgepodge of communications techniques from my parents, who went through 70s Personal Effectiveness Training and similar courses. This ...more
Aug 16, 2008
Aug 16, 2008
The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning on the Tuned-Out Child
I know intellectually that I'm supposed to motivate kids to learn, but there's never been any clarity before. This wonderful book makes it clear what ...more
May 09, 2009
May 09, 2009
The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
The best way to appreciate poetry, Stephen Fry maintains, is to attempt to write it. So he takes us on a quick trip through the different technical el ...more
Mar 2008
Mar 16, 2008
The Big Questions: Tackling the Problems of Philosophy with Ideas from Mathematics, Economics and Physics
Philosophy and economics ands physics and math and ... finding lots to disagree with and lots to think about.

Abandoned because reading his conclusions
Oct 31, 2010
Aug 28, 2010
Ulysses Annotated
Great if you want to understand a lot of the subsurface games or even just the craft. For example, the opening words can be parsed multiple ways ("Sta ...more
not set
Jan 09, 2008
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
Too grim for me to finish. Well written and often funny, but I tire of the remorseless relentless exposure of the cultural grime and grit.
Aug 05, 2008
Jul 29, 2008
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