books, october 2007

It’s been a while since I did a book’s I’ve read update. And really, the reason I do it is to ensure I don’t go out and buy doubles, because I do have a pile of “books I want to read”. Maybe I should use LibraryThing (USD$25, lifetime) or AllConsuming (free, integrates with 43things, etc.). But its nothing like walking into a physical bookstore, and whipping out your phone, and hitting the blog, to do a search ;)

  • The Google Story – David A. Vise – an amazing read, about a company that started in a university. Lots of gems, not that I didn’t already know most of them, but still, useful. Explaining 20% time, Google hacks, even a recipe from the chef, just gives you a good idea of the whole Google family.
  • NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)… The new art and science of getting what you want – Dr. Harry Alder – I liked this book, but I felt it was filled with too much theory. It isn’t until past halfway through that you learn to control the situation. I think it could have focused on a more howto-styled approach, to ensure that the reader finds no hassle controlling their next subject!
  • The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell – great book, I only wish I’d read it earlier. Crossing the threshold is most interesting, differentiating between connectors/mavens/salesmen, how exceptional people start epidemics, stickyness factors, and so much more. I’d encourage anyone attempting to build up a community or work with an OSS community to read this.
  • The Undercover Economist – Tim Harford – I love reading about economics, and this book continued fuelling my interest. I think to technology folk, what’s most interesting is how Tim put in words, how most technology nowadays is so easy to create/replicate, and since there’s a lack of scarcity, these companies move/fold quickly. There’s more to the book than just those three pages, I’d recommend this highly (in fact, I got a copy for Giuseppe in Heidelberg for just this purpose – he book-swapped with me, I got the God Delusion, which I haven’t read yet).
  • Founders At Work – Jessica Livingston – Excellent read. About companies you use currently. Or used (there have been some deaths, or sites that lost out the scarcity war). A must read, because Jessica gets into the founders’ heads.
  • Bella Tuscany – Frances Mayes – wanting to complete my reading interest in all things Frances Mayes, I just had to read this. And its only made me want to go to Tuscany a lot more (from what I hear, its filled with foreign tourists and not Italians nowadays, because of her books – I’m told Sardinia might be a better bet :P)
  • The Year of Yes – Maria Headley – A girl from a small town in the US, moves to New York, and says “yes” to all manner of men that ask her out on dates. For a whole year. She found a partner in the end, which I found kinda ironic (but I guess this is what fairytales are made of). It left me asking the question: why would a 21-year old girl do this? Was the sole purpose to write about it?
  • English as a Second F*cking Language – Sterling Johnson – While English is my first language (and realistically, my only language that I can read/write/converse fluently in), this book was too hard to not pick up. Saw this in a bookstore in Germany, and boy is it funny. Teaches you all the stuff you really shouldn’t use, but hey, its humorous!