Sunday Book Review: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book touching on quality using a great story telling and philosophy. I was weary at first. I had picked up the book a decade or so ago and read the first chapter and got distracted. This time I was completely enthralled. I think I was in a better mental place to be open to a different approach telling about great ideas. This book and style isn’t for everyone. Those that can appreciate a great story with a strong opinion on life will love it. Highly recommend for software engineers and product people.

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Sunday Book Review: Software for Your Head by Jim McCarthy

Software for Your Head: Core Protocols for Creating and Maintaining Shared VisionSoftware for Your Head: Core Protocols for Creating and Maintaining Shared Vision by Jim McCarthy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is rare that a book changes your life. This book is one of those books. I learned about the Core Protocols at an Open Space Agile conference in Portland. I brought some of the ideas to the team I was working on at the time. They fell by the wayside and then a few years later I tried them with a new team. They quickly became a key set of guiding principles for communication in my work and in my life in general. This is a must read for anyone working on teams or in a marriage.

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Sunday Book Review: My Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy by Nancy Cartwright

My Life as a 10-Year-Old BoyMy Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy by Nancy Cartwright

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ay Caramba! Bart is voiced by a girl! Nancy is a riot. The audiobook is narrated by Nancy herself which makes it a joy to cruise through. The best part is Nancy talks about being a professional and what it takes to make it. Voice work is hard work. Growing up when the Simpsons first aired as shorts on Tracy Ullman it is easy to forget animated primetime series didn’t exist before the Simpsons. Nancy gives a view into how the Simpsons have evolved over time and how they got their start. It makes me want to learn more about James Brooks. In addition to being the executive producer and a writer for the Simpsons, James was responsible for Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda and Taxi.

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Sunday Book Review: I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works by Nick Bilton

I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively DisruptedI Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anyone doing technology for a living will probably find little new in this book that they don’t live and observe everyday. For those that feel overwhelmed by technology and the culture of the Internet this is probably a good primer to help get up to speed. Nick is humorous and the book very readable. This is a good book for businesses, organizations and institutions that are struggling to adapt to the new economy way of thinking.

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Sunday Book Review: What To Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godin

What To Do When It's Your Turn (and it's always your turn)What To Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I generally dig Seth Godin, but often feel that his works are just compilations of quotes and ideas re-packaged for easier consumption. I have come to respect that more and more. This book is no different, but it seems more powerful than normal. Specifically, it lends itself by calling for generosity. Seth builds that into the purchasing of the book itself.

I loved Notice, dream, connect, do. We fail to notice because we’re busy keeping busy. We fail to dream because dreaming implies that we have to take a risk to realize our dream. We fail to connect because we might get rejected. And we fail to do because we haven’t noticed, we haven’t dreamed, and we haven’t connected.

Equally compelling is this call to action. Avoid certainty. Pick yourself. Postpone gratification. Seek joy. Embrace generosity. Dance with fear. Be paranoid about mediocrity. See the world as it is. Be the boss of you.

Just a sample of the type of wonderful nuggets you will find within.

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Sunday Book Review: Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow

Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet AgeInformation Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always loved Doctorow, but have never read any of his longer works. While nearly all the information presented here was not new to me, it was still fantastic as Cory has a way of explaining things while keeping a passion and humorous tone. As a strong supporter of the Free Software Foundation and the EFF this book speaks my love language. Doctorow tackles many common issues swirling in the media around technology that are nebulous to those outside the industry. If you want to understand the world of tomorrow. Cory paints a vivid picture for you.

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Sunday Book Review: Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Dad Is FatDad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I like Jim’s stand up routine. He makes me laugh. The book was funny, but not the same level as his stand up bit. A nice change of pace book, but a bit of celebrity navel gazing in the sense that other than learning about Gaffigan the book doesn’t have a ton of value. There were some good bits o learning here and there, between laughs.

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Sunday Book Review: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk by Al Ries

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own RiskThe 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk by Al Ries

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Super quick read, loaded with goodies on marketing. Such a reminder about focus and positioning. Simple principles that are difficult to implement, but very powerful. If you are launching products to market this is a great fast track towards success in marketing. Some of the examples in the book are getting long in the tooth, but the principles still as relevant as ever.

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AZTALK : Abolish the Death Penalty

AZTALK : DO YOU WANT ARIZONA TO FOLLOW NEBRASKA’S LEAD AND ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY?

Yes.  While some inmates are likely beyond reform and should never again see the light of day, killing as just punishment for killing isn’t the solution.   Additionally, new techniques and evidence can surface that may change the outcome of previous convictions.  Not allowing those to play out could unduly condemn an innocent life.

Sunday Book Review: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True InspirationCreativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some great stuff on creativity in here. Ed is clearly a visionary that gets people. The best for me was the journey of Pixar. They were not an “overnight” success. Even with Steve Jobs they had a difficult time finding themselves, yet in the end they prevailed. It gave a good picture of what Steve Jobs was like and what Disney animation studios were like before the acquisition. This is a must read for anyone wanting to unlock creativity or build a business.

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