Tuesday, January 19

Paper and words.

I currently have three books on the go. I am normally an advocate of taking the one-at-a-time approach to reading, but the pile of books beside my bed has been growing for the past months or two, and I now need to play catch up. 

Right now I have these three on the go:

book #1: The Fountainhead.
author: Ayan Rand
what the deal with it is: It's a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of those themes, along with the amazing stroke of Rand's writing, combine to give this book its enduring influence.
why I am reading it: my cousin Melda suggested it to me, and she has yet to let me know down with a bad one. 

booked #2: Good to Great.
author: Jim Collins
what the deal with it is: aims to describe how companies transition from being average companies to great companies and how companies can fail to make the transition. "Greatness" is defined as financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period of time. Collins finds the main factor for achieving the transition to be a narrow focusing of the company’s resources on their field of competence.
why I am reading it: the big boss men at work are reading it, I hear it referenced on a daily basis, I figured I should probably check it out and get into the loop. Boss men, if you are reading this... sorry for referring to you as boss men. 

book #3 : Cluetrain Mainfesto: the end of business as usual. 
authors: Rick LevineChristopher LockeDoc Searls, and David Weinberger
what the deal with it is: Single paragraph (basically) gives a summary- "A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies."
why I am reading it: 1) was suggested by a client, 2) given to me at Christmas by my boss, 3) and its relevant to the industry I am working in. 


  1. Make it a four way and add 'Youth in Revolt' by C.D. Payne into that mix. It was a book before the movie. It's not a movie book.

  2. The book's protagonist is Nicholas "Nick" Twisp, a 14-year-old boy of above-average intelligence. His life continues like a normal teenager's with his best friend Leroy, a.k.a. Lefty, and his divorced parents George and Estelle. His mother is dating a truck driver named Jerry, who sells a group of sailors a Chevy Nova that dies soon after the sailors get it. In response, the sailors go for revenge. After outsmarting them, Jerry strategically decides to take a vacation, so they all go to a religious mobile home camp.
    It is there that Nick meets Sheridan "Sheeni" Saunders and his life is turned completely upside down. Through plots to get Sheeni closer to him he ends up with several crimes on his hands and is forced to run from the cops. He tricks everyone into thinking he went to India, thereby escaping the police. Nick hides out with his sister Joanie and returns with help from his friend in Ukiah, Frank "Fuzzy" DeFalco. He dresses in Fuzzy's late grandmother's clothes, adopting the name Carlotta and a conservative disposition, so that Nick may enter the public. As he does so, he befriends Sheeni and several other people who Nick knew before. While spending the night with Sheeni on Christmas Eve, she reveals to him that she knew from the beginning it was him, not Carlotta. He then gets "the best Christmas present a youth could receive," starting a secret relationship with Sheeni.

    etc. etc.

  3. It's about 500 pages long and I finished it in 4 days. I couldn't put it down.