Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Back of the Napkin, by Dan Roam

The notion of this book is to explain how to use simple pictures to solve problems and communicate ideas.

It is a compelling idea, especially because so many business presentations are a boring collection of bullet points (text). A problem exacerbated by poor presentation technique in which the speaker reads the text to the audience. Yawn.

So beyond the use of images as a problem solving technique, I was interested in the use of images as a showing / explaining / selling technique. The book covers both topics well.

But it isn't simple. Or at least not easy. The SQVID notion, for example, is clear: if you want to show a topic, consider if its visualization should be Simple (vs elaborate), Quality (vs quantity), Vision (vs execution), Individual (vs comparative), and Change (vs as-is).

Bottom line: some great ideas for brainstorming, approaching complex problem solving and presenting things. But I will have to have this book at my side as a guide to walk through the techniques for at least the first few times I do this. And I'm not sure that, under the pressure of deadlines, I'll have the fortitude to look at the guidance instead of just pushing forward, seat of pants, to a delivery.

We'll see.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Step by Step, by Bertie Bowman

I heard about this book from an NPR broadcast. It is outstanding reading. I highly recommend it: very well written, interesting, and with several strong messages that will, I expect, benefit any reader.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Wolfman, by Nicholas Pekearo

This was a fabulous book: well written, great and unusual plot, wonderful characters. Sad that Mr. Pekearo perished in the line of duty in his role as an auxiliary NYPD officer.

Kildar (2), by John Ringo

I liked the prior book for Saturday morning procrastinating chores by reading something silly, so tried this one. It is identical, stylistically, to it's predecessor.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Marching Season, by Daniel Silva

Silva's books are all suspenseful, interesting and well written. This is one of his earlier novels, that I'd not read before. It was true to form.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kildar, by John Ringo

This is junk fiction - that is to say, extremely easy reading, no complexity whatsoever. A step above drivel, but hardly literature.

Perfect then for a quick Saturday read.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Breaking Dawn, by Stephanie Meyer

Well finally, the last in the series. Perhaps the best written of Meyer's books, it mostly felt good to get it over with and end the sequence.