Taking A Read On 2014

We just wrapped up our ‘Taking a Read on 2014’ webinar.

As always, we had a good deal of fun with it. If you weren’t able to join us live, then you can view the recording here:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/114968429 width=600]

2014 was a  good year for reading for me. While I didn’t keep track (and usually don’t) I managed to do a lot more reading during the year, for business and for pleasure. Although for all the books that I have read, there are many, many more waiting in the wings for my attention. I will also be writing more about the books I read as I work through them, so be sure to check this space for more updates as we get into 2015.

We got a number of requests to list the books mentioned in the webinar, so I’ve taken the time to list them below.

Peter’s books were:

  • Peopleware, by Tom de Marco and Timothy Lister. This is a wonderful classic, and I’m glad Peter included it here. It was an incredible source of information for me early in my career, and as I built up my company, it influenced me in many ways, particularly in the design of our offices.
  • The Sense of Style, by Steven Pinker. An interesting one that I’ll be checking out on how we think about writing and communicating.
  • Making Comics, by Scott McCloud. A beautiful-looking exploration of how comics are developed, that is particularly relevant for anyone that tells stories for a living.

My books were:

  • Value Proposition Design, by Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda and Alan Smith. A deceptively simply structure to evaluating and testing how to deliver value from your products and services.
  • The Clockwork Muse, by Eviatar Zerubavel. A simple and practical way of thinking about tackling a large writing project, that helped me to navigate the writing of my thesis.
  • My, Myself and Us, by Brian R. Little. A brilliant new exploration of the science and theoretical development of personality, and how it is influenced by not just our genes and our environment, but also the personal projects that we take on.

As well, we also mentioned a couple of additional ones during the webinar itself, and a few more have come to mind that you may also want to check out that are inspired by our discussions:

  • Business Model Generation, by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. This is the first book by the group that developed Value Proposition Design.
  • The Stuff of Thought, by Steven Pinker. This was a riff off of one of Peter’s books, and includes a great chapter on the nature and purpose of swearing.
  • Cubed, by Nikil Saval. A recommendation from a colleague that tuned into the webinar, inspired by our discussion of Peopleware.
  • The Art of Explanation, by Lee LeFever. This one came to mind while we were talking about Making Comics. A great discussion of how to better and more simply endeavour to explain complex ideas.

Thanks again for joining us on the journey through our reading year. Best wishes for the new year. We hope you read lots of fabulous books in he year to come.

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