This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Books read in 2009

I know this list was supposed to be published some time last week, but I was on holidays and not too interested in sitting down with this list.  Besides, the list itself was sitting on the computer I left at home...  This list seems short, so I am sure there are books I've left out unintentionally.  I would like to enjoy more books in 2010, but I don't know if I will reach one a week, as some people are planning.

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. This is a classic of the business literature, and I was glad to have finally read it.  I had been planning to read it long enough that I had two copies.  My review

Disruptive Ideas by Leandro Herrero. Another enjoyable book by Leandro Herrero with a different twist on how to think about running your business.  My review.

Discworld books by Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites, Mort, Sourcery, The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic. Terry Pratchett's series of wacky fantasy books, based on a world in the shape of a giant disc, carried on the back of four space elephants, who are carried on top of a giant space tortoise.  I've known about these for a long time, but I only just started reading them.  These are a great candidate for boosting those reading numbers - they read very fast.

Essays on the Theory of Constraints by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. An old set of essays on TOC, but they provided me some insights that I hadn't gotten previously.  My review.

Fool: A Novel by Christopher Moore. This was a great, though bawdy, take on Shakespeare's King Lear.  Particularly if you know the story, this is a fun take on it from the Fool's perspective.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! by Seth Grahame-Smith (and Jane Austen). In conjunction with Fool, this one was another great read and mash-up of a classic and some new take on things.  And how can you not like zombies?

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Another well-written book by Malcolm Gladwell, this time talking about how the ecosystem around people are just as important to their success as their own drive and initiative.  My review.

Passion at Work: Blogging Practices of Knowledge Workers PhD thesis by Lilia Efimova. I have known Lilia for as long as I have been blogging, and many of her ideas synchronize with my thoughts about knowledge management, blogging and community.  Her thesis is a great synthesis of these ideas, and points in some directions for future research. My review.

Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World from the three-volume Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. I received this set of massive books for Father's Day, and blasted through them over the next couple months.   Stephenson does a great job with historical fiction, based around the 17th Century in England, France (and the larger scene in Europe), and the New World.

Supply Chain Management at Warp Speed: Integrating the System from End to End by Eli Schragenheim, Bill Dettmer, and J. Wayne Patterson. Another TOC-related book, taking off on the earlier book on Manufacturing at Warp Speed, this one talks about how to apply the latest Theory of Constraints knowledge to the supply chain.  My review.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. A book club pick, even though I didn't join the discussion of the book.  It was frustrating at the outset, but I have reflected on the novel as I read current events that relate to the Dominican Republic.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. This was a great read, reflecting on a difficult year that Joan Didion spent after the death of her husband and the ongoing serious illness of their daughter.

Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family by Patricia Volk. I connected Stuffed and Magical Thinking in time, and they were both memoirs of people in New York City.  Stuffed was a fun and interesting look into a family that had a lot to do with the development of delicatessens (at least as told by Ms. Volk).

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife. This was a great telling of the development of number theory as it has to do with the number Zero.  Zero was a philosophical and religious issue until fairly recently.  Amazing.

A TV Guide to Life by Jeff Alexander. Jeff is a friend of ours and has been writing at Velcrometer and other places for a while.  A TV Guide to Life is a hilarious look at what life could / should be if all the lessons of television were true.  Most babies would be delivered in elevators which have gotten stuck between floors, for example.  (I may have read this in 2008, but I wanted to give Jeff another plug.)

Cost focus costs too much

They are making us do it