July was my most prolific month in a while because I resolved to finish
three books that had been half-read for quite a while.
Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby by Sandi
Metz. This book is
insanely highly rated online and came highly recommended by a friend. I agree with those
positive reviews. While the examples
are in Ruby, I think there’s enough generic information that everyone
could learn something from this book. I really like how thorough and
fair the book is in consistently describing advantages and disadvantages.
Stein on Writing by Sol
Stein. I’ve now read a few books about how
to write well, and this one is my favorite. Classic writing advice is to
“show, don’t tell” but this is the only book with examples at how to
follow through with that advice. I was inspired by numerous before and
On Writing by Stephen King.
Stephen King is such a good writer! There are a lot of good lessons in
the book, although I’ve read most of them elsewhere. That said, it was good to get King’s perspective on
each, including show don’t tell, keep dialogue realistic, and edit
relentlessly. Plus, this book led me to Stein on Writing, which had more
Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering by Robin Law.
There was a lot of good information here, but I preferred the Sly Flourish guide that I read a few months ago. There’s room for both, but Sly Flourish feels like an updated version of Robin’s Laws.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen
Covey. A nice
refresher on some things that I needed to relearn. The seven habits are
(1) Be Proactive, (2) Begin with the End in Mind, (3) Put First Things
First, (4) Think Win-Win, (5) Seek First to Understand, Then to be
Understood, (6) Synergize, and (7) Sharpen the Saw. I think 3 and 7
resonated most with the current me. Covey conveys a refreshing message of hope
through his “abundance mentality” and suggests that you live a life of
integrity. Here’s to being more effective!
Rich Dad Poor
Interesting ideas and well written. I respect that a rich person is
willing to reveal his secrets, like incorporating to avoid paying taxes.
At times it was off-putting as he sounded like a heartless asshole (for example,
saying that more money won’t help people so it’s okay to pay them low
wages) but it is fascinating to read how a rich person views the
The Warded Man by Peter
Brett. In a world where
demons attack at night, the world needs a hero—and they get him. This
was an entertaining fantasy tale. The first book did not feel as deep as Wheel of Time or
A Song of Fire and Ice or Kingkiller Chronicles, although I expect the
characters would grow into their own as the story unfolds.
Quiet by Susan
Cain. Introverts are taking over the world! Quiet is
a good book that tells you it is okay to not go out every night.
The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family by Patrick
Lencioni is a management consultant and business writer who teaches with
entertaining fables. I gave this book a shot because I previously read and enjoyed The Five Temptations of a
where management lessons unfold on a late-night train ride. It was a quick read that was overall
worthwhile (though I would not spend $15 on it). The premise is simple: apply tried-and-true business tactics
to your family and reap the rewards. Not to spoil it for you, but the
three questions are (1) What makes us unique? (2) What’s our top priority
right now? (3) How will we achieve our goals? Pretty easy in theory,
though I suspect that answering these questions and keeping up to date
with the priorities is challenging.