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…and now a word from our real life…

Bibliosaurus is taking holiday for the remainder of 2012. They say “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” But everything has its limit. You can bet I will continue to devour others’ books and make my comments. Later. Just now I have collected galaxies of astronomy work, sudden new work in new scientific […]

book: The Checklist Manifesto

True confession: Years ago, new pilot’s license in pocket, I was above the Gulf haze layer, flying myself home from the Redneck Riviera (Destin, Florida), but first needed a quick stop for fuel and, um, other necessities. I careened down to La Grange, Georgia’s airport amongst the trees, topped off both wing tanks, listened to […]

book: Thinking Fast and Slow, review part 2

…and this is Part 2, in which I have to bring up a serious problem with this otherwise highly worthy book. Let’s dive right in, but first let’s agree to be fair about this. Very few have accepted the daunting challenge of sorting out people’s various stupidities, or merely vagaries, or even their minor idiosyncrasies. […]

book: Thinking Fast and Slow, review part 1

A very good book; would have been a great book but for one mid-course breakdown. 400+ pages of (what unfortunately isn’t) common sense and worth the effort, even accelerating from start to finish. An enthralling and varied road trip across the continent of Kahneman’s career at the crossroads of economics and psychology, which recently won […]

book: The Theory That Would Not Die

I’ve postponed this review for a month because, well, it’s a bad book. I spent time and effort to be certain of this–re-reading for unforgivably smug and fatuous tone, checking my many notes for the author’s obvious mistakes, and worst of all finding nearly every page of this book crammed with evidence of her utterly […]

3 quickie reviews

Lighter fare from the holidays: CD: Emblem, Amethystium: Velvet technofunk as invented by some lost, ancient, marbled Mediterranean culture–the isle of Lesbos, perhaps. Moves along at IQ about 230 (which is to say, Ryan Farish without all that brain damage). Alien, inscrutable. At moments, quite wonderful. Movie: Children of Men: Somehow emerges in toto as […]

miniseries: “House of Cards”

And just in time for the holidays, in we go for a deliciously guilty pleasure, this BBC trilogy–and above all Ian Richardson in the role of a lifetime, not only career-defining but for my money genre-defining. As Francis Urquhart–“FU” to press, colleagues, and enemies alike–the amiable and devious mid-level political henchman (do we still use […]

book: “Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog…)

This least unknown book from an underknown and entirely underappreciated writer drags the reader along on an improbably, utterly ridiculous voyage up and not quite down the Thames about 1880. The dominant genres of its humor are turnabout and bizarre descriptive meanderings, a la Monty Python who quite obviously owe much to Jerome K. Jerome […]

book: “The Lifecycle of Software Objects”

You know the college-party’s at-first-cool but then scary question: “If you could know details of your future…would you?” And then would you live differently? Would you better use the time you’ll have, or would expectations paralyze you? Listen–if you would answer No, you may have a very hard time with Ted Chiang’s novella The Lifecycle […]

book: “A Sense of Urgency”

After our latest forays into very deep literature, let’s do something way less deep. For example this book, A Sense Of Urgency, which I admit lounged unread on my shelf for 3 years badabing. This celebrated book by a celebrated business guru covers our era’s most celebrated business theme: our era of change. Never mind […]

book: “Sentimental Education”

Life is messy. If you didn’t believe that before reading Sentimental Education, it’s not Flaubert’s fault if you fail to believe it afterward. The famous mid-19th-century flourishing of the novel came on very rapidly, and this book is a milestone. Though its characters, mores, and points of view are early-19th-century in being limited almost uniformly […]

book: “Farewell to Matters of Principle”

In the 1990s I scored a clean hardback copy from a used bookstore in College Park, Florida. I read the thing but did not understand it. At all. Last week it tumbled from a mover’s box, and after laughing at the title I found myself on the sofa re-reading it. Could not put it down. […]

book: “On the Nature of Things”

How I wish, how I wish–O How I Wish I had read this book when I was fifteen. Never in my life and its perhaps two thousand books has any one reading proven so unexpectedly fulfilling for the present, and alas so inflicting of wincing remorse for all my years lessened, somewhat poorer, for not […]

book: “The Choice”

This is the second of Mr. Goldratt’s books I’ve read (previously The Goal). And this may be the last. Not because it’s bad–quite the opposite!–but because taken together, these books proved comprehensive and clear enough for me to understand his approach to business improvement. This book’s message is encapsulated on p. 48: “… as long […]

book: “Made to Stick”

This famous book insists on short, vivid communication. And takes (wait for it) 252 pages to say so. Without a single graphic. But that’s not the worst from these two glib and tongue-tied brothers. Here’s the worst (check your air bags): Guys, guys, there’s no “Curse of Knowledge”. Certainly there is “Not Adjusting to Your […]

diversion/movie: Avatar (2009)

Woof. Talk about transporting you to a new world. Talk about (even without 3D) the most complex visual canvas ever painted in any medium, rich to hallucination, complete with flying fluorescent friendly jellyfish and Technicolor Pterodactyls. Talk about going beyond Suspension Of Disbelief to: Murdering Disbelief In Cold Blood. And there’s plenty of disbelief to […]

book: “CEO Material”

No doubt D. A. Barton’s newest business book will come into its own again, any year now. But anyone in America’s workplace the past 2-3 years will wince when reading “how to become…absolutely indispensable to your organization.” Oh please. How 2006. I guess she hadn’t heard that the only business lesson since 2007 is that […]

book: “Labyrinths of Reason”

This 1988 book addresses Reason’s power and limitations and raises a lot of questions, but answers only a few. But it could have given more useful answers-or at least it could have cited more well-known, well-tested approaches–had it not overly focused on all-or-nothing, hard-logic approaches. Most tellingly: I cannot imagine how a prestigious thinker could […]

diversion/movie: Iron Man (2008)

I can hear the breathless Hollywood pitch: “Robocop meets 007 meets Terminator III meets True Lies meets Superman“. But terrorists still neither succeed nor surrender, Miss Moneypenny still doesn’t get Bond, and still no one cares. A cookie-cutter, faux-military audio track to bludgeon the American audiences awake, and an assumption that all viewers failed Physics, […]

book: “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: the Kaizen Way”

Mantra: The steps were so small I couldn’t fail. Translation: Stop scaring yourself so you won’t relapse. Hint to reader: Rip out the last, dreadful chapter. Evolutionary, not revolutionary. This fine book insists that when we want to change our lives, we should prefer Evolutionary to Revolutionary, that is, Incremental to Abrupt. Certainly there’s a […]

book: “Integrated Enterprise Excellence, the Basics, Volume 1”

Oh, dear. What a mess we have here. I really wanted to like this book. I really wanted to understand how we should all be tying together Lean’s waste-suppression, Six-Sigma’s variation suppression, and Scorecard’s confusion suppression. Mr. Breyfogle seems to have some ideas, and maybe good ones, but they’re hidden–I just could not extract them […]

book: “Understanding, Leveraging, & Maximizing LinkedIn”

LinkedIn has become the elaborate online business card for most corporate knowledge workers I know (lab scientists curiously excepted). As handhelds get held more in more hands, we’ll find ourselves checking LinkedIn profiles of: recruiters, job candidates, hiring managers and their HR reps, clients, salespeople, first dates, and that dubious guy in the next airplane […]

book: “The First 90 Days”

We launch Career Bibliophile with an infuriatingly dense and extremely helpful Little Big Book of wonders: The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins, a book for readers starting in a new position of direct and highly responsible leadership. The book will be most useful for those in very high positions, say vice president or project […]

welcome

This blog is a result of my reading mania. Which mania erupted all at once, long ago, from a Headmaster’s thunderclap of a taunt: Behold, Eric the Unread. The Headmaster has passed, but not the taunt, and since that day there’s been nothing for it but to overcompensate. And here we are. Why a blog? […]