Fuelled by an unusual amount of spare time, and the fact that there’s a branch of Borders not far from us, I’ve been on a bit of a reading spree recently.
I had good intentions of reading James Joyce’s Ulysses before we came over to Dublin, but shamefully I didn’t get through the first chapter before I put it down and moved on. My defence is that I did make it through the 75 page introductory essay about the book as well. I’m determined to read it fully at some point, but as anybody who has picked it up will know, it isn’t a light read 😉
I moved onto a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time: Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. The Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd has been quite vocal in referencing this book as one that guides his management philosophy and it is also one of those books (like The World is Flat) which you always here referenced by people in interviews. I’ve pretty much finished it and am very impressed by both the message and the way it is put across. The style of writing in which Gladwell uses engaging case studies to illustrate his essential point about how small changes can lead to the “tipping point” which turns a product from a small niche or a declined market share into an overnight success. It’s a formula I’ve seen used in many books I’ve read which were written after this, such as the aforementioned The World is Flat to books like Freakonomics.
Another one I’ve been dipping into rather than reading cover to cover is Alasdair Cockburn’s Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game, which is more of a one for work than for pleasure.
The following are on my stack of ones to get to:
- The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand by Chris Anderson – Again another business type book I’ve seen referenced everywhere.
- Ryanland by Philip Nolan – One man’s journey around the Ryanair route map.
- Tescopoly: How One Shop Came Out On Top And Why It Matters by Andrew Simms – Picked it up as the 3rd in a buy 2 get 1 free in Borders. Looking at the Amazon reviews it might have a bit of an agenda.
- Measuring The World by Daniel Kehlmann – The story of how two 19th Century German scientists set out to measure the world. One traveled round it, whilst the other stayed at home and used mathematics 😉 Was book of the month on Simon Mayo’s Radio 5 show and the author is highly rated.