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Posts from the Books Category

This was a great talk that can also be found on iTunes. I have read Berkun’s books and found a lot of valuable insight from his website

Author and Carnegie Mellon alum Scott Berkun shows that much of what we know about innovation is wrong as he explores the history of innovation and creative thinking.

Similar talk, but this time to Google employees.

Speaker: Scott Berkun

My father told me about this book when we were in the Strand this weekend. I read the first 1/2 the night I bought it, and finished it the next day. Not only does it have wonderful photography, but it combines my strange interest in true crime and miniatures.

FRANCES GLESSNER LEE, a Chicago heiress, provided for just about every creature comfort when she fashioned 19 dollhouse rooms during the 1940’s. She stocked the larders with canned goods and placed half-peeled potatoes by the kitchen sink. Over a crib she pasted pink striped wallpaper.

But you might not want your dolls to live there.

Miniature corpses — bitten, hanged, shot, stabbed and poisoned — are slumped everywhere. The furnishings show signs of struggles and dissolute lives; liquor bottles and chairs have been overturned; ashtrays overflow.

Mrs. Lee, a volunteer police officer with an honorary captain’s rank whose father was a founder of the International Harvester Company, used her ghoulish scenes to teach police recruits the art of observation.

She called her miniatures the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, after a saying she had heard from detectives: “Convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell.”

Read the rest of the NYTimes Article here.

It’s great to see friends.
JarheadI actually had company this weekend, and it was so much fun. We just stayed up and talked and then went to dinner in the city Saturday night.

She drove four hours to see me and I kept her cooped up in my apartment and made her watch Jarhead. I’m amazed that I thought it was a great movie even though there was time spent on vomit and bathrooms. Lots of on-screen naked boys in showers makes up for a lot.

Johnny Got His GunIn the same vein, I recently read a book called Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. It was hard to believe that this book was written in 1938 and published just after the start of World War II. This book is just as relevant today. Note to people with weak stomachs: don’t read this book on the train on the way into work in the morning before you’ve had breakfast. I had to put it away a few times because it made me so nauseous.

And on a more celebretory note:
We have big plans for you, Jenn. Prepare yourself for maximum enjoyment.

Love's Executioner
Barnes & – Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
This book is interesting because the author is a therapist, and seeing things from his point of view is enlightening. It made me think about getting to the essence of things.

Something has been happening lately; I am seeing life more clearly and have better perspective on things. Could it be that I’m growing up ? If this is what getting older is about, then I’m excited.

This book was another one that was hard to put down. Creepy and descriptive, it’s a very women-centric book because it’s based at a boarding school for girls. Some unexpected plot twists and the great use of language really works for me. I hope you like it too.

05/25/05 – Update: I just lent a good friend this book and I know she’s going to love it. It will be nice to have someone to talk about these books with. It’s interesting that they take place in a world that closely resembles where I live. Seems like the author uses the lower Hudson valley for inspriation.