Sunday, June 23, 2013

Books I've Read

It's been a while since I mentioned what books I've read (audiobooks I've listened to).  I do a lot of driving and I like to listen to audiobooks.  Here's a short list.

Mary Roach's new book is very interesting.  I really liked her books Stiff and Packing for Mars, so I'm familiar with her writing style and interest in gross things.  I recommend this for anybody who wants to learn a little something about what happens to food between intake and output.  It's not as complete or clinical as I hoped, but I still learned a few interesting things.

Spy the Lie describes interview techniques developed by the authors during their years at the CIA.  This book is chock full of advise on how to detect deception.  It goes beyond the training I've had and offers some useful techniques that can be employed by parents, journalists, employers, investigators ... pretty much anybody.  Like all related methods, it's not fool-proof and requires a LOT of practice to become skilled.

In Michael Pollan's recent book he examines the core cooking methods employing fire, water, air, and bacteria.  As usual, he dives into the subject in a personal way, learning to cook with these tools from masters.  I didn't enjoy Cooked anywhere near as much as I did The Omnivore's Dilemma.  

I didn't enjoy Seth Godin's latest book as much as I have some of his previous books.  It's not Seth's fault.  I think I just lack the personal context in my life right now to frame his messages.

This book is another in the line of Covert-One techno-thrillers with Col. John Smith, MD as the hero character.  This time he takes on a psychotic genius who'd invented a brain interface technology that readers might imagine Google some day releasing.  I liked this story.  

This book offers a lot of insight into the inner workings of high finance.  Greg Smith describes a hyper-competitive meritocracy with the expected twists from clashing egos.  I enjoyed the book, but I have an interest in the area.  Had I been born 20 years later, I might have gone into that field.

This is a very interesting book about the federal budget; where the money comes from, where it goes, how each monetary source or recipient is protected under what federal laws.  In a small way, it was a bit depressing, as it describes just how hard it is to change the system, possibly even requiring constitutional ammendments.  I highly recommend this book for anybody wanting to learn a lot more than the media tells us.

This book provides a great first-hand account of the SEAL Team 6 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.  I liked this much more than the movie: Zero Dark Thirty.

This book contains some valuable information and actionable advice about how to break or change your habits.  I have found it helpful in changing some of my own bad habits.  Here's a simple flowchart from the book that captures a few of the concepts.

The next ones I'll be reading are:

I just started this new book by David Stockman, former budget director for President Ronald Reagan.  So far, it's very interesting.

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