Books I’m Reading: August 2009

I’m a big fan of books. You may know how much I love my RSS feeds, but I love books at least ten times more. For all of the incredible information on the internet, there are some things you just cannot learn online [yet]. When I read I tend to focus on timeless themes or skills that I cannot find online. What I am reading now is no exception:

The Definitive Book of Body Language
Allan and Barbara Pease

  • There are many other body language books out there about “how to tell if someone is lying” or “how to appear more confident,” but I wanted a book that would teach me a broad spectrum of signals to analyze. In addition to teaching the signals I was looking for, the book has both illustrations and photos to illustrate their points.
  • This follows my fascination with interpersonal communication. Over the past four years I have created a number of experiences that have improved upon my natural skills (or lack thereof), but I am curious about adding more of an analytical tool; this book did not disappoint.

The Craft of Intelligence
Allen Dulles

  • Allen Dulles was Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961, which was some of the most eventful years for the agency. In this book he discusses some of the history of the agency, but primarily focuses on how intelligence is collected, processed and used to formulate national policy.
  • This follows my fascination with intelligence, espionage and foreign policy. You may also want to read Book of Honor to gain a personal perspective and Game as Old as Empire for a different perspective.

Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision
David duChemin

  • Within the Frame comes at the recommendation of my friend Taylor Davidson, who among many other talents is a great photographer.
  • Rather than focusing on the technical aspects, the book focuses on the inspirations behind truly inspiring photographs. duChemin does an incredibly good job of reigniting my lost inspiration.
  • During college I spent four semesters studying photography and fell in love with the art. After college it fell off my radar

Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life
Neil Strauss

  • I’m not an extremist that believes we need to put all of our money in gold and hide it under out mattress, but that doesn’t keep me from enjoying reading about those that do hold such views.
  • This is my purely-for-leisure reading, but it follows my curiosity related to offshore banking and tax policies worldwide.

Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life
Avinash Bixit and Barry Nalebuff

  • Admittedly I have not started reading this one yet, but I am excited about starting it. It comes recommended by Presh Talwalkar on his blog Mind Your Decisions. He describes it as “[his] favorite book about game theory, suitable for beginners to experts.” I’m sold.
  • Given the topic of this blog, I think it is apparent why I am reading this one. Game Theory is an important strategic tool that I just don’t have a solid basis in. I am looking forward to this book improving my understanding.

You should expect that at least some of the topics from these books will seep into my posts soon. Be sure to watch for it!