Monday, September 5, 2011

My End of the Summer Reading List (Business, Religion and Fiction)

Beach reading was not on my agenda for the summer. I did some minor mental lifting instead..

To improve my business writing, I read Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little by Christopher Johnson. If you are trying to improve your communication skills, branding and career prospects, you'll find this book very helpful with practical writing tips. It's an excellent resource for web and social media communications.

Since I chair some business meetings, I was curious to review Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli. He offers some valid business advice on when to call a meeting, how to develop an agenda and who to invite. His advice not to invite someone to the next meeting who comes to a meeting but does not participate seems a bit politically risky to me. However he was preaching to the choir to this reader who finds 80% of meetings a waste of time.

Based on a New York Times book review article, I skimmed through Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology, The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion and Render Unto Rome, The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church by Jason Berry. Both books appear to be very well researched and I found both books to be well written and interesting. The Berry book, in particular, will raise your eyes if you are a Catholic. There is obviously a need for much better financial management, use and control of money donated by the faithful.

I felt like I came into the middle of a bigger story as I began Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Since I had not read any of the preceding books in the Agent Pendergast series, I was at a disadvantage. Pendergast searches for his wife who was believed dead. I enjoyed the action sequences though some seemed very implausible, particularly Pendergast's escape after being shot in a swamp. I did not like the ending either.

I could not get into All Things Shining: Reading the Western Canon to Find Meaning in a Secular World by Hubert L. Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly.  Dreyfus and Kelly are philosophers and attempted to write this book for a general audience. However this book was too much mental lifting for me at this time.

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