Why Speed Reading Is For Fools

in Books, General, Pop Culture

‘There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” - Bertrand Russell Life is not a race. Speed is good for things you want to get past, not for important things you enjoy. “It was an efficient meal.” “I had a quick life.” If you are […]

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Kindle editions on sale today: $3.49 (act fast)

in Books

Three on my books are heavily discounted on Kindle today. $3.49 for some of them. Confessions of a Public Speaker is currently #1 in business, #37 overall for all kindle books Myths of Innovation is #12 in business, #256 overall Making Things Happen, #1 in project management, #769 overall I have no idea how long they’ll […]

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How I Decide What To Read

in ask berkun, Books, Writing Well

This month I’m posting every day, taking the top voted question from readers and answering it.  With 37 votes, today’s winner was: How do you decide what to read? From what I can tell, you are a voracious reader. Do you read just one book at a time, or multiple books at a time? Advantages or […]

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The 3 best books I read in 2013

in Book reviews, Books

It’s common in December to see lists of “best of the year” for books and films. I read 20 to 30 books a year but rarely do I read books published in the current year. I don’t have anything against new books, I certainly buy many of them, but I’m drawn to books that have […]

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How to read an amazon.com book review

in Books, Writing Well

We read for different reasons, but we often write reviews as if everyone in the world is just like us. A review that says “I hated this book” suggests the book is bad, but if the reviewer is a Yankee fan and the book is about how awesome the Boston Red Sox are, it likely […]

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Why it’s ok to buy books and not read them

in Books

I used to feel guilty about books I own but haven’t read. They’d sit in piles making me feel unworthy as a writer, and reader. And no matter how many books I’d read in a year, I’d always find myself buying more. I couldn’t win. It was a destructive cycle and it drove me mad. One […]

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Why you can’t ignore Big Data

in Books

I’ve known Phil Simon since college and he’s one of the only people I’ve known that long that’s taken on a similar writing ambition: he’s written five books, including his latest Too Big Too Ignore: The Business Case for Big Data. The term ‘big data’ is popular, but on the verge of becoming jargon and […]

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How to design a great book cover (Behind the scenes)

in Books, Mindfire, Writing Well

The 1.1 edition of Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds, a collection of my best essays, was officially released.  Here’s a behind the scenes story on how the cover was designed. After vetting more than 30 designers who applied, I hired Tim Kordik. And I’m glad I did. I wanted not just a graphic designer, […]

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We Learn Nothing: Book Review

in Book reviews, Books

I love books comprised of essays as they free writers to go in a wide range of directions and styles, unhinged from the burden of a single narrative theme. When I heard Nancy Pearl mention it offhand in her list of the year’s best books, I picked it up (its actually the first book I’ve purchased […]

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Nexus: a sci-fi novel of a post-human future

in Books

My friend Ramez Naam’s first novel, Nexus, just released and it’s getting great reviews. I haven’t read it yet, but here’s some of the feedback it has earned so far: Wired says “Good. Scary good… stop reading now and have a great time reading a bleeding edge technical thriller that is full of surprises.” The […]

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Vote for the title of my next book

in Books, Year Without Pants

I’ve been hard at work on book #5. It’s about the year I spent working at WordPress.com.  I want you readers to be more involved: an easy place to start is helping pick the title for the book. Book Synopsis: WordPress.com, the planet’s 15th most popular website, has no headquarters: everyone works from wherever they want […]

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The Art of Explanation (book)

in Books

Explaining things is my job. A living hero of explanations is Lee Lefever, one of the founders of CommonCraft. They popularized the style of hand-drawn explainer videos, including ones about Twitter in Plain English, Wikis in Plain English and the entertaining Understanding Zombies. He’s put together everything he’s learned about explaining things to people in a […]

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The history of religion: explained

in Books, Philosophy

I have a fascination with religious history. It’s a fantastic lens on the history of civilization. I’ve never had much faith, but the history of it, and the details of various scriptures have held me fascinated for years. The way the roots of all religions wind together mythology, history, culture, selfishness, compassion, wisdom and ignorance is an […]

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News: I’m working on a UX book with Jackson Fish

in Books, Design

When my friends Hillel Cooperman and Jenny Lam started their UX company JacksonFish, I thought, how awesome. Every designer dreams of working on their own terms, where they can make great things. JacksonFish has delivered on their vision, and you can see plenty of examples of their amazing work here. When they told me they […]

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Man’s Search for Meaning: Book Review

in Book reviews, Books, Philosophy

This is one of those classic books I’ve had on my shelf for over a decade, but never touched. A friend was going to read it, and as I’ve been depressed with my recent injury, it seemed a good time for me to read it too. It’s a well known classic of philosophy / Holocaust […]

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The first scoop on my next book

in Books, Year Without Pants

The good news is my next book is well underway. As many of you know, I quit my job at WordPress.com a few weeks ago. It was time to get back to work filling the bookshelf and I’m happy to report some good news. The next book is based on the journal I kept while […]

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Trinity: a graphic history of the Atomic bomb (review)

in Books

I’m a fan of graphic novels on non-fiction topics. By putting techniques from comics and illustration at the forefront of the book, there is a power to convey complex ideas in salient ways that transcends written language. Books like LogicComix and The Book of Genesis by Crumb take on ambitious topics with grace, style, potency and charm. […]

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