Creativity, Inc.

Creativity, IncI was looking to check out Creativity, Inc, and was glad to see it was available on my last trip to the local library. I like I believe the entire world is a fan of Pixar and was interested in learning more about them.

While this book does go into great details about the interesting history behind Pixar, what I found very unique and interesting about it was that it also covers a great deal of management and the techniques that have been employed at Pixar over the years. Working in a creative department with many creative people, I found much to learn.

Growing up and being very much interested in computer graphics, I really enjoyed being reminded of much of the breakthroughs that took place over the years. Many times I had that “oh yeah, I remember that” moment. That was a very fun time growing up and attempting to push the limits of what hardware could do back then.

This was a very interesting book. Glad I read it, I learned much.


Things a Little Bird Told Me

Things a Little Bird Told MeWhile I haven’t been using Twitter quite as much as I have at times in the past, I am still very interested in the history of the company. I’ve always respected their beliefs and their attention to the user.

Biz’s story was very interesting. While I know his name, I really didn’t know too much about him. It was interesting to learn of his path. Especially chuckled at his early years and his Google interview.

While the story of Twitter was very cool too read, I think what I took away most was the author’s emphasis on how giving back/volunteering can be so rewarding. I have found that to be extremely true and this book has kinda gotten me a bit fired up to find other ways of giving back myself. So hopefully I stick with that.


The Closer: Mariano Rivera

The Closer: Mariano RiveraGrowing up and watching the great Yankees teams of the late 90’s dominate, I knew I had to read this. Mariano was probably one of, if not the greatest reason for the dominance of those teams (though there were so many great players). So, I really wanted to learn more about the guy who came into the game when I was on the edge of my seat and thinking if moving to another couch would determine the high stakes outcome.

While I had already know a good deal of his background from watching so many games, it was pretty amazing to learn just how far he had come and how little he had known about MLB baseball. He pretty much knew nothing and found himself pitching in World Series games for the Yankees.

Literally from fishing to making millions in such a short period of time. It’s actually a bit comical to read how it unfolded at times. I do wonder if being so clueless to the history of MLB baseball early in his career is what helped him be such a dominant closer.

It was also pretty great to read so many examples of him being a nice guy. You hear so many stories of the arrogance and selfishness that often accompanies quick financial success and fame, and he really doesn’t come across as affected by it. He seems to do a lot of good, and that’s very refreshing to read.


Think Like a Freak

Think Like a FreakI’ve really been stumped on what to read next, so I picked a book based on the color of it’s cover. It was the brightest orange covered book in the new arrivals section at the library.

It turned out to be pretty solid. Pretty much summing up different approaches to thinking. Some useful ideas and very well written. It read quite fast.

The authors do a good job of using some pretty random examples that are easy to follow. Like the hot dog eating champion, David Lee Roth, King Solomon, etc. Random but good.

It was by the same guys whom wrote Freakonomics which I did hear of. So perhaps I might give that a try down the road too.

Perhaps I will have to use my brightest cover selection process a bit more going forward.



Animal Farm

Animal FarmContinuing with reading books I saw on a top 10o list, I decided to next read Animal Farm. I’ve always heard about it and knew the general story, but figured it was time to give it a shot.

I really enjoyed it a lot. It’s pretty obvious right off the bat that it mirrors the Russian revolution. Much of it I found to be quite humorous but also a bit too true at the same time.

By far and away and perhaps that saddest I’ve ever felt while reading a book was when Boxer gets taken away. I kept hoping that somehow he’d get away in time with each word I read, and was so very sad when he didn’t. I really liked Boxer and am still a bit bummed over his loss. It was pretty rough.

This was a very good book and I can easily see why it made it to that top 100 list.


The DaVinci Code

The DaVinci CodeSomeone shared a list of 100 books or so that the average person has only read no more than 6 of. While I was over the lists claim of 6 books read, I did notice quite a bit that I hadn’t read.

Near the top of the list of popular books was The DaVinci Code. I hadn’t read that nor seen the movie, so now was a fine time to give it a shot. I recall it was quite the rage a number of years ago and I did read it’s sequel, The Lost Symbol which was pretty good.

It was pretty solid stuff. While I had a basic idea of the books formula, it was still pretty interesting. I was a little surprised at whom turned out to be the Teacher and what the grail was.

I’m kinda a bit excited that I figured to solve the one riddle by holding it to a mirror. Felt like a real super-sleuth for a bit.