notes on book reading

There are times when you pick up a book almost by an accident, perhaps lured only by its cover or the title but without too much expectation, and then fall in love with the book or with the author. Atul Gawande’s Complications and Dr. Hinohara Shigeaki’s 日野原重明の「こころ」と「からだ」の相談室―60歳からの幸せ問答 are such books. Both books were picked up at bookstores without planning for it. I ended up reading books after books written by these authors. Such accidental discovery can lead to expanding one’s own web of favorite themes in book reading. For instance, Dr. Hinohara Shigeaki kept praising Sir William Osler as his mentor repeatedly in his books. So now I have started reading a biography, “William Osler: A Life in Medicine“, written by Michael Bliss. Sometimes you pick up a book on the web without giving much thought and then find out it was a gem. Recently, I was trying to check if there was a Kindle version of Resonate (Nancy Duarte) then saw Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal (Oren Klaff) was on the top of the Amazon list in its category (Resonate was #2). Without giving much thought–otherwise I usually crosscheck the references and try to find out more about an unfamiliar author making purchases–, I just bought it and started reading it right away. I was surprised to find the book so engaging. I would recommend this book to those interested in improving one’s presentation skills. The book sheds light on the certain aspect of presentation that is not covered by Presentation Zen (Garr Reynolds) and Resonate. (I actually wish my competitors would not read this book.) I do not quite remember how I came to read The Gift of Pain (written by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey) a few years ago. It was one of the most inspiring and enlightening books I have read in the past 10 years. I strongly recommend this book to those interested in design strategy or design research. Last week, I finished reading a biography of Dr. Brand, Ten Fingers for God: The Life and Work of Dr. Paul Brand, written by Ms. Dorothy Clarke Wilson. It was also very good. (Perhaps better read after reading The Gift of Pain.) Of course, impulse buying of books does not always end up being a successful one. But when it does, you are surprised by joy.]]>

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