The Reading List

The one great thing about the library or the LRC (Learning Resource Center) at ISB is the wide variety of books available for one to read. Since we are pretty much allowed to issue a lot of books (I dont even know what the upper limit is…), I usually end up picking up 1 or 2 of them whenever I go there to study/discuss something with the group etc. However, as always, theres not much time to actually read the books, and I end up with an increasing pile that I need to read.

While I havent recently had much time for reading, the near future may actually give me a chance, so heres a list of my stack of books, so to speak. Making a public commitment is always supposed to help in motivation, right?
1. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman: Absolutely on top of my list, this is supposed to be THE book talking about product design and how designers/engineers may forget about the user while making sure aesthetics/functionality is complete in a product. An interesting read with lots of real life examples.
2. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen: Part of a series of books by the Harvard professor, this book defined the very concept of ‘Disruptive Innovation‘, very important in the technology industry, and almost solely responsible for a whole course on the topic here at ISB. Hence my interest in learning more about it.
3. The Long Tail by Chris Anderson: The book by Wired magazine’s editor already has attained cult status in the way it attempts to explain a new way of doing business by concentrating on a large number of items with low demand for each. This so called ‘long tail’ effect is especially useful in the information age with models such as Amazon/itunes using it to build up volumes over the net.
4. fire in the valley by Paul Freiberger & Michael Swaine: This is another book that caught my eye randomly in the library. The source for the movie ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley‘, this 500 pager (2000 edition) is a history of the early years of silicon valley and the PC industry as it was evolving pre 1985, covering the rise of giants such as Apple, Microsoft etc. This is more of a personal interest thing, and something I am aways ready to read more about!
5. Snapshots from Hell by Peter Robinson is supposedly a great book and a look at the authors life at Stanford GSB. I am sure its going to be an interesting read, and I look forward to similarities with life at ISB!
6. Computer Networks by Andrew S. Tanenbaum: Surprised to see this staple of computer science graduates in the list? I was even more surprised to find a complete rack of the most common/recognised computer books in the ISB library! Lets just say I need a basic refresher to prepare myself for what I am planning to do post-ISB.
7. Just for Fun by Linus Torvalds with David Diamond: Linus’s biography. Do I even need to explain why I want to read this one? Only problem is I saw it on my table yesterday, but cant find it right now! Oh well, it’ll turn up.
8. Tintin and Co. by Michael Farr: One of the leading British experts on Tintin, this book is a look at the different characters appearing in the enduring comic series by Herge.
So theres the list. How many of these I actually end up reading, lets see… 😉

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