Where Have All the Leaders Gone?, by Lee Iacocca
This was a really good book. I always find it interesting to see the thought process of some of the world’s top leaders. In this book Iacocca discusses the basic tenets of leadership and how it has largely gone missing in the political environment of the United States. He starts off by beating everyone’s favorite dog, President Bush. In this whipping he lays out basic concepts for leadership then shows where Bush or the Bush administration has failed to live up to the challenge. He moves on from the first chapter and lays into congress, the business world, and many other leadership roles. He gives good examples and bad as well as his thoughts on what could happen to improve our situation.
While I don’t subscribe to all the ideas in this book it definitely has me looking at some things in a different light.
This is well worth the money and is a quick, fun read. Buy it.
The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, by Alan Greenspan
I like economics. I like finance. I like business. I (somewhat) like politics. So why wouldn’t I like this book?
I’ll tell you why: the content is interesting but the delivery put me to sleep. This book weighed in just shy of 600 pages. This would have been a great book if it had been half that size. As it turned out, the book was so fact filled with details that are important to a lifelong economist but largely irrelevant to the average Joe that it made the book very hard to read. I enjoy these things yet found myself having to reread some sections for understanding and others because I realized I had dazed out and had no idea what I just read.
I didn’t finish this book for two reasons:
1. By the time I got to the end it was obvious that the predictions and plans laid out were irrelevant. The housing bubble had burst already and the thoughts contained in the latter chapters no longer mattered.
2. I was bored with it.
If you are interested in finance, economics, business, or politics this may be an interesting book for you. I don’t have a high tolerance for this writing style but your mileage may vary. The price has dropped significantly lately so even if it ends up being a dust catcher, perhaps it is worth investigating.
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, by Steve McConnell
This was a great book. If you have been in software for a significant time you are likely to have picked up many of these habits already, assuming you have been around experienced engineers who have helped you cultivate your software capabilities. It is chock full of useful information that every engineer should know. While this is a sure career improver for new engineers it has information that could easily be digested and used by even the most experienced programmer.
Seminal book. Buy it.