Reading List: July & August 2012

Due to my recent wedding and all the craziness that ensues from such an event, I missed getting last month's reading list out. So here is a two-month supply of what has been on my Kindle/computer/in my hands.

Sacred MarriageSacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

Read this book as part of my premarital counseling, and I couldn't recommend it higher for those about to get married or are already on the other side. Gary Thomas takes the assumed mantra, that marriage there to make us happy, and flips it on its head, instead positing that God designed marriage to make us holy. Each chapter takes this idea and applies it to different aspects of marriage, and while I don't necessarily agree with everything he writes, the conversations you'll have with your spouse (or spouse-to-be) will be worth every minute.

Madame BovaryMadame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Although I love keeping up on all the latest tech and business books, thanks to Torrey I try to keep disciplined and read something a little harder to digest because I know it's good for the mind and soul. And honestly, most of today's writers could learn a thing or two from their predecessors. But I digress... Flaubert creates a very skilful tale of a women who is never satisfied with what she has, who is so focused on appearances she runs of her credit and ruins her entire family. And it is from 1856! Seems like things haven't changed much and everyone can learn a thing or two about our views of material items and focus on what is truly important.

Read This Book Before Our Next MeetingRead This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli

Excellent and quick read on how to better use meetings in our companies and teams. Pittampalli claims we waste too much precious time on meetings because we see meetings as our only option to get anything done. He argues that we need to redefine the purpose of the meeting and think through which decisions need a committee, and which ones we can delegate to people to make on their own. And when you do have a meeting, you better be ready with actions to decide on, it's not a place to brainstorm! I'm sure if more teams and companies took these steps, a lot more would happen!

Zarella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness by Dan ZarellaZarella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness by Dan Zarella

Quick treatise on how ideas spread in this new world of social media. What tweets and Facebook posts rise to the top and why? What will cause someone to share an idea with others? Should we think about information differently in the digital age? If any of these ideas intrigue you, take an hour out of your evening (if that) and read through this book. It's jam-packed with good info and will get your mind spinning on how to better use social media to spread your ideas.

How To Be a Rockstar FreelancerHow to Be a Rockstar Freelancer by Collis and Cyan Ta'eed

There are a ton of books out there on how to be successful as a freelancer, but this is the best I have read so far. It's clearly laid out in a logical fashion and covers just about every aspect you need to know to make money from your skills. If you are doing any creative work on the side for money and are contemplating taking it to the next level, you really need to check out this book!

twitter up your businessTwitter Up Your Business by Maneesh Sethi

If for some reason you still haven't jumped into the world of Twitter, or perhaps are just looking to take your Twitter skills to the next level, I highly recommend this book. I will say, it is a bit dated, but it will get you going. If you've been using Twitter a ton already, you may want to pass though, I'm almost positive you already know everything in this book, if not more.

Locking Down WordpressLocking Down WordPress by Michael Pick

Once again, Code Poet does not disappoint! They have released yet another great e-book filled with interviews of WordPress pros teaching you how to make your site's better. In this book, they cover the best security practices in WordPress and how to keep your sites secure and running smoothly. If you build anything with WordPress, take the hour or so to glean as much as you can from this book! Your clients and readers will thank you!

Star Wars Empire Strikes BackStar Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut

This was another quick "popcorn" read I took as a break from harder reading, and was basically the screenplay put in novel form. Not much new, but I did find reading, not watching, the movie prompted different experiences and responses to the scenes. Episode V is definitely my most watched film out of my favorite series, and it was fun to almost get into the characters minds a little. Yes, I like reading Star Wars books of even the movies... guilty pleasure :)

Blog Posts to Read

Superman, Batman and worldviews: Seth Godin talking about superheroes. Enough said.

The Big Murk: A Conversation About Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises": Great (although lengthy) discussion about the latest Batman movie that covers many of my gripes with the film. At times I think they go a little too far, but still worth a read.

Marvel and ABC in Early Stages of Creating TV Show Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: If you followed my Avengers series at all, you will know I'm stoked about this!

Ben Brandt

Ben is a front-end developer with a love for all things web. When he isn't coding for his 8-to-5, he's usually running, watching movies, or playing with new web frameworks and languages.

Portland, OR

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