Monday, November 28, 2005

What I'm reading now... A Whole New Mind, by Dan Pink, and I Am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe.

One characteristic I still retain from my childhood is that I read a lot of books. In a media-saturated world, books are still the best source for interesting and well thought-out ideas. I'll post some of my current and long-time favorites here. I'm also listing, where relevant, my inspiration for reading particular authors.

A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink. Pink argues that traditional employment over the past 50 to 75 years has focused primarily on left-brain jobs--things like finance, law, software development and medicine. But as a result of automation, the growth of Asian economies and a higher level of prosperity, these jobs are going away and in any case are no longer stimulating. He argues that going forward, employment will incorporate six right-brain skills, including design, story telling, empathy, and symphony (i.e. synthesis). Although I was initially skeptical of Pink's macro assessment of the world, every one of the chapters on right-brain skills described my own personal and career evolution.


I Am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe. Wolfe's treatment of college life at a thinly disguised Duke University is very witty and unexpectedly riveting. A great airplane read, although, to be brutally honest, less true to life than The Student Body, the novel about a non-disguised Harvard College that I co-authored several years ago under the pseudonym, "Jane Harvard."