What Are You Reading? Part II.
Nov 5, 2015
A community library in the office and this article about the variety of books on designers’ shelves got me reaching out to Centerliners to see what they’re reading. The first part of this blog series highlighted everything from National Geographic Magazine (yes, the print version) to Brené Brown and Nelson Mandela.
See what we’re reading and how the books apply to our roles at Centerline:
I’m reading Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Dan’s a great guy and behavioral economics professor at Fuqua (Go Duke!), a dynamic presenter, but also a prolific writer. In Predictably Irrational, he goes through some interesting situations and makes you think about how you come to make the decisions that you make.
We all feel really in control of our lives, but there are some things to be wary of when making both big and everyday decisions. This non-fiction gets at some of my interest in psychology, but here at Centerline we’re always trying to get at the “why” behind everything, so it’s fun to think of how to break the cycle while getting in a few laughs.
Sam Cibelli, Project Coordinator II
Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything lives on my nightstand and will likely never go back on the shelf because I’ll never consider it “finished.” It’s about the science behind the universe and everything in it. More specifically, us. How we started as nothing and became something, and how our discoveries, inventions and hunt for answers have propelled us forward.
While the lens of this book is pointed back in time, many of the takeaways can be applied now as we plan for the future.
Throughout Centerline’s partnerships with organizations in complex industries driven by technological change, we’re seeing them grapple with how to evolve from within. There’s a growing necessity to challenge deeply entrenched assumptions in order to make progress, like Newton forcing people to challenge their assumption that the Earth was a perfect sphere (it’s actually 43km stouter when measured equatorially than when measured from top-to-bottom around the poles). “That’s just how it is” was an unacceptable answer that a great mind wouldn’t tolerate or accept. We see organizations struggling to find clarity in data yet failing to recognize the absence of evidence as evidence, which Robert Evans naturally internalized while hunting supernovae and patterns of stars.
It’s fascinating to uncover just how little and how much we’ve changed.
Cait Vlastakis Smith, Executive Strategy Director
I’m currently reading Do Breathe by Michael Townsend Williams. This book comes from the Do Lectures which is a super inspiring organization focused on bringing people together to make ideas happen. The book Do Breathe is all about little tricks you can incorporate into your daily life to be more productive and efficient.
It’s great because it’s a quick read, with lots of bullet points and callouts, and really well designed (which I’m a sucker for). The book offers a lot of really practical advice. But, be warned, you’re going to want to read this with a highlighter. The Do Lectures has a lot of other books that look really interesting, so I’m definitely going to try to get a few more on that list.
Christie Montague, Marketing Coordinator/Graphic Designer
What book would you recommend? Let us know what you’re reading on Twitter!