Jonathan’s reading list, Winter 2012

Jonathan Eyler-Werve

December 05, 2011

At a recent event featuring a great many people smarter than me (the Transparency and Accountability Initiative’s wonderful #TAbridge workshop), I asked for recommendations on amazing books to read in the upcoming winter. This is what I got back, based on the following prompts:

  • The Leviathan and the Penguin: The Promise of Cooperation, Yochai Benkler
  • Weath of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom, Yochai Benkler_
  • Africa, Richard Dowden
  • The Corruption Notebooks: Volume 7, ed. Hazel Feigenblatt and Global Integrity
  • Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency, Archon Fung, Mary Graham and David Weil – @arfung
  • The Myth of Digital Democracy, Matthew Hindman
  • “The Quiet Coup”, The Atlantic, Simon Johnson
  • The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, Evgeny Morezov
  • Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become, Peter Morville
  • Thrivability, Jean Russell, editor
  • Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, James C. Scott_
  • The Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky
  • Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky
  •, Cass Sunstein
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Televised : Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything, Joe Trippi
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity, David Allen
  • Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hannson
  • Are Your Lights On?: How to Figure Out What the Problem Really Is, Donald C. Gause; Gerald M. Weinberg
  • The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande
  • Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure, Tim Harford
  • The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story, Michael Lewis
  • Moneyball, Michael Lewis
  • Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management, Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton
  • Envisioning Information, Edward Tufte

Recommended on Lean startup (credit these to @rabble)

  • Business Model Generation, multiple authors
  • The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Success Strategies for Products That Win, Steven Gary Blank
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Eric Ries
  • Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Ash Maurya

Recommended as “Great fiction”

  • Twilight (and thank you so much for that totally not sarcastic suggestion, @brianherbert)
  • Borderliners, Peter Hoeg

My thoughts

A few quick reactions.

  1. I’ve read several of these already, and this does a nice job of validating the set — all of the books I’ve read were quite good.
  2. Nearly all of the books I’ve read were handed to me by @innokate — so much for crowdsourcing; maybe you should just marry an expert.
  3. Of the authors with strongly gendered names, 100% of them are male. No ladies. Which goes a long way toward invalidating the set: besides some 50% of the population, how many other viewpoints are not represented here? Hard to tell.


Dear readers: please hack this list by posting suggestions in comments (some women, maybe?). I’ll recombine (along with input from other crowds) and share back on a later post.

This list, like all posts here, is Creative Commons by/nc — feel free to repost and adapt.

— @eylerwerve

Thumbnail image — CC by/nc (Shop Boy)