Book Review: What We See When We Read

What We See When We Read

What We See When We Read: A Phenomenology with Illustrations by Peter Mendelsund (New York: Vintage Books, 2014. 448 pp) Peter Mendelsund is the associate art director of Alfred A. Knopf, the art director of Pantheon Books, and a recovering classical pianist. His designs have been described by The Wall Street Journal as being “the most instantly recognizable and iconic book covers in contemporary fiction.” He lives in New York. Why Read? Why read? In an age of mass media, doesn’t it seem a touch quaint? Our iPhones can keep us entertained indefinitely with the amount of apps available, not mention the Internet sitting in your pocket. We live in the Golden Age of television; high quality shows illuminate the… Read More →

Book Review: Too Loud a Solitude

Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal

Too Loud a Solitude: A Novel by Bohumil Hrabal; translated by Michael Henry Heim (San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 1990; originally published in 1976. 112 pp) Bohumil Hrabal was a Czech writer born in 1914. He earned a law degree at Prague’s Charles University and he wrote countless books over the course of his career. He died in 1997. The Dark Side of Customer Advocacy In the business world, people often seek positive growth through word-of-mouth recommendations from customers. Word of mouth is the big profit driver. It outstrips television advertising, yellow page ads, and billboards. The idea is that an advocate for a product—especially a friend or family member—is more trustworthy than any communication originating from a business. Well, word… Read More →

Donovan’s Top Books of 2012

As the end of the year dictates (December is a grumpy and demanding month), I have compiled my top reads of 2012. Before we dive into the list, I feel it’s necessary to give brief notes about the process. 1. Yes, evaluating the best in a given year is subjective so if you disagree, great! 2. I rate fiction and nonfiction differently. To me, fiction requires an element of creativity and entertainment; I want to read art. Nonfiction, on the other hand, is evaluated on its educational qualities. Did I learn and apply the principles found in the book? Therefore, I have split lists between fiction and nonfiction. 3. Reading a book is a linear process. It takes time. Thus,… Read More →