Category Archives: Books


A strong bias towards ownership is important in org culture. The problem is, folks often over-index on ‘I own this area, so I’m going to nail it!’ vs. ‘I am an owner on behalf of the entire company and need to do the right thing for our customers!’. The key is to balance these. Amazon’s definition tries to make this tension apparent by explicitly stating ownership is broader than themselves or their team: Ownership Leaders …Continue reading

Be a Great Reader

When an organization has a culture where the written word is valued, being a great reader is just as important as being a great writer. Over time, I’ve tried to have a very high-bar for my own writing. I wrote a little about this in my post Details Matter. I’ve also learned the importance of being a great reader, and that’s the topic of this post. In the 2017 Amazon Shareholder letter Jeff Bezos wrote …Continue reading

Keeping Tracks of Books I Read

Each January I post a list of books I read during the previous year (one of my favorites this year is @Scalzi’s Redshirts). Even though almost all books I read are via Amazon and Kindle, it is still a total pain in the butt to create those blog posts. This has me thinking about a potential app idea and I’d love to hear from YOU about how you keep track, document, list, and share …Continue reading

Books I read in 2011

Mostly for my own documentary benefit every year I recap the books I read. Below is the 2011 edition. You can find previous editions here: 2009, 2010. If you are like me, I bet you’ll appreciate being exposed to stuff to read. Five stars means YOU MUST READ.  One star means do not waste your time. Other ratings mean you may or may not like it… Title Author My Rating Comments Catching Fire (The Second …Continue reading

Book Review of a Book You Can’t Find

My wife was loaned Narrow is the Way – Why I Defected from Russia by Sergei Sazonov via her book club. She said I’d enjoy it. I read it. I loved it. I went online to find it to recommend it to others. And found nothing other than a Library of Congress citation. The book is an autobiographical account of Sergei Sazonov’s experience being forced to join the Russian army in World War II through …Continue reading

What to do With Your Old Kindle

We now have quite the collection of various generation Amazon Kindle Book Readers in our household. I purchased the original the day Amazon announced it and have purchased at least one of every subsequent model.  Today I ordered one of each of the new Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, and Kindle Fire.  I’m sure my wife will want a Kindle Fire as well so that will up the number we have between the four of …Continue reading

Some of my Favorite Quotes

“A long, healthy, and happy life is the result of making contributions, of having meaningful projects that are personally exciting and contribute to and bless the lives of others.” – Hans Selye “Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it.” – Alan Perlis “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus “No matter where you go, there you are.” – BB …Continue reading

Books I read in 2010

Lame that I have not posted anything since last year’s post on the books I read in 2009.  But whatever… Below are the books I read in 2010. I’m posting this mostly for my own documentary benefit.  Maybe you’ll find it useful and find some gems to read. Title Author My Rating Comments Consider Phlebas Banks, Iain M. *****   Matter Banks, Iain M. *****   Surface Detail Banks, Iain M. *****   The Player …Continue reading

Books I read in 2009

Mostly writing this for my own (future) benefit…  These are the books I read in 2009 with ratings/categorization: Most were read on my Amazon Kindle (some on the DX, which I review here, others on my Kindle 2).  ***** means loved it. * means I hated it. Science Fiction – By Iain M. Banks (Blog post on Iain M. Banks): Matter (****) Transition (****) Look to Windward (*****) Use of Weapons (*****) Against a Dark …Continue reading

Book: The Dead Hand – The Untold Story of the Cold War…

I haven’t posted a book review in a while. Not because I haven’t been reading, just because I’ve been lazy. My most recent book was The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman. I had heard about this book in a mention on a National People’s Radio story about Ronald Reagan. In that story the book was presented as a story about Reagan and …Continue reading

Peter F. Hamilton

Last year I discovered sci-fi author Peter F. Hamilton and have now read the following books by him on my Amazon Kindle 2: The Night’s Dawn Trilogy: The Reality Dysfunction The Neutronium Alchemist The Naked God Pandora’s Star Judas Unchained The Void Trilology The Dreaming Void The Temporal Void It’s taken me a while to read all these because I read a few other books in between (see list below) and because they are all …Continue reading

Kindle DX Review

Yesterday my new Amazon Kindle DX arrived and here are my initial impressions. I’ve owned a Kindle since November 2007 when they were first released. We currently own 4 of them: CJ has an original, Julie has a Kindle 2, and I now have both a Kindle 2 and the new DX. The moment Amazon announced the Kindle in the fall of 2007 I was enamored with the concept and have been a fan ever …Continue reading

Amazon Kindle for the iPhone Review

Amazon is brilliant. They released a version of their Kindle reader for the iPhone the other day and it’s just brilliant.  Wow. I have an iPhone (that I currently don’t use as a phone; my job requires that I play with other phones) and I immediately downloaded it to check out. It is very cool. What I like: Super easy to download books you’ve already purchased for your Kindle onto your iPhone. I can read …Continue reading

Mini Book Review – Use of Weapons (Kindle Edition)

I just finished Iain M. Banks’ Use of Weapons on my Amazon Kindle 2. First book I read (actually I started it on my original Kindle and finished it on the Kindle 2). I don’t think I’ve read a Banks book before so I’m not sure where all the context around the characters is, but I’m guessing he uses “The Culture” and other aspects of this universe a lot because the thinking on it is …Continue reading

You Can Buy the Amazon Kindle 2 Now!

It looks like Amazon is very close to announcing and making available a 2nd generation Kindel electronic book device. Did you know you can pre-order it now!?! As you know, I love my Kindle. Besides my phone and laptop it is, by far the electronic gadget I use the most an is easily my favorite. I am a veracious reader and I can’t image buying or reading books "the old way" any more.  But the …Continue reading

Best Free Sci-Fi…Ever!

I don’t understand. I keep blogging about Cheesburger Brown and his amazing sci-fi books but he remains un-discovered. You would have thought this blog, which is read by billionsdozens of people, would have elevated him to Asimov status by now. Oh, well, I’ll just keep trying. Seriously, his stuff is really good and almost all of it is FREE: The Darth Side: Memoirs of A Monster (Darth Vader’s Blog). Written in 2005 leading up to …Continue reading

Hacking the Kindle

When I left my Amazon Kindle on the airplane after I arrived from Taipei last week I realized that someone finding it would have no way of knowing it was mine. Fortunately Northwest Airlines knew I was sitting in seat 5B and let me know it was in the lost & found. I did some poking around and found that it is possible to put your own screen saver pictures on the the Kindle. This …Continue reading

Kindle update

Wow, has it really been since December that I last blogged? I guess I’ve been busy… Those of you paying attention (not that I actually believe there are very many of you) will probably understand what I’ve been so busy with. It’s probably been the hardest 6 months of my career. But hard work pays off, right? Watch the Windows Home Server Team Blog for some exciting news any day now… Even though I have …Continue reading

Kindl. Kindel. Kindle.

Back before the invention of the printing press my great, great, great grandfather came to the United States from Bavaria. His name was August Kindl. At Ellis Island the immigration officials added the ‘e’…hence my family’s name. We pronounce it Kindl.  Not Kind-el. Kindl translates to "child" in Bavarian. Those who know me well will find this fitting. Amazon recently launched their Kindle reading device. Pronounced the same way as my last name. I find …Continue reading

Book Review: Halting State

This was my first Kindle book. That’s right Charlie Kindel bought a Kindle. I have to say it’s getting annoying having everyone saying my name… Here’s my quick review of Halting State by Charles Stross… The big idea is an interesting one: the future world where MMORPG gaming becomes so ubiquitous that the following happens Humans participate everywhere because their mobiles are powerful enough to get them in the game.  Gesture based control with head’s-up-displays …Continue reading