We’re always looking to expand our bookshelf and podcast list so when we interviewed our Delight 2016 speakers last summer we asked them for recommendations. Specifically, what was on their “must-read” and “must-listen to” list? Who would they miss if he or she stopped writing or recording tomorrow? Enjoy the list of book recommendations and podcast favorites.
Michelle Lee, Ideo
Creativity, Inc., by Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull, tells the story of how he helped shape the unique culture at Pixar. As someone who thrives in a creative environment and manages a team of designers, I was really curious to gain perspective on how others encourage out-of-the-box ideas and keep teams motivated. As a fan of Pixar’s movies, I loved how the book interspersed management tips with intriguing behind-the-scenes stories of producing movies like Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles. Great read that will both inspire how you work and keep you entertained throughout.
Andrew Hogan, Forrester Research
There’s a podcast that NPR does called Embedded. It is outstanding. It goes really deep on really big stories, the sort of thing where there might be this vague mention of heroin addiction and opioid addiction, and this is 40 minutes with actual addicts and dealers and talking about what that’s like. For somebody who likes a lot of information about something, it’s a fantastic podcast. I listen to a lot of podcasts that make me think, but this one actually makes me feel something about the story.
Sara Fritsch, Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
I love reading a good memoir. So right now I’m reading Phil Knight’s new book called Shoe Dog, which is fascinating. My husband works at Nike, and I can relate so much of it to Schoolhouse. It’s a far different scale, but there are also a lot of similarities. He goes back to when they were in startup mode or smaller, and it’s very relatable. It’s reassuring, when we feel like we’re taking a big risk, you look what he did and you’re like, “oh, this is not that big of a deal.”
I’m going to re-read Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. And I read the Harry Potter series with my kids, which has been super fun.
David Rose, MIT Media Lab
I have three podcasts that I really really love. I really like 99% Invisible. It’s all about the design of cities. There’s another one called Design Matters, which I really like, and another one that’s just sideways called Song Exploder. Each podcast just takes a song and interviews the musician and has them build it for you like, “How did you come up with the drum track, and where did the inspiration for the song come from? How did you think about the vocal tracks?” They just mix it in front of you so it’s a little bit like cooking for songs.
I have a book recommendation too. Kevin Kelly, who wrote What Technology Wants, has just come out with a new book, which I really like, called The Inevitable. He’s been a writer for Wire for many years.
Tom Bennett, Connective DX
Right now I am reading Eric Larson’s Dead Wake. It shares secrets from the sinking of the Lusitania. I’m obsessed with the passenger liners of the 1930s. I’ve even been a member of the Titanic Historical Society since 1994. I was a little let down when they actually found the wreck, as it was more fun as a mystery.
Also, I have read Neil Stevenson’s Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle No.1) over and over. I think I am on my ninth round. I recommend it to people who want to understand the background for Europe’s economic and social structures, and how technology came to shape our world.
I am really missing Jon Stewart. Seeing him again on Colbert was like a breath of fresh air. I also miss the voice of Christopher Hitchens. I wonder what he’d have to say in our current political climate.
Do you have any other recommendations for us? Something else you would like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.