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What We're Reading

What We're Reading

A Look at The JH Bookshelf

We are excited to introduce you to a new quarterly series here on The Keep. Our goal is to give you a more personal look at the people who work inside our walls. Our first topic ... books! Let's jump in and take a look at what some JH team members are reading lately.

Understanding Industrial Design - Read by Josh

I heard about Understanding Industrial Design (by Simon King & Kuen Chang) on Jefferey Zeldman’s podcast, The Big Web Show.

The book is about industrial design, but it’s written for graphic designers. It covers the fundamental principles of industrial design and then explains how they can be adapted by visual designers to create more meaningful user interfaces, and by extension, user experiences.

Badly designed things are a waste of people’s time and energy, not to mention the physical resources they consume in their creation. Reading this book resets your design thinking. It’s the designers responsibility to do more than just take orders and go through the motions. Designers need to advocate for, and design things that are, (to some degree) sensorial, simple, enduring, playful, thoughtful, sustainable, & beautiful. If we are not doing this, or at least trying to do this, then we are failing ourselves and our clients, and creating more trash (visual and physical) for the world.

Hero Maker - Read by Lucas

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

I recently read Hero Maker by Dave Ferguson & Dr. Warren Bird. The book has a heavy emphasis on faith and multiplication within the church community and relationally as people. Although, I don’t hold a paid leadership role within my local church, there were a lot of good points within the book to help me be a leader in my family, work environment, and outside in the community. One of the main objectives of the book is not to look at leadership as “what am I going to get out of this?” but more of “what am I able to provide to another person that they will be able to provide to others?” i.e. leadership multiplication.

Faster, Smart Louder - Read by Ellen

"Authenticity is the only way to sustain and grow a business."

I read Faster, Smarter, Louder: Master Attention in a Noisy Digital Market by Aaron Agius and Gián Clancey. The authors are best known for building their own global marketing agency from the ground up. In it, they share the strategies and tools that helped them succeed. What struck me most about this book was their recognition of current trends in the industry. Throughout each chapter, they stress the importance of genuine, personal connections with your clients.

Never Split the Difference - Read by Tom

I had the opportunity to hear Chris Voss speak last summer at the Global Leadership Summit. I enjoyed his interview with Paula Faris, so I decided to purchase his book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It. Chris, a former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, contends that “while many believe that negotiation is a battle, Chris sees successful negotiation as a collaboration rooted in empathy.” Chris states, “Everything in life is a negotiation. When you cross the street is a negotiation, getting your coffee at Starbucks is a negotiation. You are probably in three to seven negotiations every single day. Your life could be in a completely different place just by improving how you negotiate.” I found Chris’s book to be super engaging. It’s chocked full of interesting case studies and useful negotiation strategies. He provides great insights and communication skills for leading in business, the workplace or at home.

Reclaiming Conversation - Read by Abby

I read Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age by Sherry Turkle. Did you know that studies have shown that the mere presence of a phone on the table (even a phone turned off) changes what people talk about? This is a nice read mixing psychology/sociology and technology with a baby dose of self-help.

Five years of research, and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace; the expert on digital culture, shares actual dangerously familiar conversations, which was one of my favorite things about the book. The way we communicate now has more impact on our productivity, happiness and health than we realize. If you or someone you know has a phone, you’ll probably identify with this book.

Outer Order, Inner Calm - Read by Allison

"When my body is in a place that's orderly, my mind becomes more serene."

I read Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin last summer, but it's one I keep reflecting back on season after season. Gretchen writes about the idea that creating order in your home and workplace ultimately brings you inner peace and happiness. This isn't just a book about decluttering (although there are some good tips along the way), but makes you look at the world around you and how the things you choose to have in your life affect your thoughts and feelings ... maybe without you even realizing it.

We hope you've found something to add to your reading list. Happy reading, friends!