Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) – Tom Vanderbilt – This is a great, thorough treatise on the way people drive and a myriad number of other topics, e.g. how do we evaluate and tolerate risk, how do we react to new safety devices, how urban planners designed for safety which reduced fatal collisions but increased non-fatal collisions. It even got me to stop texting while driving, because it points out that we assume we’re good drivers when we reach our destinations safely, but if we use this as an indicator of our driving abilities, it’s likely we actually have atrocious and dangerous driving habits that are perpetuated because we are never “punished” for it. With that in mind, I decided to make a point of not using my phone at all when I drive, because I wanted to be able to say honestly (to a police officer, probably) that I don’t drive distracted.
The book’s really long and extensively researched; it took forever to get through, and I’ll admit, I started reading faster towards the last few chapters (some might call it skimming).
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable – Seth Godin – I liked this book because it had plenty of examples of remarkable business practices, but it also had no real pointers on how to be remarkable. No brainstorming techniques, no suggestions to the reader to ask themselves “Why not” instead of “Why.” It’s a quick read, so I recommend it.