3 Quick Book Reviews (featuring @incblot @sepinwall) #popHR

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"You're Not That Great" by Dr. Daniel Crosby

 In "That's Interesting: Towards a Phenomenology of Sociology and a Sociology of Phenomenology (1971)," Murray Davis distinguishes between two types of theories: "Interesting theories deny certain assumptions of their audience, while non-interesting theories affirm certain assumptions of their audience."

Building off his well-received TEDxHunstville talk (see below), Crosby takes the former approach to theory-building by taking on traditional assumptions about our daily lives with catchy chapter titles such as "You Are Not That Special," and "Your Ideas Aren't All That Original."  Similarly, Crosby discusses many psychological biases with well-placed examples and anecdotes that make the often abstract material accessible.  Highly recommended before you make your New Year's resolutions.

"Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality" by Jacob Tomsky

I always enjoy a peek into other people's jobs, and Jacob Tomsky's memoir provides an interesting look at the job of a hotel employee.  In "Heads in Beds," Tomsky describes what it is like to be a hotel valet, and a front line check-in clerk, as well as the inevitable run-ins with management figures, both the good and bad.  While he does give some pretty unethical advice about getting out of paying for your hotel movies and that minibar raid, the bottom-line, as with most service employees, is treat them well, and you will be treated well in return.

"The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever" by Alan Sepinwall

I'm an avid TV watcher....enough so that I often like reading recaps/reviews of the episodes soon after they appear.  The one TV critic I turn to most frequently is Alan Sepinwall, who posts his reviews at Hitfix.com.  So, when I read he had published a book, I knew it was a must grab...and it doesn't disappoint.  In "The Revolution Was Televised," Sepinwall examines 12  shows, such as "The Wire," The Sopranos," "Breaking Bad," and " "Battlestar Galactica," that have transformed television over the past 15 or so years.  What makes the book stand out is the behind-the-scenes look at the origins and evolution of each of the shows.  Check out this excerpt about the origins of "Lost."

The library is now closed.

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