3 Books Everyone Should Read - And They're All Quick Reads!

Checking in at a total of 512 pages (that's the total for all 3 put together!) these books are the ones I recommend to everyone who has to work for a living.

So, yeah, pretty much everyone. 

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

First up is the longest one, but at 272 pages you'll get through it in no time.

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition)
by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister

ISBN-13: 978-0321934116
ISBN-10: 0321934113
272 Pages

While most business books focus on theory, process, or selling, Peopleware shines the light on the real people doing with work, with all of their quirks, idiosyncrasies, and strengths. (I know, what a concept, right?) 

Often referred to as a "project management" book, that label doesn't do it justice - the material is helpful to everyone looking to get the most out of, or just survive, the corporate environment. And for those of us who want more, you can use this information to improve your interactions with co-workers and clients.

This is one I re-read every year to keep the insights fresh in my mind. The humorous tone and real-life examples make this an enjoyable read.

How to Lie with Statistics

How to Lie with Statistics
by Darrell Huff (Author) and Irving Geis (Illustrator)

ISBN-13: 978-0393310726
ISBN-10: 0393310728
144 Pages

People love to toss around statistics, don't they? It makes what they say seem so much more credible. And maybe it's all true. But...

It is amazingly simple for people, intentionally or by mistake, to skew and twist statistics. It happens all the time, and can be the cause of bad decisions.

Let this book be your guide on what to watch out for, and avoid, when using statistics as part of your decision-making process.


The PC is Not a Typewriter/The Mac is Not a Typewriter

The PC is not a typewriter
by Robin Williams

ISBN-13: 978-0938151494
ISBN-10: 0938151495
96 Pages

The MAC is not a typewriter
by Robin Williams

ISBN-13: 978-0201782639
ISBN-10: 0201782634
96 Pages

Come on, admit it, you either still double-space after periods when you type, or you know someone who does...

The PC is Not a Typewriter (and its Mac companion*) is a fast, fun, easy read that will help you make your written communication more professional and sophisticated. Yes, it references older technology, but the technical info isn't the important part here - it's the simple, clear information and inspiration for crafting of better writing. It covers punctuation, leading, special characters, kerning, fonts, justification, and so much more. 

Read this, keep it nearby, refer to it often - your writing, and your readers, will thank you for it.

Frankly, these 96 page-long gems are the books I would give to everyone I meet, if I could. 

*Why is there a PC and a MAC version? My guess is 1) for the technical references which I'm sure were helpful when it was released 2) to get the full audience - some PC people won't pick up something targeted at the MAC audience, and vise versa.

Some people might skip over these books because they were published "years ago" - but that would be a mistake. OK, sure, some of the examples they include may be a bit dated; however, the concepts and ideas are timeless. Give them a try, and I'm sure you'll agree!

Note: The book images are links to the Amazon.com page for that book. If you purchase the book from there, I will get a few pennies from Amazon that I'll use to support my book habit. But no pressure, get them from your favorite place!

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First Try: AmazonFresh

Yesterday (4/6/15) I got an email letting me know that AmazonFresh is now available in my area.

The timing was great, as I had forgotten to submit my usual order for ShopRite From Home and I was running out of the important basics. You know, stuff like bread, milk, toilet paper, and the like.

So, I quickly placed my first AmazonFresh order, selecting the option that doesn’t require me to be home for delivery. But, just to be on the safe side, I selected the earliest delivery window, 7am - 10am, so hopefully the delivery would arrive before I had to leave.

Sure enough, at 7:01am I heard a vehicle outside… my delivery arrived! I went about my usual morning routine, then when I finished I went to check out the delivery. Despite that fact the all the emails had stated they would leave the order someplace other than the location I specified, the delivery person put them exactly where I had requested when I placed the order. Step 1: Success!

I brought everything inside, and every item I ordered was there - no problems at all. And all of the cool/cold stuff was at the perfect temperature. Step two: Success!


  • If you place an order before 10AM, they’ll get it to you in time for dinner.
  • You don’t have to be home when they deliver. They package the items that need to stay cool in dry ice. (Of course, that’s only good for a a couple of hours, so you do need to make sure you’ll be home within the windows.) Or you can schedule delivery for when you are home.
  • You can order a wide variety of items, including produce, meats, veggies, and frozen items.
  • You can also get non-grocery items included with the delivery.
  • You can also get items from some local businesses.
  • Delivery was free because I’m a Prime member. You do include a tip.
  • Everything arrived fresh, in good condition, and the produce lasted the usual amount of time.
  • Most prices were the same, or very close, to what I usually pay.


  • They didn’t have a lot of my usual brands, but I was able to find suitable replacements in most cases.
  • The items from local businesses are a bit pricey.
  • Your order is delivered in green bags that need to be returned to Amazon. If you are tight on space in your home, this may be a problem.
  • The cold items are packed in styrofoam, which needs to be returned to Amazon. (The do come apart, kinda like a puzzle, so they take up less space.)

To Wrap Up…

At this point, I don’t think AmazonFresh will replace ShopRite from Home for me, even with the $20 fee ShopRite charges. But it will come in handy from time to time; and if AmazonFresh starts to carry more of my favorite brands, maybe more than that.

I was able to put all the AmazonFresh delivery bags and containers into these 2 bags.