This book is unlike every other photography book I’ve read, and that’s why I like it.  It doesn’t attempt to teach you how to be a great photographer, and it certainly doesn’t waste any space showcasing the authors’ work.  It addresses a very different -and very real- need for photographers: a place to turn when you are feeling less than creative.  The authors don’t want you to sit down and read a book, they want you to get out, take and make photos.  Their job is to give you ideas that can easily be put into action.  …action that will inevitably spark some inspiration.

The book is divided into two parts.  1.) Crafty things to do with your photos, and 2.) ideas of what and how to shoot next.  Personally I enjoyed the second part much more than the first, but in light of the economy and the fast approaching Christmas season I will certainly be implementing some of their crafty ideas for my gifts this year.

No matter where you are in your photographic pursuits there are plenty of things in this book you can benefit from.  If you’re feeling stifled creatively then it would be well worth your time/money to pick up this book. …but only if you’ll actually DO some of the things they suggest.  =)

Automatic Millionaire

autoMillionI was a bit leery of this book at first.  The cover makes it sound like a “get rich quick” scheme, and it’s very clear that the author has an agenda to sell books –nothing against him, it just kinda turned me off at first.  Once I got past the marketing schpiel I tore through the first 85 pages or so.  David Bach spells out, in very simple terms, how to live within your means and save money without much work at all.  It’s quite brilliant really.  Over and over (even to the point of feeling redundant) he makes the point: force yourself to save money automatically.

Personally, as a freelancer without a biweekly paycheck it is much harder to practice what he’s preaching although it’s no less valid.  It’s worth your time to read it, even if the marketing verbiage makes you want to hurl.


Financial Peace [Revisited]

financialPeaceI asked my friend Jenny if she could suggest any good books to help me take control of my finances, and this was the first book she suggested.  Having read it, I can see why!  It is a solid, foundational book for anyone who is tired of being a slave to their money.  Ramsey is a straightforward author who tells it like it is.  Some of the things he says will make you uncomfortable at first, but he is speaking from his own experience; and you can’t argue with that.  He strips away so many misconceptions about money and then shows the reader that the path to financial peace is really a simple thing if only you will try.  If you are serious about mastering your finances (and btw, you will never master them until you get serious about it), do yourself a favor and read this book!


Rise of the Creative Class

by Richard FloridaAuthor and economist Richard Florida looks at history through the lens of creativity to see how it has shaped, and is shaping, our culture, our livelihood, and our lifestyles.  The first few chapters of this book blew me away.  I really felt as though the author genuinely understands creative people better than most authors and perhaps art directors.  He put into words things that I have often felt, but couldn’t describe well.  He has a way of presenting ideas that seem contradictory at first, but as he explains them you can’t help but draw the same conclusions.  It will definitely alter your worldview if you let it.

All in all, the book is excellent, but I do have two complaints: 1.) It’s too long.  I’m a fan of big books, but this one starts to feel redundant after a while.  2.) The classification of “creative class” is a bit too broad.  According to the book, pretty much anybody not serving food or working in a factory falls into the “creative class” at one point or another.  It does describe the “super creative core” and I think those are the people who will benefit the most from this book.