Jeff Zych

#books

  • 2021 Reading List

    2021 felt like a slow year for reading for me, what with vaccinations and my social life and work life picking up. In actuality, I only read 4 fewer books than last year (24 compared to 28). Not as bad of an outing as I was expecting. Read on for highlights and the full list.

  • Books Read 2020

    2020. A year of isolation and social distancing and quarantining. Sounds like it should be a great year for reading, right? Well, not as much as I would have guessed. I read 28 books this year, which is less than last year (only by 2), but still significantly more than the previous 2 years. So not bad, but not as great as I would have expected.

  • Notes from "Vernacular Eloquence"

    How can speech improve your writing? Your initial reaction is probably, not at all. But it turns out there's a lot that speech can offer writing, and that's what Peter Elbow's 'Vernacular Eloquence' is all about. It's full of practical advice for harnessing the power of speech to improve your writing, so I wrote them down here for future reference.

  • My Experience with "The Artist's Way"

    Creativity is an innate gift we all possess. And it's part of our nature to use that creativity. I firmly believe this, and so does The Artist's Way author, Julia Cameron. Unfortunately, for most of us, it's stamped out at an early age by education, society, friends, family, and other cultural norms. A lucky few get encouragement at a young age, or have enough creative energy to push through those headwinds, but the rest of us are left thinking we aren't "creative." Fortunately, Julia is here to undo that damage.

  • Lessons in Creativity from Leonardo

    Creativity is a muscle that we all have. It can be strengthened. It can be practiced. It's not an inherent trait that only a chosen few are anointed with. I firmly believe this, but it's also one of the central themes of Walter Isaacson's biography of Leonardo da Vinci.

  • Books Read 2019

    In 2019 I read 30 books, which is pretty good considering some were huge like The System of the World and The Power Broker. Also, I got married 🤵👰, and it turns out planning takes a ton of time. Other books, though, were glorified picture books, like Palette Perfect, so I guess it all evens out. It’s also 7 more books than I read last year, and more than double 2017.

  • Books Read 2018

    List of books I read in 2018.

  • Notes from “Good Strategy / Bad Strategy”

    Strategy has always been difficult for me to pin down. What does a strategy look like? What makes a strategy good or bad? “Good Strategy / Bad Strategy,” by UCLA Anderson School of Management professor Richard P. Rumelt, takes a nebulous concept and makes it concrete.

  • Books Read in 2017

    This year I read 14 books, which is 8 fewer than the 22 I read last year. Lower than I was hoping, but it at least averages out to more than 1 per month.

  • Books I Read in 2016

    In 2016, I read 22 books. Only 3 of those 22 were fiction. I had a consistent clip of 1-3 per month, and managed to finish at least one book each month.

  • Thoughts on “The Gift”

    I finally finished 'The Gift,' by Lewis Hyde, after reading it on and off for at least the last 4 months (probably more). Overall I really enjoyed it and found it very thought-provoking. At its core it's about creativity, the arts, and the tension between art and commerce.