I have spent this past week away from the city crowds on a quiet beach in Northern California, trying to catch up on reading and walking and, more importantly, thinking. So this week’s recommended reading list is a lot more eclectic. Hope you enjoy.
- Design is everybody’s business: Denise Lee Yohn talks to folks at Herman Miller and walks away with the impression that in today’s world, design is not just for designers but is part of corporate thinking. I wish more companies paid attention to that nuance. (My buddy Mike Monteiro wrote Design is a Job, which ought to get you started.)
- I have been a vocal critic of the web advertising industry not taking any chances and being creative. I was encouraged when I read Responsive Advertising by Mark Boulton, a U.K.-based designer. It should be a must read for everyone in the business — publishers, writers, ad people and marketing honchos. (Related: Defending the future of mobile advertising.)
- The Generations of Men: how the cycles of history shape your values, your idea of manhood and your future. The Art of Manliness essay by Brett and Kate Mckay is simply brilliant. Best hour I spent on reading this week.
- Amazon versus local retail. Like Walmart, Amazon is gunning for local retail, thanks to same-day delivery. Farhad Manjoo’s Slate piece is an intelligent read. It has been shared extensively on the social web, so there is a good chance you might have actually read it by now.
- Requiem for a Soviet Spy: Milton Bearden, a CIA operative, writes about former KGB Chairman Leonid Vladimirovich Shebarshin. I loved reading this story.
- The death, rebirth and immortality of Sherlock Holmes. Fellow Holmes nerd Maria Konnikova returns with yet another brilliant essay.
- Has “Organic” been “oversized?” Ever since I learned that Kashi was owned by General Mills, I have become skeptical of every famous organic brand and spend time researching before I buy. You should too. This article is a good start.
This week I am breaking the rule and sharing this amazing four-part series by my colleague Katie Fehrenbacher. She traveled to North Carolina to figure out why Google, Facebook and Apple were making this region part of their future and building data centers. It is part of our efforts to incorporate long-form writing into our news and analysis pieces.