JOHOprah's Book Club

Here are the books plugged in JOHO, plus some others that I care about.

Thanks to the fiendish cleverness of Amazon's marketing group, you can buy them here, save yourself some money, and put a tiny bit of cash into the JOHO coffers as well.

JOHO Issue

Collected Poems

John Updike

August 13, 2000

Poems, include "Hoeing," a type of tacit knowledge.

No Logo: Taking on the Brand Bullies

Naomi Klein

March 20, 2000

Why global brands suck. Excellent: passionate, full of stories, heartfelt.

The New Pioneers

Thomas Petzinger

May 20, 1999

Stories of the new way of doing business like human beings

Sense and Sensibilia

John Austin

Feb. 22, 1999

Reality isn't a noun — it's a trick of language. Delightful, insightful, very British.


Leon Wieseltier

Dec. 15, 1998

Wieseltier returns to observing Jewish tradition to fulfill his obligation to pray for his father for a year. These are the reflections of a scholar and modern person in the face of tradition and spirit.

In Light of India

Octavio Paz

Sept. 7, 1998

The Mexican poet writes about India, with Mexico always in the background of his thought. History, culture, language. Is it a surprise that's wonderfully written?

Only the Paranoid Survive

Andy Grove


The co-founder of Intel discourses


Richard Dooling

Nov. 5, 1998

Now this is a funny book. Court-room thriller, neurological sci fi, intellectual inquiry into mind-body questions. Well written, plotted, thought. How come I had to find this book by accident?

Red Earth and Pouring Rain

Vikram Chandra

Sept. 7, 1998

A disturbingly accomplished, epic first novel that's about, well, an heroic figure reincarnated as a monkey. Arabian Nights-like, Chandra weaves legends and a contemporary account of life as an Indian in America. Lotsa fun.

India: Grant 57

Ian Jack, ed.

Sept. 7, 1998

A collection of articles and fiction about modern India. Good range, some excellent writing.

Metaphors We Live By

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

June 21, 1998

These two philosophers explore the underpinnings of our thought and language which turns out to be -- literally -- metaphorical.

Snow Crash

Neal Stephenson

June 4, 1998

This book visualized the Web better and earlier than anyone -- a vision still ahead of its time. (Warning: after the first couple of chapters, it turns into a dumbass Kevin Costner movie.)

Learning from Las Vegas
Robert Venturi
April 28, 1998
The first book to take Las Vegas seriously as an architectural site...and it's a lot like the Web
Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture
Robert Venturi
April 28, 1998
Venturi found the rhythms and inconsistencies that make buildings architecture
Affective Computing
Rosalind Picard
April 10, 1998
Computers ought to recognize -- and maybe simulate -- emotion. Raises questions about our assumption that rationality is the king of consciousness.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

T.S. Kuhn

June 2, 1998
(special issue)

At long last you can read where all this talk of "paradigms" started. This is one of the most important books of the century. It gave us a new, well, paradigm by which to think about science and progress

To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design

Henry Petroski


Learning how things fail is crucial to understanding how they work. Doggedly humanistic view of engineering.


Stephen Potter


How to win without actually cheating. A very funny, very British book from the 50s (?) that I loved as an adolescent, and still do.

Books by JOHO Readers
( Add yours!)


David Weinberger

1. The Cluetrain Manifesto (with Levine, Locke and Searls)

2. Adventurer's Guide to Interleaf LISP

3. Nuclear Dialogues

1. "The End of Business as Usual"

2. When I was a mktg vp at Interleaf, I wrote this beginner's guide to extending the Ileaf authoring product using LISP. The product is now a rev level past where this book might have been useful.

3. Talk about obsolete! This is a loosely constructed series of dialogues on philosophical issues around the nuclear arms race.

Michael Heim

1. The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality

2. Virtual Realism

3. Electric Language: A Philosophical Study of Word Processing


1. "As we begin to move in and out of a computer-generated world, Michael Heim asks, how will the way we perceive our world change?"

2. "[O]ffers a fascinating exploration of the technological and artistic sides of VR and offers some exciting challenges to old assumptions about where nature ends and cyberspace begins. "

3. One of the first studies of the subtle and important ways word processing changes language and our nature as speakers

Thomas Koulopoulos, (and Richard A. Spinello, Wayne D. Toms)

Corporate Instinct: Building a Knowing Enterprise for the 21st Century

"...presents a set of management and technology tools to help manage an organization's shared knowledge and cultivate its intellectual assets."

Tom Mandel

Letters of the Law

Part of the New American Poetry Series and one of several books of poems. Also, check his web company at

Tony McKinley

From Paper to Web

Recommended by the Amazon Internet Books Editor who says Tony "provides an enticing case that today's tools finally make a substantial transition from paper not just possible, but desirable. And he shows how it can be done. "

Don Norman

1. The Design of Everyday Things 0385267746

2. The Invisible Computer 0262140659

1. Originally called "The Psychology of Everyday Things," this will open your eyes to the UI decisions made about every artifact around you.

2. The subtitle says it all: Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex, and Information Appliances Are the Solution

Meredith Sue Willis

1. Trespassers

2. Various (Merry Sue's home page)

Sue writes novels often set in -- or from -- her native West Virginia. She also is one of the best teachers of writing around.

The NYTimes Book Review has said "Ms. Willis...provides a[n]...important lesson on the nature and function of literature itself." The Nation has called her work "Pure, twangy, bewitching entertainment."