QUICK READ

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter's Guide by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway and Jon Warshawsky

Anyone who's read a corporate report knows how boring business jargon can be. Whether it's just sloppy or really intentional ("restructuring" instead of "layoffs"), the authors say "bull has become the language of business." In this 192-page guide, they offer tips on navigating around common miscommunication traps (obscurity, anonymity, the hard sell) that befall business people. Want to sound smart? Use humor instead of big words, pick up a phone or a pen instead of e-mailing and, most important, speak succinctly. Your audience will not only remember you--they'll thank you.

The Four Elements of Success by Laurie Beth Jones

When Jones says "elements," she means it. In her new 240-page book, the author of the best-selling "Jesus CEO" uses water, earth, wind and fire as a way to assess personality types. Winds favor a fast-paced environment, for example, while waters prefer predictability and earth types want stability. Challenge a combative colleague and you're playing with fire. After explaining how readers can identify their own personality profiles, Jones outlines each element's strengths and weaknesses. She then suggests how the various types can work together--just as their namesake elements do.

What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

You may not envision the inventors of the PC as long-haired hip-pie types. But in this evocative 320-page history of the personal computer, New York Times reporter John Markoff shows how early tech luminaries were inspired by '60s obsessions like existentialism, pacifism and psychedelic drugs. In a series of linked profiles, Markoff demonstrates that the PC pioneers weren't much different than their rock-and-roll peers: they rejected prevailing wisdom and looked for tools that would expand their minds and buck authority.