Here are the books read in the past few weeks:
Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell is about snap judgements (the author terms this as thinslicing)that we make about things, people. It gives a lot of examples where people make judgements about certain objects (e.g. whether a statue is genuine or fake) or people (whether the teacher is good or not). In many cases the judgements are amazingly correct with no scientific logic behind the judgement, but in other cases they are plain wrong. Malcolm has also written about the topic in this New Yorker article. Though the book has a lot of fascinating examples, I found much of the material common-sense and as you would guess there is no positive or negative about these judgements.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is about various things that make you popular among people. As we all find out by experience, people that are most popular and/or make a lot of money are not necessarily geniuses, but they all have very good people skills. Some pieces of advice from the book: Never critisize, Praise (not flatter) people to give them importance, Make people want to do the things that you want them to do, Smile. Overall a good book with a nice conversational style (though the examples given are those of people way out in past - hey, the book was written in 1936!)
Permission Marketing : Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin is about a new way of marketing where the marketer instead of interrupting the consumer, builds a long term relation with him. They offer some goodies in order to get permissions to send messages to the consumers and then they continue offering more and more baits to obtain more permissions. A very good read. Even though Seth works for Yahoo, it seems like their competitor is using his concepts in much more effective ways.