Have You Read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson?


Have You Read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson? Book Review LisaNalbone.comI, literally, just finished reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

I found it gripping, and I am not usually much for reading about celebrities. I was fascinated by the  many intersecting threads of the history of internet and computers, silicon valley, business, the person, the company. The complexity and contradictions of Jobs personality puzzled me. Because I am really terrible at paying attention to popular culture and famous people, most of the information was news to me.

Two weeks ago I found this hefty book  for only  $3 at the Mill Valley Friends of the Library Book Sale shelf while I was waiting for Dale to finish his speaking gig.  Maybe  having a kid  who promotes  Hacking Your Education , UnCollege  and Thiel Fellows had something to do with it, but I was totally sucked in by this story of a dropout.  

I also felt pulled in because of being so close in age to Jobs. He touches on so many similar cultural experiences, the music, the hippy and communal days, the idealism that has to find a way to live in the world and make a living.

And the mortality. He was only three years older than me and he’s  already gone.  Whenever I experience loss it makes me think about whether or not I am doing what matters. And if not, what I want to change.

I love this quote from the book from this complicated controversial person:


We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add some thing to that flow.  p. 570

No matter what you think of Jobs, he did use his talents to contribute to the flow. He also inspired many others, whether through mentoring, competition or ferocious feedback, to use their talents as well.

What are you reading this week?

I love  library book sales! Here is a shameless plug for Winters Friends of the Library online book store! The book sale funds are a huge source of support for our little library.  Please, go shop here!

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2 thoughts on “Have You Read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson?”

  1. Sharon,

    What a beautiful story of passing on the love of a book through the generations.

    I so miss reading aloud to my son, that was one of our favorite activities. It evolved to reading separately and then saying, “You’ve got to read this one!”

    You say it so eloquently, “Now we have experienced that bittersweet near-grief that you only get with the best of books that change you ever so slightly, for the good.” Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story here. I hope you will continue to add your voice.


  2. I just finished reading The Lord of the Rings for the third time – last time was 37 years ago. The first time was when I was 10, and my mom read it aloud to me though I got to read the part of Gollum.

    This time I got to read it aloud to our 10 year old son. It was wonderful to be able to do that with him. Now we have experienced that bittersweet near-grief that you only get with the best of books that change you ever so slightly, for good.

    One of the quotes we liked is: “All’s well as ends better, I always say!”


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