Reading is an important part of Centric’s culture – we’ve found that learning from the experiences of others is one of the best ways to be inspired. Good books and insightful lessons are shared frequently within the Centric walls – whether that be through team emails, via Twitter or in personal conversations. So, we thought we’d take a moment and bottle up some of the great reads that have impacted our own lives and thought processes. Below are 13 books recommended from Centric’s leaders. Take a look and enjoy! And let us know if you have comments on these books or others to recommend. We’d love to hear from you.
Book #8: Read “The Alchemy of Air” and realize Big Ideas are still out there.read
Thomas Hager’s “The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World But Fueled the Rise of Hitler” is a non-fiction account of one of the most amazing (and largely ignored) discoveries in the industrial age – fixing nitrogen. This title may sound like a “sciencey” book that only chemists and others in science fields would enjoy, but hold on – Hager has an incredible talent for creating and enveloping one in a rich story, filled with historical details running up to World War II. He includes intimate details of the time and people and comes to know Fritz Haber and Karl Bosch, Hitler, etc. in the process.
I am drawn to Hager’s books because of the science – but I’m also drawn to the amazing accomplishments of the men (and women) in the stories. No technology, but yet Bosch, Haber and others were able to solve a vexing chemical problem replete with insidious problems. No CAD, email, etc., but these teams (thousands of chemists, engineers, masonry, etc.) were able to collaborate and build city-like structures for scaling up nitrogen production. Basic human ingenuity is at its best, and this book is a fascinating reminder of what a good, strong and well-performing team can create.
Even if you don’t care for science, pick up the book – enjoy the rich history and learn how we can indeed work well as a team!
Basic human ingenuity is at its best, and this book is a fascinating reminder of what a good, strong and well-performing team can create.