I am 1/3 of the way for my 12 book goal for 2008! Here are my thoughts about them:
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
This was an outstanding book. I have the heart of an inventor and entrepreneur so I found this book quite inspiring. Visit the author’s blog for examples of his topics and writing style. I particularly enjoyed the practical tips for breaking free from email, how to avoid meetings, and the concept of outsourcing your personal life.
The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
This book was my formal introduction to Lean and the Toyota Production System (TPS). I have utilized some Lean tools before when I was a business analyst (although I did not know the tools were Lean at the time!) but this book provides tremendous depth past my experience. I enjoyed the learning all of the principles at Toyota, especially the emphasis on people. I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in learning about this topic. Excerpts are available here.
The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Processes by Beau Keyte and Drew Locher
This was a great Lean book with practical tips for mapping value streams in any kind of workplace. There is a fictional case-study company throughout the book to help the reader practically apply the mapping concepts. I believe this book would be an inspiration to non-Lean companies as well.
Learning to See Version 1.3 by Mike Rother and John Shook
This book was written before “Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Processes” but I read it afterwards. I felt the other book added more relevant details since this had more of a machine-shop floor perspective. It has a practical case study as well, but felt more like a Lean textbook.