What's On Your Bookshelf?

Mark Rosenzweig's upcoming editorial for the August issue is about summer reading. Well – according to Mark, it's summer reading. The titles he suggests aren't the lightest of tomes:

"What Went Wrong: Case Histories of Process Plant Disasters and How They Could Have Been Avoided" and "ASM Consortium Guidelines: Effective Alarm Management Practices."

I queried Mark about his pleasure-reading list. You'll be happy to know he isn't all about disasters and alarm management. His current reading includes "The Studebaker National Museum. . .  Over a Century on Wheels," (2008, Mt Pub Company Inc.) by Andrew Beckman, and "Subways — The Tracks that Built New York City," (2004, Clarkson Potter) by Lorraine B. Diehl.

But his other choices got me thinking about additional books that would be meaningful to the chemical processing community. Before I present my list, I must preface my choices with a little background about me – I covered general manufacturing for more than a decade. That said, my suggestions offer broader knowledge. And since it's hard to cover manufacutring without mentioning "Lean" practices, these books highlight lean manufacturing.

• "The Toyota Way," (2003, McGraw Hill) by Jeffrey Liker. Aside from the fact that I hosted a Q&A session with Liker regarding this book, this is good reading for anyone in the manufacturing field. This book is based on the Toyota philosophies of eliminating waste, building quality into systems, developing employees and implementing processes to solve root problems.

• "The Gold Mine: a Novel of Lean Turnaround," (2005, Lean Enterprises Institute Inc.). When this book was sent to the office, my colleagues and I chuckled. Can you really write a novel about manufacturing and lean practices? Yes, you can. This is a very non-threatening approach to implementing lean practices. It basically follows a struggling company and its characters as they move through the lean journey.

What's on your bookshelf that you would recommend?