In this series, I asked infosec professionals to name 3 books that changed their life. This entry features picks from Diana Kelley, an industry mover and shaker currently serving as an executive in IBM Security Systems.
If you looked at my profile and Diana’s side-by-side, you’d think we must run in the same circles – we’ve spoken at many of the same events, both serve as faculty at IANS, have written content for the same magazines. But the truth is I didn’t “find” Diana until some time last year, and it was purely by chance. She’s one of those extremely level-headed, fun, and energetic people that just has a magnetism you can’t resist and she’s a pure bottomless pit of positive professional energy. Going in to 2015, I look forward to connecting more with Diana. You can too, through the links at the bottom of this post.
A little known book published in the late eighties that I found on a remainder table. The author captured my attention with the very first line: “After Kitty fell out the window I fell into the abyss.” It was a strange, dark searching time in my life and Smith’s book is dark, searching and also laugh out loud funny. His world view and ability to create hilariously absurd but also very real characters made this book a go-to stand by for years. Read this book for the fun of it, for the joy of it – this book makes life better.
|Eyeless In Gaza
Many of us were in a class (or two!) where Huxley’s Brave New World or Doors of Perception were required reading but some of his lesser known books are, in my opinion, better. And the standout for me is Eyeless. As the protagonist Anthony Beavis grows up and becomes an adult he searches for meaning in his life and finds it through a pacifism and mysticism. The quote below took me weeks to parse in a meaningful way and has informed my approach to life and risk management ever since.
Meat’s never been a favorite food, but as a child and then an adult I did eat meat occasionally and was a vegetarian for years. As a devout animal lover I attempted to become a vegan in the 90s. But a severe sensitivity to soy and nutrition concerns saw me abandoning the vegan life after a couple of years. Reading books like Fast Food Nation and Omnivore’s Dilemma opened my eyes to the horrific brutality of not only the CAFO meat industry but also the dairy and egg factory “farms.” I was mostly vegan but nervous about trying to go 100% vegan again. Slaughterhouse was my tipping point because it made me realize that the only way to stop factory animal abuse is complete veganism. Eisnitz’ book is bold and brave and incredibly well researched. If this book doesn’t make you put down the burger and take off the leather shoes and wool sweaters, nothing will.
Where to find Diana Kelley:
- Diana at IBM’s Security Intelligence
- Diana at SecurityCurve
- Twitter @dianakelley14
- Diana on LinkedIn
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