The Full Portrait
A good portrait is about, not of, someone. It is an encounter, a wordless experience of another person that is made into an image.
The portrait is one of the great subjects of photography. It can carry you in so many directions if you let it. The book talks about portraits and the process of making them at length. One of the best ways to explore it is to find some group of people that you are drawn to and start a portrait project that revolves around them. Let the momentum of the project take you back and back to them. Your work will both deepen and tighten.
If you haven't yet had a lot of experience making portraits, here's something to remember: there is a natural intensity in the process. People who don't know any better feel that they need to relax their subject, get them at ease. DON'T. If there is intensity, leave it there. Try this: do an image search for Portraits, look at all the images that come up, and see how many are smiling.
So start your own project, and when you get a few you like, submit them to this page.