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Mr. M. T. Davies "mtdavies_mtd" (UK)

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Who Needs Actions When You Got Words (DMD)
Who Needs Actions When You Got Words (DMD)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like an early Eminem but better, 27 Oct 2011
I bought this after buying and loving the Defamation. I realised that this was going to be something different but I was blown away by this album.

In the style, it reminds me a bit of Eminem and in particular Stan, (although not at all melancoly.) The songs all have different and interesting narratives and show an emotional intelligence and reflection which is lacking from a lot of more egocentric and boastful rappers who focus on glamourising ghetto life.

To give one example, 'Mama' is a song to his mother about how she should get rid of her crackhead boyfriend because of the way he treats her. The song manages to combine his anger and distain for the boyfriend with frustation and pity for his mother and the realisation that her loneliness is making her blind to his faults.

All through the album his rhyming is tight and his lyrics are intelligent and mature and the backing music is diverse and addictive. This is such a quality album that it makes other British Rappers like Tinchy Stryder look childish and clumsy, I am surprised it wasn't a massive success when it was released.

My only caution would be that this isn't for kids, which is par for the course with this kind of album but he does use the C word once or twice as well.

If you bought the Defamation and wanted something similar, you won't get it, you'll get something with far more rap and much better.

Spoilt Rotten: The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality
Spoilt Rotten: The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality
by Theodore Dalrymple
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book if your prepared to listen, 9 Jan 2011
Were you uneasy at the mass hysteria and adoration of Princess Diana after she died? Do you feel an unease at pop stars telling you to 'make poverty history?' If the answer is yes then this is the book for you. Theodore Dalrymple talks with clarity and insight into exactly why the culture of expressing emotion in order to prove virtue is deeply damaging to our society.

Britian seems to have fallen into a society where we value emotions more highly than truth and where displaying emotion is seen as a virtue in itself. Dalrymple examines how this idea of morality affects our every day lives and impoverishes the very people that it is supposedly there to protect.

If you are in any doubt as to what Dalrymple is about, I suggest you search for some of the many articles available on the Internet, the philosophy of this book is evident in all his writing.

Conclusion: Brilliant and insightful commentary on the parlous state of modern Britain and modern Europe, although it may just upset the more sentimental types among us.

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
by Geoff Colvin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic content, could be written better, 19 Aug 2010
The content of this fantastic, it shows how top performers have a certain set of conditions and methods of practice that allow them to improve and outperform their peers. Colvin talks about the concept of deliberate practice, which is a very specific way of developing your abilities.

If there is a problem, it is because it falls between 2 stools. It is quite entertaining but a singular topic is never engrossing enough to make it as enjoyable as a great popular science book such as Blink or Freakonomics, nor is the subject as complex or as thought provoking as something like the Black Swan.

This could lead the book down a more self improvement orientated route, however, Colvin doesn't really throw himself into this. He sets out observations about elite performers but not once does he talk to you enthusiastically about how this could affect your life. He does set out all the ingredients of deliberate practice but this is spread over about 100 pages of the book so if you wanted a cut out and keep framework to deliberate practice then you will have to fish through these and make it yourself.

Being editor of fortune magazine, he does dedicate a few chapters to how businesses can benefit from deliberate practice, and maybe this is the point of the book, however if you are not concerned about this then skip these chapters, the book is still very readable for a non business person.

I have given it 4 stars for a reason, despite its shortcomings. The understanding of the content of this book is vital to anyone who wants to become exceptional in any field, the fact that it is not quite presented in the ideal format is of little consequence.

It is readable, it is quite entertaining but more importantly, if you apply the principles in this book it could be life changing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 10, 2011 5:21 PM GMT

The Complete Guide to Renovating and Improving Your Property
The Complete Guide to Renovating and Improving Your Property
by Liz Hodgkinson
Edition: Paperback

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the most annoying book I have ever read, 15 Mar 2010
Firstly, this book details different aspects of renovating a property and it is adequate in what it does. There are no real "trade secrets" in this book as Liz Hodgkinson is a journalist who happens to like property, writes about it and has owned a few properties herself. She does give plenty of examples but alot of these tend to be "as a case in point, my friend ....." Surprisingly, most of the horror stories involve her friends failing to do things and most of the success stories seem to involve the author.

Liz generally comes across as a negative, know it who can find the bad in almost every situation. For example, in her introduction she decrys the "done up to sell look," sighting her anecdotal evidence about a house that stayed on the market for over a year because the people who would buy it, the chattering classes, were wise to the tricks of property developers. Her logic was that if they had not renovated it that people would find it more attractive, as they could do the work themselves.

She comes across as the most obnoxious of bores on all sorts of property related subjects, of which she seems to possess scant knowledge. Gems such as "don't imagine that officials will be happy with a vague drawing scrawled on the back of an envelope," when applying for planning permissioin may lead the reader feeling more than a little patronised, rather than enlightened.

I would give more detail on the topics that she covers but I fear that you, the reader of this review, might actually like the sound of those topics and consider buying this book. Instead I would recommend something like "Property Ladder" by Sarah Beeny, even if you only want to do something to your house.

In conclusion, if you have an IQ in single figures and like being patronised, buy this book, if not, avoid it like the plague!

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less
The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less
by Richard Koch
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars repetitive but thats the genius of it, 12 Feb 2010
I picked up this book as a whim because I had some book tokens going spare and at first I struggled with it. The problem I had was that there were no practical examples in the book, instead he would make a point, repeat the point and maybe give some contrived numbers to illustrate it. Its lucky that I didn't lend it from the library otherwise I would have sent it back straight away.

So why am I giving this 5 stars? Its because his approach (albeit inadvertently) was genius. Often with self help books the author will offer examples, which you will imagine and relate to and then you will carry on reading, much as you would with any good book. As Richard Koch left so much to the imagination however, I couldn't help but think of my own circumstances and how I could apply it to me. And as I had no example to lead me, my mind went and applied 80/20 to the whole of my life, the implications were mind blowing.

I am still working to get to my full 80/20 state because doing so is sometimes an uncomfortable process, however I have found that I am more successful, feel less guilt, commit more time to things I enjoy, am more organised and as one other review said, I walk around thinking that I have a secret that not many other people know.

I would warn that this is an eccentric concept to get your head around and if you apply it to every aspect of your life then your mates may label you as a bit mad or lazy or lucky or a genius, however it will turn your life on its head and may just be the best book you'll ever buy.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Large Ego, facinating book, changes your perspective, 12 Mar 2008
For anyone interested in logic and clearer thinking, this is a rivetting read. NNT points out the worryingly common flaws in our perceptions with clever anecdotes and examples, which you can immediatly recognise in your own life.

The pleasure of this book is in picking up a newspaper or talking to a collegue and questioning things that yesterday you would have gone along with. The only other book to give me such a change in perspective was Jamie whyte's guide to clear thinking, although he seems to talk about social situations, where as the focus her is more empirical.

As other reviewers of hinted at, Taleb does show an outsized Ego but it does not adversley affect the quality and message of the book.

Fantastic read, perspective changing, highly recommneded

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
by Steven D. Levitt
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting easy read that fails to dig deeper, 7 Jun 2006
Freakonomics is a book about how we misconcieve the world and how these misconceptions can be exposed by statistical data. It is not a book about how and WHY we misconcieve the world which is rather what I hoped for.

The book comes across with some interesting and mind changing arguements about things such as Rudi Guiliani's zero tolerance policing and the lifestyles of drug dealers but I would have loved for the book to explore more than it did.

As it stands, freakonomics gives examples of certain misconceptions and provides statistical data to disprove these, with some explanation of why this may be so. There isn't any unifying thread or progressive arguements however as to why these misconceptions arise, which I personally would have liked to have seen. I would have loved a deeper exploration of why "conventional wisdom" is often not very wise but no such analysis is forthcoming.

One gets the feeling that this book has paid a bit more attention to marketing sound bites than to intellectual arguement, which results in the reader being dissapointed at the content, having had his hopes raised so high. You also get the sense of apology from the author when conventional wisdom is contradicted or when analysis comes up with a slightly unpalletable result, which irritates the reader.

On the plus side, it will give the average reader a bit to mull over and the reasonings and arguements are hard to argue with. I certainly don't take some things for granted as I used to.

Three stars purely because it is an entertaining if shallow look at the misconceptions of society.

Rich Dad's Prophecy
Rich Dad's Prophecy
by Sharon L. Lechter
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book ahead of its time, 8 April 2006
This review is from: Rich Dad's Prophecy (Paperback)
As with all the rich dad poor dad series, Robert tries to drive home the message that you cannot rely on employers and governments to look after you, and instead encourages the reader to invest in property and learn to run his/her own business.
The Prophecy however goes a step further and tells us of the impending pensions crisis and stockmarket crash that may come at around 2016, and how knowledge can help you to avoid the concequences.
An interesting and easy to understand book that should prompt thought in the reader at worst, and at best should change their assumptions of the world

High Stakes: How I Blew 14 Million: How I Blew 14 Million Pounds
High Stakes: How I Blew 14 Million: How I Blew 14 Million Pounds
by Sir Nigel Goldman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.66

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read if you can get past Goldmans Arrogance, 20 Oct 2005
High stakes is an entertaining and fast paced book about a Nigel Goldman, a trader who made millions in the markets and lost it all as a result of high living, tax evasion and sheer stupidity.
A very good read but slightly annoying as Goldman seems to show little remorse (and more than a little contempt)for the victims who's money he lived off so handsomely. He also comes across as quite boastful about his lifestyle, which does make the book work but also gets on your nerves by the end.

Start with No: The Negotiating Tools That the Pros Don't Want You to Know
Start with No: The Negotiating Tools That the Pros Don't Want You to Know
by Jim Camp
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.65

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, no nonsense advice, 20 Oct 2005
As a commission only salesman I read this book after getting negotiated out of all my commission one day by an obstinant housewife. From then on I decided that Win-win negotiation, which is pretty much what I had used that day was a very poor way to do business.
What Camp describes is a realistic and sound system that has certainly made me a much better salesperson and should benefit all readers in the sales and negotiation.
Whilst framing the other negotiators as adverseries, Camp reminds us how "Win-Win" negotiation often becomes Win-Lose as one side takes advantage of the other sides desire to do a deal at all costs.
Camp explains about emotional, monetary, and time budgets and how skilled negotiators can cause people to invest so much into a deal that they will submit to any demands to complete it. To keep the reader from that trap he describes when to say no how to avoid a bad deal.
As a book it has proved to be better than any of the sales books that I have read in the past. Superb.

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