Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Shop Suki Ad Campaign Pieces Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Profile for Hande Z > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Hande Z
Top Reviewer Ranking: 477
Helpful Votes: 1242

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Hande Z (Singapore)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
by Keith Ferrazzi
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars Better alone than in bad company?, 4 Oct. 2015
This book is about networking and meeting people. It is not a bad thing, making friends. But this book is not about making friends as an end in itself. It is about making friends who are likely to help you achieve your aims - whether you are aiming to raise $40,000,000 to buy land in Utah (the opening 'get them' story)or to enlarge your business, or to get in line for the next promotion. Th book tells you all the ways you can do this. It also has a chapter that is called 'Engineering Serendipity'. If you believe, as the author does, that networking is a purely business activity, chances are that you will instinctively know all the moves that he teaches in this book. If you need this book to succeed in networking, chances are that you may not agree with the attitude of this book - 'Be a Conference Commando". There the author asks 'Is the likely return I'll get from the relationships I establish and build equal to or greater than the price of the conference and the time I spend there? If so, I attend. If not, I don't. It's that simple.'

The Diet Myth: Why the Secret to Health and Weight Loss Is Already in Your Gut
The Diet Myth: Why the Secret to Health and Weight Loss Is Already in Your Gut
by Tim Spector
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.76

3.0 out of 5 stars Myth of Science, 3 Oct. 2015
The basic point Spector makes is that we should not hurry to try out any fad diet. It pays to be a little sceptical, a little moderate, and eat a balnce of all kinds of food. Food and vitamin supplements, Spector says, are of little benefits at best and might be harmful if one take the wrong kind or overdose on some. Even alcohol is not as bad as some might suggests. Spector himself thought about giving up alcohol- but only for a few seconds.

He discusses the usual villains - sugar, fats and transfats and the heroic diets such as the Mediterranean diet but ends by reminding us that no one formula fits all. We are more individualistic in our comaptibility with the food availble than we think. That is because we have our own, individual colonies of microbes that attack and absorb the foods that we eat. It will thus be a vercy complicated and expensive project to find the right diet individually. Hence, we should relax and be less worried about what we eat; just don't overdo it.

How Corrupt is Britain?
How Corrupt is Britain?
by David Whyte
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Coming clean, 26 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a compilation of articles by various writers and edited by David Whyte who provides an illuminating introduction to the book. The first chapter is an apt article on widening the World Bank's definition of corruption from the narrow 'abuse of public office for private gain' to include a much wider catalogue that includes 'the capture of regulators and public officials by the corporate sector and its consultants' which is also connected to 'the preferential access to ministers and officials enjoyed by the wealthy and powerful'. The list also includes 'the cover-ups of wrongdoing by officials to protect their personal reputation and positions', and 'police collusion in illegal information gathering by journalists'.

Jorg Wiegratz writes about the 'new normal' in corruption arising from the neoliberal policies and reforms from the 1980's. He also points to the difficulties due to a lack of data analysis by social scientists, but at the same time, he points to deeply incriminating email that have become public. Phil Scaton writes about the myths and betrayal of policing. That is followed by Sheila Coleman's article on 'Hillsborough: the long Struggle to Expose Police Corruption', and 'The Killing of Mark Duggan', an article by Joanna Gilmore and Waqas Tufail.

In Part III, various articles on corruption by government and public institutions include a n article by Paul O'Connor on 'British State torture' and why it is important for the institutions from pursuing matters that might prove 'awkward if pursued'. Historical and institutional Child and Sexual Abuse Scandals' by Chris Greer and Eugene McLaughlin reveal the cover-ups in this area. MichaelMair and Paul Jones has an interesting article on 'Politics, Government and Corrupton: The Case of the Private Finance Initriative', and Stuart Wilks-Heeg writes about 'Revolving-Door Politics and Corruption' - a phenomenon once associated mainly with American politics and institutions.

Part IV concerns 'Corruption in Finance and the Corporate sector' which includes John Christensen's 'In her Majesty's Secrecy Service'. Christensen explores Britain as the 'world's leading purveyor of financial secrecy' which 'enables concealment of a wide variety of corrupt practices'. Luke Hildyard has a sharp article on ‘High Pay and Corruption’ that focuses on the ‘runaway growth of top pay for corporate executives’ and the ‘lack of democratic accountability’.

This book is an interesting study of the 'New Britain' and also the frightening prospect that Britain is not alone.

The China Challenge - Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power
The China Challenge - Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power
by Thomas J. Christensen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Slight lead on the pack, 24 Sept. 2015
It is mostly Americans who are divided into 'optimists' and 'pessimists' when regarding China. That is because it is mainly America that sees China (and for that matter, any rising country, such as the former USSR) as a rival t its dominant position in the world. Christensen reviews both camps and tries to analyse with impartiality, the true strength and implications of China's position today. His views thus appears balanced and objective. One can hardly quarrel with his analysis in which he accepts that China's rise is real, but that it is not one that justifies the pessimists in believing that the USA will soon be left trailing behind economically and militarily. Christensen's analysis covers almost all the same grounds that others on both sides of the divide have done - China's rapid rise, its dealings with internal corruption, dissent, harnessing its currency and economy, testing its resolve in its spats with its smaller Asian neighbours, and its backing for its friends such as North Korea. Christensen writes in a plain and lucid style, covers all the main issues, and does not appear to be plainly an optimist or pessimist. Apart from that, the reader will find his book rather familiar.

The reason is that on the whole, Christensen's analysis is bountiful in today's literature when the oeuvre is dominated by American analysts. The reasoning and conclusions may differ, the attitude and writing styles may provide the only distinction in the host of American China watchers, but they are now proving a tad too predictable and boring. Christensen writes in the epilogue: 'One does not need to envision replays of the two world wars or the Cold War to recognize the security challenge presented by China's rise. The trick for U.S. leaders is how to maintain a strong military, economic, and diplomatic presence in East Asia without triggering a defensive and destabilizing reaction in Beijing.'

The trick for the leaders of the rest of the world, especially of East Asian countries, is not get themselves infected by American fears. The rest of the world that does not see itself through American eyes would prefer to see an analysis of 21st century China without the assumption that China is or will become a threat to the world. That is a paranoia that Americans have inflicted on themselves.

The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong
The Road Not Taken: Finding America in the Poem Everyone Loves and Almost Everyone Gets Wrong
by David Orr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Way to go, 19 Sept. 2015
This is the centennial year of Robert Frost's most famous poem - indeed, it might be America's most famous poem. It has served as an inspiration for people to bravely choose the less trodden path; it has been used as a call to forsake convention; and an endorsement of the pioneering spirit. Yet as this 172-page study by David Orr shows, the poem is so enigmatic that most people who quote it might have misread it, and people might have been inspired by it for the wrong reasons. An important clue is that many thought that the title of the poem is 'The Road Less Travelled' (judging by the Google searches made) whe the title is 'The Road Not Taken'. It is a title chosen by Frost deliberately, Orr says, because the original title was 'Two Roads'. So the narrator chose the road less 'and that has made all the difference'.

The poem does not indicate clearly the reasoons for his choice nor does it say what the difference was. Readers make their own assumptions and forget that Frost might have intended to focus on 'the road not taken' and not the one 'less travelled by' that was not. Orr studies the poem in depth about the poem's ambiguities and construction by eminent scholars and poets including Edward Thomas and Robert Graves. Orr then directs his study from the poem to the substance, which is the nature of 'choice', and he rightly includes in this study, an important element in any choice - the chooser himself.

Have we understood Frost correctly? Can he have intended what Orr thinks the poem is about? This may not be the final word on the untaken road for the destination is unclear. But this is, unquestionably, the most important work on this poem since it was published in August 1915.

Sake: The History, Personal Stories and Craft of Japan's Artisanal Breweries
Sake: The History, Personal Stories and Craft of Japan's Artisanal Breweries
by Hayato Hishinuma
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 75.00

5.0 out of 5 stars For happiness sake, 18 Sept. 2015
This is a very large, heavy, and expensive book but is probably one of the best there is on the Japanese sake. It was a project of Elliot Faber who wrote the tasting notes, and Hayato Hishinuma who wrote the profiles of the breweries. Sake is the common name the world gives to the three types of Japanese wine - nihonshu (meaning 'alcohol' but commonly referred to as 'sake'), shochu (meaning 'burnt alcohol'), and awamori (the bubbly brew). The disterries and breweries are comprehensively described, and the information includes the rice varieties used, the yeast types, the aging process, and the accolades received. Each distillery profile is accompanied by photographs including where available, a photograph of the owner - for example, that of Joji Yusa, th 19th generation of the Yusa clan, originally samurais, but turned to the brewery business by the 3rd generation.

This is a good reference book for sake lovers but one might like to have John Gauntner's 'sake Confidential', a much smaller book which will be a useful and convenient sake guide to carry around.

The Story of Science - From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory
The Story of Science - From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory
by Susan Wise Bauer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From cell to star, 15 Sept. 2015
Everything has a history. Science and scientists are no exception. Bauer tells the most well-known stories in science and the most famous scientists and thinkers from contributions by people close to the scientists. Thus, Galileo refuted Aristotle's view that heavy objects can only fall to the ground at the same time as lighter ones only if they fell from a greater height. Galileo's discoveries and thoughts also had an immense impact on Newton; and Newton himself, excelled after his feud with Robert Hooke and the Royal Society over his discovery that colours are merely refracted light - Hooke claimed that Newton had stolen his ideas. Similarly, the discovery of the structure of the DNA by Francis Crick and James Watson (and Rosalind Franklin) might not have taken place if Crick had not been goaded by Watson to ignore English conventions and stayed away from this field of study because another Englishman (Maurice Wilkins) had already started on it.

Bauer's account of the race between Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace to the publication of their theories of evolution is, in comparison to the full stories of both men in their many biographies, a short but exciting story that is one of the most pulsating races of all time. And can a book of this nature overlook the 'Big Bang'? Certainly not. The story of the universe is told from the lenses of Edwin Hubble who began with the speculation that when we look into the cosmos we might be seeing not just stars but 'clusters of galaxies'.

History and the universe is a complex web. We may not yet have the ultimate answer - if there is one - but Bauer has given us a rich little book to take with us on our contemplative journey.

Intelligence in the Flesh: Why Your Mind Needs Your Body Much More Than it Thinks
Intelligence in the Flesh: Why Your Mind Needs Your Body Much More Than it Thinks
by Guy Claxton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Body is mind, 13 Sept. 2015
‘[W]e do not have bodies; we are bodies’ so Claxton tells us. In this book he tries to get us to understand that we have not fully detached ourselves from the Cartesian mind-body dualism. Even those who firmly believe that the mind cannot exist without the brain (body) may not have grasp what Claxton is postulating here – that how we think and what we think depends on how we feel, and how we feel depends on how we feel our bodies.
Claxton devotes a large part of his book explaining the connection between mind and body, discussing in detail the constituents of the body and brain; and the fascinating account of why the body needs a brain (one chapter is titled ‘Why the body needs a brain’); how the brain functions – from how we anticipate events (and how prediction works) to the understanding of perception (‘perception is a hallucination’). He then explains how the brain and the body communicates with each other, and the effect and function of emotions and feelings and, importantly, how these influence our rational thoughts.

In order that we can understand at all we need to be conscious of what we are perceiving, which is one of the basic themes of this book. The problem that gets into the way is that it has not been fully possible to explain what consciousness is, and unless we do, how can we apply our understanding of our consciousness to our thoughts? Claxton discusses this in the chapter, ‘The Welling up of Consciousness’.
In his last few chapters Claxton discusses the practical workings of the embodied life – that which mind and body work together to help us make better judgments. He examines this theme in politics, medicine, and law: ‘At High Table and in Debating Chambers of government and law, decisions depend a great deal on who can mount the most persuasive (or least refutable) argument, or twist the arms of colleagues most successfully, and not on who can bring us closest to the truth or to wise judgement’.

The full import of the kind of disjointed thinking (a mind not fully in tune with the body) that Claxton writes about is exemplified by the ‘inadequacy of cleverness …on display in the ritualised rhetorical warfare of the law court.’ He observes that ‘Decisions that make no sense from an embodied perspective – such as whether someone was in their “right mind”, or “knew what they were doing” – are treated with a farcical degree of seriousness.’

The Silo Effect: Why putting everything in its place isn't such a bright idea
The Silo Effect: Why putting everything in its place isn't such a bright idea
by Gillian Tett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blinkers off, 10 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an interesting book about the dangers of specialisation. The most common problem of specialisation is that it causes ‘tunnel vision’, a phenomenon in which the specialist sees all problems in the context of his specialisation. When a cardiologist sees a person collapsing and thinks straightaway that it was due to a cardiac arrest – that’s an example of the silo effect.

The related point is that specialists tend not to see the big picture. They tend not to discuss with people outside their specialisation and thus remain limited in their approach to problems. Using a number of real stories, Tett shows how we can overcome the silo effect. She also relates the converse – namely with the story of the BlueMoutain Capital, a hedge fund, she shows how the fund took advantage of the silo effect to make big profits. It is a direct contrast to the massive failure of the UBS bank during the financial crisis. It is a fascinating story of how a big institution (JP Morgan) did not know what its ultra-specialist unit (known as the ‘Chief Investment Office’) was doing – it was trading in an ultra-specilised product known as IG9. Few outside the banking circle knew about IG9. Not many in JP Morgan did either. BlueMountain Capital studied the trends and discrepancies (a complicated description but lucidly explained by Tett) and took the opposite positions from JP Morgan’s CIO unit.

There is also the fascinating story about Brett Goldstein, the man who created OpenTable to help well-to-do people book restaurant seats. On 11 September 2001 he began to see a bigger picture of his own life and he ended up working with Jody Weiss, the newly appointed police superintendent of the Chicago Police. Here, Tett shows that silos can be found in the unlikeliest places – the police forces, FBI and other intelligence agencies. Goldstein and Weiss worked to crack the silos in the Chicago Police force.

The book may seem a little longwinded because Tett takes a bit too long to tell her many stories that cover just a couple of major points, but the events are complicated and the reader’s patience will be rewarded.

A Perfect Crime
A Perfect Crime
by A Yi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.68

4.0 out of 5 stars imperfect eitors, 29 Aug. 2015
This review is from: A Perfect Crime (Hardcover)
The young protagonist kills his classmate. The murder has no apparent motive but when the story reaches its ending the reason for the killing becomes clear. The story begins with a crime and then a hunt by the police for the killer; the tension and suspense are not immense but sufficiently tight to captivate the reader. The end of the tale, which is the best part of the book, takes on a deep philosophical and sociological examination of life and death. The protagonist’s senseless and wanton killing of Kong Jie is intended to demonstrate the meaninglessness of life. He emphasises this point by the careless disregard for his own life. Kong Jie is dead, so what? He is going to be executed, so what? The ultimate point, is, what about the rest of us? What about life itself? In the context of the overall picture of the vast and timeless universe, what is life? What is life when even the most magnificent stars also burn themselves out? It is only a matter of time. That is also the same point Camus was making in his version of a similar theme in ‘The Stranger’.

This English translation conveys the story and meaning well but there are pockets in which the translator seemed to have taken the Chinese text literally rendering the translation a little awkward. For example, it is not clear whether the line 'She was probably out of battery or spending time with her friends' was spoken by the victim's mother or the killer. The phrase 'out of battery' might have been a reference to Kong Jie’s cell-phone but the sentence as produced is too colloquial (when the context does not suggest that it was a colloquial statement). At various other places, the use of the word 'they' is not clear who it was meant to refer to.

There is also a misspelling of 'my butt' as 'by butt'. "Ma paid her back a long [time] ago' had the word 'time' missing. These are faults of the editorial team rather than the author or translator and mar what would have been a perfectly enchanting book.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20