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Listen! Say Yes! Commit!
Listen! Say Yes! Commit!
by Julia E Knight
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Focused, engaging and very, very practical, 4 April 2016
A really useful book. It starts with the rationale for improv in the workplace, then offers a ton of exercises for use in various settings, all described in an unassuming and engaging way. I used a couple of the exercises only last week when designing a session for a team in a central government agency. They found it a very unusual and enjoyable experience. They got value from the exercise itself, which shook up their prevailing habits and mind-sets, and there was even more value in the debrief we did - so I'd recommend a thorough debrief whenever you try this material out.

The authors say improv needs to be a regular thing for this work to have a significant lasting impact. They're probably right, but I wouldn't let that prevent you from trying this stuff out a couple of times. I say "a couple" because it's the nature of improv that you and your fellow participants will get better with practice.

Why not 5 stars? Because, for me personally, a 5 star work-related book is one that leaves me thinking differently about the world in which I work. This book is very, very good at helping me deliver better within my existing paradigm. Such are the perils of preaching to the converted! I'm desperately hard to please, though, and I reckon for most people this'd be a 5 star title.


Belkin N300 Wall Plug Mounted Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender/Wireless Signal Booster
Belkin N300 Wall Plug Mounted Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender/Wireless Signal Booster
Price: £17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive and easy to use, 22 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Impressed. Very impressed. I'm reasonably tech savvy but wasn't entirely sure what I was getting when I bought this. I've used a wired access point before to extend our wireless network - we live in an old house with thick stone walls. This device needs to go somewhere that has some wifi signal - it simply boosts the existing signal whereas my access point worked off a LAN cable that we fed through the mains using other gadgets.

I took this Belkin gadget out of the box with some trepidation, wondering how many hairs I'd pull out as I tried to set it up. Plugged it into the wall and followed the 3-step instructions on the box: plug in and turn on, connect your iPhone / laptop / tablet to the Belkin signal it gives out, then open your browser and enter a simple URL (address) to log in to your existing wifi network. The URL took a couple of attempts to connect (switched it off and on again which did the trick). And then "Bang", it was all set up. Less than 10 mins, possibly 5. And the signal is loads stronger than our old access point. Two stories up in our old stone house I can still watch videos on my phone. In that same room connecting to the old access point, I'd have waited 60 seconds for the Facebook app to refresh my notifications. And this thing was half the price.

If you're concerned about the health implications of having a massively boosted signal in your house, you might want to do what we've done: plug it into a timer switch so it's only on when you're awake and/or need it to be on.


Neverwinter Nights 2 (PC DVD)
Neverwinter Nights 2 (PC DVD)

1.0 out of 5 stars The necessary patches to run this game are no longer available, 6 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I remember this being a good game. However, buying it again in 2015 I've found there's no longer any support online so the patches can't download. I've been in various forums to find out what to do but they all involve a lot of faffing around and a lot of stuff I'd struggle to understand as a reasonably intelligent person who doesn't know anything about coding. This is probably why I can't access the 'game creator' function which was the reason I bought it again in the first place. Very disappointed.


Casewankers!
Casewankers!
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars If you're anything like me, you'll be left wanting more, 21 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Casewankers! (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed reading this and I'm a tough audience when it comes to fiction. I found the setting and setup interesting. The text was well-written, tidy and disciplined, while being evocative with a clever sense of claustrophobia for the reader. It ended a little too quickly for me. I found myself wanting more, wishing it was a bigger, more expansive piece, where tackling the bad guys was a twistier journey, which is undoubtedly a good thing and leaves me wanting to read more of the author's work.

As for the title, it could be a little off-putting if English is your native tongue, but it makes sense once you get started. The cover does a good job of managing expectations if you're not sure what you're getting into. As the image suggests, you'll be treated to some elegant, emotive 'low-fi sci-fi' that has subtler tones of the 'Irvine Welsh' style than I was expecting when I first read the title.


How To Speak Dragonese: Book 3 (How To Train Your Dragon)
How To Speak Dragonese: Book 3 (How To Train Your Dragon)
Price: £3.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE: Kindle version is set up more like a PDF than a proper Kindle MOBI file, 26 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I recently purchased two 'How to train your dragon' books for my daughter to read on Kindle while we were on holiday. Unfortunately, the formatting is more like a PDF than a proper MOBI file. You can't enlarge the tiny text without expanding the whole page and the text on each line running off the side of the screen. This has clearly been done to preserve the pretty artwork around the text in the print copy, but renders the books too frustrating for an 8 year old (or me, frankly) to read. Having converted a print book to MOBI myself, I find it hard to believe the publishers have done it this way.

It's a shame as I reckon they'd be good books in the right format.


4: How To Cheat A Dragon's Curse (How To Train Your Dragon)
4: How To Cheat A Dragon's Curse (How To Train Your Dragon)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE: Kindle version is set up more like a PDF than a proper Kindle MOBI file, 26 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I recently purchased two 'How to train your dragon' books for my daughter to read on Kindle while we were on holiday. Unfortunately, the formatting is more like a PDF than a proper MOBI file. You can't enlarge the tiny text without expanding the whole page and the text on each line running off the side of the screen. This has clearly been done to preserve the pretty artwork around the text in the print copy, but renders the books too frustrating for an 8 year old (or me, frankly) to read. Having converted a print book to MOBI myself, I find it hard to believe the publishers have done it this way.

It's a shame as I reckon they'd be good books in the right format.


Half a King: free sampler (Shattered Sea, Book 1)
Half a King: free sampler (Shattered Sea, Book 1)
Price: £0.00

1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating: where's the rest?, 18 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I didn't realise when I started reading that the rest isn't available yet, so I felt like I'd wasted my time reading these first few chapters. A good start, albeit nothing particularly surprising. I'll read the rest if I remember to order it.


Spiderwick Chronicles:  The Completely Fantastical Edition
Spiderwick Chronicles: The Completely Fantastical Edition
by Holly Black
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

5.0 out of 5 stars My six-year-old daughter and god-daughter loved this, and so did I, 26 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great story, great characters. My one caveat is that you'll want to read it yourself to kids under the age of 10/12 as there's some swearing and you may want to re-word some of the references to the main characters' parents' divorce - depending how idyllic a world your kids live in.


Leading Quietly: An Unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing
Leading Quietly: An Unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing
by Joseph Badaracco
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wise words, but it feels like it's asking leaders to aim low, 26 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are a lot of truths in this book and a lot of useful lessons. It encourages leaders to think systemically, although it doesn't engage with systemic thinking in any big way (I'm not sure Badaracco even used the word "systemic"). It tells us to pay attention to the small things that'll make the difference. It recognises that most leaders aren't making world-changing decisions: they're dealing with difficult, localised decisions and constraints.

However, it feels like a manifesto for mediocrity. "There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots," the author writes. Unfortunately, he's quoting the oldest, boldest pilot there is - a man who lived past 100 - and seems unaware of the irony.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2014 4:30 PM BST


Slippery When Wet
Slippery When Wet
Offered by iAlpha Technologies
Price: £5.93

5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love? A classic, 26 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Slippery When Wet (Audio CD)
I can't imagine anyone being ambivalent towards this album. If it's not your thing, you'll hate it. Or you might adore it as a guilty pleasure. For me, buying it in 2013 provided me with loads of wonderful flashbacks to the 1980s. Did it make me re-grow and perm my hair? No, but I think that's a good thing.


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