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Amazon Customer "Alexander Kjerulf" (Copenhagen, Denmark)
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Personality Poker: The Playing Card Tool for Driving High-Performance Teamwork and Innovation
Personality Poker: The Playing Card Tool for Driving High-Performance Teamwork and Innovation
by Stephen M Shapiro
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best and most useful business books, 29 Oct 2010
This is one of the best and most useful business books I've ever read. And of course it's much more than just a book - it comes with a deck of Personality Poker playing cards, a brilliant invention for learning more about yourself, your co-workers and your employees.

We've been using Personality Poker in our company and it's an absolutely awesome tool for creating more innovation, energy and happiness in teams. It's fun, simple and fast but still give people a genuine insight into their personalities.

The book itself is a fun and easy read with tons of real-life examples - exactly the kind of business book I love and actually manage to read. As opposed to those 400-page theory-filled tomes that I really ought to read, but which always end up gathering dust on a shelf somewhere.


The Confusion (Baroque Cycle 2)
The Confusion (Baroque Cycle 2)
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Hardcover

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 1600's come to life, 12 Dec 2004
I cannot find words for how good The Confusion is. We still follow the people from Quicksilver as they strive to find their way in the chaotic world of the late 1600's and early 1700's. The themes are still money, piracy, sex, slavery, science, black magic, etc. and the cast is still comprised of vagabonds, galley slaves, scientists, royalty, soldiers, priests, alchymists and much, much more. The action goes (literally) round the world, to places like Egypt, India, Japan, the Philippines, all of Europe and, of course, Qwghlm, the fictional Island that also appears in Cryptonomicon.
I am in awe of how many themes are woven together in this book, and of the amount of research it must have taken. I have never had any sense of what the rennaisance was like, and suddenly the 1600's seem real and present to me. I've done some fact-checking in Wikipedia, and it only serves to expand and deepen the picture that Stephenson paints of that period.
The ending is just about the funniest, saddest, most satisfying, most intriguing and most annoying thing I've ever read. And I can't wait to read the final book in the series which is The System of the World.
A word of caution: These books are subtle. Much of the actions is hinted at rather than described explicitly. Once you get the hang of it, it is immensely satisfying to read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2012 10:04 AM GMT


The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code
by Dan Brown
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best thrillers I've read, 27 Dec 2003
This review is from: The Da Vinci Code (Hardcover)
It seems like Dan Brown is trying to develop a new format: The ultra-condensed thriller. The action in his latest book, deception point, took place over 48 hours, and most of the story in this book unfolds over only 12 hours. Considering this, Brown still manages to pack an enormous amount of action into such a short time span. The book takes off within the first few pages, and it simply doesn't let up until the (quite satisfying) conclusion. The action drives you forward, and there's always a new event or question that you're just burning to discover the explanation for.
The book works wonderfully as a thriller, but it works on another level as well: The alternative view on historical facts like bible history and the art of Leonardo da Vinci is extremely thought provoking. The book would work fine without it, it's just that it adds a wonderful depth and believability that is rarely seen in a thriller.
This is one of the best suspense novelse I've ever read, and I recommend it highly!


The Answer to How is Yes - Acting On What Matters
The Answer to How is Yes - Acting On What Matters
by Block
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.65

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't ask "How?", say "Yes!", 1 Dec 2003
The title reads a little strange at first but this book makes a very important point, one that every decision maker, project worker, consultant, change agent or just plain anybody who works for anything that matters should know: That sometimes "how?" isn't the important question, and that asking "How?" can actually be a defense against getting an effort started, a defense against change.
What every important project needs is less focus on "How?" and more focus on "Yes!", on the affirmation that this (whatever "this" is) is a worthwhile pursuit. That affirmation strengthens the will to do it, whereas continually asking "how?" saps your strength. Saying yes focuses on the goal you want to achieve, asking how focuses on all the obstacles.
It's not that asking how is necessarily wrong, it's just that overfocusing on questions like "How long will it take", "How much will it cost" and "How will we do it" can foster a state of mind in which no change is possible. Among other things, these questions assume that no project can be started unless we know the answers in advance. But in reality most worthwhile ventures are a leap of faith. You must say "Yes, this is what we want" and get started. We'll make up the "How?" as we go along.
This book is a somewhat challenging read, but most certainly worth it. It shines a light on what is to my mind the most important succes factor in any change initiative, namely commitment. And commitment comes from "Yes" not from "How?". Read it!


Hey Nostradamus!
Hey Nostradamus!
by Douglas Coupland
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Few answers, many great questions, 18 Nov 2003
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Hardcover)
I discovered Douglas Coupland what seems like many years ago (but was in fact in 1997) when I read Generation X, and he remains one of my favourite authors. His style has since been steadily moving away from the hyper-realistic stories of Shampoo planet and Generation X to a more surrealist, subjective and poetic style which is also evident in his latest book Hey Nostradamus.
What it's about? Good question. There's a shooting at a high school, much like the one at Columbine, and this has consequences for many people, whose intersecting stories are told in the books four separate passages. The mood of the book is detached, somber and haunting but still moving and while the book offers very few answers it certainly poses many good questions. It is an elegant piece of fiction which I recommend highly.


Death Masks (Dresden Files (ROC Paperback))
Death Masks (Dresden Files (ROC Paperback))
by Jim Butcher
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Dresden yet, 19 Aug 2003
This volume is the best in the Harry Dresden series so far. Harry fights new bad guys helped by some new and old allies.
The action is non-stop. In the first 50 pages, Butcher kicks of five or six parallel storylines (which of course turn out to be connected), and from there the story never lets up. This book has no slow passages, and gives you no time to catch your breath. Read it, but if you're new to the series, go back and start at number one - it's definitely worth it.


Summerland
Summerland
by Michael Chabon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Airships, indians and baseball, 21 July 2003
This review is from: Summerland (Paperback)
Michael Chabon is a writer with a talent for writing tales based squarely in everyday life sprinkled with references to american popular culture.
This was obvious in his masterpiece "the amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay" which had it's roots in the golden age of american comics, but it finds a new, wonderful expression in this Summerland, which is a childrens book in the same way as the Harry Potter books - this book can be enjoyed by anyone at any age.
The story is a true adventure, in which a number of children and mythical beings must save the world from Coyote (the trickster god in american indian mythology).
The major themes are (get this) baseball, indians and airships. And Chabon manages to create a story that is funny, believable, touching, exciting and a times very sad. Where the worlds of J.K. Rowlings and Philip Pullmans books are a little old fashioned, Chabons adventure is quite modern, giving this fairy tale a more up to date feel.
This is an excellent book, especially for reading to someone, and I warmly recommend it.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5)
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.64

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker and richer, 10 July 2003
I just finished reading the order of the phoenix in 3 days, which should tell you something about how exciting it is. This book fully lives up to the promise of the previous books.
And J.K. Rowling does so much more than just rehash the same concepts and characters. New themes appear throughout the book, fleshing out the description of the wizarding world, and giving us deeper insight into many of the main characters.
The mood of the book is very dark, and the challenges they face are greater than ever - giving them a chance to yet again rise above themselves. And as always, good values like loyalty, trust, friendship and courage carry our protagonists forward. Theyn don't win simply by being the strongest.
This may ultimately be the strongest force of the series, they way the characters are allowed to grow not only older but also more complex, realistic, stronger and more experienced through their trials.
This book is a very satisfying read, and I recommend to any Harry Potter fan.


Altered Carbon (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Altered Carbon (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Richard Morgan
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noir sci-fi at its very best, 23 Jun 2003
Good new science fiction writers are far between, but Richard Morgans debut novel "Altered Carbon" is a piece of work that any seasoned SF novelist could be proud of. From a novice, it's downright amazing.
We're in the 26th. century, and minds can be digitized, virtually negating death. Everybody has their mind constantly backed up to a small almost indestructible "stack" implanted in their spine. If your body gets killed, your mind can be downloaded to a new body, one grown for that purpose or one taken over from somebody less fortunate. Spare bodies are not available to the poor. Go broke, and you could easily find your body being reposessed (giving a whole new meaning to that word).
In this world Takeshi Kovacs is one of the toughest, an envoy, specially trained to have his mind beamed across interstellar space and decanted into a new body wherever trouble is brewing. And this time trouble is on earth, where a really tricky murder case involving some of the most powerful people on the planet needs his particular brand of talent.
The story's structure is classic noir detective, with robots, AI's and some very high-tech weapons thrown in. Great ideas and sudden plot twists burst from the pages as Kovacs tries to make sense of the case in the time-honored PI fashion: Thrust yourself in there, and see who takes a hit at you.
And he certainly manages to stir up some trouble, all the while remaining an interesting, likeable and very understandable human being. You're with him and you feel for him all the way.
A crucial feature of the detective story is of course the dames, and they are magnificently present in this book also. Beautiful, strong and always with their own plans, mostly unknown to Kovacs. One police woman is especially interested in his fate, because he wears the body of her boyfriend.
This book is a tremendous page turner, and I certainly swallowed it whole. I is continued in Morgans second novel "Broken Angels", which also has Kovacs as its main character.


Pattern Recognition
Pattern Recognition
by William Gibson
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feeling a world, 15 Jun 2003
This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Hardcover)
William Gibsons new book held a strange attraction for me, one I find it very difficult to explain.
We all know that Gibson has come a long way since the days of Neuromancer and the two followups, and pattern recognition is the logical conclusion to the direction his latest books have been taking. But at the same time, he also revisits themes and ideas from his cyberpunk books, especially from Count Zero.
The story of pattern recognition is... well simple. Cayce Pollard is a cool hunter. A woman so attuned to commercial brands, that she can predict new trends, or foretell the success of a new logo. The downside of ther talent is, that she is so sensitive, that she has brand phobia to a degree where she can only wear brand free clothes, so she gets a locksmith to sand the Levis logo of her jeans buttons. Cayce embarks on a quest to find the maker of the footage, disconnected snippets of film that appear anonymously on the net.
But the story is not the focus here. Instead, it is the sense of the world that Gibson describes. How this world feels. The themes are alienation, loneliness, jetlag, searching for something you don't understand against hidden opposition. This makes the story a powerful commentary of modern life, that certainly resonated strongly with me.
The characters' reaction to the footage (they find it compelling, without really being able to pinpoint why) is very much like my own reaction to the book. And this again is very much like the feelings evoked in Marla Krushkova (one of the characters in Count Zero), when she sees the artwork produced by the artificial intelligence in that book.
As you can probably tell, I really like the book, and the feel of a modern world we don't quite understand that it imparts.


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