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Profile for Paul Sloane > Reviews

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Content by Paul Sloane
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Reviews Written by
Paul Sloane "Author of The Innovative Leader and Lateral Thinking Puzzlers" (Camberley, England)

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A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives
A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives
by Cordelia Fine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Learn how your mind distorts and misleads you., 22 July 2016
This is a fascinating review of the many biases that affect our thinking and judgement. Cordelia Fine arrays a powerful selection of research studies to show how vain, stubborn or deceitful our minds can be. Much of the material is rather dry so she tries to lighten it with anecdotes about her husband and child. Sometimes these work and sometimes they grate. The book is easy to read and informative though it does not contain the profound insights of 'Thinking Fast and Slow' by Daniel Kahneman.


The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
by Kate Summerscale
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

4.0 out of 5 stars A Meticulous Investigation into a Horrible Murder, 22 July 2016
This is a meticulous documentary of a shocking and (at the time) famous Victorian murder. In 1895 Emily Coombes was stabbed to death by her 13 year old son, Robert. Kate Summerscale has carried out detailed research on the case and presents it here in a chronological story of the murder, the trial and the subsequent life of Robert. At times the book provides a fascinating insight into Victorian society and its views and morals. However, the author cannot answer the two key questions that face the reader; why did he do it and was he insane at the time? Despite the author's great efforts I felt that we never really got to know or understand the main character, Robert Coombes. There is no mystery at all in the case; it is quite straightforward. So the book is disappointing as a mystery but worthwhile as an historical investigation.


The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Insights for the Business Leader., 12 May 2016
This is the book every entrepreneur must have. It is written in a rather turgid style but it contains invaluable gems for business leaders. In particular Ries shows the value of the Minimum Viable Product - a product whose sole purpose is to test a single hypothesis about the customer or the market. Every step along the way is a learning opportunity and the start-ups which survive are the ones who learn fastest. He explains the dangers of 'vanity metrics'. He discusses when you should 'pivot' - i.e. significantly change your business model. This book is packed with insights.


The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History
The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History
by Boris Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and easy to read, 22 April 2016
Boris Johnson writes with an informal style and an attractive wit. He is plainly a big fan of Churchill and although he tries to give balance to different views his admiration for the man shines through. The author does not take a chronological approach to this biography but chooses key moments and issues to reveal the strength and breadth of Churchill's character. Enjoyable, engaging and easy to read.


Decoded
Decoded
by Mai Jia
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars As Thrilling as a Wet Day in Swindon, 9 Feb. 2016
This review is from: Decoded (Paperback)
I was very disappointed with this novel. The claims on the cover are quite misleading. It is not a thriller and contains very little espionage. The book starts with a detailed family history before getting to the main part of the plot concerning an autistic mathematical genius who is recruited by Chinese intelligence to crack enemy codes. Unfortunately the main character is thinly drawn and we never get to really know or like him. The plot plods along. The most exciting thing that happens is that he loses his notebook and has to search for it. There is much rambling philosophy about the natures of genius and cryptography. The writing style is strangely repetitive with one flowery simile after another. I found it a real struggle to finish this book.


The Thread
The Thread
by Victoria Hislop
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.84

3.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental love story on a rich historical canvas, 9 Jan. 2016
This review is from: The Thread (Paperback)
This is a tender love story set against the history of Thessaloniki between 1920 and 2000. Victoria Hislop can tell a good tale and the historical details are tragic and well observed. I found the characters rather two dimensional with evil rich capitalists and a sweet tempered heroine. There was no subtlety in their feelings or temperaments. The style of writing is gentle and sentimental and at times I thought it needed a harder edge to describe some of the dramatic wartime events. A pleasant read.


The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
by JoŽl Dicker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and Convoluted, 1 Nov. 2015
This is an intriguing whodunit in which the author skillfully unravels a many-layered story. Perhaps it is a little too long and too convoluted but you have to admire the cleverness of its construction. Each chapter adds a new thread and at the end the author pulls all the threads together. The plot is far-fetched but I found the book well-written and compelling.


The Simple Way: 52 ideas to find your way through our complex world
The Simple Way: 52 ideas to find your way through our complex world
by Simon Tyler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Simple Nosturms and Good Advice, 10 Sept. 2015
Simon Tyler has written a book of simple nostrums and common sense. I found nothing in it that was profound or surprising. It is mostly the good advice that you will find in any self-help book. Focus on the important rather than the urgent. Clear your desk and clear your mind. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. And so on. It is divided into 53 easy to read chunks. It may be stuff you already know but we all need to be reminded of it from time to time.


Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)
Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)
by Salim Ismail
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Insights into How and Why some Companies go Exponential, 12 Aug. 2015
Why do some companies achieve spectacular growth with limited resources? Salim Ismail and his co-authors explore the phenomenon of the 'Exponential Organization.' The books shows how to overcome linear thinking and use technology and the leverage of assets to gain massive growth. The first half of the book is tremendous with many insights and topical examples. The second part of the book where they attempt to show how large companies and their executives can adopt exponential principles is on shakier ground. The book lacks an index which makes referring back to earlier concepts and examples more difficult. Overall it is a great read and highly recommended for anyone interested in modern business.


The Art of Creative Thinking
The Art of Creative Thinking
by Rod Judkins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Stories., 17 July 2015
This is a marvelous and inspiring book for anyone who wants to be more creative. It consists of about 80 short chapters each with a lesson on creativity. What makes the book special is the way Judkins tells stories about creative people and their trials, difficulties, inspirations and methods. Most of his examples are drawn from the Arts - Musicians, Writers and above all Artists - so they give a different and surprisingly useful perspective to anyone wanting more creativity and innovation in their business. Easy to read but provocative. Highly recommended.


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