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The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book
The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book
by Dee Blick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.81

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally Good Advice From a Qualified & Experienced Marketer, 17 Dec. 2011
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Dee Blick has written a truly brilliant book in "The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book".

The book takes you through 8 comprehensive chapters covering everything from copywriting to strategic marketing plans to blogging and promoting your business online.

At the heart of it all is the quote from the late Peter Doyle, which she uses to open chapter one:

"Marketing is a philosophy of business that places the customer at the centre of the universe."

If you keep that principle firmly in mind, you'll be treading a good path, no matter what any other "Marketing Gurus" might claim, which brings me to a point I think is of critical importance:

In Dee Blick's blog, she wrote a post some months back about how the availability and increasing sophistication of self-publishing platforms online has given people a platform to share their expertise quickly and easily. The problem is that this leads to a breeding ground for the self-proclaimed "Marketing Gurus", dishing out advice that is ill-informed, ineffective and potentially damaging to your business.

The solution? Question peoples' credibility! Demand evidence of their track-record, as you would if you were employing somebody to work for you. Why should you listen to somebody who can't produce such evidence?

In Dee Blick you've got somebody who has a superb track-record, as well as the qualifications to back this up.

For that reason, this book got my vote and, after reading it, my 5 stars.

Wishing you all success in your business endeavours!


The Depression Cure: The Six-Step Programme to Beat Depression Without Drugs
The Depression Cure: The Six-Step Programme to Beat Depression Without Drugs
by Dr Steve Ilardi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent & Practical Book For Overcoming Depression, 23 Oct. 2011
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I liked this book instantly. It is a breath of fresh air to read a book that is straight to the point and presents six very sensible and practical ways of dealing with your depression, which, when used in combination, are very curative.

I'd highly recommend it for anyone currently dealing with the beast that is depression.


American Psycho
American Psycho
by Bret Easton Ellis
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book - but not a 5* classic, 18 Mar. 2011
This review is from: American Psycho (Paperback)
Everything has already been said in the reviews above, but I'll just add my opinion, albeit briefly.

It was a good read in that I was always interested to see how Bateman as a character would develop throughout the book, but on the whole I found it no more than an "average read" and pretty high up on the sick and perverted scale, although that is not in itself a criticism, as everybody who picks this book up has surely heard that prior to reading it.

So, my personal opinion is that it is worth a read, but I certainly didn't finish it thinking it was the classic that a lot of people seem to make it out to be.


Buzan Bites: Brilliant Memory: Unlock the Power of Your Mind
Buzan Bites: Brilliant Memory: Unlock the Power of Your Mind
by Tony Buzan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.25

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book., 4 Mar. 2011
I like this book, as it provides good and uncomplicated methods for improving memory, all of which have been effective for me.

My only criticism of Buzan would be that he takes every opportunity seemingly in his books to flog you one of his other books by saying "This method is highly recommended, and you can find out more about it by getting my book "X", for example". He does this painfully often and as someone who is some sort of pioneer for this new style of learning, it is a bit disappointing to see. Obviously, he wants to make money, but it gets a bit tiresome and unnecessary. I know of other people who feel the same way, who have bought his books.


The Linden Method - The Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks & Phobias Elimination Solution
The Linden Method - The Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks & Phobias Elimination Solution
by Charles Linden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £137.00

168 of 176 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Evidence & Blacklisted by the UK's ASA., 23 Feb. 2011
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The Linden Method is not only black-listed by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (Check this yourself on a Google search "Linden Method ASA"), but has not even one iota of support from any of the major mental health charities in the UK.

Why do you think that is?

I had written a review on here, but decided to paste the review by Professor Paul Salkovskis, Clinical Director of Maudsley Hospital Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma in the UK.

--

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Paul Salkovskis, Clinical Director, Maudsley Hospital Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma

The claims made in this programme are bulls***. We are asked to believe that this is the one true way to rid yourself of panic attacks, anxiety disorders and phobias. At one point it says that it is the only cure for anxiety. But before looking at the evidence for such extraordinary claims, lets look at the process.

Firstly, one has to learn the "nine pillars", read the material, do the visualisation exercise twice each day, do Tai Chi exercises as often as possible and do exactly what the Method teaches you. Confusingly, there are then two "powerful" elements; diversion which apparently re-balances the sufferer's conscious logical thinking and subconscious habits. Secondly, the sufferer needs to breathe correctly and improve their posture.

So what are the nine pillars?
Stop visiting your doctor (and other doctors too)
Talk to your doctor about stopping the medication (confusingly as you are not supposed to visit them)
Stop looking for answers to your problems elsewhere
Only use the Linden method
Stop talking to other people about how you feel
Stop relying on other people for help with your feelings (which follows from not talking to them presumably)
Get rid of memories about your problem
Keep busy as a diversion (distraction)
Don't allow anxiety to change what you do.

You don't have to be a psychologist to see that 1-7 are all ways of saying "rely on the this method alone". That leaves two pillars which are about not giving in to anxiety. Good stuff, but not good enough.

Interestingly for someone who says that the way to getting better is not to dwell on the details of your past problems, Mr Linden offers the story of his own problems in great detail in the "Nine Pillars" booklet. The story comes to its culmination when he received Cognitive-behaviour Therapy. His cognitive therapist taught him all kinds of useful stuff, which Linden applied and added to. I found myself musing about this. Why is this person, who benefited from cognitive therapy (and added to it in ways any sensible CBT therapist would encourage one to do) now taking the position that other people should not seek help from anyone except himself? I'm keeping my answers to myself, I'm afraid.

The Nine Pillars book then offers a reasonable account of the physiology of anxiety (although some of it made me wince). Nothing unique here, and certainly not the best account available. For someone opposed to the use of medication Linden seems very fond of biological accounts of anxiety. Oddly, although he seems to have benefited from cognitive-behavioural therapy, the cognitive component does not come through directly. For example, this early section on Panic Disorder he neglects to mention catastrophic misinterpretation of bodily sensations, choosing instead to suggest that the brain has been programmed to produce panic. Linden is also fond of diagnosis, and paraphrases the American diagnostic system as a way of describing anxiety disorders. This improves later as one listens to the CD based material, but the nuggets are well hidden.

The chapter on stopping anxiety has some good snippets, and Linden is fond of the idea of hyperventilation, resurrecting the old "brown paper bag" idea. Some other practical ideas are to be found in "diversion tactics"; these are good old fashioned distractions, varying from splashing water on the face to eating apples. Maybe he thinks an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so it fits with his first pillar? But there is another major problem here. He gives no consideration to safety seeking behaviour. This is a shame, because a lot of his "behavioural activation" stuff (meaning: don't let your behaviour be changed, reach for the things you want) fits with current views on and evidence about the role of safety seeking in anxiety disorders. However, in places he is implicitly encouraging safety seeking behaviours. This in my opinion is further evidence that Linden's science is, as best, muddled.

The supplementary materials are interesting. The introduction on the CD is a pleasant and slightly soporific lecture which re-iterates the positive message in the nine pillars book. In the interview which follows, we are treated to more of the same. The visualisation exercise is even more soporific. It follows the convention set by progressive muscular relaxation, and again is worth doing for its relaxation and distraction potential, if relaxation and distraction is what you need.

The "Panic Attack Eliminator" seemed more promising on the basis of its preamble. And I mean promising; the promise is there, right at the beginning; "this is the conclusive method for disarming panic attacks". Apparently it can work on the first occasion, but might take up to three times. In the rest of this seven minute wonder, the sufferer is told that they cause their own panic. "Place every square millimetre of your body in my trust" Linden intones. Go with it, let it do its worst. Discover that it can't do anything bad to you. At last, something resembling cognitive therapy! Not set up properly, but sensible. Fear of fear is emphasises, as are vicious circles. But they are not explained properly, and of course it is not fear of fear which is the problem in panic, but fear of the consequences of fear. Sadly, it is clear that this is not the conclusive method.

This is all a bit sad. One way of looking at it is that Charles Linden had cognitive behavioural therapy, found it helpful, embellished it and now markets it as his own one true way not just for the problem he had, but for all anxiety problems. It's not.

Now don't get me wrong, this is mostly sensible stuff for panic, and if it cost £5.99 at the bookshop, I'd be recommending it, suggesting that there might be useful snippets here and there.

My opinion is that it will be of no value to people whose anxiety is not fuelled by panic, and only limited value to most of those with severe and persistent panic. So would I recommend it in a limited way?

What makes any recommendation impossible is the cultic element. The explicit method is, use my method only (and pay my price for it). The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) anxiety guidelines are now available, summarising the best science. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice. The Linden Method has no evidence underpinning it and therefore doesn't even make third choice for NICE, which is guided self help based on CBT principles. Charles Linden's method is not evidence based, the science is flawed and the price is ludicrous. In essence Linden claims this treatment is novel and effective; sadly, it seems likely that what is novel is not effective, and what is effective is not novel. My title for this review is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence; there is no such evidence

Professor Paul M Salkovskis

---

My recommendations?

- Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel By Changing the Way You Think

- Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

- The free and outstanding Australian website "Beyond Blue" - see their summaries of the best evidence-based treatments for anxiety and depression.

The two keys to getting better in my opinion are:

1. Look to evidence-based science for answers, not self-proclaimed gurus. People who tout miracle cures without a shred of evidence are people to be avoided.

2. Recognise that recovery is not a pipe dream, but a wonderful reality for millions of anxiety sufferers who base their recoveries on what science tells us works. You will be that person, too!

Best,

Andrew
Comment Comments (298) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2015 8:48 AM BST


Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivating and easy to read, 1 Feb. 2011
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I'm always careful when buying books like this, as I have seen so much preachy rubbish over the years, but this really is a little gem.

Although arguably a bit repetitive in parts, you aren't faced with some dreary 20 page story, used to fill up space in each chapter, before you get to the point the author is trying to make, which could have been made in one paragraph. The chapters are short, straight to the point and written in a style which doesn't come across as patronising or know-it-all.

People will argue that a lot of it is common sense, but I find the author writes in a way which is incredibly motivating and it really does want to make you get off your a*** and get things done. That's all I was looking for, so it delivered for me with 5 stars.


Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea
Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea
by Barbara Demick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding book., 8 Dec. 2010
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This is a truly brilliant and equally shocking account of life in North Korea and I could barely put the book down.

5 stars without a doubt.


Accounts Demystified: The Astonishingly Simple Guide to Accounting
Accounts Demystified: The Astonishingly Simple Guide to Accounting
by Anthony Rice
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great., 19 Oct. 2010
This is a great book, written in an entertaining style, by someone who was also initially puzzled by accounting.

After reading this book, making some notes and testing yourself, you will have a very solid understanding of the core accounting principles.

Highly recommended.


59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot
59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot
by Richard Wiseman
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As stated, "a triumph of science over myths". Excellet read., 19 Sept. 2010
When you read a properly referenced book written by the professor for the Public Understanding of Psychology, then you are, for sure, certain to receive a few things:

Firstly, you will receive statements, which you can be sure, are accurate, trustworthy and made only after a thorough review of the numerous academic studies referenced in this book. It seems too often to be the case that we read in these types of books the line "From my experience of working with numerous clients... I have found that when you imagine X and Y... then etc etc etc..." or, the classic, "Scientists have shown that...." - Firstly, the author of a self-help book is obviously going to hype and praise the effectivness of his methods and success with clients, which may or may not exist for all we know, at least not in the thousands commonly referred to. Secondly, "Scientists have shown..." is a statement I've read in loads of these types of books. That, without a reference to a peer-reviewed study, means precious little. Of course, there is every possibility that they are suggesting something incredibly useful, but if they have been using it for "30 years" with "thousands of clients", then why couldn't they have published a proper study of their findings, knowing that their "methods" would be instantly more popular worldwide, if they are as successful as they always claim? Am I being cycnical for thinking that it could be because the vast majority of their "miracle" claims wouldn't last two seconds if statistically and academically scrutinised?

You, the reader of this review, are probably wondering what my problem is and why I sound so cycnical. I simply dislike, to a huge extent, what I consider to be the unethical, manipulative and exploitative attitude that many authors in the field of "Health & Wellbeing" seem to adopt to increase their sales. People, spending their hard earned money on an honest attempt to gain some good advice, deserve better. That is why, returning to the point of this review, is why I'm a fan of this book. You won't find any "miracle" cures or solutions to any of life's challenges, but what you will find is trusted and effective techniques at tackling issues such as happiness, motivation, stress and relationships, to name but a few.

Anyhow, I've clearly pushed the word limit, so I'll end my rant here! I hope you all find what you're looking for and wish you the best of luck in the process.


Open: An Autobiography
Open: An Autobiography
by Andre Agassi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully written book., 19 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Open: An Autobiography (Paperback)
This is, by far, the best autobiography I have read from a sportsman. There is a way this is written, which makes you honestly not want to put the book down. I find it highly unlikely that anyone who purhcases this is going to be disappointed. 5 stars for Mr.Agassi!


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