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Breaking Banks: The Innovators, Rogues, and Strategists Rebooting Banking
Breaking Banks: The Innovators, Rogues, and Strategists Rebooting Banking
by Brett King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.31

3.0 out of 5 stars Good content but mostly rehashed, 27 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The content of this book is very topical and up to date. It will be of general interest and special interest to senior bank personnel looking for strategic ideas. Branding, bitcoins, and branches all make an appearance and the book adequately answers the question "what should 21st century banking look like?"

Why only 3 stars? A majority of the text is simply transcripts of the online chat shows King hosts rather than original content. That took the shine off it for me.


Showing Up: How to Make a Greater Impact at Work
Showing Up: How to Make a Greater Impact at Work
by Tim Robson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Problem is clear, solution less so, 26 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I thought Robson made an excellent, if scary, comparison between the world of school and the world of work. There are so many patterns of behaviour at work which replicate school, such as Teacher Knows Best, Don't Copy, Don't Answer Back, and Stay Out of Trouble.

The second half of the book, the new paradigms like Think, Create, and All is Well, is not quite as valuable due to being rather theoretical. It's difficult to see many of the themes being implemented. The four gears (Mindset/Outcomes/Strengths/Time) also fall foul of this, and one detects flagging towards the end. Time management tools such as the important/urgent matrix are well-trodden to the point of being almost clichéd.

It's rescued by good stories, which are indispensable. The challenge is simple: put it into practice!


Telling the Story: The Heart and Soul of Successful Leadership
Telling the Story: The Heart and Soul of Successful Leadership
by Geoff Mead
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very heavy content and difficult to learn from, 26 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I didn't get a great deal out of this book; it swims in the sea of many other self-help and leadership type books without standing out. It has lots of little reflections and exercises but they don't seem to go anywhere, and it is chapter 10 before we get out of the mires of theory and into "so you want to tell a story?"

I did really like the Bonus sections at the end of each chapter which tied back to the learnings from earlier on, but this is more an entertainment than learning.

I don't think this helps me to inspire my colleagues at work or my friends in social contexts, and therefore the book doesn't work for me.


HTML5 Games: Creating Fun with HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL
HTML5 Games: Creating Fun with HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL
by Jacob Seidelin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.36

3.0 out of 5 stars There are several very good ideas about developing for mobile, 26 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've got a history in writing HTML since the 90s and hoped this book would improve my knowledge. It has done so. But what next?

Threaded through the book is the building of a jewel matching game in the nature of the many that are already available online.

There are several very good ideas about developing for mobile, which is a greatly increasing platform, and using the HTML5 Canvas tool. I also found Web Storage interesting to learn about. But none of these are especially useful to the theme of the book. Nor are WebSockets.

But it is maddeningly incomplete in certain areas. It never explains why it wraps every script in an empty function. It eschews libraries such as jQuery in favour of esoteric ones such as Three and Collada. I'll keep it as reference but using it to develop the proposed game resulted in me getting lost.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2014 3:14 PM BST


TCP LED GU10 5 Watt LED Spotlight, White
TCP LED GU10 5 Watt LED Spotlight, White
Price: 5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars There isn't really a great deal to say about a light bulb, 26 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There isn't really a great deal to say about a light bulb. It works, plugs into standard two-wide-prong spotlight sockets, and probably doesn't use as much electricity as a halogen light, if for no other reason than it doesn't run hot. Doesn't work well with dimmer switches.


Get Things Done: What Stops Smart People Achieving More and How You Can Change
Get Things Done: What Stops Smart People Achieving More and How You Can Change
by Robert Kelsey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

2.0 out of 5 stars Same platitudes, 18 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'll be honest: there are so many self-help books on the market that I set a higher standard than for other books. Unfortunately, Kelsey does not impress with a repetition of most of the principles you will read elsewhere or for free on the internet. Everyone knows that to get things done you need to plan, not procrastinate, manage time, make decisions, and do emails efficiently. While it's been spun out into a little over 200 pages, I've just summarised the book. And later on, references to working Saturdays miss the point: if you've got everything done during the week, you won't need to.


Event Management For Dummies
Event Management For Dummies
by Laura Capell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the cover, 18 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great book for someone starting from a low base and looking to get ideas on, plan, and run an event. From concept to determining the type of event, selecting a venue to sorting food, and demystifying all of the jargon, it rapidly builds up the concepts needed. In that respect, it is precisely what someone new to event management would want.

The annoying bit is that it assumes throughout that your event is being run for a "client" when it is perfectly plausible to run one for yourself.

If you have experience in event management, then you are not a "dummy" and it follows his book is not for you. There will be some nuggets but most of it is common sense details you already know about.


Belkin Grip Power 2000mAh Rechargeable Battery Case for iPhone 5/5S - White (MFI Approved)
Belkin Grip Power 2000mAh Rechargeable Battery Case for iPhone 5/5S - White (MFI Approved)
Price: 52.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent accessory and now indispensable, 4 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like my iPhone itself, I rated this item as one of those things that you don't realise you need until you actually have it. The charging case is simply brilliant. It keeps enough energy to add back 80-100% of battery life to your battery and with the iPhone 5S often draining in less than a day, it is great to have around. At its thickest point the case is around as thick again as the phone but it easily fits in my pocket and replaces the case I used to have. A button on the back activates charging. There is no way to deactivate charging other than detaching the phone from the case for around 15 seconds.

As well as the case itself there is a very short headphone extension cable (maybe 10cm) which is there so that you can use any headphones with the device, as some headphones might be obstructed by the shape of the case. A standard micro-USB cable (supplied) charges the case or the phone and this works with the iPhone's wall charger (as no wall adaptor is supplied). BlackBerry chargers and the like also work, but you need to use the supplied cable if you want to charge both the phone and the case at once.

The only negative I have is that the case is thick enough that you need fingernails to slide the silent switch on your phone, and when you've just cut them it's a little fiddly. It can run quite warm while charging but I don't consider that a problem.


Fish Can't See Water: How National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy
Fish Can't See Water: How National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy
by Kai Hammerich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work for me, 19 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If I could sum this up in one sentence, it would be another example of a book trying to do too much. In this case it's covering over a dozen countries and detailing two different models. I'm also disconcerted by the attachment of the symbol to the "Cultural Dynamic Model".

There are useful snippets such as Sony vs Samsung, Apple, and Nokia case studies, but these are outnumbered by platitudes like "follow the rules but interpret them flexibly", "if you don't move forwards you move backwards", "balance diversity with day-to-day performance", "seek and give favours with key people", and "promote diversity in the board". I would recommend this at most as a book to dip in and out of but not get smothered in, as it becomes an exercise in filtering out the plentiful boring bits.


Are We All Scientific Experts Now?
Are We All Scientific Experts Now?
by Harry Collins
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.13

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Short and too quickly to the point, 19 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book just missed the mark for me. It tries to cover too many topics and does not end up providing sufficient light on any. Somewhat redeemed by the "citizen skeptics" chapter with reference to Climategate and the MMR scandal in the "citizen whistleblowers" section, but this doesn't quite get us anywhere. An already thin book has wide margins and line spacing, and there really isn't a lot here. Where's the beef?


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