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Reviews Written by
Roger Sharp (Kenley, Surrey, England)
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Service-Ability: Create a Customer Centric Culture and Achieve Competitive Advantage
Service-Ability: Create a Customer Centric Culture and Achieve Competitive Advantage
by Kevin Robson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Stop talking, start delivering, or die........................., 10 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We seem to have come full circle, but instead of talking about customer service companies are now realizing they need to seriously deliver it or die a slow death.

Long gone are our days of being kings of the manufacturing industry, we are now immersed in the world of ‘service’ where the relationship between an organization and the customer is an integral part of the ‘product’ offering. The nation is suffering from a widespread lack of truly customer-satisfying service. We lack the very thing that we need to make this new paradigm work efficiently: service-ability.

Organizations of all kinds are facing high customer churn, serious customer dissatisfaction and loss of confidence. Research shows that satisfying the customer is the only thing that will secure loyalty and offer significant competitive advantage. Yet still, on a daily basis we encounter service that frustrates us.

Whilst the emergence of technology has no doubt brought efficiency to many areas of business activity, including the third sector, it has led to the standardised and indifferent service we regularly receive. We appear to have lost sight that people do business with people. Through efficient technology, our organisations may be serviceable but they are not service able.

Whilst I would disagree with some of the ideas in this book I know from what I see around me that it's a good summary of why now is the time to stop talking and start delivering on customer service.


Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us
Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us
by Leonard Mlodinow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable. Accessible, entertaining & true., 10 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The author draws from many areas of cited scientific research in the book so the truth of what he says is unassailable. It's both a serious work but has the lightness of touch that makes it an easy and fascinating read. If you like "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by the nobel prise winner Daniel Kahneman you'll have to buy this.


Grow the Core: How to Focus on Your Core Business for Brand Success
Grow the Core: How to Focus on Your Core Business for Brand Success
by David Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

3.0 out of 5 stars A timely reminder., 10 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
David Taylor believes that growing your core makes what is strong even stronger, both in terms of your brand and business, and it does this without adding any complexity. It increases economies of scale, as you are selling more of the same stuff. From an organisational standpoint, the company is honing the skills and competences where it is most effective. And from a brand view, you are refreshing and reinforcing the attributes that made you famous, rather than seeing your brand stretched.

It's a good reminder of how important it is to remember the key strengths of your brand because they are largely what has got you where you are today. The author uses many examples from the real world to illustrate his point.


Resilience: How to Cope When Everything Around You Keeps Changing
Resilience: How to Cope When Everything Around You Keeps Changing
by Liggy Webb
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has some useful ideas..........., 10 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I found this book largely a re-working of other peoples ideas (no fault in that) but it didn't seem to have a spark. It contains some perfectly good strategies but presents them in a rather dry style. There are far better books on this subject.


Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World's Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment
Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture: What the World's Wildest Trade Show Can Tell Us About the Future of Entertainment
by Rob Salkowitz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.54

3.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't really into comics then, and I'm not now................., 10 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Comic-Con and the Business of Pop-Culture is broken into seven chapters, each themed to a day or element of San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). For instance Chapter 1 discusses the history of and preparation for the Convention under the auspices of booking hotel rooms. Chapter is Wednesday (aka Preview Night), then Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and finally "Just Wait Till Next Year" as Chapter 7, when he explores the possible futures in the industry. This is a reasonable gimmick for but it also brings in what was, for me, the least enjoyable part of the book - it's essentially a diary and travel plan for Salkowitz's time at SDCC 2011.

I'm not into comics and although the book was amusing in parts, and I learned a lot about SDCC, I was glad when I'd finished it. The enjoyment and relevance might play differently to folks who have attended the convention.


Expo 58
Expo 58
by Jonathan Coe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A deft lightness of touch.........., 10 May 2014
This review is from: Expo 58 (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Coe is probably best known for The Rotters’ Club and What a Carve Up!, his satires of life in 1970s Britain and the Thatcher years respectively. He describes Expo 58 however as ‘not really a satire but a comedy. I love the classic light comedy films of the 1930s and 40s and wanted to do something delicate like that…rather than hammering things home.’

Set against the backdrop of the 1958 World Fair – the ‘Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Bruxelles’ – Expo 58 is set during the ‘last days of British embarrassedness and uptightness’. Thomas Foley,an unassuming 32-year old civil servant at the Central Office of Information, is propelled from Tooting and into a six-month stay in Brussels. He must oversee the British exhibits at the Fair, centred upon a replica pub called The Britannia, which has a barmaid called Shirley Knott. Close by, in a ‘Belgian joke’, the Russian and American pavilions at the Fair are placed almost adjacent to one another, and as a result of this Cold War in microcosm, he becomes enmeshed in a farcical case of espionage.

Jonathan Coe is one of my favourite authors and I loved every minute of this. He displays that deft lightness of touch for which he is famous and get me amused throughout.


Pieta [DVD]
Pieta [DVD]
Dvd ~ Young-Jik Jo
Price: £10.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy for Mr Vengeance this is not.........., 10 May 2014
This review is from: Pieta [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A loan shark is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle after the arrival of a mysterious woman claiming to be his long-lost mother.

Peta has been well received by a global audience but I found it had little new to say. If you haven't seen Sympathy for Mr Vengeance or Ong Bak then I'd visit those first.


A Tale for the Time Being
A Tale for the Time Being
by Ruth Ozeki
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful five star read................., 10 May 2014
Ozeki's latest book to make it out into the world is, in part, the story of a woman living on Cortes Island, British Columbia in an area known as Desolation Sound. The woman happens to be Ozeki herself, and Cortes Island is indeed Ozeki's home.

In A Tale for the Time Being, remote Desolation Sound moves significantly closer to Japan when Ruth discovers the secret diary of a 16-year-old girl living in Tokyo washed up on the beach after the 2011 tsunami. What happens next is an incredible story of shared humanity and the powerful relationship between reader and writer.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. A book with true emotional power.


The World Was All Before Them
The World Was All Before Them
by Matthew Reynolds
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A precise and detailed account....................., 10 May 2014
The World Was All Before Them tells the story of Sue and Philip, an ordinary young couple living ordinary lives.

Philip has taken the role of substitute GP in sleepy Eden Grove, while Sue is an art curator in a cool, intimate city gallery. Through their careers, both find themselves asking probing questions about their own identity both individually and as a couple. Sue is given an opportunity to realise an exhibition that has existed inside her head for some time – but how to transform the workings of the human mind into a physical, real display?

Conversely, Philip has to deal with the corporeal workings of humanity on a day to day basis. But while he is determined to view each patient as a complex individual, rather than a scientific problem to be mechanically solved, he quickly finds that Philip the person and Philip the doctor may well have to exist as two separate entities.

In detailing Sue and Philip’s lives in the most unusually acute detail – from the mechanisms of their synapses to the most innate workings of their minds – The World Was All Before Them illustrates the myriad of extraordinary forces that make up even the most seemingly unremarkable existence.

This is an inward looking book that views the intimate details of the characters lives. Some may find it too slow but it struck a chord with me and I enjoyed it, although it to a couple of weeks to read, dipping in and out when I was in the mood. Original and well written.


The Greening: What if a Book Could Answer All Your Deepest Questions... if You Were Willing to Risk Everything?
The Greening: What if a Book Could Answer All Your Deepest Questions... if You Were Willing to Risk Everything?
by Margaret Coles
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Are you willing to risk everything?, 10 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Greening by Margaret Coles is a novel filled with mystery, love, and adventure. While this book is fictional it is based upon a book written by a woman named Julian who had visions of Jesus and the crucifixion.

In the book The Greening by Margaret Coles the author shows us through the main character, Joanna, a journalist, that God is love and the meaning of everything is love. We are taken on a journey by the journalist to discover meaning and find that God is not a God of vengeance. We are shown that whatever comes our way, "all shall be well". We are taught about a God that loves us and does not see our sin.

Not normally my cup of tea but I read it cover to cover over the course of a few days any it was time well spent. I suspect anyone who has a more committed view of religion would get more out of it.


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