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Balleine's History of Jersey
Balleine's History of Jersey
by Marguerite Syvret
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.00

4.0 out of 5 stars The foundation stone, 6 Aug. 2017
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Balleine's History is the foundation stone of modern Jersey scholarship: magisterial in reach, parochial in detail yet distilled into a surprisingly compelling and engaging read. Jersey boasts a proud and distinctive history, stretching across generations of war and treasure, seafarers and invaders, kings and fishermen. A recurrent theme in this work are the turbulent undercurrents of change that simmer beneath and sometimes break through the serene rural landscape, changing the course of the Island's history. The sheer wealth of detail can sometimes distract and perplex, but the author's mastery of his subject is self-evident. All great works are a product of their era, and Balleine is a quintessential late Victorian historian stranded out of time, writing his greatest work in his old age, in an Island still reeling from the horrors of the Occupation. This is no modern unified economic and social history, mixed in with some fashionable dash of psycho-geography, but it is something more basic: a story that will grip you, and like the Ancient Mariner, will not let you go.

Self-confidence - the Remarkable Truth of Why a a Small Change Can Make a Big Difference 2E
Self-confidence - the Remarkable Truth of Why a a Small Change Can Make a Big Difference 2E
by Paul McGee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.38

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Sauce, 26 Jan. 2014
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Confidence. It's the secret elixir that so many of us longingly desire, the fire in the blood that can help us to be, do and achieve all that we are truly capable of. For every popinjay who is burdened by delusions of grandeur, who believe they have the voice of an angel and deserve instant fame, there are probably half a dozen toiling with a shoulder-full of negative baggage, failing to achieve their full potential.

Paul McGee is a quintessentially Mancunian motivator, the frank northern antidote to the starry-eyed stereotype of the slick motivational guru. He's never afraid to be honest, down-to-earth and practical. Some may hope for cosmic rays to transform their lives in a blink of an eye, but Paul uses his psychological training and practical insights to deliver a far more realistic tonic. He offers concrete tools, laced with real life anecdotes, to help readers recognise and overcome negative programming, which can sometimes poison their environment at an insidious and unrecognised level. At the same time, he pulls no punches - confidence without ability and effort is mere folly. Self-confidence is the secret sauce, never the steak.

Paul McGee is a compelling and engaging real-life speaker. Few who have seen him at a corporate event will forget the humour, spontaneity and clarity he uses to woo a sometimes recalcitrant audience. Some reviewers have commented that his verbal delivery doesn't translate so effectively when rendered into the single sentences and widely spaced paragraphs typical of the the book. I'll admit the style takes some getting used to. Yet the clarity of his clear, punchy lines actually showcases the true value of his messages. Less, quite simply, is more. We don't need feel-good sermons draped in dense paragraphs, but rather punchy truths that can actually "Make A Difference". Two staggering insights of this ilk reveal themselves in the opening pages of the book.

The first is that a tiny, barely perceptible, course correction - of just 10% - will make the difference between a ship leaving Southampton that arrives in New York, and one that docks in the Caribbean. That's the cumulative power of a small initial change. Think about that when you're at a decision point in your life. The second revelation is a simple diagram, of seven human figures on a page, each one named after a day of the week. When you realise that each figure represents a decade of your life, and you start to calculate which corresponding day of the week you are currently on - well, the shock will speak for itself.

In short, Self-Confidence isn't the kind of fantastical, over-engineered self-help book which sets you up with an adrenalin rush of possibility and then leaves you deflated and disillusioned. It's pithy, fundamentally focused and honest. If your aim is not merely to be entertained for a few hours but actually initiate positive improvements in your life, then what more do you really need? It's all about nurturing the courage, self-awareness and realism to begin "Making a Difference" - and Self-Confidence delivers this in spades.

Now I'm setting sail for the Caribbean. Bon voyage!

Unleash the Warrior within: Develop the Focus, Discipline, Confidence and Courage You Need to Achieve Unlimited Goals
Unleash the Warrior within: Develop the Focus, Discipline, Confidence and Courage You Need to Achieve Unlimited Goals
by Richard Machowicz
Edition: Paperback

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get amongst it!, 22 May 2006
Machowicz has produced a perceptive and gripping book. Look beneath the easy conversational style, the military argot and NLP self-help cheese - and there's a challenging message here.

The SEAL basic training - BUD/S - reads like hell on earth. The recruits endure and overcome extraordinary physical and mental tests. At the same time how many of us fail to excel even in ordinary, suburban lives?

Machowicz shows that focus, planning and action are the secrets to living in "80 percent max". Fortunately, applying SEAL skills to daily life doesn't require you to HALO jump from 30,000 feet. It does mean you need to rigorously select goals, scan your environment and take action consistently until you have achieved the results you want.

The tools are all here. The CARVER matrix may seem cumbersome, but it is a first class method of identifying what really matters. A phase diagram is another simple but valuable technique to chunk down a problem.

I read this book in a single three hour sitting. Three hours to change your life? Let's not exaggerate - this book delivers no revelations, just the fundamentals. And that's great - as the story of BUD/S proves, the foundation skills are what really count.

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