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The Way to Dusty Death
The Way to Dusty Death
by Alistair MacLean
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 12 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The Way to Dusty Death (Paperback)
You read a book for two reasons. Either you need information out of it or you want to be entertained. This book falls squarely into the latter category. As another reviewer mentions, this book is fantastically dated which is by no means a bad thing and proves to really pull you into the period. Not the most "clever" book or the best written MacLean but as far as I'm concerned the most entertaining by far and a definite must for anybody with an interest in motorsport, cars or action films. Yes it requires a little suspension of disbelief but if you can enjoy it for what it is, you'll not be disappointed.

I've actually worn my copy smooth over the years by re-reading it so many times.


Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)
Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)
by Kerpen
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must have for commercial business leaders, 7 Feb. 2012
I bought this recently and was thrilled with the way that it went into all aspects of social media in the business. Using real examples to bring the content to life, Dave walks through the subject artfully and in a manner that everyone should be able to follow, regardless of technical ability. Unusually it's also quite an 'easy' read for such a book, whilst still containing plenty of meat for everyone.

The majority of the book is aimed at Facebook from the point of the 'traditional business', but there are mentions of and lessons that can be applied to not for profit/charity and other types of organisation as well as all social media. If you own or sit high up in an organsiation, you can't afford not to have a copy. I'm buying one for the MD and my copy's gone to the PR guy (temporarily).


Becoming a Technical Leader: An Organic Problem-solving Approach
Becoming a Technical Leader: An Organic Problem-solving Approach
by GM Weinberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £30.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of gems, 3 Feb. 2012
Have you ever felt that you've not got the leadership skills that come naturally to everyone else? This is the book for you.

I've been reading a lot of this kind of content recently and have to say that this hits with the best of them. There are plenty of small nuggets in there for everyone to get hold of, and great ways even to pick up on the things that you've been doing that were successful.

The pace and way in which information were related is great and I don't think its fair to refer to this as 'becoming a TECHNICAL leader', but more as a book for anyone wanting to lead in any capacity.

Outstanding


The Master Key System (Unabridged Ed. Includes All 28 Parts) by Charles Haanel
The Master Key System (Unabridged Ed. Includes All 28 Parts) by Charles Haanel
by Charles Haanel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, 1 Feb. 2012
Not the kind of book I was expecting. More of a framework than actual suggestions for granular activities, this book suits anyone looking for an overview of Haanel's work, but was not helpful in practically applying it. If you're the kind of person that just needs to be pointed in the right direction, this is for you. Otherwise, if you need a little more hand holding, go for something else.


Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition and Still Can't Get a Date
Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition and Still Can't Get a Date
by Robert X. Cringely
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good information, but badly 'packaged', 1 Feb. 2012
I bought this book as part of my self taught self led management course. This was supposed to fill in the back story of the industry and perhaps sow some management styles that worked and some that didn't.

The history contained in the book is excellent and the layout useful as it follows 'threads' through the industry in roughly chronological order. It is filled with suggestions of further reading and granular pieces of information that can really help fill the back story.

However, a lot of the time this appears to be a history of Robert X Cringely from 1970-1996 featuring the IT industry. I've learned a huge amount about Robert's history, home life, his perception and opinions of people and his interpretations which to be frank, didn't need to be in the book. These are not always accurate. Blasting Bill Gates in the 1991 edition for being a loner with no relationship prospects and refusing to give money to charity for example backfired for the 1996 chapters which had to retract the suggestions.

In all, everyone in the industry needs to know the history involved, some of it seems a little shaky/biased and too much content about the author. If you can skip over the bad parts and have some other knowledge or texts to provide counterpoints, you should be fine.


Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (updated): The History of the Disc Jockey: 100 Years of the Disc Jockey
by Bill Brewster
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars NOT 'JUST' a book for 'DJs', 20 Dec. 2011
I read this book once almost seven years ago when I borrowed it from a library. Now I NEED my own copy.

As a music lover and history lover with a wide love of music in general, there are few books I've ever read that chart social change in such a fantastic, entertaining and easy to read manner as this book. From the advent of recorded music, through the first 'radio' broadcasts, replacement of live acts in music halls, advent of the 'two deck DJ', the rise of the pirate in the 60's, Motown and the subsequent Northern soul era, punks, hip-hop, Jamaican dancehall, the Orbital parties and more, this book covers it all. Follow the creation of modern popular (not "pop" music) music from classical and locally recorded to the modern day with coverage to all.

Follow the various paths of music and musical technology (live and recorded) through the last 100 years via fantastic annecdotes, facts, figures, feelings and the odd song suggestion (such as the first ever 'house' track) all across the US, UK and wider Europe.

Did you know there was a point when punk and hip-hop were the same? Do you know where the term 'house' music comes from? Did you know that Disco wasn't just a glittery extravaganza of "Abba" and "Brotherhood of Man"? Have you ever stopped to think how (whilst definately hurtful to industry) "piracy" has furthered popular ideas that moved not only the music industry but our society forward? Did you think that reggae could be created purely by poor trade links and enterprising individuals?

Everyone should be issued with a copy of this book. Everyone. Outstanding.


Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
by Richard A. Clarke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars POWER GRID! POWER GRID! POWER GRID! POW..., 14 Dec. 2011
A great read for anyone interested in understanding the issues facing countries over the next couple of decades in the new "fifth-dimension" of warfare. Chilling insights into current policy and mindsets give way to policy proposals and scenario play. Does get a little repetative at times (but with an important message). Also gives mostly great options for actually solving the problems it identifies, had me all the way to page 276 of 279 when it starts to talk about replacing (parts of or all) the internet with a dumb terminal model.

Great as a non-technical insight and with good points, a must read for any CIO/CTO of any major network, probably less worthwhile to your regular techhie or layman. Does raise some excellent points about defense and seperation, also goes into cyber-crime and electronic industrial espionage too. This would be the one book I'd want every MP to read.

Let's hope someone in government wakes up and listens before they have their noses rubbed in it!


Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing
Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing
by Paul Dourish
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.28

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd hoped, 5 Dec. 2011
Being a technical guy in a business world, I always look to the future and try and make sure I know where my solutions are going to end up. This isn't just from a technical perspective but also from a business and social one. Doing so allows you to introduce future concepts gently and as early as appropriate.

I'd been given this book after a fascinating talk at a general IT conference by one of the authors and couldn't wait to get started on it, thinking it would give me some much needed insight into where I should be aiming. I can vouch that the author is definitely knowledgeable on their subject and in conversation, certainly provided some insights the industry needed.

Whilst I'm sure the information is in the book somewhere, I can't find it. That's not meaning to say it isn't a good book (which I'm sure it is) but it just isn't aimed at your general tech manager looking to get a leg-up on the future. Incessant inline use of referencing, reminiscent of medical papers or heavy research meant that I couldn't hold a train of thought long enough to connect the start and end of ideas - why couldn't it be in footnotes? In addition to this that the entire "narrative" seems to be written in individual quotes, quoted paragraphs and concepts assigned to researchers which made the whole thing even more difficult to get through. I found myself re-reading most sections and eventually gave up after a third.

I can see that for anyone used to ingesting medical research (in a previous role I saw a lot of it) or academic research may be able to 'get' it but whilst I'd recommend the writers and the concepts the book attempts to get across, I couldn't recommend this book to others in my field.


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