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Nightly Business Report Presents Lasting Leadership: What You Can Learn from the Top 25 Business People of Our Times
Nightly Business Report Presents Lasting Leadership: What You Can Learn from the Top 25 Business People of Our Times
by Mukul Pandya
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Light Management, Not Lasting Leadership, 19 Mar. 2006
"Nightly Business Report Presents Lasting Leadership: What You Can Learn from the Top 25 Business People of Our Times" has a long title, but does not meet its meaning. It is not about leadership. It is about management. There is not an ethos espoused, or an explanation of people development. Instead, it aims at what the leader did, rather the outlook and purpose for doing those things.
The difficulty with leadership books highlighting celebrity leaders is in separating the truth from the publicity campaign. The other challenge is in sorting out what we readers can learn from people in positions many steps above us. What, for example, can I, a mere marketing manager, learn from Alan Greenspan or Bill Gates. Both of their jobs involve a caliber of thinking far beyond my own, in fields I do not understand at an even rudimentary level?
The question, then, is does the book understand my needs, or are they just trying to trumpet the success of others? Are they trying to teach me something practical, or inspire me in a more amorphous way? "Lasting Leadership" does both. Neither category is focused enough for me to give it top marks, but there is enough for a casual, interested look into how the 25 people profiled made it to, and stayed at, the top of their game.
Each chapter is broken down into two essential parts.
The first part is the long sidebar timeline providing a minimal biography for each leader. We learn more than where and when they were born (Soros and Grove, for example, are both from Budapest, born in 1930 and 1936, respectively), but also some trivia (Turner was expelled from Brown University as a junior after breaking dorm rules), and some hardship (Oprah was raped at age 14).
The second part fleshes out the business side of the biography. For example, we learn about how Sam Walton took his first Wal-Mart in 1962 to make him America's richest man. Throughout this section are topical instruction. In the case of Walton and his stores, the focus is "Using Price to Gain Competitive Advantage."
Where the book lands into PR fluff is that each profile is too short, and relies on anecdotes. Good business is not a few anecdotes, but such is what curses most well-meaning business books. The reader leaves inspired without substance rather than having gained useful tools for the marketplace.
Amazon.com customers will appreciate founder Jeff Bezos' inclusion. As much of a fan I am of Amazon.com, his profile may be too early. The company's success is still in the engineering stage. While it easy to argue its force in book selling, and the selling of almost anything online, it is as easy to argue that profits are still unsure in the long-term. The popular online retailer is only 11 years old, having been officially launched in July of 1995. In fact, it was not until 2004 that they reported a profit. Considering Bezos a lasting leader is a question we can ask in 20 years, but not now.
The book is an easy read, the kind a young manager might read on a business trip or train commute. It is not a serious leadership book, but can be inspiring to think strategically and aggressively in order to make it once he or she reaches a position of influence.
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


Ray (2 Disc Edition) [DVD]
Ray (2 Disc Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jamie Foxx
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £4.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles' Complex Life Matched by Superb Jamie Foxx, 9 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Ray (2 Disc Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
I like "Ray." The music is strong, using Ray Charles' own tracks for both background and performance shots. The storyline is complex, flashing back to Charles' youth as he reflected on the loss of his eyesight and the death of his brother.

From his days as a child in a poor rural community, through his early days as an unknown musician struggling to get a fair deal, to his mid-career with management problems, affairs, hits, and drugs, and then, finally, as a one of our national heroes, we see Ray Charles in full color.

We learn how he manipulated women, cheated on his wife, became addicted to heroin, found his sound, got his name, and learned to work aggressively as his own musician. He deals with racism at first by avoiding it, and then quickly, takes a harsh stand, shaming the bigots and segregationists. Now, it a state where he was once banned from playing, his work, "Georgia on My Mind" is now the state song.

Biopics of celebrities are difficult to describe because of the chronology required to produce the movies. People don't live out plots written by screenwriters, but lives that have events that do not always make sense. Ray Charles' life didn't always make sense, but he lived it.

We have two views of Ray Charles. One is as a fighter, working hard against adversity to become the musician we now know. The other is as a womanizing addict who used his charm, position and trust of his wife to diminish all that was good about him. He eventually beats the drugs, holds onto his marriage, but these failures brought down my respect of him.

Jamie Foxx never impressed me before this. I found his comedy more off-color than I prefer, and expected that his version of Ray Charles would be mediocre. I heard the hype that his performance was Oscar-worthy, and watched the movie with the eyes of a skeptic. Now, I am impressed.

Jamie Foxx has a new fan. I hope he gets roles that allow him to shine like he does in "Ray."

The DVD for "Ray" adds to the movie. Normally, a DVD brings little extra that is interesting, but watching Jamie Foxx and Ray Charles interact was touching, as was hearing Foxx describe his experience in learning the role. We learn Foxx not only can play piano, but is trained at a high level. Those are his hands on the keys, and not movie magic. He respected Charles and the difficulty of playing an icon, and earned Charles' respect in the process.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


March of the Penguins - Luc Jacquet [DVD] [2005]
March of the Penguins - Luc Jacquet [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Luc Jacquet
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £3.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cold Life of Emperor Penguins, 9 Jan. 2006
I chose to see "March of the Penguins" as a diversion to a 100+ degree day, and saw that cold weather is worse than hot weather. Now, in the brisk part of autumn, it still holds up.
Penguins from several areas of Antarctica converge on land, safe from predators and the ebbing ice shelf. They are there to mate, birth, and care for their chick.
Monogamous for that year, penguins pair up and the mother lays an egg.
The mother dashes off back to the sea, which, thanks to the winter and new ice, is as far as 70 miles. She's starving, having lost one-third of her weight in laying the egg. The trip is long, and she's not fast. Hungry seals await them, some penguins lose their way, and some are too exhausted to continue.
Well-fed, full of food for her chick, she returns, and the father makes the same trip so he can eat. The father stayed behind to incubate the egg, and protect the new chick. He has lost one half of his weight.
The pair trade places a few more times as winter plods on. With temperatures 80 below zero, and winds up to 125, I felt cold just watching. The penguins huddle to keep warm, rotating which must do outside duty.
Morgan Freeman narrates. His voice does not overcome the story. Better written than any documentary I have ever seen, Freeman respects the script. Having never seen a documentary in a theater before, I was impressed at how well it worked on the big screen.
There is no plot, even though there is a beginning and an end. Unlike many documentaries, it does not detail the intricacies of eating, mate choosing, or science of penguin living. It is more about watching the arduous life cycle, with some explaining what we are watching.
The camera works captures the cold -- the shivering penguins, the snow blowing like dust over the long line of marching penguins. It reminded me of movies about Siberia, showing Soviets living in a frozen, cold natural prison.
This isn't a cute animal movie. Tender children might be saddened to see the eggs and chicks freezing, and could be quite frightened when the vicious seals overtake swimming penguins.
Now, with the ever-funny Bugs Bunny in "8 Ball Bunny," the kid-factor increases. Still, even as Bugs graces your home viewing experience, be careful with more impressionable children and the feature documentary.
Another DVD feature: Rodney the Penguin assists in "Crittercam: Emperor Penguins," as we learn how some of the complex videography was really shot.
I fully recommend "March of the Penguins."
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


Hungarian Cookbook: Old World Recipes for New World Cooks (Hippocrene Cookbook Library)
Hungarian Cookbook: Old World Recipes for New World Cooks (Hippocrene Cookbook Library)
by Yolanda Nagy Fintor
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm Collection of Hungarian Standard Dishes, 8 Jan. 2006
"Hungarian Cookbook: Old World Recipes for New World Cooks" by Yolanda Nagy Fintor has a long title. It should. There is a lot packed in it.

As cookbooks go, this is among the most accessible I have read. While many tend to err with a tone too haute cuisine, Fintor realizes she's suggesting ordinary people cook these dishes.

To many Americans asking themselves what Hungarian food is, I can say it is a good, good thing. It will challenge your arteries, but delight your soul. Your stomach will be happy too. Here, you will find recipes proving that.

Fintor explains in a brief introduction a history of Hungarian cuisine. She writes how, despite its present unique place in the culinary world, it began as an amalgamation of French, Italian, Turkish, German and Transylvanian food.

While not exactly useful to the American cook, she has a section on Hungarian language. Now, you can pronounce the dish names when your Hungarian date comes over for dinner. If things work out, you will impress your spouse's family too.

More practical to most readers is her sections on how to interpret the recipes, and what ingredients you will need handy. The difference this makes is important, like that vinegar to be used is distilled white, and that butter should be the salted kind.

Keyed into the needs of beginning cooks, Fintor provides some useful tips, a glossary of basic cooking terns (like dredge, dice, trussing, and what roux is).

Recipes are the bulk of the book, with some black and white pictures of dishes. The layout is easy on the eyes. Directions are straightforward. Occasionally, she gives ideas to adapt the recipe to an American context, in case the ingredients are somewhat different. The only significant drawback is the hardcover design, which makes keeping it open while cooking difficult.

The recipe sections are as follows, each with an introduction:

Appetizers, relishes, and sauces
Salads
Soups
Biscuits, dumplings, and noodles
Poultry
Meats
Vegetables
Desserts
Breads
Wines (no recipes, just an introduction).

I fully recommend "Hungarian Cookbook: Old World Recipes for New World Cooks" by Yolanda Nagy Fintor. Jó Étvágyat! (May you have a good appetite!)

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


Batman Begins (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Batman Begins (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.83

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Before the Cape, 8 Jan. 2006
Like "Spiderman 2," "Batman Begins" goes into the psyche of the protagonist. If you want immediate action, or a simple "go take out the bad guys" movie, you won't be happy with this one.
I love a good vs. evil movie, the kind where the good guy learns of a caper, chases down the bad guy, hits him around a few times when the bad guy tries to get away. "Batman Begins" is not about chasing bad guys. It is about Bruce Wayne, and why and how he became the Caped Crusader.
If outlined, it might come across like other super hero movies. The strength of the movie is how it reaches into the details, and how the story is told.
Fans of Batman in the comics, and followers of the movie series know the origin story. Bruce's parents are killed when he is a child, and he determines to bring justice through training and by using his parents' vast fortune to provide him the tools he needs. The story is the same.
Why tell an old story again? Because all we have ever have been given was an outline -- we want more. The years between Bruce's parent's death and when he first wore the cape in Gotham City have always been a mystery.
How did he train? What fueled his intensity? How did he get the uniform? Why bats? How did he get the bat cave? If he is just a human, why don't bullets kill him? All of these questions and more are answered in a satisfying way, and hopefully will inspire deeper super hero movies.
Parts of the plot are confusing, like the Scare Crow's persona. Kids might not make the connection psychologically. Younger kids might have trouble with the drug-induced hallucinogenic episodes meant to scare the victims. If they can handle the old "Willie Wonka" movie, this should be OK.
It doesn't get a perfect grade only because I had trouble believing that this very human Bruce Wayne could adapt as quickly as he did to the special machinery and vehicles, and learn to fight in the mountains so adeptly in what seemed just a few months. The difference between Batman and Superman has always been the humanity of Wayne. Occasionally, the movie stretched this a step too far. Ignore a few of those scenes, and you'll enjoy "Batman Begins."
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


Writer's Market 2006
Writer's Market 2006
by Kathryn S. Brogan
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a reference, 8 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Writer's Market 2006 (Paperback)
You are a writer, and that's why you are reading this review. The same old question, "Can I justify purchasing this book?"
You can't justify not buying this book.
If all you are looking for is having your work published in some unknown literary journal, go to the library and check the reference shelf. However, if you are serious about breaking into the real literary, periodical or book publishing world, lay down some cash and bring "2006 Writers Market" home.
Last year's edition might get you into trouble. Old addresses will result in wasted postage. This year's edition will have up-to-date information.
This is a guide. This is not the Bible. When you see a publication you like, take it a step farther and explore the URL. Don't randomly send out your work. Verify they might like your kind of writing. I've made mistakes in this regard, and could've avoided them had I used this market guide in tandem with the web. This guide will help you prepare intelligently.
It leans heavily toward article writings. Writers who have feature articles especially will find this book useful. This is not Writer's Digest's similar guide, "Novel & Short Story Writers Market," aimed at that major genre.
All the info you want is there: who and how and where to contact a publication; what and if they pay; recent authors they've published; tone and flavor; current needs; turn around from receiving an MS to replying. There are lots of little articles you'll find helpful as well.
One exciting aspect of browsing through this is the ideas you'll get realizing the diversity of publications out there. No matter what seemingly esoteric interest you have, be assured there is probably a publication out there clambering for your expertise.
I fully recommend "2006 Writers Market."
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


What Color is Your Parachute? 2006: A Practical Guide for Job-Hunters and Career Changers
What Color is Your Parachute? 2006: A Practical Guide for Job-Hunters and Career Changers
by Richard N. Bolles
Edition: Paperback

23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Book To Buy For Job Hunting, 31 Dec. 2005
"What Color Is Your Parachute" is the first book you need if finding a job is your goal. If you've not bought this yet, you haven't started looking.
Richard Bolles is the expert. His books sell because they are fresh each year with insight, purpose and ideas for determining what job you should do, and how to get it.
I used "Parachute" to get my first job. It continues to influence me today, as I job hunt again.
Thoroughly practical, Bolles asks you questions about your mission in life. His belief is that just getting a job -- even ones you are good at -- won't be a wise decision in the long haul. He helps you see your passions mixed with skills and experience, and guides you to getting their. Though it is hardly a self-help book, it is far more useful than the ones clogging up the Top 10 list.
He keeps you accountable. Finding a job is your job if that's what you say you want. And if you aren't working, he won't let you make excuses -- you've got the time. Either you are looking or you aren't. Dr. Phil could take a note from Bolles' direct yet congenial style.
Don't bother with the hardcover. You need the paperback. This is not a sit-on-the-shelf book, but a get-down-to-business book, and you'll appreciate the flexibility while at work or on the train.
I fully recommend, "What Color Is Your Parachute" by Richard Nelson Bolles.
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


John
John
by Cynthia Lennon
Edition: Hardcover

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Demythologizes John Lennon's First Marriage, 31 Dec. 2005
This review is from: John (Hardcover)
Before John Lennon cheated on his first wife Cynthia and left her and their son Julian, they had what seems to have been a generally loving marriage. This book demythologizes John, and his first marriage.
"John" by Cynthia Lennon is the story about who they were before they met, about Cynthia's marriage to the famous Beatle, how John ran off with Yoko, and how she managed after his rejection to resolve things amicably. We see John the person, and not as much of John the musician.
History knows most of what happened during John's short life. Few details have been left uncovered. Most of what is known about the former Cynthia Powell is in the shadow of John Lennon. What she does here is shine the light on the John Lennon she knew, revealing John's own shadows and dark side.
The bulk of the book is candid.
She remarks how John, the world peacemaker, said, "Give peace a chance," as he lay in bed with Yoko. Young son Julian watched at home, asking his mother why his father was with another woman. John, she asserts, was very good to his fans, even at the height of the Beatles' popularity.
There are plenty of Beatle stories here, retold from the vantage of an active participant. Some of it is familiar territory to any fan of the Fab Four. Because of the Beatles' well-documented history, the context is easy to follow. From John's first time hitting on Cynthia while she was still engaged to someone else, to her description of how she processed John's death and George's deadly cancer, and what happened to all those who were part of the John Lennon story.
"John" is not in the least sentimental. John's drug use is mentioned matter-of-factly. The slow realization that John was methodically cheating on her with Yoko is covered, as is his casual admission that he had otherwise been frequently unfaithful with many other women.
This is not a John Lennon the seer love fest. Somehow, though, despite John's selfish arrogance during their marriage and later rejection, she seems to have loved him throughout.
How much of this is true? After all, wasn't she the one he left? Isn't she bitter that John did not love her as much as he once claimed? Doesn't that anger filter her choice of stories and wording? Cynthia herself ran through three husbands before settling on her fourth and current spouse. She was not then, is not now naive, and surely understands the ramifications of "John" on John Lennon lore.
I fully recommend "John" by Cynthia Lennon. It may not be the whole, unadulterated truth, but it should help hardcore fans sort through the mass of rumor, hogwash and facts residing about Lennon in popular culture.
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


March of the Penguins [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
March of the Penguins [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £7.38

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cold Life of Emperor Penguins, 31 Dec. 2005
I chose to see "March of the Penguins" as a diversion to a 100+ degree day, and saw that cold weather is worse than hot weather. Now, in the brisk part of autumn, it still holds up.
Penguins from several areas of Antarctica converge on land, safe from predators and the ebbing ice shelf. They are there to mate, birth, and care for their chick.
Monogamous for that year, penguins pair up and the mother lays an egg.
The mother dashes off back to the sea, which, thanks to the winter and new ice, is as far as 70 miles. She's starving, having lost one-third of her weight in laying the egg. The trip is long, and she's not fast. Hungry seals await them, some penguins lose their way, and some are too exhausted to continue.
Well-fed, full of food for her chick, she returns, and the father makes the same trip so he can eat. The father stayed behind to incubate the egg, and protect the new chick. He has lost one half of his weight.
The pair trade places a few more times as winter plods on. With temperatures 80 below zero, and winds up to 125, I felt cold just watching. The penguins huddle to keep warm, rotating which must do outside duty.
Morgan Freeman narrates. His voice does not overcome the story. Better written than any documentary I have ever seen, Freeman respects the script. Having never seen a documentary in a theater before, I was impressed at how well it worked on the big screen.
There is no plot, even though there is a beginning and an end. Unlike many documentaries, it does not detail the intricacies of eating, mate choosing, or science of penguin living. It is more about watching the arduous life cycle, with some explaining what we are watching.
The camera works captures the cold -- the shivering penguins, the snow blowing like dust over the long line of marching penguins. It reminded me of movies about Siberia, showing Soviets living in a frozen, cold natural prison.
This isn't a cute animal movie. Tender children might be saddened to see the eggs and chicks freezing, and could be quite frightened when the vicious seals overtake swimming penguins.
Now, with the ever-funny Bugs Bunny in "8 Ball Bunny," the kid-factor increases. Still, even as Bugs graces your home viewing experience, be careful with more impressionable children and the feature documentary.
Another DVD feature: Rodney the Penguin assists in "Crittercam: Emperor Penguins," as we learn how some of the complex videography was really shot.
I fully recommend "March of the Penguins."
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


The Incredibles (2-disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2004]
The Incredibles (2-disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Craig T. Nelson
Price: £4.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking the Superhero Genre Into New Place, 9 Aug. 2005
There are two crowds with this movie. Those who think it was OK, and those who think it is brilliant. Few dislike it.
My thoughts here are strong -- Brilliant, and then some.
"The Incredibles" is the beginning of a new era of superhero movies. It pokes at the genre, and it tells a fantastic story in the process. More than a parody, it has a rich pro-family flavor, folded into a drama about relationships, yet never taking itself too seriously.
The Plot
Take a couple with superpowers, move them into a federal protection program after superheroes are sued, give them three kids who aren't allowed to use their powers, and wait. Prod them occasionally with anxiety and restlessness to keep them in minor trouble. Soon, a powerful, intelligent enemy bent on becoming a self-made messiah will come along.
Will the retired and in-hiding superheroes don the uniforms and save the day? Can they after all these years? Who is this amazing arch enemy?
Does my version of the plot tell as well as it works in the movie? Probably not, because what is missing is the funny sight gags, situation humor, and spectacular animation. You also don't hear the swift one-liners, allusions to classic comic books or sarcasm about society.
The movie soars farther than the average superhero movie because, like Spiderman, it looks into the reality of the kind of personal life a superhero would have. If a world with superheroes existed, what would it be like? While the X-Men movies have attempted to address this, the concept of Charles Xavier's mansion is not easy to believe. Thinking that after Mr. Incredible unretired, he would have a beer gut is believable. These superheroes are just like us, after all, only "super."
The art and design of "The Incredibles" is not the usual either. Calling it art may seem too much, and I don't want to suggest that this is an animated version of the Louvre. However, "The Incredibles" angles beyond comic book art, and into art deco, and pop art akin to a more sophisticated, moving Andy Warhol.
The messages in the movie encourage us to be ourselves, be humble, do the right thing, and, in the case of peril, be courageous.
I fully recommend "The Incredibles." I am looking for a sequel or two, and am hoping they can continue this style and quality.
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


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