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Basics Advertising 01: Copywriting
Basics Advertising 01: Copywriting
by Rob Bowdery
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't cover all bases, though perhaps isn't supposed to., 31 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Only scratches the surface as to what copywriting is, although it's part of an advertising series, so that's perhaps why. Recommended as a read for someone interested in advertising in general, rather than copywriting, which covers more industries than advertising.

The Pledge: Your Master Plan for an Abundant Life (Agora Series)
The Pledge: Your Master Plan for an Abundant Life (Agora Series)
by author Michael Masterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Playing the Devil's advocate, 18 Aug. 2012
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This book is amazing; it's life-changing and WILL make you more productive. But I don't feel that many of the reviews here show the book for what it really is. As I've said, this book changed my life, and I believe it will change yours, too, so definitely buy it. But for the remainder of this review, I'm going to be playing Devil's advocate and talking about the many downfalls of this book.

The biggest negative of all, honestly, is that the book itself is poor. Don't get me wrong, it's life-changing and I still strongly recommend it. But what I mean is this: there is only ONE chapter that you need to read in the book, and that's the second one: 'How To Turn Your Biggest Dreams Into Reality'; this is the chapter which tells you how to set your goals as according to your core values, and how to work towards those goals every single day - it's amazing. The rest of the book, however... well, let's just say I didn't remember any of it after reading it. Apart from that essential second chapter, the rest of the book is basically fleshed-out generic "positive thinking", "do as I say" diatribe, with Masterson showing his age; gloating rabidly about his own achievements and telling you what's good for you. Masterson comes across as an old-fashioned elitist who mistrusts anything that isn't work - it's as if he's been following his own system for so long, that he's become quite literally obsessed with it, and he strongly encourages, if not demands, that you do EXACTLY the same. It seems to have turned him into quite the robot.

His obsession with productivity and his outright terror at anything unproductive is quite laughable; for example, he recommends limiting your shower to two minutes per day (since that extra 13 minutes could be spent working on a novel or something). He tells a story about how he and his wife decided not to buy a television until all their kids were out of the house, in case it turned them stupid, and even with his last kid leaving for college, he still tells of his paranoia that he may become "addicted" to it, thus corrupting his perfect 'goal-setting' system. One imagines that if you interrupted Masterson with a five-minute chat, he'd become enraged at you for putting him five minutes behind his daily schedule. At one point, he shows that he even schedules "dinner and conversation" with his own wife, and the way in which he writes, one assumes that he sticks to the time restraints of such a dinner and conversation very strictly. He also makes a distinction between 'Golden activities' (i.e. activities which he thinks EVERYONE should do because they WILL make them better people) and 'Acidic activities' (activities which he thinks NOBODY should do because they WILL turn them into idiots); 'golden' activities include meditating and appreciating art, while 'acidic' activities include watching TV shows that aren't documentaries, and listening to - and he makes it specific - rap music. At no point does Masterson even hint that any of this is opinion, so he basically comes across as a boring, rich, elitist old man telling you what he thinks is good for you.

At one point, the book delves into the... purely surreal. There is a point in which he goes off on a several-page tangent about how you should (nay, MUST) have lights with dimmers on them in your office, and how you should kit your workspace out with a whiskey bar and/or a Chinese tea station. Seriously. Now it doesn't take an idiot to work out that... most people simply just can't get away with doing this. This book is meant to be aimed at average people like you and I, so why on Earth is Masterson even entertaining the idea that you 1. even have your own office, 2. can afford your own whiskey bar, 3. have space in your office said whiskey bar, and 4. will not be fired on the spot for ripping out your office's light fittings and dragging in your own whiskey bar?! He also recommends carrying a pillow around with you so that if you're tired, you can just lay down under the nearest table and have a 20-minute power nap... especially if you're at work - no, that won't get you fired on the spot.

I'd like to remind you here that I still strongly recommend this book. In fact, this isn't the only Masterson book I've read - I recommend them all, but I have similar complaints with all of them. To summarize, definitely buy the book - it'll change your life. But only read the second chapter, since Masterson himself isn't a fun writer to read; the rest of the book is fleshed out with generic self-help buzzwords and diatribe and Masterson being pretentious and weird.

Made In Basing Street [2CD Deluxe]
Made In Basing Street [2CD Deluxe]
Offered by Founders Factory JPN4UK
Price: £26.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real music by real masters, 29 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Absolutely terrific - every song is amazing in its own right. Producers have every aspect of the studio at their disposal, and this album shows it.

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