There are books that you read which end up leaving an indelible impression on you, for me this is one of those books. Poke the box, is a very small book which you can go through in one sitting.To me it almost doesn’t feel like a book, because it has no chapters or sections. It’s a bunch of the author’s thoughts collected together, but they are inspiring and challenging. This is not an intellectually challenging book, you are not going to learn anything new from reading it, but you will be called to act.
The author, Seth Godin, uses this as a manifesto to encourage people to become initiators, he believes we should all start things.
There are books you read that leave you with an indelible experience, for me this is one of those books. The book does not contain anything I have not read about before, but I’ve read this book at a time when I needed to take a hard look at the principles discussed by the author and think seriously about how to inculcate some of them into my own life. The Power of Less is a simple yet profound book that advices us on how to do less, yet achieve more. It is a book which encourages us to focus on the essentials while getting rid of the unnecessary. No doubt the author is writing from a personal experience and I even visited his blog to learn more about him and his philosophy. Leo Babauta centres the book around six core principles: set limitations, choose the essential, simplify, focus, create habits and start small. Continue reading
This week I dusted off an old classic to review, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book has sold over 16 million copies and there is a reason for this. If you can get past the language and old stories, it’s actually a great book by my opinion. Unsurprisingly it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon from 386 (as at the time of this review) people. From reading the book it is easy to see that Dale Carnegie was a man who read wide and did a lot of research. On almost every page there is a quote or illustrative story which makes it a more interesting book to read. And the principles being taught are so easy and straightforward that you wonder why over 16 million people would bother buying the book at all.
After reading the first two chapters, I almost wanted to shout out loud, “why are we not all doing this stuff” . Originally written in 1936, this revised edition was published in 2006. The book has 268 pages and 30 chapters all split across four distinct parts in the book. Each part covers a separate topic. Since I can’t write a brief outline for every single chapter (wouldn’t want to put you through the pain of going through 30 of them), I will base my review on each part of the book by picking out some key learning points that I found useful. Continue reading
Recently I was tasked with doing some assertiveness training, and I picked up this book from Amazon to help me prepare. While I have read quite a number of books on assertiveness I found this one rather intriguing, but why? It was very simple and straightforward to read and didn’t have the normal amount of psychological jargon that accompanies a lot of books written on the topic. No wonder it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon UK from 57 people (as at the time of this review). Assertiveness – How to be strong in every situation written by Conrad and Suzanne Potts is based on the experience of the authors who have spent 30 years specializing in assertion training. The first page of the book has some positive comments from those who’ve read the book, even one from a former Open University Vice – Chancellor. So what can you expect to get from this book? I will say, direct and honest advice on assertiveness covering what it is, why it is important, different ways people behave, strategies to develop assertive beliefs and assertive communication. Off course there is more. Three things about the book impressed me, firstly it is not large, just 232 pages spanning 11 chapters, secondly it is written in very simple to understand English and finally it has a good amount of examples and case studies. The book is divided into two parts. Chapters one to four make up the first part which covers the principles of assertive behaviour. Part two consists of chapters five to eleven and is more practical as it outlines specific situations and how to behave assertively in each of them. Continue reading