Book Reviews

Brilliant Workshops

Brilliant Workshops

This is a superb practical book on delivering workshops. As a Coach I have read numerous books on the subject and this one is a cut above the rest. The author draws on his own experience and his style is engaging, straightforward and inspiring making the book thoroughly enjoyable. It is an effortless read packed with useful exercises, tips and recommendations. The information is immediately usable in a number of contexts for both novice and seasoned presenters. I highly recommend this book to anyone working with groups.

Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

This is a simple and easy to read book that uses storytelling to get its message across. The purpose is to suggest how one can bring back passion and excitement to the workplace regardless of what you do. The first principal is to change your attitude which is very apt as how you respond to this book will indeed depend on your attitude. Some condemn it for being too “cheesy” others state it does not address the cause of the problems. If you approach this book with an open mind and are willing to spend an hour to see what you get out of it, you will learn how ideas and small actions can lead to positive change at work. It is engaging and entertaining so give it a go.

The One Minute Manager

The One Minute Manager

This book is a short and easy to read management book that gets its points across by telling a story. It concentrates on 3 core issues (or secrets) based on setting goals, praising and reprimanding employees, each of which is clearly set out in a short list of points. It is not filled with statistical research and data; it is a straightforward book that presents simple concepts. Even if you find some of it obvious, it is a good opportunity to ask yourself if you are actually applying the principles. It focuses on achieving success through people and as a manager this is crucial. Additionally, if you can do this effectively and save time, then it’s a bonus. I also think that the ideas presented can be applied to family life and child raising and as such, a short book that can reach a vast audience is commendable. Overall, it is a good reminder of the basics of good management.

Eat that Frog

Eat that Frog

The title of this book immediately drew me to it in the first place. It is not about time management per se, it’s much more about procrastination. I found it an appropriate quick read (considering the topic) with short chapters that you can pick up at any time. It does not present any revolutionary concepts and its simplicity is precisely what I enjoyed about it. As a fan of lists, I though the suggested exercises were easy to follow, useful and interesting. As Brian Tracy highlights “there is never enough time to do everything you have to do”. I find this acknowledgement refreshing as we all have a limited amount of time in our day. The crucial point is that it is vital to identify the key tasks that will have the most impact and deal with these first. Go ahead, be brave, Eat That Frog!

The Hidden Messages in Water

The Hidden Messages in Water

Dr Emoto (a renowned Japanese scientist) developed a method to photograph crystals formed in frozen water. The photographs themselves are beautiful and illustrate the findings of how water exposed to different thoughts and elements changes. I cannot comment on the scientific validity of the book so will focus on the concept which is what I found fascinating. The premise is that our bodies are made mostly of water so if external factors such as loving words or negative comments affect the water particles then they will also affect us. Many observations are more based on spiritual beliefs than anything else so take or leave these parts. Overall, it makes you wonder what our positive or negative energies are having on ourselves and those around others. From this perspective I think that it is a book that provides optimism and encourages us to be more aware and in control of our surroundings and emotions, which can only be a good thing.

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need

A friend of mine recommended this book and I am very grateful as I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was intrigued about the effectiveness of a career/self improvement book in a comic format, correction in the form of manga (Japanese comic format). Whilst it might lack in depth, the ideas which are presented with humour are smart and thought provoking. It provides wise career advice (based on 6 main premises) and inspires you to set your own direction and discover what you really want. This book offers an amusing, useful and different approach to providing career advice.

The Rules of Life

The Rules of Life

As Templar says himself “There is nothing here you don’t already know. This book isn’t a revelation, it’s a reminder”. I couldn’t have put it any better myself. We are all very good at forgetting the basics. I do hope I am not breaking the rules by talking about the rules! It is a simple user friendly book. It’s divided into topics which you can refer to when relevant and pick up at your own convenience. Even though you might find yourself thinking, ‘I knew that already’, it serves as a useful reminder of the common sense aspects of life, relationships etc. Overall, it is an enjoyable read and parts should make you stop and think and will resonate in your mind long after you’ve put it down.

The Little Prince

The Little Prince

This timeless classic is one of my all time favourite books. I have lost count of the number of times I have read it over the years and always make fresh discoveries and gain new insights. Despite also being a children’s book it so much more than that, it becomes a best friend that grows with you. The story about a stranded pilot and a prince in the desert is truly enchanting. The book is full of anecdotes with messages of love, hope, innocence and dreams. It illustrates the choices we make as adults and the paths these lead us to. It reminds us to look at life from a different perspective and appreciate simplicity and the beauty of little things.

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