April 4th 2021

The House of the Spirits. Isabel Allende.

The House of the Spirits. Isabel Allende. 1972.  I am a fan of Allende’s work, even her early books.  This is fiction based on fact around the intertwined fates of two families in an unnamed Latin country.  I saw similarities to Argentia, Venezuela, El Salvador history.  One family has beautiful, spiritual but tragic daughters and another has the rags to riches story of a son.  This is all bound up in a showdown between capitalism and socialism, leading to a fascist state. The lives, love and eventual deaths of many protagonists are clearly laid out. Allende has a rich descriptive sensual style reminiscent of DH Lawrence.  Easy to read and skillfully done.

March 23rd 2021

The Edge of Eternity. Ken Follett.

The Edge of Eternity. Ken Follett. 2020.  Following two fictional families, one in East Germany and one in USA ( black) from building the Wall, the Kennedy years, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Bush, the fall of the Wall, Europe Spring.  The families, their contacts, their enemies are intertwined with these events in history.  If you lived through some or all of this, you may not be able to put the book down.   Leaders are not always shown in a kindly light, with JFK taking quite a hit on his morals ( or lack of).  Worth the read as it is recent enough to ring true.

March 19th 2021

Joe Biden. The life, the run, and what matters now. Evan Osnos.

Joe Biden. The life, the run, and what matters now. Evan Osnos.2020. ISBN 9781982174026.  Published just prior to the inauguration this is a decent reveal about who and what Joe is.  It seems he may be what the US needs right now to “get the job done” while being quietly competent at working the Washington levers of power.  ( I think we appreciate the quiet part now)    I was interested in the projected actions he may take in his first forty weeks of power, he is under no illusions as to how short a honeymoon he may have.  His actions seem to follow these projections and why they seem necessary. It’s a useful book for those of us who watch the US from a distance.

March 5th 2021

Simon Scarrow. Cato and Macro series (1-17)

Simon Scarrow. Cato and Macro series (1-17).  Scarrow is a prolific writer on the Roman expansion era ranging from the invasion of Britannia, in the Med., and the Middle East, and Rome all the way to the wars with Persia.  His two heroes, Cato and Macro are regular Roman fighters who get in and out of many deadly scrapes. The author’s research gives you an on-ground view of the life of a Roman soldier.  His writing is fast-paced, but with enough detail to keep you intrigued. Very enjoyable if you are a historical fiction buff.

February 23rd 2021

Tactical Pipeline Growth. Winning the battle for new business, Mark McInness.

Tactical Pipeline Growth. Winning the battle for new business, Mark McInness. 2020. ISBN 9780646819938.   The author has put together a very practical, pragmatic book on tactical sales methods. He is also very organized and logical making this a good guide to building internal sales processes.   You will still need a good idea of your ideal client, the types of language and content that works for them. As well you need good marketing chops to drive leads and traffic to work with.  That done, this book will make sure you take the best care of the leads you work with.  Worth any sales professional’s time to read this.

February 5th 2021

Marketing with Webinars. Get new clients in 1-hour per month. Tom Poland.

Marketing with Webinars. Get new clients in 1-hour per month. Tom Poland. 2020. ISBN 9780977503261.  Sub subhead. Efficient & effective alternative to seminars, conferences, & tradeshows.  At first, this book ( which is available plus resources at www.marketingwithwebinars.com) struck me as a bit over the top with sales hyperbola. But the author quickly drops into why does but with lots of details to do this.  His detailed marketing system is useful for many efforts needed today.  I quickly found this book to be very enjoyable and useful. In today’s non-contact world this is a good handbook on what to do.   A good read for any tech entrepreneur and market/sales department.

January 12th 2021

Soap and water and common sense. The definitive guide to viruses, bacteria, parasites and disease. Dr. Bonny Henry

Soap and water and common sense. The definitive guide to viruses, bacteria, parasites and disease. Dr, Bonny Henry. 2009.  ISBN 9781487008673. Dr. Henry has written a very easy to read  book on what could have been a very technical subject. The logic is clear and the writing concise. The common-sense approach was used throughout the book to ensure the reader was able to easily follow the science.  It’s also an enjoyable read and something for everyone to have reinforced.

January 7th 2021

The Splendid and the Vile. A saga of Churchill, family and defiance during the blitz. Erik Larson.

The Splendid and the Vile. A saga of Churchill, family and defiance during the blitz. Erik Larson. 2020.  ISBN 9780385348713.  A very well and tightly written story of the 57 days and nights of the relentless bombing of Britain by the Germans in WWII.  You see how Churchill and family ( and other govt ministers)  worked and lived through these horrendous days.  Lots of pathos and emotion in the pages as well as insights into the English upper-crust life. The author has researched diaries, written reports and memoirs of the English, American and German leaders at the time.  Well worth the read with the bonus of Churchill’s descriptive prose throughout the book.

December 22nd 2020

Compelling Selling. Simple & profitable tips for effective, efficient sales conversations. Dr. Nancy Zare.

Compelling Selling. Simple & profitable tips for effective, efficient sales conversations. Dr. Nancy Zare. 2020.  The author, a psychologist has analyzed aspects of prospects and salespeople and identified 4 different buying styles and 4 different selling styles. Some of this is very reminiscent of the Social Styles work done a few decades ago. I had applied it to my selling syles and found it useful.  This book goes further by giving more insights into identifying and following up with the different buying styles.  It reflects the more pragmatic demands of today’s business reader. The guides are useful and simple so I suspect most young salespeople will be able to adopt them.  I started out thinking that the book would be a retread of older material but I found new insights from this work.

December 16th 2020

A Long Petal of the Sea. Isabel Allende

A Long Petal of the Sea. Isabel Allende. 2020. ISBN 9781984820167. I am a long time fan of Allende’s work.  She weaves feeling. the human condition and history into a seamless tapestry.  This book starts with the  Spanish war between Republicans and Fascists that was a warm-up to WWII. We follow the hero ( a medical student)  through being on the desperate Republican side, what happens to his family and then fleeing to France. After they flee to Chiulem, build a life and then after Allende is killed, fleeing again to Argentina and starting over. The protagonist is jailed and tortured several times. Yet the characters survive the harshness and scarcities of war and repressions.  A great read that will stay with you for quite some time.