Freakonomics. Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. 2005. ISBN
006073132x. Levitt is the “rogue’ economist and Dubner is the NY Times
writer. So its good science and very readable. After reading this you
will become (in their words) ” A little more sceptical of the
conventional wisdom; you may begin to look for hints that things are not
quite what they seem” If you appreciate the truth that can be found in
good science and numbers, this is quite the read. So why is corruption
in Sumo wrestling the same as cheating teachers in Chicago student
testing. And what is the greatest contributor to the decline in the US
crime rate? Nothing you would see in the “conventional wisdom” . Read
it and share it and like me wait for the next installment.
Lucky Man. Michael J. Fox. 2002. ISBN 0786867627. This is a memoir and
a chronicle of how Michael dealt with Parkinson’s over 10 years. He
first hid the effects for eight of them and then it was just getting
too hard to carry on with his career without a lot of help. This is a
tear jerker and an uplifting book. He comes across as a genuinely nice
guy who has both feet on the ground. Very good travel or weekend book,
it will make you count your blessings and reflect on what some very hard
work is. It is also a good read.
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Trout on Strategy. Capturing Mindshare., Conquering Markets.Jack Trout.
2004. ISBN 007143794. Short, pithy and direct Trout can still really
put the straight goods in from to a reader. He has culled from his many
books anything that related to strategy. He suggests that strategy is
more than a plan, it has its roots in the CEO being very focussed on the
market and activities/tactics that are working. Strategy involves
looking at tactics that give you a market advantage and planning things
to ensure you have a sustainable competitive advantage. Good short
flight book, he believes the gathering of good honest information on market and products is the root of great decisions.
A short history of nearly everything. Bill Bryson. 2004. ISBN
0385660049. When I want to armchair travel, Bryson is the writer I
enjoy. This is a very different and good book. If you are anything like
me, having last thought about all the “other” sciences when you were in
university, then this book is for you. Bryson looks at all the tough
questions going on in natural science, makes them lifelike and brings us
up to date on current thinking. His descriptions of quantum physics are
as clear as his discussion of tectonic plates theory right through to
what paleontologists are saying about homo sapien and its roots. The
genetics chapter is useful even if you are up to date on DNA and RNA.
The bonus is his delight in the people who have made the discoveries and
mistakes over time. I had never heard about Lord Kelvin described just
this way before – he brings them to life in a few short pages. I predict
that this will be a science classic. Lots of answers to “Why is ?”
Market Busters. 40 Strategic Moves That Drive Exceptional Business
Rita McGrath and Ian MacMillan. 2005. ISBN 1591391237 This is a can do
hands on book on how to really achive exceptional growth. Using five basuc strategies
this book outlines 40 proven moves that get you where you want to go. The authors use manycase studies to illustrate
the moves and provide you with some new decision tools. Well written and
easy to read this is one for your library.