Archive for the ‘Book Recommendations’ Category

I read some great books on holiday

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

I recently went on a 3 week holiday (vacation for you North Americans) in the UK and whilst I was there I read some great personal development books as follows:

Introducing NLP: Psychological Skills for Understanding and Influencing People

Actually I read this book just before going on holiday but I wanted to mention it anyway. I’d heard about NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) before but I didn’t know much about it. This book was certainly a good introduction to NLP and it made good sense to me – particularly how people learn via different stimuli e.g. visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. I tried out some of the exercises and found them to be useful.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

I thought this book was great. It’s aimed at professionals who are already successful but who want to take it to the next level by examining and improving their interpersonal skills. For example someone may be the CEO of a company but could be poor at listening or might be a chronic interrupter. This book highlights common interpersonal flaws that people may need to improve, and certainly I found several that applied to me, not just in a professional sense but in my personal family relationships. Highly recommended if you want to hold the mirror up to yourself and stare right in it…

How to Win Friends & Influence People

I bought this book because I’d heard about it for years and wanted to find out what all the hype was about. Turns out it’s a really good timeless read with great tips in it and lots of interesting examples. You can apply the techniques to work, socialising or your home life. If you haven’t read this yet, get it!

The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking

I’m developing an interest in Public Speaking and will soon be joining a Toastmasters club. So I got this book to see what tips I could learn. Turns out it was a good buy. The main tip seem to be talk with a passion about something that you are knowledgeable about. Sounds obvious really. Also people that learn to become good speakers often get promotions or become better sales people or just experience better relationships due to being able to communicate more clearly. I used some of the tips in this book to make a speech thanking my Aikido sensei for a great Summer School and also to do a speech at my Engagement Party which went down well. I’m looking forward to doing more public speaking in the future.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

This book kept cropping up in conversations and on websites and so I thought I’d better find out what it was all about. It was as fun easy read and made a lot of sense. It challenges the idea that a house is an asset, which is interesting to me because I have a house and mortgage, but the explanation rings true. It also challenges the idea that getting educated and getting a good job will make you rich – something I already agree with. Basically the book is about amassing assets that generate revenue and living off the profit instead of amassing liabilities. There are lots of great examples in the book like how the author made tons of money on real estate without ever using any of his own money. A great read – I want my kids to read it when they are old enough.

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)

I heard a lot about Seth Godin and wanted to try out one of his books. The dip is about pushing through problems if the goal is worth it or knowing when to quit if need be. I was surprised to find it was such a tiny book that I read very quickly, but the premise is solid, although I would say that the core point was repeated quite a lot. An interesting read, but not sure it’s worth the cover price. See what you think.

OK that’s it for now, I hope that you benefit from reading some of these books. I’m reading another batch of books now and will post again in the future.

Couple of Book Recommendations

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I’ve recently read a couple of good books that I thought I’d blog about in case you are interested. Yes, these are Amazon Associate links but hopefully you won’t begrudge me that – the books are very good and I’m sure that many of you will enjoy them if you haven’t read them already.

First up is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I bought this book pretty much based on its front cover and after reading the first few pages of it. It turned out not to be exactly what I thought it was but that was fine actually. I thought it was going to be about HOW to persuade people to do stuff – this is not something I particularly wanted to do (I used to sell computer systems for a living, so I’ve been there done that!) but I was nevertheless interested in this topic. What the book was really about was a whole load of scientific studies that showed how “compliance practitioners”, as the author calls them, e.g. car salesmen and telesales people etc, use special tricks that they know work on pretty much everyone because we’ve evolved to be susceptible to them. The tricks are described well with some fascinating studies to back them up. Then the author describes some possible techniques for not being caught out by these tricks the next time you find yourself the subject of them. What’s quite funny is at the end the author reveals himself to be a bit obsessive in his “war” against compliance practitioners and advises you to refute them and try to take them down – I’d advise him to chill out a bit though 🙂 Anyway it was a good book that I blasted through in a couple of days of lounging around at the weekend.

Next up I read The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a very well known book that I’d been meaning to read for a while ever since reading another of his books called Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking which was fascinating. The Tipping Point talks about how epidemics occur (viral, social, fashion etc) when they reach a certain “tipping point” and what factors influence that. Certain kinds of people seem to be vital in turning something small into an epidemic and other factors such as “stickiness” play a big part too. I found the book really interesting from a marketing point of view just as well as general interest. Again he cites many scientific studies, some of which overlapped with the Persuasion book that I just read which was fluky (flukey?). One section about the rise and fall of crime in New York during the 1990s also reminded me of another great book that I read last year called Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, which is definitely worth checking out. You can probably find the older unrevised version for cheaper if you are interested. Malcolm Gladwell also writes in a very easy manner to read (I also blasted through this book over the last weekend) and I’m looking forward to reading his new book (which is sitting in my To Read pile) – I’ll report back on it later.

Well, that’s it for now, I hope that you find my recommendations useful. If you have any recommendations for me, please add them to the comments. I’m building up a pretty big recommendation list at the moment but if the same book keeps on cropping up, I’ll make sure I get it ASAP!