Newest Business and Finance Reviews

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Fast-track the I.T Journey - How to move from Supplier to Partner by Alok Ranjan Tripathy

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

So, what brought me to this book? As the owner of a small business and a buyer of IT services I should be the senior partner in the relationship with my suppliers, but I've frequently found myself the junior partner and I've regularly been let down by them. I needed to know where I could improve that relationship and, by looking at the situation from the supplier's point of view, what steps I needed to take. Alok Tripathy's book looked as though it might provide help and possibly some of the answers as to how my suppliers could better help me. Full Review


Storytelling: The Presenter's Secret Weapon by John Clare

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

I was a little bit nervous when I picked up Storytelling: The Presenter's Secret Weapon. After all, the majority of presentations which I've seen or given were in a business context and what was required was absolute professionalism, not an act put on for light entertainment. I needn't have worried though: the book is an essential guide to preparing and giving your presentation, with or without what has now come to be known as The Dreaded PowerPoint. I've been making presentations successfully (but I'll say more about this later) in various professional situations for some forty or more years and I did wonder if the book would be able to teach me anything. It did.


Boards That Dare: How to Future-proof Today's Corporate Boards by Marc Stigter and Sir Cary Cooper

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

I wasn't optimistic when I started reading Boards That Dare. I feared that I would encounter new ways of minimising tax liabilities, of getting as much as possible out of employees whilst paying them the legal minimum and constant reminders that the shareholders own the company and of the necessity of maximising their return. In the event I was only a few pages in before I discovered that I couldn't have been more wrong, that we were looking at ways of future proofing the company. I began to feel hopeful... Full Review

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Trials and Tribulations of a Travelling Prostitute by Andrew Mackay

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle, Business and Finance

Just chance you think that you're picking up a book about what can go wrong in life for an itinerant sex worker I'd better explain exactly what it was that author Andrew Mackay did for thirty three years. A travelling prostitute is a worker who is employed by one company but his services are sold out to other countries, usually at a substantial profit to the employing company and a lot of inconvenience to the employee. Mackay was an engineer who knew all that there was to be know about turbines and generators, or if he didn't could soon be up to speed to the extent of being able to teach other people. Occasionally his skills were used in the UK, but frequently he was abroad. Just every now and again he would be in those parts of the world which has the rest of us green with envy, but then there were those areas which feature heavily in the news and not in a good way. Full Review

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The DIY Investor: How to take control of your investments and plan for a financially secure future by Andy Bell

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Investments are confusing. They're also rather frightening unless you have a background in finance: you could invest in equities which seem likely to make your fortune, only to find that you've lost all your money. On the other hand you could put all your savings into a nice, safe building society or bank account only to find that the interest is so derisory that your capital doesn't actually have the same buying power that it did when you opened the account. You could, of course, spend the money, but what about when you want to buy a house, replace the roof or retire? The roof might be relatively cheap but the other two are going to need a substantial investment pot. Full Review

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Time is Money by T K Williams-Nelson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Whatever your age it's frustrating to have to work for someone else. If you're under twenty five there's a strong chance that you'll be under-valued and probably not paid very well. There is though, a certain security in employment, usually because there's a reasonable certainty of income and a possibility of paid holidays: when you're self-employed neither of those are guaranteed. It is, though, a big step to leap into the world of self-employment. Time is Money is a self-development tool aimed at young people, creatives and people in business. Full Review

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Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Smarter Faster Better is ideal book for someone who loves both stories and career-related self-improvement. Readers looking for quick answers, bullet points or sound bites may be disappointed as Duhigg's approach is to focus on case studies, told with the flair of a short story, and then extrapolate from these rather than listing tips and exercises. However, if you have the time and patience to get to the point of each chapter slowly (and surely this is a subject matter worth devoting time to), you will doubtless find that Duhigg is an excellent storyteller and cleverly articulates the key message from each story so that they stick. Full Review

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The Great Brexit Swindle: Why the Mega-Rich and Free Market Fanatics Conspired to Force Britain from the European Union by T J Coles

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance, Politics and Society

Have you been mis-sold Brexit by posh men in sharp suits promising you free healthcare? If so, you might be entitled to compensation...

There wasn't much could make me laugh on the morning after the EU referendum but this spoof advert on Twitter managed it. Only, it seems that it wasn't completely a joke - well apart from the bit about compensation. In The Great Brexit Scandal T J Coles looks at the substantial core of free marketeers in the Conservative party who were determined to rid the UK of the Brussels red tape which was putting a brake on their activities. You might also know these views as neoliberalism, an ideology which looks to deregulate markets and maximise profits. On the surface that doesn't sound bad, until you realise that the benefit will go to the people who are already in the group which Coles refers to as the mega-rich and the losers will be working people. Full Review

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The Great Convergence by Richard Baldwin

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

The globalisation of the world economy is a central factor in life and politics today. 'The Great Convergence' attempts to explain the current driving forces behind the phenomena and the likely consequences. It is well argued, and supported by a wealth of data and research, but it is not one for a general reader. A background in economic principles and an understanding of some key concepts would be a key requisite in getting the most out of this book. Without this background, the reader will be constantly switching from the text and cross-referencing the meaning of some of the vocabulary used. With that note of caution, and the required understanding, Richard Baldwin's analysis is compelling. Full Review

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Thinking Allowed by Julian Wiles

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Thinking Allowed? Hmm, I thought, what has that got to do with building a thriving optical lens business? But within a few pages of starting to read, I was convinced that it was perfect. You see, this isn't a book which you read, rather like a Delia Smith book, to give you a precise recipe for how you must proceed to achieve a perfect result. No two businesses are alike, any more than any two owners are alike and Julian Wiles allows you to approach your business from all angles: there are even ways you can get his personal advice. This is no ordinary 'how to' book. There are no chapter numbers (you pick from the menu) and it's not even necessary to read the book in any particular order. Full Review

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Forestry Flavours of the Month: The Changing Face of World Forestry by Alastair Fraser

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance, Popular Science, Autobiography

Alastair Fraser's experience of forestry spans more than five decades and having the benefit of the long view he's ideally placed to consider the changes which have occurred over the course of his career. He also has the ability, not as common as it ought to be amongst professionals, of being able to look at what he does both from the point of view of the business and the people who work in it and are affected by it. There's a lack of tunnel vision too: he sees what's happening in forestry both in the narrow focus and where it sits globally so far as economics and politics are concerned. Full Review

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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Negotiation is nothing more than communication with results, according to Chris Voss. Never Split the Difference is all about maximising the chances of these results being in your favour. Drawing upon years of experience as a crisis and kidnapping negotiator, Voss has developed a set of highly honed tools, field-tested in numerous high-stakes negotiation situations involving the FBI. In contrast to the widely accepted paradigm for negotiation taught in schools and universities, this toolkit throws aside complex game theory and dense mathematical considerations in favour of an approach that places emotional intelligence, empathy and subtle communication techniques at its core. The focus is on developing an understanding of the thought process of individuals during any given discussion. Effective communication not only helps derive these insights, but allows them to be used to move a negotiation in the direction you want it to go, while simultaneously resolving a discussion with minimal conflict. Full Review

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Dragons: Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain by Liam Byrne

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Liam Byrne MP, a minister in the last Labour government, has come up with a novel way of telling British history through the ages in this book. His approach is not one of Kings and Queens, wars or scientific discoveries, but through the business world and several of the key – and often unsung – entrepreneurs and commercial venturers from medieval times to the twentieth century. As he says in his preface, the people through whose lives he has chosen to narrate the saga reveal the best and worst of human endeavours, as he serves us up several explorers, inventors and moral leaders alongside a motley crew of fraudsters, warmongers and unembarrassed imperialists. All of them took risks, some made fortunes and some lost them, but for better or worse they all contributed towards the tale of British enterprise and the making of the modern world. Full Review

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How Music Got Free: The Inventor, the Music Man, and the Thief by Stephen Witt

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

'How Music Got Free', as the title ironically suggests, tells us how the industry fell victim to the digital age and, it seems, became fatally devalued in the process. It starts more or less in the mid-1990s with German technological wizard Karlheinz Brandenburg and the development of the mp3, in brief a coding format for digital audio. The convoluted story is one of various formats and technologies, of loading music on to the internet and making it a free-for-all, in more senses than one. Full Review

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One Second Ahead: Enhance Your Performance at Work with Mindfulness by Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter and Gillian Coutts

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Have you ever worked at a task and found your mind wandering to something else? Do you find yourself breaking off what you're doing to answer an email? Do you try to multitask, thinking that you're being more efficient? Do you have far too much to attend to, to complete and nowhere near enough time to do it all?

You do? Me too. You need this book. Full Review

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Campaigns that Shook the World: The Evolution of Public Relations by Danny Rogers

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

I dithered about how to begin this review. On one hand I thought I should probably start by saying that I have a work related interest in marketing and communications. On the other hand, Danny Rogers has written a book which appealed to me on several levels. Campaigns are about psychology and storytelling – which of course leads us into branding but also feature critical issues around concept delivery. In short, I was looking forward to reading this for many reasons – and it didn’t disappoint. Full Review

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Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much by Tony Crabbe

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews LifestyleBusiness and Finance

Serendipity often brings you to the important books. Recently I heard myself say to a friend: I'm far too busy to do some of the important stuff. It pulled me up short: there was definitely something wrong here - and then I had the opportunity to listen to an audio download of Busy and I knew that it was something I had to do and take notice of if I was to stop going backwards. Because that was what I was doing. Full Review

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On Purpose: Delivering a Branded Customer Experience People Love by Shaun Smith and Andy Milligan

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

There are some great quotes in this book, and I'd like to start with a few.

Marketing is a tax you pay for being unremarkable

A cynic is a romantic with higher standards

Luxury isn't a long car…it's free wifi and movies on demand Full Review

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The Art of Possible by Kate Tojeiro

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

As I recently wrote on Bookbag, I started reading management manuals and self-improvement books at a time when my life was not going so great. Since then, it seems that they have continued to drop into my life just as I need them. I'm sure there's something to the science of "serendipity", which basically means we notice stuff more when it's what we need. Full Review