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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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28 04, 2012

Review: Bold by Shaun Smith & Andy Milligan

By | April 28th, 2012|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction|Tags: , |3 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Bold: How to Be Brave in Business and Win by Shaun Smith and Andy Milligan highlights successful companies from various industries. This is very valuable information for anyone interested in leadership or management at any company. Leaders tend to have the same personality traits in common, such as being tenacious or persevering when there is little hope of success. Leaders also need to learn from the mistakes of others, and that information is priceless especially when a manager is able to learn a new strategy from someone else’s blunders.

Bold also showcases the company leaders themselves as they express their strategies in first person accounts in each chapter. Some of companies featured in the book are : Virgin Galactic, Oz, AirAsia X, Chilli Beans, Zappos.com, Burberry, the Geek Squad and others. The book features pull outs, color photos,

4 04, 2012

Review: Developing Your Presentation Skills by Theo Theobald

By | April 4th, 2012|Categories: Business & Investing, Education, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Everyone will need to make a presentation at some time in their lives. Whether it is a formal business speech or an informal toast at a friend’s wedding, knowing how to make a speech is a valuable skill to have in any situation.

Develop Your Presentation Skills by Theo Theobald is part of the Creating Success series. The chapters cover the development of topics, the use of humor and tools like PowerPoint, as well as offering templates and content for a speech, and tips for managing your nervousness and the audience (including question and answer sessions, and when those question should be allowed to be asked). There are helpful activities for the reader to try, and summaries of what to do for each stage of developing a presentation. These tips apply to most formal professional presentations made in the

18 01, 2012

Review: Branded Beauty by Mark Tungate

By | January 18th, 2012|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

Rating:

Reviewed by Shannon Hopkins

Many women put a considerable amount of thought into the cosmetic products they buy: questions of color, consistency, and ability to diminish signs of aging/promote a clearer complexion/help achieve an individual ideal of beauty ricochet through the brain while a woman stands in the beauty aisle and decides between Cover Girl and Rimmel, L’Oreal and Maybelline.

What they don’t consider, however, is the evolution of cosmetics and the marketing strategies that have insinuated beauty products into our everyday lives. Why did names like Chanel, Estee Lauder and Max Factor enter the public vocabulary, and how have they continued to thrive? In Branded Beauty, Mark Tungate acts as more than a beauty biographer; rather, he uses his expertise as a brand communicator to shed light on a multi-billion dollar industry in which many of us participate, but

15 01, 2012

Review: Pawnonomics by Stephen Krupnik

By | January 15th, 2012|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

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Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Pawnonomics by Steve Krupnik is a refreshing and fun read. It highlights a chronological history of pawnbroking and discusses what the industry is really all about. Most people have an idea what pawnbroking entails and their perceptions are usually wrong! Pawnbrokers provide a significant service to the community. They are picky and selective on the types of merchandise they choose to accept. And there are many good deals to be had if people get over the stereotypes and go into the stores to check out the merchandise available for sale.

Pawnbroking and lending money date back to before biblical times. As an industry, pawnbroking offers an opportunity for low end borrowers to get the money they require, hence providing an important service. Pawnbrokers are money changers, and they exist in most countries around the world. They are even

20 10, 2011

Review: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Rich Kiyosaki & Sharon Lechter

By | October 20th, 2011|Categories: Business & Investing, Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Personal Finance, Self-Help|Tags: , , , , , , , |5 Comments

Rating:

Guest Review by Amy Young

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a financial self-help book written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. Basically, the authors try to get the reader to gain financial independence through investments, real estate, owning a business, and using finance protection tactics. The book is written in a set of parables and is based on Kiyosaki’s life experiences.

Kiyosaki says things at times that the reader may not want to hear, but the strategies and tactics he used to become rich have worked for him as well as many other wealthy people. Kiyosaki says at one point that a house is not an asset. This statement made me a little skeptical because I’ve always thought of real estate as an asset that can increase in value and is, therefore, a good investment. After thinking about his explanation, I realized

12 10, 2011

Review: Keep the Change by Steve Dublanica

By | October 12th, 2011|Categories: Business & Investing, Entertainment, For Men, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction, Social Sciences|Tags: , , , , , |8 Comments

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Reviewed by Jill Elizabeth

Don’t you love it when you learn something and are vastly entertained at the same time? I certainly do, and Steve Dublanica’s latest – Keep the Change – is my new favorite exemplar of this. The book, a follow-up to his 2008 hit Waiter Rant, is a fascinating exploration of the service industry and tipping. Read it – you’ll love it and I guarantee you will never look at a waiter, taxi driver, valet, or any other service worker the same way again

The book opens with a trip to Vegas to learn about stripper tipping – and it only gets better from there. And just to cover this right up front, he does it in an entirely non- skeevy way, even though much of the tipping does border on – if not downright enter

18 09, 2011

Review: 60 Miles from Salt Water by Bill Minot

By | September 18th, 2011|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction, True Accounts|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

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Reviewed by Joanne Lakomski

60 Miles from Salt Water introduced me to Bob Lane, author Bill Minot’s main character. Bob is a successful investor living the life of wealth and privilege, beachside in Malibu. He is in a deepening relationship with Joanna down the beach and in occasional contact with friends with whom he went through school: Billy and Jimmy. They are both on the East Coast and successful in their careers. Hockey had been their shared sport in prep school and then college.

Bob is a happy man – until he has visits from the FBI and calls from the IRS. Something is amiss in his golden world.

At 186 pages, 60 Miles from Salt Water is a very fast read. The author’s reliance upon the reader to fill in the blanks of his characters and details of the story allows its

23 08, 2011

Review: How to Write a Business Plan by Mike McKeever

By | August 23rd, 2011|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

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Reviewed by Jodi Horsley

How to Write a Business Plan is an amazing book, chuck full of great information – if you are an entrepreneur looking to start up a business. This book will definitely help you put your thoughts on paper in a well-organized manner.

How to Write a Business Plan will help you take a project that can be overwhelming and show you how to make it much more manageable through the steps that are laid out for you. The task of writing a business plan can be quite daunting, but this book lays out each step in such a detailed, manageable manner – it allows even the novice to feel comfortable in what they are creating.

There are so many significant reasons to put a business plan in place, as pointed out in the beginning of this book. Not only

10 06, 2011

Review: How To Make Real Money Selling Books by Brian Jud

By | June 10th, 2011|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction, Reference|Tags: , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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Reviewed by Leigh Adamkiewicz

I met one of my favorite English teachers during my freshman year. He was a dashing young man, with a delightfully twisted sense of humor – and an absolute disinterest in keeping the noise down in his classroom. Only one thing kept the class from becoming a free-for-all. Our textbook. Each entry level English class had to study from the same painfully comprehensive textbook. To ignore it meant you would fail the class. But to read a couple chapters in a row would leave you a drooling wreck. The subject matter was so incredably dense I heard of students dropping classes because they didn’t want to have to deal with it.

But my teacher had a solution. Trashy reality TV. No, really. He recommended watching our favorite trashy, brainless reality TV show and reading as much of

22 05, 2011

Review: Grow the Entrepreneurial Dream by Jim Houtz

By | May 22nd, 2011|Categories: Business & Investing, Nonfiction|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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Reviewed by Jodi Horsley

If you are starting up a business and want a book that will walk you through every step in the process, – from the vision to the board of directors – then Grow the Entrepreneurial Dream by Jim Houtz is definitely one you most read.

Grow the Entrepreneurial Dream is broken down in to three sections – Foundation, Growth Strategies and Looking Ahead. Foundation covers the area of vision. Growth Strategies includes market evaluation, growth management, growth marketing and operational excellence. Looking Ahead covers the areas of going public or staying private and why businesses fail. The book also includes an entire chapter on integrity, both personal and professional.  Houtz also discusses the importance of ongoing employee training, and developing not only loyal customers but a continuous growth of loyal customers. Throughout