As I read this I was reminded of how Stephen Covey took his hugely successful book for the LDS market--Spiritual Roots of Human Relations--and rewrote...moreAs I read this I was reminded of how Stephen Covey took his hugely successful book for the LDS market--Spiritual Roots of Human Relations--and rewrote it about fifteen years later as a manual for business. Here Christensen and his co-authors take business theories that have helped Fortune 500 companies become better and show how these same theories work on a much smaller, but much more important level.
I found myself underlining huge portions of most pages, and in some cases entire pages, not to mention highlighting much of the book as well.
If you will use the concepts presented in this book, your life will definitely be blessed. Now I want to read the books he's written for the business world--the Innovators series.
I hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I did. (less)
Greg Gutfeld is the new P.J. O'Rourke. Not that P.J. is waning. But someone's got to be waiting in the wings.
Just as P.J. honed his humor and snarky...moreGreg Gutfeld is the new P.J. O'Rourke. Not that P.J. is waning. But someone's got to be waiting in the wings.
Just as P.J. honed his humor and snarky teeth by working as editor in chief of National Lampoon, Gutfeld sharpened his skills at a variety of magazines such as Prevention, and the UK version of Maxim and Stuff.
Gutfeld is gutsy in his humor approach, often taking on things O'Rourke didn't comment on, but at the same time, his language is tamer than P.J.'s. But that doesn't mean his bite is any less powerful.
Like P.J., he started as a liberal, shifted to conservative and finally landing in the libertarian camp. As he said, "I became a conservative by hanging out with liberals, and a libertarian by hanging out with conservatives."
Very funny, and sharp political and social commentary as well. (less)
The soft-cover edition of this is a handy reference guide to most questions about Christmas and it's traditions. It's handy for parents who have kids...moreThe soft-cover edition of this is a handy reference guide to most questions about Christmas and it's traditions. It's handy for parents who have kids with questions, and anyone else who is interested in general information about Christmas. (less)
I'm a Christmas music FREAK. I'm one of those annoying people who listen to it all year long (although, in private. I never subject others to my addic...moreI'm a Christmas music FREAK. I'm one of those annoying people who listen to it all year long (although, in private. I never subject others to my addiction).I was excited when I bought this book. I initially enjoyed reading the stories behind the Christmas songs. However, however I became suspicious when I read three stories that I knew to be false, or poorly researched.
The first is where he says Irving Berlin had little faith in his song "White Christmas." Having just finished Jody Rosen's book, White Christmas--the story behind Berlin's perennial favorite--I knew this to be untrue. Quite the contrary, Berlin considered it not only the the greatest song he'd ever written, but the greatest song every written, period.
The second red flag came with his recounting of the supposed story behind "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (easily the in the world's top ten most annoying Christmas songs. Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmas Time is number one). Collins appears to have just pulled from the Internet the story that the song is about teaching young Catholic children, Catholic doctrine in England at a time when Catholicism was outlawed. The problem with this theory is that none of the doctrines this is supposed to teach is actually exclusive to Catholicism. Again another book I own on Christmas carols edited by Ian Bradley, says this type of pattersong/memory song was very common throughout Europe at the time, and a French version of this carol (A very Catholic country) exists.
Finally, there is Collins' statement that in the days of the song "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", the term "merry" meant strong. Again, I had recently heard different, so I went to the library and spent an hour studying the Oxford English Dictionary, and couldn't find a single meaning of the term merry to have ever been "strong."
While Collins may have the great access to living composers and such, these three errors, made me wonder just how many other factual errors exist in the boo, that I didn't know about.
So, while I keep this as a reference, I toss a shaker of salt over my shoulder everytime I use it. (less)
Music journalist, Jody Rosen, does a great job of presenting the story of the world's most popular song--White Christmas. (Although momentarily depose...moreMusic journalist, Jody Rosen, does a great job of presenting the story of the world's most popular song--White Christmas. (Although momentarily deposed as the biggest selling song of all time by Elton John's Goodbye England's Rose, the seasonal recurrance of White Christmas still makes it the world's most popular song.)
He gives us the history of the song's composer, Irving Berlin, and the things leading up to the song, and even Berlin's composing style and habits. (Berlin was a famous insomniac who did much of his composing in the wee hours of the morning.) The Berlin family gave Rosen unprecedented access to many of the composer's private papers, including journals and letters.
Rosen also clears up a story that has been going around for years, saying that Berlin had little faith in the song. The fact is that when Berlin--who couldn't read music--was ready to play it for his musical secretary, and have it put to paper, he showed up at the office at ten a.m. instead of his usual 2 p.m. or 3 p.m., and announced to the staff, "Not only have I written the best song I've ever written, but I've just written the best song ever written." Berlin's worries about the song were when film critics ignored the song when it appeared in the film Holiday Inn, with Bing Crosby. But the public came to his rescue and turned it into a bona-fide hit.
A thoroughly researched, excellent book about a song that has been sung by everyone from the death metal band Helloween, to the Mormon Tabernacle choir.(less)
Many claim the science on global warming is decided and the time for debate has ended. We're all going to bake to death unless we move back into caves...moreMany claim the science on global warming is decided and the time for debate has ended. We're all going to bake to death unless we move back into caves immediately. Here's my problem with this issue (and I've had it since long before I read this book): 30 years ago when I was a junior high and high school student, the very same organizations, and some times the very same people, who are now telling us the planet is becoming one big oven, were telling us the planet was about to become one big refrigerator because of global cooling. Don't these people have any instutitional memory?
Here, Horner pulls together the research from many scientists who question the whole global warming concept, including Dr. Patrick Moore--one of the co-founders of Greenpeace. Horner shows evidence that at the time Al Gore was running around saying the planet is warming too quickly, the Himalaya mountains were experiencing record snowfalls, the center of the Antartic Ice Sheet was actually thickening, temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere were actually staying static, he shows how Al Gore doctored the now famous/infamous hockey stick graph to prove his point, when in reality the men who worked on it said, ultimately temperatures actually showed NORMAL fluctuations. For those who are deeply worried about losing Alpine glaciers throughout the Alps, please keep in mind that when the African conqueror Hannibal brought his armies complete with elephants over the Alps, those glaciers didn't exist, the Alps were actually snow and glacier free enough to allow Hannibal passage. When the Vikings were running all over the North Atlantic, the Greenland Ice Sheet had retreated enough to allow the Vikings to place settlements on Greenland.
Horner also cites many other scientists who say that the only thing static about the Earth's weather patterns is that they are always dynamic--i.e. always changing.
This is worth the time of anyone who wants to get both sides of the global warming/climate change debate. (less)
This is a stunning, yet sympathetic look at teenage druge use, the temptations and road to remdemption. Heart-breaking and yet with a definite optimis...moreThis is a stunning, yet sympathetic look at teenage druge use, the temptations and road to remdemption. Heart-breaking and yet with a definite optimism as well. If you can find it, it's worth the money and the read. (less)
Roger L. Simon is one of those guys that no one really knows how to categorize these days, and that's just fine with him.
He's an award winning myster...moreRoger L. Simon is one of those guys that no one really knows how to categorize these days, and that's just fine with him.
He's an award winning mystery novelist and was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay, "Enemies, A Love Story." He spent years as a happy leftie and liberal. Here, he gives us his memoir and not quite tell all about the inner workings of Hollywood, literally from inside the belly of the beast. He played the games, got invited to the right parties, smoked crack cocaine with Timothy Leary, worked with Richard Pryor and Richard Dreyfuss, to name a few.
Simon shares with us those wild days, as well as the gradual shift to the right, or at least closer to the center. It was the OJ Simpson trial that really sent him over the edge.
While these days, he leans more to the right, he believes in gay marriage, abortion rights, and a few other t hings that make most Republicans highly nervous.
But Simon is honest in his writing. He doesn't excuse his experiments with drugs, and when he makes mistakes--cheating on his first wife, for one--he admits his guilt. But this is an interesting memoir. I have a friend who writes for the Hollywood Reporter, and he has told me several stories that carry the same ring as Simon's account, so I'm giving him credibility points. (less)
Although I am giving this one four stars, I am hanging the red flags all over the place on this. She doesn't flinch from portraying the worst side of...moreAlthough I am giving this one four stars, I am hanging the red flags all over the place on this. She doesn't flinch from portraying the worst side of the world of the sex business. While some may think it's for pruient reasons, I came away from the book with the feeling she was doing it to to show exactly how degrading the world can be, how desperate the women can be, how fake it is. It is a book that has stayed with me and made me think. If you read it, beware, the language is frank, the scenes explicit, no holds barred, no punches pulled. There are some problems with it, especially that she really doesn't get into why she went into the sex business, other than she wanted to scare herself. "Mission accomplished" as she put it at the end. A good book, but beware, beware beware, beware. Can I say it enough? (less)
I can't write about P.J. O'Rourke and not put in endless quotes. He is the funniest man writing today. Every night I pray God will turn me into P.J.,...moreI can't write about P.J. O'Rourke and not put in endless quotes. He is the funniest man writing today. Every night I pray God will turn me into P.J., or at least give me the direct phone number and email addresses of his agent and editor.
Recently I read "Peace Kills," which is a little more somber than I'm used, but then having been written in the shadow of 9/11/01, what else could it be?
Here he's back to his usual irreverent, hilarious self--a collection from his 30 years of automotive writing. These pieces have appeared in all kinds of magazines--Rolling Stone, Esquire, Automotive Week, Car and Driver, and even National Lampoon.
For those of you who are not into the political, this is a perfect book with very few political shots. But just enough to retain his political wonk status.
"It's time to say . . . How shall we put it? . . . sayonara to the American car. The American Automotive industry--GM, Ford, even Chrysler--will live on in some form, a Marley's ghost dragging its corporate chains at taxpayer expense. The fools in the corner offices of Detroit (and the fool officials of Detroit's unions) will retire to their vacation homes (in Palm Beach and St. Pete). They no more deserve our sympathy than the malevolent trolls under the Capitol dome. But pity the poor American car when congress and the White House get through with it--a light-weight, vehicle with a small carbon footprint, using alternative energy and renewable resources to operate in a sustainable way. When I was a kid we called it a Schwinn."
On NASCAR mechanics: "There was one ole boy there, hunkered down with all manner of folksy verb tenses. I asked him something about what kind of steel the tube frames are made from. He launched into a Nobel Prize lecture on metallurgy in which, 'molybdenum' was the smallest word I noticed."
P.J. goes to Baja not once, but three times--and that's probably 2 1/2 times too many; he goes to India, Russia, defends the American SUV to the British press, runs all over LA in a beat up Mustang, and several other wild and wooley adventures.
On the Los Angeles automotive scene: "Contrary to received wisdom, Los Angeles was a tiresome place for an automotive enthusiast to be. Not because of lack of wonderful automobiles but because of an excess. The city was full of desirable, arousing, priapism-inducing cars of every kind: Bugattis, Facel Vegas, Cords, three-wheeled Morgans, SS100 Jaguars, Testarossa Ferraris, Lancias, Aurelias, not to mention bevies of MG TCs and TDs, slews of bug-eyed Sprites, more bathtub Porsches than Germany had bathtubs, and ranks and files of plain vanilla cars-you'd-love-to-own. . . The problem was with the folks who owned the view. . . . The Hollywooden heads would buy a car for almost any purpose except a worthy one. Many automobiles were purchased to attract members of LA's eight or ten opposite sexes. Since the denizens of America's Gomorrah, were incapable of verbalizing any idea more complex than "box office gross," the expensive car served as a substitute for witty come-on and seductive chat. (It should be noted that the persuit of libidinous satisfaction was such a mania in the '80s in LA that if the local citizens had ever performed any normal acts of copulation our country would now be three fathoms deep in twenty-eight-year-olds named after astrological signs.)"
This is fall-down laughing funny, Coca-cola out the nose guffawing hysterical stuff. It almost made me love life again. (less)