This book was written in the early nineties and is still current. All these management books telling you to change, do this, do that. Before you readThis book was written in the early nineties and is still current. All these management books telling you to change, do this, do that. Before you read anything of that, be sure to check out The Age of Paradox and it's predecessor The Age of Unreason. Imagine those books were published last year. They would be as valuable as they were 25 years ago when they were actually published.
He starts this book by stating that he might have been to optimistic in his views in The Age of Unreason. Nice! He reflects on capitalism, it's flaws, how to proceed. In order to survive, to grow, to evolve, you have to be able to handle paradox. Handy describes some techniques which might help you handle paradox.
Very insightful. Very inspiring.
I like Charles Handy.
(I always like to think that mr. Handy, were he not a great thinker and good writer, could always pick up a career in the adult video business. With a name like that you can't go wrong.)...more
Nice enough to read. Don't know if it's nice enough to recommend. I liked their other book much more (Freakonomics). This one feels a bit like milkingNice enough to read. Don't know if it's nice enough to recommend. I liked their other book much more (Freakonomics). This one feels a bit like milking the cash cow. The chapters are much less focused on one topic, often a loose collection of semi-remarkable stories. But I did like the chapter on climate change. That really saved this book from being crap to being ok.
Read this in the airport, in the train, in the toilet. It's not that bad....more
Page after page after page after page of wonderful Murakami writing. I started reading this on the plane going for a holiday. I finished it 20 days laPage after page after page after page of wonderful Murakami writing. I started reading this on the plane going for a holiday. I finished it 20 days later on the plane back home. I was submerged for 3 weeks in the very well known world of Murakami. All the usual ingredients are there: a young independent, individual, isolated protagonist with a non-normal childhood (this time two protagonists!) finds his way in a strange magic world almost but not quite the world he knew.
I think I read most of Murakami's books and though I like Kafka on the Shore and Norwegian Wood much better, this book didn't disappoint me. What I realised for the first time is that I really like the way Murakami's characters react to the magic world surrounding them. Not only in this book, in all books. They might be surprised at first or a bit scared, but somehow they always accept the new state of the world. They never fight it, deny it, are overwhelmed by it. They observe the new facts, let them sink in, and accept them.
I think that's what's wrong with most people (anytime, anywhere). Most people have a vision of the world 'as it should be' or 'as they would like it to be'. Whenever they are confronted with something that doesn't fit their image, they mentally collapse. Maybe not collapse, but most people find it difficult to handle the unexpected. Stuff that is not supposed to be. Murakami shows us that that approach is useless. Just accept the world around you as it is. There's always something beautiful. Something to take away. Something that makes you grow.
That said. I was really annoyed by two aspects of the book:
1. The Ayumi character. (view spoiler)[ I really disliked this character. She felt really un-Murakami, not at all a natural fit in the story. To me she appeared as a very extend deus ex machina. Very convenient character to connect a lot of dots. The way she died did it for me. That was too much. On the other hand, it meant she was gone from the story. (hide spoiler)]
2. The scene of Aomame with Leader in the hotel suite. (view spoiler)[ Same feeling as with the Ayumi character. The scene in the hotel room was pivotal but I think Leader spoke too much. All the mysteries were suddenly solved. All your suspicions were resolved within one chapter. I would have preferred to keep the reader less explicitly informed. Not as bad as the Ayumi character (the Leader character in itself is brilliant) but he said too much. Like an all knowing god. Not good (hide spoiler)]
The story itself is a real page turner. I never read a Murakami novel with so much suspense. That was nice.
If you're into Murakami, read it. If you're not into him, don't read it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The pattern is as follows: I plan to buy a book at Amazon or Bookdepository or whereever. The way the sites are set up, ok, the way the Internet worksThe pattern is as follows: I plan to buy a book at Amazon or Bookdepository or whereever. The way the sites are set up, ok, the way the Internet works, I see a lot of interesting other interesting books which are too cheap not to buy. So I buy them as well. All that results in a pleasant stream of literature arriving in my mailbox over the next 1 - 5 weeks. At every new arrival, I start the ritual of unwrapping, browsing the pages, checking the index, the TOC, some reviews, read the preface, introduction, the first page of the first chapter, ok, the whole first chapter because it's so short. Begin at the second chapter, and so on and so fort. Usually, the 'books I didn't really need but were so cheap I couldn't leave them' arrive first (they are so cheap because there's piles and piles of them driving up warehouse bills). Usually, those books reach their pinnacle after 20 pages. That is, after reading the introduction, you already know what it's all about. I've written some reviews before about these kinds of books; why doesn't the other write a good essay or article about his idea? A book is most of the times too much.
Same here. Or so I thought. I started reading the TOC, introduction, first chapter, second chapter, third chapter, fourth chapter, I feel asleep, woke up, read the other chapters and finished the book. Well done authors! Didn't expect that at all. This is actually really interesting case studies about economics, that is, the incentives why people do, or don't do, stuff. I liked the chapter about drug dealers and sumo wrestling the most.
Recommended as an airplane book or when you visit your parents in law and want to bring up an interesting discussion about real estate agents. Finally you can say 'well, you know, that's not my opinion, that's a fact'. Done.
This book explores what it means to be a person. What is personality? What does it mean to be unique? Do you have to be unique to be human? What doesThis book explores what it means to be a person. What is personality? What does it mean to be unique? Do you have to be unique to be human? What does it mean to be human?
The last part of the book is absolutely brilliant. I was very sorry it ended; the conclusion is very clear (won't spoil the plot) but I wanted Saramago to explore the consequences of his conclusion more. Or maybe the brilliance is that he explicitly doesn't do that. He says: this is what it means to be human. These are the consequences. That's it. It inevitable. It's a necessity. Live with it.
Saramago is turning into being among my favourite authors. Some magic realism, some philosophy, beautiful language, interesting characters; what you want more....more
Excellent read if you want to get yourself into modern marketing paradigms. You can finish this book in one evening and your marketing efforts will goExcellent read if you want to get yourself into modern marketing paradigms. You can finish this book in one evening and your marketing efforts will go from random blanks into targeted and structured campaigns. The least it will do is make you reflect on your current marketing or marketing in general.
I found it nice to discover that marketing is not picking up the phone and randomly calling a list of people, or printing a pile of shiny folders and dump them on the market. It's rather much more scientific and fun. What you do need is a sound strategy. This book will not help you find or develop a sound strategy. But if you do have one, this is a nice start to set you off in the right direction....more
My boss invited me to join the firm's "Marketing & Strategy" team. Don't do that to me. I get excited, hit Amazon and order a pile of books on theMy boss invited me to join the firm's "Marketing & Strategy" team. Don't do that to me. I get excited, hit Amazon and order a pile of books on the subject. This is one of the books that came in a Harvard Business Review box set and seamed like a good place to start filling my brain with business related theory.
It's ten essays / articles bundled under the title 'Essentials' and that's exactly what it is. Read this and you'll be able to hold your ground among the wannabe CEO/CTO/CFO/CwhateverrocksyourboatO of any company.
If you're into the whole business kind of thing.
Actually, when you're not into the whole business kind of thing, read this as well so you know what you're not into....more
A matryoshka story. Story 1 fades into story 2 fades into story x fades into story 2 fades into story 1. O, how wonderfully original. Sort of. I readA matryoshka story. Story 1 fades into story 2 fades into story x fades into story 2 fades into story 1. O, how wonderfully original. Sort of. I read some reviews and heard some rumors which made me sit down in anticipation of a Pynchonesque adventure.
Well, the book does not at all have the depth and rich references of a Pynchon novel. I must say that I was a somehow disappointed at first, going from one story into the other. I expected them to be more interrelated or at least have more, subtle, cross references. They are not, the don't. Bummer. And then there's the getting used to yet another writing style about 7 times.
But then you reach the inner doll and you find yourself wondering about the other stories. They all end with cliff hangers so the second part of the book is really a joy to read.
Not a superwinner but nice enough to recommend to other people....more
Wonderful. Theory of poetry. Brings back high school days of boring classes about poetry. Somehow, back then, I couldn't care less about poetry. But nWonderful. Theory of poetry. Brings back high school days of boring classes about poetry. Somehow, back then, I couldn't care less about poetry. But now, thanks to Stephen Fry, I rediscovered the beauty of the iambic pentameter, the trochee, the alexandrine, the ode, the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean sonnet.
Fry encourages you very much to be an active poet. Poetry should be read aloud, practices, wrought.
I understand now why this is considered part of the canon....more
Lately I got more and more annoyed by religious (circle) thinking. What bothers me most is the 'stop thinking right there' attitude of religions. MostLately I got more and more annoyed by religious (circle) thinking. What bothers me most is the 'stop thinking right there' attitude of religions. Most religious people behave actually quite reasonable but at some point in their life they disconnected from reason and embraced a wholly human fabricated myth on which they base the most fundamental choices of their life.
Harris agrees with me.
Read his book of you feel attracted to religion, practice religion or despise religion. That means everybody. I you still hold your claims after reading this book it will be very hard for me to accept you as a person with whom I can have discussions based on reason.
All the arrows point the other way. God probably doesn't exist. The good news is: we don't need God to live a meaningful happy life full of love and compassion....more
This book is probably ground breaking for it's time. Truth is, I didn't really like it. I had to read it because of Hunter S. Thompson. A good journalThis book is probably ground breaking for it's time. Truth is, I didn't really like it. I had to read it because of Hunter S. Thompson. A good journalist and author. You can see his promise as a writer but it didn't really appeal to me.
If you already read everything else by Thompson, this one won't hurt. If not, make sure you read the other ones first....more
If you do anything at all with computers, make sure you get really good at text editing. If you want to get really good at text editing, pick a reallyIf you do anything at all with computers, make sure you get really good at text editing. If you want to get really good at text editing, pick a really good text editor and get to know that editor really well. Vim is a really good text editor. I picked vim as my editor of choice and this book is invaluable in my journey to becoming a vim master.
I already had some working knowledge of vim and was using it as my day to day programming evironment for some years. After reading this book I realised I knew only maybe 1% of the true power of vim. Now I maybe know 5%. But that doesn't matter. I browse this book once in a while for inspiration, learn some new tricks and add another percentage point to my skills.
Aside: vim is not the only really good text editors. There are a lot. The point is, pick one and get good at it....more