Light, easy material. Basically packaged ideas, the recipes reiterate useful marketing concepts easily overlooked with the current content onslaught f...moreLight, easy material. Basically packaged ideas, the recipes reiterate useful marketing concepts easily overlooked with the current content onslaught fighting for our attention.
While not exactly awe-spiring, and although I thought there's oversimplification and also some sweeping statements, reading this helped to organize my ideas and gave me the kickstart to coming up with some packaging ideas. And the best things about this are the pretty cover and cute illustrations! They're the reasons I bought the book really.(less)
Part travel log, part old-school economic practice, this light book made me feel as if I was with the author on a reality TV programme involving an Am...morePart travel log, part old-school economic practice, this light book made me feel as if I was with the author on a reality TV programme involving an Amazing Race style adventure mixed with Dragon's Den and The Apprentice tasks.
I liked it that some of the locations he picked were locales that I'd probably not visit or otherwise wouldn't know a thing of, and he included the trading bit without dumping too much technicalities or the more mundane red tape stuff. True, by the end of it, as a reader I can't say that I'm able to embark on a trading adventure, but I did get a glimpse of how trading works, even at a superficial level, and he made it seem fun.
Mr Woodman and Mr Sayeed. Photos included in the book such as this one made the read even more enjoyable. Edit: Woot, Mr Woodman has his own TV show on Ch4!
His exploits in trading coffee in particular reminded me of my own recent experience buying the indigenous produce of villagers in a remote area of Flores. I'd bought coffee beans directly from village farmers as souvenirs (and because they tasted great) and now that I think of it, those beans aren't as cheap as I thought they were and in fact even at the first trading point I was already on the short end of the bargain (although in this case I was happy to oblige since the experience in that village was amazing). One thing's for sure, I'll always think of the insane profits coffee retailers are making and will think twice when I'm ordering a cup at Starbucks.
More importantly, the flashes of candour and humour thrown in helped to make the adventure capitalist a relatable and maybe even likable personality despite the fact that he's more mercenary than your friendly drinking (or in my case, gourmet) buddy. In fact, I liked the fact that he's upfront about his profit-seeking goals and in some of his journey logs his decisions did reveal that he's not all that unfeeling nor invulnerable to mistakes and 'trickay'. I suppose he'd be a great sport as a trade partner and travel companion.
This travel diary of sorts are well-balanced in trials and rewards, and in the end you get a satisfying conclusion where he made his profit and everything's tied up nicely with a pretty ribbon. Oh, and he's Irish too, so perhaps luck had something to do with it. Not to take credit away from his achievements, I just couldn't resist on that one.
This is a perfect book to carry when one is travelling, one that introduces some culture into the countries featured, while also reaffirming some universal human nature that we know but often overlook. No mind-blowing discoveries or breathtaking literature and plot, just the simple pleasures offered when one immerses oneself in humanity, in nature, in adventure and in life.(less)
A light, fun read, albeit a little too 'normal' to be memorable.
Tells the experiences of a journalist who, in the process of researching on a memory c...moreA light, fun read, albeit a little too 'normal' to be memorable.
Tells the experiences of a journalist who, in the process of researching on a memory championship event, delved head-first into the world of mnemonics.
Several simple techniques were introduced, and it does seem as if anyone is capable of becoming mnemonic experts with enough sustained practice. The case of someone who kept forgetting things the moment they happened (like in the movie Memento), along with the recent reports of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' dementia, also made me concerned about memory's place and role in our lives. The most interesting part for me was about the author voicing his doubts and laying his case over 'savant' Daniel Tammet, of Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant.
Then again, not that I really care enough about who's right and wrong in this case, since to me, the training required to develop the ability to remember like trained memory experts take out the joy in experiencing natural flow in life. Even as I frustrate over forgetting the most mundane stuff, it reminds me of my faults and to appreciate memories that stick naturally because I know they must've mattered to me, not because they're the after-effects of conscious stamping in my brain. Don't they have a saying, you live for the moments that take your breath away - it wouldn't be the same if those moments were due to you holding your breath would it? Remembering things because they're memorable as opposed to remembering by technique are sort of like that I think.
I know I'm saying this because I still have a working and relatively healthy memory. It must be agonizing indeed to have memories slip out of you or your loved ones, but for such cases, I doubt if the techniques mentioned here apply.
Definitely overhyped, but I don't feel it's an altogether wasted read either. Feels like a whitewashed Malcolm Gladwell, if you'd asked me. Maybe all journalists write in pretty similar styles?(less)