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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation By Lynne Truss >> Book review and Free preview

Rating
Green

Genre
Language, English, Grammar

Publisher
Fourth Estate

The Book
The book, as the subtitle suggests, is about the nuances of punctuation. What differentiates it from the average grammar book though is that it is not one - it does not cover grammar comprehensively, it focuses on the finer nuances of using punctuation marks that are typically missed/or get lost somewhere in all the content in the grammar books, and it is full of (attempted) humour.

The punctuation marks it focuses on include the Apostrophe, the Period, the Comma, the Colon and the Semi-Colon, the Brackets, the Dash, the Hyphen. And, a few others in guest appearances.

Comments
This book is written for an average English-speaking person - the author has written in colloquial conversational English, not boring technical language. I see it as no more than an extended chapter on punctuation. However, a very useful one at that.

If you've been confused by the finer nuances of sentence construction involving the use of punctuation marks - this book might just put some of those dilemmas to rest for the rest of your life, or give birth to new ones. In any case this is a must read for anyone who is conscious of his/her usage of the English language, and wants to improve it.

Free download Link/Preview >>

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Flow - The classic work on how to achieve happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi >> Book review and Free preview

Rating
Green

Genre
Psychology, Self-Development

Publisher
The Random House Group (Rider Books)

The Book
The book, as the name suggests, is about Flow - the concept of optimal experience postulated by the author in the course of his career in the area of human psychology. The book starts with a discussion about happiness and consciousness which lays the foundation for the ensuing discussion on Enjoyment and Flow. After which it moves onto discussing the impact and application of flow in daily lives of different people, and, how you can achieve flow (and happiness) yourself.

Comments
This book is written for lay beings and the author has made sure that it is written in colloquial English. The plethora of actual cases discussed in the text keep the book engaging (and add credibility - the book is based on actual research work, not random opinions). Though there are parts where you might feel that the book could be a bit 'crisper'.

The content is relevant for all human beings. If being happy in life is one of your goals, this book should be in your must read list.

Free download Link/Preview >>

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The McKinsey Engagement: A Powerful Toolkit For More Efficient & Effective Team Problem Solving by Paul N. Friga >> Book review and free preview

Rating
Green

Genre
Non-Fiction, Business, Management Consulting, Company Profile

Publisher
Tata McGraw-Hill

The Book
This is the third book in the McKinsey trilogy by McGraw-Hill after The McKinsey Way and The McKinsey Mind. It is written by Paul N. Friga, a former McKinsey consultant, and co-author of The McKinsey Mind. As in the previous two books, this book is also an attempt to document the learnings from his period at The Firm to share it with the world. He also reached out to several other alumni of the Firm to get their inputs and also included the inputs from a real-life 'engagement' by his students.
This book is purported to be a field guide which takes the insights shared in the earlier books to an operational level. The book is structured around Paul's own framework TEAM FOCUS:
  1. TEAM: This stands for Talk, Evaluate, Assist and Motivate
  2. FOCUS: This stands for Frame, Organise, Collect, Understand, and Synthesise
In the end, he also shares the application of the model in business schools, consulting firms and corporates.

Comments
Just like its predecessors The McKinsey Way and The McKinsey Mind this book is short (less than 300 pages) and easy to read (well-structured and simple English). If you are part of the corporate world or are planning to join it some day - you'll find this book very useful (irrespective of industry preference).

Just like its predecessor - this book also gets a Green for a super-high insights/pages ratio! However, what really sets this apart from the previous two versions are the facts that:

  1. The insights are actionable at an operational level - you get a very clear idea how to bring them to your day to day life
  2. There is a real-life case - where the students are making an attempt at helping the community make a 'super-critical' long-term decision about itself.

Free download Link/Preview >>


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