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Sunday, November 19, 2017

GIVE and TAKE: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success By Adam Grant >> Book review and free preview

Title
GIVE and TAKE: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success 

Rating
Green

Genre
Non-Fiction, Psychology, Altruism, Business, Self-help

Author
Adam Grant

Publisher
Orion Publishing Group

Sunday, October 22, 2017

PRE-SUASION: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert B. Cialdini >> Book review and free preview

Title
PRE-SUASION: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Rating
Green

Genre
Non-Fiction, Psychology, Marketing, Business Communication, Leadership, Influence

Author
Robert B. Cialdini

Publisher
Random House Books

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 >>

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consulting Firm by Ethan M. Rasiel and Paul N. Friga >> Book review and free preview

Rating
Green

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

Publisher
McGraw Hill Professional

The Book
The book is written by two former McKinsey consultants who attempt to document the learnings from their period at 'The Firm' to share it with the world. They also reached out to several other alumni of the Firm to get their inputs as well.
They share how 'the McKinsey Mind' works (as the name suggests) pivoted around a 'Strategic Problem Solving' model. In this book, they focus on the following elements of the model.:

  1. Analysing: This includes Framing, Designing, Gathering and Interpreting
  2. Presenting: This includes Structure and Buy-In
  3. Managing: This includes Team, Client and Self
Comments
Just like its predecessor 'The McKinsey Way' this book is short (around 200 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!

Free download Link/Preview >>

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Minto Pyramid Principle - Logic in Writing, Thinking and Problem Solving by Barbara Minto >> Book review

Rating
Green

Genre
Business, Communication, Logic, Thinking, Problem Solving, Presentation

Publisher
Minto International Inc.

The Book
This book presents Barbara Minto's theory on efficient and effective communication based on the simple to understand pyramid principle. She starts with establishing a connection to the psychological theories of Miller around Span of Attention. After which she explains the pyramid structure and how to use it.

She covers how logic flows into pyramid and how 'pyramid thinking' can make you more effective. She also covers the application of pyramid principle to problem solving before ending with the most important of it all how to use pyramid principle in presenting.

Comments
For a book that is technical, this is very easy to read (no surprise considering this is a book on effective communication!). It is replete with examples - in fact, almost all the content is explained with their help. The content is extremely useful - applicable in day to day life for anyone, but most of all Barbara's target customer segment - people who's work requires them to present their ideas to others. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Mckinsey Way: Using The Techniques Of The World's Top Strategic Consultants To Help You and Your Business >> Book review and free preview

Rating
Green

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

Publisher
McGraw Hill Professional

The Book
The book is written by a former McKinsey consultant, who attempts to document the learnings from his period at 'The Firm' to share it with the world. He shares the way McKinsey works (as the name suggests) covering:

  1. The way McKinsey thinks about business problems
  2. The way McKinsey works to solve business problems
  3. The way McKinsey sells solutions
After this he moves on to discussing how to survive at McKinsey and what the life after McKinsey is like.

Comments
The book is short (less than 200 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).

Gets a Green for a super-high insights/pages ratio!

Free download Link/Preview >>

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi >> Book review and free preview

Rating
Green

Genre
Non-Fiction, Psychology, Creativity, Self-Development

Publisher
Harper Perennial

The Book
The book is the 'report' of a study conducted on several high-achieving creative individuals. The important thing being that creative individuals here simply means people who create - so whether they are an artist or scientist, photographer or chemist, poet or businessman - they're all included in the definition.

These creative people were interviewed, using a semi-structured approach, to learn more about their career and life priorities, relationships, peers and colleagues, family, working habits/insights and attentional structures and dynamics. The results were then synthesized into a form that is easy to read for a layman.

Comments
The best thing about the book is that the discussion is deep. The author spent sufficient effort on explaining the methodology of the research, the rationale behind it; and, then in clarifying the taxonomy wherever required.

The way creativity is approached in the book - looking from a general point of view of creating something makes the book relevant for everyone. The way content is approached in the book - in the form of snippets from the interviewees rather than heavy jargon makes it easy to read.

So book is easy to read and relevant for you whoever you are - go ahead... read it.

Free download Link/Preview >>

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business by Duff McDonald >> Book review and free preview

Title
The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business

Rating
Green

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

Author
Duff McDonald

Publisher
Simon & Schuster Paperbacks

Monday, January 2, 2017

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini >> Book review and free preview

Title
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Rating
Green

Genre
Non-Fiction, Psychology, Marketing, Business

Author
Robert B. Cialdini

Publisher
Harper Business


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