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It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be: The world's best selling book
It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be: The world's best selling book
by Paul Arden
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.96
431 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What makes this Small Book Special?, May 3, 2009
* Small book = Big ideas: Paul Arden packs this colorful, creative 127-page book chock full of ideas that will challenge your perspective and paradigms, quotes from great people that will have you writing them down on your 3x5 cards to remember, and wise tidbits that are applicable in any area of life- business, creative, personal, you-name-it. One of my favorites is "Do not seek praise. Seek criticism." and his wise tidbits on pages 26 & 27. Pages 122 & 123 "Wit and Wisdom" have over 16 quotes that will inspire you and make you laugh, and the page after those make the purchase of the book worth it right there. I'll leave that one to you to figure out.

* Small book = Beautiful aesthetics: To end, Phaidon books are keepers in themselves due to their aesthetics and dedication to fine printing. Their books are beautifully made and many of the books you will find at MoMA, Anthropologie, and high-end design-oriented stores are published by Phaidon. Next time you are there, I encourage you to play detective and check it out. Being creative and therefore attracted to shiny things, I walked past this book at MoMA and was immediately drawn to its typography, embossing and metallic foiling... once I opened it, I was hooked. With many 4-color pages, others just black space with white, some bright red, the graphics and ideas jump off of the page at you. At times just plain silly, other times profound, this book's design will automatically raise your IQ (imagination quotient).

* To sum it up: Whether you are seeking a new job (see pages 70-71 for the positive insight on that) or are one who strives for excellence when mediocrity is required (pages 10-11), this book is for you. [...]Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self) and go through all of these every so often when you feel stuck or uninspired... to sum it up, this small book = a great kick in the pants for reaching and exceeding your goals.


Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of Parenting
Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of Parenting
by John Mordechai Gottman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.92
230 used & new from $0.91

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for all Parents, Grandparents and Childcare, May 2, 2009
Emotional Intelligence, EQ, has a lot of great resources, such as the classics by Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ and his workbooks, as well as a wealth of great studies by Harvard Business, MIT, McKinsey and Wharton, but this book takes a wonderful look at how to raise your child as an "emotional coach". Negative emotions are a fact of life, and how we use these emotional moments is an opportunity to teach important life lessons and build closer relationships with our child.

Beginning immediately in Chapter 1 on page 24, you find the these key responses for successful parent-child interactions and the building of emotional intelligence: 1. Become aware of the child's emotion, 2. Recognize the emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching, 3. Listen empathetically, validating the child's feelings, 4. Help the child find words to label the emotion he is having, and 5. Set limits while exploring strategies to solve the problem at hand.

Chapter 2 provides a quiz to assess your parenting style, as well as identifying and explaining the four types of parenting. Chapter 3 examines the 5 steps above and goes into greater (much-needed) detail and provides quizzes on emotions, such as anger and sadness. It provides a list of 20 emotions and this quote helps you to gain insight on this chapter, "Kids often express their emotions indirectly and in ways that adults find puzzling. (not you, of course) If we listen carefully with open hearts, however, we can often de-code messages children unconsciously hide in their interactions, their play, their everyday behavior." Listening and identifying the problems and possible solutions that are based on your family values help your child to identify and choose their solution.

Chapter 4 covers emotion-coaching strategies, such as scaffolding of praise, being aware of your own agenda and how that can effect your child-parent relationship when it comes into play, and how to empower your child. It is also filled with many other strategies and ideas that are insightful and helpful. This is where you can learn the ins-and-pouts :) of how to interact. A couple of other resources in this area of the chapter (there are so many) are The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At a Time and the list in the back of the book of over 40 children's books to read together at different stages, identifying emotions together, might be something to look at.

Chapter 5 deals with marriage, divorce, and your child's emotional health. I, myself, am re-married and am always trying to seek to do the best for our child and keep what is in his best interest at the forefront of my mind. Naturally, as we are both re-married and all have our perspectives, it can be a challenge at times, and a true gift to work together. This chapter can help in this area. I'd also suggest taking a look at Mom's House, Dad's House: Making Two Homes for Your Child, Ex-Etiquette for Parents: Good Behavior After a Divorce or Separation and Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on with Your Life for more resources in this area.

In the next chapter, Chapter 6, the Father's Crucial Role, it has truly helped me in the understanding of why making sure that everyone is involved (to what extent is different for everyone) is so important, from the parents to the new bonus-parents. Fathers in both roles are incredibly important, as are their level of involvement. For both boys and girls, it describes what fathers can do in practical terms and how to strike a balance between your work life and home life... something we all can stand to work on at times.

Chapter 7 teaches you how to be an emotional coach as your child grows up. If you are giving this to a grandparent, childcare worker, or even another parent, be sure they read this helpful last chapter. Going through each of the stages of development (similar to the sociological stages of Piaget, Erikson and Mead- you can find them under sociology and psychology classics), Gottman identifies the most ideal ways to interact. From birth to adulthood, you never stop being a parent... helping your child to be emotionally intelligent is incredibly helpful (and some might say critical) to their development and success in life.


Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook, Large, Plain, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) (Classic Notebooks)
Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook, Large, Plain, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) (Classic Notebooks)
by Moleskine
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.38
130 used & new from $10.59

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Sketchbook Preferred Worldwide, February 2, 2009
As a designer, needless to say I sketch a lot. Inspiration is found everywhere around me and this sized Moleskine notebook is incredible to carry around.

How so? It's lightweight, the cover is great, the band to keep it closed is a lifesaver for keeping my pages clean & flat, the stock is wonderful for sketching in, and I use the folder inside on the back page to keep plane tickets, foreign currencies, and whatever else I find inspiring. A very famous designer first introduced me to these notebooks and told me he used nothing else. I bought my first one 3 years ago and never looked back.

Also, if you are traveling and are seeking a travel journal- the Moleskin travel journals are incredible. They have maps, locations, linguistics, sketch pages, lined pages, a folder and more... Moleskine City Notebook Paris (Moleskine City Pocket Book)

These notebooks were the legendary notebook used for the past two centuries by great artists and thinkers, including Van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway and Chatwin... and hopefully by you soon. You won't regret it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2012 5:58 PM PDT


The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At a Time
The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At a Time
by Stephen R. Covey
Edition: Hardcover
143 used & new from $0.01

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mother's Perspective, January 21, 2009
If you, as a parent, teacher, or mentor, are interested in fostering your child's growth in every aspect, then this book is incredibly helpful in doing so. The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At a Time has real-life examples of case studies, such as the focus on A.B. Combs Elementary with over 800 students who represent 58 countries and 27 languages. With the strategy of "Developing Leaders One Child at a Time" they based their principles in both the 7 Habits and the Baldrige Program (see: [...] In this book there are implementable ideas for not only teachers and programs of involvement and leadership for children, but ways as a parent you could come up with similar practices at home and with the family doing outreach and community projects.

In the "Aligning for Success" chapter, you find practices taught to the children and many acronyms for education. If you read Malcolm Gladwell's most recent book Outliers: The Story of Success some of these things will sound familiar to you already. In the "Unleashing a Culture of Leadership" chapter, you'll see some ideas of traditions to incorporate, like: Leadership Day, Inaugural Ball, International Festival, Silver-Tray Luncheon, Service Projects and Celebrate Success Day. There are, of course, a lot of evidence from other schools who incorporate the 7 Habits into their curriculum and the stats provided, and a lot of talk about the 7 Habits.

If you are interested in the 7 Habits, I'd highly recommend the Unabridged CD series to listen to in your car- Covey relates many stories and applications as both a parent and professional. It is easy to implement and honestly, it changed my perspective and practices personally. Here it is: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Unabridged Audio Program). As a parent, it is easily relatable, moreso than the book from that direction. I'd ask you to think about purchasing the CDs before even reading the book- the book can get a bit technical and lose people who flip through it the first time- whereas the CDs have interesting stories, elaborated details on each Habit, and are orated by Covey himself.

In chapter 8, "Making It Happen, One Step at a Time", covers The 4 Imperatives of Leadership: Inspire Trust, Clarify Purpose, Align Systems, and Unleash Talent. In the last chapter, "Bringing it Home", you will find a treasure trove on the 2 pages (216, 217) of the 7 Habits and bulletpoints of how to implement them into your life. The Leader in Me is truly a great resource for parents, in addition to teachers, school administration, mentors, parent helpers and Sunday Schools/church children's ministries. Covey does a phenomenal job of laying out the foundation and ideals, in addition to providing many applicable ways to do start right away.


Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising
Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising
by Juliann Sivulka
Edition: Paperback
53 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 Reasons Why You Should Take a Look, January 20, 2009
Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising is a useful supplementary textbook for any student or professional interested in Advertising, Branding, and Marketing. If you are on the fence about purchasing this book, here are 10 easy reasons why you should take a look:

1. Chronological Chapters: From 1492 to "Advertising for Today and Tomorrow", Sivulka provides an easy reference for delving into a particular era or flipping through to walk through American Advertising.

2. Engaging Examples: Starting with page one there are three historical examples of advertising and the book offers a wealth of images- a lot of them humorous and engaging in comparison to society now. For example, an 1884 trade card using chromolithography, showing a man proposing and the female stating "Yes on condition that you buy me a 'Domestic' with new wood work and attachments" and 1962's "I dreamed I took the bull by the horns... in my maidenform bra" (visual on page 327... and yes there is a woman in her bra holding a bull by the horn).

3. Telling Timelines: You will find many interesting timelines in this book: historical dates, brands, advertising firsts, woman's suffrage, early radio, television... beneficial for students with term papers and the professional looking for presentation facts for a meeting.

4. Say it again, Sam: Memorable Slogans: Almost every chapter has the progression of "Memorable Slogans" that you will most likely recall or find amusing, even if only from movies, television and online.

5. Celebrity Callouts: Many chapters feature a callout of a key person in advertising history. This is a helpful resource for learning about key players personally and is extremely useful in referencing for building credibility... and they are fun, easy to read.

6. Taste of the Times: Each chapter contains "A Taste of the Times" which puts you into the right historical setting and the events that are occuring as the chapter proceeds- a beneficial feature for more insight.

7. Cream of the Crop: Bests & Favorites: From Favorite TV Jingles & Best TV Commercials over the years in later chapters. It is always advantageous to review and know what has succeeded in history, from war tactics to advertising and graphic design. Becoming a student of history's bests is a knowledge that is impressive and useful.

8. Status & Sex: Well-known throughout history is the use of someone's status/aspirations and sex in advertising. This book addresses these tactics head-on in a refreshing and tongue-in-cheek manner at times.

9. Impressive Index: In the back of this textbook is a index with every large historical event and specific brands, agencies and terms used often. If you need to find out about Erte or Etch A Sketch, they are right there for easy reference.

10. Easy on the Back: Unlike the majority of textbooks that not only build your brain, but your biceps as well, this book by Thomson/Wadsworth is small, light and easy to carry. A lot of information in a small, colorful package.

Cons: I did find some inconsistencies in details of information from time to time in this book, like with Coca-Cola for example. Yet the book with all of its callouts and humorous examples makes it worth it for simply the laughs and guffaws at American History. Also, this textbook is a bit outdated for the last chapters-- 1998 is over 10 years ago now, but thank goodness this is studying history! You'll still find it useful and engaging.

Overall, I am more than happy to recommend this book to anyone (student or professional) seeking a book on the American History of Advertising, or a conversation starting pop-culture book for the coffee table.


Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
by Garr Reynolds
Edition: Paperback
209 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Combine with These Books = Great Presentations, January 15, 2009
If you add this book, with The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures and The Articulate Executive: Learn to Look, Act, and Sound Like a Leader, you will have an incredible winning combination for presentations. I highly recommend each of these books singly, but combined you have the tools to speak confidently, present phenomenally, and the ability to read and relate to your audience.

If you feel you want more after those 3 incredible books, I'd suggest supplements of The Confident Speaker which walks you through overcoming your fear, anxiety, and is kind of a condensed toastmasters in a 300-page book, and Public Speaking: Get A's, Not Zzzzzz's! which you can flip through whenever needed, to finalize any quick speaking how-to's with 24 lists of 10 things that are easy to implement and remember... just disregard the outdated and slightly scary illustrations and don't let them put you off of the valid content. These are two solid books as a supplement to those three great presentation books.

Presentation Zen is truly a fantastic book, and recommended by some people I greatly admire, such as Seth Godin. You may know him from his new book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, which is wonderful and I also highly recommend. Happy presenting.


Advertising is Dead: Long Live Advertising!
Advertising is Dead: Long Live Advertising!
by Tom Himpe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $34.95
57 used & new from $1.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Viva la Advertising! Inspirational Ideas, Stunts & Advertising for You, November 18, 2008
Tom Himpe, the author of this book and the new Advertising Next (2008), has composed a very inspirational, thoughtful, humorous, visually stimulating set of campaigns, ideas, and visuals that focus on "alternative advertising".

What is "alternative advertising" you ask? Well- think about what you know of keywords such as "guerrilla", "viral", "new media", "grassroots", "socially impactful", and "non-traditional creative"... it doesn't focus on interactive but that's not what this book is about so don't let that hang you up- there's plenty other resources for that- but its definitely a fantastic cornucopia of visual communication on what has been done. If you want to get the book to copy the ideas, don't... but if you're looking for something to help get the ideas to flow and would like a bit of a laugh while you're at it- this book is for you. Really, I do highly recommend it. I carried it around in my car for about 3 months as a bit of a brainstorming aid, especially for high impact and grand scale ideas to get the word spreading! It still sits in an easily accessible part of my bookshelves when I start campaign processes for ideas and need something to get the juices going. There is no dust settled on this resource!

If you're a media planner, a creative, a principal, a brand manager, a marketer, or a student- check it out at your local bookstore before purchasing on here. I'm sure once you see it- you'll probably buy it right then & there... it's definitely engaging. Hope this helps on your decision-- overall, a big 4 stars. The only reason it's not 5 is that the focus is on what has been done-- its your job to focus on the strategy, creative, and implementation for what will be in the next books!


No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Computer Arts Projects: Brilliant!, June 20, 2008
I've had a subscription to both Computer Arts and Computer Arts Projects and I literally squeal with glee when they arrive in the post from across the pond. As a Graphic and Web Designer, the Projects always have an applicable learning tutorial that is implementable, based upon the theme of that issue.

Different themes include print design, web design, typography, packaging, creative advertising, logos, and how to start your own creative business. Jam packed with tips, inspiration, step-by-step tutorials and a CD with demos, video tutorials, new talent and established designers, it's a great addition to your continual maintenance and expanding of your competitive skill set. Keep on the well-rounded edge with Computer Arts Projects; it's brilliant.

Other publications I receive that you might want to consider as a designer are: How (1-year), Print: America's Graphic Design Magazine (1-year), Communication Arts, Computer Arts - England, Digital Arts, Harvard Business Review, and HBR OnPoint.


Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Resource & Reference for your Creative Business, June 5, 2008
This review is from: Harvard Business Review (Magazine)
Having been a dedicated reader of Harvard Business Review for over 2 years now, I have found HBR to be the perfect supplement to my trade publications and magazines (creative industry- Communication Arts, Print, HOW, Digital Arts, Computer Arts, and Photoshop User).

For those of you who are in the creative industry, whether that be agencies, creative side, accounts side, or especially as a freelancer or sole propietor, Harvard Business Review will supplement your business know-how, understanding and social interactions. A highly effective resource, I have found at least one article every issue that I implement into my own practices.

This month's HBR addressed Negotiations, which is highly useful for the creative industry. A few months ago it was Strategic Thinking and Implementation, another extremely applicable issue. Please do not be thrown off by the reviews stating that the publication is losing its effectiveness. If you are in the creative industry and seek a magazine to supplement your advancement, Harvard Business Review is a superb choice. -Alana Renfro


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Unabridged Audio Program)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Unabridged Audio Program)
by Stephen R. Covey
Edition: Audio CD
42 used & new from $0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 Habits of Highly Effective Creatives, June 5, 2008
If you are looking for what my opinion is (because, of course, this morning you woke up and the first thing you thought was... what is the opinion of Alana Renfro?) the best motivational CDs out there- then stop your Amazon search and purchase the UNABRIDGED Audio Program of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Working on the creative side of agencies, corporate businesses and boutique clients, you discover that many creative people do not know how to prioritize what is truly important vs. urgent, begin with the end in mind, or follow-through on set commitments with a trustworthy set of principles and ethics. After all, advertising and marketing can be known for the opposite! Just youtube "ad agency spoof", like "The Truth in Ad Sales" video from the UK or "Truth in Advertising".

My husband is in finances, I am in the creative industry, yet we both are incredibly inspired by this series of CDs. It is applicable to anyone in any industry- you just basically need the interest to better yourself, your business or your personal life. I had read the book previously, my husband had not, yet we both have these CDs in our cars as we drive to and from work and are able to not only learn from Mr. Covey's calming and informative audio, but implement the practices into our personal and professional lives. Also being parents, we've found his insights into families, mission statements, the power of thought and his personal family examples hugely helpful for our children and our perspectives.

As a professional, a wife, a mother, and simply someone who has a drive to better myself and succeed, these Unabridged CDs have changed my life. My husband and I both use the planners, but most importantly- the Unabridged Audio Program of 13 CDs I highly recommend.


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