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Best Practices for Graphic Designers, Color Works: Right Ways of Applying Color in Branding, Wayfinding, Information Design, Digital Environments and Pretty Much Everywhere Else
Best Practices for Graphic Designers, Color Works: Right Ways of Applying Color in Branding, Wayfinding, Information Design, Digital Environments and Pretty Much Everywhere Else
by Eddie Opara
Edition: Paperback
Price: $30.08
45 used & new from $18.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A very good reference, but not an essential guide or best practices, August 19, 2014
I likely nearly every photo(s), graph(s), illustration(s) on every right page. The small words on many of the left ones really kill me. If the authors had got the help of a pro editor, I would have definitely rated it a five star. In short, highly recommended!

Nothing Is Impossible: 7 Steps to Realize Your True Power and Maximize Your Results
Nothing Is Impossible: 7 Steps to Realize Your True Power and Maximize Your Results
by Tom Oliver
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.43
63 used & new from $2.74

3.0 out of 5 stars An ordinary self help book by an extraordinary guy, August 18, 2014
As a self-help book lover, I find it ordinary despite its extraordinary writer. The problem is not with its "X steps" framework nor the steps themselves, but his failure to move and motivate readers with words and examples that target audience, supposedly underdogs and not the author's fans and celebrity friends, can feel for and understand. Also, the heavy use of quotes yet from only a few gurus is like pouring salt to the wound, when they seem not to exemplify an idea, but to support and glorify the author himself. If it were not for those 3-10 minute exercises suggested near the end of each chapter, I may have only rated this a two star. Marginally acceptable for those who have not read any self help book before. Otherwise, please give this a pass.

Need for Speed [Blu-ray]
Need for Speed [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Aaron Paul
Price: $24.99
14 used & new from $15.47

2.0 out of 5 stars Not exciting nor entertaining at all!, August 13, 2014
This review is from: Need for Speed [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Don't know whether the "Fast" series plus the game title "Need for Speed" had set too high an expectation or what, I had been quite disappointed. The racing scenes are not exciting. The super cars look fake, particularly the interiors. The casting is unattractive. The storyline is weak, if not stupid. A big disappointment indeed! A rental at most!

Getting to It: Accomplishing the Important, Handling the Urgent, and Removing the Unnecessary
Getting to It: Accomplishing the Important, Handling the Urgent, and Removing the Unnecessary
by Jones Loflin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.92
56 used & new from $5.77

2.0 out of 5 stars So so. May be ok for those who had not read any self help book before, August 6, 2014
Spencer Johnson (One minute manager & Who moved my cheese?) and Hyrum Smith (10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management & What matters most?) are two favorite authors of mine. So, I gave their recommendation a try, and had been quite disappointed. The theme was weak. The writing was boring. For those who demand high reurn on their time and money, please read the aforesaid instead of this.

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
by Roy F. Baumeister
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.28
90 used & new from $4.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that can make one's life not just more productive and fulfilling, but also easier and happier, August 4, 2014
This book is based on two key premises:-
1. You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it.
2. You use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks.
If you believe so, or at least want to understand more about and even profit from them through a compilation of well researched, organised and written studies and cases, I strongly recommend you to give it a try. The chapter on Decision Fatigue which discussed about "Crossing the Rubicon" and "Judge's Dilemma (and the Prisoner's Distress)" is excellent.

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.
Focus on one project at a time. If you set more than one self-improvement goal, you may succeed for a while by drawing on reserves to power through, but that just leaves you more depleted and more prone to serious mistakes later. When people make a big change in their lives, their efforts are undermined if they are trying to make other changes as well, People who are trying to quit smoking, for e.g., will have the best shot at succeeding if they aren't changing other behaviors at the same time. Those who try to quit while also restricting their eating or cutting back on alcohol tend to fail at all three - probably because they have too many simultaneous demands on their willpower. Pg38
Zeignarnik effectd: Uncompleted tasks and unmet goals tend to pop into one's mind.....the unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan with specifics like time, place, and opportunity. Once the plan is formed, the unconscious can stop nagging the conscious mind with reminders. Pg82-4
One mess at a time is all you can handle. Two messes at a time, you're screwed. Pg86
People have a hard time giving up options, even when the options aren't doing them any good. This reluctance to give up options becomes more pronounced when willpower is lower. It takes willpower to make decisions, and so the depleted state makes people look for ways to postpone or evade decisions. Pg99
Self-awareness is a most peculiar trait among animals. Dogs will bark angrily at a mirror because they don't realize they're looking at themselves. Pg110
The more the body suffers, the more the spirit flowers. - David Blaine's philosophy, borrowed from St. Simeon Stylites, a 5th century ascetic who lived for decades atop a pillar in the Syrian desert pg124
Getting your brain wired into little goals and achieving them, that helps you achieve the bigger things you shouldn't be able to do. It's not just practicing the specific thing. It's always making things more difficult than they should be, and never falling short, so that you have that extra reserve, that tank, so you know you can always go further than your goal. For me that's what discipline is. It's repetition and practice. - David Blaine pg128
"Sit up straight!" was more useful than anyone had imagined. By overriding their habit of slouching, the students strengthened their willpower and did better at tasks that had nothing to do with posture. Pg131
My love towards you is unchanged, you are my dream, my stay, my hope, and my beacon. I shall cherish you in this light until I meet you , or death meets me. - Henry Stanley, Explorer pg160
At least three quarters of the men in each SEAL class typically fail to complete training, and the survivors aren't necessarily the ones with the most muscles, according to Eric Greitens, a SEAL officer. In recalling the fellow survivors of his Hell Week, he points out their one common quality: They had the ability to step outside of their own pain, put aside their own fear, and ask: How can I help the guy next to me? They had more than the fist of courage and physical strength. The also had a heart large enough to think about others. Pg163
The best way to reduce stress in your life is to stop screwing up. That means setting up your life so that you have a realistic chance to succeed. Successful people don't use their willpower as a last ditch defense to stop themselves from disaster, at least not a regular strategy..... People with strong self-control spent less time resisting desires than other people did. Pg239
When procrastinators are feeling anxious about a difficult job, or just bored by a mundane chore, they give in to the urge to improve their mood by doing something else. They go for the immediate reward....they may even try telling themselves that it's smart to wait until the last minute. Pg241
What matters is the exertion, not the outcome. If you struggle with temptation and then give in, you're still depleted because you struggled. Giving in does not replenish the willpower you have already expended. All it does is save you from expending any more. Pg244
You cant control or even predict the stresses that come into your life, but you can use the calm periods, or at least the peaceful moments, to plan an offense. Start an exercise program. Learn a new skill....even someone with David Blaine's iron will and astonishing tolerance for pain knows his limits....When there are mosquitos everywhere I fee......When you pick your battles, look beyond the immediate challenges and put your life in perspective. Are you where you want to be? What could be better? What can you do about it? Pg247

The Alpha Masters: Unlocking the Genius of the World's Top Hedge Funds
The Alpha Masters: Unlocking the Genius of the World's Top Hedge Funds
by Maneet Ahuja
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.70
70 used & new from $14.89

2.0 out of 5 stars Boring. A waste of time and not helpful for common traders/investors at all, August 3, 2014
I had mixed feeling about the high proportion of five star reviews here. Whilst I feel sorry for the high quantity of one time reviewers, who, if they were not paid to praise this propaganda type of work, would be great rivals I am fond of in this zero sum game. In case you want to read great books of this genre, "Inside the House of Money", "Market Wizards I&II" and "Hedge Fund Market Wizards" are much better choices.

p.s. If it were not for the following passages, I would have rated it a one star.
Like a professional athlete after missing an important shot, Tepper replays his losses in his head. "It is the only way you learn from your mistakes." pg107
"What motivates people to succeed?" Bill Ackman asked students in a real estate entrepreneurship class at Wharton. "Sex," he told them....."Fundamentally, what drives most human behaviour is bascially foreplay." pg117
A manager that has become overconfident by using a bad process is like somebody who plays Russian roulette three times in a row without the gun going off, and thinks they're great at Russian roulette. The fourth time, they blow their brains out. - Daniel Loeb pg155

Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity
Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity
by R. Keith Sawyer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.96
48 used & new from $14.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, practical and interesting, July 30, 2014
Based on an eight step nonlinear model of the creative process:- ask, learn, look, play, think, fuse, choose and make, the author had written an extraordinary yet practdical guide on improving the creativity of its readers. IMHO, it's well written and organied with plentiful of good examples that make it an interesting and helpful read. In short, recommended!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.
The brain that doesn't feed itself eats itself. - Gore Vidal pg61
The term T-shaped is used by IDEO to describe the sort of creative people they try to hire. The vertical bar represents depth of expertise in one area. The horizontal bar represents a shallow, admittedly superficial awareness of a broad range of different fields, which allows you to make connections between your own expertise and potentially useful concepts and discoveries in other areas. Pg67
Lucky people don't fixate; they're skilled at creating, noticing, and acting on unexpected opportunities. The phrase "carpe diem" was invented for them - they seize the day, and any possibility it holds. They talk to lots of people; they're always networking with others, not with a specific, self-serving agenda, mind you; done purely for the fun of learning about other people's experiences.....They tend to have a more relaxed attitude toward life - when they encounter bad luck, their relaxed attitude helps them turn it into good luck.....because they are relaxed, they observe more, and they reinterpret even negative events as positive opportunities. Pg81-2
Cultivate your senses. See, hear and taste with greater sensitivity and discrimination. Listen to inflections in the conversations around you and see how much you can intuit about the speakers' various emotional states. Taste a complicated new dish and try to identify every ingredient. Enter a room and notice where the lights are and how they affect the room's mood. Pg83
One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things. - Henry Miller pg96
Exceptional creators sleep more hours than the average person. Harvard researcher Jeffrey Ellenbogen found that after sleep, people are 33 percent more creative. Pg112
Unrelated, gently busy activities foster incubation because they keep you from thinking about your problem, puzzle, or challenge. Your mind has a chance to wander, and you get into a relaxed state in which your conscious mind pulls back a little, slackening the reins. Instead of tension, there's a little play, a little give. Pg113
The best way to get a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. - Linus Pauling pg129
SCAMPER is a specific method for coming up with new ideas by transforming existing ones. Substitute. Combine. Adapt. Magnify or Modify. Put to other uses. Eliminate. Rearrange or Reverse. Pg142
Beware the barrenness of a busy life. - Socrates pg149
The senior leadership of Virgin will enter almost any new business as long as it meets their criteria for greatness. The idea must: Challenge existing rules; Provide a better consumer experience. Be more fun. Put a thumb in the eye of the complacent incumbents. Pg185
A year from now, you may wish you had started today. - Karen Lamb pg227

Indispensable! Becoming the Obvious Choice in Business and in Life
Indispensable! Becoming the Obvious Choice in Business and in Life
by David Cottrell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.87
69 used & new from $10.34

4.0 out of 5 stars Practical and helpful, July 29, 2014
I think nobody sensible will believe that reading a single book can make anyone indispensable. Neverthless, as a self help book lover, I am obliged to comment that this book will significantly improve the odds of career success of its readers, provided that they practice the many simple yet helpful advice prescribed. In short, recommended!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.
You may not believe that you are in sales. You may think that salespeople are those pests calling you on the phone, bugging you at the mall, and deceiving you at the car lot. You may not even like salespeople, and you attempt to dodge all interaction with them. You may tire of their "May I help you" when you know they actually mean "Can you help me by buying this? But whatever your work space, whatever your action, whatever your goals, and whatever your are selling yourself every day, in every encounter. Unknowingly, you may be selling mediocrity. You may be selling a lack of interest and passion or a critical attitude. Whether you believe, intend, or want to are selling. Pg6
Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Andre Gide pg15
Being indispensable demands that you exhibit the courage to decide to spend time and resources on the factors that are within your control. Take control over what you can, and accept that some things are beyond your control, but do the best you can with them. Never give up improving the things that you can control. Pg16
You cannot move forward without having the courage to exit the familiar. Courage does not mean that you have no fear. Mark Twain once defined courage as "resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear." We walk forward along a path; fear is there too. We keep walking. Pg19
Are you willing to pay the price to be indispensable? Pg20
The paradox of change: the best time to change is when it seems the least necessary. Why? Because you are able to move forward with a clear mind rather than being distracted by your current issues. Pg60
An email is virtually permanent, irreversible, and can be shared with others. You have no control over where it goes after you hit SEND. Furthermore, deleted messages can later be resurrected. Use discretion and caution. Confidential email messages do not exist. Pg91

Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series)
Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager (Financial Times Series)
by Lars Kroijer
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from $9.18

3.0 out of 5 stars Frank yet dull account of/by a hedge fund founder with little educational value to common investors/traders, July 27, 2014
Whilst I appreciate much the author's courage to tell everything particularly the fatal investment mistakes of his hedge fund, I am obliged to comment that this book is far less interesting and educational than popular ones like "Inside the house of money", "Hedge fund market wizards" and "The Quants". Those who rated it over four stars would say that the size and trading method of the author's fund was different from those in the books I mentioned above. However, as a pragmatic reader, I mind much more about the educational and entertaining value than anything else. In short, hedge fund practitioners may feel strongly for the experience of the author. For those who read for fun and for improvement in their own investment/trading return, I sincerely recommend you to give this a pass.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Edwin E. Catmull
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.46
63 used & new from $13.88

5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who wants to make and/or work in an environment that fosters creativity and problem solving, July 24, 2014
IMHO, this is the best book written by any CEO/President/Chairman about his/her own company. It is like watching one fantastic Pixar movie in words. In short, a must read. Highly recommended!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.
The best managers acknowledge and make room for what they do not know. Pgxvi
By taking a series of jobs - working for three iconoclastic men with very different styles - that would provide me with a crash course in leadership. Pg21
For all the care you put into artistry, visual polish frequently doesn't matter if you are getting the story right. Pg37
I read many such books as I set about trying to become a better, more effective manager. Most, I found, trafficked in a kind of simplicity that seemed harmful in that it offered false reassurance with catchy phrases like "Dare to fail!" or..."Focus, focus focus!"......These slogans were offered as conclusions - as wisdom - and they may have been, I suppose. But none of them gave me any clue as to what to do or what I should focus on. Pg46
Deming's approach - and Toyota's, too - gave ownership of and responsibility for a product's quality to the people who were most involved in its creation. Instead of merely repeating an action, workers could suggest changes, call out problems, and feel the pride that came when they helped fix what was broken. This resulted in continuous improvement, driving out flaws and improving quality. Pg50
Pixar could not have survived without Steve, but more than once in those years, I wasn't sure if we'd survive with him. Steve could be brilliant and inspirational, capable of driving deeply and intelligently into any problem we faced. But he could also be impossible, dismissive, condescending, threatening, even bullying. Perhaps of most concern, from a management standpoint was the fact that he exhibited so little empathy. At that point in his life, he was simply unable to put himself in other people's shoes, and his sense of humor was nonexistent. (Late 80s) Pg53
If you give a good idea to ta mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better. Pg74
But a movie is not one idea, it's a multitude of them. And behind these ideas are people. This is true of products in general; the iPhone, for e.g. , is not a singular idea - there is a mind boggling depth to the hardware and software that supports it. Yet too often, we see a single object and think of it as an island that exists apart and unto itself. To reiterate, it is the focus on people - their work habits, their talents, their values - that is absolutely central to any creative venture. Pg75
People glom onto words and stories that are often just stand-ins for real action and meaning. Advertisers look for words that imply a product's value and use that as a substitute for value itself. Companies constantly tell us about their commitment to excellence....Words like quality and excellence are misapplied so relentlessly that they border on meaningless. Managers scour books and magazines looking for greater understanding but settle instead for adopting a new terminology, thinking that using fresh words will bring them closer to their goals. When someone comes up with a phrase that sticks, it becomes a meme, which migrates around even as it disconnects from its original meaning. Pg80
We were going to screw up, it was inevitable. And we didn't know when or how. We had to prepare, then, for an unknown problem - a hidden problem. From that day on, I resolved to bring as many hidden problem as possible to light, a process that would require what might seem like an uncommon commitment to self assessment. Having a financial cushion would help us recover from failure....But the more important goal for me was to try to remain vigilant, to always be on the lookout for signs that we were screwing up - without knowing, of course, when that would occur or how it might come to light. Pg168
Companies, like individuals, do not become exceptional by believing they are exceptional but by understanding the ways in which they aren't exceptional. Pg215
There are many valid reasons why people aren't candid with one another in a work environment. Your job is to search for those reasons and then address them. Pg316
If someone disagrees with you, there is a reason. Our first job is to understand the reasoning behind their conclusions. Pg316
A company's communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody. Pg318

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