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Blaine Greenfield "eclectic reader" RSS Feed (Belle Meade, NJ)
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Fearless Public Speaking: Three Simple Steps to Overcome the Fear of Making Presentations
Fearless Public Speaking: Three Simple Steps to Overcome the Fear of Making Presentations
by Anne Anastasi CLTP
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.86
35 used & new from $2.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful advice on topics as ways to overcome fear, how to avoid common speaking traps, and more., November 13, 2014
Heard FEARLESS PUBLIC SPEAKING (Topics Entertainment), written and read by Steve Pool.

The author, a seven-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, provides useful advice on such topics as Specific Ways to Overcome Fear, How to Avoid Common Speaking Traps, Tips & Tricks of the Pros, Persuasion as Art & Science, Tested Techniques for Research & Organization, Effective Audio/Visual Use, How to Speak to the Media and more.

I especially liked his discussion about commonly-held beliefs that can, at times, make things worse. For example, he cited this one:
* Smile to relate to your audience. He then kiddingly said, "That should work well at your next eulogy,"

He then went on to say:
* Done right, the listener will fee that they knew the deceased, whether that was the case or not.

My favorite part of the book was the last one, in which Pool discussed famous speakers and what made them great. He not only gave his opinion, but he also included clips from such famous orators as Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Casey Stengel and Winston Churchill, among others.


Michael Jordan: The Life
Michael Jordan: The Life
by Roland Lazenby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.95
73 used & new from $16.49

5.0 out of 5 stars This book gave a better feel for what made Jordan the incomparable player he was., November 13, 2014
Heard MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE (Hachette Audio) by Roland Lazenby.

The author, a basketball journalist, has spent nearly 30 years covering Jordan's career in college and the pros. It shows, too, in that while reading this book, I got a better feel for what made Jordan the incomparable player he was.

I enjoyed learning about his early childhood, as well as about his last year in the NBA--and how rocky a season that was.
Lazenby helped me better appreciate the life of Jerry West in JERRY WEST: THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF A BASKETBALL ICON.

He repeats his success in this revealing book about Jordan.


The Art of War for Small Business: Defeat the Competition and Dominate the Market with the Masterful Strategies of Sun Tzu
The Art of War for Small Business: Defeat the Competition and Dominate the Market with the Masterful Strategies of Sun Tzu
by Becky Sheetz-Runkle
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.91
55 used & new from $4.74

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of War is a winner, that gives 12 powerful lessons., November 13, 2014
THE ART OF WAR FOR SMALL BUSINESS: DEFEAT THE COMPETITION AND DOMINATE THE MARKET WITH THE MASTERFUL STRATEGIES OF SUN TZU (AMACOM) by Becky Sheetz-Runkle translates Sun Tzu's classic book, THE ART OF WAR, into 12 powerful lessons.

In doing so, the author reveals how to choose the right ground for your battles, strike your competitors's weakest points, focus resources on key challenges and many other useful techniques that are applicable to any small business.

I particularly liked her use of real companies as examples, such as:
* Hsieh has said that Zappos decided a long time ago that the brand wasn't going to be limited to the shows and later, clothing that the companies sold. Instead, Zappos set out to build a brand that was about the very best customer service and customer experiences. "We believe that customer service shouldn't be just a department. It should be the entire company," he has said.
In addition, I thought she did a great job in highlighting key points from Sun Tzu's work--including this tidbit:

* The best policy in war is to attack the enemy's strategy. The second best way is to disrupt his alliances through diplomatic means. The next best method is to attack his army in the field. The worst policy is to attack walled cities. Attacking cities is the last resort when there is no alternative.

Lastly, Sheetz-Runkle provides such useful advice as the following:
* Get on Their Mailing List. Join your competitors' mailing lists so that you'll know of news and product announcements. Sign up for webinars and download white papers and demos to gather as much information on the competition as possible. Because of the actions of competitors, I always suggest that companies make access to substantive information permission-based so that you can at least attempt to screen out rivals.

THE ART OF WAR is a winner!


How Google Works
How Google Works
by Eric Schmidt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.00
67 used & new from $10.98

5.0 out of 5 stars How Google Works contains many ideas that can be applied to any company, regardless of industry., November 13, 2014
This review is from: How Google Works (Hardcover)
Heard HOW GOOGLE WORKS (Hachette Audio), written by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg and read by Holter Graham.

The authors, both with Google for over 10 years, have first hand experience about the company--and it shows in the entertaining, informative book that presents many of the secrets behind the company's success.

One that really struck home had to do with establishing a culture of yes. They note:
"Saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. . . . And attitude of yes is how you will be able to go forward in these uncertain times."

In addition, I enjoyed finding out about Google's culture and how the company does such things as installing pool tables to encourage employees to share ideas (even while playing pool during regularly-scheduled hours).

HOW GOOGLE WORKS contains many ideas that can be applied to any company, regardless of industry.


Own Your Future: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy
Own Your Future: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy
by Paul B. Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.58
54 used & new from $7.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile reading for those searching for a first job, as well as for anybody else fretting about his or what the future holds., November 13, 2014
OWN YOUR FUTURE: HOW TO THINK LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR AND THRIVE IN AN UNPREDICTALBE ECONOMY (AMACOM) by Paul R. Brown with Charles F. Kiefer and Leonard A. Schlesinger takes a look at serial entrepreneurs--those who have launched two or more successful businesses--and presents something known as the ALBR Model for acting in a new economy.

This includes the following steps:
1. Act.
2. Learn.
3. Build.
4. Repeat.

What made the book so valuable, as well as interesting, was the fact that the authors then gave several real-life examples of how these steps were actually put into practice.

I especially liked Appendix B, which showed how ALBR could also be used in the public sector.

OWN YOUR OWN FUTURE is worthwhile reading for those searching for a first job, as well as for anybody else fretting about his or his industry and what the future holds.


Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year
Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year
by Tavis Smiley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.34
75 used & new from $14.57

5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a King presents a look at the final 365 days of King's life., October 7, 2014
Heard DEATH OF A KING: THE REAL STORY OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING'S FINAL YEAR (Hachette Audio), written by Tavis Smiley with David Ritz and read by Smiley.

It presents a look at the final 365 days of King's life, including much information that I hadn't know about at the time. Specifically, I didn't realize that he faced great opposition--from the country's black middle class and militants, the press and the president. Also, seemingly on a daily basis, he had his character, ideology and political tactics questioned.

I liked the fact that the book did not overlook his faults, but even in spite of them, listening to DEATH OF A KING made me appreciate King's contributions to American society even more so than I had previously.


Stupidparty Math v. Myth: Unmasking the Destructive Forces Eroding American Democracy
Stupidparty Math v. Myth: Unmasking the Destructive Forces Eroding American Democracy
by Patrick M. Andendall
Edition: Paperback
Price: $21.37
13 used & new from $19.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing book that presents facts and resources to respond to misconceptions held by many Republicans., October 7, 2014
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STUPIDPARTY MATH V. MYTH: UNMAKING THE DESCRUCTIVE FORCES ERODING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY (Fact Over Fiction) by Patrick M. Andendall is an engrossing book that presents documented facts and resources to respond to numerous misconceptions held by too many Republicans.

Now before you get up in arms about that comment, especially if you're a Republican, please consider the fact that the author claims to be a conservative. He also based the idea for the title from Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindalls's quote: "We've got to stop being the stupid party. We've got to stop insulting the intelligence of voters. We need to trust the smarts of the American people."

Arendall goes on to cover such topics as the Founding Factors, the House, who are the 47% moochers, job and the economy, and guns, among others. He does so with page after page of research that's funny, but unfortunately, also true.

For example, he presents such quotes as the following:
* Rick Santorum: "I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created--in the sense of rape--but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you . . . rape victims should make the most of a bad situation."
* Sean Hannity: "Halloween is a liberal holidays because we're teaching our children to be for something for free. . . . We're teaching kids to knock on other people's doors and ask for a handout."
* Art Robinson [chairperson of the Oregon Republican Party]: "My advice to home school parents is to teach geography, history and government largely from books which were written in the 1950s and earlier, before it became popular to teach over racism under the rubric or 'multiculturalism.' "

STUPIDPARTY also contains many interesting charts, as well as humorous cartoons. My only criticism of the book is that I wish it had contained an index. Perhaps that will happen in what I hope will be a second edition.


The Longest Ride
The Longest Ride
by Nicholas Sparks
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
122 used & new from $2.64

5.0 out of 5 stars One of Sparks best novels, that kept my attention until the very end., September 8, 2014
This review is from: The Longest Ride (Paperback)
Heard THE LONGEST RIDE (Hachette Audio), written by Nicolas Sparks and read by Ron McLarty and January LaVoy.

There are two distinct stories--one involves a 91-year old man who finds himself stranded after a car crash, and the other involves a college senior who meets a rodeo rider. As might be expected, their lives all converge toward the end of the book.

Though this might seem to be a "typical Sparks novel," I thought it was one of the best he has written. It kept my attention until the very end, and I also liked the fact that parts of it took place in and around Nashville.

The fine job of narration also added to my enjoyment of the book.


Saving Babe Ruth
Saving Babe Ruth
by Tom Swyers
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.60

5.0 out of 5 stars If you've ever been involved in youth baseball as a player or parent, then SAVING BABE RUTH is a book you won't want to miss., September 8, 2014
This review is from: Saving Babe Ruth (Paperback)
SAVING BABE RUTH: A NOVEL BASED ON A TRUE STORY (Hillcrest House Publishing) by Tom Swyers is a terrific first novel about a lawyer and Civil War buff who volunteers to serve as commissioner for his town's Babe Ruth baseball league.

It is then that all hell breaks loose. A local promoter keeps taking away all the best players, and he also wants to take away the town's best field.

The more I got into the story, the more I started to feel for the lawyer and his family. In addition, the subplots held my attention, as well as such writing as in the following passage:
Over the years, there had developed long periods of silence between the two on the ride home from a loss, a silence broken only by the rush of air into the car as they drove with the windows open to rid themselves of the smell: the fermenting equipment bags holding the sweat of every team member in the foam helmet liners, the rain-soaked baseballs that had become moldy at the bottom of the baseball bucket because David did not get to drying them in the sun or in the oven.

I also liked how the author incorporated details about baseball that would resonate with any real fan; e.g., the story about Ruth Steinagen and Eddie Waitkus.

If you've ever been involved in youth baseball as a player or parent, then SAVING BABE RUTH is a book you won't want to miss.


Episodes
Episodes
by Rodney Richards
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.69
25 used & new from $9.71

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story of a deeply religious man who attempts to lead a normal life despite the fact that he is bipolar., September 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Episodes (Paperback)
Disclaimer: I'm perhaps not completely objective about the following review, in that I'm a friend of the book's author.

That said, I was thoroughly engrossed by EPISODES: A POETIC MEMOIR (ABLiA Media) by Rodney Richards.

It is the amazing story of a dedicated New Jersey civil service and deeply religious man who attempts to lead a normal life despite the fact that he is bipolar.

His descriptions of what that entails were frightening, especially his account of a 9-day trip overseas that he took on the spur of the moment. I felt myself genuinely concerned for his safety.

I give Richards a lot of credit for not only attempting to master his condition, but also for sharing his story with the rest of the world. In addition, kudos to his wife Janet for patiently staying with him during his various ups and downs.

If you want to have a better understanding of what mental illness is all about, please read EPISODES.


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