Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2011
This is one of those books that would work better as a two-page magazine article. The entire book is about a single idea: if you need to write something and don't know where to start, just start writing whatever comes to mind, there will be time for filtering, editing and fine tuning later.
The rest o f the book is an elaboration on this idea. I am not a professional, full-time writer so take my comment with that in mind.
There are other books about writing that I found to be much, much richer
If half of what this book is about is true, we have to accept Genghis Khan is the most important conqueror in history and probably the person who has had the biggest impact in the evolution of the modern world.
We all have heard stories about Alexander the Great, Napoleon and the Roman Empire, but their importance pales in comparison with the achievements of Genghis Khan and the overall impact in every one living on the planet.
Unfortunately, Western societies have minimized, even demonized the history of Genghis Khan. This book is an eye opener, it is interesting and insightful. Just a very small example: we learned in school Guttenberg invented the printing press, yet the Mongols were printing almost 100 years the first printed Bible was produced.
The book is the result of years of research, and includes significant information that was recently released - history that was previously codified and hidden by the soviets or communist China. It seems very well researched and detailed, yet the story is captivating.
Genghis Khan should be required for all students of history
The biblical story of David and Goliath is a story of courage but also of overestimating strengths and misunderstanding the power of playing a different game to make the person who seems weakest be victorious.
In the face improbable odds, finding themselves inferior in scale, ability or resources is what pushes certain people to try things out of the ordinary, re-think the rules and play a different strategy – which is a formula for winning. This book makes the point in the story of Bedouins, David and Goliath and the underdog basketball team that goes undefeated.
Malcolm invites us to challenge the assumption that bigger is better. One of his key points is that when you are too big , too good, too strong – you advantage starts becoming a disadvantage. He challenges us to re-think our assumptions of what is good, what is bad, what is a strength, and what is an advantage. He points out that disadvantages can be advantages and that difficulties can produce resiliency and courage.
The central line is about the power of being different, becoming the big fish in a small pond that you create rather than being a small fish in a large pond – like the impressionists, who created their own pond, went against the current, and converted their weakness into strength.
Adversity has the potential to make us much stronger, more resilient and courageous – when it does not crush us. People who have gone through difficult times tend to think different, challenge the status quo, and take the bold chances that people who have had it easy have not had the need or the guts to do. Those who re-think the rules and take a new road are the people who change the world.
The second part of the book is about the idea that if you are Goliath, if you are in a position of strength, trying to dominate the Davids by force can be counterproductive. Authority requires legitimacy. The book talks about stories from MLK to religious clashes in Ireland to make the point.
As you expect from Malcom, the stories are very interesting, enjoyable and even captivating. Yet, at the end of the day the book does not leave you with a set of powerful ideas that you have not heard before. The story of David and Goliath is thousands of years old and has been told many times.
I did not find this book as intellectually stimulating as some of his previous books that have left me with a new way of thinking and have provided a foundation for more ideas to be built upon, like the Tipping Point or Blink. I can recommend this as an enjoyable read but not a breakthrough.
Sun Tzu's masterpiece is full of strategy wisdom and insight that can be applied to business or even life.
Yet this book is the raw material from Sun Tzu: there is no context, no summaries, no ideas on how to apply it to modern life. This is a book on military strategy that would be useful to any general building a man-to-man combat plan in a war.
Unless that fits your profile, then I would recommend looking for another book that applies Sun Tzu's wisdom to your area of work in a way that you will find useful.
Plus, the second part of the book is just instrumental music - Chinese, I suppose. I don't see how it fits in an audiobook unless you plan to practice some Wu-Shu after being inspired by it.
I am very skeptical of self-help books so I was weary of getting this audiobook. I have read too many "you can do it, you can make your dreams real!" books. This is not one of them.
This book is like a manual for life. You may not find all 9 "things" to be new, or inspiring or even useful, but I am pretty sure you will learn a thing or two that will make the book worth your while.
The narration is excellent, there are plenty of examples. Overall an enjoyable read.
I am an experienced presenter and speaker, it's part of my job and I actually enjoy it. I was afraid this book would be very basic for me, and yet, I learned a lot.
Not to say novice will not find value - it is not an "advanced presentations" book. The author does not provide a compete "how to give a presentation" but instead provides very actionable advice on how to improve your presentation skills.
I recommend it to anyone in sales, marketing - or anyone interested in doing a better job in front of an audience
After enjoying each of Isaacson's Einstein, Jobs and Franklin biographies, I decided to get this audiobook. I was concerned there would be a lot of repeat material, but there is not much really.
This is an enjoyable book. It is told as a story, you don't feel like you are listening to chapters of discrete information. The stories are interesting, relevant and educational.
The last third of the book includes a random interview with Woody Allen about his affair with his stepdaughter and then a section on the future of publishing. Both chapters feel out of place completely, I have no idea why the author or the published would include them here. But, since the first two thirds were excellent, I will give them this one chance.
The entire book is written around the idea that people are defined by their strength and warmth and that compelling people find the right balance between the two based on the context of the situation.
So, yes, an interesting concept - but not worth a couple hours. I skipped the second half for the most part.
I got this book after reading two other biographies from Walter Isaacson: Jobs and Einstein. Both were fantastic, this one joins the list.
I enjoyed this audiobook thoroughly - it provides a wonderful combination of history, personal details about Benjamin Franklin and his personality, and valuable things we can learn from his life.
For an audiobook this long, like with the other biographies, it is amazing how interesting they are. I listen to audiobooks while driving, and I caught myself wishing my commute was just a little longer to listen to a bit more.
I had the privilege of attending one of professor Daly's classes at UT Austin, where he is a favorite among students, and for very good reason.
Novices and experts will find in this book excellent, practical advice that will help them advocate their ideas and projects in any function at work or in their personal life. This is not a book about a central idea or one that tries to sell you into a consulting practice - it is a collection of stories, techniques and strategies that will help anyone succeed.
I am recommending it as a must read to everyone on my team at work.
My only regret is the narrator, which is OK but not as fun energetic and engaging as professor Daly is in person. I guess I had high expectations. Still, an excellent listen. You may want to have pen and paper handy while listening to this one.
You could say I had very high expectations after listening to all the biographies from Walter Isaacson and enjoying each one immensely. Warren Buffet is a great businessmen with an incredible sense for picking winners, I was very intrigued about his life and excited to learn about the way he thinks.
The audiobook is simply a collection of articles, published by Forbes, related to Warren Buffet. Note that I wrote related - meaning they are not about Warren. For example, there is a whole article about Solomon brothers that mentions Warren's involvement in the crisis - but fails to add any color or explain his decision process or providing any context. There are a couple articles about other investors, some about hedge funds, a couple about investment banks.
Imagine someone taking the top 20 results for "Warren buffet" on a Google search and making a book out of them., that's what this book feels like. The first hour seems like a course on the history of hedge funds. Then there is a chapter on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and so on. If you are majoring in finance or if you are an investment banker you may find this book to be interesting.
If you are looking for a book that peeks into the mind of Warren or a bit of insight into his personal mind, then you need to look elsewhere.
To be honest I did not listen to the entire audiobook. I did not think it was a good investment of my time.
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