Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chandamama Collectors Edition (Celebrating 60 Wonderful Years)

This book is outstanding.The stories are great, with lots of morals, pictures etc
The print is easily readable.There are many stories that come in the monthly magazine Chandamama.
This book gives us a glimpse of the magazine's progress in many years.
It has a story of how the magazine bagged great glory (with hard work of course).
Also how the Jagannath Temple came into existence
The art work of many old, Glorious artists.
This book is so great that I cannot epress my feelings in words

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Knockout Entrepreneur

The book is billed as a publication where “Foreman shares his success secrets with aspiring and current entrepreneurs” ( Foreman walks you through what he believes are the core values to being successful for example; Know Your Foe, Listen to Your Corner, Keep Answering the Bell, and Make it Good.

In each chapter he discusses the definition of each value and gives examples from his real life. I’ll be honest I didn’t not enjoy this book. Reading it felt like a huge chore I needed to check off and it took me weeks to finish it. I love motivational books, my favorite kind is one that leaves you pumped and ready to make changes in your life – unfortunately this book doesn’t. After the first chapter it becomes one big advertisement for Foreman.

Now I know he has done amazing things with great success but it felt like every page was a big Foreman commercial. For example did you know George was, in , thought about being involved in, beef manufacturing, restaurant chains and green cleaning products? Yeah either did I but after reading about it so much I’ll never forget it that’s for sure.

The underlying advice is pretty good, but you have to wade through everything else to get to it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Obstacles welcome by Ralph De la vega

The book offers little in terms of ground that hasn't been covered before. Work hard. Persevere. Empower employees. Set measurable goals. Get feedback. Hold others accountable. Be approachable. Be resilient. Dream big. Apart from a lack of new information, I'm just not sure how Biblically accurate this book is. (I mention this because the book is put out by a Christian publishing house.) For example:

Book: "Each of us is in control of our own journey. Deciding what we want and how to get there." - p. 98

Apart from not exactly squaring with the Bible, there is an overall level of self-determinism in here that books such as "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell make a compelling argument against. Just how much are we in control over what happens to us? A scripture in the book of Ecclesiastes puts it this way, "The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all." There is something to be said for being in the right place at the right time. This book leans toward the side that a person can make anything happen if they work hard enough. This sounds nice, but try telling that to someone who was born a midget but really wants to play in the NBA.

The book does offer some helpful tips and words of inspiration. There are continual challenges to not get stuck in old mindsets. There are charges to break free from self-imposed limitations. There is encouragement to go for it all. This is good and commendable. Sometimes, though, it blurs into the message "get more and you will be happy". On the contrary, it is better to have one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil (Ecclesiastes 4:6). Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).

Another thing that bugged me about this book was how the author rarely goes into any personal flaws or shortcomings. Maybe he focused a little too much on his career at the expense of his family. Maybe he has had to deal with a lot of pride as a result of all of his accomplishments. I'm sure there is something he currently struggles with. Letting us in on this would help us to see him as less of a success machine and more of a human being. I would have an easier time relating. When he does reveal any personal struggles, he quickly discusses how he remedied the situation.

Here is another example of how he comes off looking like a model of perfection:

"On some days I've shaken as many as one thousand hands (and yes, my hand hurt that night). Long ago I lost count of how many people told me, "No executive has ever come down here and shaken my hand." Just as important, I always leave time for dialogue after I speak." (p. 147)

I know that he is wanting to share his advice in order to help others achieve a greater measure of success. Still, sections like the one above came off as self-congratulatory.

Other chapters felt like they could have been titled, "How to manipulate your employees as much as possible for personal gain." I am no advocate for employees slacking off, but it is possible for things to go to the opposite extreme. In fairness to AT&T, I have no idea how well or poorly they treat their employees.

Though I have been piling on, there were many things I liked about this book. The focus on character and integrity was great. The book was clear and easy to read. The summaries at the end of each chapter were helpful. I also enjoyed the parts where de la Vega went into strategy (e.g. how he handled the merger, how he delegates authority and what changes were put in place for more effective marketing). My favorite part of the book was in the initial chapter where de la Vega describes his immigration experience. This part was fascinating and I was left wanting for more.

I have no doubt that de la Vega excels at what he does. He clearly cares very much about his company and takes great pride in its success. In the process of describing how he overcome so many obstacles, the author shares concepts in order to benefit the reader. I just didn't encounter as many new concepts as I would have liked. Nevertheless, sometimes it is good to be reminded.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Children Ask Kalam

This is the Publishers' Note in the book

Dear Children

Our President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, widely loved and admired by people of all age groups, is very popular with children. His humility, easy accessibility, simplicity, warmth and affection for children make them connect with him.

Everyday, hundreds of children from every nook and corner of the country write to Dr. Kalam asking him questions on a variety of topics. Sharing their concerns President Kalam takes time out to respond to these queries. Children Ask Kalam is unique collection of the communication between Dr Kalam and children.

This book brings Dr Kalam's view on a variety of topics to a wider audience. The president's answers bring to the fore his multifaceted personality. Though he writes in simple language, you will find that his answers do not shy away from addressing the most complex of issues. The letters have been selected carefully after much thought. For the purpose of clarity, the book is divided into six themes - education, science, children's issues, nation, spirituality and general. This book brings to fore the concerns of the children of this country and our President's initiatives to alleviate them.

We are confident that the book will help you develop an intimate understanding of our President's world view. We expect that the book with its unique and valuable information will assist you in developing a better understanding of our President and keep you well informed about various aspects you know little of but are curious about. We would appreciate your suggestions for further improvement

The former president of India Loves children and he compiles all the letters he received from children across India into a book
There are many questions based on
(1) Children's Issues
(2) Nation
(3) Education
(4) General
(5) Science and
(6) Spirituality

The most powerful question from this book (i think) is
How would you define a leader ?
A leader has the courage to face failures and take respunsibility for the failure and pass the credit to his team when they succeed. He always asks "What can I do for you? "

Saturday, October 31, 2009

FEARLESS by Max Lucado

Just finished reading Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear. I can honestly recommend it not just as an inspiring book to read once or even pass on, but a reference to pick up and skim a chapter or two when we feel fear gaining a foothold. That’s how I’m going to use it. I’ll buy more copies to pass on to people, but this one? I’m keepin’.

When I first picked the book up and read the title – Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear – I thought to myself, I’ve been around the block a few times…there isn’t much I’m afraid of, so this book may not mean much to me. You see, I’ve always considered myself a bit of a risk taker.

As I read through the chapters though, I began to realize that the most paralyzing fear is not what you feel just before you bungee-jump for the first time (frightening – yet exhilarating…). Immobilizing fear is what you encounter everyday – fear of getting laid off, of not having enough money to pay the bills, of terrorists showing up in a town near you, of the weirdo that just moved in next door, of economic collapse, of global warming – I mean, just watch the TV news, it is packed with these insidious fears. It is these every-day fears that trap us in our ruts. Fear breeds anger and distrust. It turns us into people we don’t want to be. Like seeds fears are planted in our subconscious and we feed and water them everyday with the belief that we are completely alone out here!

Yet, as Fearless points out, scattered throughout the Bible are reminders of why we have no need to fear anything…ANYTHING.

For those of you who are like me and don’t know the Bible perhaps as well as we should, here are some examples:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”

“I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you will have enough.”

Oh, that’s a big one. Fear of scarcity is a very common and overwhelming fear. It causes us to go into debt, to steal, to hide and not to share with others. Have you seen the show “Hoarders” on A&E? That is fear of scarcity in action.

Let’s face it, there is a lot to be afraid of these days. Is there more now though than in other times? Every generation has had its wars, atrocities, natural disasters. The human spirit is pliable, we just have to remember the great good that is constantly watching over us.

Freedom from fear is a liberation we all deserve – it is our God-given right. So even if you think you’re not afraid of anything, pick up a copy of Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado. You may not even realize that you’re afraid, or what your fear is doing to you and those around you. Fearless offers comfort by reminding us of the words of God:

Friday, October 30, 2009

5 cities that ruled the world

Please go to this URL to see the picture

Douglas Wilson’s book, 5 Cities that Ruled the World, about how major cities throughout time (Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York) shaped global history is a fascinating read. I can’t say that I know enough about each city to identify any possible bias regarding their histories, and I’m little surprised at the exclusion of some cities, namely Constantinople, but I think that this is a great book for understanding world history.

Each city’s story is contained within one chapter. Things that are revealed about each city include its history (origin, major leaders, and wars and other events), its effect on the world stage, and its current state.

I found that the chapter on London contained the most “unknown” information. I guess perhaps I just didn’t know much about London history, especially the *very* early years (did you know London burned 15 times before the year 1300?!?).

My only real complaint with the book has nothing to do with its content, and instead is an issue with the materials. I can’t stand what the cover is made of–it’s a paperback, made of a textured paper, and I find it weird to touch. Other than that, the book is a great tool for learning more about our world’s major cities, and how they shaped the society in which we currently live, even from across the centuries and around the globe.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

100 Minutes That'll change the way you live by Dr L Prakash.

At times life gets very hard and it is in this time you will realize the full potential of the book.the author has packed ome very important top tips for everyone
It is explained in an humorous way without boredom by the author who himself has learnt in the process of surviving from many of these crises.
Read it to believe it,and experience the change in your life
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