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SBuckle (Toronto)

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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.77
7 used & new from CDN$ 18.77

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Murakami in name only, but a decent story, Aug. 27 2014
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The typical Murakami fingerprints are few-and-far between on this one. This is a departure for him in that it's a very linear story told in a straight ahead way. Where Murakami is known for spending pages, sometimes chapters, describing how a park looks at night from a balcony, none of that set-up takes place with Colorless Tsukuru.... Murakami attempts to take us from point A to point B in an efficient manner and let the plot do the work. It works to some extent because the story is about growing up and growing apart - as couched in reality as possible for Murakami - but at the end of it, you're left with little. What's missing is the typical investment Murakami asks of you as he takes his time setting up characters and the world they live in. This approach feels like it would have worked even better with this book, since the main character is rather dull and admits so himself -- spending time teasing out the colour in Tsukuru would worked better than over-indexing on efficient plot.

While nowhere near an 18Q4 or Kafka on the Shore, it's still a good story to read and the book design is great. The plot has some merit because it's relatable, but our protagonist warrants very little sympathy and understanding from the reader.

The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
by Josh Kaufman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.00
40 used & new from CDN$ 7.14

2.0 out of 5 stars A basic Dictionary for Business, Aug. 24 2014
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Kaufman breaks down a typical business into its workstream components and tells you, from a high-level, what each does. For anyone who works in a somewhat-mature business, none of this will be new.

This would be a good book for a younger high-school student figuring out what to do in school, which is somewhat counter to the intent of the book. While I don't have an MBA nor believe I need one, this book definitely isn't a sub for one. It's more of a dictionary for business and explains the various components of one.

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 Ed Catmull
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.06
5 used & new from CDN$ 20.06

3.0 out of 5 stars I liked Catmull's approach to creativity, Aug. 24 2014
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I liked Catmull's approach to creativity, but I didnt like the presentation of it in this book. Before even cracking it open, I had bought into the fact that Pixar was a leading organization based on best-in-class creativity. With that in mind, there was a lot of set-up and substantiation to read through before Catmull would get to his points; points which have a lot of substance. It feels like a struggle between a biography and a business book, where I wanted the later. Luckily, at the end of the book he summarizes his approaches to creativity which is all I really needed.

The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business
by Clayton Christensen
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.87
34 used & new from CDN$ 8.63

5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone in business., Aug. 24 2014
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This and Everett Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation are two books that should be on everyone's shelves. While Christensen focuses on technology adoption, his message of disruption applies across all business. A lot of marketing and organizational theories and approaches have been built on the back of this book, so its a fundamental starter for anyone involved in creating and marketing new products, services, ideas, etc.

Fosmon Black PU Leather Case with Built-in Stand For Apple iPad 4 / iPad 3 / iPad 2 - (All Models)
Fosmon Black PU Leather Case with Built-in Stand For Apple iPad 4 / iPad 3 / iPad 2 - (All Models)
Offered by theWireless Company
Price: CDN$ 9.28

1.0 out of 5 stars Cutting corners for price doesnt always work, Aug. 24 2014
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Cheap, throw-away case you'll rarely use and regret buying. Spend a bit more to get a case of value

Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera Battery Lithium-Ion 1500mAh - Replacement for Canon LP-E8 Battery
Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera Battery Lithium-Ion 1500mAh - Replacement for Canon LP-E8 Battery
Offered by Certified Battery
Price: CDN$ 13.64
5 used & new from CDN$ 12.70

3.0 out of 5 stars Value over Quality, Aug. 24 2014
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They certainly don't hold the same charge as Canon's original does, but at a fraction of the price, who cares?

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.81
35 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The bible for lean, Aug. 24 2014
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A must-read for anyone interested in the lean thinking. It builds nicely on top of heavy-weight books about innovation like Innovators Dilemma and Crossing the Chasm, but it more of a manual then warning. As companies, big and small, try to be more nimble and start-up-like in order to stay ahead of the competition - read: ahead of disruption - the lean & agile approach helps orient planning and action. A lot of companies are on this path, now it is a matter of how successfully they can implement.

Ries' manual is an easily digestible read. I appreciate him assuming the reader has already bought in to the lean approach, which allows him spend more time on action than on convincing why lean works.

The Circle
The Circle
by Dave Eggers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.20
8 used & new from CDN$ 5.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Questions the legitimately of online interactions, Dec 17 2013
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This review is from: The Circle (Hardcover)
In the world Eggers creates, the Circle is central to life. The Circle is Facebook, Google, InterACT, banks, CCTVs, musuems all combined into one behemoth company that wants to act as the hub of all information and communication. The power with that is enormous as Eggers illustrates throughout the book via our main character Mae Holland, a new hire to the Circle. While the concentration and unfettered expansion of technology into our lives is met with Eggers' skepticism - much like any concentration of power should be - the idea of what constitutes human interaction is what was most interesting for me.

Eggers shows us a world where people are anchored to a screen and communication and emotion shared via social media. Even the 'offline' events the Circle hosts are centered around the online. While Eggers' shows us a world of the extreme, where online has entirely supplanted offline, it certainly raises questions as to the real value of social interaction via Facebook and the like today. Are these interactions as real as in-person or not? If not, what then are your obligations within the social world and how do these obligations square away with your 'friends' expectations?

Overall, a great book with a quick pace unlike Eggers. While Eggers admits he did no research on social media companies, his idea of one feels legitimate, which is probably why a bunch of the silicon valley nerds have tried to pick this book apart.

Night Film: A Novel
Night Film: A Novel
by Marisha Pessl
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 21.32
16 used & new from CDN$ 6.77

3.0 out of 5 stars A letdown, Oct. 16 2013
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This review is from: Night Film: A Novel (Hardcover)
Like a lot of people, I'd been waiting for a long time for Pessl to follow-up her rookie release, "Special Topics in Calamity Physics". When learning that 'Night Film' was going to be a horror/suspense, I wasn't too thrilled. That feeling remains today after finishing 'Night Film'. While the book wasn't terrible by any stretch, it just had nowhere near the quality and character as 'Calamity Physics'. Pessl certainly used the extended time to vigorously prepare this book as it's well-researched and its story well-constructed, but it doesn't make up for the almost blandness throughout that's met with a shoulder-shrug once it ends. I never found myself interested in our three leads and while the main protagonist is somewhat of an anti-hero, sacrificing his father-duties to chase the story, Pessl doesn't give us much to go on outside of this commitment for work. It felt like she over-indexed her efforts on creating such an intricate plot that weaved together in apparent complexity, she sacrificed creating a strong, likeable character like Blue Van Meer, and her writing became a bit too obvious and forgiving to the reader. In other words, the intricate story wasn't enough to hold everything together to come close to her last book.

The Year of the Flood
The Year of the Flood
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.88
17 used & new from CDN$ 1.95

3.0 out of 5 stars A decent story, but inferior to Oryx and Crake, Sept. 3 2013
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This review is from: The Year of the Flood (Paperback)
Only someone of Atwood's ability could turn a somewhat flat story into a decent book. Atwood is great at understanding when to turn it up a notch. For a good chunk of the initial book, she stays in second gear, but this nicely sets up the last 100-pages, which she plows through full-throttle. It's this tempo that makes you a bit less concerned with the story's overall flatness. In comparison to Oryx and Crake which had more surprise to it, The Year of the Flood was rather formulaic and obvious throughout. Some of it even felt forced, where Atwood tried to interconnect everything even though it didnt need to be. One positive of this though, she set herself up nicely for MaddAdam with a group of characters that I hope she continues to build on and take us further versus looking back into the past so much. It's in this post-apocalyptic landscape - read: post Flood - that is most interesting. She needs to spend more time here than always reaching back telling us how we got here - she's had two books to already do that. I'm hoping she takes her readers further into this world and shows how a group that is cognizant of the failures that got them here, rebuilds civilization.

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