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Portraits of Success: 12 Keys to Sustaining Value in Any Business
Portraits of Success: 12 Keys to Sustaining Value in Any Business
by James Olan Hutcheson
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 24.24

3.0 out of 5 stars Neither Passionate Nor Informative, Feb. 25 2003
"Portraits of Success: 9 Keys to Sustaining Value in Any Business" by James Olan Hutcheson is just another "how to succeed at business" book. I wish its value was more than that, but it isn't. It is neither passionate nor any more informative than its competitors.
In the business books I have read recently, I found this one lacks the authority and substance I found in others. William Pollard's "Soul of the Firm" has the authority, as he took ServiceMaster to a new level. "Values of the Game" by Bill Bradley was worth the read because of Bradley's unique metaphorical look at life. "Leadership" by Rudolph Giuliani has power because of what Giuliani has gone through. "Portraits," however, has a flaccid tone to it. I felt as if it was researched information regurgitated into book form. I felt like I was reading the kind of book which gets sold after a corporate sales seminar.
The book, as seen in the subtitle, can be boiled down to nine major points. In each, Hutcheson retells stories of business success and failures, from security company founder Richard Wackenhut to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
Action items accompany each chapter, and herein lay the book's greatest value. Hutcheson provides a topic sentence to lead the mini-lesson, but weakly completes the thesis in the following paragraphs.
The redundancy of subject matter mixed with a bland presentation has me suggesting to you to look elsewhere. It was not edited tightly enough to build the necessary tension and excitement. Overall, "Portraits of Success: 9 Keys to Sustaining Value in Any Business" lacks the poignancy I have come to expect from professional advancement books.
Anthony Trendl

Fathering Like The Father: Becoming the Dad God Wants You to Be
Fathering Like The Father: Becoming the Dad God Wants You to Be
by Kenneth Gangel
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.33
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fathers New and Old Can Benefit, Feb. 24 2003
New fathers intimidated by the prospect of what their new responsibilities entail can find "Fathering Like the Father" a welcome addition to their reading list.
"Fathering Like the Father" is written by father and son Kenneth and Jeffrey Gangel. They bring in not only their experience together, but also their expertise in scholarship and understanding of God's Word.
Many books discussing fatherhood are based on pure psychology, even among Christian titles. "Fathering Like the Father" takes a different tack, focusing on the Scriptural basis for decisions a father must make in regard to rearing his child. This book can augment what James Dobson and Focus on the Family books teach. Likewise, PromiseKeeper men should connect solidly with the principles presented here.
Each chapter begins with a key passage and a biblical character. Chapter 11, "Find Us Faithful" highlights Elkanah and Psalm 146:5-9. It is followed by several pages discussing the related issues, using modern parables, statistical analyses, while driving home why the verses they chose are crucial. Jeffrey and Kenn then each has a subsection for their take on the passage and principle.
The chapters also include a few challenges in a section called "Making It Work," discussion questions useful in a small group or Sunday School/CCD context, and some things for father-child dialogue. It is meant to be read with a Bible open. If you find it as engaging as I did, your copy will be marked up with underlined sentences and quotes drawn from history.
Chapters include:
* Make 'Em Laugh: Humor
* An Officer or a Gentleman? Grace and Mercy
* Focus on the Father: Forgiveness
* The Ultimate Sacrifice: Love
* The Green-Eyed Monster? Jealousy
* Truth or Consequences: Truthfulness
* God's Friend: Friendship
* The Child Whisperer: Communication
* Lessons from an Old Man: Holiness
* Winning the Game: Discipline
* Find Us Faithful: Faithfulness
* A Gift from God: Wisdom
* Imitating Infinite Intimacy: Intimacy
* A Worthy Investment: Trustworthiness
* A Few Good Men: Goodness
It reads easily, and its challenges are backed by the author's own experience. I fully recommend "Fathering Like the Father" by Kenneth and Jeffrey Gangel.
Anthony Trendl

Feeding the Media Beast: An Easy Recipe for Great Publicity
Feeding the Media Beast: An Easy Recipe for Great Publicity
by Mark A. Mathis
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Shows the Strategies of PR and Publicity, Feb. 24 2003
As a media strategist, I have endured circumstances in which the company clearly did not know what Mark Mathis is teaching.
Fundamentally, says Mathis, the media is an animal needing to be fed. They need your help, and it's your job as a company or concern to ensure they get three square meals.
Remember reporters and editors -- like real people -- have limits on their time, knowledge and experience. They have misconceptions, biases, ignorance, and in general -- they are human. Mathis shows you how to respond to this humanity, positioning your company to be covered favorably and frequently by the media.
Broken down into 12 rules, he presents not the technicalities of writing a press releasee or how to do public speaking. Rather, "Feeding the Media Beast" is about strategic principles.
The key to do it all is to think like a teacher, to be prepared and to never let up. A teacher keeps it simple and repeats his message. You prepare for whatever the reporter may throw at you, but you also provide consistent resources for that same reporter prior top, during and after the interview. Why? Because it'll increase the likelihood you'll be quoted in a more accurate context, and that whenever the reporter needs information on your issue or topic, you'll get the call. You are just making the reporter's job easy.
Sell your story on its emotional merits as well as through the facts, he says in Chapter 9, "The Rule of Education." Remember what us your passion might not be obvious to the unaware reporter. Help him tell your story. This might include anecdotes, publicity stunts and cheap gimmicks. Call it hype, but if done well, it can reap great, colorful attention to your cause.
Be forward thinking is the theme of "the Rule of Timing." Opportunities are all fleeting, and require a correct, creative response. Mathis tells us of former President Bill Clinton's ability to push forth his agenda when a national event like the OJ trial was occurring. Ideas which might not have gone over well went unnoticed because the nation was captivated by white vans and gloves which did not fit.
Bias, Mathis remarks, exists. This is particularly evident in matters of religion as indicated by overwhelmingly persuasive statistics. The media is generally swinging toward the left, as shown through a 1992 Roper Poll which said a full 89% voted for Bill Clinton, and only 7% voted for Bush, Sr. You, the publicity person, must realize this and work within this fact. See Goldberg's "Bias" for more on this.
Buy "Feeding the Media Beast," by Mark Mathis. He makes his case and states it well, with statistics, examples and personal credential. I fully recommend this book.
Anthony Trendl

Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers: Including Glossary of 488 Legal Terms and 81 Suggestions for Being a Good Witness
Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers: Including Glossary of 488 Legal Terms and 81 Suggestions for Being a Good Witness
by Benjamin J. Cantor
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Guide for the Layman, Feb. 24 2003
I'm not a lawyer, and this book is not intended to be a primer for becoming the next Perry Mason. It did the job for me.
"Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers" by Benjamin Cantor is a tidy summary of legal terms someone is likely to encounter in the midst of a trial. For me, involved at one time in a lawsuit, I found Cantor's book a wealth of information. I wish I had read his book then.
Cantor demonstrates expertise deftly as he disseminates only relevant information. Legal things can be overwhelming, but Cantor smartly keeps things straightforward. Appendix D, "Glossary of Legal Terms" does not bog the reader down with loquacious definitions, but crisply explains terms like "ad litem" and "nolo contendere" in a line or two.
Where Cantor's book lacks is in the printing. The text is printed poorly, having the look that it was taken over to the local quickie print and the printer lacked enough ink. I hope this is only in my copy, but Xlibris, the publisher, dropped the ball in quality control.
I fully recommend "Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers" by Benjamin Cantor.
Anthony Trendl

Failing Forward
Failing Forward
by John C. Maxwell
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 10.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Failure is a Given: Work With It, Feb. 24 2003
This review is from: Failing Forward (Hardcover)
Horatio Alger would love John Maxwell's "Failing Forward." Maxwell's bestseller is about persevering though crisis and through hard failures.
Like many of his self-help contemporaries, Maxwell use lists to outline his ideas. Also like the other books on the "how to live life better" are inspiring anecdotes of famous success stories, like Mary Kay Ash and Truett Kathy. It sounds like an Amway sales seminar.
Where I think this book is different is that Maxwell feels free to acknowledge failure as a given. Rather than pretending failure is a negative attitude, he unpretentiously says failure should be embraced. It is part of the risk process.
Failure, Maxwell contends, is part of success. His play on words "failing forward" instead of "falling forward" is means more than to bring a smile. Like a running back in football, tackled hard by a player much bigger, will try to use the momentum of falling to reach the football another foot or two into the end zone. If he fell backwards, he loses a yard. If he falls forward, his team gets a touchdown. That is more or less Maxwell's thesis in the book.
I fully recommend "Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes" by John Maxwell.
Anthony Trendl

Values of the Game
Values of the Game
by Bill Bradley
Edition: Hardcover
38 used & new from CDN$ 3.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, With Great Anecdotes and Photos, Feb. 23 2003
This review is from: Values of the Game (Hardcover)
My father, a great fan of basketball, decided that I should read "Values of the Game" by Bill Bradley to learn a few lessons in life. In fact, he thought so much of the book, he passed around a half dozen copies that year to close relatives as Christmas gifts.
I, far less a student of the game, felt I might be at a disadvantage. Not so. Bradley's expertise of basketball is lucid, and his writing illuminates with clarity the salient aspects beyond my ignorance.
This is an inspirational book. It isn't the kind of inspiration found in a John Maxwell book, which is layered in points and subpoints. This is all much simpler than that.
It sums up to: "Play hard, practice often, have goals and never give up." Bradley does this with great photos, powerful anecdotes and a consistent message.
His examples are right on, with memories of great players of old, like Cousy and Chamberlain, as well as current stars like Iverson and Pippen. He even brings in a few Muggsy Bogues stories, and incorporates several pages highlighting WNBA players.
Occasionally, it comes off forced. Not every player he uses for his parables are squeaky clean, even though, as Phil Jackson cites in the introduction, Bradley himself is a committed Christian. This makes for carefully worded analyses of the situation like when referring to Dennis Rodman's famous get-the-ball-even-if-it-hurts rebounding attitude. Bradley merely acknowledges Rodman "isn't everyone's cup of tea" while he admires his tenacity.
Check this one out. The photos alone are worth the price, and you might feel the need to get out and shoot some ball.
Anthony Trendl

The Craft of Interviewing
The Craft of Interviewing
by John Brady
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.52
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Smart Part of a Journalist's Library, Feb. 23 2003
"The Craft of Interviewing" by John Brady is just one book a beginning journalist should read. Most of journalism involves local newspapers covering local people, and despite how the internet has altered the speed and process of interviewing, good ol' gumshoe journalism still lives and breathes. That's why this book still matters 30 years after it first hit the college bookstores of j-school.
A good interview requires knowledge, diplomacy, fearlessness, rapport, organization, and knowing how to separate and summarize it all for a good story. This book has chapters on all of this. One complete chapter, "Off the Record" discusses some interesting approaches and policies this misunderstood phrase calls for. As you build relationships with key sources, this chapter, and others, can assist you in seeing ways through the thorny challenges of integrity and journalism.
Brady provides anecdotes about complicated interviews and interviewees. Even though these are with celebrities, the examples show the reader how to walk the line carefully and confidently.
"The Craft of Interviewing" by John Brady should not be the only book you read, and probably not your first. I fully recommend it as both a classroom text, and as a personal edification book. Your interviewing will be better you apply what Brady suggests.
Anthony Trendl

CliffsNotes on Dstoevsky's Crime and Punishment
CliffsNotes on Dstoevsky's Crime and Punishment
by James L. Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 4.95
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful in Understanding a Complex Book, Feb. 23 2003
"Crime and Punishment" for a high school or college not enamored with Russian literature can be intimidating. This CliffsNotes volume helps clear up the seemingly muddy waters.
While not all CliffsNotes are worth buying, in this case, it can enhance and encourage the reading process. They explain the many characters in two sections.
The first is not unlike what introduces many playbills. For example, for Sonia, it says "Sofya's nickname." Maybe that it is common in Russia, but it would have thrown me for a loop. For Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov, it says, "A poverty-stricken student who conceives a theory of the superman or extraordinary man as a justification or rationalization for his crime."
The second guide explains in a page or two the context and major concerns of only a few characters.
Because they have Russian names unfamiliar to most of us in the United States, their little guide will be handy to keep open as you read the actual book.
The chapter synopsis is also useful for teachers who are overwhelmed with responsibilities. I have used it for this reason with a private student. I had not read the work and needed to be up to speed quickly. The synopsis put the book in context, making expectation available to me as I read. This helped me know what was worth focusing on in our all-to-brief look at this classic.
Other sections explain motifs and arguments of Hegel and Nietzsche regarding the superman ideas presented. Lacking is a section on biblical references, which, for students without much biblical knowledge, will limit their appreciation of the depth of "Crime and Punishment." Judith Gunn's "Dostoyesky: Dreamer and Prophet" is a good follow-up for the student looking to understand Dostoyesky religious perspective and Russian nationalism.
I fully recommend "CliffsNotes Crime and Punishment" by James L. Roberts.
Anthony Trendl

Nba Basketball Best Shots
Nba Basketball Best Shots
by Dorling Kindersley
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 3.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Action-packed Basketball Photos, Feb. 20 2003
"Basketball's Best Shots" is a gorgeous picture book. That's why you love it. There are captions, but the full-page photos are the reason this book is special.
Most of these are game shots. The posed shots are weaker, as they do not capture the grace of urgent motion.
My favorite is of top rebounder Dennis Rodman, horizontal, several feet in the air, with his fingertips on the ball. The Bulls were champions when he played and this particular photo demonstrates his sheer will and skill to win.
It is a modern collection, with few shots from pre-1970. The bulk are within the last 15 years. There are a few Michael Jordan pictures, but luckily, the NBA had the wisdom to not let this become an MJ highlight-fest
Impressive is a Vince Carter slam against Cleveland. Worth seeing is a four page spread of Dr. J.'s famous baseline move against Magic Johnson.
This will be great on your coffee table, in your bathroom or TV room.
I fully recommend "Basketball's Best Shots."
Anthony Trendl

Kaplan Word Power: Score Higher on the SAT, GRE, and Other Standardized Tests
Kaplan Word Power: Score Higher on the SAT, GRE, and Other Standardized Tests
by Kaplan
Edition: Paperback
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Effective Way to Learn Vocabulary For Tests, Feb. 20 2003
Intentionally learning new words is difficult. Which words are important? Which definitions should you focus on?
Preparing for exams requiring a certain level of verbal knowledge necessitates more than flipping through a dictionary. "Kaplan Word Power" is what the studious test taker needs.
There are 750 words presented amidst 55 lessons. With titles like "Thomas: Not a Temerarious Tatterdemalion" you will enjoy the game of learning what chapter names mean.
Kaplan prepared this book. This matters because they are experts at teaching test takers how to get higher scores on the LSAT, GRE and other major exams. They aren't the only ones capably doing it, but they are among the leaders. They have the experience to write this book.
The definitions are brief, only slightly more complex than a Scrabble dictionary. With each definition is enjoined with a sentence following the theme of title.
For example, tatterdemalion is defined as "a ragged person, always in tatters" accompanied by "Tatterdemalions everywhere foraged through the garbage for some food."
There are 10-15 quiz questions for each chapter. A significant appendix called "Root Juice" provides a useful collection and explanation of key Latin, French and Greek roots.
This is an effective way to shine up your vocabulary. I fully recommend "Kaplan Word Power" by Meg F. Schneider.
Anthony Trendl

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