The Latest

Freedom Jonathan Franzen Cliff Notes

On October 13, 2010, in Best Sellers, by Admin

The cliff notes for this work will be to the point, just outskirting the bare bones of the storyline because the text is so very, very rich, cliff notes cannot do it justice.  SPOILER ALERT OK – you’re warned.

Patty, Walter and Richard are the key players in Freedom, friends from College.  Patty starts hanging out with Walter in the hope of seeing his friend Richard, one of those guys that defies society, is a musician, very attractive sex god type.  Walter is the safe, supporting his family while in college, environmentally friendly earthy type.  Patty is an elite college athlete who injures her knee and is unable to pursue her sporting career, but all she ever wanted was to be a mother anyway. There is strong unresolved sexual tension between Patty and Richard.

So Patty, Walter and Richard grow up.  Patty and Walter marry and have two children, Joey and Jessica, and Richard goes on to become a moderately famous musician touring and womanising his life away.  But he falls on hard times, and


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Blink is about the adaptive unconscious. The moment where we can sum up all the data that is before us and make an informed instant decision. Our brain is like a giant computer which processes data instantly to give the first impression.

Blink demonstrates this by looking at a study that can break a marriage down into core elements which will determine whether it will be successful or not. However even those observations can be thin sliced even further to just one core element – the presence of contempt.

Gladwell goes on to demonstrate that even though we need experience and infromation to thin slice deciions, too much information actually hinders this ability. He uses several examples to prove this, the best being the War Games and (more…)

Uglies Scott Westerfeld

On November 17, 2009, in Best Sellers, Teenage Fiction, by Admin


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

If you haven’t read the book yet, I do go into the ending in this piece so if you don’t want to know how Uglies ends, move along now.

Uglies is the first book in a four book series by Scott Westerfeld. It takes us into the future where society as we know it has disentegrated and our society as we live today is referred to as The Rusties.

Within this new world there are several divides. Ugly town, Pretty Town and the authoritative City which also encompasses Special Circumstances, a secret service of the new world.

The premise of the book is that when everyone turns sixteen they are given an operation which transforms them into a Pretty, someone who is of perfect dimension, based on their biology, so everyone is different, yet the same as they are given the exact proportions of what is determined to be pretty by the order of the City surgeons.

We meet Tally gate crashing a Pretty party to visit her newly Pretty childhood friend Peris. He has settled into life in (more…)

Gary Vaynerchuk is about to get HUGE. Right now he is just big but he is about to go through the iSphere. But first the Cliffnotes on Crush It.

Gary migrated to the US with his parents in 1978 and showed early promise as an entrepreneur with franchised lemonade stands and then a thriving baseball trading enterprise. He entered his father’s business first part time while at college and then full-time on completion.

He was introduced to the internet in 1995 and could see the potential, but as he states so well in the interview with Scobelizer below, it wasn’t until video started to become popular that he finally found a medium which he could use to communicate his message.

Vaynerchuk is a visionary with his finger on the pulse of trends, all sorts of them from teenage tattoos to the lack of understanding of wines. On the basis of practice what you know, he spruked about wines, but it wasn’t in the normal high brow offensive manner that had been done before. He spoke to everyone as if they were a customer in his shop,


Tribes Seth Godin Cliff Notes

On May 17, 2009, in Best Sellers, Business, Read, by Admin

For a little book, this is packed full of gold nuggets and at times it feels like Seth Godin is just downloading his brain, which is actually priceless.

Tribes looks at the development of groups, especially niche groups which forms tribes – with or without you – and the value that is apparent in taking a leadership role of these groups.

Godin contends that people are desperate to believe in the elusive ‘something’ whether it’s animal welfare, software, tattoos, or orchids. But with this desperation, the despair is the collective sigh of all going nowhere believing in the one thing. This is where leadership enters the Tribes equation.

Godin looks at what makes a leader as opposed to a follower, what core values are needed and why so many don’t take up the challenge and why, it is essential that someone step up to the plate. He challenges our core fears of failure, apathy, discontent, the status quo and why all these fears need to be challenged and conquered – immediately.

Some of the core ideas include Leadership is Not Management, and with this, managers are not necessarily leaders. He cites examples of a single memo that changed the course of a company, written by an employee who rose to lead the (more…)