Tag Archives: book review

How To Get On The News Without Committing Murder – Book Review

My friend Beverly Mahone will not be showing up on any of my Black Web Friday posts. She doesn’t have to because I’ve written so many times about her and mentioned her so many times, including this interview with her that she’s like one of the family. If you don’t already know enough about her by reading this blog, then including her on one of the Friday posts won’t do any good.

How to Get on the News Without Committing Murder

How’s this instead then? Let’s talk about her latest book with the long title How to Get on the News Without Committing Murder, which I got to read an early copy of and which is, obviously, now released. This is a book that teaches you how to use your skills and age, if you happen to be of baby boomer age, in getting attention from the press, to the point at which they start calling you as the expert in whatever field you’re representing, and thus helping to increase your presence and your business. How cool would that be, having people calling you up to work with them because they saw you on TV, and it was free publicity to boot?

Bev does this and more in a relatively short book, less than 55 pages, and it’s a very easy and quick read, no fluff. My wife actually read the book, and she’s not a big reader, and she obviously likes Bev’s style because she read Bev’s last book Don’t Ask, which I wrote about here.

In this book she gives you 8 tips for how to get the media to notice you, then goes into detail with each tip. I’m not about to give up the entire book, but I’m going to mention 3 tips and hope that encourages you to at least take a look at what else there is. Here they are:

* Use Your Age And Experience As Advantages

* Build Media Relationships

* Learn How To Write A Dynamic Press Release

I have to tell you that while reading an advanced copy of this book, I decided that the second point I listed was one I needed to take advantage of. I happen to know a lot of local media people, but always thought it wouldn’t be right to try to leverage it into anything else because I didn’t meet them in other than social situations. After reading that section of her book I decided to contact a couple of them to tell them what I did and offer to be a differing point of view from an older perspective if they ever needed it.

Both of the people I contacted thanked me, said they’re always looking for new perspectives and said they really didn’t know that’s what I did, even though one of them had seen me at a live event where I gave a presentation, but unfortunately we were up against each other (I drew more people lol).

This is a great book to read and let me add this; guess who wrote the foreword for the book! 🙂 If that doesn’t get you juiced up enough to at least take a look at the book I don’t know what will. And if you want to see more testimonials and reviews about the book How to Get on the News Without Committing Murder, click on that link to her site.

Go buy this! 😉
 

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Always Like The First Time – A Book Review

I don’t do a lot of book reviews on this site, though I’ve done a couple. I’m going to start sharing more of them because I’ve read a lot of books, and I know some of them will help folks that come to this blog. Some are just enjoyable as well. This book I’m highlighting today is a bit of both.

Always Like The First Time

A disclaimer up front. The author of this book, Kathryn Pape, is one of my web clients. I also helped edit this book before she sent it to the publishers. I mentioned her in February when I wrote a post about some new blogs I wanted to share that I’d helped to create. Still, this is an unbiased opinion of the book; that’s just how I roll.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what I was going to be reading when I started out. Kathryn talks mainly about color therapy, something I’ve learned more about since I manage her site and actually created the page, but something I didn’t really know as much about when I started helping with the book; it’s not a brand new book by the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book as I was going through it, even though it was also sad. Kathryn tells the story about going through both the treatments and eventual passing of her 3-year old son from cancer, and how she came up with her beliefs in color and how they could make people feel better both mentally and physically.

She talks about how we all have the choice of feeling better and being positive or negative in our lives based on how we view the word “like” and when we decide to “like”; no, this has nothing to do with Facebook. lol In general, she talks about these 5 principles, in order in the book as:

No one tapes/thinks in your mind but you;

Your thoughts drive and direct your energy;

You feel your thoughts;

Positive thoughts create patience and time;

Influence is an opportunity; you are your cause

This isn’t a long book to read, and after she sent the book to the publishers I got a regular copy of it as well. I think a few people could benefit from this book as it’s a feel good book handling a tough issue. You can visit her site, see what she’s about, and buy it from her products page.
 

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4-Hour Work Week – Lifestyle Review

I know what you’re thinking; two things in fact. One, didn’t you just see this picture a couple of days ago? Yes, you did. And two, if this is a post talking about a book then why not call it a book review instead of a life review? Hey, it’s me, so I have to do something a little bit different. After all, my buddy Marelisa just wrote on it as well, giving it a much different take than just a book review as well.

4-Hour Work Week review

You know, one of the things about speed reading is that, when you’re doing it kind of for pleasure, you tend to stick with stuff that you’re specifically looking for and thus you’re normally happy with what you’re reading. If one is speed reading something they don’t like it won’t stick, and thus it becomes harder to speed read.

I actually read half of 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss at Barnes & Noble many months ago and was really enthusiastic in what I’d read. The concept of finding ways to reduce one’s workload and stress load were very appealing to me. And I understood some of the concepts that could get me there. It was enough to get me to buy the book and read it more thoroughly.

Part of me is now wishing I hadn’t done that. The early concepts I got from the book are still valid, and yet I found myself not enjoying some other parts of the book as much, to the extent that at a certain point I started speed reading some of it again because I just wanted to get past extraneous stuff that I knew I didn’t care about.

First, let’s talk about what I liked in the book. I liked his concept of finding ways to free one’s time so they can do more of what they want to do, which in Ferriss’ case is travel. He set up many ways to get this done, from outsourcing some of the things he didn’t want to do to giving people working for him more power to make decisions for himself. What a life for someone with many interests.

I liked his talk about moving towards minimalism in many ways, including how he travels with luggage at less than 10 pounds; man, that would be sweet. I also enjoyed some of the “case studies” which he was able to include in this particular book because it’s updated and expanded with stories that weren’t available at the first printing, since obviously people hadn’t read his book yet.

I also liked him talking about not being available to everyone 24/7 and having some down time when you really need it. In relating some of this to my life, I rarely give out my cell number because I don’t want everyone being able to always reach me. If my phone rings in the car, I know it’s one of only 5 or 6 people. If I’m out of town, I might give it to a client I’m working with at the time, but I also know that once the assignment is over that’s one less person who’ll ever use that number again.

Now let’s talk about what I didn’t like about the book. I didn’t like that it concentrated so much on travel. Probably 20% of the book covers that topic, and that’s not the book I wanted to read. I thought that some of what I read was irresponsible. For instance, at one point he talks about how one of his plants ended up being closed while he was gone, yet he had fun doing this or that by being unable to be contacted. In other words, his fun was more important than all the jobs that were lost because he decided not to concentrate on an aspect of his business; that’s shameful and affected the lives of a lot of other people.


Tim Ferriss

I wasn’t crazy about the way he and some of his case study people outsourced certain things such that someone else took care of aspects of their personal lives and pulled them away from personal contact. For instance, he tells the story of giving an assignment to college students to reach 3 celebrities and get them to answer 3 questions within 24 hours. However, as a celebrity himself, he’d have never been available to be reached for any student that decided to reach out to him.

Being in business and telling people to only check their email once a week for about an hour or their phones for the same amount of time kind of irks me. True, both can kill time, but if you’re in business you might just have to suck up some of that. Then again, he does have other people handling most of this stuff for him; how many of us could do that sort of thing as readily?

There’s also the advocating outsourcing everything at the cheapest price possible, which leads to him and others sending a lot of their business out of the country and really being kind of smug about it. Yeah, I’ll admit that one of the things that irks me a little bit is not using workers in one’s own country if the only difference in quality is price. That might be a minor sticking point, but it’s one I have so I thought I’d mention it.

To be fair on that last point though, the concept of finding things one can outsource to someone else isn’t a bad one, even if it costs you a little bit of money. Something I absolutely hate is making cold calls of any form; I find reasons not to do it, preferring email or only wanting to talk to people from whom I know there’s already some kind of interest in what I have to talk to them about. Right now I’m contemplating hiring someone to handle a few hours of phone calls for me in one of my industries so I can work on something else. I already have an accountant that handles my bookkeeping and such, and I have a guy who cuts my grass, and let me just get one big contract and I’ll be outsourcing some other things that I not only don’t have time to do, but don’t want to do.

Where do I come down in the end? I think it’s a book many people still need to read because it does get one thinking about ways to make their lives simpler, even to possibly learn how to work it out with your employer so you can not only work from home, but potentially work while being mobile with the feeling that you’re actually sitting at home. True, I have some things I didn’t like, but overall this is a book that, if you’re looking to change your life in some fashion, you need to break down and read.
 

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Don’t Ask – Book Review

I figured that since I’m pimping stuff today I might as well finally get around to talking about our friend Beverly Mahone’s new book Don’t Ask, And I Won’t Have To Lie. It comes with another subtitle as well, ’50 is the new 30 and other tall tales’.

Don't Ask book

At just under 80 pages the book is a very easy and entertaining read. Bev talks about her own “lie” and how it almost cost her life because she wasn’t telling her physician the whole story on how she felt and if she’d been taking care of herself. That started her exploring this concept of lying and the intricacies about it.

The strangest things she talks about are the lies we tend to tell ourselves when we should know better. Things like ‘I don’t smoke much’ or ‘I know I exercise a lot’ when we don’t necessarily do those things. I like to say how good I am often enough when it comes to eating patterns, yet when I was taking time to write down everything I put in my mouth I realized that I do have a tendency here and there to snack a bit here and there, which adds up over the course of a day.

The last quarter of the book consists of a liar’s daily survey you might think to do on yourself, which of course I didn’t do because I don’t want to know. lol It also consists of responses to a survey she conducted that yield some interesting responses here and there, answering questions such as “Your girlfriend’s husband makes some inappropriate comments to you while drinking at a party you’re all attending.” What do you do? Nope, I’m not revealing the answers; it’s on you to buy the book and read it.

Oh yeah, two things for clarification. One, the book is slanted more towards women than men, but there’s enough for men to go around. And two, yours truly is quoted in the book on page 43, where I said: “I have no problem with lies of omission, as I don’t believe everyone needs to know everything.” Ah fame; you’re right on the cusp of my grasp! 😉

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CSS In 24 Hours

Although some of my friends might not believe it, I’m not an uber computer geek by any means. I learn what I need to learn, then go about my business until it’s time to learn something else.

Back in 2003, when I needed to learn HTML pretty quickly, I used a program called PageTutor. The fact that I learned HTML in just about 3 hours is proof enough for me to recommend it to people even now if you need to learn it. However, when it came time to learn CSS (cascading stylesheets), I found PageTutor couldn’t quite get me there.

So, I went to my favorite bookstore, Barnes and Noble, and went through all the books there on CSS. And the one I came home with was a champ. It’s called CSS In 24 Hours, and this was just the book I needed to help me get over the hump.

Not only was it quick and easy to use, but he gives you the different codes to use with each step, and you can go online and download templates and other information to help you see what’s going on. The chapters are broken into “hours”, hence the title, but you know I went through it faster than 24 hours. The best thing about a book is that you can go back and look at things over and over if you need to, and with this book, finding everything is simple and easy. Of course, I will make a confession, that being that I never make any websites based on CSS alone. One day I will, but so far, since I’ve noticed how websites with total CSS seem to not always have the same formatting from browser to browser, sometimes even within versions of the same browser, I’ve decided to stick with the

attribute to at least keep the basic format stable.

Anyway, I recommend CSS In 24 Hours for anyone who needs to learn CSS in a hurry, and without much hassle.

CSS In 24 Hours
by Kynn Bartlett