Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts

Monday, July 16, 2018

Book Review: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

While I was shopping for a new Chromebook, Amazon recommended some books for me. One of those books was Neil deGrasse Tyson's "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" (if you're interested, please use this affiliate link or the one at the end to purchase your copy - I'll get a bit of commission at no extra cost to you). My wife got me this book as a gift in 2017 as a matter of fact. I have to say, it was a fun read!


I've read a lot of pop-physics books over the years. I had already been exposed to most of what is in this book. Still, it was a fun read! Neil just has an entertaining personality and it shines through in the book as much as it does over audio or on TV.

Contents

Just to give you an idea of what's in this book, some of my favorite topics are:

  • Dark Matter
  • Dark Energy
  • Invisible Light


Neil starts the book at the beginning. THAT beginning. The Big-Bang. He also has a chapter called "On Being Round."

On Being Round


Well, it's not about being overweight so much as it is about being massive. As Neil says, any mass in space will experience surface tensions which force it into a round shape. Spinning objects will have a more-or-less flattened round shape. Pepper that with anecdotes about spherical cereal boxes and a whole wealth of other information and you have a pretty good idea about one of my favorite chapters in the book!

Final Thoughts

I don't want to spoil anything else for you, but let's just say there are some pretty spooky things in this book! One of the latter chapters speaks of things that will leave you awestruck! And this is why we love Neil deGrasse Tyson, isn't it! He can give us the heebie-jeebies and leave us awestruck at the same time!

If you're into this kind of thing and you want a fun, easy read by one of the best minds in the physics world, read Astrophysics for People in a Hurry! That affiliate link will take you right to the order page on Amazon so you can order it now.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Book Review: To Sell is Human, by Daniel Pink

I've never posted a book review on this blog, so here goes!

I've been inspired in the past by Daniel Pink when I read his bestselling book Drive, I subscribe to his newsletter, I've written him a couple emails (to which he responded). You might call me a fan. Maybe I am. I did, after all, read another of his books - To Sell Is Human.

Here are some things you might like about it (I know I did)...

What's It About?


In this book, Daniel Pink points out that we all sell. He makes a distinction between sales and non-sales selling. Sales selling is the traditional kind that makes you think of a used-car salesman from the 70's. Non-sales selling is the kind we all do - all the time!

Daniel takes you on a sales call with Norman Hall, the last remaining Fuller Brush Man. Norman is a "door-to-door" salesman. He is resilient, friendly, and has specific characteristics that make him a perfect seller. We should emulate Norman!

We go on other journeys to find out more about non-sales selling. Daniel takes us along to a training session with VPs, CEOs, and other business folks who are sharpening their selling saws. This book is packed with practical advice and results of studies to substantiate his claims.

So, Why Does Traditional Sales Suck?

The book shows us how we generally think of traditional selling in a negative light. Then it opens our eyes as to why. Spoiler Alert! The sales we think of - used car sales from years ago - is an unbalanced transaction. The sellers have all the power. That power was so often abused that the decent folk got pushed out. Why did they have all the power and what changed?

I'd recommend that you read the book and find out for yourself. But, since there are so many goodies in To Sell Is Human, I don't feel sorry about giving away this bit. The equation changes when buyers are informed. For example, we can find out everything we need to know and more about a used car before we buy. And we're not as limited in our options. We have the internet. The "information superhighway" for those of you old enough to remember the TV commercials.

Traditional sales used to suck, but it doesn't anymore. It's been transformed into more of a partnership. The role is more about discovering problems and applying solutions than it is about tricking uninformed consumers. Sure, those types of salespeople are still around feeding off the bottom. But your real sales jobs are much more elevated. Think about this...who is running the company you work for? Do they know how to sell?

How Do I Sell?

And then there's non-sales selling. You already do this. Whether you sell the dentist to your kids, a vacation to your spouse, or a new procedure to your boss you're selling! Daniel gives us plenty of practical advice we can all use in everyday life to make the sell.

He presents the new ABCs of selling (Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity) in an entertaining and digestible way. There's a lot to learn for those of you who have a hard time selling your ideas. There's some for those of you who think you have it all figured out too!

Besides those ABCs of how to be, he shows you what to do. Pitch, Improvise and Serve.

But, I'm an Introvert! I can't Sell...

This may come as a shocker, but extroverts aren't much better at selling than introverts! It turns out that ambiverts, those who are in the middle of the spectrum between intro- and extro-, are the best sellers. And chances are, you're more in the middle than you care to admit!

"vertedness" isn't binary any more than "brainedness" is right or left. Both are a spectrum, and most people are somewhere in the middle. Find your middle ground and become better at selling! Too much extro- leads to pushiness and not listening. Too much intro- leaves you under-assertive and too quick to walk away. Balance is better, despite what folklore says.

What Can I Take With Me?

This book is a perspective changer. It has shocking revelations! It has practical advice! It's fun to read! To use one of the techniques in the book: To Sell Is Human is a great read, you'll be pleased indeed!