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Blood of Elves – Andrzej Sapkowski
Fiction / 17th March 2022

Introduction Blood of Elves is a fantasy novel. I know this book from The Witcher, both the game and Netflix series. This is the first book in the Witcher Saga. Author Andrzej Sapkowski is a Polish author.  He is the recipient of the David Gemmell Award and the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award. Contents Blood of Elves has only 7 chapters. Review Though Blood of Elves is the first book in this series, the readers might not get part of the story if you have not read or watch or play The Witcher before. Nonetheless, as I have watched the Netflix series, so I could follow the story. Even as a standalone story, I think it is understandable but it will leave the readers with some questions. As I have high expectation for this book, I am slightly disappointed. Besides that, there are some words that I could not find the meaning such as lefrex. I hope that the next book would be better but I would not read The Time of Contempt anytime soon. Quote – Rating Interested in Blood of Elves? You may get the book from through the link below*. Print from Kinokuniya Malaysia *Disclosure: The above link is an…

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids – Kim John Payne, Lisa M. Ross
Non-fiction / 23rd September 2021

Introduction Simplicity Parenting is about simplification in the parenting process. This book aims to help the readers strip away many unnecessary, distracting, and overwhelming elements that are scattering our children’s attention and burdening their spirits. I am interested to see how I could create a simple environment for my kid. Authors Kim John Payne has been a school counsellor, adult educator, consultant, researcher, educator and a private family counsellor for 27 years. He has also consulted for educational associations in South Africa, Hungary, Israel, Russia, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Thailand and China. He has been helping children, adolescents and families explore issues such as social difficulties with siblings and classmates, attention and behavioral issues at home and school, emotional issues such as defiance, aggression, addiction and self-esteem and the vital role living a balanced and simple life brings.  Lisa M. Ross has been an editor, literary agent and ghostwriter. She currently works exclusively as a writer. Contents Simplicity Parenting consists of an introduction, 6 chapters, and an epilogue (Simplicity Parenting to Go). The chapters are 1) Why Simplify?, 2) Soul Fever, 3) Environment, 4) Rhythm, 5) Schedules, and 6) Filtering Out the Adult World. Review Simplicity Parenting…

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World – Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott
Non-fiction / 13th July 2021

Introduction Blockchain Revolution is a book about the power and potential of blockchain technology. The authors aim to interest the readers in this technology, understand this next wave of innovation, and take action to ensure its potential for prosperity and a better world is realized. I have been wanting to read about blockchain and this is my first blockchain book. I hope that it will help me to understand this technology better. Author Don Tapscott is a Canadian business executive, author, consultant and speaker, specializing in the the impact of technology on business and society. He is currently Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute, an Adjunct Professor at INSEAD, recently a two-term Chancellor of Trent University in Ontario and Member of The Order of Canada. Alex Tapscott is a Canadian business author and advisor. His main field is blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. He is the Co-Founder of the Blockchain Research Institute. Don Tapscott is his father. Contents Blockchain Revolution has 11 chapters which are grouped into 3 parts. Part I is Say You Want a Revolution. It has 2 chapters. The chapters are The Trust Protocol, and Bootstrapping the Future: Seven Design Principles of the Blockchain Economy….

The Investment Answer: Learn to Manage Your Money & Protect Your Financial Future – Daniel C. Goldie, Gordon S. Murray
Non-fiction / 2nd April 2021

Introduction The Investment Answer is a recommended book on a blog. It aims to educate the readers about personal investing so that we can protect ourselves and make smart financial decisions. I would like to know what the answer is. Author Daniel C. Goldie is the president of Dan Goldie Financial Services LLC. He is a member of CFA Institute and a Chartered Financial Analyst. He was a professional tennis player before dabbling in investment field. Gordon S. Murray had worked in institutional trading and sales at Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse First Boston and Lehman Brothers. He worked as a consultant with Dimensional Fund Advisors after retiring from Wall Street. Contents The Investment Answer has a prologue, an introduction, 8 chapters which are divided into 2 parts, and A Personal Note from the Authors. Part 1 is The Decisions which contains 5 chapters. These chapters are The Do-It-Yourself Decision, The Asset Allocation Decision, The Diversification Decision, The Active versus Passive Decision, and The Rebalancing Decision. Part 2 is Conclusions. The 3 chapters here are Compared to What?, What about Alternatives, and Everyone Can Succeed. Review The main premise of The Investment Answer is 5 informed decisions. These decisions are do-it-yourself,…

Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What We Can Do About It – Erin L. Kelly, Phyllis Moen
Non-fiction / 19th October 2020

Introduction Overload is a book about workplace reform. The authors hope to initiate a reflection on the current work practice and start a discussion on better ways of working in all kinds of jobs and in all industries through this book. I am interested to learn more about how to make jobs better. Author Erin L. Kelly is a Sloan Distinguished Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management and CoDirector in the Institute for Work and Employment Research. She is also Faculty Director of the the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative. She is an organizational sociologist who has studied the adoption, implementation, and consequences of anti-discrimination and “family-friendly” policies in US workplaces. Her early research contributed to the understanding of which diversity policies and programs seem to change organizations and which are primarily “window dressing”. Phyllis Moen holds the McKnight Presidential Chair in Sociology at the University of Minnesota. She studies occupational careers, gender, families, and well-being over the life course, including the frequently obsolete social, cultural, and policy ecologies in which lives play out.  Contents Overload has 8 chapters which are divided into 3 parts. Part I is The Problem. It contains the first…

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need – Andrew Tobias
Non-fiction / 1st May 2020

Introduction The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need is a book recommended by some reading blogs that I stumbled upon. I found the title to be interesting – is this seriously the sole guide that I ever need? So, I decide to find out if the claim is true. Author Andrew Tobias is an American writer with 12 books published in the fields of investment, politics, insurance and others. He was a contributing editor to several magazines such as New York Magazine and Esquire. He sold Managing Your Money software in the early days of personal computers. Prizes awarded to him include Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, Harvard Magazine’s Smith-Weld Prize, GLSEN’s first Valedictorian Award, and the Consumer Federation of America Media Service Award. He was the Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee from 1999 to 2017. Content The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need has a preface, an introduction (The Big Picture), 11 chapters organized into 3 parts, and 9 appendixes. Part 1 is Minimal Risk. There are 6 chapters here. These chapters are 1) If I’m So Smart, How Come This Book Won’t Make You Rich?, 2) A Penny Saved Is Two Pennies Earned,…

The Kaizen Event Planner: Achieving Rapid Improvement in Office, Service, and Technical Environments – Karen Martin, Mike Osterling
Non-fiction / 24th April 2020

Introduction The Kaizen Event Planner is a book about continuous improvement in the work environment using Kaizen and Lean principles. This book provides a practical guide for planning and executing Kaizen Events in non-manufacturing settings and conducting follow-up to sustain the changes. I have some fundamental knowledge about Kaizen and Lean, but I would like to improve my knowledge on the process. Authors Karen Martin is a consultant specialising in applying Lean principles and tools in office, service, and technical environments. The author is the president of TKMG. She started her career as a scientist and became the Director of Quality Improvement for a large healthcare organisation. Later, she also served as the Director of the Institute for Quality and Productivity at San Diego State University. She is also an instructor for the University of California, San Diego’s Lean Enterprise program and an Industry Advisor for the University of San Diego’s Industrial and Systems Engineering program. She has also authored a few books on the these principles. Mike Osterling is the president of Osterling Consulting. He specialises in deploying Lean Management systems in manufacturing and non-manufacturing environments. He was a Lean Manufacturing Manager in Square D Company before consulting. The…

The War of Art: Break Through the Block and Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven Pressfield
Non-fiction / 4th April 2020

Introduction The War of Art is supposedly a book about creativity. Its target audience is artists or people in the creative field of work. I found this book when I was searching for a book to improve my creativity. Author Steven Pressfield is an accomplished author. He writes historical fiction, non-fiction, and screenplays. The author has gone through hardship before he found his writing success. Content The War of Art is divided into 3 books and has an introduction. There is also a foreword by Robert McKee, an author, lecturer, and story consultant who is known for his “Story Seminar”. Book One is Resistance: Defining the Enemy. It introduces Resistance and its manifestations, the so-called signs and symptoms. Book Two is Combating Resistance: Turning Pro. This book contains ways to overcome Resistance. Book Three is Beyond Resistance: The Higher Realm. It talks about author’s interpretation of origin of inspiration Review The War of Art is a book about Resistance. The author defines Resistance as the most toxic force on the planet and it is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile dysfunction. The author uses his own life experience to prove the points in this book. As…

Mastering Money: How to Beat Debt, Build Wealth, and Be Prepared for any Financial Crisis – Norm Champ
Non-fiction / 7th February 2020

Introduction Mastering Money is a book about personal finance. I am attracted by the subtitle, especially on how to be prepared for any financial crisis. This book is intended for US citizens, but some lessons can be applied in Malaysia too. The writer wants to help the readers to learn to get their finances in order and to invest in the future. Author Norm Champ is a lawyer by profession. He is currently a senior partner in the Investment Funds Group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and a lecturer on investment management law at Harvard Law School. He was the former director of the Division of Investment Management at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The author worked for Chilton Investment Company and Davis Polk & Wardwell before joining the public sector. He also has written another book, Going Public. Content Mastering Money has a total of 10 chapters. Chapter 1 serves as the introduction of the book. The remaining 9 chapters are divided into 3 parts. Every part begins with a short introduction before the main contents. The first part is Take Hold of the Spending Governor and it consists of 4 chapters. This part is talking about…

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk – Peter L. Bernstein
Non-fiction / 8th January 2020

Introduction Against the Gods is a book about risk. It chronicles the development of the risk management system. The author tells the story of a group of thinkers whose vision revealed how to put the future at the service of the present. Author Peter L. Bernstein was an American financial historian, economist and educator. He had experience of running wealth management firm and was the first editor of The Journal of Portfolio Management. He had received 3 major awards from CFA Institute. He passed away in 2009. Content Against the Gods has an introduction and 19 chapters. The chapters are divided into 5 sections. The first section is To 1200: Beginnings and has 2 chapters. The second section is 1200 – 1700: A Thousand Outstanding Facts and contains 3 chapters. The next section is 1700 – 1900 and consists of 6 chapters. The fourth section is 1900 – 1960: Clouds of Vagueness and the Demand for Precision and is made up of 4 chapters. The final section is Degrees of Belief: Exploring Uncertainty and has 4 chapters. Review This book is like a history of statistics, at least to me. The author starts with early gamblers in ancient Greece till…