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 Contributor Review: Business & Finance
Basic Instincts: Pete Lunn, Author.

Basic Instincts: Human Nature and the New Economics by author Pete Lunn

This book is an interesting and thought provoking commentary on the current state of the science of economics and the workings of capitalism. According to traditional, conventional theory peoples basic instincts are to be selfish, independent and rational in their financial dealings and firms’ primary reason for being is to maximise profit. Lunn labels this type of person as ‘Marketopian’ in his illustration. Read the full review..

 Recommended Titles:

Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion, and Propaganda in the Global Media by Nick Davies (hardcover)

Author and journalist Nick Davies has written one of the best exposés of the media. The book started when he saw that the government's lies about Iraqi WMD became widely accepted as true because too many in his profession spread them uncritically. As he writes, journalism without checking is like a body without an immune system. Commercial forces are the main obstacle to truth-telling journalism. The owners cut costs by cutting staff and local news suppliers, by running cheap stories, choosing safe facts and ideas, avoiding upsetting the powerful, giving both sides of the story (unless it's the official story), giving the readers what they want to believe, and going with moral panics..

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World

Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve for almost two decades was at 'the commanding heights' of policy making in the world's most powerful economy. During his tenure the American Economy enjoyed remarkably good health which contributed to the almost iconic status of the author.

Interestingly for a banker, the book is excellent in that it is both intelligently written and pleasantly read. On occasions it is lively and candid. In this regard the author criticises President Bush for not exercising restraint in public spending while asserting that the Iraq war was largely about oil.

The first half of the book comprise reminiscences of the author while in the balance he reflects on the main economic issues which will confront governments in the decades to come.

Accounting and Finance for Non-Specialists

Now in its fifth edition, this successful text introduces the basic principles and underlying concepts of accounting and finance. It adopts a practical, non-technical approach, making it the ideal text for students from non-accounting disciplines. The text is written from a 'user' perspective, demonstrating ways in which accounting statements and financial information can be used to improve the quality of decision making.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity

This is a life-changing book. I was drowning in paper, felt constantly anxious about things I wasn't getting done, was missing deadlines, finding it hard to keep on top of my various commitments and projects. I thought I was just a disorganized person; this book has changed everything for me. I now have a clear idea of my commitments, an easy-access and reliable filing system, a simple way of capturing all my necessary actions, an empty inbox, and freer weekends.

Liar's Poker (Hodder Great Reads)

One would expect a money-tale to be somewhat boring, loaded with technical details and simply not entertaining. Michael Lewis has managed to provide an insight view of events which shaped the financial world until today, drawing a vivid picture of important figures on Wall Street (e.g. John Meriwhether, who later founded LTCM with Scholes et al). That alone would be worth a read and I agree with what the book cover says: 'should be made a legally required component of every MBA course'.

However, what makes this a must-read is the fact that the entertainment value is tremendous without drifting into polemic territory or distorting the facts. Yes, it is a subjective write-up, but no, it is not to defend the authors' involvement in the events, rather the contrary...

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

Management Today, August 2007
One of the best business books I have read in years. If you are running a business, you would be cavalier not to take on board its messages.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence
The best picture so far of the new world of enterprise, collaboration, innovation and value creation. This is a breathtaking piece of work.

Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions

It's easy to read, so fairly quick to work through, and prepares you in an ingenious way. Yate takes you on a path that helps you realise that you DO have relevant skills and experiences which, when presented in the right way, will wow your interviewers! You will feel much more confident, because the answers are all about you - not things you've been told to say, which will make your answers appear stilted. That said, he does split up potential questions and help you with a way to get started with an answer, and also outlines the pitfalls - what not to say. He also discusses what an interviewer is really getting at when they ask a particular question, and which questions may be a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing.

Brilliant Project Management: What the Best Project Managers Know, Say and Do

Ive been a project manager for a good few years and accumulated plenty of books on project management - many of which I confess are gathering dust on my bookshelves. There's a lot of stuff out there and some of it is fairly useful but I've never been tempted to recommend anything before. This book is differnt from most of the books I have bought. It's mainly about giving practical advice - and has lots of useful check - lists. It's also been written with a bit of humour, which makes it easy to digest. I also liked the idea of having some chapters on the people side of the job - eg facilitation and running meetings. I think there's plenty here that I can put to good use...


I viewed economics as a boring subject until i picked up and read sloman. The great thing about this book is that you can just pick it up and read. It is well written in a concise and informative way that is not to technical yet contains all the information. This is backed up at the end of every section by a bullet point summary that covers the entire section.

If that is not enough the book is littered with case samples and explanations of terms, all importantly this book is utilising online accompanyment to the best of its ability. A website that has answers to questions in the book and the possiblity for a lecturer or teacher to set up and online course guide for their school or university...

Start Your Business: Week by Week

The statistics are dire - something like 900% of businesses fail in the first 90 seconds...Ok, so maybe not quite that bad,but you are more likely to find a lesser spotted bandicoot in your back garden than a thriving business after five or ten years trading (pretty sure I just made that animal up - don't go looking for one).
I sort of run a business on the side of my "real job" and have often thought about making it more of my daily routine. I spotted this book in a <competitors> book shop and, over a delightful cappuchino, devoured this book in one reading.

Having read a few books on the subject of entrepreneurship (not one on spelling, obviously), I was delighted as to how practical, focused and thought provoking this offering is...

The Long Tail: How Endless Choice Is Creating Unlimited Demand

What happens when there is almost unlimited choice? When everything becomes available to everyone? And when the combined value of the millions of items that only sell in small quantities equals or even exceeds the value of a handful of best-sellers? In this ground-breaking book, Chris Anderson shows that the future of business does not lie in hits - the high-volume end of a traditional demand curve - but in what used to be regarded as misses - the endlessly long tail of that same curve. As our world is transformed by the Internet and the near infinite choice it offers consumers, so traditional business models are being overturned and new truths revealed about what consumers want and how they want to get it. Chris Anderson first explored the Long Tail in an article in "Wired" magazine that has become one of the most influential business essays of our time.

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