Tag: Appendix

Laszlo Bock – Work Rules! | Review

Title: Work Rules!

Author: Laszlo Bock

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 406

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Laszlo Bock - Work Rules

Laszlo Bock – Work Rules

 

This book was interesting, but it also dragged a bit and got a little tedious towards the end. In fact, the only reason that I picked it up is because I had to write a review of it for a client, although with that considered it was actually pretty good. Bock used to work for Google and spearheaded many of their innovative HR campaigns, and in this book he shares his secrets on how they approached people management.

It’s interesting because they ran all sorts of different tests to see what worked and what didn’t. Many of their findings were counterintuitive, which Bock explains by comparing it to aircraft design during the war. The designers noticed that certain parts of the plane such as the wings and the tail were more likely to be damaged on the aircraft that were returning from combat, and so they focussed their attention on reinforcing the cockpit. Why? Because the planes that were damaged in the cockpit weren’t returning at all.

Because of all of this, it’s a pretty interesting read. It’s a masterclass in thinking outside the box and has a bunch of great ideas on how to keep people happy and engaged in the workplace. I just think it would have been more enjoyable if it had been 100 pages shorter, and I don’t think that Bock’s writing style did it any favours. It’s not that he’s a bad writer, it’s just that writing isn’t his main thing. He does a good job of conveying information here, but I’m not necessarily convinced that it flowed well or that it built up and conveyed a sense of emotion.

Still, if you want to learn how Google does things then there aren’t any better books than this one to help you to understand the way their minds work. Bock also sources pretty much everything he says and so there’s also a comprehensive appendix at the end if you want to read any further on any of the topics that are covered. I just wouldn’t recommend picking this up as your main read because it might put you in a bit of a slump. I read it a chapter at a time in bed and it worked out just perfectly.You can make of this review what you will. Read it or don’t bother!

 

Laszlo Bock

Laszlo Bock

 

Click here to buy Work Rules!.

 


Homer – The Odyssey | Review

Title: The Odyssey

Author: Homer

Type: Fiction/Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 354

Rating: 4*/5

 

Homer - The Odyssey

Homer – The Odyssey

 

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this book for free for review purposes.

Well, I finally did it. It took me three or four months reading a few pages each evening before I fell asleep, but I managed it. And it was actually a super enjoyable read.

The edition that I read was a translation in verse by Anthony Verity that was published by Oxford University Press, and it’s a beautiful edition. I accepted it for review a good few years ago, but I’ve only just actually finished it.

What I liked most about reading this was the fact that  I started to understand the different myths and legends that make up the Odyssey and I could see the way that they’ve influenced popular society and been retold in other media. Of course, I struggled to actually understand what was going on half the time, but that’s okay because the language alone was beautiful and there was a useful appendix that basically gave you an outline of the story that you could refer to.

 

Homer

Homer

 

It’s hard to rate something like the Odyssey because it’s a classic for a reason, but I can honestly give it a four out of five for sheer enjoyment alone. Sure, it was slow going and there were times where I thought I wasn’t going to finish it, but I still enjoyed the experience and I’m glad that I took the time to read it. I’m also glad that I happened to read this edition of it, because the book itself was so aesthetically pleasing that it didn’t  bother me too much to spend prolonged periods of time in front of it.

It’s funny because in a way, reading the Odyssey reminded me of reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. That’s because something was always happening at every point, and while it rarely feels as though you’re actually making any progress, the reader walks with Odysseus as he inches slowly closer and closer to his destination.

 

Odysseus

Odysseus

 

Click here to buy The Odyssey.