Enchantment

by Guy Kawasaki (Portfolio Penguin ) R240  ISBN: 978-0-241-95364-8

 

This is Kawasaki’s tenth book.

 

Enchantment is about the intangibles in business as opposed to the tried, tested, formulas about making money. Kawasaki realises that the consumer in a technological world knows more and compares more. Business is no longer about offering the best price or best customer service. It is about enchanting.

 

Enchantment converts hostility into civility. It changes sceptics and cynics into believers. The world of business is changing and so are books about improving your business.

 

Enchantment is necessary in today’s world. It is not only about making money but it is also about filling people with real delight. This is sustainable and memorable. According to Kawasaki, in order to be successful you have to ‘be a mensch – people must trust you’.

 

Kawaksaki also realises that people do not have time to swallow long sales pitches. His advice is to keep your message short, simple and swallow-able. Oh and it helps to be humble.

 

Real life stories, advice about using the social media to attract the right people and networking tips make this book a modern day business gem. Read it whether you are in business or simply want to enchant that cute teller at the bookstore.

 

Ulrike Hill

4/5

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Nelson Mandela By Himself

edited by Sello Hatang and Sahm Venter (Macmillan ) R160  ISBN: 978-1-770101418

 

The introduction to this book states that Mandela is ‘one of the most quoted – and misquoted - people in the world’. The editors see this as an irony as most of Mandela’s banned life meant that he was not allowed to be quoted at all. 

 

Somehow editors: Hatang and Venter, managed to put together an impressive collection from Mandela’s personal archive.

 

It is undeniable that Mandela is an inspiration and that his words will have an impact on readers. According to the editors, Mandela “chooses his words carefully and deliberately.”

 

The quotes in this compact, hardcover book is organised into alphabetical categories; kicking off with Accountability and ending with Zionism. It covers every aspect of life. Readers will find Mandela’s quotes about humanity, human rights as well as his imprisonment.

 

It is a useful book to have at hand if you are interested in Nelson Mandela. Be warned though, the font is small and uncomfortable to read. It would have also been useful to have a table of contents of the 300 categories to make browsing easier.

 

As a reference and inspiration, it is average.

 

Ulrike Hill

2.5/5

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This way up

by Paige Nick (Penguin) ISBN: 978-0-14-352755-8

 

Paige Nick is a regular columnist for the Lifestyle section of the Sunday Times. This Way Up is her second novel.

 

The story bumbles along. Conservative Stella dreams of becoming a feature writer. She wants to escape the Dr Dee column she has penned for two years, two months and nine hours, answering the letters of ‘deranged’ and ‘retarded’ people about their sexual problems.

 

Her life unravels when she tells a little white lie to her family. This lie snowballs, causing an avalanche in her life. Stella finds herself in unfamiliar territory when she has no home, her marriage is falling apart and her twin sister refuses to speak to her.

 

Stella’s story is in contrast to Poppy, who is travelling the world with her best friend, Buck. Poppy is young and adventurous and it is appears that Nick uses this story as a comparison between two different lives. This comparison is contrived and confusing.

 

The book is about family bonds and that despite bad things happening, it is just a phase and things will end up the way they should.

 

Nick tries to be humorous but fails to deliver.

 

This Way Up does not quite make it in the Bridget Jones’ Diary or Eat, Pray, Lovecalibre. It may appeal to people who are leading dead end lives.

 

Ulrike Hill

2/5 

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Harvest. Recipes from an Organic Farm

by Christine Stevens (Jacana) ISBN: 978-1-77009-594-6

 

Christine Stevens has a life many corporate workers will envy. She lives on a farm that provides her with a rustic lifestyle and organic vegetables. The pictures in this cookbook reflect the easy living and the healthy bodies of her three children.

 

I usually approach cookbooks as a sceptic. I don’t like cooking anything that takes more energy, time and concentration beyond boiling an egg. When a book has ‘organic’ in the title I start to sweat imagining having to find the obscure shop to buy the ingredients.

 

Although the recipes use organic vegetables and herbs from Steven’s farm, they are as easy to grow in the average backyard or in a container.

 

The recipes are easy to understand and the result is delicious. The pot roast chicken was a breeze to make. It required very little preparation. Worried about growing your own vegetables? Your local Woolworths supplies most of the organic ingredients. I do not think that I can motivate myself to grow the vegetables and keep a few chickens in the yard.

 

The person, who likes whipping up a dish with very little effort, will enjoy the recipes. I do not recommend this book for the Jamie Oliver type of chef. The recipes are too simplistic and lack imagination for the more adventurous cook.

 

Ulrike Hill

3/5

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Funny Business

by Gus Silber (Zebra) ISBN: 978-1-77022-089-8

 

What is funny about business? According to Ronnie Apteker, entrepreneur and stand-up comedian, a lot. Firstly you should not take yourself seriously and secondly, like a comedian you have to close a deal every 15 minutes.

 

Gus Silber, award winning journalist, pens this story about Ronnie Apteker who founded an internet company before the Internet became business jargon. Apteker made money selling his business and now he makes movies.

 

Apteker has made mistakes in his life and has not always made the right decisions. His recommendation? Look at life with humour, take his advice and move on.

 

Silber brings Ronnie Apteker to life in this book. It is a story but there are bits of advice in between the anecdotes and humour. It is not how to succeed in business but rather about doing what you are passionate about. It is not about making money. Apteker believes that money does not buy passion and will not motivate people too work late into the night.

 

The book is well written, Apteker is an interesting character but I did find the title of this book a little hard to swallow. Business is serious. But this book is a worthwhile read with a different spin on the business world.

 

Be warned: you will not become a millionaire after reading this book.

 

Ulrike Hill

4/5

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Book Review - Play Rugby

by Andy Colquhoun (Pearson Education) ISBN: 978-1-775781493

This is Bokkies Official Guide to rugby in South Africa. It is aimed at the young rugby player who is learning to take his first steps on the rugby field. The layout is colourful with interesting pictures, photos. The biographies of popular Springboks like John Smit, Bryan Habana and the all-time great Beast Mtawarira will enchant young rugby players.

The future Springbok can follow the easy-to-follow pictures explaining tackling techniques and getting how to get past the opponent. Moms will also learn a lot from this book. The easy to follow rules about the game is played and how points are scored are basic.

I liked the educational aspect of the book. Rugby is not just about brawn. Rugby players must have brains as well. For example, young rugby players can learn about acronyms. Rugby is full of acronyms like SARU and GLRU. There is a Bokkie maths quiz. This is important to work out how many tries, conversions and penalties fit into a score of say, 10.

The bonus DVD is fun to watch. I loved how the animated Bokkie discovers a Springbok jersey in the Karoo. He becomes a super Bok when he puts the jersey on and becomes super-fast and super-strong.

I can see that this book will become Dad’s favourite bedtime story… for his son of course!

Ulrike Hill
www.writerswrite.co.za 
5/5

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Book Review - Touch, Pause, Engage!

by Liz McGregor (Jonathan Ball ) ISBN: 978-1-868-423095

Liz McGregor is one of the few female writers to have written a book about South African rugby. McGregor does not disappoint.
She shows the heart of rugby: the passion, the triumphs and the disappointments in Touch, Pause, Engage!

McGregor has walked next to muddy school fields and sat next to racist spectators in the rugby stadiums. She has interviewed professional rugby stars whose faces grace the media. She has drunk cappuccino at Loftus with the coaches to gather her information.
McGregor chats to the families who are the invisible people supporting the professional player. The heart-breaking confession of a coach who learnt about his sacking in the media will have readers sympathising.

Touch, Pause, Engage! is about the people in the rugby arena caught between earning money and following their passions. Life in the spotlight is not all glamour. It is about the character behind the public profile.

Although Touch, Pause, Engage! has to fight for shelf space amidst the many books written by Springboks, it is a book that is different to the usual game analysis and I-hate-sports-administrators rugby books.

Three years of meticulous research has been shaped and moulded into a story that explores human values and brotherhood. This book will delight not only rugby fans but also all lovers of a good sports story.
 
Ulrike Hill
www.writerswrite.co.za 
4/5

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.