Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday Reviews: 2 Books

Here are two book reviews for this past week:

The Afghan by Fredrick Forsythe (fiction thriller):

Story Summary in about 30 words: This story focuses on a captured Afghan who was a 'warrior' in the fight against the West. The US and British governments have a former special ops soldier who takes the place of the Afghan, situates himself among AlQaeada and works to spoil an evil plot of destruction to the West.

Rate of Interest: 23.5 pages per day (352 total pages)

Best Thing about the Book: I liked the back story given. Forsythe goes into AlQaeda and discusses the organization and delves further into islamist extremism. I think for many people, it can often fell a bit tedious but I enjoyed having so much background to help supplement the plot.

Worst Thing about the Book: There are too many coincidences. To make the story work, there are several just too crazy and off the wall coincidences that never could have happened and it leaves the story lacking which is too bad because some of those incidents could have been omitted and the story would have been fine.

Overall: It was a pretty good read. Slow at times, too many implausible situations though drag it down though and therefore not recommended unless you have little else to read. The ending was decent though slightly unsatisfying.

One Man's Influence; A Guide to Leadership by Roger K. Morgan (business nonfiction)

Story Summary in about 30 words: This is a business book about what Roger Morgan learned from his boss, Bart Schillaci (former President of The Retail Products Group), had taught him over the years before Schillaci died of cancer. It goes over several lessons he learned such as 'Go with your Gut' and 'Do what you say you're going to do.' Generally speaking, rather basic stuff but it is told well and is woven in with many personal stories.

Rate of Interest: 29.4 pages per day (147 total pages)

Best Thing about the Book: There is little groundbreaking stuff in this book, but it is interesting as he focuses on his friend and boss and of how all the little things that someone does can make a huge difference in being a better boss, better manager and a better person.

Worst Thing about the Book: There were some interesting tidbits but it often became a bit frustrating because Morgan doesn't go in deeper. It is as if it is a cliffnotes version of a longer book. I wish he gave more information.

Overall: Pretty good easy read. This is not supposed to be a hard business book. It is a book out of friendship and a tribute to Schillaci. I liked it. I only read a few minutes a day, but you could pound this out in 2 hours. Difficult to find though.

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