Sunday, September 29, 2013

Countdown City

After a (too long!) reading hiatus, I just finished Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II by Ben H. Winters.  This is book two in The Last Policeman Series, you might recall I reviewed the first book in this series last year ( 

I was really looking forward to Countdown City, as I quite enjoyed The Last Policeman.  It picks up not long after the first book leaves off and we continue to follow the story of Detective Hank Palace as he makes his way in a world that is counting down to doomsday.  In this book, "detective" Palace is on a new case, which leads him to meet some very interesting characters and shows us how people react as the end of the world looms closer.

While I enjoyed the first book more, this one was pretty good.  It's still written in the clear and concise manner I enjoyed in the first installment of this series and I think he moves the story along fairly well.  Knowing this was book two of a trilogy, I didn't expect a ton of action/excitement to be in this book and that turned out to be true.  It's not as much of a page turner (or kindle button clicker) as the first book but it does end well and leaves you looking forward to book three.  I look forward to seeing what happens to Detective Palace in the series' final installment.

Monday, September 23, 2013

First, Break All The Rules: What The Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently

Yes, this is another one of those 'how to be an effective manager' books.  No, this one is not the same as the rest.  I often find management books to come from the perspective of 'me, the author'.  They preach and like to talk about what's worked for them, and why they are great managers. 

This book is different from the rest.  This book spends the first chapters explaining the RESEARCH behind the opinion.  Not once does the author says 'in my experience' or 'this worked for me, I'm great'.  What the author does do is refer to the research that was done in many different organizations, sizes, industries, countries, etc.  The author used an independent research firm to ask thousands of questions, and conduct hundreds of interviews.  Then they analyzed the data.  They found 12 questions that were accurate indicators of effective managers.  Effective managers have the most engaged employees, lowest turnover, and highest output.  This is not only a good read for current and aspiring mangers, but anyone who works on corporate culture and HR, or anyone who is curios about how some organizations thrive and others don't.