Health

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Naturya Organic Spirulina Powder 200 g Nutritional Power Food Pouch

Increses Energy ,Vitality and Well Being
Our spirulina platensis, cultivated organically on an island in the South China Sea, is a premium quality,nutrient dense blue green algae with a 64% protein content.
Certified Organic, Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-free
Packaged in a resealable pouch for flawless freshness.
A rich natural source of B12, a wide range of functional vitamins and minerals and a whole spectrum of phtyopigments including beta carotene, chlorophyll and phycocyanin.

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Naturya Organic Wheatgrass Powder 200 g Nutritional Power Food Pouch

Increses Energy ,Vitality and Well Being
Its many benefits are thought to include helping to alkalize, purify and oxygenate the blood.
Certified Organic, Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-free
Packaged in a resealable pouch for flawless freshness.
Rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and all 8 essential amino acids.

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Solgar, Omega-3 EPA & DHA, Triple Strength, 950 mg, 100 Softgels

Solgars highest concentration of the natural Omega-3 polyunsaturates EPA and DHA from cold-water fish.

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Solgar Advanced Acidophilus Plus Vegetable Capsules - Pack of 60

Solgar Advanced Acidophilus Plus Vegetable Capsules. A non-dairy formulation providing specially cultured strains of L. acidophilus and B. lactis. Providing specially cultured strains of L.acidophilus and B.lactis, beneficial microorganisms that survive stomach acidity and naturally resides in the lower digestive tract to help maintain a healthy intestinal flora.

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Trek Protein Flapjacks Range Mixed Case 18 Bars *Vegan, Wholefood*

3 x Trek Oat Raisin, 3 x Trek Original Oat, 3 x Trek Cocoa Coconut, 3 x Trek Banana Bread, 3 x Trek Morning Berry, 3 x Trek Cocoa Oat
Wholefood
Lasting Energy
High Protein
Vegan

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The Gift Of Oil Chilli and Garlic Infused Olive Oil 250 ml

Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil infused with freshly picked chilli peppers and garlic grown on the Disisa Estate in Sicily
Artisan balsamic made from Trebbiano + Lambrusco grapes grown and matured in barrels on the Verrini family estate in Modena, Italy.
Natural product with no added sugars, additives or preservatives
Free from carbohydrates & sugars and suitable for vegans and vegetarians
Gluten free

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Munchy Seeds Omega Sprinkle 200g

Munchy Seeds
Minerals & Supplements

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Rude Health Almond Drink

Rude Health Almond Drink is creamy and smooth in taste. Crushed almond is blended smoothly with rice, pure mountain spring water and a dash of cold-pressed sunflower oil. Its a naturally nutty milk. It can be used with cereals, add to coffee, smoothie-shake and with baking.

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Lizis Low Sugar Granola 500g

The health benefits of oat fibre
The oats in this cereal contain high levels of the soluble fibre beta glucans. A daily intake of 3g beta glucans has been shown to be beneficial in maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels and so reducing the risk of developing coronary heart disease. One 50g serving of this cereal will provide 1.4g beta glucans, 46% of the beneficial daily amount.

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Rude Health Multigrain Flakes 425 g (Pack of 4)

Wholegrain barley, corn and spelt
With a drizzle of maple syrup and honey
High in fibre
Low in fat
No refined sugars

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Arbonne

Arbonne, particularly for protein shakes, paraben and aluminium free products, sports supplements and nutrition bars

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Bionsen Aluminium and Paraben Free Deodorant

Formulated with spa minerals
Suitable for sensitive skin
Hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested
Aluminium and paraben free
Does not contain propellants harmful to ozone layer

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YES to Carrots Nourishing Rich Moisture Day Cream

A paraben free, morning moisturiser for day long nourishment that will keep the gorgeous glow on your face!

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ManCave ShowerGel 200ml

Rejuvenates senses with a deep forest fragrance
Naturally Cleanses skin
Hydrates and Moisturises Skin with Cedarwood, L-Arginine, Tea Tree and Black Pepper Oil.
Vegan friendly product
125 ml Tube

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A.Vogel Pollinosan Hayfever

Pollinosan tablets are non-drowsy so will not affect your ability to drive or use machinery. It can be used to help treat allergies to grass or tree pollen (hayfever), as well as allergies to dust, animals and pets (allergic rhinitis) – both conditions give rise to symptoms such as itching and watery eyes, sneezing, tickly nose or throat and a blocked nose. Pollinosan tablets can be used together with Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray. Benefits and features of Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets: Hayfever remedy May also be used for allergic rhinitis Non-drowsy – does not affect ability to drive or use machines Can be used with other hayfever remedies Suitable for children over 12 years

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A Vogel Luffa Nasal Spray

This hayfever nasal spray cleanses the nasal passages of pollen and other allergens, house or animal dust. It is a medical device in an isotonic solution containing seven tropical herbs.

Luffa Nasal Spray works by rinsing and cleansing the nose of hayfever-causing allergens. It also restores fluid and moisture in the nasal passages, making the nose feel soothed and more comfortable.

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Haymax Pure Organic Pollen Balm For Hayfever

Haymax is a natural balm that is applied to the base of the nose to reduce pollen entering the body. Less pollen, less sneezing. Haymax Pure contains no essential oils. Haymax pure is perfect for people who are particularly sensitive. So if you are sensitive, but need to block the pollen, then choose Haymax pure. Simply apply a small amount around base of nostrils. Re-apply regularly and after sneezing or blowing nose. This traps the pollen before it gets in. Simply apply a small amount around base of nostrils. Re-apply regularly and after sneezing or blowing nose. This traps the pollen before it gets in. This product contains Organic Sunflower Oil (Helianthus Annuus) organic Beeswax (Cera Flava).

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Skinny Weeks & Weekend Feasts Kindle Edition

Gorgeous and talented foodie Gizzi Erskine is best known for being one of the presenters of Channel 4’s Cook Yourself Thin and author of the bestselling book by the same name. Her take on food is edgy and refreshing, and her approach has struck a real chord with the public. She trained at the prestigious Leith’s School of Food and Wine, before going on to work at BBC Good Food magazine and is now a regular chef on GMTV and This Morning. Gizzi is the food columnist for Company magazineand has contributed to Marie Claire, InStyle, Elle USA and Arena, among others.

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Dr Gillian McKeith's Ultimate Health Plan: The DIET Programme That Will Keep You Slim for Life Paperback

OK, so you’d like to lose weight – or you’d like to keep slim but you know your diet just isn’t that healthy. You’d like to stop the pounds creeping back on, or maybe you could feel better, sleep better, be more energized? Dr Gillian can show you how. Rather than making you count calories, carbs or eat by percentages discover an infinitely more effective system of levels and goals that will switch on a healthy eating passion in you for life.

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River Cottage Light & Easy: Healthy Recipes for Every Day Hardcover

‘Eating more healthily isn’t about denial. For example, reducing one’s dependence on wheat flour and dairy ingredients, which don’t appear at all in this book, turns out to be a delicious voyage of discovery. New grains, new oils, new tastes, new combinations: it all adds up to a new zest for life.’ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook Paperback

Sarah Wilson was a self-confessed sugar addict, eating the equivalent of twenty-five teaspoons of sugar every day, before making the link between her sugar consumption and a lifetime of mood disorders, fluctuating weight issues, sleep problems and thyroid disease. She knew she had to make a change.

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Thirsty Work

Matt Skinner

Considered to be the Jamie Oliver of Wine, this book is amusing, informative and well written. Anyone who likes a little splash of claret will welcome this as a Christmas present. It talks you through the different aspects of wines, the different grapes, and helps sort out a few cloudy areas that might never have been clear both on the new and old world. There to be enjoyed wearing a nice new woolen jumper on Boxing Day, feet in front of the fire, with a large glass of red on the go.

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Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite

Paul Arden

The book is a loose collection of notes, stories and things to consider that really get you thinking. It is not the sort of book that you would want to read in one go, but leave it on the coffee table or by toilet and you’ll come back to it time after time. If you want a Christmas present that will be sure to cause deep family discussions, this is the book for you.

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Fatherhood (The Truth)

Markus Berkmann

This book is thoroughly recommended to all fathers to be, or fathers who already are, as in places it is side splittingly funny. It can get you quite embarassing reading a book on public transport called Fatherhood whilst doing nothing but laugh and cringe at it, however it is worth it. Describing baby sizes using objects such as remote controls and with the chapters called things like “Piss Shit and Vomit” certainly make a very informative book extremely entertaining. Enjoy dads to be, and buy for him mums to be.

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It’s Not About the Bike

Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins

A book that highlights the suffering from cancer in incredible detail, however it also highlights the amazing motivation and focus of another human being in the face of adversity. An enthralling read that you will almost enjoy for more if you are not interested in cycling (as in many cases). Follow the inspiring journey of world-class hero Lance Armstrong, from the dark night of advanced cancer through his dramatic victory in the 1999 Tour de France, and beyond.

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Millionaire Upgrade, Tales from the Sharp End of the Plane

Richard Parkes Cordock

A quick and easy book to read, like many of the “wealth advice” books, it is written in a story format in much the same way as The One Minute Manager books. You can easily read the book (142 pages) in a day and is ideal for the person who feels that nothing is going their way! It gives simple practical advise for everyone while at the same time giving plenty of anecdotes to make the read fun.

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Awaken the Giant Within

Tony Robbins

Wake up and take control of your life! This book shows you the most effective strategies and techniques for mastering your emotions, your body, your relationships, your life, and your finances. Although it is dated in parts, the processes and theories still ring true today.

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The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less

Barry Schwartz

The author of The Paradox of Choce explains why too much choice has led to the ever increasing complexity of everyday decisions, why too much of a good thing has become detrimental to human psychological and emotional well-being, and how to focus our lives on making the right choices. Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice–the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish–becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. A perfect suggestion for Christmas!

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Golden Apples: Six Simple Steps to Success

Bill Cullen

This book will have a hugely positive impact on everyone who reads it. This voice out of Ireland is the best one for years. Bill Cullen, legendary head of Renault Ireland, went from selling apples on the streets of Dublin to owning a company with an annual turnover of over $400 million. He credits much of his success to the women in his life: his mother, Mary, and his grandmother, Molly Darcy. Now Bill shares those memories, and interprets them for the twenty-first century. Under his inspirational guidance, you can transform your career and your life.

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Enemies of the Future

Virginia Postrel

In the book, Postrel looks at the two forces that she believes shapes our future. The book gives a genuine analysis of many social theories and how these can be both right and wrong, and interestingly she completes this analysis from the open position of being in the dynamism camp. Ultimately the book draws few conclusions other than change can be both good and bad. But, if you’re interested in what makes society (and thus ultimately the economy, and thus your investments) tick. This is an interesting read, though not one for the poolside.

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Scotland’s Heroes

John Lindsey

Prior to reading the book, you’ll have no idea how influential the Scot’s were in the affairs of the world over the last 1000 years. So many people who have influenced the world both economically (Adam Smith for example) or scientifically (John Logie Baird) were Scot’s through and through, and it seems fitting and right that their heritage is commemorated here. The book is easy to read and does not get tied down in any one “hero” as it moves swiftly from one person to another. The book uses the statues of Scotland as its reference and starting point. If you are holidaying in Scotland then this book would make a fine guide as to the places to visit.

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Affluenza

Oliver James

This book is a result of the author who travelled around the world to try and find out why people are wealthy yet unhappy. He discovered how, despite very different cultures and levels of wealth, affluenza is spreading. He asks: why do so many more people want what they haven’t got and want to be someone they’re not, despite being richer and freer from traditional restraints? And, in so doing, uncovers the answer to how to reconnect with what really matters and learn to value what you’ve already got. In other words, how to be successful and stay sane.

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Tescopoly

Andrew Simms

The book covers the growth of the supermarkets around the world, but focuses on Tesco. In the book, Simms argues how bad this is not just for us but for everyone in the world. His arguments are quite well though out, if erroneous in places. However it does make you think. Whenever you read a book like this, it is important to understand when the author is coming from and how their view any bias any comments, and this book certainly shows this point. Never the less it is thought provoking and should be read by anyone with an interest in economics, sociology or world politics.

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Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection

Rufus Purdy and Lucy Fennings

This book has got an excellent array of hotels throughout the UK in it. We are picking them off slowly but surely, and everything we have visited so far has been brilliant. A great present for a couple, and if you have the book, you are usually entitled something along the lines of some free champagne or a picnic hamper on your arrival. If you do buy it, I think Ickworth house in Suffolk has been the best so far, and is also great if you have children.

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Anyone Can Do It

Duncan Bannatyne

If you read many biographies, you will know that many of them are written by ghost writers, who simply interview the subject and write it for them. In this book, you can tell that Bannatyne, is writing the whole thing himself. The book is a very easy and entertaining read. When you can see the risks that he has taken to make his fortune, you immediately give him much more credence when watching him on TV. Even if you are not interested in business get hold of this book and enjoy a good read, you won’t be able to put it down.

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The Juice 2007

Matt Skinner

From Matt Skinner’s Thirsty Work to his latest book The Juice 2007, he highlights 100 of the best wines he has tried in 2006. He splits them into 4 categories; skint, bling, TV dinner and to impress, and he recommends a whole range of excellent wine. We are gradually working our way through them, and can vouch for every one we have tried so far. Enjoy!

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How to Get Rich

Felix Denis

Not so much a how to get rich book, but more a “this is how I did it book”. Not quite an autobiography, but enough of one to make this book very different from Paul McKenna’s. In the book Denis can be both entertaining and offensive, so don’t read this if you are easily offended. Also don’t read this if you are not rich and want to be rich easily as Denis tells us bluntly, that you can only be rich by working b***y hard and must give up many other things to be rich. It is also interesting to see how he values rich. It is probably worth reading the book just for this thought-provoking chapter.

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Red Moon Rising

Matthew Brezezinski

The tag line for the book is ‘Sputnik and the rivalries that ignited the space age.’ The book appears to be a history of Sputnik, which it is, but it is far more than that. The book is a very entertaining history of the cold war and what really happened not just behind the iron curtain, but in the halls of the White House too. We can learn so much from accurately-reported history, and this book is an example of how important history can be informative and entertaining. If you have any interest in recent history, it is a must for you. More importantly, if you know someone who has never heard of Sputnik, buy this for them now.

my-life-the-presidential-years

My Life: The Presidential Years

Bill Clinton

President Bill Clinton’s My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public. It shows us the progress of a remarkable American, who, through his own enormous energies and efforts, made the unlikely journey from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House—a journey fueled by an impassioned interest in the political process which manifested itself at every stage of his life.

a-short-history-of-nearly-everything

A Short History of Almost Everything

Bill Bryson

What on earth is Bill Bryson doing writing a book of popular science–A Short History of Almost Everything? Largely, it appears, because this inquisitive, much-travelled writer realised, while flying over the Pacific, realised that he was entirely ignorant of the processes that created, populated and continue to maintain the vast body of water beneath him. At times it feels you are going back to be class room for some much needed revision, and yet the mannerisms he uses to describe the unimaginably enormous, far away or long ago make it many times more memorable, whilst also making you feel very small.

the-automatic-millionaire

The Automatic Millionaire

David Bach

Despite its sensational title, David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire is not a get-rich-quick guide. Rather, the book is a straightforward march through common-sense personal financial planning that suggests readers “automate” their contributions to retirement and investment vehicles. Bach, in fact, calls his model the “tortoise approach” to becoming wealthy by retirement age. In many ways it is basic financial planning, and yet such a simple plan can be incredibly effective.
on, and yet the mannerisms he uses to describe the unimaginably enormous, far away or long ago make it many times more memorable, whilst also making you feel very small.

the-audacity-of-hope-thoughts-on-reclaiming-the-american-dream

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Barack Obama

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a new kind of politics—a politics that builds upon those shared understandings that pull us together as Americans. Lucid in his vision of America’s place in the world, refreshingly candid about his family life and his time in the Senate, Obama here sets out his political convictions and inspires us to trust in the dogged optimism that has long defined us and that is our best hope going forward.

freakonomics-a-rogue-economist-explores-the-hidden-side-of-everything

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt

Freakonomics is at the heart of everything we see and do and the subjects that bedevil us daily: from parenting to crime, sport to politics, fat to cheating, fear to traffic jams. Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, “Freakonomics” will make you see the familiar world through a completely original lens.

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The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand

Chris Anderson

It is a book that looks at how the internet is changing the face of economics. Until the advent of the internet, shops couldn’t afford to stock all the niche products, because of the cost. With iTunes, Amazon and eBay meaning that stocking is no longer an issue, niches are the new hits. As well as being a good book focusing on the economics side of the internet, it is also an interesting way to look at the history of internet shopping, the future development potential of technology and the models that will be successful going forward.

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The Golfer’s Mind

Dr. Bob Rotella

In the perfect format for the busy golfer, The Golfer’s Mind is the concise and convenient quick-reference tool to appeal to Rotella’s millions of followers and is sure to become a golf classic. Weekend golfers and pros like Brad Faxon, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Tom Kite, and Davis Love III all read and listen to the man they call Doc because his teachings are simple and direct—and in the end, what Doc says makes them play better golf.

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The Millionaire Next Door

Thomas Stanley and William Danko

This book uncovers the trust behind Americas millionaires; no, not the celebrities and those with large inheritances, this is about the people who have accumulated wealth through their lifetime. They are the people next door. It is a simple and easy book to read, and runs through the basics of saving, investing and ensuring that you have a more prosperous future. Read it, it will do us all good!

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The Progress Of Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse

Gregg Easterbrook

By the same author as The Paradox of Choice, this time he starts to look at the many ways life has improved way beyond our ancestor’s wildest imaginations, and yet the western world is becoming more depressed. A good book to remind you how good we actually have it, but also to make us focus on areas that will make us happy, rather than some of the materialistic items we think will make us happy. Although at times he labours a point a little too much, a really worthwhile read, with an unexpected tail.

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Full Disclosure

Andrew Neil

Andrew Neil’s autobiography. As Managing Editor of Britain’s Sunday Times he was the most powerful and innovatiev editor in Britain’s Fleet Street. He fought with The Royal Family, endlessly with Margaret Thatcher and eventually with the paper’s new owner Rupert Murdoch. Fascinating and required read for anyone interested in journalism.

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Twenty Tales From A War Zone

John Simpson

I have read and recommended other John Simpson books in the past, and some of the same stories come up again here, however with his style of writing, and the situations he ends up being in, it makes it worth reading time and again. Twenty recent historic events are brought to life by John Simpson in this book as he tells each story from its very core. These tales make easy reading and they cannot fail to stir deep emotions in every reader. The pace is fast and the stories are short and punchy.

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Who Moved My Cheese

Dr. Spencer Johnson

This can be read in one setting, as it is a very short and concise story about two little people and two mice, chasing Cheese! Cheese is of course a metaphor for all those things in life we chase (money, jobs, relationships etc ). A really simple and yet excellent book that should probably be read several time to really pick up all the underlying reasoning and rational. Enjoy!

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Putting Out Of Your Mind

Bob Rotella

A few months back I recommended another book by Bob Rotella; “The Golfer’s Mind”. In the latter book, he discusses some putting techniques, however the former goes into a lot more detail on putting routines, thoughts, and generals principals. There aren’t many people that play golf and don’t need or want to improve their putting. After all, ‘you drive for show, and putt for dough’. I can recommend this as highly as the first… Just please don’t tell my golfing buddies about it!

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The E-Myth Revisited

Michael Gerber

The author takes you through the steps of a life in business—from an entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective; the guiding light of all businesses that succeed–and shows you how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. He draws the much overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. A essential book for any business owner (or owner to be). One for the beach instead of Dan Brown maybe!

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Business Stripped Bare

Sir Richard Branson

In Business Stripped Bare, Sir Richard Branson shares the inside track on his life in business and reveals the incredible truth about his most risky, brilliant and audacious deals. Some of you will like him, some of you not, but you cannot shy away from his successful business history. A really interesting read, and some interesting things discussed around the Northern Rock saga. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but worth the read for sure.

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The Crash of 2008 And What It Means

George Soros

I think the Sunday Times summed it up best; “This was a book that George Soros badly wanted to write. It is probably not what many of its readers expect to read. But it shows that in his deeper thinking about the way markets operate, Soros was several decades ahead of his time… His insights are clear and concisely expressed. They are worth reading for anyone interested in the topic.” –Financial Times. It’s not a particularly light hearted book for the beach, but if you are interested in the philosophy of investing, it is worth pursuing.

millionaire-upgrade-tales-from-the-sharp-end-of-the-plane

Millionaire Upgrade

Richard Parkes Cordock

For anyone running their own business, thinking about it, or just wanting to do better in life, Millionaire Upgrade, by Richard Parkes Cordock is a must read. It is a true story about a guy who sat next to Richard Branson on a Virgin flight, and tapped into some of the knowledge that has made him the success he is. It is based on the principals of a 1930’s book by Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, a phenomenally successful book commissioned by Andrew Carnegie.

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The One Minute Manager

Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

The One Minute Manager is a concise, easily read story that reveals three very practical secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands. This is an excellent book with a simple concept, an easy read (or listen if you opt for the audio book) but an essential read or anyone managing people, and also not a bad suggestion for anyone with children. Don’t just take my word for it, take the fact that it has sold over a million copies. Enjoy.

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The Real Deal

James Caan

Caan, real name Nazim Khan, is a well-known dragon into his second season on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den. The book is a chronological autobiography that explains simply how he got to where he is. The book is easy to read, and in Chapters 6 to 18 really shows what it takes to become a very wealthy businessman. If you have any interest in business, the book is well worth 10 hours of your time reading it. With many businesses struggling with the recession, the book contains some genuine common sense about what you should do.

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The Undercover Scientist: Investigating the Mishaps of Everyday Life

Peter J. Bentley

This book aims to do to Science what Freakonomics does to economics. It looks at a variety of interesting everyday events in the day of a rather unfortunate individual’s life, and looks at the science behind it. It reminds you of some of the aspects of A-Level sciences should probably should remember, and also focuses on newer technologies. A light-hearted refresher course in the world of science.

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The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown

Well, sometimes we just need something fun to read, and it has come to my attention that some readers of this Update don’t read the recommended book. Difficult to believe, I know, so this month I thought we’d choose something really fun to read, which this book is. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn–Brown’s most exciting novel yet. No prizes for realising that it’s the usual mix of real and pretend, written in such a way as to blur which is which. But if you give it a try, you will find it immensely entertaining.

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Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt

A follow up to the excellent Freakonomics, this book heads back into the same territory with another list of unusual fields of study. For those of you who read Freakonomics, the same guy that carried out the economic analysis of drug dealers turns his focus to the pricing system of prostitutes instead. It isn’t quite as forthcoming as the first, but then the sequels rarely are; however there is sill loads of interesting and amusing stuff, and the section on climate change is fascinating.

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The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Niall Ferguson

This book runs through the history of where corporate and government bonds originate from, how the banks became what they are, and how equities, and therefore investments as we know them turned into hedge funds and other clever vehicles. Where it excels is it’s ability to relate historical events to those of the last 18 months, showing that nothing that has happened throughout the credit crunch is new territory, just arranged slightly differently. This is a fascinating read, whether you are into the world of finance or not.

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4-Hour Work Week

Tim Ferriss

Tim runs a successful company in the US whilst having time to become the first US winner of the Argentinean Tango in Argentina, the first non-Chinese winner of a national Chinese Martial Arts championship, learning 6 languages, and travelling the world. He does this in a number of ways, which are in the main, outsourcing work, making the most of technology, applying the 80/20 rule to the extreme, travelling wisely, and generally enjoying life. A great book to read whether you are employed or a business owner, whether you want to travel the world or simply have more free time.

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A History of Modern Britain

Andrew Marr

This engaging volume tells the story of how the great political visions and idealisms of Victorian Britain came to be defeated by a culture of consumerism, celebrity, and self-gratification. This is fun, easy going and light-hearted look at how post war Britain has progressed through the ages. It is easy to dip in and out of, and Andrew Marr’s dry sense of humour runs through it. Read and enjoy some good old British history.

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Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Chris Anderson

The book looks at how the use of free gifts and free products is leading to a change in the way that products are both priced and sold. The book goes back to the origins of free products, when Gillette first gave away disposable razor blades to encourage the use of this ground-breaking product. It looks at how easyJet can sell plane tickets so cheaply, and why so much software is given away for free on the iPhone. If you have any interest in marketing with new technology, or perhaps more importantly, how you may be being persuaded with these new techniques, read this entertaining book now.

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The Power Of Now, A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

Eckart Tolle

Ekhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.

linchpin

Linchpin

Seth Godin

Many of the principals are similar, however underlying difference is that Linchpin is written for people working within companies. It looks at how you can become invaluable to a company, career progression and reminds you of certain aspects of working life that should be obvious, but get easily forgotten. A very good book about how to be better at what you do.

the-power-of-ambition

The Power of Ambition

Jim Rohn

Ambition can be a powerful force for good in our lives. But only if it is legitimate. Sometimes misinterpreted and often misunderstood, ambition – true ambition – is not a selfish quality. It is not another word for ruthless; it is not something to be shunned or subdued. With The Power of Ambition you can take charge of your own personal happiness, chart your own course through life and let your legitimate ambition create whatever you desire, take you wherever you want to go.

mindset

Mindset

Carol Dweck

This book has a simple premise: The world is divided between people who are open to learning and those who are closed to it, and this trait affects everything from your worldview to your interpersonal relationships. Dweck addresses the ways that mindsets have an impact on people. She explains that you can have a closed mindset in regard to some traits and an open mindset in regard to others. The thoughtprovoking insight becomes more fascinating still (from a parent’s point of view) when she turns her attention to how best to apply this to bringing up and speaking to your children. A must for all parents

tribes

Tribes

Seth Godin

In Tribes he talks about the power of leadership, and how the internet is allow ‘tribes’ to be formed in many new formats, many of which are based around social media. For anyone that is interested in making their business grow using social media, or just embracing it more on a personal level, this is a really interesting book. Throughout the book Godin skilfully dissects management and shows how it’s not synonymous with leadership. This aspect of the book alone makes it a must-read for all who are managers or who work for managers that aren’t leaders.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest

Stieg Larsson

The books revolve around a central character, Lisbeth – the girl of the title – who is a skilled computer hacker and a near-recluse from society. The storylines are interesting and can become quite involved, but what is most interesting about the books by Stieg Larsson is his style of writing. It is genuinely original. He maintains a balance between detail and brevity that I have not encountered before, and which makes the books very different from anything else you will have read lately. If you want to try something different, give them a go. You’ll be pleased you did.

crush-it

Crush It

Gary Vaynerchuck

This book has been a phenomenal success, and understandably so. Its about living your passion, and Gary’s is wine.The author just about hands you a blueprint for branding yourself in order to brand your company. His insights into social media alone are well worth the day’s investment it takes to read this book, and this is a great book if you would like to expand your business into the world of social media.

the-4-hour-body

The 4 Hour Body

Tim Ferris

Tim describes himself as a human guinea pig. If there is a theory somewhere that muscle can be gained or fat lost by a particular change to your lifestyle or diet, you can almost guarantee he’s tried it. Whether it’s garlic and green tea supplements, or works out after double espresso’s, he’s been there. Whilst following this method to the letter would not be my recommendation, there are some really interesting facts, figures and ideas in here that could and probably should be adopted. Still aren’t convinced it’s the way to improve 2011? Did I mention the chapter on tantric sex?

the-element

The Element

Ken Robinson

I first discovered Ken Robinson from a talk he did at TED, and decided his book was a must read. His book contains many stories that emphasise the point brilliantly. The point being ’How finding your passion changes everything’. I highly recommend this book for anyone with children in education. It highlights what I strongly believe are many of the short comings of the British education system, and is a fascinating read. Read and enjoy.

herd

Herd

Mark Earls

Unlike most business or marketing books it’s not a set of case studies or a ‘how to’ process guide to mechanistic thinking. Rather, it’s an excellently written analysis of the new thinking (and the forgotten old thinking) about how people think, act and behave. It doesn’t give you answers or tell you what to do, but rather raises questions in your mind about the principles on which most communications thinking is built. It makes you question a lot of the assumptions you’ve been taking for granted, makes you think differently about some of the problems you’re trying to solve and helps ground some of thoughts.

the-referral-engine-teaching-your-business-to-market-itself

The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself

John Jantsch

If you are a business owner, and you want to understand how the different elements of your business can generate referrals, this is a great book to read. It looks at social media, email and web based tools, your customer services, and gives you a whole range of ideas on how you can generate more referrals. This is a really good book for any business owner looking to be more proactive in receiving referrals. Enjoy.

confessions-of-a-conjuror

Confessions of a Conjuror

Derren Brown

Whilst his first book focused on techniques used in different sections of the magic and mind reading world, Confessions of a Conjuror is part autobiography, and part insight into the skills of his trade. His elaborate story telling is both amusing and enthralling, and if you are vaguely interested in the world ofmagic, or Derren himself, it is a must read. Having been lucky enough to be dragged up on a stage with him in the past, it goes some way to explain the madness behind the magic.

not-quite-worlds-end

Not Quite the World’s End

John Simpson

Whilst I would normally distrust a book that contains so many ’When I was ins’, in John Simpson’s case these are all too interesting. Although I would not rate it as his best book, (in my opinion ‘A mad world mymasters’) there is a greater degree of opinion and oversight instead of one stories after the next. He is an amazing story teller, and his insight into the experiences he has (Saddam Hussein’s trial, interviewing the likes of Robert Mugabe and prostitutes in Cuba) is informative as well as enthralling.

21ways

21 Ways To Increase The Profitability Of A Small Business

Charlie Reading

In order to attract interest to the new website www.theruralbiz.com I have written a free report available for download called 21 ways to increase the profitability of a small business. If you would like to read it, or you know other small business owners that you think would benefit from reading it, please do visit www.theruralbiz.com for your copy. I hope you enjoy it. Any feedback is always appreciated.

the-rational-optimist-how-prosperity-evolves

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

Matt Ridley

Ridley tackles the dangerous subjects of global warming, world population and human society in general. Ridley maintains that whilst optimism is distinctly unfashionable it is more realistic and borne out by subsequent events than apocalyptical pessimism; something that I definitely agree with. And optimism is not callous indifference to suffering. It is the opposite – ambitious optimism is morally mandatory because there is so much suffering we should not get in the way of innovation and economic progress.

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The Original Paddi Lund Story

Dr. Paddi Lund

He tells fantastic stories of his dental buns, baked sugar free cakes given to patients, Italian imported coffee machine and relationship managers. Whatever business you run, there are aspects that you can learn from Paddi Lund and from stepping away from the norm, that will make you more popular and therefore more profitable.

the-intelligent-entrepreneur-how-three-harvard-business-school-graduates-learned-the-10-rules-of-successful-business

The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship

Bill, Jr. Murphy

It offers a fantastic insight into how 3 extremely successful business owners went about it, what they did right and what they did wrong, plus some great lessons to be learned. If you are thinking about setting up your own business, or already have done, this is a great read as it shows you things often don’t go according to plan, but that determination and planning can lead to some great success.

the-goal

The Goal

Eliyahu Goldratt

Described as ‘The E-Myth for Manufacturing’, ‘The Goal’ is a book that teaches the theory of constraints along with the problems with bottlenecks within a manufacturing plant. I would recommend this book to any manager or student because there are many things that can be learned by both. Managers can find different ways to look at the company and how to help increase profits. Students can combine the information they learn in class with how it actually works in a real world situation. Although I am sometime skeptical of business books told through a fictional story, in this instance it really works well.

instant-cashflow

Instant Cashflow

Brad Sugars

It will give you a variety of ways to improve the cashflow of your business by generating new leads, increasing your conversion rate of leads to sales, maximizing the value of your average sale and by measuring your results to fine-tune your best strategies. Particularly at this stage of the economic cycle, this should be on any business owner’s bookshelf. Cashflow is king!

effortless-success

Effortless Success

Michael Neil

Michael Neill is very easy to listen to, he does not make you feel that he is “telling you” anything but a bit more like listening to someone you really respect chatting down the pub. His understanding of human nature and its nuances is non-judgemental, supportive and humorous. There is a wealth of wisdom here from around the world of NLP, without being too pretentious.

eat-that-frog-get-more-of-the-important-things-done-today

Eat That Frog!: Get More of the Important Things Done, Today!

Brian Tracy

Whilst I have read a number of books on time management, none have given so many brilliant ideas in such a short space of time. I cannot recommend this highly enough, as we have restricted the way in which we all work at Efficient Portfolio as a result of it. A must for everyone that wants to be more productive as well as anyone that gets down by the constant list of tasks that life and work throw at you. Enjoy ‘Eating that Frog!’

how-to-wow-proven-strategies-for-presenting-your-ideas-persuading-your-audience-and-perfecting-your-image

How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Presenting Your Ideas, Persuading Your Audience, and Perfecting Your Image

Frances Cole Jones

If your job or life demands that you make presentations, engage in public speaking or need to wow an audience, then this is a fantastic book giving you a range of tips on how you can get the best results. It’s also available as an audio book if you spend your life on the move!

end-this-depression-now

End This Depression Now

Paul Krugman

Krugman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008, and so should know what he is talking about. Unlike most armchair economists, and many politicians, he backs his arguments up with real life studies that demonstrate the influence of behavioural economics, which is fundamental to predicting results. If you want any idea of what’s really going on out there, you must read this book. Firstly, it is easy to read. Second, it actually gives solutions rather than pointing out what went wrong in the world economy.

the-coma

Coma

Alex Garland

We won’t go into the story too much, other than to say it is about someone who ends up is a Coma, and what happens to the mind around this event. It isn’t a long read, but it certainly is fascinating and thought provoking.

the-chimp-paradox

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness

Dr. Steve Peters

Dr. Steve Peters was a massive influence on the Team GB Cycling Team, and this book clearly demonstrates why. It will make you look at the way your brain works in the way it does, and why you do and react in some of the ways you do. It also gives you some excellent insights into how you ‘can manage your chimp’. Don’t let your chimp stop you buying this book!

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The Invasion Game

Stephen Newton

This book adopts many of the business growth principals that Charlie has learnt over the years and many more new ones, but with specific focus on lawyers and their practices. If you are a lawyer, you should certainly read it, as it will help you transform your business. His work also often entails leadership and operational management development for the client firm’s senior team in order that they are able to implement their firm’s strategy or adjust it so that it can be implemented.

the-richest-man-in-babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon

George Clason

The Babylonians are the people who invented the concept of “money” more than 5,000 years ago. The same principles that applied to earning and accumulating wealth then still very much work today. This little book of parables about ancient Babylon provides a fresh point of view to modern readers that has worked to inspire millions of readers since the book was first published in the 1930’s. It provides excellent and practical advice for readers of all ages, and should be required reading for school and university students before they start their first real job.

children

Children Are From Heaven

John Gray

As I (Charlie) have 2 young girls, I understand the challenges of bringing up children, and I am sure there will be many more to come. Whilst I don’t think any book can have all the answers, using positive techniques (as opposed to punishing/negative ones), using the right language, and having a process in your mind for dealing with those challenging situations make for a much happier house. This is also available as an audio book, for the multi-tasking Mums. I hope you enjoy.

what-every-body-is-saying-an-ex-fbi-agents-guide-to-speed-reading-people

What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-reading People

Joe Navarro

This is definitely the most interesting body language book I have read because it is interlinked with memorable stories of his days in the FBI. It dispels some myths of reading body language, and gives you an easier way to memorise what different signals mean. If this subject interests you, I cannot recommend a better book. Enjoy.

inferno

Inferno

Dan Brown

Unsurprisingly themed around Dante’s Inferno, and taking time to delve into the historical side of ‘The Divine Comedy’ and the magical city of Florence, it also tackles an even more challenging topic; world population growth. Whilst I am not sure it is quite as gripping as ‘The Davinci Code’, but it is certainly out of the same mould, and probably surpasses his last book because of the highly topical world population issue. If you are looking for a little fiction to read on the beach, I cannot make any better recommendation than to explore Robert Langdon’s next adventure. It will be thought provoking if nothing else as well as exciting.

loving-what-is

Loving What Is

Byron Katie

Byron Katie is fantastic at getting you to look at the way you go through life and your take on everything you do. Doing ‘the work’ and understanding her simple question based analysis of anything that causes you anger or stress, helps you to realise that it isn’t these events or people that cause you stress, it is your interpretation of them that does. Some very wise people recommended this book to me, and I can now see why. I hope you take the time to read and enjoy it.

how-will-you-measure-your-life

How Will You Measure Your Life?

Clayton Christensen

How Will You Measure Your Life? is a highly original, surprising book from a singular business figure. It’s a book sure to inspire and educate readers – companies and individuals, students of business, mid-career professionals, and even parents. A groundbreaking book, putting forth a series of questions and models for success that have long been applied in the world of business, but also can be used to find cogent answers to pressing life questions: How can I be sure that I’ll find satisfaction in my career? How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse, my family and my close friends become enduring sources of happiness? How can I avoid compromising my integrity (and stay out of jail)?

finding-your-element

Finding Your Element

Ken Robinson

“Finding Your Element” is the second book by Ken Robinson about how to find what you should be doing with your life. While the first book talks about what your element is, the second focuses on what you need to do to discover your element and how to put it into your life. Even if you are retired you will love the exercises in the book, because your element is not about work, it’s about what you are and what you do to be the person you are. This all may sound very “fluffy”, but the book is so practical that it will be able to help everyone. In particular I would also suggest it was a fantastic book for students in helping them understand what they should do with the rest of their life.

delivering-happiness

Delivering Happiness

Tony Hsieh

The book isn’t really his autobiography, but is more about how he made Zappos such a success, and what went wrong at Link Exchange. Zappos in known in the US for having unbelievable customer service, and consistently over delivering to their customers. You can even now do a tour of their Las Vegas headquarters to see this for yourself. If you run your own business, this book is a fantastic read. Even if you don’t, but you want to improve where you currently work by adding massive value, I strongly suggest you read this book.

screw-it-lets-do-it

Screw It, Let’s Do It

Sir Richard Branson

It’s a really easy book to read that is made up of some invaluable business advice as well as some amazing stories of his life. Not only will this book give you a kick up the proverbial and get you focused for an outstanding 2014, it will also show you the good that can be done at the same time through, as he calls it, Gaia Capitalism. I hope you enjoy it.

ready-fire-aim-zero-to-100-million-in-no-time-flat

Ready, Fire, Aim; Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat

Michael Masterson

It is a fantastic book for business owners of all types. It gives some amazing insights for people trying to get their business to the $1m turnover level; then the $10m level for those already there; and then the $100m level for those already there. So wherever you currently are achieving, it will give you steps forward to the next stage. There are a lot of similarities with ‘A lean start up’, a previous book of the month recommendation, in that particularly at the early stages of a business, it is not a game of perfect. Too many new businesses fail because they try to develop the perfect business right from the off, when actually getting out there and making it profitable is what they need to do. As a result, this is a great book to buy for any new or wannabe business owners.

pitch-anything-an-innovative-method-for-presenting-persuading-and-winning-the-deal

Pitch Anything, an Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

Oren Klaff

It is a must, if with your job or your business you need to pitch to a group of people. So, for example, you are off the pitch to the ‘Dragons’ for a once in a lifetime chance to move your business forward, you need to read this book to ensure you have the best chance possible. Even if you are just presenting your product to your usual customers, there is a massive amount to be learned here about the strategies that will ensure your success.

how-to-save-an-hour-everyday

How to Save an Hour Everyday

Michael Heppell

Having read many time management books, this is more about giving you some really practical tips of how you can save time during your day. Not only does it give you some good immediate actions that can increase your effectiveness day to day, but it also takes it to a more advanced level too. Specifically attributing the more advanced strategy to Dan Sullivan (creator of The Strategic Coach, a program Charlie has been on for over 5 years) it helps you define your days into Focus, Free and Buffer days to maximise your productivity, and also your recuperation.

the-cuckoos-calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling

J.K Rowling and Robert Galbraith

As well as being a good story, it gives you an interesting insight into the world of the celebrity. Almost every single famous person in the book is portrayed as uncompromisingly odious, obsessed with only the most shallow of things, sometimes to the point of life and death. Perhaps JK Rowling hasn’t had an entirely enjoyable experience as a famous person herself and it feels like this personal hatred bleeds through the story.

the-unstoppable-golfer

The Unstoppable Golfer

Dr. Bob Rotella

Long-time readers of this newsletter may remember previous entries by ‘The Doc’ of ‘The Golfers Mind’ and ‘Putting out of your Mind’. If you are looking to play better golf, enjoy the game more, or get over ‘the yips’ I cannot recommend this highly enough. Whilst I cannot put it down to the book alone, whilst reading this book I knocked 3 shots off my handicap (now down to 12). It is all about the psychology of playing great golf, the part of the game that is too easily ignored. You cannot forget your technique, but with the right mind set, your technique will be 100 times better. If you play golf, or want to play golf, just read it. I promise you won’t regret it.

entrepreneur-revolution-how-to-develop-your-entrepreneurial-mind-set-and-start-a-business-that-works

Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mind-set and Start a Business That Works’

Daniel Priestly

I loved this book because it covered a number of topics that I am particularly passionate about. In the main, this is about the new wave of people that are and can set up their own business instead of working for the big corporates. This allows them to live a much more fulfilled live with a better balance, whilst spending their ‘work’ time doing something they are passionate about.
This revolution is happening as we speak. Small businesses are taking on big businesses, because never before have they had the tools that are available today. A teenager has more technology in their bedroom than was available to Coca-Cola for their first 50 years. If you, or particularly a young person who you know is considering setting up their own business, this is a great book to read.

flash-boys

Flash Boys

Michael Lewis

By the author of ‘Moneyball’, this book dives into the high frequency traders that work in the US stock market. It may sound like a tough financial read, but it is actually a fascinating story, written extremely well, of how most investors have been ripped off over recent years. We are only talking small margins here, but each is a bit of the investor’s profit. It gives an amazing insight into what’s wrong with the regulatory system, and how a clever team have been able to bypass these ‘scammers’.

thrive

Thrive

Arianna Huffington

Founder of The Huffington Post, the most successful online newspaper, she woke up one day on the floor of her office in a pool of blood. She had collapsed from exhaustion, and hit her head on the desk corner on the way down. This caused her to reflect on her life, and re-evaluate what was important to her. The book focuses on what she calls the third pillar of success. Historically, success has been judged by power and money, but the need for a third pillar has become more and more apparent over the years. This third pillar is based around mindfulness and wellbeing. In other words, it’s all very well having power and money, but if you are unhappy and unhealthy, it means very little.

steve-jobs-the-exclusive-biography

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

Walter Isaacson

This book really does tell it how it is. Steve Jobs was clearly not a particularly nice man in some aspects of his life, and it pulls no punches here, but it also highlights why he is probably the most talented CEO of our time. Not afraid to tear up the rule book, push people beyond the limits they thought they were bound by, and understanding what people will want. As Henry Ford put it, “if I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Steve Jobs did this for personal computing and consumer electronics. His passion ensuring the product ruled rather than the profit, something that did not happen in the years after Steve was sacked from Apple, allowed him to change the world forever. His insistence that Apple should create closed products, encapsulating both the physical and the software, ensured that he could massively enhance the user experience. He transformed the high street with their innovative stores, and created some of the most iconic films in recent years through Pixar.

the-wolf-of-wall-street

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort

I had held back from watching the film until I had finished the book, and I am pleased I did. Whilst the film came highly recommended by numerous people, I have to say after reading the book I found it extremely frustrating and disappointing. Obviously Hollywood is going to put its slant onto it, but in a several occasions the film creates a story out of 5 different actual events. Whether the film was your thing or not, and on the basis you can tolerate some extremely choice language, I strongly recommend the book. It gives you a much greater insight into Jordan’s life, and that of the life of a Wall Street in years gone by, we hope! There are some hilarious stories within it, as well as some interesting lessons to be taken from it. Enjoy with caution!

the-backpacker

The Backpacker

John Harris

The author set off travelling some 15 years ago and is still going. Whilst this is a work of fiction, I have now doubt that many of the stories reflect episodes of his travels. It is a brilliant book, packed full of the amazing adventures of a particular backpacker, and for any of you that have been travelling, strongly suggest you take a look. It falls into the same vein as ‘The Beach’ and ‘Are You Experienced’; two other travelling classics, so if you enjoyed them, give it a try. However, if you have children that are about to go travelling, I am not sure I would be buying for them as a present; you just might not see them again if you do!

start-with-why

Start with Why

Simon Sinek

It is essentially a book that focuses on marketing and team management, but it has an impact on everything you do in business. ‘Start with Why’ looks extensively at why companies like Apple have succeeded where companies like Dell have struggled. By focusing on ‘why’ a company does what it does, not how or what it does, both the customers and the employees are much more likely to buy into it, and become raving fans of the business. It is a well written book with a fantastic message. Even if you don’t own your own company, the principals of what it teaches you will help you in all walks of life. I hope you take the time to read it, you won’t be disappointed.

the-big-short

The Big Short

Michael Lewis

‘The Big Short’ looks at the story of 3 amazing traders who predicted and profited from the Credit Crunch. It gives a fascinating insight into what really was happening in the lead up and ultimately the cause of the financial disaster that was The Credit Crunch. As Michael Lewis has done in ‘Flash Boys’, he has brilliantly woven 3 compelling stories through a fascinating financial event, which gives you a genuine insight into the wrong doing that was happening.

talk-like-ted

Talk like TED

Carmine Gallo

This book is an absolutely brilliant book for so many reasons. For those of you that don’t know, TED is a conference that happens in the US, and now globally, where the world’s greatest leaders, business minds and inspirational people are asked to speak for 18 minutes. No more. Firstly, if you spend any of your life building or giving presentations, this book is a must. It works through 9 key ways to build a talk as good as those you see on TED. Even if you don’t give talks and presentations, it gives you so many snap shots of great TED talks, that it is worth the read for this alone. Carmine practices what he preaches, so it is a pleasurable read from start to finish.

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Money: Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Tony Robbins

This is unlikely to be read by those who need it. At 688 pages, it will take a long time to read. Fortunately, the section on ‘myths’ can be ignored, as it relates only to the US and so none of the facts and figures are relevant; the rest of the book, however, is relevant. If you’ve not come across Tony Robbins you may want to look him up on YouTube to get a flavour of his style before you buy the book. He is brash, loud and very American. But you can forgive him of this when you look at some of the detail in the book. If you ignore the final third of the book, which is filled with examples, and focus on what most people in the UK will be interested in – the investment strategies – he gives good, sound advice and good explanations of the asset allocation process.
Not an easy read, but one that may be worth your time if you want to manage your own investments.

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Creativity

Ed Catmull

The founder of Pixar, Ed focuses on looked at how Pixar became such a phenomenal success, how they negotiated their greatest challenges and what we can learn from them. His stories of life at Pixar with the likes of John Lasseter and Steve Jobs are quite sensational; what he has done to that business and its employees quite inspirational. If you are a business owner and what to develop your business further, I would strongly recommend reading this, as there are some pearls of wisdom in here that will really help. If you like interesting business autobiographies, this is another great example to get your hands on too.

outliers-the-story-of-success

Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell is also the author of The ‘Tipping Point’ and ‘Blink’, both excellent books, and with ‘Outliers’ he again takes a look at the world in a very different way to the rest of us. In this book he looks at success and what makes success, and the results are very interesting and totally believable. If you think skill, talent and hard work generate success, you are wrong, according to the book. I will not spoil the conclusions here as I really would like you to get hold of a copy and find out for yourself. The book is very easy to read and is very enjoyable because it is packed full of fascinating stories and insights. The best book I have read in ages, so grab yourself a copy for your summer holiday.

disney-u-how-disney-university-develops-the-worlds-most-engaged-loyal-and-customer-centric-employees

Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees

Doug Lipp

Disney University is where the employees of Disney parks, go to become the ‘cast members’, and Lipp explores the detail of how they achieve the experience that far surpasses their competition. This is a fascinating book if you run your own business because it makes you think about how you can apply Disney’s ethos to your business to enhance your employees and your customer’s experiences. “Training cannot be limited to `Here’s what you need to do, now go do it.’ That’s not good enough. Training needs to instill a spirit, a feeling, an emotional connection. Training means creating an environment of thinking and feeling.” – Van France, founder of Disney University.

Skinny Weeks & Weekend Feasts Kindle Edition

Gorgeous and talented foodie Gizzi Erskine is best known for being one of the presenters of Channel 4’s Cook Yourself Thin and author of the bestselling book by the same name. Her take on food is edgy and refreshing, and her approach has struck a real chord with the public. She trained at the prestigious Leith’s School of Food and Wine, before going on to work at BBC Good Food magazine and is now a regular chef on GMTV and This Morning. Gizzi is the food columnist for Company magazineand has contributed to Marie Claire, InStyle, Elle USA and Arena, among others.

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Dr Gillian McKeith’s Ultimate Health Plan: The DIET Programme That Will Keep You Slim for Life Paperback

OK, so you’d like to lose weight – or you’d like to keep slim but you know your diet just isn’t that healthy. You’d like to stop the pounds creeping back on, or maybe you could feel better, sleep better, be more energized? Dr Gillian can show you how. Rather than making you count calories, carbs or eat by percentages discover an infinitely more effective system of levels and goals that will switch on a healthy eating passion in you for life.

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River Cottage Light & Easy: Healthy Recipes for Every Day Hardcover

‘Eating more healthily isn’t about denial. For example, reducing one’s dependence on wheat flour and dairy ingredients, which don’t appear at all in this book, turns out to be a delicious voyage of discovery. New grains, new oils, new tastes, new combinations: it all adds up to a new zest for life.’ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook Paperback

Sarah Wilson was a self-confessed sugar addict, eating the equivalent of twenty-five teaspoons of sugar every day, before making the link between her sugar consumption and a lifetime of mood disorders, fluctuating weight issues, sleep problems and thyroid disease. She knew she had to make a change.

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The 4 Hour Body

Tim Ferris

Tim describes himself as a human guinea pig. If there is a theory somewhere that muscle can be gained or fat lost by a particular change to your lifestyle or diet, you can almost guarantee he’s tried it. Whether it’s garlic and green tea supplements, or works out after double espresso’s, he’s been there. Whilst following this method to the letter would not be my recommendation, there are some really interesting facts, figures and ideas in here that could and probably should be adopted. Still aren’t convinced it’s the way to improve 2011? Did I mention the chapter on tantric sex?

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Coma

Alex Garland

We won’t go into the story too much, other than to say it is about someone who ends up is a Coma, and what happens to the mind around this event. It isn’t a long read, but it certainly is fascinating and thought provoking.

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Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

Rich Roll, and entertainment lawyer in LA at the age of 40 was very overweight, puffing and panting as he climbed the stairs. As he turned 40, he had a realisation that things had to change. So he set about getting fit, and switched to a vegan diet.

Less than 2 years later he had completed an ultra-marathon; an incredible feet of fitness that involves swimming 6.6 miles, cycling 260 miles and running 52 miles over a 3 day event in Hawaii. And this turns out to only be the start of his journey. If you are into cycling, running or swimming, I highly recommend this book. It is amazing what can be achieved, and many of Rich’s secrets are in this fascinating story.

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Thirsty Work

Matt Skinner Considered to be the Jamie Oliver of Wine, this book is amusing, informative and well written. Anyone who likes a little splash of claret will welcome this as a Christmas present. It talks you through the different aspects of wines, the different grapes, and helps sort out a few cloudy areas that might never have been clear both on the new and old world. There to be enjoyed wearing a nice new woolen jumper on Boxing Day, feet in front of the fire, with a large glass of red on the go.

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Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection

Rufus Purdy and Lucy Fennings This book has got an excellent array of hotels throughout the UK in it. We are picking them off slowly but surely, and everything we have visited so far has been brilliant. A great present for a couple, and if you have the book, you are usually entitled something along the lines of some free champagne or a picnic hamper on your arrival. If you do buy it, I think Ickworth house in Suffolk has been the best so far, and is also great if you have children.

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The Juice 2007

Matt Skinner From Matt Skinner’s Thirsty Work to his latest book The Juice 2007, he highlights 100 of the best wines he has tried in 2006. He splits them into 4 categories; skint, bling, TV dinner and to impress, and he recommends a whole range of excellent wine. We are gradually working our way through them, and can vouch for every one we have tried so far. Enjoy!

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Red Moon Rising

Matthew Brezezinski The tag line for the book is ‘Sputnik and the rivalries that ignited the space age.’ The book appears to be a history of Sputnik, which it is, but it is far more than that. The book is a very entertaining history of the cold war and what really happened not just behind the iron curtain, but in the halls of the White House too. We can learn so much from accurately-reported history, and this book is an example of how important history can be informative and entertaining. If you have any interest in recent history, it is a must for you. More importantly, if you know someone who has never heard of Sputnik, buy this for them now.

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My Life: The Presidential Years

Bill Clinton President Bill Clinton’s My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public. It shows us the progress of a remarkable American, who, through his own enormous energies and efforts, made the unlikely journey from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House—a journey fueled by an impassioned interest in the political process which manifested itself at every stage of his life.

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A Short History of Almost Everything

Bill Bryson What on earth is Bill Bryson doing writing a book of popular science–A Short History of Almost Everything? Largely, it appears, because this inquisitive, much-travelled writer realised, while flying over the Pacific, realised that he was entirely ignorant of the processes that created, populated and continue to maintain the vast body of water beneath him. At times it feels you are going back to be class room for some much needed revision, and yet the mannerisms he uses to describe the unimaginably enormous, far away or long ago make it many times more memorable, whilst also making you feel very small.

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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Barack Obama The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a new kind of politics—a politics that builds upon those shared understandings that pull us together as Americans. Lucid in his vision of America’s place in the world, refreshingly candid about his family life and his time in the Senate, Obama here sets out his political convictions and inspires us to trust in the dogged optimism that has long defined us and that is our best hope going forward.

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The Golfer’s Mind

Dr. Bob Rotella In the perfect format for the busy golfer, The Golfer’s Mind is the concise and convenient quick-reference tool to appeal to Rotella’s millions of followers and is sure to become a golf classic. Weekend golfers and pros like Brad Faxon, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Tom Kite, and Davis Love III all read and listen to the man they call Doc because his teachings are simple and direct—and in the end, what Doc says makes them play better golf.

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Full Disclosure

Andrew Neil Andrew Neil’s autobiography. As Managing Editor of Britain’s Sunday Times he was the most powerful and innovatiev editor in Britain’s Fleet Street. He fought with The Royal Family, endlessly with Margaret Thatcher and eventually with the paper’s new owner Rupert Murdoch. Fascinating and required read for anyone interested in journalism.

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Twenty Tales From A War Zone

John Simpson I have read and recommended other John Simpson books in the past, and some of the same stories come up again here, however with his style of writing, and the situations he ends up being in, it makes it worth reading time and again. Twenty recent historic events are brought to life by John Simpson in this book as he tells each story from its very core. These tales make easy reading and they cannot fail to stir deep emotions in every reader. The pace is fast and the stories are short and punchy.

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Putting Out Of Your Mind

Bob Rotella A few months back I recommended another book by Bob Rotella; “The Golfer’s Mind”. In the latter book, he discusses some putting techniques, however the former goes into a lot more detail on putting routines, thoughts, and generals principals. There aren’t many people that play golf and don’t need or want to improve their putting. After all, ‘you drive for show, and putt for dough’. I can recommend this as highly as the first… Just please don’t tell my golfing buddies about it!

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The Real Deal

James Caan Caan, real name Nazim Khan, is a well-known dragon into his second season on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den. The book is a chronological autobiography that explains simply how he got to where he is. The book is easy to read, and in Chapters 6 to 18 really shows what it takes to become a very wealthy businessman. If you have any interest in business, the book is well worth 10 hours of your time reading it. With many businesses struggling with the recession, the book contains some genuine common sense about what you should do.

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The Undercover Scientist: Investigating the Mishaps of Everyday Life

Peter J. Bentley This book aims to do to Science what Freakonomics does to economics. It looks at a variety of interesting everyday events in the day of a rather unfortunate individual’s life, and looks at the science behind it. It reminds you of some of the aspects of A-Level sciences should probably should remember, and also focuses on newer technologies. A light-hearted refresher course in the world of science.

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The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown Well, sometimes we just need something fun to read, and it has come to my attention that some readers of this Update don’t read the recommended book. Difficult to believe, I know, so this month I thought we’d choose something really fun to read, which this book is. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn–Brown’s most exciting novel yet. No prizes for realising that it’s the usual mix of real and pretend, written in such a way as to blur which is which. But if you give it a try, you will find it immensely entertaining.

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A History of Modern Britain

Andrew Marr This engaging volume tells the story of how the great political visions and idealisms of Victorian Britain came to be defeated by a culture of consumerism, celebrity, and self-gratification. This is fun, easy going and light-hearted look at how post war Britain has progressed through the ages. It is easy to dip in and out of, and Andrew Marr’s dry sense of humour runs through it. Read and enjoy some good old British history.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo The Girl Who Played with Fire The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest

Stieg Larsson The books revolve around a central character, Lisbeth – the girl of the title – who is a skilled computer hacker and a near-recluse from society. The storylines are interesting and can become quite involved, but what is most interesting about the books by Stieg Larsson is his style of writing. It is genuinely original. He maintains a balance between detail and brevity that I have not encountered before, and which makes the books very different from anything else you will have read lately. If you want to try something different, give them a go. You’ll be pleased you did.

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Crush It

Gary Vaynerchuck This book has been a phenomenal success, and understandably so. Its about living your passion, and Gary’s is wine.The author just about hands you a blueprint for branding yourself in order to brand your company. His insights into social media alone are well worth the day’s investment it takes to read this book, and this is a great book if you would like to expand your business into the world of social media.

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Confessions of a Conjuror

Derren Brown Whilst his first book focused on techniques used in different sections of the magic and mind reading world, Confessions of a Conjuror is part autobiography, and part insight into the skills of his trade. His elaborate story telling is both amusing and enthralling, and if you are vaguely interested in the world ofmagic, or Derren himself, it is a must read. Having been lucky enough to be dragged up on a stage with him in the past, it goes some way to explain the madness behind the magic.

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Not Quite the World’s End

John Simpson Whilst I would normally distrust a book that contains so many ’When I was ins’, in John Simpson’s case these are all too interesting. Although I would not rate it as his best book, (in my opinion ‘A mad world mymasters’) there is a greater degree of opinion and oversight instead of one stories after the next. He is an amazing story teller, and his insight into the experiences he has (Saddam Hussein’s trial, interviewing the likes of Robert Mugabe and prostitutes in Cuba) is informative as well as enthralling.

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The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

Matt Ridley Ridley tackles the dangerous subjects of global warming, world population and human society in general. Ridley maintains that whilst optimism is distinctly unfashionable it is more realistic and borne out by subsequent events than apocalyptical pessimism; something that I definitely agree with. And optimism is not callous indifference to suffering. It is the opposite – ambitious optimism is morally mandatory because there is so much suffering we should not get in the way of innovation and economic progress.

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Effortless Success

Michael Neil Michael Neill is very easy to listen to, he does not make you feel that he is “telling you” anything but a bit more like listening to someone you really respect chatting down the pub. His understanding of human nature and its nuances is non-judgemental, supportive and humorous. There is a wealth of wisdom here from around the world of NLP, without being too pretentious.

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Eat That Frog!: Get More of the Important Things Done, Today!

Brian Tracy Whilst I have read a number of books on time management, none have given so many brilliant ideas in such a short space of time. I cannot recommend this highly enough, as we have restricted the way in which we all work at Efficient Portfolio as a result of it. A must for everyone that wants to be more productive as well as anyone that gets down by the constant list of tasks that life and work throw at you. Enjoy ‘Eating that Frog!’

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What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-reading People

Joe Navarro This is definitely the most interesting body language book I have read because it is interlinked with memorable stories of his days in the FBI. It dispels some myths of reading body language, and gives you an easier way to memorise what different signals mean. If this subject interests you, I cannot recommend a better book. Enjoy.

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Inferno

Dan Brown Unsurprisingly themed around Dante’s Inferno, and taking time to delve into the historical side of ‘The Divine Comedy’ and the magical city of Florence, it also tackles an even more challenging topic; world population growth. Whilst I am not sure it is quite as gripping as ‘The Davinci Code’, but it is certainly out of the same mould, and probably surpasses his last book because of the highly topical world population issue. If you are looking for a little fiction to read on the beach, I cannot make any better recommendation than to explore Robert Langdon’s next adventure. It will be thought provoking if nothing else as well as exciting.

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How to Save an Hour Everyday

Michael Heppell Having read many time management books, this is more about giving you some really practical tips of how you can save time during your day. Not only does it give you some good immediate actions that can increase your effectiveness day to day, but it also takes it to a more advanced level too. Specifically attributing the more advanced strategy to Dan Sullivan (creator of The Strategic Coach, a program Charlie has been on for over 5 years) it helps you define your days into Focus, Free and Buffer days to maximise your productivity, and also your recuperation.

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The Cuckoo’s Calling

J.K Rowling and Robert Galbraith As well as being a good story, it gives you an interesting insight into the world of the celebrity. Almost every single famous person in the book is portrayed as uncompromisingly odious, obsessed with only the most shallow of things, sometimes to the point of life and death. Perhaps JK Rowling hasn’t had an entirely enjoyable experience as a famous person herself and it feels like this personal hatred bleeds through the story.

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The Unstoppable Golfer

Dr. Bob Rotella Long-time readers of this newsletter may remember previous entries by ‘The Doc’ of ‘The Golfers Mind’ and ‘Putting out of your Mind’. If you are looking to play better golf, enjoy the game more, or get over ‘the yips’ I cannot recommend this highly enough. Whilst I cannot put it down to the book alone, whilst reading this book I knocked 3 shots off my handicap (now down to 12). It is all about the psychology of playing great golf, the part of the game that is too easily ignored. You cannot forget your technique, but with the right mind set, your technique will be 100 times better. If you play golf, or want to play golf, just read it. I promise you won’t regret it.

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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

Walter Isaacson This book really does tell it how it is. Steve Jobs was clearly not a particularly nice man in some aspects of his life, and it pulls no punches here, but it also highlights why he is probably the most talented CEO of our time. Not afraid to tear up the rule book, push people beyond the limits they thought they were bound by, and understanding what people will want. As Henry Ford put it, “if I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Steve Jobs did this for personal computing and consumer electronics. His passion ensuring the product ruled rather than the profit, something that did not happen in the years after Steve was sacked from Apple, allowed him to change the world forever. His insistence that Apple should create closed products, encapsulating both the physical and the software, ensured that he could massively enhance the user experience. He transformed the high street with their innovative stores, and created some of the most iconic films in recent years through Pixar.

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The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort I had held back from watching the film until I had finished the book, and I am pleased I did. Whilst the film came highly recommended by numerous people, I have to say after reading the book I found it extremely frustrating and disappointing. Obviously Hollywood is going to put its slant onto it, but in a several occasions the film creates a story out of 5 different actual events. Whether the film was your thing or not, and on the basis you can tolerate some extremely choice language, I strongly recommend the book. It gives you a much greater insight into Jordan’s life, and that of the life of a Wall Street in years gone by, we hope! There are some hilarious stories within it, as well as some interesting lessons to be taken from it. Enjoy with caution!

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The Backpacker

John Harris The author set off travelling some 15 years ago and is still going. Whilst this is a work of fiction, I have now doubt that many of the stories reflect episodes of his travels. It is a brilliant book, packed full of the amazing adventures of a particular backpacker, and for any of you that have been travelling, strongly suggest you take a look. It falls into the same vein as ‘The Beach’ and ‘Are You Experienced’; two other travelling classics, so if you enjoyed them, give it a try. However, if you have children that are about to go travelling, I am not sure I would be buying for them as a present; you just might not see them again if you do!

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The Big Short

Michael Lewis ‘The Big Short’ looks at the story of 3 amazing traders who predicted and profited from the Credit Crunch. It gives a fascinating insight into what really was happening in the lead up and ultimately the cause of the financial disaster that was The Credit Crunch. As Michael Lewis has done in ‘Flash Boys’, he has brilliantly woven 3 compelling stories through a fascinating financial event, which gives you a genuine insight into the wrong doing that was happening.

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Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell Gladwell is also the author of The ‘Tipping Point’ and ‘Blink’, both excellent books, and with ‘Outliers’ he again takes a look at the world in a very different way to the rest of us. In this book he looks at success and what makes success, and the results are very interesting and totally believable. If you think skill, talent and hard work generate success, you are wrong, according to the book. I will not spoil the conclusions here as I really would like you to get hold of a copy and find out for yourself. The book is very easy to read and is very enjoyable because it is packed full of fascinating stories and insights. The best book I have read in ages, so grab yourself a copy for your summer holiday.

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Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward

This could be a dangerous book, so beware. It encourages you to look at things that you are dragging out in your life. That could be your job, a relationship, a goal; we all have things in our life where we should probably just draw a line under it and move on. To use a book as an analogy: If I get half way through a book and am not enjoying it, I have this nagging feeling I should finish it because I have got so far. This book will help you walk away from areas of your life like a half read book, or a goal that is no longer what you aspire to, and to move on. As I say, it can be a dangerous book, so be careful what you wish for!

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Get Abundance: Why Your Future is Brighter Than You Think

Peter Diamandis This is the audio version of ‘Abundance’ by the same author and with the same content. This look is brilliant at making you realise how good a world we live in today, and how that will continue to change at an electrifying pace. Faster than any of can imagine; but those that do will successful beyond their wildest dreams. This is an uplifting book, that will show you how you can use technology to make the world a better place to be. The future is brighter than you think, so why not help create it! A particularly good book for business owners that want to change the world!

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The 4 Agreements: Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Published in 1997, this is a short and easy read, but extremely powerful. It starts to break down how you talk to yourself and lets your soul be your guide. The four basic agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Words.
  2. Don't Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don't Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.

You can't break it down much more than that. These basic goals and hopes are wonderfully helpful and a path to making one’s life a bit easier and much happier. I can’t recommend this book enough. Whilst the message is simple, it’s power is vital to a happier life.

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Them: Adventures with Extremists

Jon Ronson In this book, Ronson spends time with extremists and details his adventures about trying to find the hidden rulers of the world. Written prior to 9/11, Ronson hangs out with the leader of the Ku Klux Klan and Islamic extremists, amongst others, to learn more about what motivates them and what their life is like. It gives you a fascinating insight into a very different world that is apparently ruled by a secret society called the ‘Bildeberg Group’, who hate followers of Judaism. As a Jewish man himself, this leads Ronson into some very awkward and fascinating encounters. This is a very entertaining book, with a serious message. Who is evil is in the eye of the beholder? This is a journey into a mirror image world of paranoia, conspiracy and suspicion that everything we think we know is wrong, and all our treasured beliefs are only what we are brainwashed from birth into thinking. It's a scary ride to the other side - where "We" might really be "Them".

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Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

Robert Kurson I am a keen scuba diver, as many of you know, but my passion for the underwater world has always revolved around sea life, rather than history. I have done many wreck dives over the years, including a B17 bomber in Corsica, but again the fish and coral around these wrecks has always been what caught my imagination the most, but no more. This book tells the fascinating true story of 2 men determined to find the Legendary Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. If they can succeed, they will make history—it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, face down dangerous rivals, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they learn to think and act like pirates—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before.

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Fatherhood (The Truth)

Markus Berkmann This book is thoroughly recommended to all fathers to be, or fathers who already are, as in places it is side splittingly funny. It can get you quite embarassing reading a book on public transport called Fatherhood whilst doing nothing but laugh and cringe at it, however it is worth it. Describing baby sizes using objects such as remote controls and with the chapters called things like “Piss Shit and Vomit” certainly make a very informative book extremely entertaining. Enjoy dads to be, and buy for him mums to be.

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It’s Not About the Bike

Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins A book that highlights the suffering from cancer in incredible detail, however it also highlights the amazing motivation and focus of another human being in the face of adversity. An enthralling read that you will almost enjoy for more if you are not interested in cycling (as in many cases). Follow the inspiring journey of world-class hero Lance Armstrong, from the dark night of advanced cancer through his dramatic victory in the 1999 Tour de France, and beyond.

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Awaken the Giant Within

Tony Robbins Wake up and take control of your life! This book shows you the most effective strategies and techniques for mastering your emotions, your body, your relationships, your life, and your finances. Although it is dated in parts, the processes and theories still ring true today.

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The Progress Of Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse

Gregg Easterbrook By the same author as The Paradox of Choice, this time he starts to look at the many ways life has improved way beyond our ancestor’s wildest imaginations, and yet the western world is becoming more depressed. A good book to remind you how good we actually have it, but also to make us focus on areas that will make us happy, rather than some of the materialistic items we think will make us happy. Although at times he labours a point a little too much, a really worthwhile read, with an unexpected tail.

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Who Moved My Cheese

Dr. Spencer Johnson This can be read in one setting, as it is a very short and concise story about two little people and two mice, chasing Cheese! Cheese is of course a metaphor for all those things in life we chase (money, jobs, relationships etc ). A really simple and yet excellent book that should probably be read several time to really pick up all the underlying reasoning and rational. Enjoy!

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The Power Of Now, A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment

Eckart Tolle Ekhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.

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The Power of Ambition

Jim Rohn Ambition can be a powerful force for good in our lives. But only if it is legitimate. Sometimes misinterpreted and often misunderstood, ambition – true ambition – is not a selfish quality. It is not another word for ruthless; it is not something to be shunned or subdued. With The Power of Ambition you can take charge of your own personal happiness, chart your own course through life and let your legitimate ambition create whatever you desire, take you wherever you want to go.

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Mindset

Carol Dweck This book has a simple premise: The world is divided between people who are open to learning and those who are closed to it, and this trait affects everything from your worldview to your interpersonal relationships. Dweck addresses the ways that mindsets have an impact on people. She explains that you can have a closed mindset in regard to some traits and an open mindset in regard to others. The thoughtprovoking insight becomes more fascinating still (from a parent’s point of view) when she turns her attention to how best to apply this to bringing up and speaking to your children. A must for all parents

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The Element

Ken Robinson I first discovered Ken Robinson from a talk he did at TED, and decided his book was a must read. His book contains many stories that emphasise the point brilliantly. The point being ’How finding your passion changes everything’. I highly recommend this book for anyone with children in education. It highlights what I strongly believe are many of the short comings of the British education system, and is a fascinating read. Read and enjoy.

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The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness

Dr. Steve Peters Dr. Steve Peters was a massive influence on the Team GB Cycling Team, and this book clearly demonstrates why. It will make you look at the way your brain works in the way it does, and why you do and react in some of the ways you do. It also gives you some excellent insights into how you ‘can manage your chimp’. Don’t let your chimp stop you buying this book!

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Children Are From Heaven

John Gray As I (Charlie) have 2 young girls, I understand the challenges of bringing up children, and I am sure there will be many more to come. Whilst I don’t think any book can have all the answers, using positive techniques (as opposed to punishing/negative ones), using the right language, and having a process in your mind for dealing with those challenging situations make for a much happier house. This is also available as an audio book, for the multi-tasking Mums. I hope you enjoy.

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Loving What Is

Byron Katie Byron Katie is fantastic at getting you to look at the way you go through life and your take on everything you do. Doing ‘the work’ and understanding her simple question based analysis of anything that causes you anger or stress, helps you to realise that it isn’t these events or people that cause you stress, it is your interpretation of them that does. Some very wise people recommended this book to me, and I can now see why. I hope you take the time to read and enjoy it.

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How Will You Measure Your Life?

Clayton Christensen How Will You Measure Your Life? is a highly original, surprising book from a singular business figure. It’s a book sure to inspire and educate readers – companies and individuals, students of business, mid-career professionals, and even parents. A groundbreaking book, putting forth a series of questions and models for success that have long been applied in the world of business, but also can be used to find cogent answers to pressing life questions: How can I be sure that I’ll find satisfaction in my career? How can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse, my family and my close friends become enduring sources of happiness? How can I avoid compromising my integrity (and stay out of jail)?

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Finding Your Element

Ken Robinson “Finding Your Element” is the second book by Ken Robinson about how to find what you should be doing with your life. While the first book talks about what your element is, the second focuses on what you need to do to discover your element and how to put it into your life. Even if you are retired you will love the exercises in the book, because your element is not about work, it’s about what you are and what you do to be the person you are. This all may sound very “fluffy”, but the book is so practical that it will be able to help everyone. In particular I would also suggest it was a fantastic book for students in helping them understand what they should do with the rest of their life.

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Thrive

Arianna Huffington Founder of The Huffington Post, the most successful online newspaper, she woke up one day on the floor of her office in a pool of blood. She had collapsed from exhaustion, and hit her head on the desk corner on the way down. This caused her to reflect on her life, and re-evaluate what was important to her. The book focuses on what she calls the third pillar of success. Historically, success has been judged by power and money, but the need for a third pillar has become more and more apparent over the years. This third pillar is based around mindfulness and wellbeing. In other words, it’s all very well having power and money, but if you are unhappy and unhealthy, it means very little.

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Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward

This could be a dangerous book, so beware. It encourages you to look at things that you are dragging out in your life. That could be your job, a relationship, a goal; we all have things in our life where we should probably just draw a line under it and move on. To use a book as an analogy: If I get half way through a book and am not enjoying it, I have this nagging feeling I should finish it because I have got so far. This book will help you walk away from areas of your life like a half read book, or a goal that is no longer what you aspire to, and to move on. As I say, it can be a dangerous book, so be careful what you wish for!

Purchase

Get Abundance: Why Your Future is Brighter Than You Think

Peter Diamandis This is the audio version of ‘Abundance’ by the same author and with the same content. This look is brilliant at making you realise how good a world we live in today, and how that will continue to change at an electrifying pace. Faster than any of can imagine; but those that do will successful beyond their wildest dreams. This is an uplifting book, that will show you how you can use technology to make the world a better place to be. The future is brighter than you think, so why not help create it! A particularly good book for business owners that want to change the world!

Purchase

The 4 Agreements: Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Published in 1997, this is a short and easy read, but extremely powerful. It starts to break down how you talk to yourself and lets your soul be your guide. The four basic agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Words.
  2. Don't Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don't Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.
You can't break it down much more than that. These basic goals and hopes are wonderfully helpful and a path to making one’s life a bit easier and much happier. I can’t recommend this book enough. Whilst the message is simple, it’s power is vital to a happier life.

Purchase

Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite

Paul Arden The book is a loose collection of notes, stories and things to consider that really get you thinking. It is not the sort of book that you would want to read in one go, but leave it on the coffee table or by toilet and you’ll come back to it time after time. If you want a Christmas present that will be sure to cause deep family discussions, this is the book for you.

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Millionaire Upgrade, Tales from the Sharp End of the Plane

Richard Parkes Cordock A quick and easy book to read, like many of the “wealth advice” books, it is written in a story format in much the same way as The One Minute Manager books. You can easily read the book (142 pages) in a day and is ideal for the person who feels that nothing is going their way! It gives simple practical advise for everyone while at the same time giving plenty of anecdotes to make the read fun.

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The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less

Barry Schwartz The author of The Paradox of Choce explains why too much choice has led to the ever increasing complexity of everyday decisions, why too much of a good thing has become detrimental to human psychological and emotional well-being, and how to focus our lives on making the right choices. Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice–the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish–becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. A perfect suggestion for Christmas!

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Golden Apples: Six Simple Steps to Success

Bill Cullen This book will have a hugely positive impact on everyone who reads it. This voice out of Ireland is the best one for years. Bill Cullen, legendary head of Renault Ireland, went from selling apples on the streets of Dublin to owning a company with an annual turnover of over $400 million. He credits much of his success to the women in his life: his mother, Mary, and his grandmother, Molly Darcy. Now Bill shares those memories, and interprets them for the twenty-first century. Under his inspirational guidance, you can transform your career and your life.

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Enemies of the Future

Virginia Postrel In the book, Postrel looks at the two forces that she believes shapes our future. The book gives a genuine analysis of many social theories and how these can be both right and wrong, and interestingly she completes this analysis from the open position of being in the dynamism camp. Ultimately the book draws few conclusions other than change can be both good and bad. But, if you’re interested in what makes society (and thus ultimately the economy, and thus your investments) tick. This is an interesting read, though not one for the poolside.

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Scotland’s Heroes

John Lindsey Prior to reading the book, you’ll have no idea how influential the Scot’s were in the affairs of the world over the last 1000 years. So many people who have influenced the world both economically (Adam Smith for example) or scientifically (John Logie Baird) were Scot’s through and through, and it seems fitting and right that their heritage is commemorated here. The book is easy to read and does not get tied down in any one “hero” as it moves swiftly from one person to another. The book uses the statues of Scotland as its reference and starting point. If you are holidaying in Scotland then this book would make a fine guide as to the places to visit.

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Affluenza

Oliver James This book is a result of the author who travelled around the world to try and find out why people are wealthy yet unhappy. He discovered how, despite very different cultures and levels of wealth, affluenza is spreading. He asks: why do so many more people want what they haven’t got and want to be someone they’re not, despite being richer and freer from traditional restraints? And, in so doing, uncovers the answer to how to reconnect with what really matters and learn to value what you’ve already got. In other words, how to be successful and stay sane.

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Tescopoly

Andrew Simms The book covers the growth of the supermarkets around the world, but focuses on Tesco. In the book, Simms argues how bad this is not just for us but for everyone in the world. His arguments are quite well though out, if erroneous in places. However it does make you think. Whenever you read a book like this, it is important to understand when the author is coming from and how their view any bias any comments, and this book certainly shows this point. Never the less it is thought provoking and should be read by anyone with an interest in economics, sociology or world politics.

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Anyone Can Do It

Duncan Bannatyne If you read many biographies, you will know that many of them are written by ghost writers, who simply interview the subject and write it for them. In this book, you can tell that Bannatyne, is writing the whole thing himself. The book is a very easy and entertaining read. When you can see the risks that he has taken to make his fortune, you immediately give him much more credence when watching him on TV. Even if you are not interested in business get hold of this book and enjoy a good read, you won’t be able to put it down.

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How to Get Rich

Felix Denis Not so much a how to get rich book, but more a “this is how I did it book”. Not quite an autobiography, but enough of one to make this book very different from Paul McKenna’s. In the book Denis can be both entertaining and offensive, so don’t read this if you are easily offended. Also don’t read this if you are not rich and want to be rich easily as Denis tells us bluntly, that you can only be rich by working b***y hard and must give up many other things to be rich. It is also interesting to see how he values rich. It is probably worth reading the book just for this thought-provoking chapter.

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The Automatic Millionaire

David Bach Despite its sensational title, David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire is not a get-rich-quick guide. Rather, the book is a straightforward march through common-sense personal financial planning that suggests readers “automate” their contributions to retirement and investment vehicles. Bach, in fact, calls his model the “tortoise approach” to becoming wealthy by retirement age. In many ways it is basic financial planning, and yet such a simple plan can be incredibly effective. on, and yet the mannerisms he uses to describe the unimaginably enormous, far away or long ago make it many times more memorable, whilst also making you feel very small.

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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt Freakonomics is at the heart of everything we see and do and the subjects that bedevil us daily: from parenting to crime, sport to politics, fat to cheating, fear to traffic jams. Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, “Freakonomics” will make you see the familiar world through a completely original lens.

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The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand

Chris Anderson It is a book that looks at how the internet is changing the face of economics. Until the advent of the internet, shops couldn’t afford to stock all the niche products, because of the cost. With iTunes, Amazon and eBay meaning that stocking is no longer an issue, niches are the new hits. As well as being a good book focusing on the economics side of the internet, it is also an interesting way to look at the history of internet shopping, the future development potential of technology and the models that will be successful going forward.

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The Millionaire Next Door

Thomas Stanley and William Danko This book uncovers the trust behind Americas millionaires; no, not the celebrities and those with large inheritances, this is about the people who have accumulated wealth through their lifetime. They are the people next door. It is a simple and easy book to read, and runs through the basics of saving, investing and ensuring that you have a more prosperous future. Read it, it will do us all good!

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The E-Myth Revisited

Michael Gerber The author takes you through the steps of a life in business—from an entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective; the guiding light of all businesses that succeed–and shows you how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. He draws the much overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. A essential book for any business owner (or owner to be). One for the beach instead of Dan Brown maybe!

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Business Stripped Bare

Sir Richard Branson In Business Stripped Bare, Sir Richard Branson shares the inside track on his life in business and reveals the incredible truth about his most risky, brilliant and audacious deals. Some of you will like him, some of you not, but you cannot shy away from his successful business history. A really interesting read, and some interesting things discussed around the Northern Rock saga. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but worth the read for sure.

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The Crash of 2008 And What It Means

George Soros I think the Sunday Times summed it up best; “This was a book that George Soros badly wanted to write. It is probably not what many of its readers expect to read. But it shows that in his deeper thinking about the way markets operate, Soros was several decades ahead of his time… His insights are clear and concisely expressed. They are worth reading for anyone interested in the topic.” –Financial Times. It’s not a particularly light hearted book for the beach, but if you are interested in the philosophy of investing, it is worth pursuing.

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The One Minute Manager

Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson The One Minute Manager is a concise, easily read story that reveals three very practical secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands. This is an excellent book with a simple concept, an easy read (or listen if you opt for the audio book) but an essential read or anyone managing people, and also not a bad suggestion for anyone with children. Don’t just take my word for it, take the fact that it has sold over a million copies. Enjoy.

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Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt A follow up to the excellent Freakonomics, this book heads back into the same territory with another list of unusual fields of study. For those of you who read Freakonomics, the same guy that carried out the economic analysis of drug dealers turns his focus to the pricing system of prostitutes instead. It isn’t quite as forthcoming as the first, but then the sequels rarely are; however there is sill loads of interesting and amusing stuff, and the section on climate change is fascinating.

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The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Niall Ferguson This book runs through the history of where corporate and government bonds originate from, how the banks became what they are, and how equities, and therefore investments as we know them turned into hedge funds and other clever vehicles. Where it excels is it’s ability to relate historical events to those of the last 18 months, showing that nothing that has happened throughout the credit crunch is new territory, just arranged slightly differently. This is a fascinating read, whether you are into the world of finance or not.

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4-Hour Work Week

Tim Ferriss Tim runs a successful company in the US whilst having time to become the first US winner of the Argentinean Tango in Argentina, the first non-Chinese winner of a national Chinese Martial Arts championship, learning 6 languages, and travelling the world. He does this in a number of ways, which are in the main, outsourcing work, making the most of technology, applying the 80/20 rule to the extreme, travelling wisely, and generally enjoying life. A great book to read whether you are employed or a business owner, whether you want to travel the world or simply have more free time.

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Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Chris Anderson The book looks at how the use of free gifts and free products is leading to a change in the way that products are both priced and sold. The book goes back to the origins of free products, when Gillette first gave away disposable razor blades to encourage the use of this ground-breaking product. It looks at how easyJet can sell plane tickets so cheaply, and why so much software is given away for free on the iPhone. If you have any interest in marketing with new technology, or perhaps more importantly, how you may be being persuaded with these new techniques, read this entertaining book now.

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Linchpin

Seth Godin Many of the principals are similar, however underlying difference is that Linchpin is written for people working within companies. It looks at how you can become invaluable to a company, career progression and reminds you of certain aspects of working life that should be obvious, but get easily forgotten. A very good book about how to be better at what you do.

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Tribes

Seth Godin In Tribes he talks about the power of leadership, and how the internet is allow ‘tribes’ to be formed in many new formats, many of which are based around social media. For anyone that is interested in making their business grow using social media, or just embracing it more on a personal level, this is a really interesting book. Throughout the book Godin skilfully dissects management and shows how it’s not synonymous with leadership. This aspect of the book alone makes it a must-read for all who are managers or who work for managers that aren’t leaders.

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Herd

Mark Earls Unlike most business or marketing books it’s not a set of case studies or a ‘how to’ process guide to mechanistic thinking. Rather, it’s an excellently written analysis of the new thinking (and the forgotten old thinking) about how people think, act and behave. It doesn’t give you answers or tell you what to do, but rather raises questions in your mind about the principles on which most communications thinking is built. It makes you question a lot of the assumptions you’ve been taking for granted, makes you think differently about some of the problems you’re trying to solve and helps ground some of thoughts.

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The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself

John Jantsch If you are a business owner, and you want to understand how the different elements of your business can generate referrals, this is a great book to read. It looks at social media, email and web based tools, your customer services, and gives you a whole range of ideas on how you can generate more referrals. This is a really good book for any business owner looking to be more proactive in receiving referrals. Enjoy.

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21 Ways To Increase The Profitability Of A Small Business

Charlie Reading In order to attract interest to the new website www.theruralbiz.com I have written a free report available for download called 21 ways to increase the profitability of a small business. If you would like to read it, or you know other small business owners that you think would benefit from reading it, please do visit www.theruralbiz.com for your copy. I hope you enjoy it. Any feedback is always appreciated.

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The Original Paddi Lund Story

Dr. Paddi Lund He tells fantastic stories of his dental buns, baked sugar free cakes given to patients, Italian imported coffee machine and relationship managers. Whatever business you run, there are aspects that you can learn from Paddi Lund and from stepping away from the norm, that will make you more popular and therefore more profitable.

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The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship

Bill, Jr. Murphy It offers a fantastic insight into how 3 extremely successful business owners went about it, what they did right and what they did wrong, plus some great lessons to be learned. If you are thinking about setting up your own business, or already have done, this is a great read as it shows you things often don’t go according to plan, but that determination and planning can lead to some great success.

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The Goal

Eliyahu Goldratt Described as ‘The E-Myth for Manufacturing’, ‘The Goal’ is a book that teaches the theory of constraints along with the problems with bottlenecks within a manufacturing plant. I would recommend this book to any manager or student because there are many things that can be learned by both. Managers can find different ways to look at the company and how to help increase profits. Students can combine the information they learn in class with how it actually works in a real world situation. Although I am sometime skeptical of business books told through a fictional story, in this instance it really works well.

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Instant Cashflow

Brad Sugars It will give you a variety of ways to improve the cashflow of your business by generating new leads, increasing your conversion rate of leads to sales, maximizing the value of your average sale and by measuring your results to fine-tune your best strategies. Particularly at this stage of the economic cycle, this should be on any business owner’s bookshelf. Cashflow is king!

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How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Presenting Your Ideas, Persuading Your Audience, and Perfecting Your Image

Frances Cole Jones If your job or life demands that you make presentations, engage in public speaking or need to wow an audience, then this is a fantastic book giving you a range of tips on how you can get the best results. It’s also available as an audio book if you spend your life on the move!

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End This Depression Now

Paul Krugman Krugman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008, and so should know what he is talking about. Unlike most armchair economists, and many politicians, he backs his arguments up with real life studies that demonstrate the influence of behavioural economics, which is fundamental to predicting results. If you want any idea of what’s really going on out there, you must read this book. Firstly, it is easy to read. Second, it actually gives solutions rather than pointing out what went wrong in the world economy.

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The Invasion Game

Stephen Newton This book adopts many of the business growth principals that Charlie has learnt over the years and many more new ones, but with specific focus on lawyers and their practices. If you are a lawyer, you should certainly read it, as it will help you transform your business. His work also often entails leadership and operational management development for the client firm’s senior team in order that they are able to implement their firm’s strategy or adjust it so that it can be implemented.

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The Richest Man in Babylon

George Clason The Babylonians are the people who invented the concept of “money” more than 5,000 years ago. The same principles that applied to earning and accumulating wealth then still very much work today. This little book of parables about ancient Babylon provides a fresh point of view to modern readers that has worked to inspire millions of readers since the book was first published in the 1930’s. It provides excellent and practical advice for readers of all ages, and should be required reading for school and university students before they start their first real job.

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Delivering Happiness

Tony Hsieh The book isn’t really his autobiography, but is more about how he made Zappos such a success, and what went wrong at Link Exchange. Zappos in known in the US for having unbelievable customer service, and consistently over delivering to their customers. You can even now do a tour of their Las Vegas headquarters to see this for yourself. If you run your own business, this book is a fantastic read. Even if you don’t, but you want to improve where you currently work by adding massive value, I strongly suggest you read this book.

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Screw It, Let’s Do It

Sir Richard Branson It’s a really easy book to read that is made up of some invaluable business advice as well as some amazing stories of his life. Not only will this book give you a kick up the proverbial and get you focused for an outstanding 2014, it will also show you the good that can be done at the same time through, as he calls it, Gaia Capitalism. I hope you enjoy it.

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Ready, Fire, Aim; Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat

Michael Masterson It is a fantastic book for business owners of all types. It gives some amazing insights for people trying to get their business to the $1m turnover level; then the $10m level for those already there; and then the $100m level for those already there. So wherever you currently are achieving, it will give you steps forward to the next stage. There are a lot of similarities with ‘A lean start up’, a previous book of the month recommendation, in that particularly at the early stages of a business, it is not a game of perfect. Too many new businesses fail because they try to develop the perfect business right from the off, when actually getting out there and making it profitable is what they need to do. As a result, this is a great book to buy for any new or wannabe business owners.

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Pitch Anything, an Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

Oren Klaff It is a must, if with your job or your business you need to pitch to a group of people. So, for example, you are off the pitch to the ‘Dragons’ for a once in a lifetime chance to move your business forward, you need to read this book to ensure you have the best chance possible. Even if you are just presenting your product to your usual customers, there is a massive amount to be learned here about the strategies that will ensure your success.

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Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mind-set and Start a Business That Works’

Daniel Priestly I loved this book because it covered a number of topics that I am particularly passionate about. In the main, this is about the new wave of people that are and can set up their own business instead of working for the big corporates. This allows them to live a much more fulfilled live with a better balance, whilst spending their ‘work’ time doing something they are passionate about. This revolution is happening as we speak. Small businesses are taking on big businesses, because never before have they had the tools that are available today. A teenager has more technology in their bedroom than was available to Coca-Cola for their first 50 years. If you, or particularly a young person who you know is considering setting up their own business, this is a great book to read.

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Flash Boys

Michael Lewis By the author of ‘Moneyball’, this book dives into the high frequency traders that work in the US stock market. It may sound like a tough financial read, but it is actually a fascinating story, written extremely well, of how most investors have been ripped off over recent years. We are only talking small margins here, but each is a bit of the investor’s profit. It gives an amazing insight into what’s wrong with the regulatory system, and how a clever team have been able to bypass these ‘scammers’.

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Start with Why

Simon Sinek It is essentially a book that focuses on marketing and team management, but it has an impact on everything you do in business. ‘Start with Why’ looks extensively at why companies like Apple have succeeded where companies like Dell have struggled. By focusing on ‘why’ a company does what it does, not how or what it does, both the customers and the employees are much more likely to buy into it, and become raving fans of the business. It is a well written book with a fantastic message. Even if you don’t own your own company, the principals of what it teaches you will help you in all walks of life. I hope you take the time to read it, you won’t be disappointed.

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Talk like TED

Carmine Gallo This book is an absolutely brilliant book for so many reasons. For those of you that don’t know, TED is a conference that happens in the US, and now globally, where the world’s greatest leaders, business minds and inspirational people are asked to speak for 18 minutes. No more. Firstly, if you spend any of your life building or giving presentations, this book is a must. It works through 9 key ways to build a talk as good as those you see on TED. Even if you don’t give talks and presentations, it gives you so many snap shots of great TED talks, that it is worth the read for this alone. Carmine practices what he preaches, so it is a pleasurable read from start to finish.

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Money: Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Tony Robbins This is unlikely to be read by those who need it. At 688 pages, it will take a long time to read. Fortunately, the section on ‘myths’ can be ignored, as it relates only to the US and so none of the facts and figures are relevant; the rest of the book, however, is relevant. If you’ve not come across Tony Robbins you may want to look him up on YouTube to get a flavour of his style before you buy the book. He is brash, loud and very American. But you can forgive him of this when you look at some of the detail in the book. If you ignore the final third of the book, which is filled with examples, and focus on what most people in the UK will be interested in – the investment strategies – he gives good, sound advice and good explanations of the asset allocation process. Not an easy read, but one that may be worth your time if you want to manage your own investments.

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Creativity

Ed Catmull The founder of Pixar, Ed focuses on looked at how Pixar became such a phenomenal success, how they negotiated their greatest challenges and what we can learn from them. His stories of life at Pixar with the likes of John Lasseter and Steve Jobs are quite sensational; what he has done to that business and its employees quite inspirational. If you are a business owner and what to develop your business further, I would strongly recommend reading this, as there are some pearls of wisdom in here that will really help. If you like interesting business autobiographies, this is another great example to get your hands on too.

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Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees

Doug Lipp Disney University is where the employees of Disney parks, go to become the ‘cast members’, and Lipp explores the detail of how they achieve the experience that far surpasses their competition. This is a fascinating book if you run your own business because it makes you think about how you can apply Disney’s ethos to your business to enhance your employees and your customer’s experiences. “Training cannot be limited to `Here’s what you need to do, now go do it.’ That’s not good enough. Training needs to instill a spirit, a feeling, an emotional connection. Training means creating an environment of thinking and feeling.” – Van France, founder of Disney University.

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Think Like a Freak: How to Think Smarter About Almost Everything

The latest book in the Freakonomics series by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt is ‘Think Like a Freak: How to Think Smarter About Almost Everything. Unlike the previous two books, this book is much shorter and easier going. It discusses research which has shown that people don’t think logically, which messes up many economic theories. The book is a very enjoyable read but does not offer many conclusions, other than the importance of thinking like a child. By this they mean thinking without limits and without baggage.

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The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life, and What Will It Cost?

‘The Number’, written not by a financial adviser, but someone with a keen interest in financial planning, is a fantastic insight into the world of creating financial freedom. Your number, the amount of money you need to be able to live the life you want for the rest of your life, is very much specific to you. There are rule of thumb calculations you can use, but they will prove wrong as they don’t reflect what you need. What I love about this book is the way Lee realises over time that it isn’t just about the money. He meets and attends the course of George Kinder, a Life Planner and someone that has significantly influenced what we do for our clients. George helps Lee understand that financial planning is about life planning first, and only then working out how the money can facilitate that life. An insightful book that I think will help you delve deeper into what your dream retirement could look like.

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Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

This is the best business book I have read in years, if not ever. Having done Strategic Coach for 8 years, I have, and continue to work hard to make our business the best it can be. So much of what I have learned has been summarised in this book, and so much more. It has refined some brilliant concepts in my mind, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Whether it is your business, or that of someone you care about; get this book. You will not be disappointed.

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Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance

I have a glut of brilliant books recently, and this is one of them. Syed looks at how learning from failures can lead to amazing success, and amongst other areas, focuses on the airline industry and the health sector. It is filled with fascinating stories looking at where failure can been learnt from, and others where it has not. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It will make you think very differently in the way you approach failure, how you go about your day to day life, and how you go about your work. If you work in the public sector, the airline industry, product developments, or really any other business for that matter, this should be a compulsory read. I hope you enjoy it.

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The Behaviour Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money

This book is about behavioural finance, which may not sound very interesting, but it really is. The book looks at why people make stupid decisions when it comes to their money, and how can they avoid making these silly mistakes. It looks at the logic of investing, and how understanding these pitfalls can protect you from yourself. Whether you are a beginner to investing, or a seasoned pro, this book is a brilliant read. I hope you enjoy it.

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