How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less, by Milo Frank
Ironically, this book is 128 pages long. While it probably could have been shorter, there are a number of stories and anecdotes that help to illustrate the points Frank is putting forward.
If you have taken any courses, gone to any seminars, or read any books about public speaking there will be parts of this that are not new to you. If you have a broadcasting or journalism background you will likely find nothing new to you. However, if you don’t fall into one of these categories you will find yourself learning the essential parts of any communication and how to effectively hook your audience in order to deliver the rest of your message. The 30 second message isn’t meant to convey all the information at once – only enough to make your audience want more, which you will then happily deliver.
All in all, this book was worth the time it took to read. The concepts within are simple, yet effective. Buy it.
Principle Centered Leadership, by Steven Covey
For the most part, this is a rehash of most of the concepts found in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you have read that book already then you already know most of what you will learn in Principle Centered Leadership. However there are a couple new/newly spun things, most notable of which is the abundance mentality. This is the concept that there are two types of people in this world: abundance thinkers and scarcity thinkers. Scarcity thinkers are always competing for limited resources and approach everything with a win/lose mentality. Abundance thinkers understand that resources, positions, and opportunities are not really scarce but are abundant and approach everything with a win/win mentality.
If you haven’t read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People then Principle Centered Leadership is a decent read and will help give a different perspective on the business world and life in general. However, if you have already read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I would recommend foregoing the reading of this book and instead reading up on the abundance mentality theory.
I’m not a huge fan of Covey’s writing style. I can’t pin it down but there is something about it that makes it hard for me to stay focused on the book. If you have read Covey before and have had trouble staying engaged, this book will be no exception. If you read Covey before and loved it, this book will likely be right up your alley.
I feel that I must first disclose that Stylin’ with CSS was written by someone I work with. That said, I don’t feel that our work relationship swayed my opinion in any way.
I have been doing web development for a long time now and have played around with CSS quite a bit over the years. I can get a lot done with it but have always found that there were certain points that I would get to and just spin my wheels. When I change one property, something else stopped working. When I fixed the something else, the original change broke again. After reading this book I now understand why.
The first handful of chapters go over the way CSS works, its structure, and how browsers go about rendering it. An extremely important part of this is the explanation of hierarchies and relationships between elements. These chapters also focus on the different types of major elements, block and inline, and go into details about how each work. The remaining chapters go over things like how to achieve different layouts and effects and how to create reusable components. In addition to examples in the book there are a number of libraries that can be downloaded from the book’s website that will allow you to quickly recreate any effects in the book with minimal duplication of code.
If you have never heard about or touched CSS, buy this book. If you have just a little bit of web experience and want to learn more about CSS, buy this book. If you have a fair amount of web and CSS experience, consider buying this book. If you don’t know everything about CSS but are very comfortable using it, this is likely not the book for you.