Getting to Yes

Author: Roger Fisher & William Ury with Bruce Patton Synopsis: Good book that suggests a novel framework for improving your negotiating skills and outcomes.  Instead of negotiating based on power and positions using compromises details how both sides can gain a better deal from negotiating through principled agreement; basing neogtiations on understanding each others interests, …

Steve Jobs

Author: Walter Isaacson Synopsis: Biography of Steve Jobs.  A very complex character, the book highlights his warts and all personality.  Despite his poor treatment of people throughout his life, by creating conditions for success and through his achievements in many cases even colleagues and adversaries who fell out with him came to respect him.

Poor Charlie’s Almanack 3rd edition

Author: Charles T. Munger edited by Peter D. Kaufman Synopsis: Fantastic book: folksy in style but once you get over this excellent advice particularly on the need for a broad education structured by checklists, progressing in life, investing and psychology.  Comfortably the most notes I’ve made on a book.

Life Nomadic

Author: Tynan Synopsis: similar to the travel sections in 4-hour work week, in fact seems likely that Ferris built on Tynan book.  Notes made highlight specific products/websites to use if planning travel 

How to win friends and influence people

Author: Dale Carnegie Synopsis: A good reminder of decent, ethical advice on how to influence people.  The examples and style throughout seem contrived today but this book, written three-quarters of a century ago, provides good advice on how to win people to your way of thinking whilst acting decently


Author: Malcolm Gladwell Synopsis: An enjoyable Gladwell read discussing the importance of thin slicing; finding patterns in very narrow slices of data (also seen in A.T. Kearney’s Leadership framework: 1. Anticipate – finding weak signals).  Later chapters on the impact of appearance on our decision making both in terms of our choice of leaders and …

Build your memory

Author: Mark D’Arcy Synopsis: A summary of the ways memories are formed and useful systems to improve your ability to memorise.  The sections on pegging to remember long lists of numbers and creating memory palaces are particularly useful and work (I’ve seen my brother remember Pi to 100 decimal places using this system)

The concise 48 laws of power

Author: Robert Greene based on Joost Elffers Synopsis: A darker view on how to gain power and the strategies to employ to do so.  Despite being the concise version, the book is long winded – 48 laws is too many.  Nevertheless, some interesting points

On writing well

Author: William Zinsser Synopsis: A weakness of mine, this book provides solid principles and methods to improve your writing style.  It focusses on non-fiction writing rather than writing a prize winning novel.  Parts 3 and 4 can be skimmed over, the value is in I and II. Standout quotation: “I always thought there was at …