Me, Myself & Ideas
May 3rd, 2019 by diane92345

Whether you are trying to think up the perfect plot for your great American novel, create a new business, or energize an existing business with a new product or marketing plan, Me, Myself & Ideas can help.

Brainstorming is usually done in a group. But what if there is only you in the room? The authors have modified traditional brainstorming ideas so they can be performed by one person. They begin with breakouts and icebreakers to warm up your brain. But the meat of the book is in the brainstorming exercises themselves. Divided into methods using art, English, drama, and science as their muse, it is likely that at least one or two types will work for each reader.

There is nothing really new presented here. However, the style and humor in the book are a welcome addition to the surprisingly dry academic books on creativity. Years ago, I took a Master’s level Creativity Class that was my favorite MBA course. It presented these same ideas (i.e., mind maps and new ways of seeing old ideas). These methods work!

If you want to up your creativity with some pizazz, Me, Myself & Ideas is a good way to do it. Just a head’s up, I wouldn’t read this book from front to back. Stop and do some of the ideas as you read. 4 stars!

Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,

Goldmine Record Album Price Guide
April 5th, 2019 by diane92345

With over 110,000 albums listed, the Goldmine Record Album Price Guide is the most comprehensive listing on the market.

This guide lists all albums that are worth at least $15 in near mint condition. In addition, it lists promo and dj copies when available. There is a section describing how to determine the condition of an album. This book includes very clear descriptions of how to tell the $250 copy from the $15 copy using color or changes in the album photo in addition to the catalog number. There are rock, folk, pop, jazz, country, soundtracks, and compilation albums included. Despite being 800 pages in length, it is very easy to find a particular album as they are alphabetized by artist or group name.

It is interesting to go through and see how much the albums from your youth are worth now. For example, Prince is worth more than both Madonna and Michael Jackson. Most of the pop and rock albums are only worth $15, which with inflation is probably what you paid for them. Not only that but trying to reach the near mint condition required to get the $15 basically means that you can’t have played the record much as even bent corners on the sleeve will downgrade the album. It appears that you will have better luck searching for 1960s jazz albums in thrift stores or pawn shops if you are hoping to find a profitable album. My only complaint is that I would like to see more pictures of the album covers in the listings. At most there are only a few per page. But that is a minor complaint. Overall, if you are interested in albums from the 1950s through the 1990s, the Goldmine Record Album Price Guide is the best choice out there. 4 stars!

Thanks to Krause Publications and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

Wild LA
March 21st, 2019 by diane92345

Who knew there is so much nature around urban Los Angeles? It really is Wild LA.

This guidebook contains something for every Los Angeleno (or visitor). There is a page of pictures, descriptions, and interesting facts for 101 species including birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, snails, mold, and plants. All are found in greater Los Angeles and each profile gives the best locations to find them. There are twenty-five field trips around LA described that include directions, maps, and things to see. Ways to turn your own backyard into a wildlife habitat are also included.

A comprehensive and useful guide to the nature that is all around Los Angeles. Wild LA is recommended for nature lovers around LA and those who wish to educate their children. 4 stars!

Thanks to Timber Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: , , ,

100% Unofficial Fortnite Essential Guide
February 16th, 2019 by diane92345

So you are not an early adopter (or you have been hiding under a rock) and are just now trying to join the Fortnite craze. The 100% Unofficial Fortnite Essential Guide will catch you up to speed quicker than just learning by playing (like all those first players had to do).

 The guide begins with which console is best and continues with comprehensive instructions on controls, movement, combat, looting, building materials, and weapons.  All instructions includes copious amounts of picures making this a good guide for kids. The only negative is the maps change frequently so the ones in the books will probably not be of much use. However, the Guide is still recommended to noobs of all ages. 4 stars!

Thanks to Becker&Meyer Kids and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction, Teen & Young Adult Tagged with: , ,

Project Management Essentials
December 9th, 2018 by diane92345

A brief look at Project Management Essentials using the sixth edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as a map of how to proceed.

Within project management, there are five processes:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing

Included within the Initiating process is selecting the right project even before the project begins. Project scope, cost/budget, scheduling, staff selection and risk management are all determined during the planning stage. During Closing, lessons learned are notated so negative results will not be repeated and positives will.

Project Management Essentials has many great examples of how little things, like having a “change pot” to limit how many changes may be made, can save future project managers aggravation. It is also much easier to read than the more technical PMBOK. Project Management Essentials is a great resource for practical advice for how to run your next project and achieve the expected results in the least painful way. 4 stars!

Thanks to Maven House and Edelweiss+ for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

How to Facilitate Productive Project Planning Meetings
November 16th, 2018 by diane92345

The title, How to Facilitate Productive Project Planning Meetings, sounds intimidating. However, everyone has project planning meetings in their everyday life. Are you planning a Christmas party? Or a vacation? Or how to clean your house?

Your stakeholders are your family members. Your project scope for house cleaning may include only the public areas—not individual bedrooms—and not the garage. You have to create a schedule so procrastination doesn’t force your team to clean the entire house in an hour. You may incur some costs by purchasing extra cleaning supplies or renting a rug cleaner. Finally, as Project Manager, you must verify that tasks are completed on time. If not, a reallocation of resources (your children) may be necessary.

How to Facilitate Productive Project Planning Meetings is a comprehensive look at how to run project meetings. The meeting goblins section is invaluable to silence grumblers, side-talkers and truly hostile attendees. The appendix contains a brief rundown of the entire project management process. It also describes the different certifications that are available, has brainstorming instructions and includes meeting war stories. Overall, it is an excellent book for those tasked with leading project meetings at work or elsewhere. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Maven House, and Edelweiss+ for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,