It should come to no surprise to people who know Fallis that he’s written a story (The High Road is a sequel to his first book, The Best Laid Plans) about politics. For almost 5 years Fallis with the Liberal Party as the federal and provincial levels. After that, Fallis was a government affairs and communication consultant with a global PR firm.
While reading these latest exploits of protagonists Daniel Addison and Angus McLintock I couldn’t help but wonder if Fallis was giving us all an inside look into the Canadian political machinery. This is something we’ll definitely talk about when Fallis comes on my podcast in March!
Nonetheless, Fallis is at his best in this novel about two unlikely friends who take on the political establishment in another comedy jewel.
One of my friends, Dave Fleet, used to work for the agency Thornley Fallis. That’s when I probably first heard about Terry Fallis. Then came the popular MeetUps I used to attend in Toronto around media, PR and social media.
I think I heard about his podcast, Inside PR. But I definitely became aware of him when his novel, The Best Laid Plans, was made into a TV series of the same name.
And it’s taken me this long to finally read one of his book, One Brother Shy.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a book so funny. The first book(s) I remember reading that made me laugh was Robert Ludlum’s Road to Omaha and Road To Gandolfo.
Thanks Terry for writing a wickedly funny book set (for the most part) in Canada.
I see a little bit of Alex MacAskill in me. Naturally, I’m an introvert. However, unlike Alex, I’m born this way. Also like Alex, I can be gregarious as well.
If you’re looking for a book about family, overcoming setbacks, and international adventure with a touch of funny this is the book for you. Pick it up at your favourite local bookstore, Amazon, or public library.
While reading Jason Zinoman’s book, Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night . I was reminded of many moments that I got to watch over the years. You see, I was, and remain, a huge fan of David Letterman.
While I stopped actively watching TV in 2000 (I got married and we decided to not get cable) I still followed the Letterman and his show online. I remember sneaking down the stairs every night just before 12:30am to watch his 3 joke opening monologue, Stupid Pet Tricks, calling familiar strangers on the phone, drop stuff off the building and interview Richard Simmons for the hundredth time. I had both of his Top Ten List books and a framed Time magazine cover on my bedroom wall. I even once had tickets to go see his Late Night show in New York City. I wished I actually asked my parents to help me get there. Sigh. And even after I got married I still had his photo in my wallet. Yes. I was a huge.
However, some parts of the book upset me a bit. For example, I always thought the character of David Letterman that I saw on TV was just that. A character. Yet, Zinoman writes that that was actually the real Letterman. I struggle with the notion that Letterman was never satisfied with his show/success or was really angry underneath it all.
Letterman now has his popular Netflix show, My Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. Thank goodness I don’t need TV to watch!
Thanks Jason for writing this book. And thanks Dave for continuing to make us laugh.
Many of you who know me know that I am a huge Neil Young fan. To this day, he is one of Canada’s most successful and well-regarded songwriters and musicians. However, when it comes to Canadian rock royalty there is probably no one else who has penned and produced as many hits than Randy Bachman. He has fronted two of the biggest names is Canadian rock: The Guess Who and BTO (Bachman Turner Overdrive).
I have had the opportunity to both hear him play as well as listen to him speak. Both live. And here in Toronto. Along with Canadian indie band, The Sadies, he opened for Neil Young a couple of years ago at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. This past year, he published a book and was part of a speaker series at the Reference Library in Toronto.
Tales From Beyond The Tap takes an inside look at Bachman’s life. Everything from his songwriting process, his relationship with Burton Cummings and siblings, his popular CBC show Randy’s Vinyl Tap, and his thoughts on the future of the music business and everything in between are covered in this book.
Randy has penned some of rock’s most beloved anthems. Tales From Beyond The Tap is Bachman at his best. A must read for any rock and roll fan.
“the everything store” by Brad Stone is a very in-depth analysis of the beginning of the Amazon story. And, of course, the main actor in this story is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The story begins in the East Coast with Bezos working for an investment house. Starting here, Stone takes us on a journey inside Bezos entrepreneurial mind throughout the humble beginnings of Amazon as it grew into the behemoth that it is today.
I’ve read Accidental Billionairesas well as Hatching Twitter. I’ve even read the Steve Jobs book. “the everything store” is different. This is no soap opera story; although many former employees might tell you that they felt they were in one when they worked there.
Stone’s book is a serious business look at what makes Bezos tick and what makes Amazon as feared by competitors while being admired by entrepreneurs; both at the same time.
To say that I was glued to this Robyn Doolittle’s book until I was finished reading it would be an understatement. It’s taken me longer to start (and finish) blogging about the book than it took me to actually read it.
Crazy Town us the perfect title for this book. It’s not so much as Toronto being a crazy town as it is a play on the bubble that the Ford family has created for itself over a generation.
Everything that you would expect to be in this book is there. Everything. Including the research process and behind the scenes meetings and conversations between Doolittle and her superiors at the Toronto Star.
What struck me the most about this book were two things that have nothing to do with Ford.
The first is the amount of research and discussions that occur before a word is even typed and subsequently printed. For every piece that Doolittle has written there is literally a team of editors, (sometimes) publishers and even lawyers (especially when reporting on Rob Ford) that need to go over her research and submission. Nothing is left to chance and all sides of the story are discussed and dissected. Reading her book gave me a new found appreciation for the news reporting process that the Toronto Star follows.
The second, and most disturbing, revelation has to do with the seemingly archaic laws in Canada surrounding access to information. Our public institutions (government and public services such as police) gather so much information in the name of the greater public good. However, accessing that information is next to impossible for ordinary citizens such as me. And the media? Well, they have the resources and the knowledge on how to ask and what to ask. Yet even they have the hardest time getting access to information.
As a book, Crazy Town has it all. And by all, I mean everything you could ever want to know about Rob Ford. His parents (enterprising), upbringing (silver spoon), siblings (crazy people usually influenced by drugs it seems), career before politics (nada), his brushes with the law (international and usually involving booze) and his current political life (unbelievable).
This October, Toronto will go to the polls to vote for who they want as their Mayor. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for or not vote for. Unless you ask me. However, I do have one suggestion: READ. THE. BOOK.
Every once in a while a person has a dream as a child. That same person grows up focusing on that same goal. Finally that person goes on to experience that dream.
Yes, Chris Hadfield did dream of becoming an astronaut and visiting space. However, this book is not so much about the culmination of a decades long dream. It is about experiencing and living that journey. And that journey is what An Astronaut’s Guide is all about.
Hadfield was an astronaut for 20+ years. Less than a year of that was actually spent in space. The journey and Hadfield’s constant preparation is the basis of this wonderful book.
This is not a feel good book. Nor is it a self-help book. At least it wasn’t for me. An Astronaut’s Guide was an opportunity to get as close as possible to Hadfield as he illustrates his success and failures over his preparation and career as an astronaut.
Back in 2010 in the initial iteration of this blog I did a short book review of Accidental Billionaireswhich was the book that inspired the movie, Social Network which were both inspired by Facebook.
Hatching Twitter is the story about how 4 friends came up with the idea for the 140-character “status” updater/social networking site/global phenomenon, who then became co-founders and then became sworn enemies.
Ev told Jack he had to “chill out” with the deluge of media he was doing. “It’s bad for the company,” Ev said. “It’s sending the wrong message.” Biz sat between them, watching like a spectator at a tennis match.
“But I invented Twitter,” Jack said.
“No, you didn’t invent Twitter,” Ev replied. “I didn’t invent Twitter either. Neither did Biz. People don’t invent things on the Internet. They simply expand on an idea that already exists.”
Like Accidental Billionaires (which is a better book than movie) Hatching Twitter (which has just been optioned as a TV series) is about friendship, betrayal, success, business, love, hatred, loyalty, and almost any other emotion you can think of.
Although media and recent history tells a different story, I would like to thank Ev, Jack, Biz and Noah for creating a tool that has changed and continues to change the way people communicate and brands market.
Twitter has become the place where everyone from private citizens, brands and celebrities continue to compete for the attention and adoration of their friends, family members, consumers and marketers. Reading about how this successful company was hatched is a must for everyone. Especially if you’re an avid fan and user like myself.
I was given Rob Delaney’s book by good friends of mine for my last birthday. I was putting it off as I tried to finish the book I was then reading. don’t ask me what it was.
Delaney has been described as the funniest man on Twitter. He just might be that if you are to believe what “they” say. However, he is undoubtedly one of the funniest writers as well. Delaney has written a book that is honest, funny, sad, reflective, challenging and thought provoking. Most of the time, I felt multiple emotions in one chapter.
This is one of those books that leaves you begging for more when you’re done. It is a quick read. not because of the length but because it’s a book you will never want to put down.
It is also a book that will make you reflect on what you’re doing in life. You may not change careers or start to believe in a God. But you may start to live a little out on the edge.
Pick this up as a gift. for yourself. you deserve it.
Although it was published in 2009 (which probably means it was written much earlier) there is still a ton of great points and nuggets that are applicable even today. Here is who I would recommend this book to: EVERYONE.
That’s right everyone. Why? Because the web is now social and as the subtitle of the book says, Everyone is connected, connect your business to everyone. Business owners, marketing professionals, students, employees and even self-employed individuals can benefit from reading Mitch Joel’s bestseller.
Here are some points that I jotted down in my notebook as I read this book in Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, Nairobi, Arusha, and Kampala:
consumers will market our product if we let them review our product (even if it’s a negative review)
you can’t have a strong business without a strong community
being connected is not the same as being engaged
consumers are always willing to pay a premium online if what they are getting has added value
the point of mobile marketing is…Sorry, you have to read the book like I did to finish this sentence
As you read this book you will understand that being involved, engaged and relevant online can and will enable you (your company, your business, business partners) to be not only a trusted online source but also a profitable one.
Here’s one reason why I’m so excited to have read this book at this moment in time: At no other time in history have people been able to more easily start their own business. The internet and the social tools that seem to be dominating the conversation have helped many people make the leap to business ownership.
And this is a leap I’m looking forward to making as well as helping other’s make.
Have you read Mitch Joel’s book? Do you read his blog or listen to his podcast? If not, I highly recommend you do. If you do, I’d love to hear your opinion on his work and content.