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Derek Sivers just posted more book reviews. That makes today a good day.

So, I've mentioned Derek before around these parts. He's a very sharp guy. Actually, I think his book reviews here - http://sivers.org/book - are basically the best on the internet.

You can get more nuanced, flowery, beautifully written reviews elsewhere. But you can't find as much raw distilled practicality as you will in Derek's reviewing. He takes notes and excerpts as he's reading, and puts his notes online when he's done with the book. 90% of one of his reviews are excerpts, with only 10% commentary.

This in and of itself is actually kind of rare, but other people do that too. What really sets Derek's reviews apart is that he picks the right stuff to excerpt. He's able to separate the fluffy parts of a book from the most actionable and impactful parts. A long, fluffy story that's meant to rouse the heart might get a single line in a Sivers review, but then he'll distill down the most practical elements into a mixed summary checklist that becomes extremely valuable. Since I personally look for practical advice rather than flowery emotional content, this suits me very well.

For instance, check out his review of Chet Holmes "Ultimate Sales Machine" - http://sivers.org/book/UltimateSalesMachine - first, I gotta agree with him on the 10/10. It's one of my top five favorite business books. But then look at how he chooses to excerpt -

TEN STEPS TO IMPLEMENT ANY NEW POLICY: 1. Get everyone to feel the pain 2. Hold a workshop to generate solutions 3. Develop a conceptual solution or procedure 4. Leader personally performs procedure or task 5. Set a deadline for testing the conceptual procedure 6. Document step-by-step procedure or process 7. Have show-and-tell role playing 8. Have another workshop on how to improve 9. Monitor the procedure directly 10. Measure and reward the outcome

Being sixteen

On The Best of Sett

Elsewhere on the internet, Cameron Chardukian just named me one of the top 10 SETT bloggers of 2013. I was pretty surprised when I read who else is on that list; that’s some high praise! But the reason this means so much to me is that it comes from someone I respect. Cam is about half my age, but at least twice as smart as my sixteen year old ass was. He has hustle and drive in spades and I know he’s going to be a big success.

I wanted to think of a way to repay Cam for taking the time to read my work, so here’s a post with some of my experiences and stories from when I was younger, related to his current goals.

Sixteen was a curious year in my life. I broke my leg (or rather, had it broken for me by an unpleasant stranger). It was a time when studies were starting to get serious. I used the break and the time off as an excuse to fall further behind. Friends would offer to bring me the homework and the textbooks, but I declined and resigned myself to repeating the year. I would end up spending an additional two years studying in order to regain lost ground and begin my degree. I know now with hindsight that the subjects I gave up on were not the right ones for me. I never thought of this until now, but even in a cast I was curling, pressing and doing sit-ups daily. An oblivious trainer in the making.

There was one girl who spent a lot of time with me when I was in a cast and crutching around the college. She showed a lot more concern than everyone else, yet she’d hardly spoke to me before my injury. We fell in love, but I don’t think either of us really knew how or why. It just sort of happened!

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