I finished the Lone Wolf and Cub series, which was excellent. It's 28 books, a tale of a fallen samurai out on a quest for vengeance. Very philosophically deep and powerful. The whole series is very, very good, though I feel it dragged on a little bit at the end. There's an amazing duel between a great marksman and Itto, and then then Itto hijacks a ship to Edo (modern day Tokyo). After that, the series kind of meanders around - it could've ended in 2-3 books after that, but instead it went much longer, introducing a new antagonist and plotlines, fleshing out the backstory of the primary antagonist... it seemed just unnecessary, which is why I had a hard time getting through the last five books after enjoying the first 20 so much.
With that said, it's one of my favorite stories and my favorite comic of all time now. Well, calling it a "comic" doesn't do it justice - it's beautifully drawn, with lots of great philosophy and deep points. You definitely want to read at least the first three books. I wrote about this in Rule an Empire, a Fistful of Rice, with excerpts from the comic and discussion on the philosophy. If you're curious about the series, go read that post right now - I think you'll enjoy it, it's been a favorite around here.
I finished "The Ultimate Sales Machine" by Chet Holmes. Wow, that was a great read. Brilliant. Highly recommended, probably the best business book I've read since The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.
I listened to "The Greatest Salesman in the World" on audio - a very nice book, quite moving. It has some basic lessons for sales and life in the form of a narrative back in Biblical times. The audio was recorded by its author, Og Mandino, some 20 years after the book came out, so he's in his 50's or so. Really lovely, thoughtful piece, with good lessons. I really enjoyed it. His voice is nice to listen to too - it's very different from professional vocalists who are more steadfast, this one feels more like your grandfather is telling you a story.
I started Think and Grow Rich - oh my goodness, how is possible I never read this before? I'm a couple chapters in, and... wow. Just wow. I think my first experiences with the book were coming across it on a very gimmicky cheesy website, so I assumed it was a "get something for nothing by just imaging it" type book. Needless to say, those books don't appeal to me. But no, it's really, really amazing and highly recommended. I'll finish it before I read anything else.
Can I get this series (Lone Wolf) digitally? My new Kindle arrives as soon as they ship the new Kindles (soon please!), this seems like a great thing to read sitting under a tree in the woods this fall.
Was just looking at your long list of posts in my RSS reader... it's quite remarkable! Congratulations on such a strong start with your online publishing. And thank you... I've come to look forward to your posts quite a bit!
Just in case you were looking to improve the experience... one feature I would absolutely love is an RSS feed of comments. I find myself scanning through your last few posts every few days for new comments. Not sure exactly how to do this, but someone must have done it before.
I'd like to introduce you to my all-time favorite comic series, Lone Wolf and Cub. It's incredibly deep philosophically.
Ogami Itto, "Lone Wolf," is on a quest for revenge after something terrible happened to him. With him is his little son Daigoro. Itto is doing assassinations to raise money for his quest.
In book 3, "Flute of the Fallen Tiger," Itto comes across a fallen samurai named "Sakon." Sakon left being a samurai and now makes money begging and playing carnival games. With his money, he eats nice food and drinks, and he cares very much about people. He buys little Daigoro a toy.
Daigoro is in training by his father for the quest they're on. Itto cuts the toy in half with his sword:
Audible.com has a very mature customer acquisition and retention strategy. I originally signed up for Audible after they sponsored of one of my favorite podcasts, This American Life. Audible was offering a free audio book, just to try the service. I decided to try it.
Little did I know that I was entering the Hotel California of software subscription services. I'm not upset with them -- it's more that I'm in awe of their ability to keep me as a customer for a year longer than I expected.
The reality is that Audible is expensive -- around $15/month to be able to purchase one audio book per month. After using up my free month, and then paying for two additional months, I realized I wasn't going to use it enough to justify the cost since I'd only listened to one audio book in a three-month span, and I went to cancel it.
Audible then offered me a deal: Just $5 for me to keep my existing credits for the next year. Since I had two audio books I hadn't read, I took the bait. But I never used those credits so when the renewal came up, I knew I really wanted to cancel.
Here's what the process was like when I just tried to cancel the account: