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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

Back In The Fight

On The Slippery Kangaroo

I recently started reading Back In The Fight by Sergeant First Class Joseph Kapacziewski (Kapa-chess-ski) and Charles W Sasser. The story follows Kapacziewski as he goes through Army Ranger training shortly after 9/11 and his experience fighting in the war.

Before I go on, I want you to know that I don't usually read the synopsis of a book, I like to go in not knowing what to expect. I did notice that the guy on the cover of the book had a prosthetic leg, but that was ALL I knew. I didn't know how he got it (fighting I supposed) or when, or what he meant by "back in the fight."

After reading the first few pages (taking place in Afghanistan 2009) I felt that Kapacziewski was very inspiring (as most military men/women are in my opinion). That first chapter is only six pages, and the last line makes you realize how amazing Kapacziewski really is and why his story is worth telling.

SFC Kapacziewski started basic training a week after the attack on the twin towers. Prior to 9/11 most enlisted soldiers were unlikely to actually see combat, this is the mindset SFC Kapacziewski had when he enlisted. That being said he wanted to go to war, he wanted to fight, in his mind he had entered the army at the perfect time.

In 2005 SFC Kapacziewski shattered his right leg below the knee after a grenade fell into his Stryker vehicle.

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