Observation and Design

Richard Stowey's localised view of the world.

Flickr LinkedIn Twitter RSS Feed

Book Reviews

This section about Book Reviews includes reviews about lots of different topics. Please take a look through and have a read. I genuinely will only put up reviews about books which I have read. And if I think they are rubbish, then i’ll be sure to let you know!

Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson – Book Review

January 29th, 2011 by Richard Stowey

contentstrategyfortheweb

Content is highly important during website design and development. As a Digital Project Manager, it’s important to know how to get the most out of it. Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson covers pretty much everything.

Read the rest of this post…

Book Review: Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Rider’s Handbook to Better Motorcycling

December 22nd, 2010 by Richard Stowey

motorcycling

I’ve been riding a motorcycle since May 2010 and loving every minute of it (except for freezing temperatures!). I wanted something to affirm what i was learning and improve my understanding of the bike, road position and handling.

Read the rest of this post…

Book Review: Linchpin: Are you indespensible? by Seth Godin

December 5th, 2010 by Richard Stowey

lynchpin

In the latest of Seth Godin’s books, Linchpin, he attempts to explain a new view on the world of work involving emotional labour, giving gifts, creating art and drawing maps. And it’s extremely interesting and thought prevoking!

Read the rest of this post…

Categories: Book Reviews, Marketing

My First Sci-Fi Novel – Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

September 27th, 2010 by Richard Stowey

Old Man's War

I didn’t really read much as a kid. There were always far more interesting things to do. It’s only since I left university the first time (ironically), that I really started to get involved with books. It all started with a Christmas present about 5 years ago. The Art of Innovation, from IDEO’s Tom Kelley, got me hooked on learning again.

Read the rest of this post…

Categories: Book Reviews

Book Review: Hot Shoe Diaries by Joe McNally

December 12th, 2009 by Richard Stowey

Hot Shoe Diaries

Since the end of July, I have been much more interested in improving my technical and creative skills when it comes to photography. More specifically to this, off camera flash photography. The end goal is to be able to create a wide variety of creative photos which show character, depth and emotion. It’s a long road, but as with everything, you’ve got to start somewhere!

So my first port of call was the internet, and two main resources in particular, Strobist.com and Flickr. Highly useful info on getting started with off camera flash photography, and plenty of examples too.

Joe Mcnally’s book, The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes: Creative Applications of Small Flashes (Voices That Matter), is the perfect extension of that. And, as a body of examples specifically put together to showcase the extreme versatility of Nikon cameras, speedlights and accessories, it really inspires me towards what can be possible.

After attending a few group strobist events through Flickr groups, and tackling some if my own ideas, the book also helps to bridge the gap between what I’ve learned and where I want to go.

As a professional photographer who has spent the last 30 years behind the lens, Joe Mcnally puts literally tonnes if information into this book. Plus, unlike the free information available on various blogs, including Joe’s own, the information contained within is grouped, well thought about and presented with big colour images of each photo shoot. The other bonus is that you don’t have to spend days in front of a computer screen to get through it all.

The main thing which I have learned is that the creative idea behind the shot is the most important part, the lighting is secondary to the concept. Highly recommended to anyone interested in off camera flash photography, and even worth a browse just for the pictures.

J7M4SU86T6ZP

Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

August 5th, 2009 by Richard Stowey

tribes-book-review

I’ve been a fan of Seth Godin’s blog for some time now, and it’s on my daily, if not weekly, reading list. After reading little snippets here and there I wanted to sink my brain into some more volumous text along his lines of thinking. General out of the box, lateral thinking. He’s not always spot on the mark but he definitely helps open up the mind to possibilities beyond the obvious. So I ordered his latest book, Tribes.

I found this book a very interesting and motivating read. Seth looks into how Tribes are formed, how they grow and what inspires people to start tribes. It’s full of real world examples which show just how possible it is to start and to lead a tribe. The key it seems is having an idea and a belief. Believe in something and give it 100% and you get 100% back from it.

The book not only looks at tribes but also what it takes to lead a tribe, and importantly what the difference between leadership and management is.

The book isn’t like a regular book. Seth’s disgarded the contents page and just jumps straight into the text. The book isn’t in chapters or any sort of chunky divided content areas. It’s nice and small, and short… but not too short. It’s almost like a series of long blog posts on the subject, a method of writing which Seth is very good at. Perfect to read for five minutes here and there or even all in one go.

I’d like to thank him for writing the book and also recommend anyone interested in innovative leading, marketing, out of the box thinking or just general leadership having a read. An excellent read.

Categories: Book Reviews

Book Review: Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

July 14th, 2009 by Richard Stowey

talent-is-overrated-geoff-c

What started out as an article by Geoff Colvin for Fortune Magazine about great performance in business turned into this wonderful book about raw talent, hard work, great performance and motivation.

I picked it up whilst browsing through a Foyles book store near the South Bank Centre in London, and through reading just a short part I was hooked. Geoff Colvin’s ability to write engaging dialogue about a series of subjects and people kept me hooked right the way through.

The book focuses on dispelling the myths surrounding raw and natural talent and using a wide variety of real world examples and research on the subject, Geoff Colvin explains the personal and corporate benefits of recognising how talent is achieved through hard work, deliberate practice and a focus on a goal. All the information and discussion put forward surrounds important research and real world examples including Mozart, Tiger Woods, Jeffrey Immelt and Steven Balmer to name a few.

The book does well to go through each of the topics surrounding talent, and explaining the steps involved in guiding someone to be talented. The book also looks at the culture of motivating and encouraging people in the corporate environment and how different methods of thinking can help to evolve new and better kinds of people.

I found this book an interesting read and a nice learned journey through how talent is earned and achieved. It’s interesting for anyone who wants to know more about talent and where it comes from.

If you would like to get hold of a copy of this book it is available through Amazon.co.uk – Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin

Categories: Book Reviews
  • Hello and welcome!

    My name is Richard Stowey and I am a Digital Project Manager. I also like photography, designing, reading, writing, technology and motorcycling.

    I've put the main categories at the top of each page to help you focus on something which will interest you.

    If you have any thoughts about what you read, please leave a comment!

  • Recent Posts