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Books read in 2001...



RecommendedInside Cisco: The Real Story of Sustained M&A Growth
Ed Paulson

Reviewed October 20, 2001 by Jon. A good book on the Cisco M&A process. Key lessons are doing small acquisitions in related fields to drive growth from the core. Talks a lot about Cisco's systematic approach to M&A - from systematic selection using a selection matrix to systematic integration. Well worth reading for anyone embarking on an M&A program.

Click to buy 6 Nightmares from the Core from Amazon.comClick here to order Inside Cisco from Amazon.com






Recommended6 Nightmares
Anthony Lake

Reviewed October 15, 2001 by Jon. Subtitled "Real Threats in a Dangerous World and How America can Meet them". Written by Anthony Lake, former Clinton National Security Advisor. Lake describes a number of terrorist and other threats to US security. An interesting view inside the NSC and security policy. Also some very prescient predictions regarding terrorism. 

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RecommendedProfit from the Core: Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence
Chris Zook and James Allen

Reviewed September 23, 2001 by Jon. A very simple and readable book. The authors are with Bain and have studied what makes companies grow on a sustained basis. They have looked at a number of companies and have also looked at what Bain Capital, a private equity firm, does to generate profitable growth. The autors' prescription is remarkably simple -- squeeze more growth from your core business and find complementary adjacencies that leverage your core business. The book is good, but is a bit long-winded. The authors have created a web site www.profitfromthecore.com which has most of the tools discussed in the book and provides a good, usable, synopsis.

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Ok. but not greatVisionary's Handbook: Nine Paradoxes that will shape the future of your business.
        Watt's Wacker, Jim Taylor, Howard Means 

Reviewed September 29, 2001 by Jon. Interesting book that tries to help one think about looking at the future for both a business and one's career. Wacker and company try to get you to look beyond linear extrapolation and think about multiple options/possibilities/scenarios. Some good exercises. Worth a read and somewhat thought provoking.

Click to buy Visionary's Handbook from Amazon.comClick here to order The Visionary's Handbook from Amazon.com





RecommendedStick and Rudder
Wolfgang Langewiesche 

Reviewed September 29, 2001 by Jon. Fabulous flying book - read twice - once when I was starting my private pilot's lessons and once when finishing. Langewiesche is a long-time flight instructor and this is considered a classic of aviation. He tries to teach what is really happening in the airplane. Very helpful and fun to read - although it is a bit quaint. The book was first written in 1944 - but still relevent!

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CandyEasy Prey
John Sandford

Reviewed September 24, 2001 by Jon. An easy read about a Minnesota detective solving a murder mystery. Similar to Connelly's Harry Bosch character. Not terribly deep - but entertaining.

Click to buy Easy Prey from Amazon.comClick here to order Easy Prey from Amazon.com





CandyWarlock: A Novel of Ancient Egypt
Wilbur Smith

Reviewed September 29, 2001 by Jon. An easy read - part of Wilbur's Smith's series on ancient Egypt. The continued expoits of the Eunich slave Tatia (who is now an old man). Typical Smith - lots of macho battles and sexism, but nonetheless entertaining and a good historical perspective on Egyptian life.

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RecommendedFree Flight
James Fallows

Reviewed August 3, 2001 by Jon. This book is supposedly about how to avoid airline hell by using small airplanes as air taxis. The author talks about this some, but does not really address it very thoroughly. That was a disappointment because the idea is intriquing. Instead, he is really a general aviation enthusiast and talks a lot about general aviation and the company that designed and built the Cirrus - a new general aviation airplane. That was pretty interested to someone who is involved with flying. I enjoyed it. I wish he had, however, actually followed through on the title of the book and expanded upon his ideas about small planes as an alternative to the airline hub and spoke system.

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