Weekly Reading

It's been a while, eh?

I've had a chance to do a bit of reading since the Christmas and New Year break and since the last update.

First up was Plague War by Guy Haley, another 40k book (I've read a lot of them). Even by 40k's standards this was pretty badly written, but interesting in as much as it's one of the more recent books written that actively seeks to progress the setting's storyline. Worth picking up if you're a 40k fan, not worth touching if you're not.

Following on from the last update where I read of Trillion Dollar Coach - I read The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier which I picked up for 99p in one of the endless Kindle daily deals. Even at that price it'd be hard to recommend it. The only good thing I have to say for it is that it lasted about as along as a train ride from Liverpool Street to Diss. Not to be entirely negative, it probably would have made for an interesting blog post and the key takeaway is a valuable one to remember: listen more, talk less.

Finally, I read This is Marketing by Seth Godin. If you're anything like me and you've spent time reading articles and blog posts about marketing, you've probably come across Seth's name here and there. I came into this expecting little and wasn't too surprised with what I got out of this. This is Marketing is a book for people who know nothing about marketing, Seth writes endless pithy but ultimately meaningless generalities that fail to provide any sort of insight or knowledge that you can apply back into your own practice. If you want to learn marketing, this ain't it.

I do have one good thing to say about This is Marketing though which is that Seth makes a clear stand towards a more moral approach towards marketing, which I can't help but agree with.

Shameless marketers brought shame to the rest of us A short-term, profit-maximizing hustler can easily adopt a shameless mind-set. Spamming, tricking, coercing. Is there any other profession that proudly does this?

Last year I read 45 books, which according to Goodreads means I read 14,400 pages. Not too shabby, I've started another challenge again this year - I find it's a great way to stay motivated and to remember what I actually read.

I'm still slooooowwwwwwwwwwly plodding through The Holy Roman Empire: A Thousand Years of Europe's History. I'll get there eventually.

Having just got back to work on Thursday, I've not had much time to read articles online, but here are a couple of the better ones I've come across.

You've undoubtedly come across the concept of statistical significance, you've probably even used it in some way or other - maybe in gauging the effectiveness of one email subject lines vs another, or what colour that CTA should be on your landing page. Some people are now making a solid case for getting rid of it - their arguments, backed by many top statisticians are well worth reading.

I used to work in spread betting so I'm no stranger to some of the bullshitters who like to call themselves "traders". Vice recently wrote a great article on that side of the industry. Spoiler alert - if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

I like a good rant, apparently I'm not the only one.

You probably (hopefully - hiding under a rock does no one any favours) saw the news on Friday. The New Yorker wrote a powerful exposé on Qassem Suleimani back in 2013, it's worth reading if you want to understand what's currently going on and why this action was worth taking.

Rather timely as I just bought a new toothbrush, Wired wrote an article on Big Toothbrush. You should buy an electric toothbrush if you care for your teeth.