Creativity Inc (Random House, 2014)

A brilliant book. Very accessible. It covers many aspects of encouraging and maintaining creativity in an organisation and it uses Pixar movies as an example.

It was amazing to hear how some of the Pixar movies changed as they were developed.

I listened to the audio book which was narrated by the author which always adds to the experience.

Ed Catmull worked closely with Steve Jobs and the book finishes with Ed’s thoughts on Steve.

Highly recommend, 10 / 10.

Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA (Wiley)

This is the third version of this book that I have bought. I own XL 2000, XL 2007 and now this one. It’s worth updating as new features are added in each Excel version.

I highly recommend this book if you have been using macros for a while and want to take them to another level. It is not a step by step instruction guide you need to read and absorb.

It demonstrates and explains many best-practice techniques but it can take time to digest the ideas. It has a companion website with the examples from the book.

(John Walkenbach is my favorite Excel author and I was honoured that he wrote a recommendation that appears on the back of my own book)

Using Excel For Business Analysis (Wiley)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review.

If you’re after an introduction to using Excel for Financial Modelling, this is a good place to start. Danielle has even included shortcuts and explanations for the Mac version of Excel. For the beginner there are lots of good habits that you can learn. For the more experienced users there are explanations of how common bad habits can impact your models.

Just following her recommendations and using her tips could save you hours of work and also the frustration of “learning the hard way”.

Added June 2017 – You might want to check out Danielle’s latest book Financial Modeling in Excel For Dummies.

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems (New Riders Publishing)

A great little book to help you test and improve your computer interfaces.

Easy to read and understand.

Uses humour and examples to get the points across.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (Random House Business Book)

A good book. I preferred Made to Stick.

Switch contains great examples. Made to Stick was more prescriptive and easier to apply.

Switch requires a bit more lateral thinking but it does point out that change problems aren’t always people problems – they can be situational.

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition (New Riders Publishing)

A must-have book for computer interface designers – its a quick and funny read and it is well laid out – as you’d expect.

Its full colour with many before and after pics demonstrating the ideas. He also has a great usability book out as well.

It might be getting a little dated theses days, but I think the ideas stand the test of time.

Excel 2007 VBA Programmer’s Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Wrox Publishing)

A brilliant reference book for Excel VBA – its the manual that you need when programming.

I always keep it close at hand. Includes useful programming snippets as well as complete code solutions.

Excel 2007 Advanced Report Development (Wiley Publishing)

Great book that will assist you in creating pivot table reports in Excel from external data sources.

It takes you through step by step for each different data source. includes MS Query and SQL. includes instructions for pivot table creation.

For intermediate to advanced users.

David vs Goliath

Audio book review – this book goes into detail about some small vs large encounters and discusses what they have in common.

Some very interesting and amazing stories.

On Writing

A great book if you’re thinking of becoming a writer.

It starts with the autobiographical back story to help you understand how he became the writer he is and then goes into some good tips for all writers.

Finishes with his horrific accident that nearly killed him and how writing helped him recover.

I’m not a fan of his fiction books, but I am a fan of this book.


Audio book review – A great listen.

It takes you on a journey of understanding into the stories behind how many well known people succeeded.

Very interesting and sure to provide some enlightening conversations about the stories.

Covers things from air crashes to ice hockey and maths in between.

Highly recommend.

Predictably Irrational

Some great research and some amazing findings about how and why we react the way we do.

Highly recommend.

Microsoft Excel and Access Integration

The premise behind this book is that Access is a powerful relational database and Excel is the world’s most widely used spreadsheet package. By using them together you can create some really powerful and useful applications.

Excel and Access work very well together. Access providing the database capabilities and Excel pivot table reporting and easy of use interface. Not many users are skilled in Access but they are capable in Excel.

Excel can provide the user friendly front end and Access the database back end.

This book takes you through how to take advantage of the best of both Excel and Access to create applications. It includes VBA example which can hep add that professional finish and customisation to a project.

It is aimed at intermediate to advanced users.

What The Dog Saw

I’ve read and enjoyed most of Malcolm Gladwell’s books.

This compilation of articles is both interesting and eye opening in many areas.

He dispels many myths and also questions conventional wisdom.

Well worth the read.

101 Ready-to-Use Excel Formulas

This book contains a good cross section of formulas that solve specific issues in Excel.

You can learn the mechanics of formula creation and how to use Excel’s most useful functions.

Real world examples are a good way to learn Excel functions.

It is a bit shorter than most Excel books, it has just over 200 pages.

Forks Over Knives

I have seen the movie and wholeheartedly agree with the ideas behind it as I have read The China Study on which some of the movie is based.

This book explains the ideas behind a plant based diet and the many, many benefits.

There are lots of reason to go for a plant based diet. Health, ethics, the environment and social justice.

The less animal products you consume the better you and our world we be. Bill Clinton is a recent convert to a plant based diet.

I’ve been a vegan since 2005 and it was the best thing I did.

This book includes recipes.

Excel 2007 Charts

John Walkenbach is by far my favorite Excel author (I was honored to have his review on the back of my book!).

This book covers many charting tips and trick, plus advice on the best charts to use and also those to avoid.

Includes more advanced topics like interactive and dynamic charts. The later editions of the book that cover the newer versions are just as good.

Great ideas and advice highly recommend. Probably best to buy the later editions as Excel 2007 had a few issues with charts and macros.

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

I agree with a lot of his ideals.

His examples are pertinent. Lots of great ideas for your business and practical ways to promote it effectively.

This was my first Guy Kawasaki book and it won’t be my last.

I enjoy his writing style and the content.

The Brain that Changes Itself

An amazing book. The case histories are astonishing. The brain is so powerful.

The thing that struck me was there are many new cutting edge learning techniques being used very successfully but they are NOT being used in our educational institutions – why not?

An eye-opening and brain expanding book – use some of your plasticity and read it.

Professional Excel Development 2nd edition

The second edition is the one to buy, it has many improvements over the first edition.

Probably the most advanced book written about Excel that I have seen. This book is not meant for beginners.

It has a host of best practices that are worth incorporating into your Excel files.

This book covers normal spreadsheet formatting and functions plus macros and data requirements as well as other more advanced topics that enable you to create stand alone Excel solutions.

I highly recommend this book for advanced users of Excel. Prepare to have your mind expanded.