Book ReViews from Dorothy
for all Phases of YOUR Career and Life

Find Book Reviews on:


Career Development

Top Ten Mistakes
The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hans Finzel Buy from Amazon

If you are managing or leading people in any capacity whether or not you are a beginner or the CEO, you need to read this book. This book is a practical and insightful guide for any kind of leader of people. He not only can tell you the mistake, he gives you examples of how those mistakes impact an organization and the individuals. Several examples are his own blunders he made. He was insightful enough and humble enough to recognize the problems he created and how to improve along the way. The lessons he conveys are not theoretical. An added bonus for those of any Christian faith is that he weaves in biblical scripture and uses Jesus as an example for many of the leadership skills he is pointing out. This book is great for business and religious leaders. If you only read one book on how to improve your leadership skills, this is the one to read and keep close for future review.

Take this Book to Work
Take This Book to Work by Tory Johnson and Robyn Freedman Spizman Buy from Amazon

This book needs to be in your personal library. An alternate title for this book might be something like: Effective communication for all career events. The book starts out with how to find out if businesses have job openings, how to interview and all details with the job search process. From that point, the book goes on to give you pointers on everything from asking for a raise to etiquette in the office. They have covered just about all aspects of how to go about positioning you and speaking up for yourself to ensure both a great career and great life. While this book is oriented toward women, almost every topic is useful to both genders. For the guys: simply ignore the continuous gender references because this information is too valuable to skip.

Career Warfare
Career Warfare by David F D’Allessandro Buy from Amazon

David has created a great trench warfare" book with Career Warfare. If a person is looking to launch and grow themselves in their career, this book is a must read. He comes from the perspective of your "brand" which essentially is how people you work with view you and your value. He leaves no stone unturned in terms of things you should think about and how to behave. Being a career veteran also, David gives great personal examples of how he messed up some of the advice as well as how he recovered when he did. The last couple of chapters are probably not for the general public as he then discusses things like how to handle the media, which is left for the domain of those in charge of the Fortune 500. Nevertheless, even those chapters are interesting because of his analysis of people in the public arena.

100 Tactics
100+ Tactics for Office Politics by Casey Hawley Buy from Amazon

This book starts out by making you think if you're older than 40, you're probably out of it since you don't use internet and things are changing. However, this is a pretty straight forward book in its portrayal of what you need to know about success in the office place. It's more of office etiquette and behavior 101 books, which I think most people, can use a good healthy dose of. It's savvy without being conniving. I particularly like the part where it tells you it truly isn't what you know, it's how you package and promote yourself. We don't like to think like that but it's very true. There is a chapter on how to handle dirty tricks. Probably something we don't have to face too often but good to think through in advance. The book includes exercises with each chapter to get you into thinking and action. This is a good book to have.

10 Make or Break
10 Make or Break Career Moments by Casey Hawley Buy from Amazon

Based on questions the author has been asked repeatedly over her career, Casey Hawley has a great book to help with those moments that are difficult to know what to do. This book advocates that you think through these situations in advance in order to react appropriately and most effectively. The common theme is professional maturity. The more professional you are the more likely you will be to not only survive these moments but thrive and grow your career. The moments range from meeting the company executive to dealing with conflict and difficult people. This is a good book to read no matter if you are a job seeker or in your job, you will want to know the guidance now and for years to come.


Career Change

Retire Smart, Retire Happy
The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood Buy from Amazon

Finally, a book after my own heart. Being the practical person I am, I have longed to read something that took a process approach to discovering your true passions. This book delivers and in a surprising way. In the first half of the book, they mix the “how to’s” of tapping into your passion with a story about Janet, the co-author. This mix is woven very well, to illustrate through the story the process they are telling you to pursue. The second half of the book are interviews with well known authors and business leaders, asking them about their passions and how it all worked for them.

Do What you Love for the Rest of your Life
Do What You Love for the Rest of Your Life by Bob Griffiths Buy from Amazon

This is a good book for people thinking they need to make a job change but just don’t know what it might be. The author’s own experience with this issue does orient the content to preparing yourself to take a salary reduction. I agree that when facing the uncertainty of a new career that you should lower your debt and create a nest egg to fall back on, but I don’t think you have to automatically assume an income reduction. In fact, I think you could consider an increase. Despite that, he does give you lots of things to think about and insistently has you perform various, useful exercises.

The Dip
The Dip by Seth Godin Buy from Amazon

What an interesting perspective this book has. The Dip is about the dip you take somewhere after you have launched something exciting in your life. Once the excitement wanes and you run into a roadblock or two, you then get kind of shaken and then what? Seth Godin tells you the answer and among his answers is something called strategic quitting. You'll have to read this small, fast to read book to get all his answers to that question. It's well worth the read. It's short, fully packed and gets to the point in the first paragraph. This is mostly a business oriented book but his point very easily correlates to personal things.

Career Renegade
Career Renegade: How to make a great living doing what you love by Jonathan Fields Buy from Amazon

This book was a surprise. I was expecting it to be a cheerleading exercise in finding a job you love but the author is really telling you to create your own job or business. Primarily, the orientation is toward the use of the internet as a place where you can manifest any kind of business pretty much overnight. The book is a wealth of great online resources for researching your ideas all the way to a panorama of technology services. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the author did spend a chapter discussing your passion. Love that chapter. The orientation throughout the entire book is upbeat and enthusiastic. If you're thinking of alternatives to working for "the man", this is a good book to read.

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore Buy from Amazon

The author is the founder of a career counseling group and has a background has a career coach. The book is written just like you might think of talking with a career coach. He is generous with his writing and has exercises sprinkled throughout the book. In the middle of the book he outlines the Meyers-Briggs assessments and profiles each combination and potential professions. Although the book does give you information on job search elements like interviewing, this truly is a book about finding the career of your dreams. It is constructed in such a way that you start with the basic self examination and moves you through every possible facet to consider when changing careers. This is not a fast read but it covers all the bases.

The Leap
The Leap: How 3 Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career from Good to Great by Rick Smith Buy from Amazon

If you are either toying with the idea of making a career change or are looking to do some truly special, this is the book for you. Rick Smith has studied what other people have done who have contributed great things or love the work they do. He has distilled the elements of what causes people to make "The Leap" into truly great work. The material is not esoteric. It is easy to understand and practical. The book is a fast and inspiring read. If you need a nudge, read this book.

Now What
Now What. The young person's guide to choosing the perfect career by Nicholas Lore Buy from Amazon

This book is oriented toward college students or young adults. I do think the content is suitable for any age regardless if they have yet to launch a career or changing careers. There is a "chiding" the author hands out more than once to get off your rear end and start working on figuring out a career. I totally support his point of view that the time honored, bumbling approach that most people take reaps a career of chance. He does offer up the point that only about 30% of college grads enjoy their career, so that alone should inspire you to put some effort into figuring out a career you will love. The best part of the book is the copious portion dedicated to various assessments to help define what your natural abilities are. The book is well worth it for just the assessments and debriefs that go with them.

the Big Idea
The Big Idea by Donny Deutsch Buy from Amazon

This book is for those who have an entrepreneurial orientation to their next chapter. This book is full of inspiration in the form of stories of those people who were willing following an idea they had and put the idea into reality. There is no scenario he doesn't cover. He makes it clear you don't have to be rich or lucky but rather to be willing to work hard to make your dream happen. His book is also full of resources and references that would be good to know about if you are thinking of going into business for yourself. His orientation assumes that you are inventing something even if it's your mom's recipe for pancakes. I think in spite of that orientation the idea that you can put your efforts into your own business and be success is still the primary point. If you are in need of inspiration, especially toward your own business, this is a good one.

Making a Living
Making a Living without a Job by Barbara Winter Buy from Amazon

I love this book. This will be my "go to" book from now on. One reason I love this is that the author is not deliberately trying to be uplifting but she is. She is down to earth and practical every step of the way through this book. She lays out all kinds of strategies for making it on your own and having what she calls "multiple profit centers". She is all about simple, easy and cheap on implementing ideas that can make you money. If you are thinking about a business of your own or a career change, this is a must read. It will get you thinking in a whole new way about what your possibilities might be,,,and they're all connected with doing things you'll feel passionate about doing.

Escape from Corporate America
ESCAPE from Corporate America by Pamela Skillings Buy from Amazon

The author has pulled together a great book for anyone to read that thinks there might be a better work life out but just doesn't know what. You might think she is all about working for yourself but her perspective is much broader than that line of thinking. She does help you explore a work life on your own and also working in a smaller, completely different setting. She helps you look at financial aspects of setting yourself free as finances (either income or bills) tend to be the handcuffs that hold many in place for many long, unhappy years. If you are starting to get the itch – scratch it with this book, it will help inspire you.

Test Drive your Dream Job
Test Drive Your Dream Job by Brian Kurth Buy from Amazon

If you're thinking about changing careers, particularly towards a more entreprenureal venture, this is a great book to read. It contains a ton of inspiring examples of people who test drove – or tried out what they thought was their dream job. Brian takes you through the step-by-step process he goes through to match up clients and jobs to let you know you can do the same thing for yourself. The premise is that when it comes to changing jobs, sometimes we simply need to reduce the risk of such a big leap by trying out for size. Think of it like trying on shoes. If you like the way it looks and its fits you well then committing to it become more straight forward. If you need a nudge, read this book.


Job Search

Retire Smart, Retire Happy
Over 40 Job Search Guide by Gail Geary - Buy from Amazon

If you’re over 40 and have ever been concerned about doing a job search due to age, this book is for you.  The author doesn’t mince words about the fact that attitudes about age exist out in the working world.  With that truth in mind and years as a career counselor, she provides you with good insight and things to do to give you an ageless job search.  There is no facet that she leaves unaddressed, covering the obvious things like an ageless resume, your appearance and attitude.  No, she doesn’t suggest a face lift!  If you have a job search in your future, I suggest you get this book.

Job Hunter's Survival Guide
The Job Hunter’s Survival Guide – How to Find Hope and Rewarding Work, Even When "There are No Jobs" by Richard Bolles Buy from Amazon

Richard Bolles knows his stuff and he proves it again with this tiny little book. The orientation to this book is timely and speaks to job hunters in our current environment of high unemployment. The content drives right to the heart of what you need to know to launch a great job search strategy. One of the best parts of this book is where he goes through the top 5 and worse 5 ways to get a job. He gives you the odds for each technique and tells you why and how that technique works (or doesn't work). As well, he has some good internet resources throughout the book. If you're a job hunter right now, get this book.

HIghly Effective Job Search
The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search – The Proven Program Used by the Worlds' Leading Career Services Company by Orville Pierson Buy from Amazon

Orville is the director and long time employee of a major outplacement service in the US. The program outlined in the book is pretty much the program they take people through that are looking for jobs. The program is time tested and practical. As he outlines the various steps and strategy, he threads a story of his unemployed (and skeptical) neighbor. The neighbor eventually follows the process and lands a great position. I personally think what is outlined in the book is a useful as having pre-sliced bread. If you are new to job search or seem to be spinning your wheels, this is a good book to read.

Job Search Solution
The Job Search Solution – The Ultimate System for Finding a Great Job Now by Tony Beshara Buy from Amazon

If you have been watching the Dr. Phil show this year you will have seen the author introduced to help out struggling unemployed people. Tony Beshara's background is that of a headhunter and as such, his advice is tilted toward that background. He takes a "commando" approach to getting a job because of his background, which is to say cold calling is a major centerpiece to finding a job. I don't know that many people have the stomach for that approach but he takes you through it step-by-step so if it works for him, you might want to try it. He provided scripts to use for many of the techniques discussed. There is great content on how to deal with touchy issues like employer biases and getting fired that is really worth the read.

What Color is your Parachute
What Color is Your Parachute? for Retirement by Richard Bolles and John Nelson
Buy from Amazon

When planning for retirement, this is a good reference. The first five chapters do not pack much new information with the occasional piece of thoughtful advice but beginning in Chapter 6, the book packs in the beef. Chapter 6 talks about your strengths and outlines three approaches (or elements) for happiness which are very thought provoking. Chapter 7 is valuable in its approaches your social connections and what to expect. Chapter 6 and 7 are worth the price of the whole book.

No Job No Problem
No Job? No prob! by Nicholas Nigro Buy from Amazon

This is not a job search book. He does have a section in the book on job hunting, resumes and interviews. Mostly, this book is about how to be unemployed, pay your bills and have a good time while you are not working. The book is full of great resources to help with such things as filing for unemployment but also includes books to read, movies to watch and things to do with your extra time. It is a happy and uplifting book oriented toward making you feel ok with your unemployment situation.

Launchpad Vol. 3
Launchpad Volume 3 – Getting a Life and Not a Job by Chris Perry Buy from Amazon

This is the 3rd book publication done by Chris Perry of Careerrocketeer fame. It is so meaty you'll be more than hungry by the time the next one comes out later this year. You will yearn for more. Chris has compiled writing from some of the country's top career experts (including me!) who write on 6 Career Topics: Career Search, Personal Branding, Resumes, Interviews, Social Media and Career Management. Each piece is full of valuable information for whatever stage of career you're in, so you will want to continue to reference this book both now and in the future. Perhaps the most valuable aspect to this is just how actionable all of the information is. Each author details out step-by-step how to accomplish the topic they discuss. You will want to get this book and keep it handy.

Use your Head to get your foot in the door
Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door – Job Search Secrets Nobody Else Will Tell You by Harvey MacKay Buy from Amazon

This is a real fast and easy book to read. In this book, Harvey gives the readers bite sized pieces of information on everything from networking to sending thank you notes after an interview. Harvey MacKay is the king of networking, so you do get some of his valuable insight but in this book, but he covers the gamut of job search steps. Harvey also liberally includes good resources for the reader to follow up on to help on everything from how to overcome interview jitters to some "deep search" web sites. Harvey ends each chapter with a thing to remember on that topic. He could harvest those one liners and have a good book with just those in it.

Highly Effective Networking
Highly Effective Networking – Meet the Right People and Get a Great by Job Orville Pierson Buy from Amazon

If you have finally gotten the message that you need to be networking to get a job you are ready to read this book. Orville Pierson guides you through networking and the key concept in his book is that you and the other person need to be comfortable with what you're doing. Many networking approaches have you doing things that make you cringe, not with this book. This will also step you through analyzing your personal and professional contacts and gives you a great approach to both including suggested scripts and approaches. This book leaves nothing to chance, so if you've been reluctant to network as part of your job search strategy, read this book. Let this book help you through the process in a manner that will be comfortable for you and those you are networking with.


Personal Change

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey Buy from Amazon

Stephen Covey’s book is clearly a practical guide on success-based behavior. What he addresses is very suitable for any business environment or personal situation, as it addresses good, effective actions all people should do.

Each habit he outlines builds on the other. He also makes it clear that he even struggles to be in alignment with these habits 100% of the time, which is refreshing to hear. This book is good and I recommend it whole heartedly. I think if we all pursued these habits, the world would be a better place.

Being in Balance
Being in Balance, 9 Principles for Creating Habits to Match Your Desires by Dr. Wayne Dyer Buy from Amazon

This is a great little book to read like you would eat a potato chip, fast and satisfying. As always, Dr. Dyer, can put into words that for others sound so esoteric that they make no sense only Dyer makes lots of sense. These habits aren’t activities like brushing your teeth; they are ways of thinking and things you can/should do to ensure your thinking is good and support your positive direction. I recommend this book; Keep it in your library so that you can refer back to to help reinforce its messages.

The Alchemist
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Buy from Amazon

When I conceived the idea of doing book reviews, I hadn’t really thought it would include any fiction books, but this one is fiction. The reason why I thought it so important to put this book in my reviews is because it is a book written all about change and the transition that goes with it. It shows you the struggle you go through to accomplish your dream and how easily it would be to derail yourself. It is a beautifully written book, simple and fast to read, but this book packs a punch without abusing the reader. If you are thinking about pursuing your dream or even a major life change, read this book.

Change your Life in 30 Days
Change Your Life in 30 Days by Rhonda Britten Buy from Amazon

This book would be a good book to read for three big reasons: 1- Rhonda herself had a tough life dealt to her and overcame it with flying colors 2- it's a workbook where every chapter gives you good content and questions for you to work on and 3- even if you didn't want to use it as a workbook she gives good insights on a number of behaviors we let get in our way. Rhonda cleverly weaves her own life experiences into the various points she make along with others she has worked with. The experiences really help drive home the points she make. Definitely a good book for supporting personal change.

Sway: The irresistible pull of irrational behavior by Ori and Rom Brafman Buy from Amazon

If the title hasn't grabbed you to buy this book, perhaps the content will. The book is a bit "clinical" at times but I don't think they can omit some of that in order to make the points they do. It's fascinating to see the various circumstances that will cause us to toss out reason (or rational thinking). There are the obvious situations like falling in love and the not so obvious like hiring after an interview. These guys are definitely into sports and they use several sports statistics to make the point that first draft picks play more and are paid more but not necessarily because they play better. Take that sport fans! There are groups of conditions that they name and discuss how we come to follow the wrong path. The one thing I would have loved to hear is how to avoid getting sucked into irrational behavior.

Changing Your Course
Changing Your Course by Bob and Melinda Blanchard Buy from Amazon

This is a great book to read. It’s simple, easy to understand and as practical as sliced bread. The Blanchard’s have distilled down to 5 steps what it takes to lead a life you love. They tell great, real life stories from their own adventures and others. They are consistent and persistent about making no excuses for living your dreams. They answer the tough questions and don’t mince words. The direction they give addresses real issues that may arise on your path, so this isn’t an impractical pump-you-up read. You would do well to follow their guidance. Put this book at the top of your book list.


Retirement Alternatives

Retire Smart, Retire Happy
Retire Smart, Retire Happy by Nancy K. Schlossberg Buy from Amazon

This book is devoted to transition both before and after retirement. The book emphasizes patience during your transition. The three things I find most valuable are: 1- Lists of very well thought out transition tips; 2- An outline of four aspects used to determine how large a change retirement has or will be. 3- Four elements for coping with retirement transition including: Your situation, your support, your self and your strategies. Lastly, Chapter 6 talks about Retirement life lessons; there are many stories here to illustrate the points. Worth the read.

What Color is your Parachute
What Color is Your Parachute? for Retirement by Richard Bolles and John Nelson
Buy from Amazon

When planning for retirement, this is a good reference. The first five chapters do not pack much new information with the occasional piece of thoughtful advice but beginning in Chapter 6, the book packs in the beef. Chapter 6 talks about your strengths and outlines three approaches (or elements) for happiness which are very thought provoking. Chapter 7 is valuable in its approaches your social connections and what to expect. Chapter 6 and 7 are worth the price of the whole book.

How to Love your Retirement
How to Love your Retirement by Barbara Waxman and Robert Mendelson
Buy from Amazon

This is a light and fluffy book that contains about 90% quotes or pearls of wisdom from retirees and about 10% of short list of things to think about, smart things to know or do. I think this book is worth reading because the thoughts are worth your time and it goes fast. Of note are pages: 5, 28 76, 113, 117, 161, 171, 180, 187, and 190,191.

Your Retirement, Your Way
Your Retirement, Your Way by Alan Bernstein and John Trauth Buy from Amazon

Generally this book is very good; I like the outline of goals, strategies and results and the structure of pulling together a plan. The plan template was good but I think a 5 year plan is kind of unrealistic. The personality test is fine, but it doesn’t go far enough to “pull it together” for the reader in terms of what have I learned about myself and how does that apply to my retirement, but it's good for some self discovery, and things to keep in mind going forward. Chapter 8 on Finances is an overview and if the reader wants to really work on their finances for retirement, a book on that topic is probably in order. Chapter 9 on Transition is very weak and generally not useful to the topic, there are whole books and seminars on this topic.

How to Retire Happy
How to retire Happy,Wild and Free by Ernie Zelinski Buy from Amazon

This book is worth the read. Primarily it is a philosophical look at retirement but with a very practical orientation. With a minimum of planning tools, here are tangible exercises to do like a readiness test and a plan for what you would do with yourself and the advice and anecdotes make the points very well. The author believes that you can retire anytime you want, and that how you live is more important than the money and that no matter what, you can make it work.

Retire Retirement
Retire Retirement by Tamara Erickson Buy from Amazon

The author makes a very compelling case for working rather than retire, assuming not working is how you define retirement. She uses loads of easy to understand data and charts to make her case that the workforce needs you. As well, she analyzes the various generations in addition to Baby Boomers and further makes the case for your role in the workplace. Even if you don’t buy it, Chapter 3 and 5 make superb points about how to figure out what to do and why, as you are considering retirement.

Beating the Age Game
Beating the Age Game by Jack and Phoebe Ballard Buy from Amazon

This is a fairly lightweight book that looks at all the variables one needs to consider as they contemplate retirement. The orientation is toward working and gives good arguments for doing some kind of work, whether full or part time, paid or unpaid. If the reader is just starting the exploration around this topic, it’s a good place to start, but for the person who has plumbed the depths of this topic – it’s not deep enough. It is a good review to ensure you’ve covered all the bases.

Too Young, Too Retire
Too Young to Retire by Marika and Howard Stone Buy from Amazon

This is a good book to read, if you are unclear about what retirement be defined like for yourself. The Stones give you loads of suggestions and things to consider. The book is full of good “thinking” exercises – to help you think through the different activities and perspectives around this topic. They also provide resources, books and websites to pursue for further research on those same topics. Buy

Retirement Careers
Retirement Careers, Combining the Best of Work & Leisure by Deloss L. Marsh
Buy from Amazon

This is a pretty good book to read. My only caution is that you must overlook some of its out of date reference, since it was published in 1991. The references are good references in general but you may need to Google them for obtaining the websites. The best part of this book is an almost emphatic point about finding meaning through work. I agree with the author, but for people considering retirement, they may think that continuing to work is insane. Keep an open mind! If he hasn’t convinced you in the first chapters, there’s no point in reading the rest. In fact, read the first 6 chapters- you probably know the rest.