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Welcome to Even Butterflies Think

Hey! Welcome to Even Butterflies Think.  I'm Jazz, an avid book reader and one of the lucky people in the world working in my ideal ca...

Monday, 14 February 2011

Five of my Favourite Love Poems

Few things express love more beautifully than poetry. For this reason I have dedicated this blog to a few of my favourite love poems. What I wouldn’t give to have a man compose something as beautiful as those below just for me: some things just cannot be bought. Enjoy!

My Love is Like to Ice

My Love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more her I entreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
And ice, which is congealed with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.
Edmund Spenser

Abner Stein Obituary by Andrew Franklin, MD Profile Books Ltd

Many of you will be aware of the sad passing of Abner Stein recently. Andrew Franklin, managing director and founder of Profile Books Ltd, wrote the following obituary for Mr Stein below. Originally published in The Bookseller, I have been graciously granted permission to post on my blog this celebration of Mr Stein's achievements and heartfelt dedication. Without further ado, I leave you with Mr Franklin's article:

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Decision Book Challenge – Applying the Models Part 1: Buying Gifts

So impressed am I by the simplicity yet immense usefulness of the models in The Decision Book (click for review), that I have decided to launch on this blog The Decision Book Challenge. It is a challenge lasting one week, in which I aim to tackle daily at least one decision-making situation or problem that I come across by applying the relevant model from the book. I am quite excited about doing this, as there are quite a few things that I think I could improve and that I hope the book will help me to find more efficient ways of dealing with. At the end of each day I will post about the situation in question and the model I applied and evaluate how well it has worked, what the results of applying the model were, if any. By the end of the week I hope to be on the way to becoming a much better decision-maker, more in tune with my thoughts, myself, my work and others.

So without further delay, and to kick-start the process in a fun way, I will begin with the very first situation: purchasing gifts, how much shall I spend? With Valentine’s Day upon us, I reckon this model could be pretty useful for some of you, those who have yet to buy gifts and event those who have already bought (you still have time for last minute changes, it is Valentine’s Day right up until midnight tomorrow!) I think buying Valentine’s Day gifts is a really tricky one: you don’t want to come across desperate; you don’t want to come across cheap or disinterested; you don’t want to act like you’re showing off; and of course, the worst of all, you don’t want to splash out and find out that the other person didn’t realise you were buying each other Valentine’s Day gifts already! Well fear not, this handy little model compares the time that you have known the proposed recipient of the gift with the amount you should spend on the gift, giving you a good starting point to narrow down your gift options. It suggests a few key people in your life to give you an idea. Take a look below:

This diagram is actually quite useful and makes a lot of sense.  I personally want to buy a gift for someone I admire (not a Valentine’s gift though, honest) but I was not sure how to judge how much I ought to spend or if I ought to buy anything at all. For me, I have found that I haven’t known the person nearly long enough to buy anything particularly expensive, and in fact he amount I should spend is pretty low. Maybe there is no need to buy anything at all; perhaps I ought to find other ways of saying thank you.

What about those who will buy/ or have bought Valentine’s Day gifts. Have you spent too much? More importantly, have you spent too little? How would this model have helped you? I would be really interested to see if those who have yet to buy their gifts would try this guide and let me know how it helps.

Well that was a first simple example. More from me and my Decision Book Challenge during the week. Here’s to becoming better decision-makers!

Review: The Decision Book by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler

The Decision Book

Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking

ISBN 1846683955
ISBN 13 9781846683954
Profile Books Ltd January 2011
Price £9.99
Hardback, 176 pp.

When I first got a copy of The Decision Book on Friday afternoon, I had intended to read just a few specific sections. I had no real intention of doing a full review and no obligation to do so. So I absolutely surprised myself when I realised I would be able to read the entire book cover to cover in a single sitting! This is not really the type of book that you are supposed to read through, it is more designed to be used and applied when needed, carrying out exercises and activities, but I found the models and theories in it so interesting that I just could not resist. So, on account of it surprising me in this way, I thought it only right that I do review it.

The Decision Book is a mini-workbook containing approximately fifty decision-making models that we can apply to our everyday lives to help guide our thought processes and actions. It looks at both classic and modern theories and strategies taken from some of the world’s greatest theorists, leaders, businessmen, organisations and free-thinkers. What is better though, is that these incredible theories and ideas are explained in concise form, most not more than a page long, meaning that you get all this incredible knowledge in less than 200 pages. And as if that was not good enough, each model is nicely presented in a diagram, one that you can copy and use yourself, applying these decision-making models to your own situations. It is so simple and yet so beneficial.

Classic Songs On Love and Romance

Inspired by the season of love and romance, I have decided to share with you what I consider to be some of the most romantic, beautiful, artistic songs on love and romance. Some you will know, some you may not, some you'll adore and some you'll hate. I'm very interested to hear your opinions, so please feel free to coment. And so in no particular order here are my ten favourite love songs:

Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
Love songs don't get much better than this; it never fails to put tingles down my spine. What a voice, what lyrics, so sad, so sweet. The song was originally produced in 1955 for as the theme for a movie called 'Unchained' about a man condemned to prison, calling for his loved one. There have been many versions since that time, it is one of the most covered songs, but this 1965 version by the Righteous Brothers is a clear cut above the rest. 

I'm Kissing You  - Des'ree
From the I saw the movie Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo di 'Caprio I have been unable to get this song out of my head. Des'ree has incredible vocals in this song. It is simultaneously one of the most tragic and beautiful songs I have heard.

All The Man That I Need - Whitney Houston
She may have gone through troublesome times, but Whitney Houston is still a legend. There are so many of her songs I could choose but this one is beautiful, a booster for the men in our lives. And the voice, let's face it, there aren't many really talented vocalists these days, let alone anyone who measures up to this.