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Books recommendations, January 2018
Posted by: Vesna Ivkovic in: Thoughts

Considering that the previous year has ended, I spent winter's holidays in January by reading several excellent books, which in this blog I will recommend as my January favourites.

1. ROBOTICS by Peter Mckinnon

The book Robotics is a fantastic educational book. I am sure that there are books that encourage and develop your imagination in a positive sense. For me, those are the books on robotics. I think that nothing can inspire a man in such amount as when he creates something new, whether it is a new sentence, a new thought or an innovation that can serve for the benefit of the mankind. That is why I think that everyone who is interesting in writing books on innovations deserve to be, in a way, promoted, since they try to open the door of a brand new world. Also, I believe that those people who are into economy will inevitably get in touch with the challenge of more and more increasing application of robotization in doing repetitive jobs, whether in production, car industry or elsewhere. I have already written about that in my previous blogs related to the review of the book Economics of Innovations and The Physics of the Future.
The book Robotics: Everything You Need to Know about Robotics from Beginner to Expert is, first of all, intended for beginners. In case you have ever been interested in how the robots with analogue or digital brain function, whether you considered the robotics as a hobby or you were truly interested in that area, you should read this book. It is an interesting book, concisely explained, so that everyone can understand it. In this book you will find out how the robots perform tinsmith's job and what kind of programmes for robots are there, as well as various types of motors and materials used in designing and producing the robots. You will find out a lot about the history of robots, different types of robots, software and hardware application, controllers and microcontrollers, and the way robots think by using sensors and programmes. All in all, this is one very inspiring book and you will not regret reading it, because you will definitely discover new things. I recommend it!


I already read the book The Age of Sustainable Development couple of years ago. However, I read it again this winter due to constant flow of new information on climate change, and although I did not write a blog about this book, I think that it is very significant and that I should have included it , so that is why I am doing it now. The Age of Sustainable Development is the story about global economic problems and the sustainable development concept. More and more complex relations between: the economy, production, economic growth and ethical issues demand holistic problem solving.
Serious economic analysis are mentioned in the book. There are a lot of numerous economic analysis and graphs in the book. The entire book is printed in colour, which gives a particularly nice touch and pleasure while reading it. While reading this book, you get the impression that you are watching a great documentary on economy since everything is illustrated with photographs. For example, if you read about Hong Kong or Shenzhen, you could see the photographs of those cities from the period between 1980 and 2013, in which it is clearly shown how those cities turned from rural to urban area.
The book is about the dynamics of economic growth, the problem with food, energy, population and economic inequality in the world. Why some countries managed to develop, and others remain poor? These are only some of the issues mentioned in this book.
The world economy creates the ecological crisis which endangers the life of people on the planet. The definition of the sustainable development concept by Brundtland Commission: "Sustainable development is the development which satisfied the needs of the present generation, not jeopardizing the possibility for future generations to fulfil their needs".
There are numerous examples of solving problems differently, such as the construction of the Shanghai maglev train. It is a train travels between the city centre and the international airport, transporting passengers at the speed of over 200 miles per hour. The "maglev" train does not use coal or oil, but electrical power. There are also many other examples based on new approaches of starting the electric vehicles. In this book, the author points out the holistic way of solving problems. I think that this book represents one of more serious economic analysis that has been done recently, which is why I strongly recommend it.

3. BE THE WATER - by Igor Arih

Be the Water is an autobiographical story of Igor Arih, an expert in marketing. The essence of the book is based on the Eastern wisdom and philosophical saying by Bruce Lee. This is really surprisingly brilliant book. It is about the old and the new concept of advertising. According to the author, advertising is dead. In this book the author points out that the classical advertising is dead, but that the communication with customers and buyers will never cease. Instead of that, the popular term nowadays is content marketing. In this book you will discover new models of communication with customers. The principle of "open source" is emphasized here, as well as the importance of dynamic communication. According to the author's opinion, the Internet succeeded due to "open coded way of thinking". Arih describes the power of water: "The water is fast, powerful, it always finds its way, you cannot supress it…". None of the fights is the same. It is just like winning over a woman's heart, where the same "winning" strategy does not always work. In this book you will find out a lot about the philosophical concept of water, that is, the ways of communication similar to water. By comparing water and communication, you can find a lot of similarities. The communication, as well as water, should be "fresh" and "fluid", just as the water at the spring high in the hills. The water does not run uphill, and it sometimes remains still in order to gather the energy for the new wave. In general, communication in advertising must be creative.

Actually, the book is about a dynamic communication that refers to limited audience (limited targeting). It is specialized for the small group of people. For example, there are those who love the Beatles, and those who love the Rolling Stones. It represents limited targeting, as the book points out: "Classic advertising - targets hundreds of people to affect just one. Dynamic communications - targets one to affect a hundred.

This book points out the role and the importance of communication that is entering the new renaissance. Digital channels increase the need for communication. By reading this book, you will come to know everything about advertising. The claims that the appearance of the new media does not cause the end of the previous one that dominated up until then are brought up here. Namely, historically speaking, it was considered that the appearance of the radio would lead to the end of the written media. Newspaper readers still continued reading the newspaper alongside listening to the radio. Radio did not lead to the end of the newspapers. Also, it was considered that the television would bring to end both radio and newspapers, since it offered both pictures and words. More and more newspapers and radio stations began to appear. Therefore, renowned Medias began to raise prices for the advertising space. That led to the realization that expensive advertising had no effect, so eventually, in time, creativity took over the leading role. According to this author, it is only the advertising that is in a crisis. The whole world is filled with old businesses models. For example, Apple became the biggest company in the world during the crisis. And not just Apple, but many other companies as well. This is a modern book on marketing that you should not miss reading.

4. TIP OF THE WEEK #1 by Petar Lazarov, Kalin Babu¹ku

Tip Of The Week #1
is a simple interactive book for personal and professional development. The book is consisted of 40 lessons that represent the golden rules, i.e. the intellectual tools required for acquirement and implementation of business skills. The book is based on the interaction with a reader, so, in this manual you can write, scrabble, glue, underline and comment. It was intended both for beginners, and for executives of serious companies. Many of the given pieces of advice are already familiar to us, or we have heard of them somewhere. However, what is characteristic about this book is that the emphasis is on the implementation of the acquired knowledge. The main focus of the book is on the practical implementation that leads to transitions and empowering of some of the elementary developmental such as: persistence, motivation, self-discipline, etc. For example, the writer lists 3 types of people: 1) People who make things happen; 2) People who watch things happen; 3) People who have no idea what is happening. The section "Creativity awakening" is particularly interesting. In that chapter it is stated that creativity and talent are not innate. Creativity is hidden in every person, and it should be encouraged and given possibility to "rise" to the surface. The same way our body needs exercises, the brain is in need of mental exercises. The exercises with boxes for developing creative thinking are given in the book. Also, the authors nicely describe "Socrates' dialogue" as more efficient way of studying. The manual consists of visual diagrams, which is why it is adjusted for a reader to follow written texts trough those diagrams. The book was written concisely and it could be read from the beginning, the middle or the end, because the exercises are given in every chapter. On the inside of the covers, there is a specially designed place for a pen, which I find to be an unusually creative act performed by the author, and I was particularly liked it. Anyway, it is an unusual and interesting book that will teach you all sorts of things, in an interesting way. Warm recommendations!

5. PILGRIMS OF THE WILD by Archibald Stansfield Belaney; Grey Owl (nickname)

I have always delayed reading this book, and finally this winter I firmly decided I was going to read it. I knew it from the very start that the book was good, but somehow I always missed the opportunity to purchase it and read it. This winter, I was determent not to miss the chance to read it.

The book Pilgrims of the Wild was first published in 1935 and it made the author internationally famous. Many ecologists think they keep fighting for some ecological rights, but this is the man who has proven it by his personal life. This is a story about a man who lived ahead of his time - Archibald Belaney, also known as the Grey Owl, who had experienced spiritual transformation from a simple hunter to the great fighter for environmental and animal protection. While living with his Indian wife Anahareo in a wooden cottage in the North, he dedicated his entire life to the protection of beavers. This is an incredible story about a man who stood up for the life in harmony with nature, and who represented himself as the ambassador of Indians, while he was, in fact, a full-blooded Englishman. His full name is Archibald Stansfield Belaney. When the Englishmen found that out, some of his books were withdrawn from the sale, but that did not stop the change he and his wife achieved. Since he lived in the time of the beginning of intensive industrial pollution, he spent his childhood daydreaming, wondering in the forest Saint Helena, near his house. He was mesmerised by the history of American Indians. In time, he began working as a tour guide for hunters, and he became a forest ranger. Later on, he became familiar with the Indian customs by meeting his Indian wife Anahareo, which changed the course of his life for good.
The book describes the life of Archibald Belaney, an fanatic hunter, who was engaged in suppling fur in North Canada. He did all that in order to pay debts, earn money, and maintain his reputation… As it was the case with many hunters, hunting was his religion. He would put up the skeletons of murdered bears in prominent places. However, the income of money caused the extinction of the fur animals. Once untouched virgin areas were caught on fire, and not only the fire, but also train rails, power stations, planes, it was all ruining the old lifestyle. In this book, you will read about many wonderful descriptions of nature and love for animals. He and Anahareo were watching sunsets together from the cottage window, where the magical sights were appearing. She was special." She loved sleeping outside, in the rain, with a smile on her face, but she cried for the lack of celebrations during the meal". The life of Archibald and Anahareo was radically changed when they started to take care about two baby beavers. It is exceptionally emotional book, for which you have to be emotionally ready to read. Warm recommendations!

6. THE GREAT SECRET - author Kaskusti (pseudonym) ; Irakian writer Qusay Al Ansari

The book The Great Secret is the second volume of the science-fiction trilogy. Those who have read the first book Bells on the Fourth Planet, were probably thrilled and would probably look for the next part of this amazing series. In a fantastic sequel, the second book The Great Secret, hides a great mystery that the main character Alex will be involved in and will have to solve. It is very rare to find a science- fiction book which offers the "bigger picture" through its philosophical stories. The book consists of nineteen chapters and each chapter carries a certain philosophical message with plenty of funny wits and unique characters, which give special charm to this science-fiction adventure.

The exciting story about the struggle between good and evil, between the guard and the protector of the Great Ruler (who in my opinion represents God) and the Great Cyrus (who stands for fire, demon, evil). This time, the architect Aleksa and his alien protector Neo have the mission to save the human civilisation from the Great Cyrus's arrival, as well as from the creature of Si and Cyrus's closest subjects and guards.
In order to get all the answers, Aleksa goes to Japan and Kyoto and tries to solve the puzzle in Japanese while investigating the Golden Temple. The roads lead Aleksa to the Prohor Pcinjski monastery, where he is exposed to certain spiritual temptations. Aleksa will be able to see the stimulation of the future, and then he will become aware of his role as a saviour of this world from planetary invasions and ideological abuse of science. Then he will realise how the scientists on Earth build in a chip into humans, so they can monitor "the way people work, travel, breathe, love, suffer, lie, everything". The story leads the reader in distant future, and the problem is being multiplied when the chips begin to be built in other beings on the planet. Exciting characters such as a guard Ninutra, Neo's mother, Dogan-nun, just emphasise the experience of the thrilling science-fiction story. Through the persuasive writing, the author puts himself into the perspective of observing the human psychology through alien characters. The book persuasively shows that everyone has their own reasons, concluding that "the Great Ruler holds all door open for us, all we have to do is enter. And I believe that we can, and that everything has its own because and why- and I understand the things I never understood before".

The novel follows Aleksa's encounter with Ifrit creatures which tutor Aleksa about the philosophy of life. Ifrit takes Aleksa to the dream land. Aleksa gets an explanation that the concept of reality is an individual question, because everyone on Earth sees a little bit different, and "only the Ruler can understand the reality ". The interesting part of the book is the Room of Truth. When Aleksa notices what kind of trees grow there and why some leaves are red, he will receive an explanation that the tree experienced a lot of pain during its lifetime. The leaves are red because of the the pain in them, and that once it used to be just a white leaf. People experience the same, the only difference is that people cannot see, they just feel. That "leaf" is actually in the human heart, because the heart has its own mind and emotions. The heart actually rules people. In the meantime, there is the life going on other planets, the war breaks out and Ifrits take the human side and fight against Cyrus. But despite the war "It was important to believe, and the Ruler is the only one". One of the most beautiful sentences I have read from this book is the following: "The Ruler is just. We have his energy in our bodies, and it makes our hearts beat". Maybe the most beautiful part of the book is the one when Aleksa saves his protector Neo which was trapped on the island, and he does everything he can to find her and save her. True love for Neo is his power.

All the chapters in this book look like perfect shots of SF film, and the novel like this definitely deserves to appear on the film screen. What kind of secrets are hidden behind the magical number 19? I will not reveal all the details from the book, since in that case, the secret would not be the secret anymore, would it? You will have to discover it by yourself once you read the entire book. I think that this is one of those rare inspiring books which inspires both human mind and human soul. I recommend it with all my heart!

7. MIND TRAINING - by Ernest Wood

The book Mind Training is about developing concentration and photographic memory. Von Vainegel's method of similarities of shapes is particularly interesting. For example, numbers can be memorized like pictures consisting of nine squares (one is a tower, two is a swan, three is a seahorse, four is a sailing boat etc.). Memorizing cities, animals or ordinary things you need to buy in a supermarket are convenient methods that you can often practise, which makes life quite interesting. Ernset Wood is actually a theosophist who developed this skill spending a great deal of his life in India. The book is good for those people who, in the area of their expertise have to memorize a large amount of data: codes, telephone numbers, subject numbers, service numbers etc… Anyway, whatever job is that you do, this is one useful and likeable book. I recommend it!

8. SMALL WINS BIG JOYS - by Dominique Glocheux

Small Wins Big Joys
is an amazing book. The very first page will leave you breathless. It is an autobiographic book by Dominique Glocheux, who has had a car accident, after which he was unable to write by using his hand; he could use only one finger. "One finger…" These are the exact words at the beginning of his book. He did not settle with the life as a plant, so he decided to use the keyboards his parents bought him for writing. It helped him realize that he had to suppress the "black, unhappy thoughts" and to move on with his life, filled with enthusiasm, as he himself says: "to seek, to dig, to lurk in me, in others, in books, everywhere, to search for the best of the best and place it inside my head again, to embellish my life". It took him hundreds and hundreds of hours to write this book, but his persistence helped him finish. He chose short, simple words, fragments in the form of comforting messages about peace, love and hope, and his life gained a new meaning, filled with happiness.

Some of my favourite quotes from this book are the following:

* Encourage the attitudes which develop your abilities, which make you the winner, which raise you up. Forget the other ones.
* Invest a lot in preparation of your plans: 60% of success lies in the preparation, 20% in your first step.
* Do good things for yourself. Do good things for others. It really feels good.
* Love what you do. It is precious. It is much more precious than doing what you love.

That would be all as far as my favourite books of January are concerned. I hope that you will truly enjoy in reading some of the books I recommended. Spend a lovely day in reading, enjoy! :)



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