Jun 27, 2016

Book Review: Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

I can't remember who recommended the book Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design to me, but I'm glad someone did. It's an excellent book about happiness and how our homes, neighborhoods and commuting affect to our lives.

Book introduces really many interesting facts about how other people and the neighborhood affect to our happiness. Happiness have always been interesting topic for me, so I was keen on reading more about the subject. I've always had a hunch about how important your neighbors and the contacts with them are, but this really gave some good statistics about it.

Happy City goes through data and experiments around the world on how cities and streets affect to us. For almost 100 years cities have been build to run by cars and with current population, it has actually made us less free. Many people spend enormous amount of times in cars and are unhappy because of that.

Book also discusses a lot about cars versus other ways to commute. Maybe on that end, book is bit US centric, but many of the things affect to everyone around the world. Commuting affects to us a lot, the way you commute, how long you commute and with whom you commute affect in numerous ways. Book introduces many interesting studies about the subject. One example was a study that said that commuting to work over 45 minutes raises a risk of divorce by 40%. Book is full on nice anecdotes and studies like this.

As with any other book, it's good to have critical eye on the studies and ideas, but those definitely will raise thoughts for everyone. It's an excellent book and quite easy to read. I recommend the book to everyone.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jun 12, 2016

Book Review: Talk like Ted by Carmine Gallo

I've recently been more and more involved in public speaking events. Eventhough I've read other books about the subject, I wanted to give Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds a try.

As you could expect, book was made interesting to read. It covered variety of topics related to speaking via TED talks. Some of the TED talks were familiar to in advance, but some I had to watch right away to get more understanding about those.

The book is divided to three main categories: Emotional, Novel and Memorable. Under these topic book goes through all the important parts of creating a great speech. Book backs up the ideas with proper research and still keeps ideas easy and understandable.

Ideas as such were mainly familiar to me, but it still was interesting to read more about those. Storytelling and emotionally appealing to the audience is difficult, but works really well. Keeping audience focused is always difficult and this book introduced some good ideas for myself for that purpose.

As a Finn and European, I have to say that book is quite American. Having some experience on presenting in different countries, all the things don't work as well in different countries as they do in US. That's just a good to keep in mind, still the ideas are great and you need to find ways how to benefit those with your audience.

Overall I really liked the book. It's easy and enjoyable to read. It's full of great ideas and gives good tips for all presenters. I highly recommend to read this book,. Everyone will benefit from it.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen