Books Reviews: The Art Of Social Media, Living Well Spending Less, Leading Women, & Say What You Really Mean

Hello everyone,

it's once again time for some reviews. Here we go:

The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
Social media has become a must-have for brands, marketers, authors, and bloggers. And yet many, me included, still struggle with it. If you're tired of it and are ready to go pro, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Art Of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. Kawasaki is the legendary former chief evangelist for Apple, one of the pioneers of business blogging, tweeting, facebooking, tumbling, and has now joined startup Canva with Peg Fitzpatrick. Although Peg didn't write any chapters in this book (the authors decided that, to maintain consistency and make it easier to read only one person should pen it), she's an expert in social media too and a lot of the tips are her own.
The Art Of Social Media provides more than 100 tips and resources to really up your social media game. They cover all the main social media channels, explaining how to make the most out of them. Although I read a lot on this topic, I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a lot of tips that I had never heard of and that I look forward to implementing in the near future. The authors also stress that the rules of social media change frequently, so don't waste too much time before trying these tips, and always keep up with the latest trends.
The book is short and to-the-point, yet engaging and very useful. My only problem with it was the link format. Usually, when pointing to an online resource, authors share the page's url. Not this time. You need to click on the link to be redirected to the page, but this works only if you buy an e-copy. A physical copy, or my netgalley copy, doesn't have this feature, preventing you from accessing these resources. I don't think this is fair. Anyone who reads the same book should have access to the same content. They might have put the urls in an appendix in the physical book or something. But I guess most of their target audience would opt for the ebook anyway, so for a lot of people this won't be a problem. Unfortunately, though, this decision has left me no choice but to lower the rating a bit (it is still pretty high though!).
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup
Ruth Soukup is the successful blogger behind Living Well, Spending Less. She has just released her first book, of the same name. Although I wasn't very familiar with her blog, as a blogger myself I am always happy to support fellow bloggers and their new ventures. Plus, the blurb of this book sounds intriguing: "lots of creative, helpful ideas and advice for moms on a budget along with stories from her own journey to discovering what the Good Life is really all about." Unfortunately, I've found that to be quite misleading. The second part of the book, Spending Less, does feature a few tips on how to save money. For example, Soukup explains how to cut your grocery bill in half without giving up meat or healthy vegs and fruits, and how to make your own DIY house cleaning products. But most of the book is about changing your mindset.
Soukup used to be a shopaholic. She tried to fill the void inside of her with expensive pretty things, but this never worked. When she found herself on the brink of divorce for the second time, she knew things had to change. In this book, she shares her story, explaining how she did it. It wasn't easy. After all, we live in a society that encourages us to buy all sorts of things we don't need, but this mindset can be quite dangerous. But in the end, as she shares in the first part of the book, Living Well, she learned to find contentment with her life as it is , and strive for the things that are really important in life, and that no amount of money can buy. During this process, her faith helped her a lot.
Overall, Living Well, Spending Less is an engaging, honest, and inspiring read that would help overspenders change their ways and develop healthier habits. But I wish it had included more practical tips as promised.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life by Nancy D O'Reilly
Leading Women gives women all the advice they need to get the career and life they deserve. This powerful advice comes from 20 powerful women, such as "New York Times" bestselling author Marci Shimoff, advocacy leader Gloria Feldt, and Emmy-winning television host Aurea McGarry, all strong women who took the reigns of their lives and achieve their dreams. Here, they share their secrets. And nope, there's no repetition. That's because these women don't share their whole life stories. This is not a collection of mini biographies. It is so much more than that.
Each chapter is written by a different woman and covers a different topic, such as how to get your voice heard and become a natural leader. Each woman shares her personal experiences and the challenges she has overcome, and offers tips on how you can do the same. Their stories are easy to relate to, and their words inspiring. Once you've finished the book, you'll be better equipped to make the most of your life... and won't be able to wait to do so!
I have one small problem with the book though. While most of the chapters are very engaging and flow easily, I've found a few harder to read. They are a bit dry. But that's to be expected when a book has so many authors, I guess. Still, that's no reason to pass up on this book. It's a very inspirational read for any woman.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Say What You Really Mean!: How Women Can Learn to Speak Up by Debra Johanyak
We all value honesty, but a lot of us are afraid to say what we really mean. We are scared of standing up for ourselves, of hurting people's feelings, or to be made fun of, so we either dilute the message by using the wrong words or tone of voice or don't say anything at all. In the long run, this can cause much bigger problems for us.
Johanyak knows this and wants to help. Using case studies, statistics, quizzes, and personal experiences, she covers many aspects of successful communication such as how to use silence effectively, bridge gender differences, and say no without causing friction. Although all her tips are very helpful, they are hardly groundbreaking. In fact, most of them are just common sense. I was expecting some new psychological insights or detailed exercises to do, but instead, there's no much here that you can't find in other communication books or even magazines. But I guess having all these tips in one place helps, and the book, written in a colloquial style, is a quick and easy read.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3/5

Have you read these books or are planning to?

Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.