Bedridden Rabbit decided to brighten up his day and indulge in reading a novel. He chose 'The Winner Stands Alone' by Paulo Coelho, one of the authors he certainly appreciates. This time however he wasn't impressed with Mr Coelho's writings. On the contrary, he was disappointed.
He grew to admire the author for the engaging narratives of his philosophical, straightforward and insightful books that often carry spiritual lessons, are inspiring and life-changing. This one however couldn’t be more different. It is a fiction mystery with a plot that, to be frank, bored our little Rabbit to the point of dozing off several times during the read.
In a nutshell, it is a story of a Russian telecom billionaire Igor, who is obsessively in love with his ex-wife Ewa and wants her back in his life. He travels to the glamorous Cannes Film Festival, where Ewa is expected to appear with her new husband Hamid, a successful fashion designer. Igor believes that his love for his ex-wife is superior to everything on this earth and worth every sacrifice. He sets of on 'destroying worlds' (killing innocent people) in the name of that love. Rabbit was puzzled by the idea; he couldn’t comprehend how killing innocent people, was supposed to help Igor to get his wife back?
Rabbit not only didn't like the plot, but he also thought that the author introduced too many pointless characters that crossed Igor’s path and didn’t add any value to the story.
The action is set up in a glamorous world of fashion and movie industries, so called world of ‘the Superclass’, with an intention to satirise the amorality and pursuit of celebrity in modern society. It certainly makes few points. Rabbit gets it. Running after fame and money rarely brings happiness or satisfaction, and if you are not at peace with who you are and what you have now, then it’s likely that you won't be happy after getting what you currently desire either, you will always want more. It’s not a revelation however; even a small-town Rabbit with a little brain felt like the author is insulting his intelligence with many stereotypical messages and endlessly repeated clichés.
The book touches on the numerous social and economical issues, including economic inequality, violence, crime, money laundering, blood diamonds, manipulations, artificial world of glamour, luxury and success, plastic surgeries - too many and too scattered for the Rabbit to get his head around them.
The novel was dark, disturbing and depressing, and our Rabbit found himself increasingly frustrated with the story. He skipped quite a few pages and barely managed to struggle with it to the end; ‘very dull and very predictable end’, thought Rabbit.
All in all, Rabbit is sorry to say that he not only did not enjoy the book, but he found it deeply unsatisfying and disappointing. Unlike the other works of Paulo Coelho, ‘The Winner Stands Alone’ does not convey anything he could use for his personal growth and improvement. He won’t recommend this novel to his fellow rabbits, nor any other creatures.
‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.’
Leo’s Rabbit just finished reading Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. He read it for the first time few years ago, but this is one of those books that inspire and energise him, so he likes coming back to it again, and again. He regards it an astounding masterpiece with an incisive, honest and beautifully told story, and the best book he has ever read so far (although he is just a little Rabbit, he is a big reader and he went through a lot of books in his lifetime).
Isaacson’s book is a biography of Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple, a complicated, obsessive, charming, peculiar personality, and a passionate visionary whose dream was to ‘put a dent in the universe’. And he did.
The book is written with a great attention to detail and offers an unbiased portrait of a flawed genius. Jobs could be charming and lovable, but also crude, unforgiving, hurtful and maddening. His out-sized personality was captured by the author with a brutal honesty. It’s certainly not one of these ‘sugar-coated’ tales about a successful entrepreneur. It’s an intelligent and captivating story of a complicated man who wasn’t perfect; a man driven by his desire and passion to create ‘insanely great products’ that make life more magical. And the magic happened for Rabbit, so it did for billions of Apple, Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, App Store and iCloud users.
Leo’s Rabbit bought his first MacBook Pro just over 10 years ago and he never looked back. He loves the feel, quality and simplicity of beautifully crafted Apple products and he is willing to pay a premium price to be part of Apple culture that embraces creativity, diversity and thinking ‘outside the box’.
Apple’s clear core values present in company’s every action and communication, integrity and emotional appeal made it undeniably one of the strongest and most admired brands in the world. In his book Isaacson offers a compelling study of Apple’s success and an inspiring business account of the events leading to it.
Even if you are not an Apple fan and you have no interest in Steve Jobs’ life, the book is still worth reading as it’s also a fascinating and richly entertaining history of the most exciting time in the information age and the birth of our modern digital world.
All in all, this is an outstanding book and Rabbit cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s an epic biography and superbly told history of digital age. ‘Essential reading, better than a million carrots’, says Rabbit :-)
Leo's Rabbit is a big reader. He likes books and he believes that they 'tickle' our imagination, broaden our mind, offer new perspectives to look at things differently, introduce concepts, inspire, help ignite new ideas, prompt to take action, and sometimes they can be life-changing. He decided to share with you his reads, hoping that some of them may also inspire you, and may even bring something positive into your lives.
Today Leo's Rabbit is buzzing with ideas and positivity. He just finished reading an inspirational book by Simon Sinek 'Start with WHY' answering the question 'How great leaders inspire everyone to take action'. The Rabbit loved the book and the concept of the Golden Circle presented by the author, who suggests that truly great leaders and organisations that achieved a loyal following, always first define and communicate their values, beliefs and purpose (they start with their WHY), then their processes (their HOW), or their product (their WHAT). It makes sense. It is the WHY that inspires the loyal following. The organisations that know and stay true to their WHY don't need to use any manipulations to drive sales or encourage following. They don’t practice price drops, promotions, fear, aspirations, novelty, endorsements - all common manipulative tactics in business. Instead they inspire. People follow them not because they have to; they follow them because they want to, and because they share the same values and beliefs, they share and want to be a part of the organisation's WHY.
If the WHY is at the centre of everything the organisation do and say, they have high integrity and we are drawn to them, we perceive them as authentic. Leo’s Rabbit understood why he likes Apple so much and why he is prepared to pay a premium price for an Apple product. Apple’s WHY is very clear, they are all about challenging the status quo and empowering an individual to think differently. Our little Rabbit is a dreamer, he is an idealist, he aspires to be creative and he shares the same values and beliefs as Apple does. He wants to be a part of Apple culture, he identifies himself with everything that Apple stands for and he is proud to be an Apple user. Apple’s WHY is so crystal clear that it inspires people (I shall say creatures) like Leo’s Rabbit who become loyal and passionate customers and followers.
Leo’s Rabbit thought it was an excellent read and the author’s concept of the WHY is applicable, both to an individual's sense of success and fulfilment, and also to organisations in general. The book gave the Rabbit a fresh perspective on how he went about doing things himself and it triggered some new ideas. He strongly recommends ‘Start with WHY’ to anyone who wants to be inspired.
If you are unsure if this book is for you, and you would like to learn more about Simon Sinek’s concept of the Golden Circle before reading it, he has also presented his ideas in one of most popular TED Talks on ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’. Rabbit loved it!
“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.
Leo's Rabbit 'lives' in my handbag and he travels with us everywhere we go. He has pictures taken at various locations, tourist attractions and places we visit. As a part of this blog we will describe Leo's Rabbit Travels to share our personal experiences from these visits. Hopefully couple of people (apart from us :-) ) will find it interesting and may even feel encouraged to visit one of Rabbit's destinations.