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Book Review: by Lang Reid
The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster
world is in turmoil. If we are going to survive, we will have to pack more
into each day, so doing “Things Faster” sounds like good common sense. To
achieve the necessary one book reviewed per week, but faster, I have taken
to running across the street to Bookazine, so when I spotted the Experts’
Guide to Doing Things Faster, compiled by Samantha Ettus (ISBN
978-0-307-34209-6, 2008 Clarkson Potter Publishing) it had to be worth a
The book promises 100 ways to make life more efficient and is divided into
sections covering Home, Work, Mind, Body, Love, Pleasure, Travel and Future,
which should just about cover everything that you need to do faster.
Ms. Samantha also states that she has carefully selected the experts
representing the most experienced and creative minds in the world and “in a
few short minutes you will learn to increase your gas mileage, reduce credit
card debt and bake a cake - all in a flash.” She does not, however, tell you
where “short” minutes come from, as opposed to standard 60 second minutes or
even long ones! Bastardization of the English language is apparently not
covered in the striving for efficiency.
Chapter 15 covers washing dishes, and the ‘expert’ is an author called Pete
Jordan (and don’t worry if you haven’t heard of him, neither had I) who
suggests that to save time you should cut up your chicken breast with the
side of the fork and leave the knife in the drawer. And drink directly out
of the carton so you don’t have to wash up glasses. So much for health and
The next chapter is written by a chap who is described as a “findologist”.
We are just so lucky we have such dedicated experts in our midst to tell us
to retrace our steps and we will probably find what we lost. How novel!
Erik Feder, the expert who can help you find a parking spot, has some tips I
am sure you have never thought of - such as watching the man with a shopping
bag and car keys to see where he is going to leave from.
Even Sir Richard Branson, a chappie who can be considered an ‘expert’ stoops
to the obvious when advising on how to get a loan. It needs only three steps
says Sir Richard: “1. Find some who agrees to give you the loan. 2. Document
the debt. 3. Pay it back.” Mind blowing!
At B. 650 for a hardback, it is reasonable value; however, I am not
convinced that the self-styled experts really have much to tell you, though
Carlos Vargas, the bleeding expert who is firefighter by day and then is a
boxing “cutman” at night cautions, “An adult has approximately five quarts
of blood in his body and, needless to say, it is not good to lose it.” This
breakthrough in medical knowledge should be worth the price of the book
Despite all of the above, this book is almost heavy enough to prop a back
door open against a slight breeze.
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