Home Articles Book reviews

    Book reviews

    By Tim Harcourt
    Allen and Unwin
    aa29-aug-sep-2008-book-reviewsCatriona Rowntree may soon be looking for a new job because Tim Harcourt, Chief Economist at Austrade and regular Anthill columnists, has just released a Getaway-style book aimed at upcoming entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to go global. The Airport Economist sees Harcourt jet-setting around the world, investigating the viability of Australian business opportunities in a multitude of countries and cultures.
    Beginning his adventures in our nearby neighbours around South-East Asia and the Pacific region, Harcourt is soon treading exotic and dusty trails in far-flung civilisations. He also throws in a little history on the countries he’s visiting as well as information about current Australian business exporters. The familiar Harcourt wit will educate and entertain any desk-bound entrepreneur.
    Who would have guessed that Tim Tams would be a huge hit in Israel? Or that the French are buying Billabong board shorts in Bordeaux on Bastille Day? Or that Australians would be helping Singapore get “creative”? But it’s not all business for Harcourt, as he settles down in Mumbai to watch the “little master”, Satchin Tendulkar build an innings and meets up with our own Megan Gale in Milan.
    Tim’s is a tough job, but someone has to do it. (His aviation fuel bill must be approaching the GDP of a small African nation.) Nevertheless, the book is well worth the tax dollars that were invested in it and should return rich dividends for business men and women who are in the market for world domination.
    So grab your airline tickets, your passport and a copy of The Airport Economist. It might be the best “business” trip you take all year.
    By Gary Bertwistle
    Allen and Unwin
    aa29-aug-sep-2008-book-reviews2I must admit, this book did not appeal to me when it was dropped on my desk. The Anthill office is inundated with life-changing, mind, body and soul-improving books, most of which end up on a dusty shelf unopened, complete with press releases still folded inside the cover.
    Therefore, it was with visible annoyance that I looked up into my editor’s eyes. Here’s an extract from the conversation that ensued:
    Me: “Really?”
    Editor: “I like the cover.”
    Me: “But the publishing company also sent the new Top Gear book. It has a great cover.”
    Editor: (unamused look)
    Me: “Fine, but I am going to be brutally honest.”
    Editor: “That’s your job. Enjoy.” (Wandered off happily humming the Austin Powers theme.)
    And so I set out on my inner journey to discover Who Stole My Mojo? How to Get it Back and Live, Work and Play Better. It was a journey that proved well worth the fare.
    Bertwistle writes well. Very well, in fact, and his wit and real-world spin is insightful and interesting. His techniques for getting back one’s Mojo (he describes Mojo as magic, pizzazz, oomph and get-up-and-go) are relevant and always backed up with examples. The book lacks the typical intravenous drip of “feel good” testimonials, which was certainly a relief and actually gives the book more credibility.
    As I read I felt my own internal Mo-juices jiving – confidence and shagability were definitely on the rise.
    So what initially presented as the least appetising review option turned out to be one of the best. When you’re next in the bookstore, don’t walk straight past the self-help section. Make a bee-line straight for Who Stole My Mojo? How to Get it Back and Live, Work and Play Better. It’ll have you driving an Aston Martin and wearing purple suede suits in no time.

    Yeahhh Ba-by!