About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Approach to Management Education

Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed
Authors: Jeremy Short, Talya Bauer, Dave Ketchen
Illustrator: Len Simon
Flat World Knowledge, Inc. (2009)
Paperback, 194 pages
Rated 4 stars of 5 possible

This book is an intriguing new format for a business management classes that might help attract the interest of some students who otherwise would not be paying attention in class - the same type of person depicted in the graphic novel.  The protagonist, Atlas Black, is the perfect example of what not to do in order to graduate from college. He does not pay attention, does not study, can't even be dependable enough to show up on time for class. On top of that, Atlas Black is unemployed and can't seem to keep a job long enough to pay his rent and other bills from month to month. Perhaps Atlas Black is supposed to be humorous, but his problems are realistic enough that they are no laughing matter, and, at least for me, the humor falls flat. This type of character gains no respect or even sympathy from me as most of his problems are of his own making.

That said, the business concepts covered in this graphic novel text are interesting, and covered differently than the texts I used during my own business management classes not so long ago. I loved reading about the relevant examples used to explain the topics discussed; however, the main thing I like about this book is the affordability and various formats in which it is made available. The authors and publisher have given their attention to the fact that people learn differently. The graphic novel is a highly visual format. The graphic format tends to slow me down while reading. For some students this slowing of pace can be good, as important information is less likely to be missed when reading slower. Each page covers lots of information, incorporating the story of the protagonist as he makes his way through his last business class before graduation with the business management concepts.  The availablity of the book in audio format will be a boon to those students who learn better from traditional lecture-type classes.

Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed would be a great text to use for those condensed classes, which try to cover a variety of topics in a limited amount of time. As supplimental material for a class using another book as the main text, the availability of individual chapters of the Atlas Black text books would be a boon to instructors, providing additional material for study and discussion at very affordable prices. The splitting of the text into modules A and B helps keep the book light and portable for students, as well as contributing to the affordability, since the student need purchase only the part of the book required for their specific class. Kudos to the publisher of this fine text book for recognizing the financial burden of college students and doing something to help. For easy review, each chapter closes with a synopsis of the concepts covered in that chapter and a quick overview of the next chapter.

A black-and-white paperback desk copy of Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed was provided to me free by the publisher in exchange for this review. This review was simultaneously posted on Amazon.com, Dragonviews and LibraryThing.

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