Books: Three of a kind - How to get a move on

Do these self-help business books live up to their titles?

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Last Updated: 05 Dec 2011

Be Excellent at Anything

Tony Schwartz with Jean Gomes and Catherine McCarthy

Simon & Schuster UK £7.99

This book's title makes an ambitious promise: either the authors have developed a Matrix-esque cerebral plug capable of imparting instant nunchuck skills, or they are confident their readership will give them poetic licence. Begins in rather Gladwellian style, explaining how excellence takes practice (duh), then goes on to describe techniques for the emotionally exhausted on 'optimising' energy. Simpering at times, but useful nonetheless.

*** Best of its kind.

Do It! Or Ditch It

Bev James

Virgin Books £11.99

Can anything rival the literary appeal of the five-word book title with an exclamation mark in the middle? So different! So edgy! With a foreword by the UK's foremost self-promoter, James Caan, this is a combination of start-up business guide and shouty cliches. Not unlike reading one of those 'quote of the day' calendars all at once, but with business advice thrown in.

** Could be useful.

Stop Talking Start Doing

Shaa Wasmund with Richard Newton

Capstone £9.99

Designed to be a sort of pocket motivational speaker complete with snatches of business advice, this has all the usual suspects - from Chinese proverbs to Mark Twain - shouting from every page. On the subject of empty promises, it trills: 'Mr T from the A-Team might say: 'Fool, you're wearing my ears out.' Well, quite.

* Of minor interest.

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