Reading and reviewing books is a rather personal and quixotic matter. One person’s personal favorite is another’s pulp. (I’ve come to realize that I’m alone in thinking that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is pure crap…) Stories have to hang together, the characters need to be rich and believable, the dialog should flow naturally, and the reader needn’t suffer through tedious descriptions of the protagonist’s computer configurations(see TGWTDT above), etc., etc.
I take a different approach with nonfiction books. Nonfiction can be worth reading if I can glean even one or two good ideas(Lee Eisenberg’s The Number rambles aimlessly but gets you to think differently about retirement) or simply because it provokes effectively(Crush It! got me off my ass and writing this blog). With nonfiction, I read optimistically, with a 3×5 card as a bookmark and the hope I might capture two or three takeaways to weave into my craft.
The Referral Engine, by happy comparison, is bulging with great ideas. My 3×5 bookmark turned into bookmarks. But rather than recount the various great ideas that populated throughout John Jantsch’s latest book(e.g. his strategies for dealing with social media, journalists, and partners are both savvy and doable, and his explanation for blogging is brilliant), I think you should buy it. And then read it. What you do after that is up to you.