Skip to main content

Book Review: Drinking from the Fire Hose by Christopher J. Frank and Paul F. Magnone

If you have ever sat in a conference room and listened to a presentation go on and on and on and on, or if you are responsible for creating presentations that are supposed to actually engage listeners instead of putting them to sleep, you have to read Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions without Drowning in Information by Christopher J. Frank and Paul F. Magnone. It will help you figure out what data you should be paying attention to and presenting, so you are able to focus on what matters ~ and ignore the rest!

I don't generally review business books here at My Book Retreat, but I'm starting to read more for work, so I figured I'd share them as well. Drinking from the Fire Hose drew me in right away because I have, indeed, spent many hours sitting through presentations that have been completely and totally worthless in the end. The advice the authors of this book provide will help people, no matter what field they work in, focus on the most important questions and the data that helps to answer them.

The authors provide seven key points to focus on, the first of which is the Essential Question. There is so much data out there that companies can collect and analyze. But which data is really important and which can be put aside? If you focus on the essential question, whether it's what new features your customers want most or which treatments are working best for a specific diagnosis, the key is to find the data that relates to that, and ignore the rest.

Drinking from the Fire Hose ends by giving recommendations on creating presentations. This is the section I'd love to make some of the people I've worked with over the years read! The authors suggest starting by deciding what sort of meeting you are setting up (information gathering, decision making, etc.) and then stating that explicitly so people who are invited understand the purpose and their role. They also give some excellent tips on focusing on simple points during a presentation, rather than putting up slides that are filled with irrelevant information that are hard to read and understand.

I highly recommend Drinking from the Fire Hose to anyone who is in business or another field in which data collection and analysis, and presentations of that data, are common. Hopefully it will have a very positive impact on the quality of future analysis and presentations!

My rating: 4/5

For more information, visit the book's website
Read an excerpt

This review was written based on a digital galley of Drinking from the Fire Hose that I received from Penguin through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. This sounds interesting, but I no longer work in the business world. I was hoping (from the title), this book would be more about how to deal with the current overload of information in our high-tech, super-connected world. Still, it sounds useful. I used to do a LOT of presenting and teaching in my old career - this would have come in handy!



Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: thriller
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
Source: publisher
Buy on Amazon(affiliate link)

Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? You will after reading Clare Mackintosh's latest release I See You. Told from the perspectives of two women, one who appears to be targeted by a criminal and the other who is the police officer working the case, this psychological thriller will have you looking over your own shoulder by the end.

Zoe is a typical working mother who takes the Underground through London to her office every day. Like most commuters, she has a routine that she follows every day, leaving home at the same time, sitting in the same train car, taking the same route to work from the station. It's habit. But she starts to realize this may not be a good idea after seeing her own photo in an advertisement in the newspaper. Another woman who appears in the advertisement is murdered and Zoe starts to ge…

Book Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Title: The Darkest Corners
Author: Kara Thomas
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Published: May 9, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Random House Children's Books
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Tessa Lowell left Fayette, Pennsylvania, when she was just 9 years old, moving to Florida with her grandmother. Now she's a recent high school graduate and heading back to town to say goodbye to her dying father. With no family in town anymore, Tessa stays with the family of her former friend Callie, which is pretty awkward since she and Callie haven't spoken since they were little. Being with Callie also brings up questions that Tessa has held onto for the years since she's been gone. Questions about the testimony the young girls gave that sent a man to death row. 

I don't read many young adult novels, but The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas was touted as "the next twisted psychological thriller," so I decided to give it a try... and I'm glad I did. While the story moves r…