This book is fantastic if you're, say, a manager of other (adult) people, in one way or another. Lots of food for thought. But only a few chapters areThis book is fantastic if you're, say, a manager of other (adult) people, in one way or another. Lots of food for thought. But only a few chapters are really both applicable and practical for an individual, and I can't think of anything that really stuck in my mind as being useful even from these chapters; I'll come back to the book to mine it again, but I do think the format is not ideal; it drove me a bit nuts in "The Power of Habit" too. I am beginning to think that pop-science/self help books by journalists end up with a 'filler' feeling, no matter how good the essential substance may be....more
A basic thought: for a book on how valuable time is, a lot of the reader's time is wasted on the author describing in excessive rambly detail the infoA basic thought: for a book on how valuable time is, a lot of the reader's time is wasted on the author describing in excessive rambly detail the information from her interview subjects, or in some cases ruminating on the more specific topic of the chapter....more
I bought this author's books after reading her article in the New York Times, which obviously I liked. I was surprised that her books read like good qI bought this author's books after reading her article in the New York Times, which obviously I liked. I was surprised that her books read like good quality self published e-books, rather than having the more sophisticated and flowing style of a traditional book. At times I found this frustrating, but ultimately it doesn't make her books less useful. Ultimately I think this is the responsibility of the editor, though apparently standards on editor engagement have gone down.
There is an enormous amount of repetition, which in practical terms is not necessarily a problem, but it does make flaws stand out. A primary flaw is that one of her main positions--that people today aren't as time-starved as they think they are--can come across as "complaining about people who complain." It's a great point and well argued, but... this vibe means that for a productivity book, it's less motivating and uplifting than it could be, indeed less so than many less substantial books are. I usually read these types of books both for the practical tips and to get me out of a mood/energy/motivation slump, so I missed that dimension; also, due to the repetitiveness, there's quite a lot of this to sometimes slog through. I did much more skipping in this book than I usually do, especially in the early chapters.
Another one of her positions can be summed up as "just don't do housework." Her baldness here is kind of hilarious. She has a lot of practical suggestions on minimizing and outsourcing housework, but she also strongly supports just not doing it, period. While this wouldn't work for me, I think it's great that there's a voice out there holding this position.
I read them together, but I think this book and her other book "168 hours" basically have the same information and message. Even "168 hours" tends to focus on women in some chapters. "I Know How She Does It" may be more substantial overall. This book may not be as much of a pleasure to read as other good productivity books, but it is recommendable. If you have less patience, you could simply start logging your time and jump around within the book to look for ideas....more
This seems like a nice resource, since it touches on a lot of obscure details, such as common newborn skin conditions, and many elements of newborn caThis seems like a nice resource, since it touches on a lot of obscure details, such as common newborn skin conditions, and many elements of newborn care so basic that other books may skip them.
However, there are omissions. For instance, the various instances an elimination diet for breastfeeding moms would be valuable, and how to do them, is barely touched on. This just means that despite its size and relative thoroughness, this book is not comprehensive. A good thing to read, but definitely not one that makes other books and resources unnecessary....more
Doesn't really answer its own question all that well, but nonetheless well written, an enjoyable and possibly inspiring read. Since I am AIP I can't mDoesn't really answer its own question all that well, but nonetheless well written, an enjoyable and possibly inspiring read. Since I am AIP I can't make many of the recipes, but I'd say with basic adaptations I can make a third... that's pretty fortunate....more
This thick-ish book is written in the same style as short fashion magazine articles, overexcited, vague, jumping around in references, communicating vThis thick-ish book is written in the same style as short fashion magazine articles, overexcited, vague, jumping around in references, communicating very little that is useful for the clothing-confused.
What would have been necessary is to have a section that starts with how to build and edit the basics of a wardrobe, that also (adequately!) covers this subject for those who are not thin. This is where most anglophones have trouble.
The style in fashion (not necessarily on the streets) nowadays is to be somewhat pastiche, to take surprising combinations and make them look (ostensibly) fabulous. This is a recipe for disaster for someone who hasn't already figured out the basics, and the basics are consistent enough that it is possible to actually write about them, to impart useful information. When promoting surprising pastiche all one can really write is to say over and over again "Surprise us! If it looks good, then wear it! Be confident and nonconformist!" in endless variation. Which is mainly all this book does, plus a lot of self-congratulatory text about how great the French look, which of course would be fine if the rest of the book was useful. The fact is that you can't teach people how to be unique in their style, obviously, and once people are ready to graduate to this stage they don't need instruction. This subject would make a fun appendix to a book that addresses the foundations of good style, which is exactly what people look to French fashion for: its excellent, clear grasp of the foundations.
I actually think that the "Madame Chic" book teaches more, despite the fact that that book leaves much to be desired as well.
Still, if you are new to being choosier with clothes, get this book from the library--there may be something valuable in it!...more
I was worried that this book might be too much inane fluff, but I felt it clearly and somewhat thoroughly covered useful aspects of the French way ofI was worried that this book might be too much inane fluff, but I felt it clearly and somewhat thoroughly covered useful aspects of the French way of living, couched in amusing anecdotes from the author's stay in France, and subsequently in clear and concise lists. After that the author talks for awhile in each chapter about how an American might apply these ideals to her life... I wasn't really a fan of these sections, but for some people they will be perfect. While this book leaves something to be desired, there are very few competing books on this subject out there. Really worth reading, I think, for anyone who knows how to skip sections that aren't to their taste. This is all stuff that is difficult for French people (and other Europeans) to write about, I think (otherwise they'd all be flooding the market and cashing out), because they're too close to it.
Having spent a fair bit of time in France, grown up with Francophile parents and later a Parisian roommate and close friend, I knew most or all of this stuff on some level. Still it was quite helpful to have it spelled out, and to have an opportunity to reflect on how I could adapt these ideas for my own life. Here in the US we threw the baby out with the bathwater as we transitioned from traditional to modern living, and I think these traditional elements that survived in Europe match modern life better than old American styles of cooking, cleaning, and so on....more
Certainly an odd book. I think the information in here is good, although he spends much more time in the negative perspective of what is wrong about tCertainly an odd book. I think the information in here is good, although he spends much more time in the negative perspective of what is wrong about the way people have sex, and is perfunctory in describing what his actual recommendations are. Short, efficient read. You can't take every single turn of phrase too seriously....more