I just... I just... I just don't know how to explain how amazingly wonderfully sad & beautiful & awesome this book was. I mean, I could try, I...moreI just... I just... I just don't know how to explain how amazingly wonderfully sad & beautiful & awesome this book was. I mean, I could try, I guess...
ME READING THE BOOK:
ME CURSING YOU, JOHN GREEN! CURSES! FOR BEING SO DAMN GOOD AT WRITING:
Where haaaaaaave you been aaaaall myyyy liiiiiife, book? Wish I had had this while growing up - through thinking my teenage life is The Worse Ever, br...moreWhere haaaaaaave you been aaaaall myyyy liiiiiife, book? Wish I had had this while growing up - through thinking my teenage life is The Worse Ever, breakups that felt like they were shanking my soul, friendships that didn't make any kind of kind of sense even drunken, unexpected death of loved ones, etc. etc. etc.
BUT I'm still growing up, and Burroughs' frank and straight-forward musings on Everything is the kind of stuff I want to keep top-of-mind as I go through new aches & pains and new experiences and new ways of thinking about myself and who I am and who I'm becoming and who I choose to be.
All that said, Burroughs is a beautiful writer. Forthright, to-the-point, hard-edged writing with flourishes of elegance and humor and insight that at times are just astounding. It all snowballs from the first page, eventually culminating in the tears-inducing How to Change the World By Yourself. This is not a book I'll easily forget.
Some of my favorites:
"... it is to accept the experience on the deepest level of your own possession now. An experience that is now part of you. Instead of allowing it to be a tap that drains you, you can force it into duty in service to your creative and intellectual goals." in How to Ride an Elevator
"In all fairness, it can be hard to forget that life is not actually a prearranged social function, complete with an itinerary, a soul mate, and a money-back guarantee." in How to Find Love
"When you need something, you get it and move on. But when you're obsessed with something, it's all you can think about." in How to Be Thin
"Because confidence is not the presence of anything at all. Confidence is a reduction of your own interest in whether others are thinking about you and if so, what they're thinking." in How to Be Confident
"If you hate life, you haven't seen enough of it. If you hate your life, it's because your life is too small and doesn't fit you." in How to End Your Life
"You cannot be a prisoner of your past against your will. Because you can only live in the past inside your mind." in How to End Your Life
"This is how you survive the unsurvivable, this is how you lose that which you cannot bear to lose, this is how you reinvent yourself, overcome your abusers, fulfill your ambitions and meet the love of your life: by following what is true, no matter where it leads you." in How to Change the World By Yourself(less)
Yeah, I read it. Interesting guy, interesting self-experimentation, and interesting ideas. I'm not really one to push myself to become super human, ho...moreYeah, I read it. Interesting guy, interesting self-experimentation, and interesting ideas. I'm not really one to push myself to become super human, however I think there were some useful take-a-ways (*ahem*). I only picked up this book because AleXxX mentioned it in passing, but I think I'm glad I did. I was simultaneously intrigued, fascinated, and entertained while reading some of the chapters. (less)
Pressfield's writing style is both epic and down-to-earth, and altogether his combination of history with concepts and life-coach-esque motivational w...morePressfield's writing style is both epic and down-to-earth, and altogether his combination of history with concepts and life-coach-esque motivational writing produced a work that was quite empowering in many ways. As a perfectionist, I find starting projects the hardest challenge for me because the spectre of failing to creative something great is always hovering overhead. He pretty much lays it all out and reminds you that just getting started is all you need to do. I found the first half of the book useful, especially his explanation of the nature of Resistance and how we can overcome our "inner creative battles." That said, though, the second half of the book wasn't as interesting and was at times preachy. But, overall, good stuff.(less)
That's really nothing to be ashamed of because, honestly, who HASN'T gone through a breakup that rocked their world...moreYeah. I admit it. I read it, okay!
That's really nothing to be ashamed of because, honestly, who HASN'T gone through a breakup that rocked their world and shaken one's values & belief in the goodness and decentness of other people? (If you haven't, I envy you so, so, so very much.)
That said, sometimes you need something in addition to your sassy gay friend and your core group of best friends to help you get through a breakup and force some self-esteem and confidence back into your brain, life, and being.
Before getting the book, I had gotten to the point where even I was annoyed with myself for wanting to discuss each and every sordid detail; therefore, I'm so thankful I got the book, which basically confirmed a lot of the ideas that I had been thinking and was resistent to. And even prompted me to stop bugging my buddies so that I wasn't that girl who ended up with no friends (because friends rock).
Sometimes I find myself thinking about the previous relationship and thinking "what if..." - and then I remember this gem from Almost Famous:
Never take it seriously, you never get hurt. Never get hurt, you can always have fun. And if you ever get lonely, you just go to the record store and visit all your friends. - Penny Lane
In perhaps a a stretch of the imagination that doesn't quite translate cleanly to writing but makes TOTAL and COMPLETE sense in theory: this book is my record store.(less)
Never in a million years could I picture myself reading AND enjoying a self-help business-related book that my Australian co-worker would call "how ve...moreNever in a million years could I picture myself reading AND enjoying a self-help business-related book that my Australian co-worker would call "how very typically American." But I did. I read The Go-Giver. And I liked it.
It seems I have always had a semi-jaded mindset when it came to business and for-profits; at least, for the duration of my working career so far. How can I not when I've seen my share of businesspeople who only care about what they can get from you and how they'll benefit? Wouldn't you be jaded if it seemed that a majority of people you meet at conferences or meetings were inauthentic?
Perhaps it's because I am volunteering for a non-profit (an NGO, to be exact) in another country (Cambodia) and, while I think it may be unique to this organization, the experiences I've had engaging with people passionate about social justice and making the world a better place. It's hard not to be caught up in this torrent of positivity & determination and this focus on something greater than money.
All of that said, The Go-Giver is a really nice illustration, while wholly fictional, of what business could be if individuals were truly authentic and focused on real relationships with others. My hope is that these concepts can actually be applied to the for-profit world; that it isn't just in non-profit where people are willing to give and help others.
This book was easy to read and easy to process, and I recommend it to people who are ready to change or ready for a change in their own mindset when it comes to business and networking.(less)
If there's one book anyone should read, whether you run a business, you work for a business (in ANY capacity), you lead or work for a non-profit (espe...moreIf there's one book anyone should read, whether you run a business, you work for a business (in ANY capacity), you lead or work for a non-profit (especially), and/or you have an interest in psychology & interpersonal communication, this is it. (This. Is. It.)
In fact, I'd probably recommend this to strangers on BART if I didn't have personal space awareness filters.
There are really great insights into what can fuel change with real-life examples of people (from leaders to middle managers to on-the-ground changemakers) who have inspired change in situations where it would seem otherwise dauntingly impossible.
The Heaths are not only engaging writers but also practical - they've included steps and tips for anyone who reads the book to start making change happen in their own lives and situations. Which is pretty meta, actually... I love that too.(less)
It took me almost two years to finish this book, which is probably explained by the fact that I didn't really want to read it; primarily because it wa...moreIt took me almost two years to finish this book, which is probably explained by the fact that I didn't really want to read it; primarily because it was a graduation present. From my mom.
But, I'm glad I've read it. There's definitely some information I can see myself using in regards to work and the advice for financial matters is really helpful, because you're never too young to be thinking about retirement (right?!).(less)
Gladwell got a lot of flack for writing this book about "the obvious." But, as a big fan of books that tackle a social science topic in a more non-sci...moreGladwell got a lot of flack for writing this book about "the obvious." But, as a big fan of books that tackle a social science topic in a more non-science-y, less dry way, I found it just as enjoyable as his last two books. In this one, he talks about success and the factors that contribute to it. The main idea I got was that many successful people, just as smart as any one else, are lucky - they are born at the right time and in the right circumstances with opportunities that most people would not have had. Such as Bill Gates, who was born in the 60s and grew up at a time where he could be provided virtually unlimited access to computers at time where it was cost-prohibitive. Had he been born a decade earlier or later, would it have still been likely he would've gone on to recognize the value of personal computing and started his hugely successful company? Anyway, that's a really, really summarized overview of the type of argument Gladwell presents for his success stories. In addition, Gladwell contrasts these examples with those of people, smart and even genius, who did not amount to much because of their circumstances and the opportunities that were not available to them.
Overall, I always find Gladwell easy to read and understandable, presenting interesting angles on various topics in an accessible way.(less)
I'd never given thought to the plethora of self-help books aimed at women about getting the man of their dreams, hook, line and sinker... yet upon rea...moreI'd never given thought to the plethora of self-help books aimed at women about getting the man of their dreams, hook, line and sinker... yet upon reading The Game, arguably the male equivalent, questions about the psychological and communicative issues between the sexes have arisen... at least in my day to day ponderings. The issues of what it means to be a woman, a man, even a human in today's society and of the interpersonal communication skills we are taught (or not taught) are brought up with this book, an accessible autobiography of the self-proclaimed world's greatest pick up artist. How he came to that conclusion is evident in almost gratuitous detail throughout the book. Neil Strauss goes from an intelligent, well-read, good guy who could never get laid to a suave, smart-talking, manipulative (though this point is argued) bad boy who always gets the lady. His sex life increases exponentially, and with that, presumably, his happiness.
Of course, this is a firecracker of a book, undoubtedly bringing up all my aforementioned issues, plus many more. Its hard to believe that we are all vulnerable to certain canned lines and social games, but it definitely underlines at least one universal truth about us all: That we are all the same, no matter how different we think we are.
P.S. Mystery's show, The Pick Up Artist, on MTV picks up where Neil Strauss left off... and really, who wouldn't benefit from some of those lines from the show?(less)
Many of his methods and life lessons are tainted by morally-questionable turn of the phrases and recountings. While I came away from reading this book...moreMany of his methods and life lessons are tainted by morally-questionable turn of the phrases and recountings. While I came away from reading this book with ideas of the type of mindset one needs to truly be financially secure, it was with a pretty bad aftertaste.(less)
This fable has a good message (like any fable), but one thing rubbed me the wrong way - how he fell for one-dimensional women (okay, two). Not that he...moreThis fable has a good message (like any fable), but one thing rubbed me the wrong way - how he fell for one-dimensional women (okay, two). Not that he was even all that multi-dimensional, but that just really fell flat for me and I didn't buy into it.(less)