I read this months ago but I remain fascinated by it and often remember some of the insights from this book. This seems to be about REALLY looking atI read this months ago but I remain fascinated by it and often remember some of the insights from this book. This seems to be about REALLY looking at a demographic, finding out what draws them to something and then using these insights to market to these consumers. But it also is interesting as a book about cultures around the world. It felt like Lindstrom was an anthropologist discovering the hearts of other civilisations and explaining what made them beat to me. As someone who has lived as a "foreigner" in a couple different places these observations resonated (eg. What people in different countries saw as elegant and aspirational, elevator etiquette and smalltalk in the U.S., and how belonging to a pack can drive customer loyalty). Recommend if you are someone who loves learning about different cultures (or more about your own)....more
Fascinating book that basically explains how "talent" which people often attribute to success in a chosen field is not really what makes success happeFascinating book that basically explains how "talent" which people often attribute to success in a chosen field is not really what makes success happen, but rather other factors like opportunity, access, and a drive to improve. Has a lot of real-world examples that back up "best-practices" to get yourself where you want to be. I felt somehow cheered up by the idea that being excellent at something IS hard work and takes time. Would recommend if you enjoyed Gladwell's Outliers, as it feels like a good companion book to that....more
Borrowed from library - I'm on a productiveness self-help kick this year. This book is mostly about how easy it is to slide back to old behaviors despBorrowed from library - I'm on a productiveness self-help kick this year. This book is mostly about how easy it is to slide back to old behaviors despite your best intentions to do better in some aspect of your life. It's easy to rationalize and make excuses, so the basic idea is to really track your effort and through that keep yourself more accountable: are you REALLY trying? And what external factor may be affecting us? I give this book high points for pointing out something obvious yet something that is easy to lie to yourself about (we're "superior planners but inferior doers"). People tend to rate themselves higher than where they actually are, and this affects improving themselves. And people tend to discount that they are affected by other people or circumstances outside themselves. My takeaway was the importance of goals and tracking them, and having that data to help reach the goals. But I do feel that something about the writing made it not stick in my head as much as I'd like. It's only been 2 weeks since I finished this but I feel it fading away quickly....more
Read it because it falls under the category of "I hear about this book so much I want to see what everyone's talking about". Pretty well known for intRead it because it falls under the category of "I hear about this book so much I want to see what everyone's talking about". Pretty well known for introducing the 10,000 hour rule which a lot of programmers talk about. Found it fascinating when it comes to explaining success but focusses a lot on things that are luck and circumstance, like birth month and culture, less about how individuals can create their own success. So felt like this was interesting, but less practical than Duhigg's Smarter Better Faster. It does however lay the foundation for understanding how small advantages can snowball into success, and how hard work (and knowing how to communicate the right way in certain situations) is a necessary part of the formula. Also pretty interesting if you find learning about how cultures are different from one another interesting, which I'm always fascinated by....more
My Thoughts: This is a story told from mostly two points of view: that of Lucy, celebrating the end of yReview originally posted on my book blog here.
My Thoughts: This is a story told from mostly two points of view: that of Lucy, celebrating the end of year twelve with her friends Jazz and Daisy, and that of Ed, a high school dropout who has a few hours to kill before he and his friends Leo and Dylan plan to break into the school. Ed and Lucy know each other, but between them lies a gulf filled with awkwardness. They had one date that ended in humiliation, and neither of them have quite gotten over it. For Lucy, it cemented her belief that outside of books (and the possible exception of her obsession, Shadow), looking for a kindred spirit amongst the local boys only leads to disappointment. For Ed, their date was yet another demoralizing event in a long string of demoralizing events.
It’s not really anyone’s fault. Lucy doesn’t know a lot of things about Ed because he never confided in her. And Ed is so used to hiding the truth that it’s led to a spectacular failure of a date and his dropping out of school. It doesn’t help that Ed and his mom were barely scraping by before he lost his job. Now he’s worried about the rent and making decisions out of desperation rather than good judgement. That brings them to where they are now: Lucy and her friends with nothing more pressing on their minds than a night of fun and possibility, Ed and his friends going along, but keeping their secrets.
What follows is a read that hit the sweet spot: not too short, but not overly long; sweet but not fluffy; predictable in a comforting way, but also utterly different from anything else I’ve read. And just the right amount of humor to keep everything going. I couldn’t help liking Lucy and Ed immediately. Lucy with her instant friendships and her take-no-nonsense edge, and Ed, who is a little bit lost and deserves a break. Most of this book was just Ed and Lucy talking, and their banter is pretty great, but also reading what each is thinking about the other as we switch back and forth between them makes their interactions even better. Ed’s unease with hiding things from Lucy makes for some parts particularly poignant.
The book that Graffiti Moon is probably most compared to is Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Music is to Nick and Norah, as Art is to Graffiti Moon. When the shared interest in creativity comes with a night-long adventure on the town, bumping into ex-girlfriends, and skirting from trouble, it’s no wonder that the two books are considered similar. But the similarities are superficial. These stories hit me in different ways. I feel like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist has a young adult world that’s separate from authority figures and responsibility; it exists within an intimate sphere and is about the magic that happens when people develop a connection. In Graffiti Moon, that frisson is there too, it’s just that here the characters aren’t so separate from their day-to-day lives. This is particularly true for Ed, who is constantly struggling to just get through life because he worrying about money and helping his single-parent mother who’s making her way through nursing school. Ed’s mind is always in quiet turmoil, and there’s this tension in watching someone who knows better start to take the wrong turn.
I think that what really got me with this book was how being a dreamer and using creative expression was portrayed so positively, beyond just being the common denominator between Ed and Lucy. My sister is the artist in the family, and I can tell you that going to the MoMA with her is a whole different experience than going with non-artist friends. Because of this, I just loved reading Lucy geeking out over art. And I loved that art could change Ed’s life in a real, not just metaphorical way, if only Ed would let it. I also loved that Ed and Lucy have parents and mentors who encourage them instead of dissuading them. It was nice to read the interactions between Ed and Lucy and those adults. I loved all these things because every time either Ed or Lucy think about something that inspires them, their words became particularly poetic. It made me root for them to keep this.
Overall: Really good. I think this one will have wide appeal — its writing is unassuming and accessible, but if you want depth you’ll find it. Also this is one of those books that pleasantly lingers. It could be because of the beautiful artwork painted with words, or because certain things here make you ruminate afterward. I found myself thinking about how Graffiti Moon was about the juxtaposition between imagination and reality and when I saw that theme I couldn’t stop thinking of examples: in the way Lucy and Ed’s lives became the basis for their art, in Lucy’s expectations of Shadow versus the truth as Ed knew it, and in the way art affected both their lives. It was nice to think about art and life for a little while. ...more