One of the things I'm looking to improve in myself is ways to be more persuasive and package the delivery of information I'm providing at work in a wa...moreOne of the things I'm looking to improve in myself is ways to be more persuasive and package the delivery of information I'm providing at work in a way that is impactful and "hooks" people who may have more conservative or differing view points.
This book helped with some of that hands on packaging, and gave specific examples, but it was also a bit redundant.(less)
It was not quite as entertaining as the original or even Super Freakonomics, but it was interesting. W...moreA very quick read - I crushed this one in a day.
It was not quite as entertaining as the original or even Super Freakonomics, but it was interesting. What I got most out of it was the substantial Notes section, and bibliography, which gave me several other books to read - that's the gift that keeps on giving.
This was a game-changer for me. I read this in preparation for having a very difficult conversation at work, but I've found that the skills I've learn...moreThis was a game-changer for me. I read this in preparation for having a very difficult conversation at work, but I've found that the skills I've learned from it have plentiful application in all facets of my life.
This will be a book that I re-read many times, and I'm sure that as I practice more, I will learn more with each new read.(less)
Another great one from Malcolm Gladwell. I loved the way he was able to remind me that strengths are not always strengths and weaknesses are not alway...moreAnother great one from Malcolm Gladwell. I loved the way he was able to remind me that strengths are not always strengths and weaknesses are not always weaknesses!(less)
I start this review by clearly stating that I am not religious. I believe firmly in quantum physics - that we are all connected through energy, but th...moreI start this review by clearly stating that I am not religious. I believe firmly in quantum physics - that we are all connected through energy, but that's basically where it ends (Einsteintonian isn't really catching on). This book was selected for my book club, where we have an unusual mix of (open-minded)religious beliefs- everything from me (atheist) to devout Catholic who went to seminary for college. I cannot wait for the discussions that we will have, because though we label our opinions with very different words, generally we're not that far from each other in belief. I took three sticky notes worth of notes - and I rarely take notes when I'm reading.
If you take your religious text literally, this book is absolutely not going to validate your beliefs - especially on Jesus' teachings. However, it might challenge your ideology, and if nothing else, evaluating your faith by learning about disagreeing perspectives requires that you define your own beliefs, and that's the beginning of enlightenment.
This is a fictional book, and cannot be read as fact, but I will say that I agreed with much of the "doctrine" provided. I will also say that I really enjoyed the way the author inserted scripture into a context that made you realize that the way we perceive it today could be completely misconstrued. I enjoyed that piece immensely. I'm sure others would be shocked at the blasphemy. Have I mentioned I cannot wait to talk about this novel at book club?
A few quotes that I really liked: "Which of these godmen are true? What is truth? It does not matter whether a story is true or if it is not true. What matters is the eternal truth is in the story. The goddess Truth does not come into the world naked; she has too bright a shine, so clothes herself in symbols, as all gods and goddesses are symbols. it is the height of foolishness to take their stories literally. Yet behind each shines a truth."
"Did Socrates not hold that ignorance is all there is of evil, meaning evil to be that which harms the soul? no matter what it gain a man; if he harms others, he harms his soul. therefore, how could I follow those who would kill for a god? Or call themselves the Elect, thereby sentencing all others to be outside the love of a god?....This is what I have learned, Mariamne: that beliefs are the masters of the world and that all masters are tyrannical. I find therefore that there is no sect, no teaching, in which I might place my heart. There is nothing but what I myself hear within."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - after the first 50 pages I could not put it down. However, there was nothing in it that "changed" me. It wasn't a life-changer, just a great place to start a discussion, and a different way to look at the world. Highly recommend it.(less)
I purchased this book after being significantly influenced by Brene Brown's Ted Talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/bre...) on vulnerability. I wa...moreI purchased this book after being significantly influenced by Brene Brown's Ted Talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/bre...) on vulnerability. I watch Ted Talks daily, and I can tell you that this was the most impactful talk I've ever experienced. She was able to be funny, and honest, and extremely informative while putting it all out on the table about herself. I shared it with several friends, and each of them had their own significant response to the talk. Watch it, it's a great 20 minutes.
I decided that although I'm generally anti self-help, because her talk was so profound that I would read her book. It was not disappointing. Unlike most self-help books with psycho babble and rules, or nebulous statements, Brene presents stories, and the research of stories that she has collected in a way that is easily digestible, and yet still meaningful. I read the book in less than 24 hours, and I did walk away with some strategies to work on being my most authentic self. I also walked away with a better understanding of vulnerability - courage (I'm pretty good at), compassion (good with people I know, and not so good with people that I don't know), and connection (which I suck at). Although I was prepared to examine myself and see nothing but issues - especially with perfectionism, I surprised myself by finding that I'm really ok at several aspects of vulnerability.
Today I would rate myself on the 10 topics as follows (out of 5): Authenticity (4), Self-Compassion (2), Resiliency (4), Gratitude and Joy (3 - 3.5), Intuition and Trusting Faith (2.5, although it's more 1 and 5, depending on situation), Cultivating Creativity (2, I've lost so much of myself here), Cultivating Play and Rest (5), Cultivating Calm and Stillness (4), Cultivating Meaningful Work (3.5), Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance (3 - need to recapture a lot here as well).
Some small changes that I've decided to implement, based on this book: - Waking up and telling myself that I've gotten a great night's sleep (something I do well) - When I'm about to say that someone at work is a tard (I have a very long tard list), stop and practice compassion - remind myself that we're all doing the best that we can. - Go to bed thinking about something that I did that I'm proud of that day - Actively bring music and dance back into my life - Take the time to enjoy the post-run "high" - Find a class that scares me, and do it anyway - embracing the vulnerability of maybe being imperfect at something.
A very enjoyable and impactful book. I plan on buying several more copies and giving them to friends who will also get something out of it.(less)
I will go into this review saying that I've always had a different outlook on economics than most people around me. I calculate all of my purchases ba...moreI will go into this review saying that I've always had a different outlook on economics than most people around me. I calculate all of my purchases based on cost per use, and buy accordingly (I get the book budget because J has the whopping DirecTV bill - so I get as much $$ for my own entertainment). For example, if I want to buy a $50 purse, I have to think about how often I'll use it - daily for a year would make it worth $0.13 per day. Anything under a $1 per use is an immediate win. $95 sneakers, used for 650 miles is about $0.15 per mile, and I find that a good deal as well. What I'm troubling over tat the moment is a $50 waffle iron, that I will only use about 4 times a year - it will take me 12 years to get that down to a $1 per use. Do I have $50? Absolutely! Can I just spend it because I want a waffle iron... no. Best value in my home is the $5 silver Old Navy flip that I bought in 2003, which are worn roughly every day, and cost me about $0.0017 per use and falling! I also look at rice tags and consider Kiva funds - $25 loan to help a small entrepreneur in the world build their business. My thoughts generally run like this - "Wow, I really need new work pants, but $48... I could give two Kiva loans for that." But I digress...
The Price of Everything was an enjoyable book written in almost layman's terms. By pg 4 it had me hooked as it discussed the cost benefits of dumping trash in third world countries - because...dumping carcinogens into the field of a man who won't live long enough to get cancer is better than the cost of letting a first world person (who will live long enough) actually get cancer. This came from a memo from the World Bank in 1992. Yes, I am disgusted that I just wrote that down, but also see the logic, awful as it is.
There were many topics covered in the book - everything from the expected cost of gas vs. CO2 emissions to the unusual thought that our US pricing bubble was caused by Chinese parents trying to save as much as possible to buy a bride for their sons, now that roughly 30 out of every 100 Chinese men has no woman to marry, due to female infanticide over the last few decades. A stretch, but interesting food for thought. There was even a paragraph describing how English food, which everyone will admit is terrible, may have been a product of the early industrialization that moved English into cities, before there were appropriate technologies to mass-produce and keep fresh foods.
My favorite section was on the Price of Women, which had a lot of historical and anthropological data to assist in the economics of the value of women. I particularly enjoyed the section on women's value now that we have saturated the workforce (hint - intelligent women who are primary earners have the highest appeal) and how that has impacted the traditional family unit. Fascinating!
Initially I was feeling 5 stars with this book, but it dragged a bit in the Price of Culture section, and ended on a typical housing crisis/future environment section. Still, I'm always a fan of a book with 50 pages of notes at the end.
Recommended for anyone who is interested in economics, or enjoyed any of Malcolm Gladwell's books, Freakonomics, or Guns, Germs, and Steel.(less)
This is possibly the geekiest book that I have ever read. The concept was fascinating from a writing perspective, and I was interested to see how fit...moreThis is possibly the geekiest book that I have ever read. The concept was fascinating from a writing perspective, and I was interested to see how fit would be done.however, though there were some poignant and mind bending moments, it fell a little short of the mark. The most fascinating part of the book were the actual theories of psychology, physics, geometry, consciousness that were throughout the book. If you read through them you would assume that it is sci fi talk, but there were several absolutely fascinating topics. My favorite was about Libet's studies on the reactionary response of free will. Is also recommend novikovian self consistency, lorentz contraction, feynman's path integral formulation, and the zermelo-fraenkel set theory.(less)
A thoroughly enjoyable book that I got for Christmas!
Like Freakonomics, the authors take seemingly unrelated topics, and show you how they actually ar...moreA thoroughly enjoyable book that I got for Christmas!
Like Freakonomics, the authors take seemingly unrelated topics, and show you how they actually are related. This book focused on how street prostitution is like department store santas, why suicide bombers should buy life insurance, apathy and altruism and how they are related, cheap and simple fixes for handwashing and global warming, and what Al Gore and Mt. Pinatubo have in common.
I think the initial freakonomics book rocked my socks off because it was the first time that I had ever read a book in laymen's terms that showed how people actually work off of incentive, and gave a wide range of (funny and interesting) ways that they did it. Since then, I've read all of Malcolm Gladwell's books, and so in some ways I am thinking more rationally, and was even able to come up with some of the solutions as I was reading about them, rather than bein BAMMED in the face when they revealed the relationships.
Still, it was thoroughly enjoyable to read, and there was some fascinating information about global warming and solutions that have already been identified to correct/right the issue. Also, the epilogue made me absolutely guffaw with the way that the monkeys started using their money!
I will certainly enjoy reading this book again in the future.
This book was appallingly fascinating, but I could not get more than halfway through the book because it gave me horrible nightmares. Mao really was a...moreThis book was appallingly fascinating, but I could not get more than halfway through the book because it gave me horrible nightmares. Mao really was an awful and twisted human being.(less)
This was an interesting book that I got for Christmas this year. I had seen it in the book store, and put it on my wish list. I'll get into why I gave...moreThis was an interesting book that I got for Christmas this year. I had seen it in the book store, and put it on my wish list. I'll get into why I gave it three stars below, but I do want to emphasize that there were some very thought-provoking topics that were discussed throughout the book.
The first, Einstein's E=mc2. Dr. Lipton said "The fact that energy and matter are one and the same is precisely what Einstein recognized when he concluded that E=mc2. Simply stated, Energy (E) equals matter (mass) multiplied by the speed of light squared (c2). Einstein revealed that we do not live in a universe with discrete, physical objects separated by dead space. The universe is one indivisible, dynamic whole in which energy and matter are so deeply entangled that it is impossible to consider them as independent elements." I'll never look at that equation the same way again.
The second interesting topic was about western vs. eastern medicine, and that western medicine has refused to ackowledge that our body functions are inter-connected, and driven by energy (the brain). The part that I found most interesting was about the placebo effect, and why more research is not done on the power of that persuasion, and it's healing effects. There was a study done by a knee surgeon and his "fake surgeries" that was absolutely fascinating.
The last subject was about the impact of parent emotions and environment in pre- and perinatal care, and the impacts of "programming" that we give our children. For example, minutes after birth, an infant can float and kick it's feet in water and be completely comfortable. However, we freak out when that infant goes near the pool, and then struggle to teach them how to swim as toddlers because they're "afraid" of water. Unfortunately the book was a little vague on this subject, and I wish there had been more specific examples of ways to re-program errors that we have already absorbed.
This book got three stars for three reasons- first, the first 70 pages of supposition on the inner-workings of a cell were a bit too dry and felt like 8th grade science. I could have done with 5 pages reminding me about the gogli, DNA, RNA, amino acids, and protein. I understand that the author's attempt was to "re-train" us on information that we had falsely been taught, but I think think it went a bit too deep.
The second reason is because the book never actually told us how to fix our thoughts to fix our minds to fix our bodies. He alluded to the challenges we face when trying to reprogram the subconscious with the conscious mind, and change our perceptions, but there were no clues as to how to be successful with that. In my opinion, that was the goal of the book, and though there were definitely interesting topics discussed, we never got to the meat and potatoes.
The third reason is that Dr. Lipton took about 6 too many shots at fellow scientists/doctors who have not evolved to include quantum physics in their beliefs. It's very powerful to talk about the places where western medicine fails, but it loses that power when you take a stab at someone as you're doing it.
Overall it was a thought-provoking book, and I will definitely carry some of the topics along with me. However, if you're interested, rather than put you through the process of reading it, I'll be happy to discuss it over lunch :)(less)
My rating for this book has nothing to do with the actual book or story, or the way it's written or how quickly I read it, or how much I enjoyed it -...moreMy rating for this book has nothing to do with the actual book or story, or the way it's written or how quickly I read it, or how much I enjoyed it - if you can believe that.
The book itself was typical Dan Brown. It was intellectual, it was a thriller, you were caught off guard at every turn. Things were deeper and darker than you could imagine. It was fun to read and there were opportunities to expand my horizons. On it's own I would have given it a 4.
The reason that it got 5 stars is because it's a game changer for me. This book brought me to Noetics - which is a clear definition of all the nebulous thoughts I've had on religion in my life. It's about energy, and focused intent, and living consciously and unconsciously. It's about the fact that we know so little about what the mind can actually do. The book was written in a way so that as soon as I felt inferior - like I don't doubt that it can be done, but "I" can't do it, the characters would have that exact same discussion. Basically, there was the story itself in the book, and there was the story above it. If you are a skeptic, maybe you can only read the first level of the story - but as soon as I began to read this book, I was waiting for the other story to take place.
My only criticism is that I would have loved to have had MORE examples of Noetics taking place in the book. I would have liked to have read the details of how the experiments took place.
Dad - required reading, though it's not as deep as Deepak, there's some interesting concepts, and certainly different ways to look at Wiki, google, twitter, etc as building the universal unconscious that will lead to enlightenment. :)(less)
Another solidly enjoyable book from Malcolm Gladwell! He's definitely in my top 5 "I can count on a good book by..." list.
This is a compilation of New...moreAnother solidly enjoyable book from Malcolm Gladwell! He's definitely in my top 5 "I can count on a good book by..." list.
This is a compilation of New Yorker articles that he has written over the last 15 years. There were riveting chapters on why the Pill is a monthly medication (and it's impact on women - basically quadrupling the number of lifetime periods, and directly correlating to cancers), another on why there are many different mustard types, but there's only Heinz ketchup (actually quite fascinating!), the impact of marketing on hair dye and women's roles in the workplace, criminal profiling, etc. Each article is completely different, and thoroughly enjoyable.
The reason that this book received 4 stars rather than 5 was mainly due to the fact that it was compilations, and there was no overarching theme. Blink changed my life, and my career. The Tipping Point made me evaluate what kind of person I am (a maven) and instinctively categorize others in ways that help me interact with them. They got 5 stars. This was thoroughly enjoyable, but not a game changer. It's a good 4 star book.
Definitely a book I will read with enjoyment again!(less)