I thoroughly enjoyed Mark Adams' book. Part witty travelogue, part fascinating history, this book was the perfect way to prepare for my upcoming trip...moreI thoroughly enjoyed Mark Adams' book. Part witty travelogue, part fascinating history, this book was the perfect way to prepare for my upcoming trip to Machu Picchu. I feel as though a good friend, with a journalist's skill, has given me every kind of background necessary to fully appreciate the journey.
I gave it four stars instead of five, because there were some sections where the book did seem to drag. When the travelers were going through several different geo-climate zones in one day, it was hard to picture their full journey. A few maps would have given me a better picture of their trek, up and down mountains, through jungles, along rivers, and so forth. If I were not so psyched about my own upcoming trip, I might have lost interest in the book half way through when the journey became confusing and circuitous, so a map would have clarified the route and kept my attention.
For the uninitiated, George Anderson is widely considered the world's greatest living medium. At the age of six, after contracting chicken pox, Mr. An...moreFor the uninitiated, George Anderson is widely considered the world's greatest living medium. At the age of six, after contracting chicken pox, Mr. Anderson developed a nearly fatal case of encephalomyelitis, a swelling of the brain which damaged his cerebrum and rendered him unable to walk. Within three months, he made a complete physical recovery, but permanent brain chemistry changes made him a "perfect receiver" for high-frequency communications from another dimension. Mr. Anderson began seeing visions and receiving messages from souls who had crossed over to the "other side." For nearly fifty years and thirty-five thousand sessions, Mr. Anderson has been delivering messages of hope to those who have lost loved ones.
I have read many of George Anderson's books, including Walking in the Garden of Souls, Lessons from the Light, and We Don't Die. I have also had the privilege of having several private sessions with Mr. Anderson, the results of which have been substantially transformative. This new book is delivered with the confidence of a senior statesman in a controversial field that has come of age in recent decades, by a gifted individual with unparalleled experience and wisdom in his area of expertise, who has nothing to prove, who only wishes to lovingly share the inspiration he has gained from the special role he has been given.
I encourage readers to explore this book (and Mr. Anderson's other books), with open minds and hearts. This man knows what he is talking about.
This was a standout in a category of books that generally cannot break through to its audience. Most college kids are really not interested in reading...moreThis was a standout in a category of books that generally cannot break through to its audience. Most college kids are really not interested in reading a book that tells them the obvious---that it's time to put together a resume, go over to career services, get an internship, and prepare for the real world. But this book is different. Of course, it talks about all those obvious things. However, it also talks about being proactive in every area of a college student's life (i.e., in the classroom, in seeking undergraduate research gigs, in finding entrepreneurial opportunities, in student organizations, in networking with professors, speakers, and even other students). It is a great book for college students to read from freshman year on, or for parents to read to help them drop realistic seeds of helpful ideas in appropriate, natural parent-young adult conversations.(less)
This is a fantastic book. I started reading it on a plane crossing the country, and finished it by the time I arrived. Filled with intriguing anecdote...moreThis is a fantastic book. I started reading it on a plane crossing the country, and finished it by the time I arrived. Filled with intriguing anecdotes and reinforcing research, it not only helps introverts feel good about their unique temperament, but makes the case that introverts are key contributors to creativity and innovation in the world.(less)
I loved this book! Kelly McDonigal uses up-to-the-minute psychological and neuroscientific information and research studies as the foundation for her...moreI loved this book! Kelly McDonigal uses up-to-the-minute psychological and neuroscientific information and research studies as the foundation for her book, but the reader is not barraged with overwhelming detail. She has the gift of extracting the most practical, user-friendly, actionable scientific knowledge that the lay person can immediately use to make a difference in one's own life, with whatever "willpower challenge" that person is facing.
If I lived in California, I would enroll in Dr. McDonigal's course at Stanford in a heartbeat! Wish she would take her course on the road as a workshop! Short of that, we have this wonderful book. It can make a difference for anyone facing a "willpower challenge," whether related to eating, drinking, sex, substance-abuse, gambling, video games, texting, surfing the net, or staying on Pinterest too long every night. All of us can relate to this book on some level, and be helped by it!(less)
This book hits on the missing ingredient in so many lives, which I also believe is the cornerstone of happiness. Curiosity, the search for the novel,...moreThis book hits on the missing ingredient in so many lives, which I also believe is the cornerstone of happiness. Curiosity, the search for the novel, leads to true passion and engagement in life. The author cogently made this point through research and anecdotal story. I do feel that once the point was made, there was some redundancy in "making the sale" (thus four stars instead of five). But this book has given me a new perspective, a new way of approaching social interactions, that makes life more of an adventure.(less)
I listened to the book on my iPod, downloaded from Audible.com. It was read by David Wilcock himself, who is a charismatic, enthusiastic, and entertai...moreI listened to the book on my iPod, downloaded from Audible.com. It was read by David Wilcock himself, who is a charismatic, enthusiastic, and entertaining reader. I don't know if I could have waded through all of his documented evidence on the printed page, but his voice made the findings come alive! If all science textbooks were read to our children by David Wilcock, we would have a lot more young people interested in science.
I feel that the beauty of David's book is that he makes a powerful suggestion, with "hints" of it being possible though scientific findings that challenge mainstream, conventional theories. His suggestion is, "Hey, there could be more to the universe than we think---a source field that supports, creates, and directs life in the universe."
Wilcock does concentrate on the alternative hypotheses, without counterbalance from conventional scientific thought. And he himself is not a scientist with advanced degrees; he has an undergraduate science degree, intuitive gifts, and is by trade a writer and filmmaker. But he is an intelligent, intense, curious researcher of scientific studies that are publicly available, demonstrating what is possible for all of us as lay citizens when we think about our world and its future.
This provocative book raises questions and identifies scientific findings that make you stop and think that maybe such a "source field" could possibly exist. I believe Wilcock sees his role as an iconoclast, to stimulate debate, and to keep the books open on theories that many believe to be established fact. He reminds us that that we cannot be complacent sheep, who just accept mainstream theories; the scientific community and the public need to engage in dynamic on-going discussion about the nature of the universe. We must never take anything for granted, because there is just so much we don't know.
This book moves a reader from a smug attitude that "we know everything" to a humble feeling of awe and wonder about the universe, and how much we have yet to discover.(less)
There is plenty to be cynical about in the college process, and Mr. Ferguson's dry, witty observatons do that approach justice. He gives authentic, in...moreThere is plenty to be cynical about in the college process, and Mr. Ferguson's dry, witty observatons do that approach justice. He gives authentic, insightful, and entertaining voice to the frustrations many parents feel when trying to guide their teenagers through the college process these days. I am concerned, however, that parents reading this book will be further discouraged about a process that is already pretty daunting. I wish that his book had included some more balanced and hopeful information.
To families in competitive, affluent communities, the college process must feel like a form of torture dreamed up by elite, marketing-savvy colleges or a conspiracy of avaricious college consultants. The truth is not so cloak-and-dagger. Plainly, baby boomers had babies, and they all became teenagers, in a society where a college degree is becoming more of a standard expectation than it once was, where technology allows students to apply to more college than in the past. Demand way outpaces supply now, and makes it much more difficult for even the most accomplished students to gain entry to elite colleges than "back in the day."
I am a college consultant, but my motivation is to humanize this stressful process, rather than to exploit parents' and students' anxiety or egos, like the consultants caricatured in Mr. Ferguson's book. The simple fact is, that there are 2500 or so accredited four year institutions in the USA, and there is a school out there that will meet just about every student's needs. There are many hard-working, principled guidance counselors and independent consultants who regard it as their mission to help students find the right match.
This book is fun, satirical commentary, but it should not stand alone. There are many straightforward, helpful, hopeful books on the market that are great resources to help students and families identify and gain admission to appropriate colleges. (less)
When my only son went to college, I was struggling with the common issue of the empty nest, and finding meaning in the new chapter of life that I was...moreWhen my only son went to college, I was struggling with the common issue of the empty nest, and finding meaning in the new chapter of life that I was beginning. A cynical parent I knew quipped sarcastically, "Get a life!" I've had a life, thank you, I responded inwardly. An all-absorbing, rewarding one. That's why I can't just turn off a switch and disengage.
This woman's trite cliché trivialized the complex process of switching gears when one's kids leave home, glossing over the grief-loss component and midlife transition issues. A wiser, wittier friend offered this advice: "Find a new source of meaning, and try not to get too fat."
I perused many books about letting go of our college age kids and our old parenting role, and looking forward to the future. But this book by a Jungian psychoanalyst offered the richest, deepest perspective on the second half of life I had ever found.
Like most books based on Carl Jung's depth psychology, Dr. Hollis' book is not for the squeamish or the shallow. It is not self-help lite, promising the reader magic, instant personal reinvention by learning a few superficial principles. Through a discussion of the lives of many midlife adults, facing crossroads requiring great courage, embracing the heretofore ignored "shadow" in their souls, Dr. Hollis invites the reader into the deep end of the pool. In the second half of life, the author asserts, it is our developmental task, to individuate, to become more authentically ourselves.
Carl Jung's insightful quote about "the afternoon of life" might well be on the back cover of this book:
"A human being would certainly not grow to be seventy or eighty years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species. The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life's morning. The significance of the morning undoubtedly lies in the development of the individual, our entrenchment in the outer world, the propagation of our kind, and the care of our children. This is the obvious purpose of nature. But when this purpose has been attained - and more than attained - shall the earning of money, the extension of conquests, and the expansion of life go steadily on beyond the bounds of all reason and sense? Whoever carries over into the afternoon the law of the morning, or the natural aim, must pay for it with damage to his soul, just as surely as a growing youth who tries to carry over his childish egoism into adult life must pay for this mistake with social failure."
("The Stages of Life" (1930). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P. 787)
As a college admissions consultant, I help my clients focus on the key question: "What unique strengths do you have to offer that this college needs?"...moreAs a college admissions consultant, I help my clients focus on the key question: "What unique strengths do you have to offer that this college needs?"
Lynn O'Shaughnessy has taken this question to a new level. Her book adds the financial element to that equation. A student's ability to fill a college's gaps and meet its specific institutional needs, not only drives acceptance, but influences a college's financial generosity as well, when it comes to merit scholarships. This is a simple, intuitive concept that not many families recognize.
As families push their high schoolers to "stretch" themselves to apply to prestigious "reach" colleges, they are overlooking great educational opportunities. If you get into Ivy U by the skin of your teeth, and you feel like they are "doing you a favor" by letting you squeak in, you are unlikely to get any financial incentives for going there. But if you are bringing something special to Under Ivy U, and they really want you for the distinctive contributions you can make (i.e., freshman stats, sports, arts, academic potential), they might feel a little more like you are doing them a favor, and they'll be willing to offer you a financial incentive to do so.
Simple, isn't it? Thank you, Ms. O'Shaughnessy, for pointing out such a clear and brilliant principle. I suggest your book to all my students, and will continue to do so! (less)
As a college consultant, I recommend the late Loren Pope's classic book to my clients, but not as a guide to specific schools. What is most worthwhile...moreAs a college consultant, I recommend the late Loren Pope's classic book to my clients, but not as a guide to specific schools. What is most worthwhile is Pope's well-articulated point of view that college is not an exercise in grabbing the prestigious brass ring, or getting one's ticket punched for a first job. It is something much more.
College is an integral part of the personal and professional development that a young adult needs to experience in our sophisticated, complex society. It is a "laboratory" for nurturing academic passion, developing genuine appreciation for a broad range of liberal arts subjects, gaining firsthand experience in research, scholarship and leadership.
College is not a ticket for an already perfect, accomplished student. It is a transformative experience to help a student become an even more focused, contributing professional adult.
Pope clearly lays out the case that many elite graduate oriented schools do not create a transformative environment for undergrads, and therefore do not offer much value to college students except for "brand name" prestige. In contrast, there are many educational institutions out there, some well known, some not, that place more emphasis on the undergrad experience. That is the kind of atmosphere you should seek out if you are an undergraduate!
There is plenty of time later to "get your ticket punched" at a prestigious graduate school, particularly if you perform well and gain valuable hands-on experience during college. But Loren Pope is sayng, journey through those formative years first, and have something meaningful to show for it.
I would not simply make these 40 schools into one's college list. You need to check out every school for yourself, especially through visits, to ensure a school is a suitable match for you. But adopting Loren Pope's attitude toward the value of the undergraduate experience is a great place to start. (less)
I bought this book for my son as a high school graduation gift, expecting it to be abandoned, unread, like so many "parents advice" books given to tee...moreI bought this book for my son as a high school graduation gift, expecting it to be abandoned, unread, like so many "parents advice" books given to teenagers. But over the summer he poured through it, and told me it was actually "really good."
My son is now a junior at challenging university, and I am certainly proud of his success. He has not only been able to earn impressive grades, but he has had a BALANCED social life; become an officer in a fraternity; and participated in club sports. "This book really helped me do all that," he told me at one point.
As a college consultant, I recommend this book to my students when they go off to college. The proof is in the pudding. (less)
Dr. Levine's book is a treasure. The author truly understands the depth and meaning of female friendship. Her book validates and normalizes the feelin...moreDr. Levine's book is a treasure. The author truly understands the depth and meaning of female friendship. Her book validates and normalizes the feelings of confusion, disappointment, shame, anger, pain and loss when a female friendship ends, especially without explanation.
I have read other books on this subject which trivialize and stereotype female friendships, summing up endings as just a feeling of puzzlement when a shopping companion finds another gal pal with whom to browse the mall. This is not that kind of book.
Dr. Levine appreciates the devastation that a woman can feel when a close friendship of many years fails to be a "BFF" (Best Friends Forever). She offers empathy and helpful advice to work through the hurt, accept the loss, and move on to build new friendships.
I recommend this book to all women on the planet, who have---or will--experience the loss of a close female friend. (less)
I welcome any provocative book that elicits strong feelings, prompting conversation about raising children. As a parent, this book motivated me to ref...moreI welcome any provocative book that elicits strong feelings, prompting conversation about raising children. As a parent, this book motivated me to reflect on my own parenting style, and discuss it with others. That's got to be a good thing.
Amy Chua's book is a memoir, not a "how-to" book. Readers will be shocked at some of her in-your-face tactics (this is why I give the book a 4 not 5 stars), but she offers a thought-provoking journey through parenthood that invites us all to re-think how we raise our children.
As a parent, I come out about halfway between the polarities of Eastern and Western parenting. I agree with a hands-on, involved tutoring approach to raising children, but certainly without Chua's degrading harshness, and with more opportunities for self-expression. Chua's book helped me clarify what is really important to me as a mother.
As a college consultant, I wouldn't mind a judicious sprinkling of the Eastern approach in raising American high school students. Parental involvement varies across the board in our society, from abject neglect to hypermanaging. Ironically, helicoptering in our culture seems more about micromanaging a kid's resume and decisions than being engaged with the SUBSTANCE of learning.
In contrast, I was struck by Chua's description of Tiger Moms' hands-on role in their children's ACADEMICS: "It's true that Chinese mothers get in the trenches, putting in long grueling hours personally tutoring..." That's impressive. Among my clients, I see so many parents who attend every soccer game, but have no idea what their student is studying in history, or what he got on the last test. They're obsessive, all right, but not about the things that will get their children ahead in life.
In my practice, I see many parents who are so long on self-esteem (or at least ego) and so short on drive to build their child's competencies, that they unwittingly create unrealistic expectations for college admission. The child is given a false sense of entitlement to be accepted at an elite college, without the qualifications for today's competitive college marketplace.
"By contrast," Chua says in her book, "the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they're capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits, and inner confidence that no one can ever take away." (less)
As a college consultant, I probe a young person's interests, passions and long-term goals. I am often struck by an absence of purpose, even from stude...moreAs a college consultant, I probe a young person's interests, passions and long-term goals. I am often struck by an absence of purpose, even from students with remarkable talent. So Damon's book truly resonated for me. I once thought that my role with teens was mostly about the "HOW" (i.e., getting into college); Damon's book helped me realize that it is my responsibility to help adolescents with the "WHY."I call this book an antidote for the Race to Nowhere, based on a recent film about the pressure placed on high school students today to get into college, without any real vision of where they are really going in life or why it matters.
This book will change you, whether you are a parent, teacher, tutor, coach, extended family member, shrink, or policymaker. Its call to action is to help our society's young people shift in a positive direction along the continuum of categories from disengaged to purposeful.Damon does not just curse the darkness; he lights a bright candle by making positive suggestions that parents (and other adults) can put into practice on a daily basis with the teens with whom they interact. (less)