I read this during summer 2000 and pretty much forgot about it until reading Brave New World in summer 2015. I own a copy so I guess it's in the re-reI read this during summer 2000 and pretty much forgot about it until reading Brave New World in summer 2015. I own a copy so I guess it's in the re-read pile, but not near the top. It was more of a utopia than a dystopia as I recall, based on operant conditioning and delaying gratification, but I'd have to read it again to see if there's any plot....more
This book is about unschooling, not homeschooling with a curriculum. I web-stalked as many of this kids as possible (they're all a few years older thaThis book is about unschooling, not homeschooling with a curriculum. I web-stalked as many of this kids as possible (they're all a few years older than I am, and their experiences unschooling before the rise of the internet seem almost quaint). Spoiler alert: They're almost all a bunch of smug underachievers who grew up to do mainstream or downright unimpressive things. I wonder how many of them have gone on to homeschool their own children, since few of them had kids when this book was being put together (back in 2004-5).
The kids are really homogeneous, mostly girls (8/11), almost all white (9/11), and almost entirely from rural areas. After a few the essays seemed to run together. The perspective I related to the most was that of Patrick Meehan, the identified-gifted kid who went through hell in public school and private school who finally left it all as a self-preservation measure. Some of his struggles were my own, especially bullying by overly conventional or just plain antagonistic teachers. I'm glad to see that he's thriving today.
A lot of these kids seem to have *really* short attention spans, and ten years after the original book they're still unsettled. This seems to be one of the serious pitfalls of unschooling. These kids are (usually) motivated but they're not committed. Some of them seem to be a lot more humble as adults, and a few of them even regretted if not their choice to homeschool, their smugness about homeschooling or missing opportunities that their schooling friends had. Some went on to college, but no one became a Silicon Valley billionaire or renowned thoracic surgeon or anything.
Updates on our profiled students, including links if I was at least 90% sure of the identity of the people. Some of them have gotten some career traction, which makes sense given that they're 35-40 by now, but no one really seems to have been a wunderkind. (view spoiler)[
This book is rather similar to the Carrie Blackaby one (Customized Parenting in a Trending World) but less Canadian. Author is a young Christian womanThis book is rather similar to the Carrie Blackaby one (Customized Parenting in a Trending World) but less Canadian. Author is a young Christian woman who writes about how women can be rebellious by glorifying God in a culture that bases too much of a woman's value on her sexuality, appearance, and ability to get or keep male company.
This is a short book and a pretty easy read. Goodreads says its 224 pages but it's barely 200; the notes section starts on page 185....more
I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book in a First Reads contest.
The title of this book annoys me. If it's a personal memoir, shouldn't therI received an uncorrected proof copy of this book in a First Reads contest.
The title of this book annoys me. If it's a personal memoir, shouldn't there be an apostrophe in "Winners," if he's referring to himself as a winner? Or is he trying to say that he's lived a life that is the stuff of dreams of all people who are winners? Or he belongs in the winners circle? I realize it's a little thing, but it's a little thing that stares me in the face every time I look at the cover. Goodreads currently calls this book "The Dream," which, while uninspired, is less confusing than the actual title.
McDermott is clearly a salesman, and this book reads like he tried to cram his resume into 300 pages. It's a lot of "look at how awesome I am" and "look at how I created/salvaged/turned around this business and came up with these innovative ideas." He does make a lot of salient business points (more on those later), especially as he recounts his days as a paperboy and the manager of a deli, and how he gets hired at Xerox.
Then he spends the next 100 pages of the book talking about working at Xerox. He was there 17 years, which is about a third of his life, so he should devote a third of his memoir to it, right? I respectfully disagree, because it really bogged down, especially during the late 90s. Also a lot of the specifics of the company weren't that interesting. The TL;DR is that Bill was the best sales associate, then led the best sales team, then went to PR and turned their team from the worst in the country to the best in one year, then moved to Chicago and helped them, then joined the Business Solutions branch of the company and led them to billions of dollars in sales. Then he left because he was as bored as I was getting reading about it. (Not really, but there were differences in POV between him and the rest of the corporate leadership, and he felt it was time to move on.)
After leaving Xerox, he works for a couple of other companies, helps his wife fight through cancer, then lands a gig at the company he's currently running. And of course it was a mess, and of course he makes it a whole lot better with optimism and audacious goals.
So, the key takeaways from this book: ~Focus on the customer. If your customer isn't happy with your product or service, he will find an alternative, and you won't have a job. ~Find ways to distinguish yourself from your competition. Figure out what you can do that they can't (like delivery service or store credit). ~Goodwill gestures can help seal a deal by making your customer feel like you trust them. ~Keep your word. ~Give your employees audacious goals (though I can't think of "audacious goals" without thinking of this rag). It will motivate them. ~Keep alert to the culture around you. Serve food in a food culture, celebrate things that should be celebrated, provide perks and incentives that boost morale and solicit employee feedback about them. ~Build rapport with all people because it makes them feel valued and makes them want to help you. ~Don't discount yourself, your product, or your services. Have faith in their/your value. ~Identify your own goals and aspirations, and check to see if the work that you do is helping you achieve the ends you desire.
This isn't a bad book, but after reading a much tighter (and less personal) book on business and leadership a week or so ago, this one just felt long-winded. ...more
This is the first won book that I can't get through. I've been trying for a month to read it, but I can'I won a copy of this in a First Reads Drawing.
This is the first won book that I can't get through. I've been trying for a month to read it, but I can't get any farther than 30 pages in before I die of boredom and forget what it's even supposed to be about. It's supposed to be a collection of essays by women with regards to innovation and technology, but the principal author is a MALE. He writes the introduction and I feel like he's condescending and racist.
I also get the feeling that many of the other reviews are paid shills (check out the junk reviews over on Amazon!). I will try to read this one again in a few months (probably skipping the introduction) to see if it's really beyond redemption....more
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads drawing, and it was the first time I'd ever heard of 99U. Nonetheless I will give a candid reviewI won a copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads drawing, and it was the first time I'd ever heard of 99U. Nonetheless I will give a candid review.
This is a collection of business insights from a handful of new entrepreneurs. The word "creative" in the title means "people who create/makers/innovators" as opposed to "artist." Essays are pretty heavy into tech and Silicon Valley-type upstarts, though there are a few clothing and textile manufacturers as well. Authors featured include Neil Blumenthal, Joel Gascoigne, and Tim O'Reilly.
The essays cover four major sections of business (purpose, product, customers, and corporate culture). The essays are all pretty short and kind of read like TED talks on the various subjects. Some are really interesting, others less so. My favorite essay was the one by Emily Heyward about defining your purpose.
The book itself is small, maybe 6x8 inches, but it's great quality with a pretty layout and design. The opening chapter pages are red with white lettering, and the inter-essay pages and end-of-chapter recap pages are black with white lettering, which is a lot more legible than I'd feared. They're also easier to find....more
I received a free copy of this book as part of a First Reads giveaway
Here's proof that I'm not the only anti-authoritarian in California.
In this quickI received a free copy of this book as part of a First Reads giveaway
Here's proof that I'm not the only anti-authoritarian in California.
In this quick read, a girl character in a recurring series plans a "safety first" Fourth of July party, with predictably disastrous results. It's a nice bit of Horatian satire, and I appreciated it....more
I won this in a First Reads drawing, and I certainly hope I never need it.
This book is a slim book, though it effectively covers a grim topic. ActualI won this in a First Reads drawing, and I certainly hope I never need it.
This book is a slim book, though it effectively covers a grim topic. Actual content is a mere 100 pages, and bibliography/sources/index is another 20 or so.
The author lost her daughter at age 15 after a tragic motorcycle crash, and this book covers the grief process of a parent following a loss of a child. Her own story is in the introduction, but afterward there are ten chapters full of tips and approaches as to how to work through the grief. The book maintains a Christian perspective, and she has a considerable bibliography and other resources in the back of the book.
While it does maintain a Christian perspective, the author's Christianity doesn't totally pervade the book, which is good because it's probably normal for grieving parents to be angry at or doubtful of God. By skipping the last couple of paragraphs of each chapter or subsection, you can bypass most of the Christian perspective. This book would be a good resource for a bereavement group....more
I received a copy of this book in a GoodReads First Reads drawing
While this book won't win any literary awards, and I don't love the two-voice first-pI received a copy of this book in a GoodReads First Reads drawing
While this book won't win any literary awards, and I don't love the two-voice first-person style, I really am enjoying their perspectives and advice.
Parenting advice from a father-daughter team of pro-homeschooling Christians. The chapters follow a similar format and each chapter ends with discussion questions. This book is written in the annoying two-voice first-person style where they have to clarify which "I" (Carrie or Richard) is speaking, but they do a better job than JimBob and Michelle Duggar in their books, so that's something.
I actually like this book quite a lot, and it's written at a fairly low level (think Crystal Paine), so it's not hard to understand, but it suffers from not being extremely quotable. The book is peppered with anecdotes and vignettes, and I laughed in familiarity at several.
Their main idea is that parenting is the job of the PARENTS, not other educators or peers. That parents have the job of guiding and shepherding their kids in the right directions, and teaching them how to think. A lot of times this means bucking conventional wisdom or reconsidering conventional Christian wisdom. For example, they talk about mirth and hospitality and how its' a good thing to have parties and experience joy. And how not to force responsibility on children too soon without also coddling them. ...more
3.5 stars. With a bit of editing or tightening, I think the final book would be almost 4 stars. The inI won this in a Good Reads First Reads drawing!
3.5 stars. With a bit of editing or tightening, I think the final book would be almost 4 stars. The introduction is almost 30 pages, and the chapter lengths vary widely; some are over 30 pages, some are barely fifteen.
Despite lots of reading and hearing about motivational and leadership types, I'd never heard of Tara Mohr until I won this book. She seems to be a life coach with a perennially optimistic perspective. The book is about teaching women to make an impact in their workplace or volunteer place or community or family. One can do this by "playing big," or overcoming the internal barriers and external forces that hold one back from success. Her book is really a how-to guide to achieve these ends, to stop negative talk, let go of fear, and get over destructive ways of thinking. She encourages readers to keep a journal and provides questions to enhance self-awareness. Some of her exercises seem silly and didn't work for me (visualizing my inner mentor), but others are helpful or thought-provoking, at least. ...more
Wow. Read this one for Banned Books week after a meme told me I was it. Well, it got the location right (have lived in the SJV, currently live on theWow. Read this one for Banned Books week after a meme told me I was it. Well, it got the location right (have lived in the SJV, currently live on the Monterey Peninsula).
This is one of those books that you hear about a lot but never know how it ends. It kind of just ends without any real resolution or denouement. You don't really know what happens to the characters who disappear without dying first.
It reminded me of The Jungle, but a lot better written with a more sympathetic cast of characters. I couldn't get over the rubeishness of the characters in The Jungle. These people were more believable, and the hits just kept coming. The story itself might be shrouded in myth, but there are some real social issues there, ones that are still valid today with regards to plutocracies and migrant labor populations (H1Bs, illegals) undercutting the domestic force, and the constantly shifting sands of agricultural production. The central story itself got kind of tedious to read (I kep' on figurin' how much jack was in their pockets all th' time) and I got to where I preferred the global, more removed chapters to the Joad narrative. I kind of wondered why they didn't just move to a city in OK or AR and start doing fact'ry work or garage work instead of taking a one-way trip on faith to CA. ...more