Tara Litzenberger's Reviews > The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
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Jun 10, 12

Read from May 25 to June 04, 2012

I learned less from it than I was expecting to. It did have some good info around what makes a habit and how to change them, but I got bogged down on the parts about willpower and self-discipline.
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Trevor Yes, just finished this too. And the writing is appalling. It's a while since I've shouted at a book, 'get on with it!'


Tara Litzenberger I listened to the audiobook during long drives, so I was more patient than I otherwise would have been.

But I agree completely: if the audience is still with you 2/3 of the way in, you can assume they've absorbed at least some of your central thesis that habits are powerful...


Trevor There was a point in the book when he was talking about the skunk woman and how she got that spray that takes away smells and sprayed everything in the house - and then he lists everything in the house, the curtains, the lounge, the rugs, her clothes, her bedspread - and I'm screaming, LOOK, I KNOW WHAT EVERYTHING MEANS, I DON'T NEED YOU TO TELL ME WHAT EVERYTHING MEANS!


Tara Litzenberger For me, it was all the heavy-handed foreshadowing.
His habits gave him his life back, then, they TOOK IT ALL AWAY (and we'll tell you about it in 4 chapters!)

I was intrigued by the Febreeze story itself, though. I have heard that Americans have a particular fear of odors because savvy marketers tied it to xenophobic sentiments decades and decades ago. Deodorant was positioned as a way to avoid unintentionally "exposing" oneself as an immigrant by embracing "American Hygiene." I thought that undercurrent would be a bigger factor in buying decisions for Febreeze.


Trevor That's interesting - Montaigne says in one of his essays (on smells, probably) that the best smells are no smells at all.

I found most of the book interesting, but pretending to be writing a self-help book was really an odd way to go about it. And, yes, the foreshadowing and the 'he never did get to see his dad ever again' stuff made my skin crawl. I guess there is a market out there for people who have been dropped on their heads at birth.


David Lafferty Trevor wrote: "That's interesting - Montaigne says in one of his essays (on smells, probably) that the best smells are no smells at all.

I found most of the book interesting, but pretending to be writing a sel..."


I'd like to read some Montaigne. What translation do you like?


Trevor I got most of the way through the Penguin complete essays, but the text was so small it nearly drove me nuts. Strangely enough I stopped at the best bit - where he was discussing sex (I really am going to have to have a good long look at myself). The other problem was he had different versions of his essays, that he'd edited over the years, and they have added in notes and such into the text to highlight these changes, which I found a bit confusing at times. But the essays themselves are very interesting - particularly the one on death. But it is four years since I read any of them at all.


James Trevor, what Penguin essays are you referring to?


Trevor The Essays: A Selection - really ought to go back and finish it at some stage.


James Thanks bud


Connie " I got bogged down on the parts about willpower and self-discipline." LOL


Edward Yoda Sounds like an interesting read. Will put on my next book to read!!!


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