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Hope In Small Doses

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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  11 reviews
What is hope? Is it instinctive or learned? Is hope really necessary? Armed with questions, author Nikki Stern embarks on a journey to find the hope that had remained elusive for much of her life, especially following the death of her husband on 9/11. She discovers a version that flourishes without guarantees but with the promise of endless possibilities. Updated and with ...more
ebook, First, 168 pages
Published April 7th 2012 by Humanist Press (first published 2012)
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Greg Correll
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book started a drumbeat in my head. A modest steady beat, compared to the kettle drums of Bruno's deep passion for truth or the snare of Spinoza's soaring encapsulization of god or the finger-cymbals of Thich Nhat Hanh hyper-compassion. But Nikki stays with me as a fellow suffering human, a chipper thinker who sees the rest of us, the ones who struggle to remember hope, as hopers who just need a few reminders. It's an adult book for adults, by a writer of clean prose who knows, really knows ...more
Tucker
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: existential, coaching
Nuanced musings on the definition of hope drawing from other thinkers whose names and ideas are new to me. I've admired Stern since her Because I Say So: Moral Authority's Dangerous Appeal. Although she doesn't ossify her definition of what hope means to her, she gives the reader enough insight into her thought process so that we can ballpark her position and think through the issues for ourselves. There's also interactive content (though the Kindle version from Humanist Press seems to have deac ...more
Amy McVay
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Watching the evolution of a writer is always an interesting study. After the critical success of "Because I Said So," Nikki tackled a topic more elusive than moral authority in "Hope in Small Doses."

"In most cases, hope still ties itself to certainty that something will occur as a result either of a higher power or the power of our minds." Stern, who is a humanist, approves the topic of hope from a very broad perspective, which engenders a great deal of respect from this progressive Christian a
...more
Andy
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are many reasons to read this book. First and foremost, it's the opportunity look at hope through different lenses. Nikki takes you on journey of discovery, which opens your eyes and your mind.

It would easy to presume that a book with such a title is just another feel good pop psychology tome. Not a chance. She uses reason to ask some serious questions. Her life experience, and her own personal journey offer the reader some concrete examples why hope is not overrated.

Nikki engages the re
...more
Guilherme
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In one chapter of his great “The magic of reality”, Richard Dawkins discusses the reasons why bad things happen. Contrary to a popular belief that we “attract” things according to the way we think about them (“She got sick because she is a very negative person!”), Dawkins recurs to what we could call a more mundane (and real) way to see life: bad things happen because things happen. Good things also happen because of that.
Some people are absolutely afraid of the idea that life is random, which m
...more
Gordon
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
With Hope in Small Doses, Nikki Stern hopes, no pun intended, to establish a concept of Hope in functional, reasonable, working terms. What she calls a sort of managed hope, is carefully distanced from passive, faith based belief and other wishful thinking expecting to achieve untenable outcomes dependent, perhaps, on the beneficence of an external source.

Stern explores hope through a sweeping survey of definition, personal and social anecdote, and historical perspectives. From Hesiod, Euripides
...more
Maria Heng
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Any workable form of hope has to divest itself from the twin anchors of expectation and certainty in order to stay strong and flexible in the face of life's obstacles."

Nikki Stern is intimately familiar with the pain of obstacles, of the unpredictable and uncertain, having lost her husband in the unforeseeable 9/11 attack, and then both her parents in quick succession. She writes from the experience of her own quest for hope, drawing meaningfully from her own life and from many fields of resear
...more
Karin Rego
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having experienced unimaginable loss, author Nikki Stern examines the relationship between "Hope" and life. Miraculously, Stern steers clear of sentimentality, and anger, in order to deliver a fascinating read, packed with insight. Hope In Small Doses transforms intellectual and philosophical examination into approachable, highly engaging, and often deeply moving material. Stern's voice reveals a delicious sense of humour which tempers her many complex observations to perfection! When I'm not re ...more
Amy
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Non-fiction is my favorite genre; I know that's weird most people like fiction. Nikki Stern's book is one great example of why I like non-fiction. Unlike fiction which gives voice to another character (unless it is first person), Nikki's voice is clear and penetrating and makes me think.

While I suspect we have more in common that we do not in common, we do have theological differences.

She has opened my mind to many different ways of thinking and I appreciate that.

Well done, Ms. Stern.
Morninglight Mama
Though this is a slight book coming in just around 130 pages, it wasn't a quick read for me because every section had me trying to wrap my head around another deep thought on the topic of hope and its relationship with faith and religion, happiness and expectations. What I thought at first was a simple concept-- hope-- turns out to be quite nuanced and thought-provoking, and I appreciated the author's openly non-deistic perspective.
Sheila
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For every action there is a reaction. being hopeful is a most positive one you can have. Hope comes in many forms and is always worth seeking out.
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Nikki Stern
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Nikki Stern is the author of several books and has contributed essays to others. Her first novel, THE FORMER ASSASSIN, is a top five category finalist in the 2018 Kindle Book Awards. The book is a suspense thriller about a wife, mother, and ex-assassin whose boss is bent on revenge.

HOPE IN SMALL DOSES is a 2015 Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist and a 2017 BookWorks book of the week. The book is
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“Whether we’re the largest, smallest, most or least significant thing in the universe makes for a marvelous late-night discussion. It’s not relevant to how we live in the here and now. We need to look around, take measure of ourselves, and decide what we can do and how much of it we do to improve our lives and the lives of as many others as we can reach.” 4 likes
“For every summons to a shining city on the hill or a promise of change we can believe in, we are presented with hundreds of examples of mudslinging and appeals to mob mentality. Rudeness is recast as honesty, greed is presented as ambition, and lines in the sand blur and move.” 0 likes
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