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Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don't Seem to Matter. . . But Really Do
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Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don't Seem to Matter. . . But Really Do

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  108 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
“Challenges us to rethink our circle of relationships. . . . A mind-expanding and heart-opening book.”—Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence

Our barista, our mechanic, our coworker—they populate our days, but we often take them for granted. Yet these are the people who bring novelty and information into our lives, allow us to exercise different parts of ourselves,
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published August 24th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published July 28th 2009)
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Melinda Blau
I'm a bit biased, because I wrote this book. But everyone tells me that reading it changes the way they walk in the world. This book is about the people we take for granted, or perhaps don't even notice.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educational
I love how this book gave me an entirely different perspective on the people in my life. While I knew that some of the people around me had a lot to offer me, I now see how everyone has a lot to offer, whether I realize it at the time or not. I also feel motivated to add more people into my circle of friend/acquaintances.
I've re-evaluated interactions I've had in the past, and hope to be more aware of those I have in the future.
For reasons I don't understand, while reading this book, I had seve
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
*Strangers among us*

Sure, we all know that our close relationships with family, partners, and friends influence our lives in significant and obvious ways. But, what about the casual relationships we have with have those outside of our immediate circles?

Delving into the realm of our more subtle relations with "consequential strangers," Blau and Fingerman provide a fascinating look at how the "minor players" in our lives collectively--and surprisingly--have a major role in how our lives function a
Oct 28, 2009 rated it liked it
"Consequential Strangers" has a pretty interesting premise, and was heavily researched and well thought out. However, it probably could have been shorter and reached the same conclusions. It says what we probably already know intuitively: that a person is even more happy, healthy and satisfied with life if he knows and interfaces with a myriad of people every week. Connections with people you only know from certain places are of high importance to your sense of self and place, and often can lead ...more
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I myself have travelled the globe and met so many interesteing people, but have also been in dark places and low times where the unconditional help and advice from strangers has been more benefical than one might think. I'm not a shy person so many of these stories i can really relate to. This book really should keep your faith that there is good in people and there is hope. It's an inspiring book that isn't meant to be that way, it's just finding strength and support all around you. It truly de ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
I honestly wish that Consequential Strangers was a total stranger from my bookshelf. This book took a simple premise, that strangers and acquaintances are important in our lives, and somehow managed to find enough anecdotes ways to rephrase her point that it came out to 276 pages. Were the author more eloquent she could have saved herself the effort of writing a book and fit it in a fortune cookie or a tweet. I didn't learn ANYTHING new, and the author quotes her previous book. I don't think tha ...more
This was an interesting book, but there seemed to be quite a bit of repetition. Not that that is a bad thing (repetition is the mother of memory), but I ended up skimming parts because I felt like I had already read it. There are good ideas and ways of recognizing how important these "consequential strangers" (it also seems that this is just the authors' term for acquaintances) and how much they play a part in your life.
Joseph Santiago
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book that touches on bullying, the affects of everyday encounters, workplace dynamics, and sheds light on how we live socially. This is a great book that I have returned to many times and took my time combing through. If only you all could see the dog eared pages and my underlines that are ready to be used for future articles. This is a good book for the professional and the curious community member.

Mr Joe
Addie LeMaster
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It opened my eyes to so many things I didn't realize before about the people I interact with on a daily basis. A must read for anyone who wants to know more about those around them and themselves. It's very insightful and will change the way I look at things from now on.
Jason Breedlove
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I definitely liked it better than Freakonomics. It starts out kind of slow, but it has some great information in it. Since starting over in life; I'm a recovering addict and reformed inmate, my current life is based on people I know at the store, at the gym, at the library etc.
Sep 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
Any book that's simply written based on research is really not for me. I also don't ever take the attitude that they're trying to erase here, of "people who don't seem to matter." Everyone matters...
Sep 17, 2009 rated it liked it
I especially liked the discussions regarding online relationships.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it liked it
this says what they are, from the internet age to now. but not how to keep them as allies.
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Some great points and stories - but rambled a bit
Mary Drummond
Jul 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Textbook theory on the roles that strangers make in our lives. Good book if you are studying physcology.
Jeremiah Parker
Especially like the chapter on Being Spaces. We need more third places.
Sep 24, 2014 rated it liked it
It was very interesting, but I feel that it could have been a lot shorter.
Heidi Gardner
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Jan 14, 2012
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Aug 01, 2014
Leigh M
rated it it was ok
Sep 09, 2009
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Feb 21, 2014
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Sep 14, 2009
Nate Meyer
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May 27, 2017
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Sep 16, 2009
rated it it was ok
Feb 11, 2013
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Dec 27, 2013
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Oct 09, 2009
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Award-winning journalist Melinda Blau has been researching and writing about relationships and social trends for more than thirty years. With her (lucky) thirteenth book, Consequential Strangers: People Who Don't Seem to Matter...But Really Do, she widens her lens to include the surprisingly vital connections that extend beyond family and close friendsa subject that has taken her into the world of ...more

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“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us…. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. —Albert Einstein” 0 likes
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