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I will probably never buy jewelry after reading this book. I am not sure how much of the story is based upon the real jewelry business, but if it is tI will probably never buy jewelry after reading this book. I am not sure how much of the story is based upon the real jewelry business, but if it is then it is a shady business.
The characters do enough cocaine and meth to kill an elephant, and the story is all about some general nastiness.
I listened to the audiobook, which is well done complete with Texas accents.
The two main characters, brothers from Canada in the jewelry business in Texas, are compelling is as Lisa, their dysfunctional and destructive love interest. My minor complaint is that I didn't get to know some of the characters on the periphery a little better -- the honest brokers who acted as mentor figures to Bobby.
However, the overall structure is great. It's a coming of age novel that's completely twisted around, stood on its head, and pickpocketed.
However, after a while, it sort of all gets depressing. ...more
This book has changed the way I work. Author Winifred Gallagher has marshaled quite a bit of research into fourteen chapters and has made it approachaThis book has changed the way I work. Author Winifred Gallagher has marshaled quite a bit of research into fourteen chapters and has made it approachable with a good takeaway at the end of each chapter that can be integrated into several areas of life where attention is important. If you have read Malcolm Gladwell and John Medina, much of what you read here will not be new.
Gallagher learned about the power of attention for ill or for good when she was diagnosed with cancer and decided not to let it "monopolize [her:] attention" as it wanted but instead to "focus on [her:] life instead." As she endured treatment for the illness, she began paying attention to the present, realizing that it was all she had. The experience was a catalyst to the writing of Rapt.
Her thesis, and the realization she got during treatment was that "life is the creation of what you focus on -- and what you don't."
There is much here on attention and how it works and how we are misusing technology to our detriment and to the detriment of those around us.
By and large, we are not multitaskers. Some repetitive or physical actions can be done together -- the proverbial act of walking and chewing bubblegum. However, we aren't programmed to do things such as talk and check email or to drive and text. One activity or both will suffer as a consequence.
In fact, it is hard to be truly productive unless you enter the "flow" state, which requires focused concentrated effort ninety to one hundred twenty minutes. Any interruption, even if for a minute or less (consider the little guitar noise on outlook telling you about a new message, or the siren call of the blackberry's buzz even when you don't actually read the message), is a derailing event requiring about fifteen minute's total recovery time. As a result, an entire day can pass with the result of no substantively completed work but with lots of emails read even if not answered.
Her chapter on creativity is equally compelling. In short, a spark of creative inspiration is the result of hours of contemplation or study. If you constantly short-circuit attention, you are not likely to be the next Wordsworth or experience some sort of creative spark no matter your chosen profession.
Finally, the chapter on relationships and quality of life is worth the read. How you frame the action of those around you shapes fundamentally how successful you are in your friendships, lovelife, and career. It all comes down to showing up and attending to what is on your agenda day in and day out, focusing positively on those around you, and framing the people and events you encounter with a focus on the positive. Most significantly, it comes down to being fully present moment to moment.
Such is the difference, Gallagher suggest between a life lived fully and a life lived that is a nightmare from which you will hopefully wake up (think the buddha's enlightment)before it is too late.
After I heard Wright interviewed on the Bob Edwards Show, I bought this book and Queued up Generation Kill on Netflix. I really like Wright's exploratAfter I heard Wright interviewed on the Bob Edwards Show, I bought this book and Queued up Generation Kill on Netflix. I really like Wright's exploration of people not ordinarily covered by other journalists. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. The plot is essentially as follows: Sobol, a genius computer game programmer, dies of cancer. In his final months, he setsI really enjoyed this book. The plot is essentially as follows: Sobol, a genius computer game programmer, dies of cancer. In his final months, he sets in to motion a Daemon, a networked personality, whose existence is triggered by Sobol's obituary. The network takes over entire corporations and moves toward taking over the world as the book progresses.
The book is initially frightening, and the plot appears to follow a classic good versus evil conflict. However, I soon began realize that the Daemon is actually fostering a sort of Wikipedia style of government with economic and political power spread over an expansive network. Perhaps the network as government is the ultimate democracy -- or maybe a post-democratic governing structure.
It is interesting to envision a world governed by and through the Daemon. The economic structure is certainly not socialistic nor is the governing structure totalitarian as you might imagine it is for most of the book.
This world may be Friedman's The World is Flat to its logical conclusion. I will take this story with me into my next read, Fareed Zakaria's The Post American World.
Not a perfect book by any means. Some of the dialogue is third-rate melodramatic, but this is really a minor criticism. The book is great....more
I really liked this book though I did not finish it. While this is the story of a man, it is also the story how a thousand dollars grew to billions. WI really liked this book though I did not finish it. While this is the story of a man, it is also the story how a thousand dollars grew to billions. While I enjoyed learning about Buffett, I ultimately grew tired of the intricate details of deal after deal after deal.
The early childhood stories are great as is the story of Buffett's friendship with Katherine Graham....more
This book is part Goodfellas, part ER, and a small part Jaws. The author has an extensive medical background and tells a good tale. The ending is coolThis book is part Goodfellas, part ER, and a small part Jaws. The author has an extensive medical background and tells a good tale. The ending is cool if a bit implausible. Along the way, you will learn a good bit about how to win a fight and some interesting things about the witness protection program....more