A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
A solid survey of behavioral economics literature related to the premise that the wide range of choices we have (what to read, how to read it, what rating to give it, where to post our review) actually ends up making us unhappier (tyranny of small decisions). Schwartz's summary is similar to a lot of those pop-economic books that seem to pop up regularly and sell quite well because they both tell us something we kinda already suspected, but also gently surprise us with counter-intuitive ideas at the same time. We are surprised, we are also a little validated: just little bit of supply with a very light touch demand.
This book belongs snug on the bookshelf next to: anything by Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics, Predictably Irrational, Nudge, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), etc. All interesting, all worth the time (as long as the time is < 5 hrs), but none of them are brilliant. They are all Gladwell-like in their reductionism (this is why they all sell so well to the business community and are pimped heavily by Forbes to TED). I am both attracted and repelled by the form. They seem to span the fissure between academic and pop, between economics and self-help. I read them and I end up feeling like I know a bit more about myself, and NOW I'm just disappointed in that bastard for a couple more rational reasons.
This is three of her books in one and will save you some dough.
I know people that follow Pema Chodron’s book like some people follow the bible. However, I don’t think they've ever heard her talk. In the first book (talk) she talks about recent to the events before the events of this talk like weeks before she talks about losing her mind with her granddaughter. She talks about how monks that are suppose to be these people in complete harmony with the world around them really aren't. She talks about learning to deal with this and why its hard even for the Buddhist masters. In the second book she talks about compassion for everyone. She goes into depth concerning tonglen meditation. Which I've tried and it’s very hard at first. It’s very powerful once you get the hang of it. It’s about changing our relationship with pain and pleasure. Why run from pain? Why embrace pleasure? What is the real difference? I learned that the difference between pain and pleasure is perception. And it’s not easy to see it. I learned in the third book that doing tonglen meditation is very helpful.