This is a book about spirituality, and if you choose to hear it this way, God. And at the same time I believe an atheist could listen and identify with it. In fact one of the phenomenal things about this book is that an atheist, agnotstic, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist could all sit with this book and identify with it in their own individual way, be it identifying with the individual, their god, or higher spiritual state of being.
While the book is along the spirituality line, it really reframes religions, all religions as part of the same whole. And he quotes and discusses the concept of “god” in many different religions, but ties them all back to a single concept. And specifically he discusses the teachings of Christianity and dispels, in an unbelievably eloquent way many of the misinterpretations of the original teachings that are prevalent today
But the book isn’t about God, it’s simply about one’s self, the author just pulls together western religion, eastern religion, and individual awareness in one framework and shows, with examples from various religions, and mostly from individual experience, how they all point back to the same thing.
If spirituality is not something you are interested in, and in fact it is only very minimally what I am interested in, you could as easily read and identify with this book on the level of a personal psychology guide. I believe that virtually anyone interested in their own well being will find that this book speaks to them on a level that makes sense for them in their life. To accomplish this is a truly magnificent feat, and the author has my deepest respect for accomplishing this seemingly impossible task.
I only got through half the book before giving up. The writer employs existing common sense recommendations to improve your life. Think positive, have goals, overcome your fears, etc. But he rarely reaches any depth with halfhearted analogies, doesn't provide much in terms of support for his recommendations, and often leaves the reader with not more than airy anecdotes such as "Think positive every day".
You would be far better off reading "The Power of Now", a quarter of which more concisely sums up the few beneficial recommendations in this book, while being truly powerful in its ability to reach inside of, and make it real, for the reader.
If the writer is not going to break new ground in what he's recommending, he'll need to do a better job at really reaching in to the hearts and minds of his audience and making them able to internalize the recommendations.
As is, the writer comes across as rather self absorbed, and more interested in writing a biography of his own success than he is in truly touching his readers. That's probably not an easy task, but then again, "Improve your life" self help books are not in short supply.
This book provided a nice history of the sciences that have brought us to the current day. It was enlightening and informative and written in a witty and easy to read style.
I enjoyed it, but I would only recommend it to someone who has an interest in reading about the sciences. It doesn't teach much on any particular topic, rather it gives a summary of the science, it's history, and current state.
I mistakenly purchased, and listened to this book when I meant to get the original "A brief history of Time" by Hawkins.
So now I have listened to both. In my opinion the original is a more rich and detailed book. Of course, that's the point of this book, to consolidate that one.
But I ask why? The original wasn't beyond most readers ability to understand, and if it was, they probably weren't the type of people reading it.
So my advice: Stick with the original.
Perhaps if you want you bright 6 year old to read such a book, this one would be a better option.
The irony: The beginning of the original (more detailed, and complex version) starts with a sound bite from "Audible Kids", this one does not - that seems backwards. Or perhaps I am just living time backwards - as Hawkins explains - our current theories of physics can't conclusively prove that this isn't the case. :)
I appreciated this book for it's very candid view of the white house administration. It discusses how decisions are made, and gives insight into the process of government at the highest levels (something most of us have little experience in).
I also thought that it gave a reasonably impartial view of the president and other key administration officials. Clearly McClellan takes some issue with how decisions are made, but from this book I came away with a more positive and more negative view of Bush and his advisers in different aspects of their leadership of this country.
All in all I appreciated the candid view of out countries administration and feel like I'm better able to make decisions about other leaders in the future because of it.
This book was fantastic, well written, exciting, suspenseful, and amazingly enough, simple, straight forward, and truthful.
The format of the book was interesting, divided between a documentary style, and that of a novel, but it ends up working very well.
The story is better than most fiction novels I've read, perhaps the intrigue of it's truth adds some to the suspense, but what an incredible story it is!
I finished this book in record time (which cost me some in my work productivity). I can only offer the highest possible praise for this book. For it's quality of writing, and for it's unbelievable storyline. I can't imagine anyone not being swept away by it.
Ok, if you're new to buying a home and know nothing about the subject, sure, you'll get something out of this book.
This is something like my third book on the topic, and I keep hoping to find something that goes into more substance about houses, financing, the process, etc.
He talks about subjects like financing, choosing a property, choosing a realtor, etc., but doesn't do a great job of explaining why you should go one route vs. another. He describes "what" everything is in the world of real estate, but never explains "why" I should go one route or another. He's not very prescriptive. While I understand we all come from different angles he needs to do more to give examples of different scenarios and why one would choose one path vs. another.
I am also a bit put off by his use of statistics and hearsay. He often times doesn't back up points he makes and statistics he uses with rational evidence and facts. I have been left to wonder whether I should really believe a number of points made in the book.
Ok, with all the bad out of the way, if this is your first book on real estate, you may be satisfied, so far this one is just slightly better than the average real estate book in my opinion. However, if you're like me and have gone through a few books, don't expect anything groundbreaking here.
I have used Pimsleur for Japanese, Polish, and Spanish now. The courses are hands down the most efficient way to get up to speed on a language.
While I have only started the Spanish lessons, they are fundamentally the same as all other languages.
The best example I can give is with Japanese, after finishing only 27 half hour courses I was able to navigate the country alone using virtually no English. I toured towns in which I had not booked any accommodations and in which even the tourist information office didn't speak English. I was able to accomplish all of the tasks (bus rides, getting a hotel, food, going to a public hot tub, etc.) on just 27 half hour lessons. I would never have believed that it was possible.
Of course just 27 lessons was just the bare minimum, so I recommend you finish as many as possible. But for only spending 30 minutes a day on the lessons it's phenomenal what you retain.
While this book wasn't bad, I didn't learn a lot about home buying. The author provide some very grounded advice about how best to invest in real estate for the long run.
If you are renting today and really don't know much about real estate, how it can benefit you, or where to start - then this book is for you! Consider this a 5 star rating.
For the rest of us who generally have a notion of what real estate is, how it can be a useful investment, and fundamentally where to begin - you won't glean a lot of new insight from this book. The information contained within is what I would classify as life advice. It is not a good reference to use as an introduction to the home buying experience, either for individual or investment purposes.
I thought this book was a good introduction to stock options. It's not long, but it covers the basics.
This book does not cover strategy. If you plan to invest in options this is a good starter but it won't teach you everything you know to successfully invest in options.
If you already understand the fundamentals of options then this book is probably a little too fundamental for you.
I have experience in stocks, and understand the basics of margin investing, short selling, and similar topics. I did not have much knowledge of options - so in my case this book was right at my level.
I have supplemented this book with another that covers option strategies but assumes the reader knows the basics.
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