In this book Dr. Fiore provides a unique insight on causes of procrastination and some surprising strategies to deal with it. Having read some 3 or 4 books over 10 years in an effort to deal with the habit (I just never quite get around to it!), I have found Dr. Fiore's ideas among the most effective yet.
Some have commented on his narration style, and yes it is a little slow. I found turning up the narration speed on my iPod the only remedy needed.
For me this book, plus 'Eat That Frog', provide everything one needs to know to change behaviour and stop procrastinating. Now it is up to me!
Stories of war frequently fall into simplistic clichés, with portrayals of faultless heroes fighting nameless evil. Sean Parnell though, has avoided all the clichés (well almost all) to write a lucid, engrossing depiction of war in the 21st century.
He provides a rich, complete picture of the infantryman's experience, both physical and psychological, when trying to enforce peace in the face of insurgency. Sean avoids the political issues of why US soldiers are in Afghanistan, but doesn't shy away from the realities that his soldiers face as a result.
The book's most important contributions comprise its examination of the motives of each soldier for going to war, and how the army's organisation, their training, and their battle experience builds the intense brotherhood between them. In this Sean has given a contemporary perspective on a profession as old as human civilisation, that of the warrior.
After the typical opening of a young adult romance, the story moves into the brutal consequences of a 16-year old girl being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This sets the scene for the core story, which starts 12 years later.
For most of the book, Ms. Roberts provides a graceful, witty story of growing love between a fearful women with an Asperger's-like character and a gentle, confident man. Over this romance hovers the dark shadow of potential discovery and subsequent violence. This tension gives the book its unique character. I don't read romance novels, but knowing that the unfinished story of the book's start needs resolution, I stayed with it.
Resolution occurred, but it avoided cliché, so I got to the end realising that the journey was more fun than the story finished. Consequently I listened to it all again, and again.
If ever one needs an example of practice makes perfect, read an early Discworld novel and then read Snuff. With Snuff, the Pratchett pair have written a delightful, gracefully paced and poignant novel. It's full of humour too.
The story stars a frequent character in Discworld novels, Commander Sam Vimes. He has matured along with the books, but retained his core character that endears him to both myself and his wife Lady Sybil Ramkin. However, like all Discworld novels, the book contains a delightful ensemble cast, with Willikins, Chief Constable Upshot and Lady Sybil being just a few interesting people that I would love to know better.
In Snuff, Terry Pratchett has composed a well-paced plot that moves steadily along, introducing multiple threads, to eventually tie up many in an satisfying way. Snuff has none of the indulgent flights of fancy that appeared in some of the earlier novels, and just the right number of side-tracks.
Of course, like all good Pratchett novels, Snuff contains a light, but thoughtful meditation on several significant philosophical issues. Three that stuck in my mind are the 'rule of law', slavery and the treatment of minorities on the fringe of society. I can think of no more entertaining manner to consider a complex issue than read a Pratchett novel.
But let me not forget the lashings of humour that Snuff contains. In the course of Sam's journey into the countryside, Pratchett lovingly pokes fun at cricket, Jane Austin novels and the countryside itself.
With Snuff, the Pratchett pair have written their best novel yet!
This book takes sex as a mechanism of evolution for its scope, and doesn't stray much beyond this. It covers all aspects of sexual reproduction, mainly from the perspectives of anatomy and physiology. It also covers some aspects of behaviour that arise directly out of physiology, but doesn't go into any depth about sexual behaviour beyond what directly relates to evolutionary theory.
For example, the book's discussion on homosexuality considers how this appears to be a counter-evolutionary trait. It then analyses homosexuality from the perspective of how it may contribute to evolutionary success, or how it may arise as a byproduct of other genetic traits that bring evolutionary success. This is certainly a refreshing view, but probably controversial to some.
Though the book does limit itself to only published academic research (almost), it presents many ideas that arises from only limited research, and thus must be considered as tentative knowledge. To be fair, Sharon Moalem does frequently make this clear throughout the book, along with her repeated statements that we are rational creatures not completely enthralled to our genetic urges.
Overall, I recommend this book to senior secondary school and university students looking to round out their knowledge of sex.
Finished listening to The Millennium Trilogy - fantastic books of our time. Stieg Larsson has created intricately detailed works that engaged us through their direct style and spare prose. They seem books that depend upon the Internet, both as a central element of the stories, and as a source of background details.
The density of characters and detail of events described show Stieg Larsson's journalistic background. Together they create a the steady, grim pace leading to a series of violent encounters upon which the stories revolve and resolve.
They are long books, and have flat spots, but they dragged us in to hold our attention for 80 hours of listening.
Karen's adventures rate as true fantasies, gracefully written and narrated. Her sexual journey takes you along for a fun, out-there ride. My wife and I enjoyed sharing it all vicariously, which is much safer and more fun.
'Three Men In A Boat' was a hit when published and it is still now. The story of George, Harris and Jack rowing up the Thames river for their summer holiday comes full of comical moments and delightful observations. Most importantly, you will laugh out loud lots and lots. This book is not just for children, it is for all.
Though I was engaged for the whole 18 hours, the plot disappointed me. A key element of the original Bourne books was the uncertainty of whether Jason was a hero or anti-hero, and the authenticity of Bourne's pursuers. All had a gritty, credible realism.
In 'The Bourne Legacy' everything comes to us black and white, and the primary villain, Stefan Spalco, comes straight from a 1980's Bond movie - farcical and cartoonish. And Stefan heads an aid organisation that is really a vendor of terrorism and assassination. Come on, give us a break.
In the end, I was disappointed in myself for listening to whole thing.
Predictably Irrational provides us a stack full of tips for living in a western consumer society. Though I get a little irritated by Dan Ariely pushing some overtly political perspectives, most of this book provides real insights into our behaviour in the commercial world. His descriptions on how advertising and sales techniques try to push us to buy, and how the economic theory of supply and demand doesn't actually work, provided me with real benefit.
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