Highly. The material is universally relevant, and Professor McGonigal's hits and misses with live audiences over various semesters have resulted in storytelling that unfolds in an engaging manner.
There were so many that it's hard to pick just one. For me, it was her advice to build my willpower muscle by choosing one small task to do each day, even if it's not relevant to my willpower goal.
Not intentionally. I was disappointed that the author did not narrate the book herself. I had heard her on a podcast interview with Dr. Kiki, and that was partly what got me interested in her book. I was looking forward to hearing her work expressed in her own voice. To me, Walter Dixon sounded a little like the voice on a GPS. It was also disappointing that some listeners thought that the author was a man because the narrator was a man.
Definitely. In fact, I'm making a second pass through the book now, listening to one chapter per week as the author suggested, because I lacked the willpower the first time through to stop listening at the end of each chapter.
Who doesn't struggle the issue of willpower? What a great treatment of a universal topic!
What I appreciated most about this book was Chris Kyle's honesty and relative humility. There were definitely parts that made this Texan uncomfortable: In my world, friends don't waterboard each other or choke each other out, and the good guys don't keep track of how many people they have killed. Nevertheless, Kyle's willingness to share his experiences and opinions helped me understand a career path, make that a way of life, that only a few people are qualified to pursue.
Adding his wife, Taya's, point of view gave the story a dimension that nothing else could have, and I liked the way the narrator changed his voice to represent hers. (In fact, I liked the narrator more when he didn't try to affect an accent that no Texan has ever heard before :-)
At times I thought _American Sniper_ could have been shorter in places, but I quickly forgave it that when I realized a good way into it that this was the same person who had been in the news recently. This is his story, in his own words. How many fallen "warriors" as Kyle called them get to leave such a poignant gift to their loved ones and the world.
The employee who would rather research the facts than be the first to blurt out an opinion. The child who turns down play dates because she needs time alone to recharge. The neighbor who delights in catching up over a cup of coffee but quickly declines the annual block party.
How do we help these people come out of their shells? According to Susan Cain, author of Quiet, we don't need to "fix" these behaviors, we need to treasure them!
Quiet takes us into the workplace, the classroom, the megachurch, and our own homes to examine what scientific research says about the differences, strengths, and weaknesses between so-called introverts and extraverts.
Cain also explores how these qualities fare in Eastern cultures versus Western cultures, whether groups or individuals demonstrate more creativity when using brainstorming to solve problems, and how you can tell whether a baby is going to grow up to be an introvert or extravert. (Really.)
A gold mine of insights for parents, teachers, friends, managers, spouses, or anyone who's ever chosen the bubble bath over the company picnic, Quiet will leave you wondering, Where has this book been all my life?!
In _Collapse_, Jared Diamond thoughtfully and respectfully examines the complex interplay of factors that lead to a society's success or failure. Although it reads like a college textbook at times, and some of the material could have been edited out with no loss of clarity, it certainly is a fascinating survey of various cultures and an illuminating guide to a complex set of issues facing all of humanity.
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