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Tara Daves

Dallas, TX
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Well-researched and up-to-date... mostly

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-26-19

Bailor's excellent reading of his book keeps me engaged, and I find it well-written and compelling. Much of the research is on the cutting edge, in stark contrast to the US government guidelines, and I find myself absolutely convinced of the verity of the premise given in the title, that the calorie's role in weight and health is not backed by evidence.

There are at least two "facts" mentioned in the book which have been disproven (whether their inclusion is a matter of timing or motive, I can't guess): 1. we now know that sugar does NOT make kids hyper, and 2. it is also not a requirement that everyone drink 64 oz of water each day (and without enough salt, it could be dangerous). My main criticism, however, is that the assertion that there is such a thing as a "healthy weight" is never questioned. Weight loss is focused on exclusively as the method to increase health, mood, strength, and energy, even though passing lip-service is paid to factors such as familial and genetic influences and underlying and past bodily conditions. On the one hand, Bailor tells us to get rid of our scale, forget perfection, and be simple, while on the other giving so many dos and don'ts that I feel guilty for not enjoying kale and seafood, and for having digestive sensitivities that basically require "efficient", "insane" foods be my staple diet.

Be warned about the half-day "masterclass" that features prominently on the website: I could only listen for two of the four hours, because it was much more like an MLM spiel than a class. Just read the book, and utilize the website for graphics and supplemental info, and don't get suckered in.

I had no idea

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-13-19

Yes I knew that some cultural practices around the world relating particularly to women are cruel and inhumane. What I didn't understand was that these practices keep half the population in actual slavery and all of the population in abject poverty. I also didn't realize that most of the heavy, physical labor that we in the west consider "men's work" is actually "women's work" in undeveloped and developing regions, because women are the servants and men are the served. And, ironically, it's a cultural battle to get women just the basic necessities to actually do the work, such as shoes and seeds. I could go on about young girls becoming sex slaves via "marriage", women who are injured in the birthing process being banished from their own homes, and the outcasting of widows. It's just too heartbreaking.

I feel a new sense of awe for my sisters who keep living in such conditions, and even more for those who fight for change. They are starting to want their daughters' lives to be different. Even men are catching on that educating the girls elevates the community.

I also admire the men and women who choose to serve these populations. Melinda Gates doesn't just administrate or donate, but rather goes there and lives with the people and talks to the folks. I don't know if I could do it, so I really appreciate those who do.

The Jetsons Age is Coming

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-09-19

Forget the zombie apocalypse: the real upheaval, according to Andres Oppenheimer, will be the transition from manual labor of all kinds to the mechanical, computerized workforce. In ages past, such societal transformations have always gone on. The difference today, and in the next few decades, is the swiftness of the change. Schools must adapt from rote learning to "soft skills" (I despise that term) training, and every productive person must become a lifelong learner with an entrepreneurial mindset. In other words, the worklife is fixin' to become a constant hustle.

The author contends that there will be a short-term disaster as many workers, regardless of diploma or degree, will be made redundant, resulting in large numbers of unemployable people and therefore a socially volatile situation. However, this will be followed by an age of freedom from the grind and the greater ability to pursue one's dreams, foundationally sustained by universal basic income. I don't entirely disagree, but I wonder how many will remain in the community of consumers, and who will be relegated to serfdom.

Unexpected joy

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-15-19

When I first started listening, I thought it was a trailer, because the "reading" consists mostly of interviews. I found it extremely enjoyable and encouraging to hear the actual words from actual people - kind of like a podcast, but longer. So, I'm not only counting this as one of my 52 books in 52 weeks, I'm putting it near the top of my mental ranking.

The author participates in at least three 3-day outings outside: one for war veterans, one for former sex slaves, and one solo. I was impressed that, although not scientifically "proven" via double-blind controlled investigation, the biological and mental tests showed increases in cognitive function and decreases in stress and blood pressure. I can't wait for the real study to happen, and I volunteer!

Breathtakingly thorough

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-27-19

This is by no means a self-help book, unless you're just a huge nerd like me. I found the scope both broad and deep, looking at all aspects of diagnostic and positive psychology, married with philosophy, religious history and practice, politics, and culture. The "happiness hypothesis" as presented here, to me, is comprised of self-actualization, connection to others, service, purpose, and spiritual experience. Although the author is an unwavering atheist, he acknowledges that something of the sacred lies in man (as he says, regardless of the actual existence of God), and that this is entirely different than any other animal.

More inspirational than practical

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-13-19

The anecdotal points in the book are sound and sensible. Examples ranging from Thomas Edison to Alexander the Great are, well, great, in that they exemplify the tenacity - even lunacy - required to be successful. The difference between actual success and the potential rewards for success, as well as our motivations for both striving for, and alternately avoiding, success are outlined succinctly. I was hoping for more firsthand accounts of failures leading to success; because these were missing, the actual mindset and roller coaster emotions of the journey are likewise absent.

Relevant for any process improvement

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-09-19

The examples of starting process improvements with the end-user, customer, etc. in mind is so relevant today. Instead of creating a product, let's imagine the entire infrastructure needed for our invention to actually be useful and in-demand. Instead of doing things the same ol' way and chasing our tails, let's figure out what the true gaps are that cause us grief.

4 stars for performance because a little monotone.

It's about lust

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-09-19

This would have been my 26th book this year, and it's literally the first one I'm returning. If you need an erotic fix, this is it. If you're interested in the experiences of medical education, look elsewhere.

From the heart

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-04-19

I especially enjoyed the stories of growing up on the south side of Chicago, in a working class family, not well-off but well cared for. The humanity of the Robinson family speaks to me the love, care, education, and experiences that root a person in strength and resilience. Like Michelle Obama, I have no taste for politics, and my eyes were opened to the severity of sacrifice made by the family, relatives, friends, teachers, and anyone else connected with the First Family in any way. Mostly, I appreciate the way the Obamas never gave up who they are at the core, and used their personal experiences to minister compassion, joy, and shared grief with anyone of any color or class.

Although I'm more moderate/conservative in my ideas of what role government should have in society, and I disagree with some of the "progress" made during the Obama administration, I still appreciate the insider view of the life at the top of government. Her hatred of President Trump got a bit old (even though I concede that he's a hotheaded narcissist whose lack of presidential demeanor is distasteful at best). After hearing of the friendly exchange between outgoing First Lady Laura Bush and herself, I hoped to hear of how she handled the transition with Melania Trump - she didn't tell. She did mention that in her disappountment on that inauguration day, she gave up trying to smile. I completely understand that after 8+ years having everything about yourself and your appearance in the headlines, you must be exhausted; my empathy, however, does wear a bit thin in the angry tone of the end of the book (especially as the author herself is the reader).

If you want a great story, read the first half of the book. The gory details of life as the family of the most powerful person in the world are intriguiging, if a bit long and overly detailed for less than one fifth of the author's life. Overall, I give the book and the reading 5 stars because the content definitely drew me in without putting me off too much. And I really want to meet the author's mother - I bet she really is a spitfire!

Timeless. Classic.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-24-19

I've heard of folks who read How to Win Friends and Influence People once a year. Every year. The book is so packed with inspiration, admonition, and instruction that I feel I shall not grasp its entirety were I to read it for 100 years. Perhaps I'll try anyway.

I love the origin story, that it wasn't supposed to be a book but rather a lecture. Over many seminars, the lecture grew in time and breadth, until it became a series of classes. Though the stories, vocabulary, and formal (yet clear) writing style bespeak a different era, the contents are just as fitting in the information age as in the industrial age. I just hope our future AI overlords use some of that machine learning to read and apply these principles as well.