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    1. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide
    2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta
    3. The Book of Awakening: Having
    4. Run Like a Mother: How to Get
    5. The Emperor of All Maladies: A
    6. The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded
    7. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes,
    8. Outliers: The Story of Success
    9. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret
    10. A Course In Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual
    11. SoulPancake: Chew on Life's Big
    12. Straight Talk, No Chaser: How
    13. The Playbook: Suit up. Score chicks.
    14. The Tipping Point: How Little
    15. Publication Manual of the American
    16. How to Survive the End of the
    17. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
    18. The Lean Belly Prescription: The
    19. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without
    20. Promise Me

    1. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
    by Timothy Ferriss
    list price: $27.00 -- our price: $13.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 030746363X
    Publisher: Crown Archetype
    Sales Rank: 8
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Thinner, bigger, faster, stronger... which 150 pages will you read?

    Is it possible to:
    Reach your genetic potential in 6 months?
    Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours?
    Lose more fat than a marathoner by bingeing?
    Indeed, and much more. This is not just another diet and fitness book.

    The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, fixated on one life-changing question:

    For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results?

    Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women.

    From the gym to the bedroom, it’s all here, and it all works.

    YOU WILL LEARN (in less than 30 minutes each):
    How to lose those last 5-10 pounds (or 100+ pounds) with odd combinations of food and safe chemical cocktails.

    * How to prevent fat gain while bingeing (X-mas, holidays, weekends)
    * How to increase fat-loss 300% with a few bags of ice
    * How Tim gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, without steroids, and in four hours of total gym time
    * How to sleep 2 hours per day and feel fully rested
    * How to produce 15-minute female orgasms
    * How to triple testosterone and double sperm count
    * How to go from running 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers in 12 weeks
    * How to reverse “permanent” injuries
    * How to add 150+ pounds to your lifts in 6 months
    * How to pay for a beach vacation with one hospital visit
    And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  There are more than 50 topics covered, all with real-world experiments, many including more than 200 test subjects.

    You don't need better genetics or more discipline. You need immediate results that compel you to continue.

    That’s exactly what The 4-Hour Body delivers.
    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars Here's what I got out of it, December 14, 2010
    I enjoyed the book. I'm not going to claim that the book is perfect or earth-shattering or anything like that. I did find it entertaining to read all the stuff Tim Ferriss put himself through. I've also benefited from some of his recommendations (though not all). Here's what's in the book so you can make your own decision. I've read all 571 pages and tried most of the strategies (I had my copy for a while because I got my hands on an advanced copy).

    Ferriss spent more than a decade researching, monitoring, and noting the progress of his own mind and body. He served as his own laboratory genea pig and also played the role of a doctor, physical therapist, and coach to prepare for this book. Like a school boy, Ferris teaches you how to get your classwork done fast so you can go out and play. He asks you to be skeptical of the book and try only that which you think will help you.

    Here's what's in it:

    Chapter 1: Fundamentals--First And Foremost

    * Ferriss describes the "Mininum Effective Dose" (doing the bare minimum to gain the most desired outcome).

    Chapter 2: Ground Zero--Getting Started and Swaraj

    * Uses Mahatma Gandhi reference to make the case that only we can govern our body and destiny by what we purposely choose to do.

    Chapter 3: Subtracting Fat

    Five rules for cutting body fat:
    1. Avoid "white" carbohydrates
    2. Eat the same few meals over and over again
    3. Don't drink calories
    4. Don't eat fruit
    5. Take one day off per week

    * The Lost Art of Bingeing: Specific steps to minimize fat gain while splurging

    Chapter 4: Adding Muscle

    * Building the Perfect Posterior
    * Ferriss turns the table for readers who wish to gain weight by offering strategies on how to gain 34 pounds in 28 days with exercises like the Occam's Protocoli, the Bike-Shed Effect, and GOMAD (Gallon of Milk a Day).

    Chapter 5: Improving Sex

    * Ferriss tells a story about a promise he made to a female yoga instructor who have never experienced an orgasm in her life that he "would fix her inability to orgasm"
    * the women has to bring herself "there."
    * men need to change the angle and pressure during penetration.

    * The 15-min Female Orgasm
    1. Explain to partner that you will touch her
    2. Get into position
    3. Find the Upper-Quadrant Point of the Clitoris, and Stroke Lightly--for 15 minutes.

    Chapter 6: Perfecting Sleep

    How to Fall Asleep Faster:
    * Focus on getting to sleep
    * 67�F to 70�F is the best room temperature to fall asleep
    * Eat a large fat-and protein-dominated meal 3 hours before bedtime
    * Use low light in the bedroom
    * Take a cold bath an hour before bed
    * Use a humidifier to generate cool mist
    * Try to sleep in the half-military crawl position

    How to Sleep Less and Feel Great
    * Learn how to manipulate the sleep cycle to stay in REM sleep longer
    * Take frequent 20-min naps throughout the day

    Chapter 7: Reversing Injuries

    * The $10,000 Fix: Ferriss cured his "permanent" injuries by receiving a concoction of chemicals (i.e. Platelet-rich plasma, Stem cell factor, Bone morphogenic proteint-7, Insulin-like growth factor 1) via injection.

    The Cheaper Fix in Stages:
    * Stage 1: Movement
    * Stage 2: Manipulaiton
    * Stage 3: Medication
    * Stage 4: Surgery

    Chapter 8: Running Faster and Farther

    * Jumping Higher: Joe DeFranco, a renowned trainer of the NFL Scouting Combine, worked with Ferriss on his shoulder drive, arm position before the jump, squat stance and hip flexors that allowed Ferriss to jump vertically three inches higher in 48 hours.
    * Running Faster: Joe DeFranco also coached Ferriss on how to run the 40-yard dash faster by correcting Ferriss's line-and-arm position at the start line. Ferriss was advised to keep his head down, his knee head of his toes, chin tucked and upper body head of lower body, and to take few steps. Ferriss improved his 40-yard dash by .33 seconds in 48 hours.
    * Running Further: Ferriss trains by running 400-meter repeatedly (over and over again) while monitoring quantity of repeats, maximum effort percentage, and rest time. Ken Mierke, a world-champion triathlete helped Ferriss with his stride rate, lean position, and arm movement. With preparation, biomechanics, and training, Ferriss was able to increase his running distance of 5K to 50K in 12 weeks.

    Chapter 9: Getting Stronger
    The gems in this chapter to become stronger as experimented by Ferriss include:
    * Dynamic stretching
    * Bench press, push-ups, deadlift to knees
    * Static Stretching
    * Keep "time under tension" while lifting under 10 seconds to avoid muscle burn.
    * "Lift heavy but not hard"
    * Keep training times (day or night) consistent.

    Chapter 10: From Swimming to Swinging
    * Ferriss learned how to swim effortlessly within 10 days
    * How to swing a bat like Babe Ruth
    * How to hold breath longer Houdini, and David Blaine

    Chapter 11: On Longer and Better Life
    * Take 5-10 grams of Creatine Monohydrate per day
    * Fasting and Protein Cycling
    * Donate blood

    My biggest criticism is the book didn't do enough with the mind part. For that, you might want to read Emotional Intelligence 2.0. That book did a great deal for my mind.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Over 100 Five Star reviews in less than a day?, December 14, 2010
    Pro: It has a lot of great information for people who are new to dieting and exercise.
    Easy to read. The split into different chapters you can read without having to read the whole book was a smart choice.
    Simple programs.

    Con: All the information isn't exactly new or just in this book. For example, the diet is Paleo, which is fine, but not what I expected from the ads. I really hoped for something new here, and what is new sounds dubious at best.
    Some of the claims in the books description are a little exaggerated.
    The work out is not the best. It's great if you are new to working out, but it's not enough for someone who is already athletic and looking to improve. If you want to be the best athlete you can, this will take you far but it will not get you there.
    Reversing permanent injuries can be expensive.

    I have a problem with his scientific method. He did a lot of these experiments only on himself, and one after another in a short period of time. His results might be skewed. I'm currently applying a few of his suggestions and have been for 2 weeks. I will update this review in the future if there is any radicle change, but as of now nothing has really happened.

    I also do not like that this book has gotten so many perfect reviews so quickly, and that critical reviews are being removed.

    All in all, the book is grand if you need to be introduced to the word of nutrition and exercise. But if you have read widely on the subjects already and looking for something different and radically new, this book doesn't really deliver.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent, Holes, and Doubts, December 16, 2010
    I started reading this book and was enjoying it. Nice writing style, interesting theories and things to try. But this is not a novel where interesting and enjoyment count. This is a "self-help" body transformation guide where results count.

    I went in with an open mind and started reading the chapters on diet and fat loss, which I liked. Nutritional science is not my specialty.

    I then moved into the weight lifting sections. Now I am no Arnold but I know a bit about iron. I started noticing a lot of things.

    Tim will mention powerlifters who bench 800 pounds. He will fail to mention they wear bench shirts which add 100's of pounds to the total. He will mention past powerlifting champions coached by Marty Gallagher who used linear periodization to build strength. He will fail to mention the enormous amounts of steroids these specific powerlifters used. One was even busted and ratted out fellow lifters. Tim is not telling the whole story. Just parts.

    Little inconsistencies stood out. You do not need to add mass to gain strength because strength is a skill. Then some sections later the only way to get stronger is to add mass??? Huh? Which is it?

    He relates a story how he gained a lot of weight working out with High Intensity Training. He mentions that he was detrained at the time. It is pretty common to be able to gain weight quickly after being de-trained. Very common and one trick that is often used in "before/after shots." Again - this is well known. It looks dramatic but is just that, looks, smoke and mirrors.

    It made me think - if he is leaving stuff out of the strength sections, the area which I know and am familiar with, what is he leaving out of the other sections? If he is not telling the whole story in the strength department, why should I believe he is in the diet part?

    I started to notice other little inconsistencies there as well. Calories in/Calories out is a flawed model. Eat as much as you want as long as you dont eat A B and C. Type of calories count. Be careful with nuts because the calories in them really add up. Do calories count or not? Why do nut calories count? Calories in calories out does not work. Person A lost lots of weight counting calories. Is he telling the whole story here or is he not?

    His dad lost a lot of weight using the "slow carb diet." Is that the whole story? He did not tell the whole story with other sections. How do I know this is the whole story? Another guy lost a lot of weight using cold water. Lot's of fat people in Minnesota. Why does cold work for his guy but not Minnesota?

    I just get the sense that this guy is willing to bend things to make it look like the way he wants.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Misleading?, December 20, 2010
    I received this book a few days early of the release and started into it. Everything seemed fine until I hit the sidebar (what Tim calls "GA boxes") on page 23. Here Tim, in his flippant style, suggests you loose 107 calors during a "kick-ass hour-long Stairmaster workout." And, that that's only 7 calories better than sitting on the couch watching TV. Now a quick search on Google will provide you with information that suggests 107 calories likely not close to accurate at all. In fact, its most likely you loose between 300 to 600 calories depending on your weight, age, metabolism, level of exertion, etc. I actually asked Tim about this (I have a friend who knows him) and he wrote me a short rambling note that ended up by his stating that the overarching message was that diet is more important than exercise for weight loss (which had nothing to do with my question)? So I ask why make flippant comments you cannot back, especially if they add no value to your book?

    I have not gotten further in the book because I smelled something fishy and after a few more minutes on the Web, I realize that there's a lot to be suspect about when it comes to the Author. I won't do a review of the author here, however. I'd just recommend you do a little homework before you jump on board and leave you with these two famous sayings: "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is" and "the devil is in the details."

    2-0 out of 5 stars Promises not Delivered, December 16, 2010
    First let me say, I was a big fan of the 4 hour work week, so I was pretty excited to hear about the 4 hour body. Many of the topics were right in line with my current passion, powerlifting. I voraciously read most of the medpub research and keep up to date on the latest methodologies for increasing strength and muscle mass. So from the early promotions done by Tim, I thought perhaps he had stumbled upon some unique combinations that the lab coats haven't gotten around to studying. Alas, it's not the case, just more of the same hype with little empirical backing.

    In fact most of the book is just so random in its material: from how to swing a bat to producing pheromones through brazil nuts. In reality it seems more like six month's worth of Men's Health articles, complete with sensational headlines that have little substance. Take for example the 15 minute female orgasm, an item that I admit peaked my interest. Now it may be just me, but I read it as an orgasm that lasts 15 minutes, but in reality it is an orgasm "in" 15 minutes. Subtle difference in wording that makes a world of difference in meaning.

    The most disappointing, for me and my background of powerlifting, was the information of strength gains and muscle growth. I could produce reams of data that contradict Tim's claims, but let's just suffice it to say gaining "34 pounds of muscle in 28 days" or adding "150+ pounds to your lifts in 6 months" is a pipe dream except in very specific circumstances (for example Tim basically having been starved prior to his weight gain or untrained individuals gaining strength which basically happens to anyone first starting to lift on a decent program).

    Overall, my expectations fell far short of the promises. But why should I be surprised? The fitness industry is plagued with snake oil salesmen, and when of the best self promoters out there (and I mean that with admiration; I wish I had the ability to do what Tim has done) comes out with a fitness book, why should I expect anything different than rehashed diets and workout routines with a dash of carnival barker?

    2-0 out of 5 stars Massively Over-HYPED, but not totally worthless, December 16, 2010
    This book was mostly a waste of money, and definitely doesn't live up to the hype.

    The 4-Hour Body is an exercise, health and nutrition book that details a number of approaches to a few very specific goals - losing fat and keeping it off, gaining muscle mass, improving your running speed, improving your running distance, etc - all in the shortest amount of time reasonable for anyone who is not an Olympic-level athlete. It has some good information, and most of the advice is sound within the parameters of the goals that Tim defines, but there is really just not that much new that justified being republished, and there is a haphazard quality to the book that I found annoying. I bought it at Borders with a 50% coupon, and I'm glad I didn't pay any more for it than that.

    Most of the value in this book for most people - the sections on losing fat and gaining muscle - are already covered in his other book and in his blog articles online. I had already purchased that previous book, so to pay for a rehash of these ideas was pretty much a waste of time and money.

    The other things - improving your running speed, increasing your distance up to 50k (30 miles) etc. - are all interesting, and useful to a point, but how many people are really going to follow these training protocols who don't already have access to a gym and personal trainer that could have taught them the same things?

    Meanwhile - where is the information on stretching??? A book that purports to be about health, especially for someone like Tim who supposedly has longevity as an underlying goal, should absolutely have more information about warming up and stretching. This would have been a logical topic for the "Pre-hab" chapter.

    Also - the exploration of vegetarianism and non-animal-product dietary restrictions is laughable. As someone with a genetic predisposition towards insanely high cholesterol and triglycerides, eating all the beef, chicken and eggs he talks about is just not an option for me. I know I'm not the only one out there, so it would have been nice if he had discussed alternatives beyond a perfunctory level to justify putting it in the advertising, since heart disease is one of the biggest causes of death in the US.

    Finally - Tim claims to be up on research, but he doesn't mention alkalinity/acidity at all in talking about diet. This is a major area of research for long-term health that is gaining more and more attention, but it doesn't fit within his narrowly defined short-term goals (fat loss, muscle gain in shortest amount of time humanly possible), so apparently he either didn't bother to do his research or didn't feel it was worth mentioning. I found that to be a major blind spot in the book.

    And all that stuff about the female anatomy and "15-minute orgasms"... I'm sorry, but I learned all that when I was 17 from reading women's magazines. Ironically, those women's magazines use the same deceptive headlines and titles to bait and switch their readers.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Save Your Money, December 16, 2010
    I purchased this book on kindle and I'm not sure what all the 5-star raters were reading, but it must have been a different book. I gave in to the marketing hype and now am left disappointed. For the most part this book is just a collection of what many other EXPERTS have been discussing for years. Tim just put all the info into one location. Nothing is either new or revolutionary. Most of the information can be found out there for free(paleo diet, stregth and conditioning info, prehab)with better detail. His diet was just him putting his own name on Paleo(only the billionth person to do this). If you want to follow paleo, you would be better off reading robb wolf. If you want to get leaner, stronger, or bigger go straight to the experts(dan john, elitefts, mark rippetoe, defranco, lyle mcdonald, pavel, bret contreras, christian thibadeau, etc, etc) not Tim. Think you are going to learn how to add an amazing 100lbs to your bench? well, just know that he is assuming a very beginner starting point on your behalf(200lb bench). This may be great if you're a beginner, but if you have been in the iron game for a bit, good luck following the program and putting 100 on our bench. If you are a beginner, don't buy a book go into the gym, work hard, eat like its your job, and read from the experts. Suddenly, the claimed 100lbs wont be so impressive. There were some interesting protocols that I want to try out( how to raise t-levels and sperm levels). Since I have yet to try them, I can't comment on their validity. ALl of the information on how to sleep better and polyphasic sleep can be found free online. Really I am not sure what is new information in this book. YOu are basically being charged for hearing stories of Tim testing these methods and some new ones on himself. It seems to me that this is Tim's last book. That he was banking on hyping it big time, collecting money, and then riding into the sunset laughing at how dumb people were to give in. If this wasn't his intention and he plans to keep writing, then he is going to have to find a way to bring his followers back in because many many people are going to be disappointed with this book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, December 18, 2010
    I am writing this review because I was indeed very disappointed and I find it ridiculous that 100+ 5 stars review are posted on day 1. I guess you need to be a very fast reader to enjoy this *Cough*.

    This book is a two stars because Tim's writing style is entertaining. If you read this book one chapter at a time and in random order that is.
    Chapters feel disconnected and either repeating or contradicting themselves ( dismisses calories count but refers to them continuously). It leaves you wondering if this book has been edited whatsoever. Certainly feels like a one man job.

    The approach of telling "everybody out there has it plain wrong, but now you are in good hands" is the most common and thickest plot in the fitness industry (Read any fitness blog or watch any fitness equipment infomercial). Unfortunately, this book follows the exact same path. Research coming out of nowhere and self inflicted experiment are the best "facts" you will get to feed on. I hope you are a believer.

    Claims such as "It works because I have never seen it fail" don't really cut it for me. Not that I need strong scientific backing but I wasn't in for a sermon either. The diet is based on what Tim likes, but if you try hard enough you will get use to it. Come on, dieting is enough of a pain on what you like so do you really believe people will eat pinto beans for breakfast on a regular basis? This is closer to rabbit poop than food!

    Rehashing is also a major theme. I have nothing against aggregating ideas in a central place, but a vast majority of the fat loss material has already been published for free on Tim's Blog (I mean copy-pasted!). You really need to read it through to find new material, the bulk has been out there (for free) for over a year.

    On the bright side, this is yet another lesson in self promotion and internet networking. Not sure I want to be sponsoring this anymore though.

    If Tim is your personal Jesus then you might get motivation out of this reading otherwise you are left with a 2 stars bargain bin material.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A 15 Minute Introduction to Clitoral Stimulation, December 23, 2010
    The 15 minute orgasm is what got me to buy The 4-Hour Body. I was not entirely unimpressed with the two chapters "The 15 Minute Female Orgasm". There are a lot of useful illustrations and he lays out a fairly straightforward approach that he learned from a couple of his trainers - Nina Hartley and the folks at One Taste.

    As other reviewers have mentioned, most of the ideas in the book may be new to Tim, but not necessarily new, and what he does is to give you a brief summary of what he has learned and where he learned it. Some topics he seems to have researched and experimented with a great deal more than others, sex seems to be one of the areas he has researched less.

    It's an introduction though, and his enthusiasm is wonderful. His writing is easy to read and entertaining. There is some good stuff here like: have a clear beginning and ending to a sensual cycle; and that you can't make someone else come - you can facilitate it, but ultimately its them. Other things are not so clear like why it's important to really get comfortable so you don't get tired while you're "doing" a woman - he seems to have settled on what even he finds to be an awkward "doing" position. He omits to mention that you should use lubricant.

    There is a lot of confusion about the "15 minute" part - the book describes 15 minutes to get to orgasm, and many reviewers are confused or disappointed by this. The sources he mentions (Steve & Vera Bodansky, Lafayette Morehouse, One Taste) explicitly discuss extended duration orgasms (orgasms lasting 15 minutes or an hour or three hours or more). Around the SF bay area, where Tim lives, there are actual demonstrations of varying length and intensity of female orgasm.

    Seems clear he is just getting started in this area - the way he describes it makes it seem like its a procedure you "do to a woman." Hard to know what he was taught vs. what he retained. What I've seen from the Lafayette Morehouse folks - who, as Tim says, invented this stuff - is that "doing" is a ride you both take together, she the wave, you the surfer, two bodies, one orgasm. (the same is true for both genders).

    It seems like these chapters are an example of Tim's 80/20 rule - here is what he thinks is the 20% that produces 80% of the results. To me it looks more like what is here is more like 10%, not 20% - there is a lot more available for both parties than what he describes.

    As other reviewers have said about the entire book, if you want to know more you should check out the people Tim cites. I'm guessing that as Tim's research continues he'll eventually wind up looking at the original source of this information.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed so far, December 15, 2010
    I'm a huge Tim Feriss fan, but from what I've read so far, I haven't quite seen the "hacking" we've come to know from him. The first few chapters haven't offered anything new thus far - it seems like bits of information repackaged in Tim's trademark writing style. And some of his (much older) blog posts with Q & A's added.

    For those who are new to fitness, or looking to get started, I think this book is a great start. I admit, I haven't completed the book, and I intend to place a final rating after completing the book. I think if the hype hadn't been built so strongly so as to assert that brand new, left field underground science was about to reveal itself, I may have been more forgiving in this review.

    Update #1: The 15 minute female orgasm

    Since I already read a lot of fitness articles online, and I've gone through a close to 50 lb body weight change in the past year and a half (and maintained it), I figured I may be more immersed than the average reader, so I skipped ahead to the 15 minute female orgasm. I mean, getting a woman to climax for 15 minutes, that's crazy, right?

    As it turns out, it is crazy. The title and hype were, again, misleading, as it was all about getting a woman to climax in 15 minute sessions of clitoral stimulation (there's more to it than this, this is just the final outcome). To be fair, the stories are great, and there is some interesting hacking of the system of bringing women who struggle to climax to do just that (moving from 0% to 100% is nothing short of spectacular), but this again is another chapter with great info from different sources brought together (and very well) with misleading hype. So far, I'm not let down by the quality of the info or writing, I'm disappointed by what I was expecting to receive.

    I began skimming the testosterone chapters, those look promising, will update again when done.

    Update #2: Upping Your Testosterone

    Good read, nothing really deceptive here, though not sure how much I believe upping testosterone turns you into a pheromone emitting machine, and if so, if it's even ethical. Some food for thought, a few riveting stories - I can't comment on this chapter's efficacy until I try it out, so will give it a shot and comment later about how well it went. ... Read more

    2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    by Rebecca Skloot
    list price: $26.00 -- our price: $14.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1400052173
    Publisher: Crown
    Sales Rank: 11
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

    Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

    Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

    Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

    Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? 
    Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Henrietta Lacks, February 5, 2010
    Wow. This book should be required reading for scientists and students of life. The true story of Henrietta Lacks and her family has finally been told, beautifully, in this book. The book encompasses science, ethics, and the story of a family who was terribly wronged in the pursuit of scientific research. I could gush about this book for pages but I'll try first to hit the main points of why this book is so remarkable in list form for the sake of brevity:

    1. The author clearly developed a strong relationship with the Lacks family, which was absolutely critical to ensuring the story was told accurately and with the respect to Henrietta Lacks that was so deeply deserved.

    2. The storytelling is amazingly moving despite the need to convey a lot of scientific information. It reads like fiction.

    3. Ms. Skloot's research into the science is impeccable.

    4. The book is FAIR. It presents the unvarnished truth, obtained DIRECTLY from as many prinicpal people involved in the story as is humanly possible. It would have been easier to simplify the story into heroes vs. villians, but Ms. Skloot deftly handles all sides of the story.

    For some detail: I have worked with HeLa cells in the past, but did not know even the barest information about the story of Henrietta Lacks until a few years ago. It simply was not common knowledge, until a few less ethical folks released her name and medical records to the public. This obviously should not have been done without the express permission of the Lacks family, which Ms. Skloot obtained. In the past, others have not been as ethical. The book covers Ms. Lacks' early life, how her cells came to be harvested, and what happened to both the cells and her family afterward.

    The contributions of HeLa cells to science are absolutely staggering and cannot be over-stated. The sections where the science was described were clear and accurate. With the story of Ms. Lacks' family interwoven, this book was fairly close to perfect. I found myself moved to tears several times because of the fate of the Lacks family and Henrietta's daughter's indomitable spirit. I do not think anyone but Ms. Skloot could have written this book. She worked with the family for over a decade in order to get the story right. This was critical, as the family had been wronged too many times in the past.

    Thank you for this astounding work of art. I will be donating to the Henrietta Lacks foundation in honor of the entire family, and I hope many others will read the book and be similarly moved.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Captivating, engrossing, fascinating, heartbreaking, englightening...ALL in one stellar book!, January 16, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    This is hand's down one of the best books I've read in years and I wish I could give it more stars. It is going to be difficult to capture exactly what makes this book so outstanding and so captivating, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

    First of all I want to say I am STUNNED that this is the author's first book. She has poured ten years of her heart, soul, mind and her life in general in this book. What she has given birth to in that long period of labor is worthy of her sacrifice and honors Henrietta Lacks and her family.

    Other reviews have given the outline of this amazing story. What I want to stress is that Ms. Skloot has navigated the difficult terrain of respecting Mrs. Lacks and her family, while still telling their story in a very intimate, thorough, factual manner. What readers may not know is that the Lacks family isn't just a "subject" that the author researched. This is a real family with real heartaches and real challenges whose lives she entered into for a very long season. The Lacks' family has truly benefitted from the author's involvement in their life and that is something I am very appreciative of. I believe that Ms. Skloot was able to give Henrietta's daughter, Deborah, a real sense of healing, deliverance, peace and identity that she had been searching for her whole life...that story alone would have made the book for me.

    It would have been very easy for the author to come across as condescending or patronizing or possibly as being exploitive as she wrote about a family that is poor and uneducated. Instead the story is infused with compassion and patience as she not only takes the family along with her on a journey to understand their current situation and the ancestor whose life was so rich in legacy but poor in compensation; she educates the family in the process. I get the sense that the author grew to genuinely love Henrietta and her family. I am in awe of this level of commitment.

    The author has managed to explain the complex scientific information in a way that anyone can comprehend and be fascinated by. The author's telling of the science alone and the journey of Henrietta's immortal cells (HeLa) would have made the book a worthy read in itself. Ms. Skloot and Henrietta captured me from page one all the way to the final page of the book. I read it in one pass and I didn't want it to end.

    The author manages to beautifully tell multiple stories and develops each of those stories so well that you can't help but be consumed by the book. This is the story of Henrietta. It is the story of her sweet and determined daughter, Deborah. It is the story of the extended Lacks family and their history. It is a story of race/poverty/ignorance and people who take advantage of that unfortunate trifecta. It is a story about science and ethics. It is a story that should make each of us reflect on the sacrifices made by individual humans and animals that have allowed us to benefit so much from "modern" medicine. It is a story about hope and perseverance. It is a story about love and healing.

    I cannot imagine a single person I know who wouldn't love this book and benefit from reading it. I will be purchasing the final copy of the book and am looking forward to reading the book again.

    I am counting the days til Ms. Skloot writes another book and can't wait to attend one of her upcoming lectures. A fan is born!

    5-0 out of 5 stars 2010 Non-Fiction Award Winner?, January 8, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    As I recall this book was categorized as CANCER, I believe it might be more aptly described as science based non-fiction. In the last two decades I've seen occasional news items alluding to human cells taken from a black woman in the 1950's that have been replicated millions of times. The cells are referred to as HeLa and on the face of it I wouldn't have thought there was much of a story behind the extraction of these cells and their use by the biomed industry. However, this book dispells that rather naive assumption completely and puts a name and a face, a family, and a story behind the contents of many petri dishes and slides. THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS explains how the cells were obtained, replicated, distributed, and used without informed consent of the owner and family by John Hopkins and how they benefitted mankind w/o compensation to the family. Author Skloot tells the story of a family victimized by socioeconomic conditions and racism that can't get fundamental things like health coverage while these cells make a lot of money for the health establishment. It is a disturbing read that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished. It may also make the reader take a long hard look at the need for standardized health care in our society among many other things.
    The one thing that I found fascinating about this book is how Skloot managed to take a generally dry topic that might have been addressed in a scientific textbook and humanized it on a very personal level by developing a close relationship with Henrietta's family. The input received from the family took this book to a higher level and made it a very personsl story. From my perspective, it was very hard not to get involved with the Lacks family and not feel their sense of betrayal and loss.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb, January 17, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Equal parts history, psychological drama, expose and character study, Rebecca Skloot's gripping debut is a deeply affecting tour de force that effortlessly bridges the gap between science and the mainstream.

    Her subject is the multilayered drama behind one of the most important--and in many ways, problematic--advances of modern medicine. Captivated by the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor African-American woman whose cervical cancer cells (dubbed HeLa) were the first immortalized cells grown in culture and became ubiquitous in laboratories around the world, Skloot set out to learn more about the person whose unwitting "donation" of the cells transformed biomedical research in the last century. Her research ultimately spanned a decade and found her navigating (and to some extent, mediating) more than 50 years of rage over the white scientific establishment's cavalier mistreatment and exploitation of the poor, especially African Americans.

    Skloot deftly weaves together an account of Lacks's short life (she died at age 31) and torturous death from an extremely aggressive form of cancer; the parallel narrative concerning her cells; and the sometimes harrowing, sometimes amusing chronicle of Skloots's own interactions with Lacks's surviving (and initially hostile and uncooperative) family members. Moving comfortably back and forth in time, the richly textured story that emerges brings into stark relief the human cost of scientific progress and leaves the reader grappling with many unanswered questions about the ethics of the scientific endeavor, past and present. While the goals of biomedical research may be noble, how they are achieved is not always honorable, particularly where commercialization of new technologies is at stake. Skloot offers a clear-eyed perspective, highlighting the brutal irony of a family whose matriarch was a pivotal figure in everything from the development of Jonas Salk's polio vaccine to AIDS research to cancer drugs, yet cannot afford the very medical care their mother's cells helped facilitate, with predictable consequences.

    The LA Times book review section named Skloot one of its four "Faces to Watch in 2010," an honor that, based on "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is well-deserved.

    Five stars--it was hard to put down this compelling, admirable and eminently readable book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic effort about the life of a forgotten woman, March 14, 2010
    Henrietta Lacks was born to an impoverished family of in rural Virginia in 1920. Her family worked on the same tobacco fields that their slave ancestors did during the preceding century, and after her mother died she grew up in her grandfather's dilapidated log cabin that served as slave quarters. She left school after the sixth grade to pick tobacco for ten cents per day on the farms of local whites. Henrietta had her first child with her first cousin Day at age 14, and they eventually married and moved to a small town outside of Baltimore during World War II so that Day could work at Bethlehem Steel for less than 80 cents an hour.

    In early 1951, Henrietta went to the gynecology clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital after feeling a "knot" in her womb. After she was taken to a "Colored" examination room, the gynecologist on duty found a firm mass on her cervix that seemed cancerous, but was unlike anything he had ever seen. He sent a slice of the mass for analysis, and Henrietta was soon diagnosed with cervical cancer.

    Henrietta returned to Johns Hopkins a few weeks later, where she underwent treatment for cervical cancer. She was given a generalized consent form that gave permission for her doctors to perform any operative procedures necessary to treat her illness. However, she was not told that one of the staff gynecologists was collecting specimens of clinic patients with cervical cancer for a clinical study, and biopsies of healthy and cancerous cervical tissues were taken from her during her initial procedure. The cancerous cells, which were named HeLa after the first two letters of Henrietta's first and last names, proved to be the first human cells that could be grown indefinitely in a nutrient broth, and the Johns Hopkins researchers were overjoyed at this long awaited success.

    The treatment she received at Hopkins was state of the art, but was unsuccessful, due to the aggressive nature of her primary tumor, and she succumbed to her illness several months later. The researchers wanted to acquire more specimens from her tumor ridden body by performing an autopsy with biopsies. Her husband, after initially denying a request for an autopsy, was misled into agreeing to allow the Hopkins pathologists to perform a limited autopsy, after he was told that the doctors wanted to run tests that might help his children someday.

    The HeLa cell line was provided to scientists and organizations worldwide for minimal cost, as neither the researchers nor Johns Hopkins profited from the first immortal human cell line. However, a number of companies made millions of dollars by mass producing HeLa and selling them at a much higher cost. HeLa was used in numerous important biomedical studies, including the development of the Salk polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh in the mid-1950s, cancer and viral research projects, and studies of the effects of weightlessness and space travel on the human body by NASA.

    During this time Henrietta's husband and children were completely unaware that her cells had been harvested for medical research by the Hopkins doctors. By that time most of them were living in poverty in Baltimore, and were unable to afford basic health insurance. Articles about HeLa began to appear in medical journals and in the lay press, but it wasn't until 1973 that the family accidentally learned about the HeLa cell line. The family was contacted by Johns Hopkins, so that their cells could be analyzed and compared to those taken from Henrietta 22 years earlier. Once again they were misled into believing that the purpose of these tests was to determine if any of her children also had cancer, which caused Deborah, Henrietta's oldest surviving daughter, many years of anguish.

    Once Henrietta's name was released in the media, the family was besieged by journalists and others wishing to profit from her story, causing her husband and children to become distrustful and wary.

    Rebecca Skloot became interested in Henrietta Lacks after hearing about the HeLa cell line and its forgotten host as an undergraduate student. She spent many months and countless hours attempting to contact the Lacks family, and she slowly but painfully gained the trust of Deborah and her siblings, after she promised to tell the family's story alongside the history of HeLa.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a fantastic achievement, given the hurdles that Skloot had to overcome to obtain information from the Lacks family, Johns Hopkins, and the other key actors in this story. In addition to an in-depth history of this ordinary yet quite remarkable family, she provides just the right amount of information about HeLa and what it meant for biomedical research, along with information about informed consent from the 1950s to the present, the effect of race on medical care in the United States and the views of African-Americans toward medical experimentation, and the biology of cancer. The book is meant for a lay audience, but it would be of interest to those with a formal medical background. I found the book to be a bit overly sentimental and personal at times, but this is a very minor criticism of a fabulous book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 5 star story, February 17, 2010
    Just so id doesn't sound like I damn this book with faint praise, let me say that this was an excellent story told well (for the most part). I'll save the synopsis for others. Needless to say, Henrietta Lacks' story is just as gripping as the science that was done with her cells. You will most likely enjoy her story (as I did).

    My criticisms:

    The author spends a rather substantial portion of the book describing her own efforts. It didn't add to Henrietta's story and leaving it out would have made for a better, more concise narrative.

    Black people were treated inhumanely to say the least (go look up the Tuskeegee Syphilis Study, for example). At the risk of sounding callous, this is well trod ground and some of it could also have been omitted for the sake of brevity without losing any of the story's impact.

    Lastly, there is an implicit condemnation of the doctors that took her cells (the author does say that this was "common practice" at the time). I can tell you that as a former cancer patient who has been biopsied more times than I care to remember, once a doctor removes something from you, it's gone. They are not going to pay you for it.

    Those criticism aside, this is a worthy read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An astonishing scientific, sociological, racial exploration--and an engrossing work of art, December 28, 2009

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Rebecca Skloot's story of Henrietta Lacks and her cancerous HeLa cells is both a fascinating history and an engrossing work of art. The book combines sharp science writing with some of the best creative nonfiction techniques and a heartbreaking story. The result is a stunning portrayal of twentieth century medicine, science, race, and class like nothing I've ever read before.

    Skloot skillfully interweaves the saga of a poor young black mother and her children with an elucidation of the almost primitive-seeming medical practices that were once customary, and the culturing and dissemination of the woman's cancer cells (unbeknownst to her or her relatives) around the world. This was a period when even paying patients were seldom if ever asked for consent and frequently experimented on without their knowledge. Skloot brings to life not only Henrietta's tragedy but also her own quest with Henrietta's daughter to find the woman behind the HeLa cells and the incredible accomplishments those cells have made possible. Just about all of us on the planet have benefited, while medical corporations have made billions and Henrietta's children received not one cent.

    A disturbing and even haunting aspect of the situation is that the 'Immortal Life' involved here is not that of Henrietta's cells alone but rather of her cells overcome and transformed by the terribly aggressive cancer that killed her. That is what has lived on and been used in thousands of experiments and inadvertently contaminated other cells lines around the world, replicating so much times that one scientist estimated all the HeLa produced (laid end to end) could circle the earth more than five times.

    As the author states in her opening, the history of Henrietta Lacks, her cells, and the way the medical establishment treated her family raises critical questions about scientific research, ethics, race, and class. It's also a supremely engrossing story and one that taught me more about race in America, medical ethics, science, and what makes writing matter than anything I've read in years. Original in scope and presentation, personal, thought provoking, and even profound, this is the kind of nonfiction that rarely comes along.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good try, but could have been better, July 31, 2010
    I'm a big fan of science and medical non-fiction, so when I saw the rave reviews for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I was excited to read it. It started off strong; I'd give the first half five stars. The oral history of the Lacks family was fascinating, and I loved reading about how the cells got their start in the lab. When the author introduced the adult family (Deborah, et al), I felt a strong sympathy for them and what they'd been through. I was already recommending it to friends, anticipating that the second half would be as good.

    However, once I got to the second half, it went downhill considerably. The writing was fairly tight in the beginning, keeping all of the stories woven together in a comprehensible way, but seemed to unravel as the book went on. When I read the introduction, I didn't understand why Skloot was so defensive about inserting herself into the book (in my experience, medical non-fiction authors do it all the time), but I soon realized why - because by the second half, the book becomes less about HeLa, science, history, and ethics, and instead turns exclusively into a memoir about Skloot's dealings with the family. And at this point, the family became unsympathetic and insufferable. The writing became repetitive, somewhat informal, and ridden with unnecessary details. One reviewer called this book "deftly written" and I'd have to disagree. The second half gets one star.

    The book ended on a strong note, with the Afterward. The Afterward took us back to questions of bioethics. As I was reading it, I wondered why the Afterward was a separate part - couldn't it have been woven into the second half of the book?

    In short, I thought this book was merely ok, but as the reviews show, a lot of people loved it. If you think that you're one of the people who will love it, read it. If you're looking for a book that's just outstanding, look somewhere else.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Is Immortality really worth the price?, January 21, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Rebecca Skloot has written a book that certainly sounds like it could be science fiction, but in truth it is incredible science. However, it's not only about the science, but more importantly about who is behind it all. She has put a very real face to one of the most important medical research discoveries of our lifetime and given an appropriate name to the HeLa cells used in that research all over the world; Henrietta Lacks.

    This book recounts the life of Henrietta, the death of Henrietta and the immortal cells she left behind that became the basis of many life saving discoveries in the medical field. HeLa cells are those which were taken from Henrietta's cancerous tumor many decades ago. They were easily replicated and viable for testing therefore they became an important staple in laboratories doing medical research right up to the present. Many have her cells to thank for their treatment and cures of deadly diseases.

    Sounds like a generous donation to the medical community, doesn't it? But, what if Henrietta and her family had no idea any of this had taken place? They didn't know that her doctor had taken the cells, and upon realizing how unique they were, shared and traded them with other researchers. They especially were unaware that these were eventually being sold for a profit among labs and medical companies. Was this a case of explotation or was it simply how science progresses?

    The author finds the surviving family of Mrs. Lacks and realizes there is far more to the story than it would first appear. She touches on each of the sensitive topics that present themselves as the family approaches her with so many questions left unanswered. The more I read, the more fascinated I became with the complexities.

    The Lacks family are uneducated and living in poverty, struggling to understand how their loved one could have saved so many lives while her own could not be saved. They find it hard to believe their mother has done so much for the medical community, and made some companies millions of dollars, yet they cannot even afford good medical care. They wonder how cells were named after her yet there was no true recognition of her by her full, real name. The children hope that Ms. Skloot will not be another journalist to take advantage of them, but that she will give their mother the place she deserves as a real person, not just a "cell donor". Ms. Skloot does exactly that and I believe they would be very happy with the care she has given to the subject.

    It's my opinion that everyone studying medicine & science should read this book to gain insight as to the genuine lives of patients. The understanding that there is much more to a person than their cells, their lab results, their disease, etc., is such an important lesson to be learned. To take a quote from the book, stated by the assistant who helped retrieve the cells while Henrietta was in the morgue, "When I saw those toenails I nearly fainted. I thought, Oh geez, she's a real person. I started imagining her sitting in her bathroom painting those toenails, and it hit me for the first time that those cells we'd been working with all this time and sending all over the world, they came from a live woman. I'd never thought of it thay way".

    I would also highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the ethical and legal aspects of the medical and scientific communities. There is also a significant component relating to the Johns Hopkins, the black community and black history. Every aspect was fascinating and eye-opening.

    If you are wondering how this could have happened, be warned that it could just as easily happen to any of us tomorrow, as there are still no laws in place preventing any doctor or hospital from keeping and using our tissue, or our children's umbilical blood, or our parents tumors for research once collected. Perhaps it is better that we all contribute to furthering scientific discoveries. But, you might rethink "immortality" after hearing this story. Just one more good reason to read this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Two different books, August 25, 2010
    I enjoyed the first half of the book. It was informative and educational. The second half - not so much. It took a bad turn with the introduction of Deborah and their trip together. The author depicted her as a woman who has the mind of a hyperactive 5 year old with ADD. "Oh my god. . . . I did this to her?" Maybe. Maybe not. The book went from the scientific and factual to the land of superstition and sensationalism I was left with the impression the book was a collage of facts and embellished observations. It's a good idea to leave your readers for a desire for more. I was left with a desire for less. ... Read more

    3. The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
    by Mark Nepo
    Paperback (2000-05-01)
    list price: $18.95 -- our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1573241172
    Publisher: Conari Press
    Sales Rank: 51
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Cancer survivor, poet, and philosopher Mark Nepo has consciously allowed life to move through him. The Book of Awakening is the result of his journey of the soul and will inspire others to embark on their own.

    Nepo speaks of spirit and friendship, urging readers to stay vital and in love with this life, no matter the hardships. Encompassing many traditions and voices, Nepo's words offer insight on pain, wonder, and love. Each entry is accompanied by an exercise that will surprise and delight the reader in its mind-waking ability. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Learning who I am
    I start every morning with an inspiration from this book. I take the time I need to reflect on the daily passage and have found it to be a way of learning about the real person I am. I have been searching for inner peace for so long , this book has helped me to meditate on the important things to make my life and my inner self more complete and at peace. I love this book and want to give everyone I know a copy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Editorial Review
    There are very few books in this world which elicit the question `Why have I such an array of books on this subject when this one would suffice?' The entry of Mark Nepo's Book of Awakening into my life not only presented this question but also initiated an immediate removal of the other six inspirational books waiting in a tumbled line by my bed, making space in my overcrowded life for the simplicity of one source of wisdom.

    The Book of Awakening, which is beautifully produced by Conari Press, is in the form of a daybook, having an entry of wisdom for every day of the year. This allows us to take a dip into this vast ocean of insight every day or to dive in at random when the spirit moves us. Each page of wisdom is followed by a short and profound meditation on the topic at hand which helps put the reading into the context of one's own life, and is suggested in such a way that even the meditation-shy could be enticed to participate.

    In his introduction, Mark describes his book as `a companion and a soul-friend'. I agree that this book can act as a soul friend, which is a different relationship than is possible with most wisdom books. And that is quite a gift to give to yourself or a friend. The key reason for the possibility of this almost human relationship with the book is, I believe, to be found in the divinely human writing style of the author.

    Mark is born a poet whose eyes perceive the divine patterning within the everyday experiences of life. He has crafted the art of painting that depth so that others may begin to see into and beyond the mundane. Each new entry seems to invite a deeper friendship of the soul as Mark lays himself bare in his truly personal stories of struggle and revelation. He interweaves his own perception with gems of collected treasures from many spiritual traditions, giving us access to his own spiritual advisers in their many forms.

    --- Carmella B'Hahn, Sufi Journal, London

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Daybook with poetry, inspiration and much more!
    Mark Nepo's day book is a wonderful way to remember the importance of enjoying the details that make life a mystery and a gift. The book includes inspirational quotes, beautiful poetry, points for mediationsand heart-warming glimpes of life. Although each day's entry is meant to be savored, I gobbled them all up and now will go back to holding them close to my life one day at a time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful offering.
    To be honest, this book caught my eye first because of its beautiful cover of the Lotus. I opened the book read a passage
    and felt deeply moved almost to tears. This is a beautifully orchestrated book. Its daily reflections, passages and quotes
    are soul food for our journey. This book is definitely a work
    of love. You can feel the intent put forth and given to the reader by the author. What a blessed contribution it is. The foreward by Wayne Mueller sums this stellar gem up perfectly.
    A difinite addition to your collection, if not the only book you will ever need and keep close to your heart, spirit and soul.
    Dear Mark Nepo,
    You have written a book that has moved me so, there are
    no words to describe it. I thank you for sharing your beautiful offering. I am so happy to have come across it just in a time
    when I was so ready and open to its messages.
    Christine/Toronto, Ont. Canada

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Daily Contemplation Book
    Written by a poet and teacher, this book is organized by date, with 1-2 page offerings for each day of the year. Beautifully written, each entry begins with a quote from another poet, saint (practically every spiritual tradition is represented), or other literary work, followed by the author's musings and a set of questions to contemplate that day. Some random samples: "August 1: The Pain of Becoming - We do ourselves a great disservice by judging where we are in comparison to some final destination." "April 10: At Home in Our Skin - The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mark Nepo's Book of Awakenings
    This is a wonderful daily reader - a great way to start the day - sometimes I just pick up the book and randomly pick a reading. Truly inspiring stuff - it's like a yoga class for your mind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars timeless
    A beautiful gift for yourself or a loved one. Dated daily essays to ponder along with daily exercises to strengthen those spiritual muscles. I'm admittedly a biased huge fan of Mark's writing. I've never bought a daybook before and didn't realise that's what this was when I purchased it. If I'd known I might have missed out on a treasure. It is structured with dates but there is no year so this book can be read and re-read year after year and I'm sure each read will reveal another level of wisdom. If you're on the fence about making this purchase, I'm sure you won't be sorry if you decide yes, and there's no reason to wait until the beginning of a year to buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deep, courageous, vivid, tender, honest, treasured
    In every reading I find extraordinary insights I underline and carry with me. I actually am purchasing a copy for my desk at work. It is definitely a gift giver. So many of the daily meditation books I've purchased are disappointing, or I've gotten used to something kind of nice or merely reflective. Nepo takes me to an edge I've wanted to see time after time. I leave his readings better for the experience, eager to share.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A good book for the grieving woman
    I am a life coach for widows.
    I suggest to all my clients that they purchase this amazing book. It gently, lovingly and firmly reminds us each day of who we are and that in order to emerge, we need to accept that where we are is where we are supposed to be. Even if it is messy. I am so grateful for this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Devotional Read
    I have found this book to be a beautiful daily devotional. It is rich
    with poetic philosophy and heart opening passages that take you deep
    within yourself. The guided meditations allow you to expand around the
    everyday circumstances that life graces us with, and allows you to go
    to the depths of your own heart and knowing you are better than you were before. This read is a portal into the self thatis conscious and aware of the inner workings behind every perceived problem and lifts you to the higher ground of expansion. It is a delight to read it daily and lift myself out of limiting beliefs into other perspectives that free me of conditioned responses. ... Read more

    4. Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving--and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity
    by Sarah Bowen Shea, Dimity McDowell
    Kindle Edition (2010-03-23)
    list price: $14.99
    Asin: B003D3N2AQ
    Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    In Run Like a Mother, authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea offer both inspirational advice and practical strategies to help multitasking women make running part of their busy lives.

    McDowell and Shea understand the various external and internal forces in everyday life that can unintentionally keep a wife--mother--working woman from lacing up her shoes and going for a run. Because the authors are multihyphenates themselves, Run Like a Mother is driven by their own running expertise and real-world experience in ensuring that running is part of their lives.

    More than a book, Run Like a Mother is essentially a down-to-earth, encouraging conversation with the reader on all things running, with the overall goal of strengthening a woman's inner athlete.

    Of course, real achievement is a healthy mix of inspiration and perspiration, which is why the authors have grounded Run Like a Mother in a host of practical tips on shoes, training, racing, nutrition, and injuries, all designed to help women balance running with their professional and personal lives. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read to make you lace up the shoes
    I bought this book with a lot of hope and some trepidation. I'm a lapsed runner, and my last serious race dates back to the postpartum year after my first child was born, when I was eager to show myself I still had my athletic mojo. I just had my fifth child, and ordered this book to help me get inspired again. The authors' voices are real, thankfully, and the essays are honest and accessible. The training tips are great, because they're rooted in an understanding all the things mom use as excuses NOT to run. But what got me really lacing up my shoes again was the page full of short quotes by women saying how they feel after running. Powerful. Competent. Strong. Optimistic. It was like a quadruple dose of any of those herbal mood-boosters hocked by health magazines!

    5-0 out of 5 stars So relatable, it's sick!
    Since finding this book (and blog! and tweets!), I have been completely entertained and inspired and able to connect with a whole new community of runner-mamas.

    This book is so utterly relatable, it is sick! Even as a newbie runner! The moments of "O-M-G! That is EXACTLY how I feel" were countless, as a mom, spouse, runner, wannabe writer and overall multi-tasking-life balancer.

    The book inspired me, me made me laugh out loud causing my fellow commuter train riders to stop and stare (As soon as I would snort, I would hold up the book so everyone would get a peek...long enough for them to write down the title and and go buy it themselves!)

    This is my go-to book for prezzies for my runner mama friends and has saved the day with some much needed inspiration after the oh-let-it-be-over ugly runs.

    I savored every chapter like a rich ooey-gooey chocolately dessert and was thrilled to find more even more witty (and oh so true!) writing online through the blog

    Seriously, check it out, you won't be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm not a mother, but could still relate
    I bought this book after hearing about it from several people. As my title says, I'm not a mother, but I could relate to most of the book.

    I found the writing very easy to follow--as if it were a conversation--and refreshing. I laughed out loud at some things and it gave me that little "umph" to get back to my running. I felt like I got to know Dimity and Sarah, just by following along in their journeys.

    I would definitely recommend this to others.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For Female Athletes Everywhere
    Run Like a Mother feels like one of those conversations you have with a friend on a long run. It's a book that all female athletes can relate to, regardless of motherhood status or running experience. However, for those of us who both run marathons and mother small children, it's an especially relatable book. At times it's part memoir--telling of Sarah's and Dimity's journeys as runners and marathoners (including a few race reports!), and other times it's more like a helpful training manual--giving advice on running gear, nutrition, and staging a post-pregnancy comeback. You won't find a 16-week marathon training plan in here, but you'll emerge from this book knowing what worked and didn't work for Sarah and Dimity as they trained. As a running coach, I liked the technical talk about running 8 X 400 meters and other training-specific tidbits. But as a mother and a fellow female athlete, I think I most enjoyed the deeply personal revelations about body image, weight, marriage, and mothering. I loved the personal essay format. By the end of the book, you'll feel like you have two new friends: Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and laugh out loud entertaining
    I'm a mother of two and a fairly competitive runner (with myself). I love this book. The writers are honest and get right down to what is real. And this is what makes some of the excerpts laugh out loud funny. I so relate! But likewise, it is very honest about how difficult it is to run and be a strong runner while balancing kids and family. I read it an excerpt at night night for inspiration for the next day. It sounds corny, but I do. After having D, I know how hard it is to keep the fitness up. So many days I'd rather sit and hold the baby and be at home. But running makes me feel real, at peace and clean. I know this, but I also need the push. The pull, at times, is strong to stay home with the "kidlets." So thanks gals!

    Clothing tips, stories about racing, training, just everyday runs and how to pull yourself out of bed to get out on the road. Pregnancy and running, recovering from giving birth and beginning to run again and all that is involved in that. Right on and inspirational! The quotes and facts from regular runners make me feel part of a great club of women who push each other and support one another in our every day struggles to make the run happen. Totally inspiring. Sarah and Dimity know runners! And I totally feel a closer bond to all the mommy runners out there. I'm going to buy this book for all my mommy running friends.

    I just bought the book for my friend who is off to Boston in a week and am giving it to so she can indulge on her plane ride there. She has two kids, 5 and 3 and worked her butt off to get to Boston.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
    I purchased this book when I was training to walk/run my first half marathon in my life. As I am not a runner per se I was skeptical about how much this book would pertain to me. I was pleasantly suprised. The book is well written and truly is a must read for anyone who is a ruuner or thinking about becoming a runner. The book is entertaining, informative and fun. It also would make a great gift for a runner in your life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Run Like A Mother Will Give You The Strength For Motherhood
    I love running. I especially love running as a mom. It is my "me" time, my recharge time and one of the few things that is just for me. I so enjoyed every bit of this book from the humor to the tips. I love any book that inspires moms to take care of themselves and to realize that they can run, will love to run and deserve to run!

    Thank you Sarah and Dimity for giving a shout out to Stroller Strides!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read like a runner
    A friend of mine recommended this book to me as a new runner, and she was right! It's motivational and informative. I read part of it while on an airplane and it was all I could do not to run up and down the aisle! A great read for all running mothers!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for lady runners
    This one's for the ladies. The ones who like to move and move fast. It's called Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. It all started with two women who had just had children, trying to get back into running shape. They decided to pitch an article to Runner's World about their journey. That whole experience with them trying to balance family, work, and running lead them to write this book.

    There is a lot of great advice in here for runners of all ages, but it is geared toward time crunched mothers who have to consider their families in their decisions. They give advice on nutrition, racing, finding motivation, and managing children and husbands. Their insight is both humorous and helpful. This is a great read for women athletes who can relate to the authors' experiences and find inspiration in their successes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute greatness
    This book was absolutely wonderful. I have really enjoyed reading it and saddened by finishing the final chapter. The words of Sarah and Dimty really stayed with me - during runs, during my wanting to not run. I am buying this as gifts for all my running mother friends. I laughed out loud and found myself saying "thank you" for touching on all subjects that us mothers want to ask, but are afraid to. Loved it!!!! ... Read more

    5. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
    by Siddhartha Mukherjee
    Hardcover (2010-11-16)
    list price: $30.00 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1439107955
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 50
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive—and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars OFF THE CHARTS
    You remember the scene in the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"? From the top of the bluff looking into the distance at dusk, Butch sees the lights of the pursuing posse which doesn't stop tracking them even at night and says "How many are following us? They're beginning to get on my nerves. Who are those guys?" In the same threatening way cancers have been dogging human beings since the dawn of time, and although we now know quite a lot about cancer we still don't really know "who are those guys" or how to shake them. And they sure are "beginning to get on our nerves" as Butch said. Almost one out of four of us will eventually wrestle with cancer -- the defining illness of our generation -- and lose our lives in the process. Until it catches up with us most of us will try to ignore this fact, just as when we were very young children alone in our bedroom trying to go to sleep at night we tried to ignore the monster that we sometimes feared might be lurking in our bedroom closet.

    Enter oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee who almost parentally takes us by the hand to give us the courage to open with him the door to that dark and foreboding closet in order to see what is really lurking inside. Since eventually most of us are going to have to wrestle with this monster anyway -- either as a victim or as a loved one of a victim -- looking intelligently and closely into that dark closet does diminish fear and enhance wise perspective. And on this incredible journey into the depths of that darkness, what an absolutely marvelous guide is this modern day Virgil called Siddharta Mukherjee as he leads us on this long and often harrowing journey through the swarth that cancer has cut through mankind throughout time.

    Mukherjee is a veritable kaleidoscope. Turn his writing one way and you experience him as an exciting writer of page-turning detective stories or mystery stories; turn him another and he's a highly effective communicator of cellular biology; turn him a third and you get superb science writing; turn him a fourth and he has the grandeur and broad sweep of an excellent historian. It's hard to believe that this one book, combining all of these appealing characteristics, is the work of just one man. And underlying it all is his sterling medical training and credentials which have been enumerated often elsewhere.

    The book itself is a tour de force. It is the first book of such extraordinary scope regarding cancer. Its architectural structure brings to mind Melville's Moby Dick and how effectively and artfully Melville braided together the three strands of his great classic: a grand adventure story, the technology of whaling, and a treatise of humanity and philosophy. Equally effectively does Mukherjee weave together all the various facets of this iconic disease throughout history, from describing cancer from the patient's perspective, to viewing the never ending battles of physicians and medical researchers with cancer over the centuries, to examining the mysteries of the cellular nature of cancer itself and what really goes on in there, to the pro and con impact of this never ending plague on the spirit of the individual human and on our race as a whole, to peering into a crystal ball for a glance of cancer's and our future together. While doing all of this the alchemy of Mukherjee's writing continually turns science into poetry and poetry into science.

    Simply put, it is so good, and so incandescently clear and lucid, and so powerful, and so engrossing, and so easily consumed that you will not lay it down without someone or circumstances forcing you to.

    Had I read this book in my teens I would have found my life's career. I can only imagine that while you are reading this book, somewhere there will be some very young teenage girl or boy who will also be reading it at the same time you are, and who will become totally hooked by this book just as you will be, and who will go on to make a career in cancer research, a career that might provide the breakthrough that humanity has been searching and hoping for all of these many centuries. Thus although you will never know it, you will have "been there" at the initial motivation of that person and thus indirectly present at the earliest genesis of the eventual great idea.

    This book has THAT potential. It is THAT good.

    Kenneth E. MacWilliams

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Burden, The Mass, Onkos
    In the United States one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer in their lifetime. Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee, a medical oncologist, has written a definitive history of cancer. It may be one of the best medical books I have read. Complex but simple in terms of understanding. A timeline of a disease and those who waged the wars. In 1600 BC the first case of probable breast cancer was documented. In the thousands of years since, the Greek word, 'onkos', meaning mass or burden, has become the disease of our time. Cancer. The title of the book, is "a quote from a 19Th century physician" Dr Mukherjee had found inscribed in a library book that "cancer is the emperor of all maladies, the king of our terrors".

    As a health care professional and as a woman who is six years post breast cancer, Cancer has played a big part in my life. I used to walk by the Oncology clinic, and quicken my pace. I used to give chemotherapy to my patients, before it was discovered that the chemo was so toxic that it needed to be made under sterile conditions and given by professionals who specialized in Oncology. Dr Mukherjee, wisely discusses cancer in the context of patients, those of us who suffer. After all it is because of the patients, the people who have gone before us, who have contracted some form of cancer, they are the base of this science.

    Dr Mukherjee started his immersion in cancer medicine at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He relates the beginning of the study of ALL, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, by Dr Sidney Farber in 1947. Dr Farber, a pathologist at the time decided to change his focus and start caring for patients. He was given a medication to trial for ALL, and though most of his patients died, some survived to remission. This opened his world and with the help of Mary Lasker, and Charles E Dana, philanthropists, they opened one of the first clinics that specialized in cancer care and research, The Dana Farber Cancer Center. Dr Mukherjee gives us the timeline of ALL and lymphomas and the medications that turned into chemotherapy. The development of specific care for blood cancers and the emergence of AIDS and patient activism. He discusses the surgery for breast cancer. It was thought that the more radical the surgery the better the outcomes. We now know that lumpectomies have an excellent outcome. But, women before me had a radical removal of breast, chest tissue, lymph nodes and sometimes ribs. The lesson learned is that breast cancer is very curable now and all those men and women, the patients who suffered, gave us the answers and cancer care has moved on.

    The onslaught of chemotherapies changed the face of cancer, and the 1970's served us well. In 1986 the first outcomes of cancer care were measured. Tobacco emerged as an addiction and soon lung cancer was a leading cause of death. Presidential Commissions ensued, politics entered the world of cancer, the war against cancer and the war against smoking. The Pap smear was developed, and prevention came to the fore. The two sides of cancer, the researchers and the physicians at the bedside, who often thought never the twain shall meet, recognized the importance of research to bedside.

    The story of the boy 'Jimmy' from New Sweden, Maine, became the face of childhood cancer. The Jimmy Fund, a Boston Red Sox charity in Boston, is still going strong today. 'Jimmy' opened the door to the public for the need for money and research, and care for those with cancer. We follow Dr Mukherjee with one of his first patients, Carla, from her diagnosis through her treatment. He has given a face to cancer. We all know someone with cancer, those who survived and those who did not. Cancer prevention is now the wave of the future.

    "Cancer is and may always be part of the burden we carry with us," says Dr Mukherjee. He has now written a "biography of cancer" for us, those without special medical knowledge. However, he does go astray in some discussions such as genetics. I have an excellent medical background, and found I was floundering at times. As I discovered,and Dr. Mukherjee agrees, our patients are our heroes. They/we withstand the horrors of cancer, and the horrific, sometimes deadly treatments. The stories of his patients make us weep, and the complex decision making about their care make him the most caring of physicians.

    The 'quest for the cure' is the basis of all science and research, and Dr Mukherjee has written a superb tome in language that we can all attempt to understand. The biography of Cancer. Cancer may always be with us,Dr Mukherjee hopes that we outwit this devil and survive.

    Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-13-10

    Jimmy Fund of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The (MA) (Images of America)

    Early Detection: Women, Cancer, and Awareness Campaigns in the Twentieth-Century United States

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Everyman Book of Cancer
    The brilliance of this book is the effortlessness with which the author draws the reader into the world of cancer and keeps him there as a tourist or witness. Dr. Mukherjee's engaging style, precision of prose and overwhelming compassion imbue this work with an energy that carries the reader along a ride like none other.

    Whether the reader is a basic scientist or sociologist, a patient or healthcare provider, a philosopher or philanderer, this book will appeal, entertain and educate.

    A remarkable achievement.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Cancer was an all-consuming presence in our lives."
    Siddhartha Mukherjee's monumental "The Emperor of All Maladies" meticulously outlines the trajectory of cancer (derived from the Greek word "karkinos," meaning crab) over thousands of years, starting in ancient Egypt. In 2010, seven million people around the world will die of cancer. Many have experienced the horrors of this disease through personal experience. The author provides us with a global view of this "shape-shifting entity [that is] imbued with such metaphorical and political potency that it is often described as the definitive plague of our generation."

    In "The Emperor of All Maladies," we meet a variety of patients, doctors, scientists, and activists. We also hear the voices of such iconic figures as Susan Sontag, author of "Illness as Metaphor," and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose "Cancer Ward" is a desolate and isolating "medical gulag." Cancer is such a complex subject that it can only be understood by examining it in all of its facets: through myths, the anguish of its victims, and the untiring efforts of its adversaries, both past and present, some of whom were well-meaning but horribly misguided. Mukherjee says in his author's note that he has made an effort to be "simple but not simplistic." In this he has succeeded.

    Ancient physicians thought that such invisible forces as "miasmas" and "bad humors" caused cancers. Many years of experimentation, studies of human anatomy, laboratory work, and clinical trials have shown cancer to be a "pathology of excess" that originates from the uncontrolled growth of a single cell. Cancer is "unleashed by mutations--changes in DNA that specifically affect genes that incite unlimited cell growth." What treatment to use--surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches--is rarely an easy decision. Equally significant are the efforts of public health officials, who seek to reduce cancer's mortality through early detection (mammography and colonoscopy, among others, are screening methods in use today). In addition, cancer may be prevented by encouraging people to avoid environmental carcinogens such as cigarette smoke.

    This elegant and heartrending narrative is far more than a biography of a terrible malady. It is also a story of paternalism, arrogance, and false hope, as well as inventiveness, determination, and inspiration. We meet Sidney Farber, who pioneered a chemotherapeutic approach to leukemia in children during the 1940's and helped launch "the Jimmy Fund"; William Halstead who, in the nineteenth century, disfigured women with radical mastectomies that, in many cases, were not curative; Paul Ehrlich, who discovered a "magic bullet" to combat syphilis from a derivative of chemical dyes; Mary Lasker, a powerful businesswoman and socialite who zealously raised money and political awareness in what would become a national war on cancer; and George Papanicolaou, a Greek cytologist, whose Pap smear "changed the spectrum of cervical cancer." Mukherjee constantly moves back and forth in time, showing how the past and the present are closely interconnected.

    Throughout the book, Dr. Mukherjee's keeps returning to one of his patients, thirty-six year old Carla Long. In 2004, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. Carla would have a long road ahead of her, one filled with pain, fear, and uncertainty. We look to the future with cautious optimism that even greater progress will be made in our never-ending battle against a treacherous and multi-pronged enemy. Mukherjee is a brilliant oncologist, gifted writer, scrupulous researcher, and spellbinding storyteller. "The Emperor of All Maladies" is a riveting, thought-provoking, and enlightening work that deserves to become an instant classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All In favor say "Aye"
    There seems little left to say so I'll take a different tack, look to another facet of this book and its author.

    Today I heard Dr. Mukherjee interviewed on the Terry Gross show (Fresh Air - NPR), where the topic, the book, was biased in favor of the author ... and a wonderful treat it was. While I am interested in cancer and progress toward cure, the fascinating aspect of today's experience was the man himself. In all the interviews of all the interviewers I've listened in on - mostly literary in nature - I've never heard a more articulate responder than Mukherjee. He's a poet. His choice of words slice in toward meaning like the scalpel itself. He avoids vagueness and ambiguity, courts acuracy and precsion like no one I've heard. He is a treat just to listen to, never mind his insights into the disease, it's history and possible future.

    I ordered this book today in order to get more of his artistry but I wouldn't discourage those seeking the phycician's prowess - that is there too. If I should be in that 25% that ends up with cancer, I would hope Dr. Mukherjee would be there to consult with me and console.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As magentic as a biography can be
    As a work of scholarship, this book is just tremendous. Mukherjee traces the history of our understanding of cancer from 2500 BC to present-day. He writes of political battles for public attention, incredible wiles in the biology of the disease, and schisms among the researchers sent to conquer it. All major developments are present and sourced in sixty pages of footnotes. From this grand historical scope, Mukherjee has crafted a tight and coherent narrative that I found very difficult to put down. I'm aware of no lay-account of cancer with anything approaching the level of depth present here. This book is one-of-a-kind.

    Like anything so vast, it isn't quite perfect. Certain structural changes would benefit fluency, though they've no impact on my unqualified recommendation.

    * More humanizing characteristics and quotations. Smaller researchers, and occasionally even key players, are summed by little more than what they've accomplished. There are perhaps a hundred contributors that Mukherjee covers, but with exception to a handful that have had tens of pages devoted to them or some peculiar eccentricity, they're interchangeable and unmemorable.

    * A more even balance between discovery and those stricken by cancer. Mukherjee is at his best when he's describing the struggles of his own patients. These stories are touching, personal, and an intensely interesting ground-level foil to the bird's eye view of much of the book. The retrospective of cancer discovery is so vast and detailed that these rare moments where the story reverts to the present can feel like an oasis.

    Roughly half of The Emperor is comprised of five and ten-page vignettes where Mukherjee poses a question ("If XY, then could XYZ ... ?") and resolves it with the travails of a researcher ("Person Q, a scientist at H, noticed ..."). These accounts are often gripping, especially as advances accelerate in the mid-1980s, but sets of four or five in a series are enough to cause my attention to drift.

    * A different ending. In the final chapters, Mukherjee suggests he'd originally intended to conclude with the death of a particular patient. By serendipity, that patient was still living in late 2009. Given the great strides in cancer survival and the sense he conveys that genetics may well provide the magic bullets that so occupied the fantasies of early researchers, concluding on a high note would have been within the spirit of the book. Instead, Mukherjee describes another patient that did in fact die. This person was not previously introduced. She was a better fit for the narrative, but including her account for that purpose didn't strike the right tone to me.

    Structure aside, I'd like to have seen Mukherjee become more of a prognosticator in later chapters. I was reeling at the sheer mass of information on display by the last page, but I also felt as if I'd accumulated a great depth of trivia with little binding glue to the present. There probably aren't a hundred people alive in a better position than the author to comment on the state of cancer research, to predict, or to theorize in new directions. But these insights are spare.

    These points aside, if you've even a tangential interest in cancer or biology, Mukherjee's opus remains a must-read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular insight into the most feared of all diseases
    This is a spectacular book. I read 100 books a year and this is definitely in the top 10. It is very, very well written and, in some ways, it is like a mystery. The way the book is written, we follow the stream of research and clinical medical treatment over 150 years. It's like feeling around in the dark for a bomb that we know will go off. It is simultaneously horrifying and compelling. I am a doctor and think I am compassionate towards my patients. This book increased my compassion 10X. What surprised me the most was the politics involved in attempting to cure a disease that potentially affects everyone. Surgeons want to cut and oncologists want to drug. They each have their turf and don't want to give it up. The fact that 50% of all men and 33% of all women will get some form of cancer before they die is a very sobering one. The section on the evilness of the tobacco industry was particularly illuminating. I can't put the book down and will truly be sad when it is finished.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic insight into the science behind medical research
    Great book, I will read it again. I love learning and understanding the thought processes, errors and vast achievements of all aspects of scientific research, particularly medicine. This book does not disappoint. The author leans somewhat heavily on his thesaurus, be prepared to dig around in the dictionary. However, great history and insight into the scientific method. A fascinating peek into the mind of a scientist and a clinician. Must read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The New Standard for Cancer Stories
    It is difficult to even imagine the stacks of reports, articles, notes and interviews that Dr. Mukherjee processed to produce this fabulous book. Each page explains, in very readable prose, complex, arcane subjects. For anyone looking for reason to hope that their cancer is curable, this book is trove of stories of lives saved and changed by the work of cancer researchers.
    This book will be referenced in other works for a long time. ... Read more

    6. The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.
    by Timothy Ferriss
    Hardcover (2009-12-15)
    list price: $22.00 -- our price: $11.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307465357
    Publisher: Crown Archetype
    Sales Rank: 58
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    More than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content.

    Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

    This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
    •How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
    •How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
    •How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
    •How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
    •How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”

    The new expanded edition of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek includes:
    •More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point
    •Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal
    •How Lifestyle Design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times
    •The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Better Than The First Version By A Very Long Shot . . . Definitely Worth The Investment
    I reviewed the first edition of The Four Hour Workweek and was surprised by the content, it was a fresh look at a new idea (Lifestyle Design) and it offered some really practical, useful advice that virtually anyone could implement. I recommended the book to many people, most liked it some didn't.

    I eagerly pre-ordered this version of the book when I first heard about it mostly because I was curious if it would really be better . . . and boy was it!

    I sat down with this book and read until the wee hours of the morning. Sure a lot of the material is the same, but there are around 100 new pages of material and that material is what the first edition desperately needed. The new material is solid examples, case studies, new resources and it addresses how to navigate lifestyle design in a rapidly changing economy.

    Tim includes a list of things learned in 2008 along with lessons learned, this section of the book was priceless. Here are a few of the things he talks about:

    1. Don't accept large or costly favors from strangers - Exceptions, uber-successful mentors who are making introductions and not laboring on your behalf.

    2. You don't have to recoup losses the same way you lose them - An interesting discussion of mortgages.

    3. One of the most universal causes of self-doubt and depression: Trying to impress people you don't like (This one really hit home with me . . . hard)

    4. Slow meals = life

    5. Money doesn't change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer have to be nice.

    6. It doesn't matter how many people don't get it. What matters is how many people do.

    7. I should not invest in public stocks where I cannot influence outcome (Another hearty agreement from me).

    The list goes on as does the new information in the book. This one is a must read for anyone who wants to break the slave-save-retire cycle and live on purpose now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reading Comprehension is Key
    I'd like to preface this review with something interesting about the Amazon reviews for this book. Many 1-star reviewers accused the 5-star reviewers of being "plants." Especially the ones who hadn't reviewed a book before on Amazon. How do they know that the person wasn't just so moved by the book they made their first Amazon review? We all had that first book we reviewed at one point or another. And extreme feelings about a book, either extreme love or extreme hate, tend to motivate one to share that view with the world.

    What I found amazing was, most of the 1-star reviews were reviews of positive reviews, not the book, even though they claimed to be reviews of the book. With all that was taken out of context and twisted, it was clear that most of the 1-star reviewers either didn't read the book or don't have sufficient reading comprehension to be a critic of anything. I find this unfortunate since many negative-minded people read these reviews and respond with things like: "This was what I suspected, glad I didn't waste my money." I'm not sure what exactly the threat is in exploring new ideas whether you agree with them or not, at least allow your mind the opportunity to choose.

    This book is not about being lazy. It's not a get-rich quick scheme. It's not about being dishonest or unethical. It became very clear that some people really truly believe that working few hours on work you hate to free up time for more productive and meaningful life activities is somehow "immoral." I guess the Puritanical mentality this country started out with (earliest settlers here) has seeped deeper into our overall culture than we once imagined.

    I used to be very held back by the notion of "the other people in the world who are suffering." i.e. why should I seek to make my life situation better when it seems selfish compared to all the starving Ethiopian children, for example. But the crux of the issue is this... I am either helping, being helped, or breaking even. Breaking even would be when a person barely scrapes by enough to support and take care of their own family unit (people living in the house with them.) They are often in debt, middle-class generally, but living paycheck to paycheck or not far above it. They live from scarcity rather than abundance and so any little bit they have over they have to save rather than use to help someone else.

    Others are constantly "being helped" by the government, by charities, by whoever. Now I'm not making a moral judgment against either of these groups of people. Living in a money-based instead of a community-based society is hard. However... people often rush to judge those who either HAVE money or WANT to have money as automatically immoral or bad people. And that's not true. Who do you think the helpers are? It's certainly not the people who need help, and it's not the people in that middle class prison that can't seem to get ahead. It's the people who have extra money TO help. And those are also the people who volunteer the most because surprise surprise they have more TIME to donate than any of the other groups.

    So I think people would benefit themselves quite a bit if they changed their attitude about acquiring money. Yes, there will always be greedy people who acquire at the expense of others. There will always be people who are materialistic and just want more and more useless "stuff." But then there are others who acquire money and more personal freedom who use a good portion of both of those assets to help others. And contrary to what many readers seemed to get out of the book (or out of their reading of the reviews only), the author's message isn't about being greedy, but about acquiring freedom and then using that freedom for something that benefits both you and others at the same time.

    Pointless drudgery and suffering for the sake of it is... pointless. It's not character building necessarily and it doesn't make you a better person necessarily. And especially if a lot of the suffering is self-imposed based on a refusal to think outside of a very limiting box.

    The author's definition of the "new rich" is a sliding barometer. For example his view (and I agree) is that someone who makes $40,000 a year and is totally 100% mobile and can live ANYWHERE in the world, and go anywhere in the world, is far more rich than someone making $500,000 a year who hates their job, works 80 hour weeks and is trapped in one location (usually a very expensive American city like NY or LA.) This is very true. You'd be amazed by the variable in quality of life for your dollar depending on where you live, even just in the United States there is huge variability.

    This book explores a lot of ways for you to simplify your life and get work done with as soon as possible so you can get on to other things. Timothy Ferriss is NOT saying that you can work 4 hours a week starting tomorrow. The goal of this particular book for this particular outcome is one of two things: either to work remotely for your employer and increase productivity to the point that you can work fewer hours (though probably more than 4 a week) from home or anywhere else you are, or starting a business with the goal of automation at the end. i.e. internet business, product-based businesses (online), information products. You do a lot of work on the front end to create a product and set up an infrastructure so you don't have to continue to micromanage the business forever. You can go on to doing other things, either another income stream or micro-business on another topic/idea/product, or some other activity that interests you.

    This is the kind of track I'm on and have been on for a little while now. This book wasn't overly novel to me because I'd already been initiated into this type of "Freedom-based" thinking through books like: "Unjobbing: The Adult Liberation Handbook," "Making a Living Without a Job," and "How I found Freedom in an Unfree World," all amazing books and paradigm shifters that make you take stock of what YOU want and not what you're "supposed" to want and that also make you look at money and acquiring it in whole new ways. Every single one of them is valuable in their own right and reading those books probably made this book far less "out there" to me. Since apparently it seems pretty "out there" to a lot of people.

    I've owned a service business before (wedding coordinating) and a craft business (candlemaking) and on both fronts I realized quickly that even if I was spectacularly successful, that there was a definite ceiling on the amount of money I could earn with either without adding significant complication into the mix (i.e. working long hours indefinitely and employees which I would then have to manage.) In the case of candles I could have gone an entirely different route into outsourcing manufacturing, but then it would cease being a "crafts" business and turn into just retail.

    There is a common saying among entrepreneurs that they would rather work 16 hours a day for themselves than 8 hours a day for someone else. Well I don't even want to work 8 hours a day. It's not that I'm lazy, I just have other things to do, and if you enhance your productivity there really is no genuine reason to work that many hours a day. Most people in 9-5 jobs are getting about 3-4 hours of genuine WORK done a day. Well that's about what I do, but I just do it in a concentrated effort and don't get sidetracked by other things. Some days I work 6 hours especially when I'm in the new phase of a project, but that's about my max. Granted, we are talking about income producing activities here. This doesn't include cooking and cleaning which is also technically work, or exercise, which is a form of work. I enjoy exercise, but I enjoy most of what I do to one degree or another so liking or not liking the activity can't be the barometer for what is and isn't work.

    Anyway this is an incredibly long-winded way of saying that I really enjoyed this book, and didn't find it that "out there." It's somewhat amusing to see the people who "do" find it that "out there" because I don't really think I'm an impractical person. But I will admit that it has probably helped that I'm so stubborn, I just pretty much refused to buy into many of the ideas I was "supposed" to buy into regarding work. So even with the first paradigm-shifting book I read in this category, I was open to the ideas. I'm not a lazy person but I also don't mistake "busyness" for productivity or accomplishment.

    I was already familiar with a lot of the mentalities and ideas in the book from my exposure to the above mentioned books as well as learning experiences I've already had in business and things I'd figured out on my own, but I did learn a few new techniques and he also helped to boil down some things for me that will be useful in launching my next income stream which will hopefully eventually replace the freelance work I'm doing now. Because the goal eventually is automation so I can free up time to just write what I want (with or without big profit at the end of it), and focus on other pursuits.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the top 3 influential books I have read!
    Brief Background: I owned and operated 4 bookstores in Austin, Tx for 13 years. I have read a lot of books and have sold many books on being successful in business and life. This is my first review.
    I was given this book by a business partner and I was reluctant to read one more book on the secrets of a great life. I was fascinated and hooked after the first few pages. I am going to keep this simple. If you are clear that greatness is inside of you, then this book is for you. If you are clear that you have nothing to offer, then this book is for you. This book is a paradox as is Tim Ferriss. This is not a get rich quick book. It is a book that gives you all you need to have an amazing life. And along the way you may get rich. If you just do part of what he says your life will be great. If you attempt all of his recommendations...who knows. He gives you assignments at the end of every chapter to explore your limitations. Thanks Tim for pushing yourself beyond what experts said you couldn't do.

    Because of Tim's book I started 6 internet websites...3 made me zip and didn't cost me much except some time and a little money(under $100 each). The other 3 are making me a total of $2000 a month profit for the last 6 months. I also drastically reduced the amount of time I work at my other business'. ... Read more

    7. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $14.58
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0307266303
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 80
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?
    Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians of have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner, Chris McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A great story and so much more, May 16, 2009
    Born to Run succeeds at three levels. First, it is a page turner. The build up to a fifty-mile foot race over some of the world's least hospitable terrain drives the narrative forward. Along the way McDougall introduces a cast of characters worthy of Dickens, including an almost superhuman ultramarathoner, Jenn and the Bonehead--a couple who down bottles of booze to warm up for a race, Barefoot Ted, Mexican drug dealers, a ghostly ex-boxer, a heartbroken father, and of course the Tarahumara, arguably the greatest runners in the world.

    Born to Run is such a rip-roaring yarn, that it is easy to miss the book's deeper achievements. At a second level, McDougall introduces and explores a powerful thesis--that human beings are literally born to run. Recreational running did not begin with the 1966 publication of "Jogging" by the co-founder of Nike. Instead, McDougall argues, running is at the heart of what it means to be human. In the course of elaborating his thesis, McDougall answers some big questions: Why did our ancestors outlive the stronger, smarter Neanderthals? Why do expensive running shoes increase the odds of injury? The author's modesty keeps him from trumpeting the novelty and importance of this thesis, but it merits attention.

    Finally, Born to Run presents a philosophy of exercise. The ethos that pervades recreational and competitive running--"no pain, no gain," is fundamentally flawed, McDougall argues. The essence of running should not be grim determination, but sheer joy. Many of the conventions of modern running--the thick-soled shoes, mechanical treadmills, take no prisoners competition, and heads-down powering through pain dull our appreciation of what running can be--a sociable activity, more game than chore, that can lead to adventure. McDougall's narrative moves the book forward, his thesis provides a solid intellectual support, but this philosophy of joy animates Born to Run. I hope this book finds the wide audience it deserves.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal book about running but more importantly a way of life, May 17, 2009
    My wife handed me Born to Run about 24 hours ago and said "you might like this." Having run quite a bit but nursing an achilles tendon injury for about 3 years, I had almost given up on my dreams of getting back into marathon shape. 24 hours (and very little sleep) later, I feel inspired, awed, and enlightened, and I have Christopher's wonderful book to thank.

    In a nutshell, I have not been this entralled by a story since Shadow Divers, Seabiscuit and/or Into Thin Air. Christopher's recounting of the forbidding Copper Canyons, the amazing Tarahumara, ultramarathoners young and old, and the greatest race you've never heard of is enough for me to give this a rave review. But like the aforementioned books, there is so much more to this story, not the least of which was Christopher's own quest (and amazing resiliency) to run without pain. Finally, he put to words many of the thoughts and feelings I've had about running but am unable to articulate. And Christopher is a great writer - I laughed out loud many times throughout. He has a style akin to a Timothy Cahill - a great wit that was obviously aided by a wonderfully intriguing cast of characters.

    As the sun was coming up this morning I was a bit sad to see this book end, and am already contemplating picking it up again. But only after I strap on the old, beaten up sneaks and get in a quick jog. Thanks so much for writing this book - I hope it changes lives and perspectives in the process.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Cure for Modernity, May 11, 2009
    If, when you finish with this book, you don't immediately get yourself outside and run like hell, then there's probably not a drop of living blood in you. This book is the perfect antidote to everything that's wrong with modern running and the way to find everything that's still so right with it. Even if it were all a work of fiction McDougall's tale would still be worth the price of admission. Fabulous.

    4-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for inspiration, 3 stars for some hyperbole, July 5, 2009
    I have to ditto other readers who said this book changed their life. And that is not hyperbole. Prior to reading this book I viewed myself as a fast short distance runner and I rarely, if ever, ran more than 3 miles at a time. I felt this was just the way things were and that I should accept it.

    "Born to Run" completely changed my internal thought process about running. I was already aware of the running shoe issue. I've been slowly using Vibram Five Fingers for over a year and I've been trying to alter my gate from heel strike first to toe strike first. I found that it just takes patience and time to adapt in getting those muscles developed. McDougall is no liar - we've been screwed over by the running shoe companies. The first time I ran with the Vibram's I could barely walk for a week I was in so much pain. Now I can climb mountains in them.

    What changed for me after reading this book was just the simple notion that I wasn't limited by some personal flaw or lack of will. I was failing to run longer distances because both my mindset and my running style were flawed. One, we can all run farther than we think. Two, don't get obsessed over speed or time, just run at a pace that feels comfortable. Your body will tell you when you can step it up a notch. In other words, just enjoy the experience.

    Before I started the book my max was 3 miles with a hard push on the first two. Five weeks after reading the book I can now do 8 miles or more. I can probably do 10 or more now, but haven't pushed because I'm still working on getting those calve muscles stronger and adapted to the new running style. Don't get me wrong - I'm running slow! But wow, does it feel good. I'm enjoying running more and I feel better than ever before. My blood pressure, which was high, is now below normal and I feel great. One of the points McDougall makes in the book is that many experienced ultra runners don't run that fast. Many of them are just doing 10 minute miles. That's part of what caused me to rethink my obsession over speed.

    Unfortunately, as a few critics have pointed out, McDougall's book does come off as hyperbole in some parts. I also strongly disliked his focus on extremists. "Barefoot Ted" is one example.

    Just search the net for the term "barefoot running" and you'll find some of the most absurd absolutist garbage about how the only way to run is barefoot and anyone who stoops to using shoes (even the likes of Nike Free shoes or the Vibram's) is misguided or even stupid. The sad reality is that we have all been lied to by the shoe companies - Nike especially. These lies are pushed on us by the alleged "experts." I recently picked up a pair of Nike Hayward Prefontaine runners. "Runners World" gave them a mixed review and slammed the shoe for not having enough support. So we have the barefoot absolutists telling us to ditch our shoes and we have the mainstream press telling us we need to wear the very shoes that are making us weaker runners. And the accepted normal shoes do make us weaker - I was told by a doctor after two major ankle injuries that I'd be limping for life if I was injured again. That ankle is the strongest it has ever been after changing my running style.

    You don't change people's minds by using extremists to make your case. And that's unfortunately what comes across at times in McDougall's book. I would have personally preferred more information about his personal transformation and less on the likes of "Barefoot Bob" and the other runners who share very little in common with everyday people who just want to get into shape.

    I don't think "Born to Run" is going to be that interesting to those who are already hardcore runners. The more you already run, the more the hyperbole will stick out. But I do recommend the book to those who thought like I did about what was physically possible for them. After reading this book you won't be able to watch a marathon again and think of how it's beyond your abilities. You won't make it into the Olympics, but the odds are you can run a marathon.

    And speaking of marathons, McDougall makes an earth shattering point about older runners and their ability to outrun teenagers. The age at which you can beat a teenager (in long distance running), assuming you've trained appropriately, will blow your mind. Since it's one of McDougall's "secrets" I won't post the spoiler here. It's just one of his many points that will make you rethink your own ability to run.

    EDIT: I have to scoff at all the critics of this book who say to take it all with a grain of salt. Each person is obviously different so your mileage will vary. Nonetheless, the central message in McDougall's book is that YOU can run and you can run longer distances than you think.

    I served in the Army and I was a runner in high school. And yet, at almost 40 - with heart disease and a stent implant! - I'm now running longer distances than I have ever run in my life. One of the reasons is simply because I took McDougall's advice. I'll never run ultra-marathons, but that doesn't matter.

    There are nuggets of truth and inspiration in this book along with all the exaggerations. If you're already a long distance runner there's very little meat for you to digest and the hyperbole will annoy. But if you're one of the many people who've never gone more than a few miles there's a powerful message here.

    I now can outrun all 3 of my nephews (15 to 24) nephews in the long distance. On one fast 4.5 mile mountain hike (Mt. Monadnock in NH) I beat my athletic 15 year old nephew by more than 3 minutes. He led the entire run/hike until the end when I left him in the dust after he ran out of steam. He had the speed, I had the stamina - just like McDougall presents it in his book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars running-yes, Tarahumara-?, August 18, 2009
    I am not a runner, but I did find the running portions of the book interesting. However, the parts about the Tarahumara people was another example of outsiders glorifying one portion of a peoples' lives and ignoring or not reporting correctly the rest.
    I lived on the western edge of the Copper Canyon for five years amongst the Tarahumara. They are amazing runners! I had the privilege of watching not the long races, but the shorter 5 to 10 mile ball races in which the men split into usually two groups of about 4. They take turns kicking a wooden ball to a designated spot then return. Bets are placed on the runners and teams. Women also have a races. The races can take hours and the teams are very soon lost to sight, but the crowd stays put and waits. Bets range from chickens to tesguino #homemade corn alcohol# parties #the later being far more popular#.
    However, though the races are exciting, they are only one small highlight in the often miserable lives the Tarahumara live. One review used the word frugal in relation to the Tarahumara. I rarely have seen a word used so wrongly. Most live in extremely small homes built of logs or planks, while the more remote live in small caves. They have nearly as close to nothing as humans can get. This is NOT by choice; they are desperately poor. Often men will commit crimes so that they can be put in the small town jails where they receive a blanket, clothing, and regular meals #once a day of usually beans and corn tortillas#. The people try to grow corn #not sweet#, beans and squash, but the terrain is rocky and steep, and the dirt is poor for crops. Most must apply fertilizers they receive on a debt schedule from the government. Though many have goats, these are not for eating, they are instead used for fertilizer. If a goat dies, then it gets eaten. The list of privations is long and sad, especially concerning the children #an area of Tarahumara life that is often far from glorious#. And they are vicitims of drug growers, just not always how we think of victims.
    My criticism is not of Mr. McDougall's admiration for the Tarahumara runners because he is correct: they are fantastic runners. My hope, however, is that people will see far more than just the running.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for runners, May 23, 2009
    When have you seen a book with this many reviews and none below 5 stars? You know what this book is about from the other descriptions and reviews. Here's how I feel about it. This is the first time I've reviewed a book on and it's the first thing I wanted to do when I finished the book ten minutes ago. The second thing I will do is email many of my friends to urge them to get the book. I will NOT loan them my copy! My wife will be reading it next, though I interrupted her so many times to read portions of it that she is already thinking of people to tell about it.
    I've been a serious runner (sometimes more/often less) for 40 years and have read countless articles and books about running. This is the best. It satisfied my running soul and my academic mind. I couldn't wait to finish it and I didn't want it to end.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Strong finish, just like a great marathoner, August 23, 2009
    If you'd asked me for a review halfway through this book, I would have said that it was pretty good, but it was also annoying. I enjoyed the travel adventure aspect and the and sociology study of the Tarahumara people of Mexico, but I was annoyed by the author's hipster language and gung-ho, X-games style. (I find that type of writing to be designed to make you feel guilty that you're not as cool or fearless; but I always think, well, how does this guy's wife and two kids feel when he leaves for 5 weeks to go on an adventure for an article?)

    But at some point, the author found his stride (or perhaps I found a way to match his stride), and I was hooked. McDougall has a fantastic finishing kick, in the sense of tieing things together. He wraps up disparate ideas from sociology, history, biology, modern athletic competition, nutrition, and X-games type partying into one satisfying whole. And, contrary to making me jealous, the book potentially will change my life. I'm starting to work on the running style that he advocates, and I hope that it will reduce or eliminate the persistent heel pain I've had for more than 5 years.

    McDougall, is an established freelance writer who's not afraid of challenges (war reporting, X-games types of adventures, etc.). He's not your average guy, despite his effort to portray himself as such. But the one nagging thing for him is that he's been unable to become a decent distance runner despite years of effort, expensive equipment, and the help of a multitude of doctors, massagers, and physical therapists. At the point of his worst failure, he decides to find out if a radically different type of running style will give him the breakthrough that he is seeking.

    And thus, McDougall goes in search of the Tarahumara, "tribes" of natives who live in the Copper Canyon region of Mexico. Living in an extremely harsh environment and desperate to hide from centuries of human predators (conquistadores, Mexican government, drug smugglers), the Tarahumara have developed super-human abilities to run long distances in the heat and without much water or food. Are they just rumor, in the same way as the legendary running monks and other endurance specialists? McDougall sets out to find out if they exist, and then if they have learned techniques that can be translated to the lifestyles of the rest of us.

    The descriptions of wandering around Tarahumara territory are fascinating. The land is a bunch of dirt trails and shantytowns of 5-20 buildings, set impossibly deeply in canyons and almost invisible from 50 yards away. But with the help of an American, Micah True, who's refashioned himself as Caballo Blanco and become a part of the Tarahumara community, McDougall gets to meet some runners and see them in action. He's convinced that they are doing things differently, and he agrees to help Caballo Blanco by publicizing Caballo's dream of a race between the Tarahumura and the world's best distance runners. Actually, the Tarahmuara have raced -- and won -- ultramarathons throughout the US West; but Caballo's idea is to bring the modern world's runners down to Tarahumara territory instead.

    As we build towards the race, McDougall explains how the Tarahumara run: literally. The Tarahumara run in homemade sandals from discarded tires, and they can go 50, 60, 100 miles a day over unforgiving terrain. The different is that they move differently than those of us who use highly padded running shoes. They use their whole feet and their legs to absorb impact, rather than landing on their heels. Apparently, our high-tech shoes have made our arches soft, which has then pressured our Achilles, calves, ankles, etc., and that's why so many of us distance runners have chronic injuries.

    In exploring this difference, McDougall gives us quick history and biology lessons, covering evolution, the Olympics, and utra-distance running. It's great stuff. And he introduces us to Scott Jurek, perhaps the world's most accomplished ultra runner, and a never-quit guy; up-and-comers Jenn Shelton and Billy Barnett, two surfer-hipsters who eschewed proper food and normal training; Dr. Joe Vigil, an elite running coach who also believed in the innovations of the Tarahumara; and Rick Fischer, a runner and entrepreneur who first brought the Tarahumara out of the Canyon. Other characters abound, too.

    It all comes together unforgettably on the road trip down the Canyon, complete with near-death experiences, warm cultural exchanges, and the ultimate respect that world-class athletes have for each other.

    And if this book has exposed me to a running style that will reduce my pain, then it will literally change my life. How often can you say that about a book?

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Run Revolution is BORN, May 17, 2009
    There is no confusing the message of this book and it starts with the title. It is a message of adventure, inspiration, hope, revelation, and living your life unconditionally. If you are a runner, you will want to read this book so slowly, not wanting it to end. And, you will most likely be wanting to head out for a run after each chapter anyway. If you are a frustrated runner with injuries or a beginning runner, this book gives you HOPE and possibility. Quite simply, McDougall lays the foundation of how we were all Born to Run and tells you why we "should" be running.

    Most of all, this book leaves a lasting "runners high" for runners and non-runners alike. This is a story about following your passion and how powerful self belief can be.

    We are all born to run, but maybe even more important, we are born to be individuals, and McDougall is masterful at taking a true running adventure with real characters and illustrates how powerful running can be to life, and how powerful life can be to running.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read, September 20, 2009
    One of my favorite things about Born to Run is how the author explores several technical myths (mostly perpetuated by athletics companies) about exactly what you need to do in order to be a great distance runner, and dispels them.
    I've been a casual runner ever since my late teens, but I've never been able to get beyond the 8-mile mark due to some knee and hip problems. Information in this book led me to restructure my form and diet after a long break from running, and now I'm doing 6 miles a couple times a week and my old joint issues haven't so much as reared their heads. I'm training for my first half-marathon in November, and I plan on doing a full one soon thereafter if all goes well.

    But the technical stuff only occupies the smallest percentage of what this book is all about, and isn't the best reason to check it out. Not by a long shot.

    Born to Run is, at it's heart, an adventure story. It's hard to imagine a book about distance running being very exciting, but Christopher McDougall's (completely true) account is full of so much action, it could be made into a Hollywood blockbuster. From his surprisingly dynamic and exciting descriptions of the few footraces he chronicles in the book, to the close-call brushes with death the characters must face (among them some chilling encounters with territorial drug traffickers), this book is as entertaining as any novel I've ever read. Near the end of the book when the author describes the race mentioned in the title, I swear it was like watching Top Gun for the first time when I was a kid.

    And yet that's not all this book has to offer.

    Born to Run has the power not only to make you love running, but to spark in you a greater love for being human and humanity as a whole. McDougall makes an extremely powerful case for several novel ideas, among them that the ability to run for extremely long distances (a very unique ability in the animal kingdom, and indeed the major one that sets us apart from other creatures, second only to our intellect in importance) was the primary reason for our species' success in it's earliest infancy. He also suggests to us that because running is so intimately tied to our survival as a species, it is also intimately tied to our most important emotion for survival: Love. Love is by far the biggest theme evident in this book, and it doesn't seem at all like a coincidence that it shines through to an amazing degree in the personalities of each and every one of the athletes mentioned. Love of life, love of running, love of others, love of self.

    To sum it all up, this is a truly three-dimensional work of literature that had a profound effect on me. Intellectually, it changed the way I think about the human race, our origins, and our place in the world. Physically, it gave me information that allowed me to improve my performance as a runner and aim higher as an athlete. And spiritually, it reinforced the lessons of unity, compassion, peace, and brotherhood that great men and women have been trying to teach us for thousands of years which still, somehow, get pushed to the wayside when we look for the easy way out.

    Best $20 I ever spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, May 12, 2009
    I am not a runner, but I want to become one now. I picked this book up not as a fan of ultra distance running- I had always considered ultra distance runners as masochistic freaks driven by the runners high as their body tries to cope with this grueling activity that they were never meant to do. After reading this book, I still think ultra distance runners are freaks, but not masochistic ones. They are freaks because they are some of the few who understand that man was designed to run, and run long distances. The book centers around trying to unearth the secret of the Tarahumara Indians- how are they able to run long distances on insufficient nutrition on bad terrain with little foot protection without injury? While doing this, McDougall winds through the entertaining history of ultra running and its quirky athletes along with scientific evidence for the health benefits of endurance running, and barefoot endurance running in particular. This book is funny, mesmerizing, thought-provoking, and, if you thought you were not cut for running, may make you give it another go. Highly recommended. ... Read more

    8. Outliers: The Story of Success
    by Malcolm Gladwell
    Hardcover (2008-11-18)
    list price: $27.99 -- our price: $14.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0316017922
    Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
    Sales Rank: 79
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

    Brilliant and entertaining, OUTLIERS is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Where do you lie?
    The main tenet of Outliers is that there is a logic behind why some people become successful, and it has more to do with legacy and opportunity than high IQ. In his latest book, New Yorker contributor Gladwell casts his inquisitive eye on those who have risen meteorically to the top of their fields, analyzing developmental patterns and searching for a common thread. The author asserts that there is no such thing as a self-made man, that "the true origins of high achievement" lie instead in the circumstances and influences of one's upbringing, combined with excellent timing. The Beatles had Hamburg in 1960-62; Bill Gates had access to an ASR-33 Teletype in 1968. Both put in thousands of hours-Gladwell posits that 10,000 is the magic number-on their craft at a young age, resulting in an above-average head start.

    Gladwell makes sure to note that to begin with, these individuals possessed once-in-a-generation talent in their fields. He simply makes the point that both encountered the kind of "right place at the right time" opportunity that allowed them to capitalize on their talent, a delineation that often separates moderate from extraordinary success. This is also why Asians excel at mathematics-their culture demands it. If other countries schooled their children as rigorously, the author argues, scores would even out.

    Gladwell also looks at "demographic luck," the effect of one's birth date. He demonstrates how being born in the decades of the 1830s or 1930s proved an enormous advantage for any future entrepreneur, as both saw economic booms and demographic troughs, meaning that class sizes were small, teachers were overqualified, universities were looking to enroll and companies were looking for employees.

    In short, possibility comes "from the particular opportunities that our particular place in history presents us with." This theme appears throughout the varied anecdotes, but is it groundbreaking information? At times it seems an exercise in repackaged carpe diem, especially from a mind as attuned as Gladwell's. Nonetheless, the author's lively storytelling and infectious enthusiasm make it an engaging, perhaps even inspiring, read.

    Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is another of my favorites in this genre. I recommend it strongly because, unlike Gladwell's book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 shows you how to become an outlier...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Amazing Gladwell Journey
    Spoiler alert! This book contains about a dozen "whoa, amazing" nuggets that could change your life, or at least tell you why you never changed your life, and I'm going to include all of them here just to have them listed somewhere convenient online for my benefit (and yours). But as any Gladwell fan knows, you don't read his writings just for the "holy cow" moments, you read them for the journey he takes you on in delivering those moments. This work provides several amazing journeys, even as they stray progressively farther from what seems to be the advertised purpose of the book: to illustrate how certain people become phenomenal successes. We learn early on the secret to being a great Canadian hockey player, assuming you are already spectacularly talented and work hard. But eventually we wind up learning not how to become a spectacularly successful airline pilot, but rather a spectacularly bad one. No bother, the book is providing entertaining information that can transform your professional life. So as for those dozen points, here goes, and you've already been warned:

    1. There was a town in Pennsylvania called Roseto where people lived far longer and suffered far less from heart disease than people of similar genetic stock, eating similar diets, and living in similar nearby towns. The only explanation researchers could find was that Roseto had a uniquely strong sense of community: family and faith were both strong, and the wealthy did not flaunt their success.

    2. In the Canadian "all star" junior hockey league - the surest ticket to the NHL - the majority of the players on the winning team were born in January, February, or March. The league was for players between 17 and 20 years old. Why the month anomaly? Because in Canada, elite hockey teams have try-outs at the age of 10, and the age cut-off is January 1. In essence, the oldest 10 year olds are far better at hockey than the youngest 10 year olds, so the youngest (those born in December) have no chance to make the select teams, which are the only ones with excellent coaching. The pattern continues all the way through high school. Similar birthday patterns are seen in places such as the Czech junior national soccer team. Makes you wonder about what "good for your age" means in academics too.

    3. Many researchers believe in the "10,000 hour rule," namely that you need to spend about 10,000 hours on a skill - anything, including music, computer programming, business dealings in the expanding American West, or mergers and acquisitions - in order to become great at it. This is something Bill Gates and the Beatles have in common, thanks largely due to circumstances beyond their control.

    4. At least 15 of the wealthiest 75 people in world history (in modern dollars) were born in the 9 years from 1831 to 1840. They were old enough to have learned how to profit in the rapidly industrializing United States (via 10,000 hours of experience) but not so old as to have already settled down and been inflexible with their life options or concepts of business. Similar birthdate "coincidences" are seen among the wealthiest tech entrepreneurs including Bill Gates, and among some of the most successful lawyers in New York.

    5. In long-term studies, IQ is found to predict professional success - but only up to a score of about 120, past which additional points don't help. Nobel prize winners are equally likely to have IQs of 130 or 180. When minority students are admitted through affirmative action, their achievement scores may be lower, but as long as they are above the threshold, it does not affect the likelihood of professional success.

    6. Anecdotes from the "world's smartest man," (according to IQ tests) Chris Langan, and the children of middle class families, suggest that "practical intelligence" about when, how, and with what words to speak up are a huge factor in success - specifically when speaking up can save you from losing a scholarship. Longitudinal studies of high-IQ children showed that a family's high socioeconomic background was more important to predicting success than very high IQ.

    7. Many people put in their 10,000 hours in something like computer programming, but then never find themselves in the midst of a revolution where people with 10,000 hours of experience are desperately needed. Bill Gates did. The connections he formed as an early highly-sought programmer helped him rise and found Microsoft. Joe Flom, one of the most successful lawyers in New York, became a specialist in mergers and acquisitions before such transactions were considered "acceptable" business by mainstream lawyers. When the culture changed in the 1980s to accept such dealings, Joe Flom was the best of the best who had put in his 10,000 hours in a now-mainstream business. He became an historic success almost overnight.

    8. When economically tough times hit, people stop having children for fear of being unable to provide for them. However, this may be the best time to have children, because there are few other children competing for things such as classroom attention, spots on school sports teams, professors' attention, and jobs upon high school or college graduation. There are also more children a decade behind them who will provide the demand for the goods and services the older children will provide.

    9. The typical airline crash involves seven consecutive human errors, and crashes are significantly more likely to occur when the more-experienced captain is flying the plane, as opposed to the subordinate first officer. The likely reason is that the first officer is much less likely to speak up when he or she notices something wrong or a human error, and the captain is flying the plane. Flights in countries with a large "power distance index," which characterizes cultures where subordinates are generally afraid of expressing disagreement with superiors, are the most likely to crash. This included Korean air, which had the worst safety record among major airlines until it instituted a program requiring subordinates to speak up when there were problems. There are benefits to deferential, polite, and subtle conversation, but they are unlikely to be beneficial in stressful cockpit environments.

    10. There are at least two non-genetic reasons Asian people excel at math (and some tests have suggested that Asians may have genetic _disadvantages_ in math). First, most commonly used Asian languages use a monosyllablic, ordered, regular system to describe numbers, unlike English and European languages. This gives young children up to a year's head start in math. Second, math often requires persistence and trial and error, characteristics also needed for successful rice farming, the dominant form of agriculture (and employment) in Asia even in the 20th century. Hilarious evidence of correlation of persistence with high math scores is found in results on the TIMSS, an international math exam. The beginning of the exam includes a tedious 120-question section that asks students about their parents' education, their friends, and their views on math, among other things. It is exhausting, requiring great _persistence_, and some students leave it partially blank. If you rank countries by how many of the survey questions their students completed, and by the TIMMS score, the lists are "exactly the same." Holy cow! At the tops of both lists were Singapore, South Korea, China (Taiwan), Hong Kong, and Japan.

    11. Students from middle class and poor neighborhoods show an achievement gap in reading that widens over the years of elementary school. However, the financially poorer students progress (in terms of grades on standardized tests) the _same_ amount during the _academic_ year as the wealthier students. It is during the _summer_ break that better-off students with better-educated families continue to read and learn, while the less well-off students likely do not, and show major declines in autumn test scores compared to the previous spring. Students in "KIPP" (Knowledge Is Power Program) schools showed major success despite coming from low income neighborhoods, because of a much longer school day and academic year.

    12. The author, Malcolm Gladwell, tells a story in the final chapter about how his family, and thus he, benefitted from light skin tones and changing racial attitudes in Jamaica. It's a stretch compared to the rest of the book, but gets you thinking and is an awkwardly charming read. ... Read more

    9. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts
    by Gary Chapman
    list price: $14.99 -- our price: $5.91
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0802473156
    Publisher: Northfield Publishing
    Sales Rank: 102
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Marriage should be based on love, right? But does it seem as though you and your spouse are speaking two different languages? New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman guides couples in identifying, understanding, and speaking their spouse’s primary love language—quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.

    By learning the five love languages, you and your spouse will discover your unique love languages and learn practical steps in truly loving each other. Chapters are categorized by love language for easy reference, and each one ends with specific, simple steps to express a specific language to your spouse and guide your marriage in the right direction. A newly designed love languages assessment will help you understand and strengthen your relationship. You can build a lasting, loving marriage together.

    Gary Chapman hosts a nationally syndicated daily radio program called A Love Language Minute that can be heard on more than 150 radio stations as well as the weekly syndicated program Building Relationships with Gary Chapman, which can both be heard on

    The Five Love Languages is a consistent new York Times bestseller - with over 5 million copies sold and translated into 38 languages.  This book is a sales phenomenon, with each year outselling the prior for 16 years running!

    Includes a promotional code to gain exclusive online access to the new comprehensive love languages assessment.

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Where's The Needle On *Your* Love Tank?, October 7, 2003
    How's your relationship with your mate? Your children? Your parents? Your siblings? It may be a matter of the state of the "love tank".

    Author Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate believes everyone has a love tank, and that tank is filled by different love languages. These five languages are Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Quality of Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

    Often, we tend to give love in the languages we are most fluent in, which usually ends up being the languages that fill up our love tank. This would be why a husband who does yard work, dishes, car maintenance, etc. (Acts of Service) is floored when his wife says "You never show me you love me. You never cuddle with me, or caress my hair, or make the first move for sex." (Physical Touch). Or, "Why don't you spend time with me? Why do you work so much?" (Quality Time). And, "Why don't you buy me flowers? Why don't you ever get me cards or balloons...just because?" (Gifts) Or "You never tell me what I mean to you. Why don't you ever share with me what I mean to you, or what my good qualities are?" (Words of Affirmation) But, if her language is primarily Acts of Service, she'll feel so loved and honored because her husband does so many things for her, and thus feels "full" in her love tank.

    This may not sound like a big deal, but considering the divorce rate is 50% (as one relationship instance), and so many seem to be unhappy with their primary relationships, the concept of love languages may very well be a signficant factor in understanding self and others, and in relationship growth. Perhaps relationships get rocky or arrive at an impasse because individuals are speaking a different love language than what fills up the "love tank" of the object of their affection...and a result, the recipient doesn't feel loved. It's not that they feel empty and unfufilled because love isn't being given, but because the language "spoken" is not something that registers to the recipient as a form of love.

    Chapman further theorizes that we usually have 2 main love languages that fill up our tank. He also says that if a person has a hard time identifying their main love languages, they've either been on empty for so long and are out of touch with their needs, or they have been so filled up by their spouse, that all 5 languages tend to speak to them equally.

    A story in the book that illustrates the love tank theory is the "burnt toast syndrome". A woman was sick in bed. Her husband would always bring her burnt toast to her when she was ailing. She was so hurt and offended by this repeated insensitivity and ignorance, that she finally burst into tears one day, and asked him why he did that...and didn't he care? She was floored to hear him say "I'm sorry honey. I had no idea. Burnt toast is my favorite, and I gave you what I would consider my favorite breakfast...burnt toast."

    Chapman writes: "When your spouse's emotional love tank is full and he feels secure in your love, the whole world looks right and your spouse will move out to reach his highest potential in life. But when the love tank is empty and he feels used but not loved, the whole world looks dark and he will likely never reach his potential for good in the world."

    I recommend this book highly. It could very well be a relationship saver!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Learning to Speak, December 23, 2010
    The main idea behind this book is that just as people have unique personality preferences, we all have unique preferences for what we find satisfying and motivating when it comes to love. Your love language is the way that you most feel loved and cared for. The relationship expert behind the book arranges the book into the five love languages, and provides quizzes to help you determine which language you are:

    - Words of Affirmation:
    If this is your love language, you feel most cared for when your partner is open and expressive in telling you how wonderful they think you are, how much they appreciate you, etc. Basically, they find ways to remind you that their world is a better place because you are in it.

    - Acts of Service:
    If your partner offering to watch the kids so you can go to the gym (or relieving you of some other task) gets your heart going, then this is your love language.

    - Affection:
    This love language is just as it sounds. A warm hug, a kiss, snuggling, and sexual intimacy make you feel most loved when this is your love language. Touch is very important to you.

    - Quality Time:
    This love language is about being together with your partner, fully present and engaged in the activity at hand, no matter how trivial.

    - Gifts:
    The final love language is centered on the idea that your partner taking the time to think of you and give you a gift, no matter how small, is what makes you feel loved and appreciated.

    The problem is most people love how they want to be loved, and that doesn't tend to align with how their partner wants to be loved. So, you have to learn to speak your partner's love language. The author also believes that focusing intently on speaking the love languages will rekindle relationships where people don't even seem to like each other anymore.

    I find it challenging each day to put my own needs aside and focus on speaking my partner's love language, especially when competing priorities (work, kids, etc.) get in the way. This takes A LOT of emotional intelligence, and a girlfriend suggested a GREAT book that has helped me with it Emotional Intelligence 2.0

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Five Love Languages - by Gary Chapman, December 13, 1999
    The author reveals, through 25 years of counseling, that he has determined people communicate love in five basic ways.They are Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Giving Gifts. For example, if my primary love language is Quality Time, then I will show my love to others by spending quality time with them. If I don't receive that in return, my love tank will be empty. The author stresses the importance of knowing your loved one's love language so that you can communicate love to that person in a way in which he/she feels love, so that their love tank can be continually replenished. If my spous's love language is acts of service and he is always doing things for me to communicate his love, but I receive love through the language of quality time, I will not receive his acts of service as communicating love and therefore my love tank will be dry. I in return, must communicate my love to him through acts of service in order to fill his love tank. An empty love tank causes relationships to deteriorate.This book was excellent for teaching us to recognize the way in which our loved ones receive and feel loved.

    5-0 out of 5 stars BEST GIFT I HAVE EVER RECEIVED, CHANGED MY ENTIRE LIFE, October 4, 1999
    It is so simple and easy to understand. After I read it, I couldn't understand why I hadn't realized these concepts before. I wish I could give a copy of this book to every man, woman, and child. What a wonderful world we would have if we all understood the "Five Love Languages" and spoke them to all we meet everyday!! The family is a great place to start. My family and I regularly ask eachother "How full is the 'love tank?'". When things are tough at school, work or life in general, we now ask eachother freely "What can I do to make your love tank full?" Sometimes only the passing of time will cure a family problem (example: problems at work), but our family's committment to express to eachother the variety of dialects between quality time, words of affirmation, and physical touch (which seem to be the most needed of the 5 languages in our particular household when outside problems occur) can make the hardest of times go by so much easier and faster. How I wish everyone would read this book!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saved my marriage, January 12, 2004
    This book is absolutely incredible. Having serious marital problems, I was desperate for any kind of help. I was about to turn to counseling when I heard about this book. I decided to buy it so that my husband and I could read it together.

    Not expecting too much, one lazy morning I suggested to my husband that we lay in bed and begin reading this book out loud to eachother. We read 120 pages that morning! We could not put it down! Both of us shed a lot of tears that morning, this book really hit home.

    That morning when we woke up, everything seemed hopeless for us. After reading this book, we had hope that our problems can be resolved. Our attitude toward eachother has greatly changed since we read this book.

    Basically this book explains that people feel loved in different ways. For example, my love language is "quality time" and my husband's love language is "personal touch." Without quality time with my husband, I feel unloved... my husband feels unloved when we have a lack of physical contact. Our love languages are so different... before reading this book, I just thought that my husband wanted more sex for selfish reasons. When in reality, personal contact is what he needs to feel loved. Before reading this book, my husband hated when I nagged about spending time together.. but now he realizes that spending time with me is the best way to tell me that he loves me.

    Dr. Chapman says in this book that LOVE IS A CHOICE. Find your partner's love language style, then choose to show love to your partner in that way (it's not about what YOU need to feel loved, it's about what YOUR PARTNER needs). I thought that spending quality time with my spouse was the way I can show him I love him. In reality, that's MY love language, not HIS.

    Even if your partner does not want to read this book with you, there are ways you can begin to repair your marriage on your own, and before you know it, your partner will begin to reciprocate.

    This book is INCREDIBLE. I plan to pass it around my friends and family. Please invest the $12 and read this book, your marriage will never be the same again!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Five Languages Not Just for Couples, February 13, 2000
    What I love about this book is that it is a resource that helps me with people in my life. The title mentions "mate," yet the book gives insight to how all of us speak different love "languages." It doesn't necessarily mean within a romantic relationship. Some people are more inclined to give little gifts when showing someone they care. These are people who usually "expect" little gifts to show them how much they are cared about. The same goes for physically affectionate people, people who believe words said are most important, and so on. This is a great gift book for those going into relationships, those suffering from a recent relationship ending, as well as those who are in a present relationship. It's for women and men equally. Read it and find out what language you speak and therefore desire. You'll probably realize why roses aren't always the answer!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Learn to Speak Your Partner's Love Language, February 9, 2004
    Requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love. ~Gary Chapman

    It is amazing how you will just have learned a lesson and then read it in a book, however, there are many lessons you don't want to learn five years from now. This book is filled with ideas on how you can immediately transform your relationship from a cold grave to a peaceful island resort. Perhaps you want to change your life into an amazing adventure or you want to calm the storms.

    Gary Chapman presents five love languages. One of these languages may be your primary love language, but he takes it further and explores the dialects of love. I think that many of us want all five languages, but there are various ways each can be expressed.

    Gary explains the five languages in detail and finally you will understand why some people don't respond to your gifts and others go wild with happy kitten joy. When you meet someone who shares your primary language it can feel like you have entered a magical country where everyone is speaking your language.

    For some individuals, "words of encouragement" will be much higher on their list than "the show of love through gifts" or "acts of service."

    I had trouble deciding which language was my favorite, but I know I get a bit happy when I receive gifts. However, I noticed that I never complain about not receiving gifts. Gary actually made it easier to figure out when he started to talk about what you complain about most. I normally say: "You are not listening to me."

    While I enjoy gifts, I'm never demanding in this area. So then I considered "Quality Time." Bingo, I was very concerned about "Quality Conversation." There is definitely "bliss" in "sympathetic dialogue." This is actually a rare thing indeed. When you talk to people, most of the time they are more worried about what they are going to say next and when you find someone who actually listens to what you are saying and responds in a way that makes you feel understood, that is bliss.

    So, I was very happy to have discovered my primary love language and I also figured out why people in my life don't always respond to gifts in the way I think they would. Some do and they will be getting more boxes of homemade cookies, for sure. ;)

    Gary does bring out various aspects of love that make you realize that love is not just a happy feeling of infatuation. It was interesting to read about how long the initial bliss stage lasts in most relationships and then to read about the decline and divorce rates for first, second and third marriages.

    There are examples in this book that present great hope for marriages that have grown cold or are on the rocks. Even one partner can read this book and change their relationship.

    There is a study guide at the end of the book and the questions can be used at home or in a class setting.

    "The Five Love Languages" is an essential book for marriage counselors, couples and anyone who wants to figure out how their partner responds to various forms of love.

    ~The Rebecca Review

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can You Say "I Love You" So Your Partner Really Hears You?, January 3, 1999
    Dr. Gary Chapman has provided engaged and married couples with a wonderfully useful and clear way of discovering and communicating with each other about their most important needs. In fact, Dr. Chapman is helping us realize the ways in which we experience love differently from person to person. You may feel great love towards your partner but be expressing it in a way he or she can't readily experience because their "Love Language" is not the same. For example, I may buy wonderful gifts for my wife to show how much I cherish her--the Love Language of Gift Giving-- and expect her to be deeply grateful. But it may be that it would mean far more to her if I would simply take out the garbage since her love language is "Acts of service". If you want to experience quick improvement in your ability to understand and fulfill needs in your relationship, read The Five Love Languages. In this book, Dr. Chapman, who has effectively counseled couples for many years, offers thorough descriptions of each love language and how to successfully share them for a love-rich partnership. I use this book as a must-read in counseling couples and at my Love in Action marriage retreats, always with positive response. Enjoy!

    2-0 out of 5 stars A good theory gone bad, April 14, 2006
    I was drawn to this book because the foundation of Dr. Chapman's Five Languages is very simple yet profoundly important. But that being said, this foundation is also little more than common sense. It doesn't take a psychology degree to know that we each have our own values and priorities, and different personal triggers for happiness. My hope for this book was that it would build on my and my husband's Average Jane/Joe common sense and help us understand and practice it more deeply after 10 years of marriage. Unfortunately, what starts off as a great vehicle never quite surpasses 20 miles an hour. This book did a good job of reminding me to recognize and honor differences, but it didn't teach me anything new.

    The paragraph above would have prompted me to give this book 3 stars ("It was OK"). But the two paragraphs below tempted me to give it 1 star ("Hated it"). In the end I'm compromising at 2 stars. There are two things about this book that really bothered me.

    One: Dr. Chapman seems to live in Disneyland. The contrived Hallmark card image on the book's cover is a good indication that its contents are idealistic rather than realistic. He believes that we can get over years of troubles and pain through exercises that include watching ducks on a lake together, or saying, "Thanks in advance for mowing the lawn," instead of "I want you to mow the lawn." Is there wisdom to his suggestions? Most certainly. Do they fall short in the real world? Most certainly. One after another, he introduces us to couples who have come to him after decades of misery and threats of divorce, and within just a few months they're walking off into the sunset (presumably the one on the cover) to live Happily Ever After without cracking a sweat. The more of these couples I read about, the more I felt like I was watching "The Cosby Show" where life's problems are easily solved and everyone plays their part effortlessly because the writer scripted it that way. Dr. Chapman consistently sidesteps the real world where humans are complex and life is inevitably complicated.

    Two: At nearly the end of the book I became outright enraged, prompting me to write this, my first ever Amazon review. A woman comes to Dr. Chapman and tells him that her husband dismisses her, belittles and insults her, and tells her outright that he hates her. Dr. Chapman asks what her husband's primary language is, and she says it's Physical Touch. He then advises her to have sex with her husband. She protests, saying that sex makes her feel degraded and used as an object because she knows she isn't respected or cared for as a human being. Dr. Chapman persists, telling her (quotes shortened but not taken out of context), "Your response is normal. That's why loving someone who doesn't love you is unnatural and difficult. You need to rely on your faith in God to do this. Read Jesus' sermon on loving your enemies and then ask God to help you practice the teachings of Jesus." The woman again protests, saying it would be hypocritical of her to sleep with a man who hates her and whom she may well hate in return. Dr. Chapman persists again, saying, "If you claim to have feelings you don't have, that's hypocritical. But if you express an act that is designed for the other person's pleasure, it's simply a choice. Your action isn't born of emotional bonding, it's born of doing something for his benefit. That's what Jesus meant." WHAT?! Jesus wants women to pleasure men for their benefit without regard to emotional bonding?! I'm sorry, I thought that Jesus taught us the opposite. From there, Dr. Chapman tells her that if she gives her husband sex six times in the next month, chances are he'll give her the Thursday evening Scrabble game she wants. I could hardly absorb this justification as I was reading. Dr. Chapman's end conclusion is that his plan is a "miracle" anyone of us can practice in our own marriage.

    For many little reasons, and for the one huge reason of the paragraph above, I am dumbfounded that this book has averaged a 5 star rating from more than 300 readers. I find myself deeply dismayed that people are incorporating into their belief systems advice which is so unrealistic, oversimplified, and even outright degrading at times.

    Again, the foundation of this book is a good one, and it's good to be reminded that we need to see and care about others instead of only ourselves. If only Dr. Chapman would build on this positive in a realistic and respectful way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For a love that lasts a lifetime!, March 22, 2002
    I brought this book because my boyfriend and I were going through some major troubles. It wasn't that we didn't love each other; we just weren't communicating the love we had for one another.

    I sat down and read this book and by the time I got to page 51, I had already cried and had realized that my view of love was one sided at best. The funny thing is I would shower my boyfriend with flowers and gifts and sentimental trinkets and it never seemed to faze him. I couldn't understand why until I read this book, and then I realized that I wasn't loving him, but instead trying to show him how to love me.

    Women and men are different and so it only stands to reason that their concept of love would be different. And what I found out was not that he didn't love me...but that wasn't doing a good job at loving him. Thinking back on all the pain we went through. It makes me wonder how many relationships break up not because they don't love one another, but because they can't communicate that love effectively to their mate.

    How many times have we tried to get our needs and wants met and the only words that come out are how they haven't done this or they aren't doing that instead of just saying I really miss when you used to do this because it made me feel such & such. When frustrated we often speak out of anger instead of love. This book teaches you how to effectively communicate the love you have for a person in a manner in which they can not only understand it, but also reap the rewards from being completely loved.

    I recommend this book for anyone who believes that love is worth making sacrifices and to anyone who believes that love is worth the effort. If you haven't figured out by now that things worth having are things worth working and fighting for then you will never have a prosperous relationship.

    This book gives you the opportunity to take a bad situation and turn it into a situation in which your relationship can flourish and nurture not only the two of you as a couple but also you as an individual. ... Read more

    10. A Course In Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever
    by Marianne Williamson
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $14.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1401921523
    Publisher: Hay House
    Sales Rank: 162
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    “If your ‘weighty thinking’ does not change, then even if you lose weight you’ll retain an overwhelming subconscious urge to gain it back. It’s less important how quickly you lose weight, and more important how holistically you lose weight; you want your mind, your emotions, and your body to all ‘lose weight.’ Weight that disappears from your body but not from your soul is simply recycling outward for a while

    but is almost certain to return. It’s self-defeating, therefore, to struggle to drop excess weight unless

    you are also willing to drop the thought-forms that initially produced it and now hold it in place.”

    Marianne Williamson


    What is the connection between spirituality and weight loss? Best-selling author Marianne Williamson is about to answer that question for you in her groundbreaking new book, bringing you 21 spiritual lessons to help you surrender your weight forever. These lessons form a holistic paradigm for weight loss, addressing the spiritual, emotional, and psychological elements involved in what Williamson refers to as “conscious weight loss.” If you are a food addict, a compulsive eater, or someone who for any reason sees food as the enemy, this book is for you.

    A Course in Weight Loss addresses the true causal root of your weight-loss issues: a place within you where you have forgotten your divine perfection. This forgetfulness has confused not only your mind but also your body, making you reach for that which cannot sustain you . . . and reject that which does. As your mind reclaims its spiritual intelligence, your body will reclaim its natural intelligence as well.

    The 21 lessons in this book will take you on a deep, sacred journey. One step at a time, you will learn to shift your relationship with yourself—and your body—from one of fear to one of love. And you will begin to integrate the various parts of yourself—mind, body, and spirit—to become, once again, and in all ways, the beautiful and peaceful person you were created to be.

    As Williamson writes: “When it comes to your enjoyment of eating, your best days are not behind you but ahead of you!” So get ready to begin a new relationship with food . . . and with yourself.

    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Insight into Real Problems - Not for Everyone, November 15, 2010
    If you are already a fan of Marianne Williamson, you will probably enjoy this book. If you are not familiar with her, it may help to know her background before considering this book. She has spent many years studying and teaching the concepts of "A Course in Miracles" which is a spiritual book. She noticed that while embracing these concepts, her emotional need to use food to suppress her negative feelings disappeared. The idea of writing this book came from a conversation with Oprah Winfrey, one of the world's best known dieters.

    As you might suspect, this book is not about food, it is about spirituality. It is about finding a power greater than you for help. As Marianne told Oprah, "If you could do it by yourself, you would have done it by now". Good point!

    Many people will relate to the thoughts in this book. Childhood wounds create addictive behavior to treat the wounds. When you overeat for comfort, you are not doing it to give yourself love - you are doing it because you dislike something about yourself. When you eat one cookie, it is okay. When you eat the whole bag, it is an act of self-hate.

    The premise is that the cause of excessive weight is not in your body, it is in your mind. More specifically, it is fear which blocks feelings of love. The purpose of this course is to find the fear and replace it with love.

    There are several exercises and assignments to help you put names on the feelings, such as pain, shame, loathing and whatever you are personally feeling. There are prayers and mental exercises, as well as a journaling section. This is not a book to read passively and expect your life to change. If you really do these things to find and change your feelings, it will probably work for you. This is also a book that is meant to be reviewed several times to reinforce your feelings.

    If you tend to be more of a passive reader who wants to read a book and go on to the next one, you might want to consider the audio version of this book and listen to it several times. Marianne is an excellent speaker and really connects with the listener. She is very passionate.

    If you are turned off by spirituality and references to God, you may be tempted to skip this book. The ideas and principles are really about your subconscious feelings and how they drive your eating. You are feeding your feelings and not your body. They can apply to anyone no matter what your spiritual beliefs are.

    This is not a book to be used alone, because it does not address food. Eating is not rocket science. There is not a heavy person in the world that doesn't know that broccoli is good for you and donuts are bad. However, in today's world it is important to understand more about how certain foods affect your body. Dr. Dean Ornish writes the forward to this book and discusses addictive behavior and diet failure. He and others like him are a good source of information on nutrition.

    I highly recommend this book to everyone who has struggled with their eating. An obsession with food is like any obsessive relationship. It is about getting and not giving. What is missing from your life? What are you trying to get from food?

    3-0 out of 5 stars Close, but yet so far, November 19, 2010
    First let me say I am a huge fan of Marianne Williamson. I own every book and every tape that has been available to purchase. I get her message and genuinely admire her teaching abilities. She has made a huge difference in my life and helped me get through some of my biggest challenges. As a clinician who is passionate about weight, weight related issues and health I wanted to love or at least like this book. It's message while I don't totally disagree with some of the ideas and most of the principles, I can also see as harmful. I found my self wincing at the tone, the judgement and for me the blatant inauthenticity of this book. It seems to have a singular premise that obesity is based in fear predicated on self loathing. This is a wrong assertion, not totally but in part. The book has a judgmental feel and a distinctive labeling that somehow one must be a compulsive eater to have issues with weight loss. The letters and examples feel contrived. None of this seems like the authentic writing of the author and speaker I have come to know love and admire. So I don't like this book for many people especially the hundreds and hundreds of overweight people I have worked with, but I am sure it will help some. The relentless exercise demands relative to developing a spiritual plan would likely overwhelm a spiritual marathoner. It is in my opinion boot camp in a world that just isn't set up to support that. I could go on and on, but it hurts me to even criticize the work of someone I admire so much. But I love my patients more and I would hate for them to get hold of this, get overwhelmed, and give up. I hope many people feel differently and can do it all. I hope MW turns out to to be the right one, starts a revolution and gets the financial rewards that come with success. I just see it differently. All the best and love to anyone struggling.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps, Just Perhaps Marianne Williamson May have Gotten It Right - 5 Stars !!!!, November 13, 2010

    I found this book inspiring. Every page had something significant to say, and the author came at the topic of weight loss from an entirely different perspective from anything on the market. We all know that thousands of books on weight loss have been published. We also know that none of them really seem to work over time. If any one of them did work, then the scientific community would have no choice but to pursue that particular concept with all out zeal and we would all beat a path to the door of the person who created the system.

    Now having said that, it seems to me that Marianne Williamson has latched onto something, and its breathtaking in its scope and the promise it holds for the tens of millions of Americans who are just carrying around too much weight. The Foreword by Dean Ornish is worth its weight in gold. Make sure you read it. Dr. Ornish has been a world renowned heart specialist for more than 20 years and a very prominent author in his own right.

    Ornish mentions in this section that for years he could not understand how people could be addicted to overeating, smoking, drinking, substance abuse, and other maladaptive behaviors. One day a patient said to him, why are you saying maladaptive, the behavior is totally adaptive to me, not maladpative to me. These behaviors get me though my day. I have 20 friends in that pack of cigarettes. You know you simply have to look at it from the user's perspective. Another patient told him if he feels lonely, he eats. He coats his nerves with the food he consumes, it numbs his pain.

    The Introduction is also a must read. It will set up the rest of the book for you. The third part of the book is "Embarking on the Journey", and in this section Ms. Williamson goes through the thrust of her presentation, and that in the end, it is your belief and faith in God that will help you shed the weight that you have carried for so many years.

    I want to give you a flavoring of what she has to say from different sections of the book and you will see for yourself how different this book is from all the rest on weight loss.

    * Unless your subconscious mind is enrolled in your weight loss efforts, your soul will find a way to reconstitute the excess weight regardless of what you do.

    * Root out your fear, and replace it with inestimable love.

    * Addiction is when you can't STOP.

    * Freud felt that Intelligence will be used in the service of neurosis (an absolutely extraordianry statement)

    * No matter how smart you are, or how much work you have done on yourself, you alone cannot outsmart the psychic force of compulsion and addiction

    * God can outwit your insanity.

    * The Great Lie is that food that is actually bad for you has the power to Comfort, Nurture, and Sustain you.

    * Unhealthy eating is an act of Self-Hate. Overeating is a form of violence. You are taking up the Sword against yourself.

    * You don't have the human capacity to fix this problem. If you did, you would have done so already.

    How the book is Organized?

    After the Preface, Introduction, and Embarking on the Journey, comes 21 different short chapters. It seems that they are to be read one a day, and over and over again, until you internalize them. The author has gone through considerable efforts to name these chapters with highly appropriate powerful phrases. It works.

    My personal favorites were:

    Chapter 1) Tear Down the Wall

    Chapter 2) Thin You, meet Not-Thin you

    Chapter 5) Start a Lover Affair with Food

    Chapter 7) Love your Body

    Chapter 10) Consecrate Your Body

    Chapter 17) Forgive Yourself and Others

    Chapter 18) Honor the Powers

    Chapter 21) The Body Brilliant


    We all know that to whatever extent we believe, that faith has the ability to move mountains, to effectuate profound change and make it permanent. Everything starts with belief. Nothing is manifested in reality until it is first a belief in the mind. Marianne Williamson has now taken these concepts and applied them to the world of weight loss, insisting that only a belief in a divine power, and then giving yourself over to a divine force is the only way to effectuate a true re-design of your body and your spirit.

    Now having read the entire book and having tried to internalize it, I think she may just have something. Everything else has seemed to fail through the years for so many. Why not try a little old fashion faith in the divine power of God to help so many transcend and finally conquer a problem that has caused so much pain and agony. I gladly give this book five stars, and thank you for reading this review.

    Richard C. Stoyeck

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ladies...set yourself free...look and feel great all the time!, December 9, 2010
    I adore Marianne Williamson and her ability to guide you right to the place you need to be. It is more than what you is how you think about yourself...and others. Being overweight is more than overeating... it is "over-thinking." I can see now that I don't look as good as I want to, because I've been ignoring the real issues that made me want to eat unhealthy foods more than I wanted a healthy body.

    In "A Course in Weight Loss," Marianne gives lots of great tips and strategies, but she also gives deep and profound spiritual truths that make you feel like you enter a whole new place of understanding. This is fresh approach to discipline that first deals with past emotional experiences that cause a person to not care about how she looks and therefore sabotage the menu with terrible things to eat.

    This book took me several days to read because I actually had to work my way through it. It required deep contemplation and consideration. I had to release the things I worry about and learn to love myself even though I'm not perfect. I also learned to forgive and come to the realization that It's okay that others aren't perfect either. Now I am losing the excess weight naturally and I've learned to take full responsibility for how I feel. Most important...I feel happier.

    I read this book directly following another book called, Serendipitously Rich: How to Get Delightfully, Delectably, Deliciously Rich (or Anything Else You Want) in 7 Ridiculously Easy Steps. Both books were an answer to my prayer for help with my life. I see so many similarities with the concept of Serendipity that Madeleine Kay teaches and Marianne's spiritual philosophy. I recommend both books because they both move you positively on a path of change in your life and both of them give you practical steps that teach you how to make good decisions and get right with yourself.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Totally different "diet book", November 2, 2010
    Marianne Williamson, bestselling author of The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife, returns with a fascinating idea of helping us lose weight- and keeping it off.

    Now you see, that's the real problem. Most diets *DO* work- for around 2-6 months. Then it gets boring or you get cravings, you dump the diet and regain the weight. Yo-yo dieting is also bad for your health. What's needed is a way to adjust your lifestyle so that you keep the pounds off.

    As the author says "I was never a food addict, but for years I was a compulsive eater. Diets did not work. I would starve myself, then binge, starve myself, then binge, in a constant cycle of self- abnegation and self-indulgence. I hated many things about the situation, but what was worse than anything else was how much I thought about food. I was obsessed with it. The thought of eating hardly ever left my mind. And then it did, in a miraculous way.
    When I began studying A Course in Miracles, I wasn't consciously thinking of my weight as an area where I needed a miracle. But one day I looked down and couldn't believe what I saw, on the scale or on my body. Weight had simply dropped off and I realized why. The weight had merely been a physical manifestation of my need to keep other people at bay. I feared other people and I'd built a wall to protect myself. Practicing the Course, I'd learned to extend my hand across the wall. I learned ways to replace fear with love. I asked God to enter my life and make all things right. And the wall had disappeared.""

    The central message of this book is simple- "that your path to weight loss is a path to the highest expression of who you are. This makes the journey a spiritual quest."

    I have to admit I have not lost any weight yet, or even undergone all 21 steps. But, I agree with the basic message here- that we MUST change our life in order to change our weight. And, this book may well be the right path for some of us to do so.

    And, the author writes so beautifully and clearly, it's so easy to read. Mind you, it's over 250 pages, and true understanding of all the lessons is not an easy road.

    Is this book THE answer? Not for everyone, I am sure. However, it will work for many and it certainly is better than "yo-yo" dieting.

    Look into it if this seems to be your problem. It might just be the right solution for you. Of course, one should always discuss any new program with your Physician.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Miracles, November 2, 2010
    This book is a blessing to anyone who needs to release weight.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marianne has the KEY to freedom. "Love is your true healer", November 2, 2010
    Marianne Williamson's profound words will be the KEY for many of us to "give it up" forever. I have had issues with food and the power it has had over me since I was 11 and my dad suddenly passed away. I felt powerless except when I ate whatever I wanted and felt I was in control. No grieving, or crying just eating. For years Marianne's wisdom and Love have soothed and healed me. She has taught me, as she says in This book, "God is the source of your comfort." "Love is your true healer and miracles occur naturally in the presence of Love." A Course in Weight Loss is a profound concept where spirituality IS the difference. Marianne says,"Are you willing, even if for a moment, to consider the possibility that God can outwit your insanity?"
    YES I AM! This book will be the KEY for so many people to root out fear and "turn on our light!"
    I am so grateful for this astounding book! Marianne always shows us that LOVE is the answer.
    I'm so thankful that I'm on the Earth at this time so I can be taught by her.
    Thank you God! Thank you Marianne!

    5-0 out of 5 stars At last, a weight loss book that gets to the core of the problem, November 4, 2010
    Marianne Williamson has referred to herself as a "spiritual aerobics instructor" and that title really fits here. There is nothing better than getting advice from someone who has firsthand experience with a subject. Marianne systematically walks you through the process of dealing with the underlying issues that cause weight gain in the first place. She helps you fall in love with yourself, which then manifests in your physical apprearance.

    Even people who are not struggling with weight issues may very well find this book helpful. There are lots of addictions and lots of ways people sabatoge their own happiness. This book helps with all of it. If you've read any of Marianne's other books or heard her lectures, I don't have to tell you how astute she is. If not, you are in for a real treat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars surrender, December 4, 2010
    the book reads easily,yet with its deep and profound spiritual truths gives enough pause to ponder.
    fills one with hope and inspiration out of diet hell!
    inspires a fresh approach to weight loss,and powerfully reminds one of the bottomline-love heals.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not a Solution for everyone, November 26, 2010
    I bought this after reading about it in O Magazine, however it didn't resonate for me. I am not saying that the concepts and steps in this book will not work, just that I didn't find it relevant or useful to solve my weight issues. Two things turned me off: many references are to a paternal male God, and references to 12 step programs. Most authors give their readers some latitude in their references to God, such as "or Source or Whatever you understand..." But in this book, she frequently and very clearly refers to God as the traditional male. I just couldn't accept that and it was difficult to substitute another word for all the references to "him," praying to "him" etc. If this is your belief system this may be just what you are looking for, but if this is not your belief system it's difficult to relate to.

    There are several references to Overeaters Anonymous. Anyone who has a weight problem or who eats compulsively knows about OA. If it was a solution we'd have gone that route already. Her approach, and again I am not saying it's right or wrong, is very traditional, i.e. get in touch with your repressed feelings, dig into past hurts to release your extra weight.

    So the bottom line for me is that the ideas and exercises in this book are not as innovative as I had hoped for. This book just didn't resonate for me. I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction, and the concepts in this book are completely opposite of that-"surrender to God," " you are powerless," etc. ... Read more

    11. SoulPancake: Chew on Life's Big Questions
    by Rainn Wilson, Devon Gundry, Golriz Lucina, Shabnam Mogharabi
    list price: $19.99 -- our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1401310338
    Publisher: Hyperion
    Sales Rank: 146
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review


    Somewhere over the course of history, chewing on Life's Big Questions lost its cool factor. Fortunately for mankind, Rainn Wilson (best known for playing Dwight Schrute on NBC's The Office) and a bunch of his friends are on a mission to change that.

    Based on the wildly successful website, this book urges you to explore philosophy, creativity, spirituality, love, truth, science, and so much more. With bold questions, intriguing challenges, and mind-bending art, Soul Pancake creates a space for you to stimulate your brain stem, spark your soul, and figure out what it means to be human..


    + A revealing Introduction by Rainn Wilson

    + 180 Life's Big Questions (the ones that gnaw at your innards)

    + Visual masterpieces from 90+ artists

    + Unusual activities that launch you into the world

    + Exclusive commentary from the fascinating minds of: Amy Sedaris, David Lynch, Heather Armstrong, Dr. Drew, Jesse Dylan, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Harold Ramis, Josh Ritter, and Saul Williams.

    CAUTION: To all the world's thinkers, artists, poets, and misfits: SoulPancake is a movement to chew on Life's Big Questions. Side effects may include a sudden change in the way you think about what it means to be human. Don't say we didn't warn you.

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant, November 5, 2010
    Be careful when you pick this book up-it will suck you in. Thought provoking, fascinating and a treat for your eyes. So much to love and worth every cent. I plan on purchasing it for my friends because I want to experience it with others as well.

    Exquisitely written and designed. Easy to read and navigate & a perfect conversation starter. I can use this book introspectively with a cup of tea or as a social prompt with guests.

    A must have-absolutely.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Creative and Conscious!, November 5, 2010
    I've been a fan of for some time now and absolutely thrilled to see they wrote a book! Not only does it get you thinking about "Life's Big Questions" but it entertains your visual eye with incredible artwork throughout each page. This book is thought provoking, intelligent, funny and a visual stand out!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unique take on creativity and spirituality, November 7, 2010
    This book does a great job of exploring spirituality through creativity by blending edgy graphics with thought provoking questions. It is easily accessible to a wide group of people. Engaging read which facilitates "chewing on life's big questions" and leaves you hungry for more!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mind Feast, November 6, 2010
    In this book spiritual, philosophical and psychological ingredients are mixed with arts and humour to create a delicious mind feast which has a natural transforming power on one's being. It is fun and delightfully easy to read and yet the insight it generates is deep and meaningful. I love to share the important and thought provoking questions raised in this book with people at various gatherings and I find the discussions generated by these questions most interesting and very enlightening.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book, November 5, 2010
    Soul Pancake is wonderful! Very thought provoking. Good questions without being righteous.
    A 5 star rating for sure.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Soul Pancake makes me happy, November 5, 2010
    If you've visited the Soul Pancake website, you know how fun, interactive, creative and thought provoking all the content there is! This book is such a great physical version for your coffee table and live interactions. I absolutely love all the beautiful artwork and written pieces by contributing artists and writers as well. This is a GREAT gift for your friends...and for yourself :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE it!!, November 5, 2010
    This book is like nothing I have ever seen. The art is ridiculous! The topics so thought provoking and relevant to our everyday lives. There is much that I can even share and discuss with my kiddies. I definitely recommend it. The holidays are coming, buy 10!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, November 6, 2010
    As a long time follower of, really appreciate the same honest curious approach to "life big questions". This is a FANTASTIC gift to all ages, my middle school-er dove in with a ferocious appetite. Nice to see conversations between teens changing to global thinkers, and encouraging intelligent civil debates. Thanks Soul Pancake Team!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I purchased the book with an open mind, December 22, 2010
    First off, I never knew who Rainn Wilson was before this book. One night I was watching late night tv and I saw this man promoting a book. I didn't think much of it. Out of curiousity, I researched the book and ended up purchasing it. It is phenomenal!!! I am 16 years old and I find this book to be inspiring, creative, empowering, and quirky. LOVE IT!!! The topics and quotes are amazing. I bought this for my best friend <3 I would recommend getting this book. To avoid dissapointment, open the book with an objective opinion.. thats what I did.

    4-0 out of 5 stars SoulPancake, December 13, 2010
    Interesting info, well researched. I bought this for my teenage son who is a huge "The Office" fan, but I read it cover to cover. ... Read more

    12. Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man
    by Steve Harvey
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $13.43
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0061728993
    Publisher: Amistad
    Sales Rank: 140
    Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    In the instant number one New York Times bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey gave millions of women around the globe insight into what men really think about love, intimacy, and commitment. In his new book he zeros in on what motivates men and provides tips on how women can use that knowledge to get more of what they need out of their relationships, whether it's more help around the house, more of the right kind of attention in the bedroom, more money in the joint bank account, or more truth when it comes to the hard questions, such as: Are you committed to building a future together? Does my success intimidate you? Have you cheated on me?

    In Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man, Steve Harvey shares information on:

    How to Get the Truth Out of Your Man
    Tired of answers that are deceptive? Harvey lays out a three-tier, CIA-style of questioning that will leave your man no choice but to cut to the chase and deliver the truth.

    Dating Tips, Decade by Decade
    Whether you're in your twenties and just starting to date seriously, in your thirties and feeling the tick of the biological clock, or in your forties and beyond, Steve provides insight into what a man, in each decade of his life, is looking for in a mate.

    How to Minimize Nagging and Maximize Harmony at Home
    He said he'd cut the lawn on Saturday, and you may have been within reason to think that that meant Saturday before ten in the evening, but exploding at him is only going to ruin the mood for everyone, which means no romance. Steve shows you how to talk to your man in a way that moves him to action and keeps the peace.

    And there's much more, including Steve's candid answers to questions you've always wanted to ask men.

    Drawing on a lifetime of experience and the feedback women have shared with him in reaction to Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Harvey offers wisdom on a wealth of topics relevant to both sexes today. He also gets more personal, sharing anecdotes from his own family history. Always direct, often funny, and incredibly perceptive, media personality, comedian, philanthropist, and (finally) happily married husband, Steve Harvey proves once again that he is the king of relationships.

    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars Harvey is Open, Revealing, and Helpful to All Who Choose to LISTEN - Four Stars, December 10, 2010

    Comedian and media star Steve Harvey has now penned his second best seller. In this book he is directing his advice to women, but I believe that men will benefit from this book just as much. The objective is to give women an informed understanding of men, and only a man could write such a book. There is no question that he is coming at relationships from a different point of view based on having living in his own intense relationships.

    He knows what works and what doesn't, and he has spent considerable time trying to figure out how a man is hardwired in his brain differently than a woman. Most of us are dealing with the behavior resulting from how we think. Harvey is suggesting that we deal with the thinking itself.

    A key thought that he has developed is that everything we as men do is filtered through our title, which simply means who we are. The next question is how we get that title, which means what we do for a living. The final question becomes what regard we are held in by our fellow human beings. He is very honest in saying that by this we mean what is the compensation we receive.

    Harvey believes that unless we come to terms with these three questions prior to marriage, we probably can't be successfully married and therein lies the enormous divorce rate we witness in our society. Men are marrying prior to having an understanding of who they are. Without that self knowledge the relationship is doomed before it even gets started.

    I believe that Harvey is touching new ground in this book, and certainly has become his own person. In the book he develops the idea that we as men have to learn how to be men before we can be anything to anyone else, who chooses to love us. What's even more important is that we certainly must do this before we can love them back.

    We probably all realize by now that women prefer flowers, and yet men wish to buy them plants that will live for years. It's the same concept with weddings. Women dream about weddings, and yet have any of us ever met a man who dreams about his wedding day? Strange isn't it?

    The author goes through the ages of a man's life and what a man has to figure out during each decade of his life. What Harvey has to say is fascinating:

    The 20's
    You must make a decision to figure out your life, what do you want to do, what is your work? While we are figuring out our work, a woman is concerned with her biological clock, while for us it's the financial clock.

    The 30's
    The game is getting old. We are looking for a woman with the least amount of drama. Can she add support to our lives, is she loyal, and will she bring fun to relationship as well?

    The 40's
    Nothing can be as good as coming home to a family of people who threw their arms around you. A man needs somebody he can talk to, who can give you comfort, and companionship.

    The 50's
    It's time to solidify your legacy, as well as to realize that your body is starting to betray you.


    As men we are hunters, and we show our love for a woman by doing three things:

    1) We PROVIDE for her

    2) We PROTECT her

    3) We PROFESS our love for her

    I think we as readers will learn a great deal from this book. There is much wisdom in what Harvey has to teach us. Whether it's regarding the conflict of he won't commit, while she won't leave, or how to claim the blessing of the breakup, there is much to gain. Just remember not to buy into the fairy tale, and thank you for reading this review.

    Richard C. Stoyeck

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Advice for Young Women, December 7, 2010
    First, let me say that I am not a fan of Steve Harvey. I've always thought he was a bit pompous and "me" centered and that hasn't changed after reading his book. I still think he's a tad arrogant to be writing relationship books; I ordered this book only because it was available briefly for free on Kindle pre-order. Who made him an expert?

    That said, what makes him an expert is that he's a MAN. He knows what men are like and he's honest with women about what men really think and how they really behave when we're not around. I think every young woman should read the section where he delineates what men are looking for in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. As a 61 y/o woman who has been happily married for 15 years to a good yet flawed man, I think Mr. Harvey gives sound advice, whether women want to hear what he's saying or not.

    What makes me choke on giving 5 stars is that I do not like being placed inside a category (ie. the assumption that all women think or act the same). For instance, his first book's title: Act Like a Lady but Think Like a Man. As a woman, I think like I think; I do not think like either a man or a woman and resent the inference that we are all cookie-cutter copies of one another. As a young woman, I thought like a ditz and now, as a 61 y/o woman working on her doctoral program in Psychology, I use critical thinking and hopefully think like a scholar.

    Also, not all women are so desperate that they are in a hurry to get married. Some women prize an education and desire to have a career while they are still young enough to enjoy its rewards just as much as a man does. No woman should ever "settle" for less than what she wants in a man just to alleviate her loneliness. A woman, like a man, should learn to be at peace with herself and with her God before she attempts to attach herself to a man.

    If you can get past the sexism and the man's obvious admiration for himself, this book has good advice for any woman who wants to understand men better.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good information, December 18, 2010
    I have to give Steve Harvey credit for his attempts to make women aware of how men think and how we can prevent ourselves from making the same mistakes over and over again. Much of the book is common sense and it's really nothing new that hasn't been said before. Makes a good read however and I enjoyed this book as much as I did the first book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a great read !!, December 14, 2010
    I started reading this book and knew from the first few chapters this was going to be a great read !
    I found it very insightful & useful in my own relationship. Sometimes its better to hear from a man, how they operate. This book definitely helps to understand them & their thought process.
    I would recommend this to any lady wanting an inside view to the mans brain & how he feels about relationships. Thanks Steve !!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Women Already in Relationships, December 12, 2010
    I really enjoyed Steve Harvey's first book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment. I've read a lot of relationship books and it was the first one that I had read that really focused on a man's point of view and basically told women when it was time to walk away and how to recognize whether a man is a good man or not, not yet ready to commit or never will commit, etc. I'm giving this book four stars because it lives up to it's title - it's straight talk. He's telling women things they might not want to hear. I'm not giving it 5 stars because I got bored with his personal anecdotes pretty quickly and because I know some men who are not anything like the men Harvey describes. I don't doubt that his analysis is accurate for most men, though.

    This book is a good follow-up for women who were left with a lot of questions after reading Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. So, I would first suggest reading that book and then reading this one. As a single woman in my 20's I didn't find this book as helpful as the first - don't get me wrong. There was a lot of good information, but it seemed to aimed more at women trying to keep/satisfy/or get along better with their man. For single gals, a book on how to find a man and cultivate the relationship early on would be better. I mean, I'm dating men in their 20's and early 30's and a lot of the advice seemed tailored toward more seasoned daters.

    Steve's advice for women looking for a man is basically to look your best all of the time, and to hold out on the bedroom for 90 days until you get to know him better - which requires being inquisitive and asking detailed questions. This book is chock full of great tidbits for women already in a relationship, living with a man, and married to help you get along with your man better. That's the other reason that I give this book 4 starts. I'm glad I purchased it on my Kindle, because I'll definitely go back and re-read it once I meet someone new.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Second Recipe for Loneliness, December 26, 2010

    Recipe for Loneliness Number Two
    The simplistic and formulaic notion that men want different things than women, and that Love is simply
    figuring out those two sets of criteria and applying them, is a recipe for loneliness and relationship failure.
    The central concepts of Harvey's relationship opus fail to touch the mythical and truthful core of Love--the melting of Self and Other.
    Harvey doesn't even go in that room.
    Instead he leaves men and women with lists of ways to get along with the Other. No pass;not Love. More like highly-refined roommatehood.
    Friends with privileges.
    A rehash of John Gray's, Men are from Mars...and a rehash of Harvey's first book, this self-help book in neither about the Self nor helpful.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Common Sense, December 12, 2010
    Ladies, why buy a book to try and figure out men. Don't you think there is more time to spend on your future, you self-esteem, etc? You can take this guys advice and have low self-esteem and issues and things will always be the same. Yes he is a man, but he categorizes way too much. Not every woman is the way he describes and neither is every man.

    I never liked Steve Harvey either, he is very stuck on himself and is making money off of telling women something that should be common knowledge. Notice how no men are running out to buy books to figure us out? Straight talk, no chaser: Pay attention to what men say and do and have a level head and you will never go wrong. Do not stick around for bs, give 2 chances and that is it.

    He is going to make a monopoly off of desperation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Straight Talk for Men and Women also in..., December 7, 2010
    Steve Harvey has a new book about men, why they cheat and why they commit. There are so many new books by Black authors this fall! Great. Re: Harvey's book, yes, men do cheat, and even after they commit, they might still cheat. And yes, sometimes they lie to get what they want :-). So women need to maintain themselves amidst it all--their health and their sanity. There is more "straight talk" in the book Living Well, Despite Catching Hell: The Black Woman's Guide to Health, Sex and Happiness. In that book, the Happiness section addresses relationships and gives the younger set of women in a not-so-committed relationship a four-step approach to healthier lives; they are "Close Your Legs, Be Well Read, Tend that Body and Sweat that Head." Hello! Now that's some "straight talk!" As women, we love our men, and the Sex section encourages women to overcome some long-held hang-ups to enjoy intimate relations. But we have to also deal straight up re: health issues, so it's important to "Trust, but Verify!" Congrats on the new book. Between Straight Talk and Living Well, the beauty and barber shops will be busy with conversation in 2011.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quicker delivery, December 7, 2010
    I thought I would receive this book on it's release date. Otherwise I would have gotten it at a book store. Very disappointed. ... Read more

    13. The Playbook: Suit up. Score chicks. Be awesome.
    by Barney Stinson, Matt Kuhn
    list price: $13.00 -- our price: $7.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1439196834
    Publisher: Touchstone
    Sales Rank: 123
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Since the dawn of history man has searched for the answer to the most fundamental of questions: “Why am I here . . . not banging chicks?” The search is over. Now, with the help of The Playbook, you’ll be able to approach any beautiful woman, discover her innermost passion, and use that to trick her into sleeping with you. You’ll master more than 75 seduction techniques, developed by pickup guru and all-around good guy Barney Stinson, guaranteed to turn you into a bona fide ladies’ man. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Suit Up!, October 7, 2010
    This is a hilarious read, another gem from the 'How I Met Your Mother' series. The "plays" Barney Stinson uses to pick up women would not work on a girl with half a brain in real life, but nevertheless, it's fun to think about trying to pull off some of these moves on girls. You take it for what it is-- a great extension of a great episode of the show. The ones featured on the show are there: "The Mrs. Stinsfire", "The My Penis Grants Wishes", "The Cheap Trick", "The Scuba Diver", "The He's Not Coming", "The Snasa", "The Don't Drink That!", "The Ted Mosby", "The Scuba Diver", and among others, my personal favorite, "The Lorenzo Von Matterhorn."

    There are exactly 76 plays broken down into sections from the basic to the advanced. Each play has its own fact sheet. You're given a success rate, what type of woman the play attracts, the requirements to perform the play, the prep time, and the "bummers", which is a way of saying "but here's the catch."
    From there, the play is broken down into steps. The rest is self-explanatory.
    I won't explain any of the new plays in detail, but I'll give you a couple play names so as to build a little intrigue:
    - "The Little Orphan Barney"
    - "The Ghost"
    - "The Mannequin"
    - "The Confused Inheritor"
    - "The Ballet Defector"
    - "The Vampire"
    - "The I Can Land This Plane"
    - "The Trojan Lesbian"
    - "The Ghost Of Christmas Future"

    It carries much of the same type of humor as 'The Bro Code.' It follows common stereotype assumptions of men and women, leaves little remarks, anecdotes and/or tips at the end of some plays (and in between) and extensively uses sarcasm to make very obvious points. If you're a fan of 'The Bro Code', I highly recommend picking this up. It's creative and smart and I doubt would be offensive or repulsive in any way to anyone. As a matter of fact, I think it appeals just as much to women as it does men, especially those women who have been the target of some ridiculous pick-up scheme (I'm guessing that's somewhere in the range of most to all). After all, they're the "victims" in this, so to speak. Might as well make light of it.

    Like the show, 'The Playbook' is well thought out, well executed, and well... just plain quirky. Hopefully it wins your praise as well.

    Note: The episode this book is based on is called 'The Playbook.' It's episode 8 of Season 5 and the 96th of the series.

    Grade: A+

    4-0 out of 5 stars Bro! Suit up!!, October 27, 2010
    How could you not love this stuff. Too funny. The HIMYM writers are great. Love the show. Love the books. Barney is great. Ted is a tool. See if you can find this at like half price books or something. I know it's really cheap already but still... It's such a fast funny read you can easily read the entire thing in the bathroom in one morning. Borrow it from a Bro.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Do Not Try This At Home, October 24, 2010
    This is basically a spoof version of pickup artists' routines manuals such as The Art of the Approach and Rules of the Game, and as such should be considered more of a companion piece to the show than an actual how-to guide because it demonstrates the absurd lengths Barney will go to for his next conquest. While I'm certain you can pull off The Fireman in the real world because I've been mistaken for one at least twice just by wearing a Boston Fire duty T-shirt I got online, there's no way you're going to find a girl so stupid that she'll fall for The Olympian's lock-in prop of an aluminum foil-wrapped oatmeal raisin cookie posing as an Olympic silver medal. ... Read more

    14. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
    by Malcolm Gladwell
    Paperback (2002-01-07)
    list price: $15.99 -- our price: $6.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0316346624
    Publisher: Back Bay Books
    Sales Rank: 148
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    This celebrated New York Times bestsellernow poised to reach an even wider audience in paperbackis a book that is changing the way North Americans think about selling products and disseminating ideas. Gladwells new afterword to this edition describes how readers can constructively apply the tipping point principle in their own lives and work. Widely hailed as an important work that offers not only a road map to business success but also a profoundly encouraging approach to solving social problems. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Brings 'Sticky' Ideas to a Nexus
    I read this book in part of one day - it's a good, quick read. Unlike some of the people who didn't care for the book - I never read the New Yorker article. It may be that the book doesn't add enough new info to excite folks who have read that article. But to me the book threw out a good number of new ideas and concepts very quickly and very clearly. I found his ability to draw a nexus between things that, on the surface seem very divergent, was very interesting, and he did it smoothly, without jumping around a lot.

    The thrust of the book is that there are three things that can converge to bring about dramatic and perhaps unexpectedly fast changes in our society. These are the context (the situational environment - especially when it's near the balance or 'tipping point'), the idea, and the people involved. His point is that very small changes in any or several of the context, the quality of the idea (which he calls 'stickiness', ie how well the idea sticks), or whether the idea reaches a very small group of key people can trigger a dramatic epidemic of change in society.

    "In a given process or system some people matter more than others." (p.19). "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts." (p.33).

    He divides these gifted people into three categories: Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople. "Sprinkled among every walk of life ... are a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances. They are Connectors." (p. 41). "I always keep up with people." (p. 44 quoting a "Connector"). "in the case of Connectors, their ability to span many different worlds is a function of something intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy." (p.49). "The point about Connectors is that by having a foot in so many different worlds they have the effect of bringing them all together." (p.51).

    "The word Maven comes from the Yiddish, and it means one who accumulates knowledge." (p. 60). "The fact that Mavens want to help, for no other reason than because they like to help, turns out to be an awfully effective way of getting someone's attention." (p.67). "The one thing that a Maven is not is a persuader. To be a Maven is to be a teacher. But it is also, even more emphatically to be a student." (p.69).

    "There is also a select group of people -- Salesmen -- with the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing." (p. 70). He goes on to describe an individual named Tom Gau who is a Salesman. "He seems to have some indefinable trait, something powerful and contagious and irresistible that goes beyond what comes out of his mouth, that makes people who meet him want to agree with him. It's energy. It's enthusiasm. It's charm. It's likability. It's all those things and yet something more." (p. 73).

    He then goes into the importance of actually gathering empirical data about ideas, and not just relying on theory or assumption to determine quality, or as he calls it, 'stickiness.' He gives examples of where assumptions have been debunked with data. "Kids don't watch when they are stimulated and look away when they are bored. They watch when they understand and look away when they are confused." (p.102). "Children actually don't like commercials as much as we thought they did." (p. 118) "The driving force for a preschooler is not a search for novelty, like it is with older kids, it's a search for understanding and predictability." (p. 126) Hence why your three year old can watch those Barney videos over and over until the tape breaks - it becomes predictable after the third or fourth viewing. This is probably also why Barney suddenly falls out of favor when predictability is less important than novelty.

    Finally, there's a point he makes he calls the rule of 150. He starts with some British anthropologists idea that brain size, neocortex size actually, is related to the ability to handle the complexities of social groups. The larger the neocortex, the larger the social group that can be managed. She then charts primate neocortex size against known average social group sizes for various primates, other than humans. Then she plugs human neocortex size into the equation, and out pops 147.8, or about 150. Now that would be not so interesting, except that he goes on to talk about this religious group, the Hutterites. They are clannish like the Amish or Mennonites, and they have a rule that when a colony approaches 150, they split into two and start a new one. He follows that by noting that Military organizations generally split companies at 150-200. And then he talks about Gore - the company that makes Goretex, among other things. They have a ~150 employee per plant rule.

    "At a bigger size you have to impose complicated hierarchies and rules and regulations and formal measures to try to command loyalty and cohesion. But below is possible to achieve the same goals infomally." (p.180)

    "When things get larger than that, people become strangers to one another." (p.181)

    "Crossing the 150 line is a small change that can make a big difference." (p. 183)

    On the whole, I thought the book sparked thought and converstaion, and will make me look at life and business a little differently. To me that's a good book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
    Malcolm Gladwell, a staff writer for New Yorker Magazine, in The Tipping Point, writes a fascinating study of human behavior patterns, and shows us where the smallest things can trigger an epidemic of change. Though loaded with statistics, the numbers are presented in a way that makes the book read like an exciting novel. Gladwell also gives several examples in history, where one small change in behavior created a bigger change on a national level. He also studies the type of person or group that it takes to make that change.

    Gladwell's first example is the resurgence of the popularity of Hush Puppies, which had long been out of fashion, and were only sold in small shoe stores. Suddenly, a group of teenage boys in East Village, New York, found the cool to wear. Word-of-mouth advertising that these trend-setters were wearing the once-popular suede shoes set off an epidemic of fashion change, and boys all over America had to have the "cool" shoes.

    Galdwell also examines the difference in personality it takes to trigger the change. For example, we all know of Paul Revere's famous ride, but how many of us know that William Dawes made a similar ride? The difference was that people listened to Revere and not to Dawes. Why? Revere knew so many different people. He knew who led which village, knew which doors to knock on to rouse the colonists. Dawes didn't know that many people and therefore could only guess which people to give his message.

    There are several other phenomena that Gladwell examines, showing the small things that spark a change, from the dip in the New York City crime rate to the correlation between depression, smoking and teen suicide. If you want to change the world for the better, this book will give you an insight into the methods that work, and those that will backfire. It's all in knowing where to find The Tipping Point.

    Jo @ MyShelf.Com

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Insights into Mass Behaviors
    Despite an earlier reviewer poo-pooing this book for shallow insights, I beg to differ. This book is a fascinating and original take on what makes people behave in a certain way en masse. Tying together Paul Revere, Hush Puppies and many other very accessible ideas makes this book, that is in some ways very academic, read like a thriller. I read it in three sittings. It has an impact on several levels. One, as a marketer, it gave me insights into how word-of-mouth really works. I'll be experimenting with these concepts for years. Second, as a member of society, I gained insight into why I am pulled this way and that by trends. If you enjoyed this, you'll also enjoy the groundbreaking book by Robert Cialdini called "Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion." It makes some of the same points. Finally, it makes me think that some savvy activists will find some ways to use these principles to start societal epidemics that will ultimately have a positive effect. I believe Gladwell has introduced a concept, "the Tipping Point," that will have a wide-ranging impact on how we view the world and human behavior.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking, interesting and potentially useful book
    This relatively short book is a very pleasant surprise. Usually I am quite skeptical of new theories and concepts that attempt to explain human behavior, since the thinking, embedded in pompous language, often proves shallow and the primary goal seems simply to grab attention and book sales. Instead I found Gladwell's book well written, fast paced, interesting and thought provoking. Subject to translating its ideas successfully into practical actions, I believe it is potentially very useful in social sciences and business.

    Gladwell's use of examples from very different fields adds to the interest in and credibility of the factors that contribute to a sudden "epidemic" - good or bad - of a behavior, an idea, a product or a belief. I am particularly intrigued by his concept that the true underlying causes and explanations for what we perceive as extremely complex social issues, for example, can be "tipped" with simple, direct actions in the right place at the right time. All too often governments and companies try to solve their big problems with excessively expensive, but ineffective programs or projects. I agree with him that attempted solutions frequently fail to address basic motivational factors and that the best solutions are often counterintuitive.

    For those of us in business, I think the concepts in this book, properly applied, could make us more effective. Gladwell's business examples, his linkage to Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the Chasm" and his brief discussion of the "magic 150" make the book worth reading. Far from being a "how to" handbook, considerable thought will be required to apply it practically, which I believe will be a good learning experience.

    As I read the book I realized that many analogs of this concept exist in the physical world. There are many examples from stereo amplifiers to martial arts in which relatively small forces or energy inputs at the right place and time cause large differences in outcomes.

    Why five stars? The book gave me a new perspective for thinking how and why things happen in society and business. It presents interesting observations and information about trends that affect us. I think it will be useful in my business. It is well written. And, it is unpretentiously short.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Multidisciplinary Mastery
    I've taught psychology at a university for twenty years, and was prepared to be dubious about Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point"; he is, after all, a journalist, not an academic. Despite his highly readable style, though, I was amazed by the level of sophistication and scholarship that he brings to his subjects. You can cavil about details, but the vigor and intellectual energy of the book is formidable. "The Tipping Point" assembles sometimes arcane findings from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Consumer Researcher, Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, American Journal of Sociology, International Journal of Criminology and Penology and other scholarly resources. It explains and builds upon research by such major social-science figures as Marc Granovetter, Jonathan Crane, and the legendary Thomas Schelling. And the project is infused with an interdisciplinary ease: a special pleasure is the unexpected juxtapositions of research in linguistics, medical science, social psychology, marketing, political science, and mathematics All of which is to say that the erudition and theoretical sophistication of this work is truly impressive. It may be aimed at "civilians," but the guy can teach us scholars a few things

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insights!
    I began reading this book at night while others were asleep, and was immediately engrossed--the next morning I could not stop babbling about it, and made everyone try the list of names in the section on "Connectors" to see how they scored. Though I came in at an abysmally low "3" myself, I did act the roles of "Maven" and "Salesman" for the book, with my own tiny circle of friends, emailing the NY Times review of "The Tipping Point", published the day I finished reading the book, to everyone I could think of, saying, you must buy this book, the way Gladwell explains himself, the anecdotes provided, was one of the most interesting things I had read in ages. When I bought "The Tipping Point", intrigued by the jacket description, but knowing nothing about it, I did not realize that Gladwell was a New Yorker writer I had long admired. But once I started in, I recognized him and remembered how I had sent on several of his articles to friends--which amused me, and is part of why I score so poorly on the "Connector test", my lack of attention to names, despite fervent endorsement of "ideas" I find, to everyone I know. Along these lines, a book that had a similar impact on me, would be "Presidential Temperament" by Keirsey and Choiniere, a blend of theory about human differences, with vivid real world examples drawn from the Presidents, a method of analysis that just makes intuitive sense of people, the way Gladwell does here with social trends, very useful information for an election year, a book I enthusiastically endorse as much as this one. ... Read more

    15. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition
    list price: $28.95 -- our price: $23.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1433805618
    Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA)
    Sales Rank: 131
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences. It provides invaluable guidance on all aspects of the writing process, from the ethics of authorship to the word choice that best reduces bias in language. Well-known for its authoritative and easy-to-use reference and citation system, the Publication Manual also offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, and tone that will result in strong, simple, and elegant scientific communication. The sixth edition offers new and expanded instruction on publication ethics, statistics, journal article reporting standards, electronic reference formats, and the construction of tables and figures. The sixth edition has been revised and updated to include: new ethics guidance on such topics as determining authorship and terms of collaboration, duplicate publication, plagiarism and self-plagiarism, disguising of participants, validity of instrumentation, and making data available to others for verification; new journal article reporting standards to help readers report empirical research with clarity and precision; simplified APA heading style to make it more conducive to electronic publication; updated guidelines for reducing bias in language to reflect current practices and preferences, including a new section on presenting historical language that is inappropriate by present standards; new guidelines for reporting inferential statistics and a significantly revised table of statistical abbreviations; and, new instruction on using supplemental files containing lengthy data sets and other media. This book includes significantly expanded content on the electronic presentation of data to help readers understand the purpose of each kind of display and choose the best match for communicating the results of the investigation, with new examples for a variety of data displays, including electro physiological and biological data. It offers consolidated information on all aspects of reference citations, with an expanded discussion of electronic sources emphasizing the role of the digital object identifier (DOI) as a reliable way to locate information. It features expanded discussion of the publication process, including the function and process of peer review. It contains a discussion of ethical, legal, and policy requirements in publication; and guidelines on working with the publisher while the article is in press. Key to this edition of the Publication Manual is an updated and expanded Web presence. Look up additional supplemental material keyed to this book. This book lets you test your knowledge of APA Style with a free tutorial on style basics. It lets you learn about the changes in the sixth edition with a free tutorial reviewing key revisions. Sign up for an on-line course to enrich and enhance your understanding of APA Style. Read the APA Style blog and share your comments on writing and referencing. Consult frequently asked questions to sharpen your understanding of APA Style. This title lets you examine additional resources on such topics as ethics, statistics, and writing. It lets you familiarize yourself with submission standards for APA books and journals. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars BEWARE! Many pages of corrections have been issued!, October 7, 2009
    I just received my copy. As a psychology professor, this text is required for my bookshelf--the same is true for students in this field. However, I was upset to learn that APA has already issued 7 typewritten pages of corrections to this manual, and they will not exchange the first printing for a newer print. This is a resource that you will use for years! Wait to purchase until the kinks have been ironed out and they are on a second or third printing of the manual! I am also disappointed that they do not clearly delineate the changes from the 5th edition. It looks to me that there are few important changes (2 spaces between sentences, etc.). Save your money for at least a few more months!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Greatly Disappointed, October 14, 2009
    I was very irritated to find that many errors existed in the 6th edition. I also contacted APA regarding the errors. They are not going to exchange the book for a corrected edition. They made several lame excuses for the errors and for not replacing it. My second email to APA pointedly expressed my displeasure with their stance - copied below...

    To have grammar and writing errors in a book about grammar and writing is shameful. How much does your organization really care about the reputation it is presenting? Do you have editors reviewing your works before publication? Are your editors paying attention to their work? If you cannot hold yourself to the standards you have set out in your own publication, then your publications should not exist!

    If you need this book, demand a corrected reprinting! If you are a university, you also demand a corrected reprint. This organization should not set standards they are not going to comply with. I give them an "F"

    1-0 out of 5 stars Do Not Buy, Join the Boycott!, October 20, 2009
    Do not buy the first printing of the APA manual, 6th edition under any circumstances. There are errors on eighty (80) of its pages. How outrageous for a manual on writing style! As of 10/20/09, APA refuses to exchange their error full copies with corrected second printings. Despite the fact that the list of errors goes on for 7 pages, the Editorial Director of APA books stated "there are no errors that impede using the manual with full confidence." Many of the errors are in the sample papers -- a part of the manual so many of us use as an important reference. The abuse of power that APA is wielding over students required to purchase this book for classes, along with graduate students and professors who must write in this style for journals is alarming. APA goes on to state that with its 80 pages of errors in this edition that "it is within my control, as a true expert who has been intimately involved with each stage of this project, to verify for you without hesitation that the first printing is correct, accurate, and fully functional." As a Professor, when I grade papers, I say to my students that 3 APA errors will get them docked 1/2 a letter grade. If I were to grade this APA manual, it would not only get an F, there aren't enough letters in the alphabet to go low enough for the number of errors it contains. Meanwhile, APA is happy to take everyone's money for the book they know we all have to purchase in so many fields of study.

    A formal boycott of this edition is underway on Facebook until APA agrees to replace the copies of the first edition that people are now stuck with. Please join us [...]

    5-0 out of 5 stars All is well, January 10, 2010
    Given all the emotional responses around the mistakes in the new edition, I was worried about ordering my copy. However, it just arrived, and as promised, it's the corrected version (the second printing) of the 6th edition. The changes to the style included in the manual are an improvement, particularly in the way electronic resources are cited. Additionally, the organization of this edition is better. Overall, I'm pleased.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Unhelpful Guide about an Unenlightening Style, May 6, 2004
    Like some of the other reviewers, I am in a program of advanced study in which APA is the "accepted" style of citation for scholarly research. As we can see, APA is an absolutely dreadful citation style, especially with its prohibition of footnotes, leading to incomprehensible paragraphs in which your prose is murdered by names and dates in parentheses. The lack of required page numbers in your citations also allows you, if you're so inclined, to transform your references into all sorts of unsupported speculation and conjecture, and no reader will be able to prove or disprove what you're saying. I realize that arguing about the merits of APA style is not the same as reviewing the merits of this book. But the weaknesses in the core citation style are so prevalent that it would be impossible to create a book of this nature with any sort of usefulness.

    Now let's get to the trouble with this particular book. First, it is unnecessarily humungous, trying to beef up the very thin body of APA citation requirements (which by the way can be found for free all over the internet) with hugely unenlightening chapters on basic writing style and methods. Infinitely better guides on how to actually write and conduct research can be easily found elsewhere. Even when you do want to find instructions on the core requirements of APA citation style, this is an annoyingly difficult task in this atrociously organized and indexed book. A thin and under-compiled index sends you to hard-to-find section numbers rather than page numbers. And finally there is the practice of this book's publishers to promote a "new edition" which is merely the same as before with a couple of new entries, sold with a new cover and of course a new full price. In case you're wondering, about the only new information in this edition concerns how to reference websites and online publications. Once again, this info can be found for free on the internet, while you could also spend a pittance on a used copy of the supposedly "outdated" previous edition.

    This book gets two stars because it is nominally useful (at least in theory) if you're stuck with it. But if you find yourself required to use the talent-crushing APA style in your attempts to write something of importance, first try to convince your mentors that APA is inherently anti-intellectual. Then find a way to get out of any requirements to buy this unhelpful book, and find the information on the internet instead. [~doomsdayer520~]

    3-0 out of 5 stars 5th Edition APA Publication Manual, October 17, 2002
    Even though there are only a few changes to the 5th edition, I would recommend getting it. It is too confusing to use an older edition especially if you are pressed for time or have never used this type of manual before.

    Also I recommend marking your book with tabs such as in the "Reference Citations in Text" section or the "Reference List" chapter. Marking the book with tabs helped me find my way to the information that I needed over and over again. I've tended to use the same type of references throughout my graduate courses.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Small changes, big headaches, October 14, 2001
    As an ABD-PhD candidate who's required to use APA format (and halfway through a dissertation using APA 4th edition), the small changes in this latest edition do little to add clarity and readability to a manuscript, but much to frustrate: Underlining references has been replaced with italics; after utilizing first-line indents in a Reference list (easier for a word processor) we've now gone back to second-line hanging indents; and none of these changes are clearly discussed in a "Revisions in the 5th Edition" chapter, you need to find them on your own in each chapter. I appreciate the updated guide for citing electronic resources, but the remainder seems to be aimed at "buy yet-another version" rather than major improvements and substantive changes. Maddening! If you're required to use it, you're stuck. Otherwise, keep the old 4th edition.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Very Difficult, But Necessary, September 16, 2003
    Out of all the stylebooks I have had occasion to use as a professional editor, I have found this one to be the most difficult to follow and understand--the most difficult to master.

    I am not a psychologist, but I am a professional medical editor, and I feel sorry for those who must follow this style when writing theses, articles, book chapters, and other items for publication. In addition, I find some of the APA's requirements (particularly in the references, which have their own unique style quite unlike most others) incomprehensible.

    That having been said, this book is a must for those who want to be published by the APA, and those who are editing for same. Once it has been read many times, and key passages put to memory, it is not as hard to understand--but it shouldn't be so hard. The section on figures and tables, however, is a truly excellent primer, for any professional writer, not just those in the health care professions.

    My grade: C plus.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much better than previous editions..., August 18, 2009
    Easier to read with a lot less pages. The 6th edition is a mere 272 pages vs. a whopping 439 pages in the 5th edition. This improves its portability and lap-use. ( I never could understand why a book that insists on 1 inch margins all around used 1.5 inch margin on the outer margins and left so much wasted unused space on the pages).

    Material has been streamlined to reflect more of the electronic resources currently being used and the more obscure material has been consolidated. The newly added chapters on ethics, the publication process and journal article reporting standards are quite helpful. Some reviewers complained about the elimination of the chapters on writing for publication. Since each journal has it's own specific criteria for manuscript submission, I don't consider this a huge loss. Still has lots of sample for various references (and even includes video blog sources like you-tube) and information on how to display data results (Including radiologic and imaging data like MRI images)

    So glad I bought the newest version, especially since it's currently half the price of the old version and a lot more user friendly and up to date. If you required to use the APA style, I strongly suggest buying this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Here we go again!, February 18, 2002
    Here we go again... more minor changes to APA style! The hanging indent is back, we don't have to type long lists of author names anymore, and we can now use parentheses (woo-hoo!).

    If you need to prepare manuscripts in APA style and don't have a previous edition of the manual, then you need this book. Though it remains relatively user-unfriendly, it is nonetheless the bible of manuscript preparation.

    If you already have the fourth edition... determine how many of the changes in the fifth edition apply to your work. If you mostly write "plain vanilla" research reports and your reference lists mostly consist of ordinary journal articles, you may be able to get by with some handwritten notes in the margins of your old book. ... Read more

    16. How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times
    by James Wesley Rawles
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $6.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0452295831
    Publisher: Plume
    Sales Rank: 184
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The definitive guide on how to prepare for any crisis--from global financial collapse to a pandemic

    It would only take one unthinkable event to disrupt our way of life. If there is a terrorist attack, a global pandemic, or sharp currency devaluation--you may be forced to fend for yourself in ways you've never imagined. Where would you get water? How would you communicate with relatives who live in other states? What would you use for fuel?

    Survivalist expert James Wesley, Rawles, author of Patriots and editor of, shares the essential tools and skills you will need for you family to survive, including:

    Water:Filtration, transport, storage, and treatment options.
    Food Storage: How much to store, pack-it-yourself methods, storage space and rotation, countering vermin.
    Fuel and Home Power: Home heating fuels, fuel storage safety, backup generators.
    Garden, Orchard Trees, and Small Livestock: Gardening basics, non-hybrid seeds, greenhouses; choosing the right livestock.
    Medical Supplies and Training: Building a first aid kit, minor surgery, chronic health issues.
    Communications: Following international news, staying in touch with loved ones.
    Home Security: Your panic room, self-defense training and tools.
    When to Get Outta Dodge: Vehicle selection, kit packing lists, routes and planning.
    Investing and Barter:Tangibles investing, building your barter stockpile. And much more.

    How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It is a must-have for every well-prepared family.

    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but misses the boat, October 6, 2009
    Rawles is a great non-fiction writer, and this is a well written book. However, it has some major faults:

    - The book is for hard core survivalists only. It assumes complete and absolute break down of civilization. It does not deal with "simpler" short-term emergencies (tornado, fire, flood) that you can ride out living in your normal urban or suburban environment. The book is practically all about establishing a well-stocked remote rural retreat, which you defend tooth-and-nail against looters and invaders, while keeping the curtains down not to let them see your window lights.

    - Rawles preaches to the choir, not to the uninitiated. If you are not familiar with the survivalist vernacular and have not read similar books / blogs, you will find this book a little jarring and over your head. In fact, Rawles often cross-references his fiction novel Patriots as supplementary guide. Speaking of preaching to the choir: all these five stars reviews which are highly rated as helpful - feel free to ignore the ones written before October 2. Given that this book started shipping on the last day of September and is not available for Kindle, there is simply no way people could have received and read the book before Friday October 2. Rawles is known for encouraging his blog readers to all buy the book on the same day to create a "bestseller" effect on Amazon, and this carries over to the reviews. So beware.

    - Book is way too tiny and short for much useful learning. In fact, each chapter is basically a thoughtful intro followed by a list of items to get, with some quick facts (e.g. how long honey or wheat can be stored, where to buy the containers, etc). There is barely any attempt to teach survival attitude and skills - those are farmed out to other books or training courses. To the author's credit, he has plenty of great pointers to other books and courses. However, you are much better off going there in the first place.

    - Rawles has a misanthropic, dog-eat-dog sense to his writing, both in this book and in Patriots. It is too much about hunkering down in your darkened bunker, eating MREs, and using plenty of ammo to keep the less fortunate souls away. While it is possible that a major event could end civilization as we know it, I do wish Rawles had a more positive tone and attitude, at least when trying to covert newcomers to his cause :)

    There is one really big issue with hard core survivalism in general. If a truly massive global or nationwide disaster comes to pass, the likelihood of surviving it is low, no matter how well you prepare. Surviving a nuclear war or a mass epidemic is unlikely, and more about random chance than preparation. The survivors are bound to come together in sizable groups for strength and protection. If a well armed gang or ex-military unit converges on one of the Rawles-style rural retreats, game is over. So at the end of the day, at least to me, hard-core survivalism comes across as a militaristic make-believe game, mostly indulged by paranoid guys. Last but not least, unlike "soft-core" temporary disaster survival, what Rawles recommends is expensive and requires major lifestyle changes, which limits its appeal tremendously.

    So, what's good about this book? The chapters on food storage and vehicles stand out. Also, if you are looking for a primer on surviving a major end-of-civilization disaster, this is a great starting point. To the author's credit, his survival blog has more readers than most daily newspapers, so he knows his stuff, whether you agree with him or not.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Overall it's pretty OK, October 9, 2009
    I have followed Rawles blog and his writings. This book is pretty OK, and here is why. The book does provoke a lot of thought, but.. Here is where it misses. The situation that Rawles describes, he has not lived through. I still have a rather normal life I have to live and for most of us, ditching it all and moving to the mountains is not a feasible option. He often cites needing a years worth of anything on hand, but what happens after that year? Do you really want to live in a place of constant death and destruction. He lists a lot of doomsday scenarios by where the ones who survive will not be the lucky ones.

    I think the much more likely future is similar to what happened in Argentina or what has been slowly happening in South Africa.

    So while next spring I will be tilling up a good part of yard for a garden, harvesting rain water, and buying and stocking in bulk. I will not be buying a GOOD location or a buying an old diesel junker truck to get there.

    There is a lot you can learn from this book, but don't make it your sole reference. Where you live determines your survival strategy, there is no one size fits all approach.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Read this before you buy, July 27, 2010
    First let me start by saying that I seriously debated giving this book either 2 or 3 stars. It's somewhere in the middle in my mind.

    As part of my investigation into disaster preparedness, I read four books. I'd like to compare them here to help other customers.

    The four books can be divided into two groups: practical guides, and the world's gonna end guides.

    The first two books are related to what I'd call likely events - hurricanes, flu pandemics, earthquakes, blackouts, food shortages, water contamination, etc. The two that I read are:

    - Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family by Arthur Bradley

    - Crisis Preparedness Handbook by Jack Spigareli

    These two books are similar in their scope. Neither preaches doomsday preparations and both have a wide range of good advice. Spigarelli's book focuses much more heavily on food storage, whereas Bradley's has a more well-rounded handling of subjects and targets family preparation (including the special needs of children, pets, the elderly, and those with handicaps). Comparing the two, I found Bradley's book to be more recent, easier to read, and more comprehensive. The quality of the publication is also better (numerous clear tables, examples, figures, conclusions, etc.). Spigarelli's book has been around for almost a decade and is highly regarded, but feels a bit dated (text looks almost like it was generated on a typewriter, figures are small, tables are not very clear). Not a bad book at all, just dated, and heavily focused on food storage (about 2/3 of the book). Just to be clear, both books are good.

    The second set of books are targeted for more drastic, world-changing events - nuclear world war, asteroid hitting the planet, collapse of all government, doomsday stuff. The two books are:

    - How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times by James Rawles

    - When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes by Cody Lundin

    Again, these two books are similar. Both target extreme preparation - massive food and water stockpiles, getting off the electrical grid, living in bunkers, stocking weapons and bartering supplies, etc. Of the two, I found Lundin's book to offer more. First of all it is much larger and has much more detailed content. Rawles' book is a low-quality trade publication that has zero figures or tables - think text only. The advice of Rawles book is also very general and not particularly useful.

    There is some significant overlap between the two types of books, but they are definitely different in their focus. My advice is before buying a book, first decide whether you want to prepare for likely events or doomsday events. For me personally, I found the Practical Handbook for the Family to be the most useful. If you want to prepare for both ends of the spectrum, purchase Bradley's book and Lundin's book. Can't go wrong with that.

    Hope this helps!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Covers all the bases, October 2, 2009
    As one of the original pioneers in the survival and preparedness field, I have been critical of arm-chair survivalists who lead people astray with bad advice, product recommendations that don't work, and fail to take into consideration the fact that most people just can't head for the hills without destroying their financial lifeline. Self-sufficiency is fairly expensive, takes a lot of skill, and can't be done on a whim.

    Jim Rawles' book is not in that category. He has lived everything he recommends, and thus gives the kind of savvy advice that carefully guides a person through the tough choices necessary for contingency planning. Moreover, he is very open about the pitfalls and cautions that readers must avoid in order to develop a successful retreat plan. I found myself agreeing with almost every recommendation he makes.

    Highly recommended!

    Joel Skousen, Author of The Secure Home, and Strategic Relocation--North American Guide to Safe Places

    5-0 out of 5 stars A reference for further learning., September 30, 2009
    This book doesn't cover every detail of every disaster, of course. No one book could. What it has is easily referenced, concise summaries of particular events--hurricanes, earthquakes, brush fires, economic collapses, grid failures--and summaries of preparations one can make. Then, those preparations are roughly described.

    All this gives a person or family a handy guidebook to create a disaster plan from.

    Obviously, not all disasters have equal probability, nor are relevant to all locations--brush fires and hurricanes don't affect me in the Midwest. Tornadoes, flash floods and blizzards do, as might a New Madrid earthquake. Long term societal problems aren't currently a problem in the US, but are in quite a few other western nations, such as Argentina and sometimes Chile. There's even advice on a checklist to prioritize exactly those issues.

    As usual, a lot of the negative reviews revolve around a provincial "it can't happen here" mindset. A given disaster might not be likely in your current location at your current time, but places, people and societies change. Preparing ahead costs little, and can save your life. If you never need it, think of it as insurance.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but niche appeal, October 14, 2009
    I purchased this book with an open mind. I can say that my purchase was motivated mostly out of respect to the author for his previous work and his blog. I tried to read this book with the only expectation that I would walk away from it with one or two pieces of useful knowledge more than what I started with. At the end of the day, I felt slightly cheated. Let me list some of the biggest flaws with this work so people can be aware of what they need to address if they are looking at this as a resource material.

    1. I am really not sure who is the real audience for this book. After finishing it last night, I concluded that most of the 5 star WOW feedback did NOT read the book before they posted their reviews. I guess if you live on 20 acres in the country 5 miles away from your closest neighbor then a lot of the over view sections in this book are for you.
    2. The book is written with a very pessimistic tone that leaves the reader with a sense of helplessness if he lives with in a city or greater metropolitan area. I live in a city and because of my job I am unable to leave for the country. I think this was the greatest mental hurdle when confronted with this work. If you are unable to commit to a change of location and life style, then reading this book almost feels like a waste of time. Tell me something I can use for city survival as my home, family, job and life have all taken place inside of a society.
    3. Lots of the specific reference areas into subjects that are of great interest (canning, strengthening the defenses of your home, essential home gardening on less than an acre, and the firearms questions) differ to other works by name only. I was rather upset with the feeling that I had just read a survival appendix when many of the real questions I had were just glossed over and left me confused. I know that the author has a lot of knowledge in this realm, but seems to only reference it to his consulting business or divert questions to other authors.
    4. The feeling of "missing the boat" or helplessness which the author brings into his pessimistic conclusions. If you have not already built a stronghold out in the country at the top of your mountain with an independent water supply 5 years ago, then you are probably boned. Good luck!

    These are my own thoughts and conclusions based on this work purely for its standalone value. I still have a lot of confidence and respect in and for the author based on his previous work. I just wish he would have given us more. I am still giving him a slightly positive review 

    5-0 out of 5 stars Relevant, September 30, 2009
    Rawles has been providing an important service to the readers of his books and of his survivalblog for years. Disasters happen regularly all over the world, and Rawles has the best and most relevant info on how to prepare and cope with these life-threatening problems and this book shows you how to do it. I recommend everyone read his books and blog and take steps to prepare for what will inevitably come, be it storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorism, economic breakdown, or civil unrest. Do a little bit of preparing every week and you'll sleep better knowing you can keep your family fed and sheltered in case something bad happens. If it never comes, all the better! We all have home and car insurance, right? This is just another kind of insurance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Prepper bible, September 30, 2009
    First, ignore that illiterate, lying fool who gave this compendium 1 star. He hasn't read the book, and is condemning Mr. Rawles for something he didn't do: Predict a collapse.

    Mr. Rawles is a fountain of knowledge regarding basic and not-so-basic prepare-to-survive techniques. Additionally, he supplies excellent Do's and Don'ts for just about every likely, and unlikely scenario you may enounter.

    This book is far more likely to save your life than whoever is on the other end of a 911 call, if anyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Agree with the Rawles Philosophy, Disagree on Many Details, and Hope We're Wrong About People, October 19, 2009
    First off, I have read most of the reviews of this book and have found some misinformation. This is not a book of extremist thinking or encouraging extremist actions. One reviewer stated the book goes into details such as "man traps," and that is simply not true, not once does the book go into such a contrivance. The reviewer probably has a "knee jerk" reaction to anything with the term "survivalist" applied to it and might have run across a discussion of the subject elsewhere, perhaps on the authors survival blog, but not necessarily written by Mr. Rawles. One thing about this author, he certainly doesn't censor other opinions of the contributors to his blog, at least in my experience. That being said, I think the potential reader "on the fence" about it give this work a try, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I am of the opinion that Mr. Rawles does himself a disservice and denies his work a potentially broader audience by using marketing tactics (such as the title of this work) that will win with his core audience, but scare off others that could benefit.

    A core principle that Rawles puts forth early in the book is the fragile nature of our current society. Just in time inventory practices, out of control government spending, and a fleeting work ethic in our nation are indeed a formula for disaster. Interestingly, the idea that there is a "bureaucratic branch" putting in place our downfall is put forth in Mark Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny" and echoed here. Inflation may very well be in our near future and may very well be a cause for what Rawles calls here (and in his novel Patriots) "The Big Crunch." I agree with this view wholeheartedly.

    A second core principle put forth, is that the typical citizen of this country, when denied his TV, drugs, microwave entr�e's, and other instant gratification will revert to a savage state. When confronted with deprivation and potentially starvation, he will resort to outright unbridled barbarism. I WANT to disagree on this point and believe in "the better angels of our nature." It is my hope that in a cataclysmic situation, people will respond as they did on 9/11, and "pitch in." We cannot trust this will be the case however, so we must prepare.

    The last principle that I wanted to touch on in this review is the inclusion that is part of this philosophy. Mr. Rawles wants a prepared America. He does not only want white Christians to be prepared. I sincerely believe it is his hope that there will not be a societal collapse, but that he has abandoned the hope that there will not be. I think he believes the mechanisms put in place by the "bureaucratic branch" and the "moneychangers" have reached terminal velocity. The point that should be taken from this is that this is a NEW class of "survivalist" that can (and should) include everyone, although the principles of the philosophy tend to be more embraced by white Christians. Sometimes it does have that "traditional survivalist" flavor in its delivery, but to be dismissive and brand this man as a "survivalist nut" is the hallmark of a fool.

    I disagree with some details in the book. I disagree completely on the idea that we can all somehow live at a retreat full time, requiring I adapt the information for my situation. I disagree with his advice on firearms completely. Many of the recommendations could be simplified, and one does need to consider an "oddball caliber" because of the current supply problems with ammunition. I dislike the at times "preachy tone" his Christian beliefs inject into the work, but that is his prerogative, and I like that his beliefs lead him to include charity in his philosophy. However, because I disagree with many points of this philosophy, and have some experience in Emergency Management, I develop and evangelize a philosophy called StrongPoint Preparedness and it's out on the web to those that may be interested in an alternative, and I invite all to participate.

    This book is geared towards a cataclysmic circumstance, but much of the work is useful in planning for "routine emergencies" like hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, particularly the sections on G.O.O.D. All in all, this is an excellent preparedness resource that I hope none of us will ever need, written by a sincere man who practices what he preaches. Good luck!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not great, October 22, 2009
    This book does a good job of telling you why to prepare for emergencies, big and small, in the first 10 pages. The rest contains precious little actionable information to help you prioritize and accomplish any sizable preparations. This combination sets up the reader with a (maybe healthy) sense of foreboding and then leaves them with an unhealthy level of confusion and anxiety. Definitely not what I would call an effective introduction to emergency preparation.

    In several areas where actionable information is provided, I noted flaws in the recommendations. Certainly everybody's situation is different, but packing grains for long term storage is not difficult and this book got it wrong. As an example, a metal twist tie for mylar bags is not as effective as heat sealing. This level of mistake in areas I have personally worked through leaves little confidence in the book's content on other areas of prepping I'm still learning about.

    There are better books out there; few of them are "survival" manuals per se. The reader would be better served with books on low-tech living and camping, traditional skills like canning, gardening and homesteading and Mel Tappan's Tappan on Survival as an introduction to the prepper/survival mindset. ... Read more

    17. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
    by Stephen R. Covey
    Paperback (2004-11-09)
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $6.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0743269519
    Publisher: Free Press
    Sales Rank: 196
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity -- principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars The book is very good reading material.
    As the title of the book implies, Covey describes the seven habits of highly effective people and techniques for adopting the seven habits. Covey makes clear that an individual must make a paradigm shift before incorporating these habits into his/her own personal life. A paradigm is essentially the way an individual perceives something. Covey emphasizes that if we want to make a change in our lives, we should probably first focus on our personal attitudes and behaviors. He applies different examples via family, business, and society in general.

    This book's focal point is on an approach to obtain personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Covey points out that private victories precede public victories. He makes the example that making and keeping promises to ourselves comes before making and keeping promises to others.

    Habits 1, 2, and 3 deal with self-mastery. They move an individual from dependency on others to independence. Habits 4, 5, and 6 deal with teamwork, cooperation, and communication. These habits deal with transforming a person from dependency to independence to interdependence. Interdependence simply means mutual dependence. Habit 7 embodies all of the other habits to help an individual work toward continuous improvement.

    Habit 1 discusses the importance of being proactive. Covey states that we are responsible for our own lives; therefore, we possess the initiative to make things happen. He also points out that proactive people so not blame various circumstances for their behaviors but they realize behavior comes from one's conscious. Covey also explains that the other type of person is reactive. Reactive people are affected by their social as well as physical surroundings. This means that if the weather is bad, then it affects their behavior such as their attitude and performance.

    He also explains that all problems that are experienced by individuals fall into one of three categories, which are direct control, indirect control, or no control. The problems that are classified under direct control are the problems that involve our own behavior. The problems classified as indirect control encompasses problems that we can do nothing about. The problems classified as no control are those that we can do nothing about.

    Habit 2 focuses on beginning with the end in mind. Covey wants the reader to envision his/her funeral. This may sound disheartening but his goal is to help you think about the words that you wish to be said about you; it can help the individual visualize what you value the most. To begin with the end simply means to start with your destination in mind. That gives an individual a sense of where he/she presently is in their life. One has to know where they are going to make sure that they are headed in the right direction. Covey also mentions that the most effective way to begin with the end is by developing a personal mission statement. After doing that, you should identify your center of attention. Are you spouse centered, money centered, family centered, etc. The he tells you depending on you core of interest, your foundation for security, guidance, and power.

    Habit 3 is the practical fulfillment of Habits 1 and 2. Covey accentuates that Habits 1 and 2 are prerequisite to Habit 3. He states that an individual cannot become principle centered developing their own proactive nature; or without being aware of your paradigms; or the capability of envisioning the contribution that is yours to make. One must have an independent will. This is the ability to make decisions and to act in accordance with them.

    Habit 4 deals with the six paradigms of interaction, which are win/win, win/lose, lose/win, lose/lose, win, and win/win or no deal. Win/win is a situation in which everyone benefits something. It is not your way or my way; it is a better way. Win/lose declares that if I win then you lose. Simply put, I get my way; you don't get yours. Win/lose people usually use position, power, possessions, or personality to get their way. The win/lose type of person is the person that feels that if I lose; you win. People who feel this way are usually easy to please and find the strength of others intimidating. When two win/lose people get together both will lose resulting in a lose/lose situation. Both will try to get the upper end of the stick but in the end, neither gets anything. The person that simply thinks to win secures their own ends and leaves it up to others to secure theirs. The win/win or no deal person means that if there is not a suitable solution met that satisfies both parties then there is no agreement.

    Habit 5 deals with seeking means of effective communication. This habit deals with seeking first to understand. However, we usually seek first to be understood. Most people to not listen with the intent to understand but with the intent to reply. The act of listening to understand is referred to as empathic listening. That means you try to get into the person's frame of mind and think as they are thinking.

    Habit 6 discuses combining all of the other habits to prepare us for the habit of synergy. Synergy means that the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Possessing all of the habits will benefit an individual more than possessing one or two of them. Synergism in communication allows you to open your mind to new possibilities or new options.

    Habit 7 involves surrounds the other habits because it is the habit that makes all of the others possible. It is amplifying the greatest asset you have which is yourself. It is renewing your physical, emotional, mental, and social nature. The physical scope involves caring for yourself effectively. Spiritual renewal will take more time. Our mental development comes through formal education. Quality literature in our field of study as well as other fields help to broaden our paradigms. Renewing the social dimension is not as time consuming as the others. We can start by our everyday interactions with people.

    Moving along the upward spiral requires us to continuously learn, commit, and do on higher planes. This is essential to keep progressing. At the end of each habit, there are application suggestions or exercises that help you become a more effective person. This is definitely not a quick fix it book. The concepts should be studied in order to be fully achieved. I think if you learn to use these 7 habits, it will change your life.

    This is a must-have book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A OUTSTANDING BOOK!
    Stephen Covey has written one of the best works ever in personal development and a refreshing change from so much verbage out there in other works. I have been an avid student of personal development since the 70's and learned a lot from this excellent work. I also highly recommend "SUPERSELF" by Charles Givens, another extraordinary work by an equally extraordinary man. I have read & reread Seven Habits and SuperSelf several times over the last few years and always get something new out of each every time. Excellent books to help you succeed in any area of endeavor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a SUPER BOOK
    Although I have read many personal development books, 7 Habits is by far the best. No hype, hoopla, pyscho-babble that is so prevalent today, however, I submit that 7 Habits will be around long after the hypsters are gone. I work in a 1,500 staff facility and 7 Habits is required reading for all management staff. I also recommend Superself, possibly one of the most underrated books out there and Financial Self Defense which in my opinion, is the financial book version of 7 Habits.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Strategies for Effectiveness
    Knowledge is the quickest and safest path to success in any area of life. Stephen Covey has encapsulated the strategies used by all those who are highly effective. Success can be learned and this book is an excellent way to learn how to do that.I also highly recommend Turner, Turner, Turner: The King of Network Marketing to learn strategies from another highly spirited man who has learned how to achieve maximum effectiveness and keep balance in all aspects of life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Restores character to our culture.
    Stephen Covey has written an excellent book which should be read by everyone. This great work restores character, or at least underscores the need for character ethic in our society.

    Must reading for all value driven people.

    Dr Covey has put together one of the best works ever. The key word in the title is "habits", no thinking about, setting goals to do something, swishing or anchoring yourself, but actually developing habits and actually doing it.

    I've read this book several times and I get something new out of it every time. The only other self development book that helped me this much (I've read them all) is "THINK & GROW RICH" by Napolean Hill I also highly recommend "BUSINESS BUY THE BIBLE" and "DON'T SET GOALS" by Wade Cook. These books are very much in the tradition of "SEVEN HABITS".

    To me, this book is not only "not over rated" as one reader indicated, I believe that it is grossly under rated and arguably is the best self development book on the book racks right now!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sensible and pramatic
    I found this great book by Dr. Covey to be both sensible and pragmatic. This is an outstanding book that really delivers. Follow the 7 habits and you will become a success.

    Other books I recommend include The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and Super Self (if you can find a copy) by the late Charles Givens.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Habits" is the Operative Word
    If you've ever truly mastered anything, you know there's a "zone" where your efforts start to produce disproportionate results. This is absolutely true for at least six of the seven habits (I haven't seen any quantum leaps with Sharpen the Saw, but that's not surprising).

    I, too, found the book obvious on first reading, so I ignored the contents for several months. Then, on a long road trip, I worked hard at perfecting "empathic listening" with my wife, almost as an escape from boredom. The results were unexpected, so I spent an entire vacation trying to strictly practice -- and perfect -- as many of the Seven Habits as applied. As we drove home, she mentioned how much our relationship had improved and how happy she felt. Years forward in our closeness in a single long weekend.

    Out of habit, I started using these habits at work, especially workign with my boss; within days, she couldn't wait for me to call her every day -- and I have since had to quietly put a time limit on our conversations, and she is constantly asking me to "delegate upward."

    Word spread, and pretty soon my boss' boss was calling to spend an hour at a time telling me all kinds of things that most VP's wouldn't share with a first-line manager. He also started giving me all sorts of opportunities, saying "I know you will be able to handle them."

    The real surprise came when the CEO of our company asked me to deal with a particularly difficult customer because she'd heard that I had a "knack" for getting along. This was a shock, because until 7 Habits, I was pretty much an antisocial loner who just happened to be good at what I did. BTW, that customer ended up doubling their order, but more important, ended up increasing their own effectiveness as a result of my sharing just bits and pieces of the Habits.

    Since then, I've worked hard at polishing my technique, and found that 1-6 all produce the same effect. After really working on them, I've found myself to be healthier, happier and ... oddly enough ... much richer, both in money and in relationships.

    Obvious is one thing; obvious results are something else altogether. ... Read more

    18. The Lean Belly Prescription: The fast and foolproof diet and weight-loss plan from America's top urgent-care doctor
    by Travis Stork, Peter Moore
    list price: $24.99 -- our price: $14.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1609610237
    Publisher: Rodale Books
    Sales Rank: 470
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Dr. Travis Stork, cohost of The Doctors, cares about the state of your abdomen. Why? Because when he’s not on TV, he works in the E.R. at Vanderbilt Medical Center. And his years of training and experience have told him that the one of the very first vital signs to check—one of the most important determining factors in whether a patient will recover from illness and injury, or face a future of disease, pain, and disability—is how much belly fat they’re carrying. In fact, visceral fat—the kind that clings to your waistline and infiltrates your internal organs—is not only unsightly, it also sets you up for a host of health woes, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
    So fighting belly fat is the same thing as fighting for your life!
    But now, Dr. Travis, America’s top urgent-care doctor, has written the ultimate prescription for curing dangerous belly fat. His revolutionary PICK 3 TO LEAN plan lets you customize your diet and lifestyle to start melting away belly fat, without giving up your favorite foods, without spending hours in the gym, without really sacrificing anything—except belly fat! If you love snacking, if you love desserts, if you love burgers and steaks, if you love big, hearty breakfasts, there’s a plan in here for you. With tiny tweaks to the foods you already love and enjoy, you’ll begin to see the pounds disappear in just days!
    Plus, Dr. Travis explains the magic of N.E.A.T.: non-exercise activity thermogenesis, a fancy way of saying “burn more calories without exercising!” You pick the lifestyle you’re most comfortable with. You decide which foods you want to eat. You choose what fun activities you want to enjoy. With The Lean Belly Prescription, you will have a plan custom-designed by you—with the help of Dr. Travis—that’s scientifically proven to strip away up to 15 pounds in just 4 weeks.
    With The Belly Fat Prescription, you’ll find yourself eating more the foods you love, spending more time doing the things you love, and having more fun with the people you love. Dr. Travis will teach you how to do that because the Belly Fat Prescription is a whole-life plan, taking in variables other diets don’t consider, and offering weight-loss opportunities you didn’t know you had. The result: a prescription plan you’ll love, and stay on for the rest of your life because of how it makes you feel.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Not for me, but maybe for someone..., December 7, 2010
    When I bought this book, I expected it to be more like a set of guidelines to follow; which it is in some ways. The authors lays out some good guidelines to follow, and the Pick 3 life changes to make seem like they would work. However, most of the stuff in the book is something that you could just as easily find with a 5 minute Google search. Also, I do not think he talks about his tips as in-depth as he should. Throughout the book he includes a bunch of simple tips to follow, but he basically just says "Here it is!", and then never really explains the point or revisits it later on.

    The one area where I feel that this book would be helpful for some people are in the eating and workout plans he outlines. He does a good job of describing everything you need to make the food and how to actually make it. The same can be said of the workout plans in which he provides good pointers. However, I feel that the workout plans are fairly basic and mostly for people who have little exercising experience.

    I was expecting a book full of guidelines of little changes you can make in everyday life, but what I got was a book with a lot of basic tips that I already knew and a basic workout plan. I also was not expecting so much of the book to be dedicated to a specific diet plan where he lays out 4 weeks of meals and how to make them; I was not really looking for a guide that was going to put me on a specified eating plan.

    Overall, I give the book 2 stars because I don't like it and I do not think it can really help me. However, this rating could be misleading because I imagine that there are many people out there who would like it and could benefit from it. I think that this book would most benefit people who are very overweight or obese and have little knowledge of exercise or nutrition. If you are just 10-20 pounds overweight and are trying to lose that last bit of flab, this book is NOT for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great summary of many theories, with a practical approach, December 13, 2010
    I'm very pleased I found this book. I've tried a number of different approaches to lose that "tire" I've carried around for the last several years...Atkins, the Zone, South Beach...but with each one I've felt like I wasn't getting the complete nutritional spectrum I needed, and I felt like I was depriving myself of some of my favorites. This book seems to draw the best from a number of different approaches, and repackages it in a reasonable, sensible manner. Dr. Stork doesn't advocate starving yourself, or swearing off all kinds of foods...he rather suggests moderation, healthy alternatives, and a balanced approach. Refreshing.

    Dr. Stork puts equal emphasis on an active lifestyle, which I like. Finding ways to incorporate little changes in your level of activity can add up...I like the fact he doesn't beat you over the head with some Jersey Shore-like workout regimen. I'm looking for a lean, healthy physique, which reflects a healthy lifestyle. This approach advocated in the book I think I can stick with.

    This book is written much in the same manner as Men's Health magazine, which I like...short digestible segments of easy-to-understand advice, backed by research. You can pick up the book and read a section or two, and get find something useful immediately. No program, no steps, just helpful lifestyle advice.

    I think anyone looking to either enhance their current fitness/nutritional approach, or anyone that's been frustrated with "diets" in the past, could benefit from this book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great gift idea, December 10, 2010
    Who better than an E.R. doc to deal with belly fat? Really, he makes a persuasive case in the intro that belly fat is a health crisis, and that we better deal with it before we end up the E.R. And when you look with it that way, we've all got to deal with our guts now, before they do us in later. I also like the fact that he's encouraging us to eat our way out of the problem, rather than basing this on denial and guilt. In fact, good foods can crowd out bad. You just have to identify the ones you like best.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fun to read but nothing new, December 17, 2010
    The title of this book is misleading. The focus is on loosing weight and it is intended for those with a weight problem. My weight is fine but I need to loose belly fat. I have had 4 children and the older I get the more belly fat I have to deal with. Is there anything more that I can do or eat to get a lean belly? I do abdominal exercises and have a good diet. I hoped this book would offer something new on how to get rid of my belly fat. Dr Travis discussed food but there was nothing that I had not already read in other books. My question remains...what specific foods go directly to my belly and stay there forever? And that question remained unanswered after reading this book. For those who want to read another book on how to loose weight this book contains sound advice and was fun to read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love it!!, December 10, 2010
    OK, first off, I've thought Travis was hot ever since he was on the Bachelor. So I was pretty thrilled to see that he'd written a diet book, as I've gained several pounds over the last few years. I like that this isn't some crash program that I can't keep up. He gives you some basic habits that will help you fix the problem for good, like swapping water for soda. How easy is that?! It's simple stuff to do, and yea, I've heard some of it before. But he provides tons of strategies to help you stick to it. I'll definitely be passing this book along to my girlfriends! ... Read more

    19. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
    by Malcolm Gladwell
    Paperback (2007-04-03)
    list price: $15.99 -- our price: $6.62
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0316010669
    Publisher: Back Bay Books
    Sales Rank: 201
    Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In his #1 bestseller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. In BLINK, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within.How do we make decisions--good and bad--and why are some people so much better at it than others? That's the question Malcolm Gladwell asks and answers in BLINK. Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, examining case studies as diverse as speed dating, pop music, and the New Coke, Gladwell shows how the difference between good decision making and bad has nothing to do with how much information we can process quickly, but rather with the few particular details on which we focus.BLINK displays all of the brilliance that has made Malcolm Gladwell's journalism so popular and his books such perennial bestsellers as it reveals how all of us can become better decision makers--in our homes, our offices, and in everyday life. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely enthralling and fascinating throughout.
    This is one of the most fascinating books I have read in some time. The book centers on the concept of how fast we really do make judgments, called "thin slicing", and how deeper analysis can sometimes provide less information than more. It is all about cognitive speed.

    The concept of "thin slicing" is dissected and explained. What I found fascinating, and also common sense, is that we process information on a subconscious level, "behind the door", and process so holistically that to over analyze can actually hinder our ability to make decisions.

    Several key points are applicable in business. One of the in depth studies looked at a military leader who was particularly successful. One of his more poignant observations was that a great leader needs to let the people do their work. When deciding how often to follow up "you are diverting them, now they are looking upward instead of downward. You are preventing them from resolving the situation". (Page 118) Further "allowing people to operate without having to explain themselves constantly ... enables rapid cognition" (Page 119). It seems that most micro-management actually prevents people from successful decision making.

    Another strange phenomenon occurs when we try and explain how we come to some conclusions. It seems that the more we try to analyze how we come to some conclusions the less reliable they become.

    The ability to absorb and detect minute changes in facial expressions allows us to essentially "read minds" if we pay attention. There are several chapters on how reliable we can be in predicting behavior with very little information.

    Overall, this book is so well written that I had a hard time putting it down. My only compliant, and it is a minor one, is that the book just ends. No summary or wrap up, just "boom", it's over. However, that is more a testament to how engaging the book is I suppose. Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Our Hidden Programming
    I bought the book before a flight after reading the adulatory comments on the front and back.

    It started well, with the premise that the subconsious forms a conclusion long before the consious mind is aware of it. I suppose it is obvious, but he makes the point well.

    From there things get a bit lost. Reading along I soon realised that I was nearing the end and the number of pages left for a profound and all-encompassing conclusion was rapidly diminishing.

    Unfortunately it never came.

    This is a very short book which promises much but delivers little. I hope that the author will follow up with something more worthy of the title. It is really just a collection of true stories, mostly about racial or sexual prejudice, which leave a bad taste in the mouth. Each story is drawn out as well, a little like the History Channel.

    I'm sure that there is a good book somewhere in this subject matter, but I can't for the life of me reconcile the reviews that this book has received (Compelling, Astonishing, Brilliant) with my experience. Maybe they only read the first chapter. Maybe I missing something.

    Since reading this book I have been looking around and found this one:

    The Genie Within: Your Subconcious Mind, how It Works And How To Use It (Paperback)

    Maybe this would be a better choice for this subject matter. ... Read more

    20. Promise Me
    by Richard Paul Evans
    Kindle Edition
    list price: $19.99
    Asin: B003UYURP6
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 114
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    As you read my story, there is something I want you to understand. That in spite of all the pain—past, present and that still to come—I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Nor would I trade the time I had with him for anything—except for what, in the end, I traded it for. Beth Cardall has a secret. For eighteen years, she has had no choice but to keep it to herself, but on Christmas Eve 2008, all that is about to change. For Beth, 1989 was a year marked by tragedy. Her life was falling apart: her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was suffering from an unidentifiable illness; her marriage transformed from a seemingly happy and loving relationship to one full of betrayal and pain; her job at the dry cleaners was increasingly at risk; and she had lost any ability to trust, to hope, or to believe in herself. Then, on Christmas Day, as she rushed through a blizzard to the nearest 7-Eleven, Beth encountered Matthew, a strikingly handsome, mysterious stranger, who would single-handedly change the course of her life. Who is this man, and how does he seem to know so much about her? He pursues her relentlessly, and only after she’s fallen deeply in love with him does she learn his incredible secret, changing the world as she knows it, as well as her own destiny.

    From the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved classics The Christmas Box and The Christmas List comes a breathtaking story of the transcendent power of love. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Let Down, October 14, 2010
    I have been a RPE fan for more years than I care to share... and this was just a huge let down! The story was just weird and creepy for me. The first half had me hook line and sinker (as all of his books do) but the second half just left a really bad taste in my mouth.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not My Favorite, October 31, 2010
    I did not like this book. It was too far out there and a little creepy. Not one of his best.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but..., October 21, 2010
    I agree that this book is certainly a little different from JPE's other bestsellers. That doesn't mean that it is bad - it's just a little off-kilter compared to most of the others.

    I suppose it all comes down to why you want to read it in the first place - as purely a 'novel' or something more 'meaningful' (like my favorite, but often overlooked book on the more spiritual side of life - Spiritual Meaning: 92 Tips For Changing Your Spiritual Reality By Bringing More Spiritual Awareness Into Your Life)

    Nevertheless, whatever you may be looking to get from this - it is, as usual, very well written and certainly will keep you interested, even if the 'twist' is a little out of context with what came before it.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Honesty?, October 28, 2010
    I, too, as many of the reviewers of this title, read many of Richard Paul Evan's books. This one is a big disappointment to me. Not only did I not care for the time slip story line, but I question the gambling with pre knowledge to be something the characters were willing to do without any thought of it being flat out cheating. I hope his next book is back up to the standards of his earlier ones.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a gifted story teller, this Richard Paul Evans!, October 27, 2010
    Wow! I just finished Promise Me. I was prepared to be disappointed because of some of the reviews. There is absolutely nothing to be disappointed about! Creative! Heart-warming! Even moral in what could have taken an immoral twist. I don't have enough words to describe the incredible talent Richard Paul Evans posseses in his writing. The Christmas Box and The Timepiece were small inklings of what his future in writing would be. The Sunflower - a memorable book, perhaps my favorite up until Promise Me. The Looking Glass and The Carousel - beautiful love stories. But none compare to the creativity wrapped up in this time-travel novel. When I grow up, I want to write just like Richard Paul Evans! Kudos!
    Dawn M. Kurtz, author of Secret of the Mexican Doll

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the price, November 3, 2010
    This was my first RPE book and will probably be my last. I found it whiny and uninteresting and then just plain creepy. I was barely able to finish the book once it was revealed who Matthew was. Worst book I've read in a while and definitely not worth the Kindle price.

    1-0 out of 5 stars That Time of Year, October 28, 2010
    Richard Paul Evans returns with one of his seemingly annual holiday potboilers. This maudlin, tree-killing bit of puffery goes down quite well, especially provided one lives in Utah County in the State of Utah.

    At a recent signing, Mr. Evans quietly bemoaned the polarity of his audience for this book: some like it; some think it is creepy. I'll opt for the latter.

    Caveat lector.

    4-0 out of 5 stars good but not great, October 9, 2010
    I am a Richard Paul Evans fan and have read them all. Promise Me is another extremely well written book...lots of details...keeps you reading. BUT, as much as I liked the book I was diappointed with the ending. I won't give anything away here, but I would have been much happier if Beth and Matthew had shared their sectret with their spouses. It left me with a bad feeling about them having a private secret like that. After I closed the book I went on to pretend that Beth told Kevin everything and Matthew did the same with Charlotte. Sorry, but especially after the fact that Beth's first husband had kept such big secrets from her I did not feel good about the ending Richard left us with. A bit creepy. I still love his writing, though.

    1-0 out of 5 stars promise me, November 21, 2010
    This is the first book I have read by Mr. Evans. It is a poorly written book--without substance and without style.
    His popularity does not, therefore, surprise me at all.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, November 3, 2010
    I was disappointed in this book. Richard Paul Evans usually writes very spiritually meaningful books that are somewhat realistic in nature. This is not realistic at all. It might should be classified as science fiction. I think it would have been better if he had written "Matthew" to be someone other than who he turned out to be. ... Read more

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