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41. Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters
by Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery, Mark Thompson
Kindle Edition
list price: $18.39
Asin: B000P28WEY
Publisher: 2006-09-12
Sales Rank: 7536
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Editorial Review

This is the eBook version of the printed book.

Chosen by BusinessWeek as one of the top 5 books of 2006 in careers.  Read the full story at businessweek.com. 

 

Imagine discovering what successful people have in common, distilling it into a set of simple practices, and using them to transform your life and work. Authored by three legends in leadership and self-help — including Built to Last co-author Jerry Porras — it challenges conventional wisdom at every step. Success Built to Last draws on face-to-face, unscripted conversations with hundreds of remarkable human beings from around the world. Meet billionaires, CEOs, presidents of nations, Nobel laureates and celebrities — the rich, the famous and the unknown. Meet unsung heroes who've achieved lasting impact without obvious power or charisma. Famous or not, most started out ordinary. Discover how successful people "harvest" their strengths and their weaknesses, their victories and their surprising failures. Discover how you can find meaning in your life and work just as they did and summon the courage to follow your passions. Above all, see how they've sustained success for decades and you can too.

 

Foreword by Senator John McCain

Acknowledgements

 

Introduction–From Built to Last to Success Built to Last

Chapter 1: From Great to Lasting–Redefining Success

 

Part I: Meaning–How Successful People Stay Successful

Chapter 2: Love it or Lose–Passions and the Quest for Meaning

Chapter 3: Portfolio of Passions–It’s Not About Balance

Chapter 4: Why Successful People Stay Successful–Integrity to Meaning

 

Part II: ThoughtStyles–Extreme Makeovers Start in Your Head

Chapter 5: The Silent Scream–Why It’s So Damn Hard to Do What Matters

Chapter 6: The Cause Has Charisma–You Don’t Have to Be Charismatic to Be Successful

Chapter 7: The Tripping Point–Always Make New Mistakes

Chapter 8: Wounds to Wisdom–Trusting Your Weaknesses and Using Your Core Incompetencies

 

Part III: ActionStyles–Turning Passion into Action

Chapter 9: Earning Your Luck–Preparing for Serendipity by Using Big Hairy Audacious Goals

Chapter 10: Naked Conversations–Harvesting Contention

Chapter 11: Creating Alignment–The Environment Always Wins

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out–A Look at the Research Behind Success Built to Last

 

Endnotes

Biographical Index

Index

... Read more

42. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
Paperback
list price: $16.00 -- our price: $7.48
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Isbn: 0143038583
Publisher: Penguin
Sales Rank: 181
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

A national bestseller that has changed the way readers view the ecology of eating, this revolutionary book by award winner Michael Pollan asks the seemingly simple question: What should we have for dinner? Tracing from source to table each of the food chains that sustain us—whether industrial or organic, alternative or processed—he develops a portrait of the American way of eating. The result is a sweeping, surprising exploration of the hungers that have shaped our evolution, and of the profound implications our food choices have for the health of our species and the future of our planet. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Facing the dilemma I have been avoiding for years., May 12, 2006
Since I read Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation" over five years ago, I have refused to eat any fast food of any kind. Both morally and nutritionally, my position is that if I were to eat that food again, I would be tacitly accepting an industry that is abhorrent on so many levels. Knowing what I now know, that degree of cognitive dissonance is simply too great for me to overcome.

When my son was born two years ago, my thinking about food choices returned and has become an important part of my day-to-day consciousness.

When I first read about "Omnivore" online, I found the premise compelling. What exactly am I eating? Where does it come from? Why should I care? Exactly the kind of book that I'd been looking for, especially as I try to improve my own health and try to give my little guy the best start in life.

I bought the book as soon as it came out and found it to be highly enjoyable, yet almost mind-numbingly disenchanting. We all know about corn and cows and chickens and how the government subsidizes their production (mainly through corn subsidies). But Pollan has given me a completely new view of corn, its processed derivatives, and secondarily, has made me rethink my view of the farmers growing this stuff and the industries who buying it. There is so much wrong with this picture.

Corn, in the wrong hands, can be used for some terrible things, among them high fructose corn syrup (a major player in the obesity epidemic) and as feed for cows (who get sick when they eat it, requiring anti-biotics!). I can't compartmentalize anymore, just because meat tastes good. As Pollan clearly outlines, there is a very selfish reason why the beef industry doesn't want us to see inside a slaughter house. Many of us would never eat it again if we saw how disgusting and cruel the process typically is.

In the section on the ethics of eating animals, Pollan compellingly summarizes animal ethicist Peter Singer's case against eating animals, making a strong argument for vegetarianism. Then he tries to argue for a more moderate (read: carnivorous) world view, and I have to admit, I wasn't convinced. I am a lifelong meat eater, but am seriously thinking about switching to a vegetarian diet. I can no longer reconcile the slaughter of animals with my own appreciation of them. And beyond slaughter, there are plenty of health benefits to eating a plant-based diet.

Here's my bottom line: If you aren't prepared to question your views on food, or are afraid of what you might learn, then you really need to avoid this book. This has all made my head spin and my heart ache over the past month. Faced with the facts, I actually feel as though I am mourning the loss of my old diet. But I am terribly ambivalent about becoming a vegetarian, not at all happy to be making such a drastic (yet healthy) change. I am embarrassed about it, and worried about how I will deal with a meatless lifestyle in the years ahead. I am glad Pollan opened my eyes to this, but secretly wish I weren't so curious about these issues. The truth hurts.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Trouble with Agriculture...., June 18, 2006
I didn't expect to learn much from Michael Pollan's new book, _The Omnivore's Dilemma_ - since I write and talk regularly about the problems of industrial agriculture, local food production and sustainability, I thought that while I'd probably enjoy his writing (I took a great deal of pleasure in his prior books on gardening), his book would be enlightening to a rather different audience than myself. But, in fact, I did learn a great deal. Pollan's gift is to entertainingly present complexities, without being weighed down by his own excellent scholarship - it is a gift, to know that much about something and to know which bits of evidence will compell and which will merely bore. He's an enormously erudite guy, without being even slightly dull. Several people I know who are far less engaged by food issues than I say they found it compelling and readable.

I will add up front, that one of the two things that most irritated me about this book was that in the mid-1980s, Margaret Visser, a brilliant food writer, wrote a very similar book, _Much Depends on Dinner_. Neither the book nor the author were particularly obscure - the book won several awards, and Visser went on to write another one about table manners (great book, btw, and highly recommended), and the books were published by Pollan's own publisher. And yet, Pollan's book does not cite or acknowledge the book, even though many of the chapters (those on chicken and corn especially) were very similar in their approach and analysis. Someone, either Pollan in his research (which, I think, was otherwise good), or his editor missed something - because the concept of eating a meal and being outraged by the history of its context is not his. Visser's book, particularly the chapter on rice, which I read in high school, was my biggest early influence in thinking about food, so it rankles me (even though these things happen in books) that Pollan ignored her.

But returning to the main point, I did learn a great deal from Pollan - I found out, among other things, exactly what Xanthan gum is (hadn't you always wondered, even if you knew it couldn't be good?), made a connection I'd never perceived before between the widespread alcoholism in America in the 19th century and the widespread obesity of today (both due to the need to use up agricultural excesses of corn) and heard as concise and compelling an account of the complexities of farm subsidies as I've heard before. I hadn't thought, for example that anyone could give me any more reasons not to eat at McDonalds, but Pollan added a couple.

The first section of the book traces a meal at McDonalds back to its basic ingredient - corn. From the corn that feeds the chickens to the xanthan gum in the milkshake to the sweetener in the ketchup and oil in which the fries are cooked, McDonalds is mostly corn. Since Fast Food Nation and the other exposes, I don't think there's anyone who cares who doesn't know how gross fast food is, and Pollan admirably stays away from the yuckiness factor (not that there isn't reason to go there, but it has been rather overdone of late). Instead, he goes to the aesthetic one, accusing Americans who eat fast food of having become like koalas, capable of absorbing only corn, to terrible cost. In some sense, as someone who likes to eat, his description of our reliance upon (and the costs thereof) corn is more grotesque than any expose of slaughterhouses could be.

He then describes the history of two organic meals, one of them bought on a trip to whole foods, and an industrially produced organic meal, the other local, sustainable and produced to a large degree from Joel Salatin's Polyface farm, where he acted as reporter/farm hand for a week. It may be here that Pollan's book is most valuable, because it makes a distinction that your average Mom who buys at Whole foods has never made - that industrial organic food is more industrial than organic. This book has been roundly hyped on NPR and in the New York Times, and has the potential to change a lot of minds - and despite my later critiques, I will be enormously grateful if Pollan can simply convince people to look beyond the word organic and think about the costs of their food to the environment and the people who grow it. This is a potentially influential book, and Pollan does not make the mistake that many, many food writers make, of reading the word "organic" to mean sustainable.

While acknowledges that large scale, organic, industrial food is better than nothing, he doesn't cut it a lot of slack for its drenching in fossil fuels, use and sometimes misuse of migrant labor, and general unsustainability. Perhaps his best writing in the book is when he attempts to analyze whether it is possible to grow food sustainably and well on any scale at all, and when he concludes that you can't, someone like me, who is trying to grow food on a small scale, looks up ready to cheer. Because such a conclusion should lead inevitably to the next step - ie, to the idea that the only solution to the problem of industrial agriculture is that a lot more people have to grow food, both for sale and at home. But he never quite gets there, and that may be the great flaw of the book. Still, however, I think that the line that the distinctions Pollan does draw are deeply helpful, and could potentially change things a great deal.

In the final section, Pollan eats a meal that he has hunted, or gathered, or grown himself. In doing this, he spends a lot of time coming to terms with hunting and meat eating (he kills his own chicken for dinner at Polyface farm, and also purchases a steer destined for McDonalds, although its final end is as much of a mystery as such things could possibly ever be). Here is where, I expected, Pollan will figure out how we might reasonably eat, humanely and sustainably. But in fact, the last chapter could be described as "Yuppie Jewish guy goes hunting for the first time" - and not just any kind of hunting, but hunting for wild boar in the California mountains with a bunch of European chefs bent on recreating the food of their homelands for Chez Panisse. Pollan may be violating the traditions of his Jewish upbringing (Jews don't hunt, not just because they are often urbanites, but because the laws of kashruth forbid it, and the sense of it as unfitting has lingered long past the observation of the law in other respects for many Jews), but he never actually leaves his class behind. And that is one of the deeper problems of the book - the meal he seeks to make is not a deer burger and homemade potato fries, but wine-braised leg of boar with boar liver pate and cherry something or other (admittedly, it sounded terrific).

Intermittently throughout the book, Pollan attempts to deal with the problem of elitism - whether or not sustainable food is yuppie food. And there's a legitimate case to be made that there is. Pollan, of course, points out the illogic both of what we spend on food (less than anyone in the world) and the externalities that are not figured into the cost of the McDonalds meal, but he never gets down and dirty with the question of class. He quotes Joel Salatin on the subject that regulation adds more to his cost than organic production, notes the costs of meals and that Salatin's customers are mixed in economic situation, but he never fully addresses who it is who mostly eats fast food and who it is who mostly eats organic, and the all-important whys of that question.

When Pollan finally gets down to the ultimate local meal, the chapter is mostly about his angst over killing animals and meat eating (although it was fun to watch Pollan duke it out intellectually with Peter Singer), but it all gets played out over a meal with class overtones so profound and powerful that you cannot escape them. Going boar hunting with a sicilian chef doesn't seem to have much relevance to going deer hunting with a bunch of blue collar guys who live next door, nor is the meal he plans to produce something that anyone could make and eat very often. Speaking as someone who does not hunt (that kosher thing) but whose father did, and who believes that human predation is a perfectly normal thing, and preferrable, say, to having lyme disease from an excess of white-tailed deer (oh, it isn't that easy, of course, but I'll write more on vegetarianism and meat eating another time), I think Pollan ends up using the meal he decided to make as a way of choosing to avoid the logical conclusion of his writing, and the book is the poorer for it. The closing chapter is not about how we could eat, but about the impossibility of producing our own food, and, to a large degree, about the impossibility of even eating sustainably. And I think to a large degree that's because he chose a meal that is unreproducable for millions - as opposed to the simple, ordinary chicken and corn or french fries of his organic and conventional prior meals.

His conclusions, drawn from his experiences on Salatin's farm and of hunting and gathering (and presumably of eating at McDonalds) are implicitly that sustainable eating is never going to happen on any great scale. At the end of his section on Salatin's farm, he likens Salatin to Luther, creating his own new denominations of people for whom food quality and healthfulness matters, small niches of (elitist) people who care about their food in the great wilderness. But implying this suggests that most other people (I wonder who - the ones who eat at McDonalds more and are mostly of a different class?) don't actually care deeply about their food's taste, health and environmental cost.

And his final set of conclusions are deeply disappointing to me, personally. Because he creates the ground work for a fairly simple conclusion - industrial scale food production, whether organic or non, is a failure, a disaster for those who care about ethics or the environment. In a way, it doesn't matter whether what you care about is the suffering of animals (industrial slaughter) or the suffering of humans (malnutrition), the extermination of songbirds (pesticides) or rising cancer rates (pesticides) or the extermination of everyone due to global warming, the conclusion that Pollan expertly and gracefully leads us to - ie, that many more people need to take a role in their own food systems, both by buying locally, encouraging the creation of millions of new small farms instead of an expanding industrial system, and by growing some of their own (or hunting it, or foraging), is finally left off, in the interest of implying that the problem is irresolvable. This, I think, is rather a cheap ending, and an unfair one to the person who has sorted through the complexities of his arguments and analysis and comes out wanting to know what to do next.

Pollan tells us at the very end, referring to his home produced meal and the one from McDonalds, "...these meals are equally unreal and equally unsustainable." But the fact that the home produced meal is unsustainable and unreproducable is his choice - because a dinner of potatoes and eggs with salad, equally local, equally gathered, is sustainable and available to anyone with a bit of backyard if they want it. By implying that self-provisioning is a fantasy in this modern world, Pollan essentially suggests we leave the farming to the farmers - but there simply aren't enough farmers to have a small, local, organic farm everywhere. If we're to reduce our footprint more than anyone can by hopping over to whole foods in the SUV and picking up a box of whole wheat mac and cheese and some organic apples from China, people are going to have to take some responsibility for feeding themselves. No, they don't have to go hunt wild boar. But they might have to grow a garden, or make possible a nearby farm. They might have to encourage their children to grow up to be farmers. And they might have to imagine a world in which feeding oneself is not either a work of magic or a work of industry, but simply the ordinary job that ordinary people have been doing for thousands of years.

5-0 out of 5 stars I could go on and on . . (look below), July 31, 2006
When I bought this book for my dad he simply said, "A book about food?" I laughed and tried to tell him it is probably more about what is wrong with the country (government, business, foreign policy) than it is about food.

I heard Michael Pollan speak on NPR about this book and that sparked my interest. He was railing against corn as he does in the first section of the book here: For instance, I had no idea we used so much fossil fuel to get corn to grow as much as it does. The book provides plenty of other interesting facts that most people don't know (or want to) about their food.

1) We feed cattle (the cattle we eat) corn. OK. Seems fine. But I never knew cows are not able to digest corn. We give them corn so the corn farmers -who are protected by subsidies and at the same time hurt by them - can get rid of all the excess corn we produce - (more of the excess goes into high fructose corn syrup which is used in coke and many other soft drinks). This sees company owned farms injecting their cattle with antibiotics so they can digest the corn. Not just to shed farmers' excess corn but to also:
a) Get the cow fatter in a shorter amount of time because . .
b) A cow on this diet could really only survive 150 days before the acidity of the corn eats away at the rumen (a special cow digestive organ FOR GRASS, not corn).
c) Also the pharmaceutical companies get big profits because they manufacture large amounts of antibiotics for these large mammals.

All this may lead to increase in fat content and other peculiarities in the meat we eat.

2) The amount of fossil fuel we use to grow food is ridiculous and helps keeps the Saudis happy. If you buy an apple from Washington and live in New Jersey, think of how much gas went into transporting that fruit to me! Better to buy from Iowa. Better than that: buy from a farmer's market and this is one of Pollan's main suggestions:

Buy your food local and maybe you can even find out what is exactly in your hot dog.

3) CAFOS - large corporate feeding pens - where pigs (who are very smart animals) and even chickens display signs of suicidal tendencies.

4) Pollan talks about Big Organic and spends a lot of time here. "Big Organic" is seemingly an oxymoron. He shows how Big Organic companies treat their animals and farms in many similar ways to other industrial farms. However, he makes you think by talking to one organic executive who says,

"Get over it . . . the real value of putting organic on an industrial scale, is the sheer amount of acreage it puts under organic management. Behind every organic TV dinner or chicken or carton of industrial organic milk stands a certain quantity of land that will no longer be doused with chemicals, an undeniable gain of the environment and public health." - pg. 158

True, but the similarities between big companies and how supermarkets only want to deal with them is what Pollan thinks is the problem with our food.

5) Pollan focuses the most of his book on Joel Salatin's Polyface Farms in rural Virginia. Salatin calls himself a "grass farmer" (no not THAT grass). You could call it "real organic" but for Pollan it is how we should be farming and what we should eat. Cows, chickens, pigs roaming freely eating grass, and tasting like they should in the end. The problem is that not every area of the USA is as fertile as southwestern Virginia . . .but I am sure Pollan would suggest that each region should specialize in its delicacies and get used to not eating things that aren't in season or animals we don't see. It would be hard for the average American to not be provided with bananas from January - December, but if we want to cut back on fossil fuels (though Pollan notes - trade is good), if we want our eggs to taste like eggs and chicken to taste like chickens and not McChickens, we need to do a better job of eating local. This sends Pollan on his final journey, to hunt for his own food and provide his helpers, with a meal totally foraged by him.

A lot of cool facts here that I never knew or took the time to care about (I never knew the mushroom was so mysterious). I would have liked him to talk more about trade, different areas' food specialties and also how preparing a meal such as his at the end seems a little too time consuming even for the outdoors enthusiast.

I think all Americans - conservatives, liberals, whatevers - can enjoy this book. Liberals for the "return to nature mentality," conservatives for the same reason: Pollan rails into Animal Rights' activists and shows how though they may have good intentions; they would rather upset the balance of nature before they kill anything.

Ominvore's Dilemma is a tremendous contribution, exposing how big corporations and old government practices continue to harm us and our country. The way we thought about food was changed with "Super Size Me" hopefully this book will change they way we want to go about obtaining our food.

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Omnivore' may forever change the way you think about food, April 11, 2006
Michael Pollan's beautifully written, eye-opening new book already has me thinking about everything I put into my mouth. Clearly, this is an important, even a ground-breaking book. The Omnivore's Dilemma is much more than just an indictment of industrial food systems, or our treatment of animals, though. That's what other reviewers are concentrating on, and they're right. What I took away from this book, though, was just how thoughtless we have become about what we feed ourselves. More than anything else, Pollan's book is a plea for us to stop and think for a moment about our whole process of eating. Just as we get the political leaders we deserve, we also get the food we deserve. Pay attention!

2-0 out of 5 stars Makes some good points, but critically flawed, July 24, 2010
In this book, Michael Pollan shows himself to be a master storyteller. Unfortunately, stories aren't just a way to communicate facts while keeping the reader engaged. One might even say that the facts are secondary to the stories. Rather than base stories on the facts, Pollan chooses stories to fit an overarching reactionary thesis: The best way to eat is following nature and tradition, and our attempts at progress only make things worse. The facts, then, are worked into his narratives, but sometimes they don't really fit.

Science is one victim of Pollan's reactionary thesis. Nutritional science receives part of the blame for America's health problems. "We place our faith in science to sort out for us what culture once did with rather more success" (303), he writes. Yet much of his evidence that "we place our faith in science" lies in our susceptibility to weight-loss diets and food fads that aren't supported by scientific consensus. Moreover, he seems oblivious to the successes of nutritional science in curing nutrient deficiencies, some of which existed in traditional diets.

Science also receives unfair treatment in the agricultural context. Pollan attempts to summarize parts of Sir Albert Howard's An Agricultural Testament, which he calls the organic movement's bible. Yet he makes Howard's work out to be some sort of anti-science treatise, when it just isn't. Pollan concludes from Howard's treatment of humus, "To reduce such a vast biological complexity to [nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium] represented the scientific method at its reductionist worst" (147). While Howard offers plenty of criticism of modern agricultural science in particular, he does not criticize the scientific method more broadly. Indeed, he even calls aspects of conventional agriculture unscientific, proposes a few scientific experiments, and expresses his hope that science be among the tools of the agricultural investigators of the future. Howard's work isn't an argument against science. It's an argument for better science.

Pollan's chapters on the fast food chain are probably his strongest, but even there he occasionally oversteps. For example, he suggests that E. coli O157:H7 live only on feedlot cattle, when the scientific literature indicates that this deadly strain of bacteria is about as prevalent in grass-fed cattle. Later, he goes on to include one of the active ingredients in baking powder on a list of "quasiedible substances " (113), apparently because of its chemical name. In both of these instances, he criticizes something new -- feedlots in the first and baking powder in the second -- with the effect of making something traditional seem more appealing.

The primary beneficiary of the reactionary narrative is the pastoral food chain, as represented by Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm. Even as Salatin describes his farm is a "postindustrial enterprise" (191), he explains that in some sense his farming methods aren't really new at all; they imitate the ecological relationships that exist in nature. To Pollan the farm is "a scene of almost classic pastoral beauty" (124). Its product, he says, "looks an awful lot like the proverbially unattainable free lunch" (127).

Pollan credits Salatin's farming methods with revitalizing Polyface's soil without chemical fertilizers. In particular, he writes, "The chief reason Polyface Farm is completely self-sufficient in nitrogen is that a chicken, defecating copiously, pays a visit to virtually every square foot of it at several points during the season." (210)

It's hard to tell whether he grasps the fact that the nitrogen in the chickens' feces comes from the food they eat, eighty percent of which is grain-based feed from off the farm. What is certain, though, is that he doesn't raise the question of what is happening to the land where that feed is grown. We would expect from the earlier chapters that the corn and soy in the feed was grown on a farm that was less classic, less pastoral, and less beautiful than Polyface, so it's striking that Pollan should choose not to look further. He also doesn't bother to discuss the question of whether that feed grain might be more efficiently used to feed people directly (as my calculations indicate it would). Either of these questions would be raised in a more fact-driven work, but there's simply no room for them here, as the answers might not fit the thesis. (Of course, when Pollan later mentions "a denial of reality that can be its own form of hubris" (361), he's talking about the vegetarians.)

As for the chickens, Pollan buys into Salatin's argument that they are a purely artisanal product. He doesn't mention that they are the same Cornish Cross hens that in the context of his Whole Foods meal represented "the pinnacle of industrial chicken breeding," and which "grow so rapidly...that their poor legs cannot keep pace" (171).

Pollan also points out that Salatin's pastures remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. There's no mention, however, of the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from Salatin's hugely inefficient distribution system, which involves large numbers of cars traveling long distances to the farm. (This omission comes even after he's told us about the fossil fuels used to transport his industrial organic fruits and vegetables from distant farms.) When Pollan tells us that one customer drives 150 miles each way to the farm, it's merely to be taken as proof of the quality of Polyface meats. There's no mention of any environmental impact.

Where Pollan's dedication to his reactionary thesis is perhaps most obvious is in his discussion of vegetarianism. For although there are prominent conservative vegetarians (Matthew Scully among them), vegetarianism today is rooted in a progressive idea. It requires us to accept that we can do something, namely eat, better than our ancestors did it. Indeed, Pollan writes, "Vegetarianism is more popular than it has ever been, and animal rights, the fringiest of fringe movements until just a few years ago, is rapidly finding its way into the cultural mainstream. I'm not completely sure why this should be happening now, given that humans have been eating animals for tens of thousands of years without too much ethical heartburn" (305).

Vegetarianism is something new, and his preferred hypothesis for its recent success is the weakening of our traditions: "But it could also be that the cultural norms and rituals that used to allow people to eat meat without agonizing about it have broken down for other reasons. Perhaps as the sway of tradition in our eating decisions weakens, habits we once took for granted are thrown up in the air, where they're more easily buffeted by the force of a strong idea or the breeze of fashion." (306)

Being something new and representing a challenge to age-old traditions, vegetarianism simply doesn't fit with Pollan's reactionary message. In the reactionary view, it doesn't make much more sense than high-fructose corn syrup or factory farms. As such, it doesn't receive serious consideration.

Even before his section on the ethics of eating animals, there are signs that he won't take his debate seriously. He tells us, for example, that his friends' son is "fifteen and currently a vegetarian" (271), as though vegetarianism is merely a teenage phase. He also makes no secret of the fact that he's already made the decision to go hunting even before tackling the ethical issues associated with eating animals.

Pollan gives up meat for a while, inspired by an argument of Peter Singer: "No one in the habit of eating an animal can be completely without bias in judging whether the conditions in which that animal is reared cause suffering" (312). Yet he identifies himself as "a reluctant and, I fervently hoped, temporary vegetarian" (313), so it's not at all clear that the experiment does anything to lessen his bias.

As a vegetarian, Pollan struggles with the social ramifications of eating differently. He points out that "my new dietary restrictions throw a big wrench into the basic host-guest relationship" (313) and decides, "I'm inclined to agree with the French, who gaze upon any personal dietary prohibition as bad manners" (313). Yet he'll find himself able to justify only a very limited kind of meat-eating, which likewise represents a "personal dietary prohibition." He then proceeds to discuss his alienation from traditions like the Passover brisket, apparently not allowing for the possibility that traditions might evolve over time. This rigid view of tradition is an odd one considering his plans to hunt an unkosher pig.

Pollan then moves on to a discussion of animal rights philosophy. He claims to be debating Peter Singer, but he'll quote Matthew Scully when it better suits his point, never acknowledging any significant difference between the writers. Other times, he'll just quote Singer out of context.

Pollan eventually argues for meat-eating on the grounds that it serves the interests of domesticated species, which would cease to exist if people didn't eat them. He doesn't do much in the way of building up the argument, only hinting at how the interest of a species might be defined and not even beginning to explain why such an interest is more important than the individuals.

Instead of building that argument, Pollan relays a story intended to show that animal activists are out of touch with nature. As Pollan tells it, The Nature Conservancy and the National Park Service need to kill feral pigs to save Santa Cruz Island's endangered fox, and the animal rights and welfare people oppose the plan out of a single-minded concern for animal welfare. However, the very same Humane Society op-ed that Pollan cites to prove this point actually includes a substantive discussion of the project's ecological goals. Moreover, Pollan does not address any of the more scholarly objections to the project, such as Jo-Ann Shelton's argument that the restoration of Santa Cruz Island is motivated by human interest.

Pollan then launches into a section called "The Vegan Utopia," where he points out practical difficulties of a vegan world. First, he reminds us that harvesting grains kills animals. It's a true statement that people who care about animals should keep in mind, but Pollan goes on to suggest that we would minimize animal deaths by basing our diets on large ruminants. That claim is an apparent reference to a study that was quickly debunked. He then argues that a vegan world would force places like New England to import all of their food from distant places. It's a dubious claim in view of existing production of soy, wheat, and vegetables in New England. He even goes so far as to suggest that the vegan food chain would be more dependent on fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers than our current food system. Thanks to the inefficiency of feeding grain to animals, that claim is almost certainly false.

As B.R. Myers has pointed out, Pollan does not mention a single thing he ate in his time as a vegetarian. Over the course of the book, Pollan describes at least ten meat-based meals, four of those in exquisite detail, so it's telling that he doesn't consider vegetarian cuisine to be worth writing about.

Pollan goes hunting, shoots his sow, and even enjoys the experience. Yet when he finds himself disgusted by the sights and smells of cleaning the pig, Pollan can't help but take one more jab at vegetarians. He expresses pity for the "tofu eater" for his "dreams of innocence" (361), seemingly rejecting the idea that we should even try to do better.

In spite of all these points of contention, I should acknowledge that Pollan gets plenty right in the book. There's a lot that's wrong with modern industrial food production. Making bad changes to our food supply has had profound negative consequences for the environment, public health, and animal welfare. On these topics, Pollan can remain faithful to his reactionary thesis while still representing the facts reasonably well. And so a reader learns about things like the psychology of supersizing, the environmental toll of growing corn to feed ruminants, and the miserable life of a battery-caged layer hen.

I suspect that many people find the information about industrial animal agriculture more powerful because they come from an author who so roundly rejects vegetarianism. After relaying the horrors of forced-molting and cannibalism in battery cages, Pollan writes, "I know, simply reciting these facts, most of which are drawn from poultry trade magazines, makes me sound like one of the animal people, doesn't it? I don't mean to (remember, I got into this vegetarian deal assuming I could go on eating eggs), but this is what can happen to you when...you look" (318). It's much harder for a reader to dismiss a message as the sentimental ramblings of one of the "animal people" when it's coming from somebody who enjoys beating up on vegetarians.

In this way, this book brings awareness about important issues to a wide audience. The fact of it being such an enjoyable read further expands that audience. However, it should be at most a starting point for those learning about where their food comes from because the underlying reactionary premise sometimes leads Pollan astray. We live in a world that is increasingly unnatural and unlike the one that shaped our cultural traditions. Our population is growing, our planet is warming, and our values and lifestyles have evolved. It doesn't make sense for our food chain to remain in the past. As innovations like battery cages and high-fructose corn syrup show, not all ideas are good ones, but that shouldn't stop us from trying to make progress. The future will present us with new challenges, and we'd do well to keep an open mind to new solutions.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great, now everybody believes in Pollan's imaginary "corn test", December 6, 2008
This book was well written and the author obviously put his heart, soul, and lots of research into it. But it bears the inevitable mark of a book written by a person who is a novice in the subject he is writing about. It is journalism, not research - and far from science. There is way too much sensationalism and jumping to conclusions for my taste.

One thing that significantly annoyed me was Pollan's "wild" meal, of which nearly all the calories, except for the pork, were from store-bought, cultivated foods. He wouldn't buy one or two organic veggies to embellish a Burger King value meal and then call it an "organic" meal, so why did he do something comparable with his foraged meal?

I was also disgusted with the elitism that he expressed again and again throughout the book. I was surprised by his blatant condescension toward Joel Salatin, which reveals a deep-seated us-and-them worldview. He comes to no conclusion, no solution, in this book, because an obvious part of the solution to a sustainable food system is that more people need to be ivolved in growing food and feeding themselves. He doesn't want to do this himself; he feels that it is beneath him, so certainly he is not going to lead the discussion to this most appropriate end place.

An example of Pollan's poor scholarship is his discussion of a test that supposedly can tell how much corn a person is composed of. I teach about food, and have been hearing people talk about this "corn test" ever since the book came out. But there is no such test. The test he mentions can only differentiate between plants using two types of photosynthetic process: C3 and C4. Corn is a C4 plant. The test tells you how much of an organism's tissue is derived from c4 versus c3 plants. This would be a "corn test" only if corn was the only c4 plant. But there are thousands of others, and many of them are common foods. Like sugar cane. The "corn test" cannot even differentiate cane sugar from corn syrup. It also cannot differentiate grass-fed from corn-fed beef, as the grasses and forbs on many range areas, particularly in the arid west, are primarily c4. It seems that Pollan got the idea from a specific study in which archeologists sampled bones from one specific area of Mexico. The archeologists presumed that when a shift in c3/c4 ratios (toward more c4) was seen in the bones, that this represented the shift from a diet of acorns and avocadoes as staples to one of corn and amaranth as staples. If the assumptions are correct, this may be true, but the way Pollan wrote of this test was egregiously misleading. As an author read by millions, one has a respionsibility not to spread this sort of misinformation; now, due solely to his lack of either diligence or intelligence (and I'm assuming the faormer), it will permeate our culture for a generation.

But hey, it's an entertaining read, and it generates thought. I know this review sounds very negative, but I liked the book even if parts of it made me seethe. Definitely get it, read it, and contemplate.



4-0 out of 5 stars Corn: The vinyl of food, April 15, 2006
I never gave much thought to seeing so much corn growing in Ohio, but come to think of it, I really never have seen many other crops aside from some soybeans. Until I read "The Omnivore's Dilemma : A Natural History of Four Meals", I had only the vaguest idea what "they" did with all that corn. Sure, I knew they made artificial sugar for soft drinks from the stuff. And there's margarine. And there's corn on the cob. But that can't explain why there's so much corn being grown. Until Pollan set me straight, I had no idea that corn was the "vinyl" of foodstuffs, that it permeates the entire food chain, and that every piece of meat we eat is "corn-fed." Jeez, I thought cows ate grass. I think I was 40 years behind the times, and I thank Michael Pollan for educating me about our industrial food chain, its vulnerabilities and its hidden costs.

An otherwise fascinating and readable book is marred by numerous typographical and factual errors, unfortunately. For example, "Muscles" instead of "Mussels" - even a city boy knows the difference. And why does Pollan think Carbon is the most common element in the human body? Excluding Hydrogen, wouldn't it be Oxygen? - since we're mostly water?

Many thanks to NPR's "Fresh Air" (April 11, 2006) for introducing me to the book and author.

5-0 out of 5 stars An even-handed analysis of the ethics of eating., May 12, 2006
Here is an example on why you read books. To read a newspaper article or watch a TV news broadcast about animal rights or healthy eating is to get besieged by politics and heated debate, but to find little thought or consideration. Pollan takes the opposite tack, approaching what we eat and where it comes from in as open and thoughtful a manner as possible.

Pollan sets out to corn fields and natural farms, goes hunting and foraging, all in the name of coming to terms with where food really comes from in modern America and what the ramifications are for the eaters, the eaten, the economy and the environment. The results are far more than I expected them to be.

It is Pollan's open-mindedness and his insistence that he personally experience the entire process of getting the food to his plate from its very beginning stages before making any judgements that makes this book so good. He brings a reasonable approach to the discussion that makes for a great book, but probably wouldn't sell newpapers or draw TV viewers.

The conclusions Pollan draws from his experiences tend to eschew the ideas of radicals on either side of the food argument and instead focus on coming to terms with what we eat by truly appreciating where it comes from and what it consists of. He constantly refers back to a time when we were comfortable looking at the process by which our food got to our plates and still being comfortable eating it. Reading this book, you can't help but come away thinking that our inability to do that today has partly to do with the path the food takes to our plates today, a little to do with our becoming strangely uncomfortable with our true nature, and something to do with what we choose to put in our bodies.

All in all, this is a great book that will leave you thinking differently about eating and probably eating differently because of it.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Industry Perspective, December 20, 2006
I read Mr. Pollan's Botany of Desire and enjoyed it. I have just finished Omnivore's Dilemma and very much enjoyed it. My graduate and undergraduate work was in seed science and sustainable production systems. I am currently in graduate school for Plant Breeding and Genetics. I have worked in production agriculture for the last 15 years. I am also an avowed foodie. I hunt game, I pick and grow mushrooms and I grow heirloom vegetables. I think Mr. Pollan has pulled together a lot of things that many of us in the industry know intuitively. I think the writing style is spot on. It is informative, but not overly technical. Some of the reviews by others in the field have picked apart the research or some of the technical facts and I could do so as well, but stepping back and looking at the whole is what is appropriate here. The writing style is not only informative, but also engaging and amusing.

I think that anyone who reads this book will have to take a moment and ask themselves how they can change a production system that is fundamentally flawed. I remind all of those people they have that power and they make that choice every day in how they shop. Vote with your dollars, that will bring about change the quickest. And, change some of your expectations. No more peaches and asparagus in December. Accept the fact that grass fed beef will vary in flavor based on where it is raised and when it is brought to market. With wine we often speak of terroir; the flavor of the vineyard and how the grapes are grown being expressed in the wine. But, the same can be true for many other agricultural products where the flavor of the site and the variety and how it is grown can also be very distinctive.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book I've ever read on Food, October 26, 2006
I can't believe it happened to me. I never thought it would, my ego integrity being such that I thought I would never become so completely a different person. But it did happen. In the span of a few seconds I uttered words that were so alien, so not me it could have been stated by a complete stranger. I was not being ironic or funny. I didn't even realize what I said until I was finished saying it and then for a fleeting few moments I couldn't be sure it was really me thinking and saying this phrase, "For Gods sake, this is a health food store, why are they selling soda? And for that matter, what the hell is organic soda?"

As my wife pulled away from the end rack of said offending soda I suddenly had the most jolting moment of clarity in the middle of our local Nature's Harvest health food store. Despite every effort to the contrary, my wife's newfound allergy to wheat plus our collective endeavor to lose weight and eat better had turned me into one of those obnoxious foodie types that turn up their nose to anything found at your local supermarket. Folks, this is not me. A scant year ago three square meals consisted of a cereal bar (Cocoa Puffs or Cheerios) for breakfast, Tyson breaded chicken patties for lunch, and a plentiful serving of Taco Bell for dinner.

My indulgence of Taco Bell was legendary going all the back to high school. In fact, I lunched their so often that when I went away to college in Pittsburgh for a semester, it was rumored that the local Taco Bell I frequented went out of business because I was not their to support any longer.

So how does one go from such a complete junk food junkie to obnoxious health conscious foodie so darn quickly? The answer lies in "Botany of Desire" author and journalist for the New York Times Magazine Michael Pollan's newest masterpiece, "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals." In this book Pollan takes great pains to show his readers how the average American meal develops and evolves from the farm to our plate. Many books these days concentrate solely on fast food and how horrible it is for you but Pollan not only tackles that well worn material, he goes above and beyond in displaying the entire military-industrial food chain that supplies every mainstream food outlet from Wal-Mart to the local bodega, from any major Supermarket to most American eateries.

When I bought this book I figured I'd be taught many things about Mad Cow Disease, pesticides and growth hormones, concentration camp-like conditions for farm animals, and most probably Franken-foods (genetically modified or cloned). That's all in there but it is under the most odd of headings; corn.

According to Pollan corn is THE building block of the entire non-organic, non-foraged, food chain. That's right, I said corn. I realize that at first glance, aside from barbeques and vegetable medley's, one does not see corn so completely spread far and wide as Pollan insists it is. But that is what makes his book so incredible and such a pleasurable read. Pollan visits one of the biggest agribusiness farms in America and asks all of the right questions.

What we find is not only the history of how corn dominated human society by domesticating us (rather than the assumed belief that we domesticated corn) we follow Pollan on the path of corn as it finds its way into nearly every available food on the market in stores and restaurants. From the object itself, to meals fed to animals we eat (like chicken and beef), to byproducts such as high fructose corn syrup (which I swear is in nearly everything but the air we breathe) to even the heart of food policy as written by our Congress and paid for with taxpayer dollars. By the end of this section that was entirely dedicated to corn and its nightmare offspring, the quite literally named military-industrial food chain, I found myself wandering the eateries and shopping centers of Tampa crying out that everywhere lurked dreadful and unhealthy corn a la Charlton Heston of Soylent Green fame. Morgan Spurlock already had me yelling at every McDonalds that it was "Evil!" like I was a poor mans Abe "Grandpa" Simpson, so Pollans empire of corn revelation only made my food induced hysteria oh so much worse.

Incidentally, between the aforementioned wife's allergy and subsequent discovery that even hot dogs and hamburgers had wheat in them combined with my reading of Pollan's book and his description of corn, our car rides are peppered with the both of us screaming out of the car windows at every opportunity in banshee song, "Wheat...corn...wheat...corn, everywhere is wheat and corn...oh woe is us, woe-is-us!"

But Pollan does do what most anti-agribusiness people do. He doesn't rest easy on the lazy thinking that we should all blindly start shopping at organic food stores like Whole Foods Market without asking equally intrusive and instructive questions. Pollan tackles the organic food industry with as much veracity and gusto as he did with the industrial food chain. In the section simply titled, grass, we learn more about the natural order of food ecology and just how far we've drifted from what is the natural order of eating and raising food. He also teaches the difference between organic, USDA approved organic and the even healthier but lofty local food chain. By the end of this chapter Pollan had me searching the aforementioned Nature's Harvest for foods and condiments that were produced in Tampa, FL (where I live) because now even organic wasn't good enough for me. About this time a good friend called me and when I told him of my dilemma he suggested I start working a second job to pay for my new food obsession or seek an intervention.

The last chapter, the forest, is about hunting and gathering ones own dinner. Pollan manages to write a beautiful and intelligent piece about the way we eat in modern times without the trappings of hoity, elitist language and attitude present in most writings about food and health. However, though in the end the chapter is saved by Pollans humbleness and genuine intellectual curiosity about the subject of hunting and gathering, boy does this final part of the book skate close to the edge of unrealistic. Thankfully, Pollan acknowledges that we are not about to as a society start to reverse evolution and drop agriculture in favor of returning to hunting and gathering. He only goes through with this experiment for the purposes of illustration not as a viable alternative to eating corn meals and faux organic products. His message is simply know what you are eating, make smart decisions and moderate your impulses.

"The Omnivore's Dilemma," by Michael Pollan is a wonderful book. It has achieved the much-vaunted (if I do say so myself) position of one the few books I insist that everyone should read. Other books in this category include the Pulitzer Prize winning epic by Jared Diamond, "Guns, Germs and Steel." For anyone with a serious interest in the modern food chain or simply eating healthier, you should definitely read, "The Omnivore's Dilemma," by Michael Pollan. I promise it won't make you nearly as nuts as it made me, I'm just a bit overdramatic and obsessive is all. ... Read more


43. The Carb Lovers Diet: Eat What You Love, Get Slim For Life
by Ellen Kunes, Frances Largeman-Roth
Hardcover
list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0848733703
Publisher: Oxmoor House
Sales Rank: 1706
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Amazon.com Review

The editors of Health Magazine (and top nutrition scientists) have big news: Eating carbs is the best way to get and stay slim. Breakthrough research revealed in this book shows how certain carb-rich foods--especially those with the amazing natural ingredient called Resistant Starch--act as powerful metabolism boosters and appetite suppressants. Rather than making you fat and bloated, as decades of low-carb diet gurus claimed, CARBS make you thin. They shrink fat cells, especially in your belly; boost fat burning; increase muscle mass; curb cravings; keep you feeling full longer than other foods; control blood sugar, and lower cholesterol and triglycerides!

Health Magazine, the expert when it comes to healthy living, takes this revolutionary new science and turns it into an easy-to-follow, real women-tested, dietitian-approved road map proven to melt off 10, 35, even 100 plus pounds forever. Our test kitchen chefs and registered dietitians also developed 85 delicious, simple recipes and foolproof meal plans that help you lose weight while you enjoy the foods you've craved for years.

Phase 1 of The CarbLovers Diet eases you back into a world of yummy, satisfying meals and snacks, while dropping weight-especially belly fat-fast and permanently. Phase 2 is nothing short of life-changing: Dieters savor generous portions of their favorite foods (think steak and potato dinners, French toast for breakfast, sandwiches dripping with cheese, chocolate torte for dessert)-while their clothes get loose, their skin glows, their energy soars!

Bottom line: The Carb Lovers Diet shows you how to eat your favorite carb-filled foods-and helps you get thinner and happier than you ever imagined. We've included fun-to-follow eating rules, tricks and tips, grocery lists, and amazing recipes anyone can make, enjoy, and share with others. Don't feel like cooking? No problem. We've got hundreds of quick bites, frozen foods and restaurant menu items too. Get ready to feel satisfied, happy, and oh-so-slim. Get ready for your fabulous new life as a CarbLover!.

Recipe Excerpts from The Carb Lovers Diet


Raspberries with Chocolate Yogurt Mousse

Thai Peanut Noodles

Pan-Seared Scallops with Southwestern Rice Salad


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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Carb Lovers Diet, August 11, 2010
After months of struggling to stay within points on Weight Watchers and making just too many concessions I bought this book. I think if I was to ever meet up with these authors I would probably burst into tears and thank them. Not only are most of these meals inexpensive and easy to prepare, but each meal ranges about the same calorie intake so you can have whatever recipe strikes your fancy for that meal. Another reason I would start crying: I have yet to be hungry. I have managed to stay within the portion sizes and not once did I get hungry enough to jump off the menu. Most days I don't even eat the snack that is allowed. I would never, ever have thought that a piece of rye toast, almond butter and a banana would keep me satisfied for up to 6 hours. I don't get weak or shaky from getting too hungry too fast. Within 2 days of starting the program every craving I had vanished. For the first time in a long time I feel like I am controlling the food versus the food controlling me. I also noticed a wave of energy without that afternoon/evening drop. I am staying up an extra hour and half without impact. Sometimes I have so much energy I can't be still. Another plus for those who are on a budget and short on time, most of these recipes are fast and quite of few of them use the same ingredients or an ingredient can be substituted easily for one that you have already bought. The best part of this whole thing is I can have my morning egg sandwich and cheese. The only thing I had to change was from a bagel to rye bread. Losing my egg sandwich was a deal breaker for me and why I left WW. Seriously, I am so happy to be losing weight and feeling full after every meal, I could cry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great diet for vegetarians!, July 28, 2010
I am a vegetarian and find the diet easy to follow and vegeatarian-friendly. I never feel hungry on the meal plans and love how the recipes incorporate some of my favorite foods --- sweet potatoes, beans, almond butter, strawberries, raspberries, coconut, and other fruits and veggies. Chapter 11 is especially helpful with the charts listing correct serving sizes so I don't overeat. I also like knowing the number of calories and resistant starch values so I can make the healthiest food choices.

5-0 out of 5 stars best diet ever!, July 17, 2010
I got an advance copy of this book and let me tell you it really works! I lost 6 pounds the first week, and I was never hungry. Sometimes I felt so full I couldn't even eat the whole portion. I felt good on it too...had so much energy. This diet feels so healthy as opposed to others I've tried. My favorite recipes are the Scallops with Southwestern Rice and Spanish-Style Shrimp with Yellow Rice. My (non-dieting) husband lapped them up too. Lots of lunch-to-go options and restaurant options which makes the diet achievable. Love having my carbs back!Health The Carb Lovers Diet: Eat What You Love, Get Slim For Life

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book - Not Quite as Good as the Title., August 20, 2010
We can probably thank Dr. Atkins for creating the belief that "carbs" and not money is the root of all evil. There is just one problem that comes up. I have never known anyone that has been able to stay away from cars long term.

The Carb Lovers Diet tells us that carbohydrates are not the enemy when it comes to losing weight. In fact, eating the right types of carbohydrates can help you drop pounds, since they can help curb your cravings, preserve lean muscle tissue (which can keep your metabolism from dropping) and control your blood sugar levels (so your body stores fewer excess calories as unwanted body fat.)

The real hero in this book is called "resistant starches". It seems that different types of starches digest at different speeds. Resistant starches will pass through the body without being digested, similar to fiber. This does sound like a dream come true, doesn't it? The book suggests raising the average of 4.8 grams of daily resistant starches to 10 to 15 grams through various carb-based recipes.

Here are the 5 rules for winning the carb game:

1. Eat at least one resistant starch-rich food (called CarbStars) at every meal

2. CarbStars should make up about 25 percent of every meal. The rest of your calories coming from lean meats, low-fat dairy products, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables (in other words, cut out the junk food.)

3. Watch your portion sizes (brilliant!).

4) Don't deprive yourself, but use moderation for the bad foods.

5) Create a power pantry (stock up on CarbStar foods).

The first 7 days allows only 1,200 calories a day divided among four small meals. The second portion of the program (21 days) allows for to 1,600 calories divided among five small meals.

This program really follows the idea of a calorie-restrictive, nutrient-dense, fiber-rich diet, which is actually a great way to eat. The book offers 85 recipes with a colorful picture of every meal, which makes the meals seem more visually desirable. Haven't you done that in a restaurant when you see some food go by? Of course, the program also includes exercise, which is a great idea.

Bottom Line
The Carb Lovers Diet follows the usual plan of most diet books, although it is a fresh approach that may help you rethink how to eat better and exercise more. It is solid advice that will work if you stick to it. The big letdown for me was that it doesn't really live up to its title. If you love those sinful unhealthy carbs (ice cream, chocolate, cookies), you may still face the same challenges you had before. If you came here looking for a magic fix for eating bad foods and losing weight, you will have to look elsewhere. If you are looking for good advice on healthy weight loss, you have found it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Real food and real weight loss, July 30, 2010
I was a tester for this diet and started on it in January. I've stayed on the diet since the test officially concluded in March, and it's been easy. It's full of actual food that I want to eat - like Italian sausage with roast vegtables and polenta - not faddy things that I'll get sick of. Even my kids like the food.

I also found this take on managing my diet to be easier than anything else I've tried when I'm out for a meal. Since the focus is on getting enough of the right things and not on avoiding tabu things I'm not the party pooper when I'm trying to order off a menu.

I'm down by two dress sizes and most of the weight came off my hips and belly, so I'm thrilled with it!

5-0 out of 5 stars EASY PEASY Diet!, July 27, 2010
I was one of the test dieters and I really ENJOYED this diet. I'm a big advocate now and I can't say that about WW or Jenny Craig. I was on my own and did (am still doing) a great job!
I just read some of the other reviews about the diet. Hey, if you want to change the way you're eating, I suggest trying this. But if you still want to eat "DONUTS" and other crappy fatty foods, then is your head really in it? and are you ready to focus on eating healthier? I love donuts too, but I don't think I'm going to lose weight while eating them!
Losing weight is hard work, but this book makes so many unusual suggestions that I hadn't tried before. Like Black Bean Tacos and Pumpernickel bread with Peanut Butter and chocolate truffle balls, etc. I found with my lifestyle, dieting was difficult and this book definitely helped me focus and get my head in the right place.
I'm still on it (probably will be for a long time because it's not difficult) and instead of losing 14 pounds, I've now lost 20 pounds. The weight has yet to come back, but it's a slow process. I do NOT expect to lose 20 pounds in three months. It's taken me almost 7 months to lose 20 pounds. Maybe by the end of the year I'll be down a total of 30 pounds.
I do feel A LOT better, health-wise. I have more energy and I even like the gym a little more. I don't work out often either. One of the things I noticed is that I no longer get CharlieHorses in my legs. I used to get them once a week, at least.

5-0 out of 5 stars No more soup and salad diets for me!, July 27, 2010
I've been a "soup and salad" dieter for ages now, cutting myself off completely from carbs as soon as I notice I've gained an extra 10 or so. But during those months of strictly surviving on lettuce and broth, I'm hungry, grouchy, and listless. Thank goodness, now, for Carb Lovers. I've been going strong for about three weeks, and I can't tell you how satisfied I feel. It's crazy to think I'm eating those foods I thought were in the "danger zone," like potatoes and bread, and actually loosing weight and gaining energy. The best part -- it's ridiculously satisfying. I have oatmeal with walnuts, cinnamon and a banana each morning, and feel full till lunchtime. And I'm basically just using everything I already have in my cupboard. I can safely say I'm a Carb Lover convert!

2-0 out of 5 stars Just Another Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Diet, July 23, 2010
(Written by my wife, who actually bought the book)
I fell for the hype in buying this book and am very disappointed. This book promised that some "new" category of carbohydrate called Resistant Starch would allow the dieter more flexibility and freedom. "Eat the carbs you love, get slim for life!" is the claim, but it's just not so. If the carbs you love are made from white wheat flour (like white bread, donuts, bagels, crackers and such), then you're out of luck because these are not the carbs they are talking about, and they're not part of the diet.
The hype made me believe there might be good substitutes though - foods high in RS that I could select instead of starchier ones - but even the highest ones listed in their book - bananas - are a big disappointment. A tasty ripe banana has 4.7 grams of RS (and they want you to eat about 12 grams per day), but that banana still contains over 100 calories and 18 grams of sugar, so even if the 4.7 grams of RS do what the book claims and resist being digested, there's still the 18 grams of sugar that will affect blood sugar and weight. So the diet then has to restrict total calories by reducing portions overall, primarily reducing fat and protein portions, as well as reducing all starchy portions. This is nothing new: There have been low-calorie, low-fat diets around for decades - before low-carb became popular 10 years ago.
It says "Bread! Potato Chips! Pizza!" but then you read and it means "whole grain bread, baked chips in moderation and home-made pizza with low-fat toppings per their recipe".
It bashes low-carb diets with half-truths: For example, it says "low-carb diets make you fatter", but then if you read the related paragraph, it says that once you STOP low-carb dieting, you'll gain the weight back. But that's true any time you stop eating reduced food volumes and return to the habits that caused the weight gain in the first place.
In another section, the book talks about bloating and says that it's not starch that gives you bloating but water retention from salt. Well, I'm here to say I can feel the difference between water retention and bloating from popcorn - grains can be hard to digest, and that can make a person gassy. They just skipped past this by blaming salt.
The pictures of the foods are pretty and the recipes might be worth a peek, especially if you need help understanding smaller portions, but don't expect to get solid food facts from this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Healthy to love carbs and enjoyable recipes, July 28, 2010
This book is a joy to read: remarkably straightforward, clear and easy to read, filled with fascinating nutritional information, and with 85 splendid recipes. The simple recipes accompanied by truly gorgeous full color photos of the food produced are reason enough to buy this book. I am not a good cook, but I found the recipes easy-to-follow and well worth the minor effort involved. And the amazing photos of the end results gave me encouragement. Every recipe looks delicious and presents both an idea of what you're striving for and useful and interesting nutritional information.
I have always loved carbs and incorporated them into my dieting. But after reading this book I feel I can make more knowledgeable and healthy choices. I prefer non-ripe bannanas and now realize they are better for me.
The actual success stories occur throughout the book and include encouraging statements and realistic results. A number of the people featured lost 10 pounds or less in a slow but steady manner -- I found this particularly refreshing and a good reminder of what a difference 5-10 pounds can make.
I consider this a most appealing and informative book and give it 5 stars without hesitation.

3-0 out of 5 stars My pros and cons, August 16, 2010
Pros: I lost the 5 pounds the first week. The information in the book was very helpful with planning my meals. It will surely help me with what foods to buy even without dieting and maintaining health.

Cons: Too many ethnic foods and hard to find ingredients in the recipes, your first grocery bill will be high. I wish the recipes were more simple. Not enough information given in how to maintain after the one month. I was hungry. ... Read more


44. Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
by Weight Watchers
Loose Leaf
list price: $29.95 -- our price: $15.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 047061451X
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 247
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The trusted classic from Weight Watchers is back and better than ever!

The most trusted name in healthy lifestyle, Weight Watchers leads the way to eating well-and losing weight. Packed with 500 recipes for every occasion, this book is delicious proof that healthy eating means you don't have to give up your favorite foods. It's so easy to enjoy meals with family and friends-holidays or everyday-with these tempting recipes that both beginners and experienced cooks will love.

This newest edition has everything you'll need to cook-and eat-in a healthier way: included is a new chapter with slow cooker recipes, hundreds of tips, helpful how-to photography, sidebars filled with must-have advice, and plenty of fresh ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beyond. An added feature: all recipes have been tagged for skill level. This book has been completely redesigned and boasts all new photography. And, of course, this revised edition includes the latest information on the popular and successful Weight Watchers program.

  • Includes more than 60 gorgeous full-color recipe photos and instructive how-to images
  • Features more than 500 recipes, including essential basics, breakfasts, lunches, soups and stews, vegetarian meals, baked goods, and desserts
  • Now with more whole grain and vegetable dishes that help you eat healthier and stay full longer
  • New design adds a fresh and contemporary spin to this trusted classic
Selected Recipes from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

Nachos Grandes
Caramelized Onion, Fig, and Stilton Pizza
Portobello and Ham Bruschetta, Roasted Vegetable Crostini, and Caramelized Garlic Toasts


1 ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Great deal on this book!, December 17, 2010
This is actually a folder with loose leaf pages in it, rather than a book. But I was still really impressed at the size of the folder and the number of recipes included. All of the recipes have the new Points Plus values for them. Categories include Breakfast & Brunches, Starters & Light Meals, Salads, Soups, Beef Pork & Lamb, Poultry, Fish & Shellfish, vegetarian main dish, vegetable sides, grain & bean sides, slow-cooker classics, pizza calzones & sandwiches, yeast breads quick breads & muffins, cakes pies & more, fruit & frozen desserts puddings & sauces. It is 424 pages long & each page has 1-2 recipes on it!

The best thing was that it comes with a card for a FREE year subscription to weight watchers magazine or if you mail in the card by Dec 31st 2010 you can get a refund for $9.99! Makes this a really cheap addition to your recipe library!

Recommend as a gift too, great for anyone watching their weight or who just enjoys cooking!

5-0 out of 5 stars Newest PointsPlus Recipes, December 17, 2010

First of all, I would not call it a "folder". I would call it a hardcover 5-ring binder. It comes with indexed tabs, already inserted in the correct places.

I have been cooking for years, but I am enjoying reading through the kitchen basics chapter. It gives great suggestions on what equipment you actually need to have. Also some really good sounding salad dressings, as I want to get rid of bottled dressings and the junk in them.

Overall, I will be working my way through this one. Lots of pictures and good sounding healthier foods.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not an improvement, December 27, 2010
The print needs to be larger type, considering that cooks look at it at apx. 4 ft. away. This is just another example of saving on ink (lightness and distance).

At libraries, patrons can check out most books in larger print, which shows that they have experience with readers. ... Read more


45. 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
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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

Reviews

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


46. Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man
by Steve Harvey
Hardcover
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
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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

Reviews

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.


CONCLUSION:


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


47. Kaplan GRE Exam Subject Test: Psychology 2009-2010 Edition
by Kaplan
Kindle Edition
list price: $9.99
Asin: B002AKPCA6
Publisher: 2009-03-10
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

2 full-length practice tests

Intensive psychology review, including social psychology, developmental psychology, personality, abnormal psychology, statistics, and more

Effective strategies for scoring higher on the test

... Read more

48. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition (Text Revision)
Paperback
list price: $99.00 -- our price: $79.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0890420254
Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
Sales Rank: 992
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Since the DSM-IV® was published in 1994, we’ve seen many advances in our knowledge of psychiatric illness. This Text Revision incorporates information culled from a comprehensive literature review of research about mental disorders published since DSM-IV® was completed in 1994. Updated information is included about the associated features, culture, age, and gender features, prevalence, course, and familial pattern of mental disorders.

The DSM-IV® brings this essential diagnostic tool up-to-date, to promote effective diagnosis, treatment, and quality of care. Now you can get all the essential diagnostic information you rely on from the DSM-IV® along with important updates not found in the 1994 edition.

Stay current with important updates to the DSM-IV®:

• Benefit from new research into Schizophrenia, Asperger’s Disorder, and other conditions

• Utilize additional information about the epidemiology and other facets of DSM conditions

• Update ICD-9-CM codes implemented since 1994 (including Conduct Disorder, Dementia, Somatoform Disorders)

DSM-IV-TR, the handheld version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, is now available for both Palm OS and PocketPC handhelds. This Text Revision incorporates information culled from a comprehensive literature review of research about mental disorders and includes associated features, culture, age, and gender features, prevalence, course, and familial pattern of mental disorders. And with Skyscape's patented smARTlink™ technology, DSM-IV-TR can easily cross-index with other clinical and drug prescription products from Skyscape to provide a powerful and integrated source of clinical information that you can carry with you wherever you go! ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Not much new..., June 2, 2003
Like other reviewers, I agree that if you own DSM-IV (burgundy cover), there is absolutely no reason for you to purchase the DSM-IV-TR (silver cover). Might as well wait for DSM-V (won't that be a treat). If you are not a mental health professional or graduate student, I can't imagine why you would want to own this book. It is essentially a compilation of symptom and behavior checklists that help clinicians make reliable diagnoses of mental disorders.

I would recommend strongly (for both professionals, students, and the lay public), DSM-IV Made Easy by James Morrison. Morrison's book makes the DSM come alive. He illustrates technical points well, and provides interesting case examples that make you think of people when you read the diagnosis, not just symptoms.

4-0 out of 5 stars Informative, but don't buy it if you have the original DSM-4, December 23, 2001
The text-revised version is virtually identical to the 1994 version of the DSM-IV and not worth buying if you have the 1994 version. Along with the DSM-IV, the DSM-IV Text Revised version is, however, an informative book that provides good introductory information, especially in the "Diagnostic Features" section, about a wide variety of mental disorders. A problem of the manual, in my opinion, is its use of a categorical classification system while ignoring the dimensional nature of psychological phenomena.

Lee J. Markowitz, Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada)

4-0 out of 5 stars specific value only, February 27, 2003
The diagnostic sections remain largely unchanged. Only significant changes were to the text portion, hence the TR designation-- text revised. This is important if you are a student or in a research position. They produced this version in response to the fact that many graduate programs are using the DSM as a text book in their Pathology courses. In this regard, the new version is worthwhile and clearly justified. It also buys them a little more time in development of the DSM V. For clinical purposes, don't bother, it's not worth the money. If you are getting your first copy, or are looking for class, then you want this edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars IF YOU ARE BUYING THIS BOOK, READ THIS!!!!!, September 23, 2008
Let me start by saying if you find this useful, please click on the "Yes" next to the question "Did you find this review uesful". The reason i ask is because i think this is important information and with enough yes's, it can move to the top of the reviews.

My review is to do with the quality of the book. You will see some people complain about the quality of this book. The reason is because there are 2 editions out there in English, the US release and the India release. The main way you can tell is from the cover as the Indian version has "Jaypee" as the publisher. Now, the Jaypee version is legal to buy and sell in the USA, but is of lesser quality (print and paper) than the US version and thats fine as long as you know thats what you are buying. Some people think they are buying a US release and pay US prices, but get a cheaper version.

As a result, i have created a new listing for the International edition, which can be found using B001GLFCUK in the search box. If it does not work, it is in the process of being accepted by Amazon.

If you thought you were getting a US verion and your copy says "Jaypee", contact the seller who has to accept it back.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great for Psychologists, disappointing for Psychiatrists, December 19, 2002
Of course, this is the bible of mental disorder diagnoses, at least in the U.S. The diagnoses are pretty inclusive, but there are several problems with this book as it pertains to the practice of Psychiatry. First, the book offers about 900 pages on symptom diagnosis, and about half a paragraph on the types of psychiatric medications that are effective for the particular diagnosis. 95% of diagnoses have absolutely no recommendations for treatment.

This leads to the second problem: differentiation of primary vs. secondary symptoms. The primary symptoms are the cornerstone of diagnosis. The secondary symptoms take way too much space in this book, and are generally not helpful in making a diagnosis, because the vast majority of secondary symptoms overlap in most mental illnesses. The important use for secondary symptoms is for the type of therapy that should be used (psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy). For example, if two patients are depressed, the diagnosis is made from primary symptoms (tiredness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, psychomotor retardation). However, if patient "A" has no significant secondary symptoms like anxiety or insomnia, they can take a high dose of SSRI or Effexor. But if patient "B" has the secondary symptoms of prominent anxiety and insomnia, Remeron or Serzone may be more helpful, and perhaps a benzodiazepine can be added.

The DSM IV does nothing to further the practicality of psychiatry. And that's a shame, because only a few hundred extra pages of pharmacotherapy recommendations would make the book so much more helpful to psychiatrists, who currently waste a lot of time experienting with every drug for the treatment-resistant patients. Some drugs work better for some people based on secondary symptoms, which cannot be ignored in the choice of drug treatment. A good book that does match secondary symptoms to drug treatment is The Failures of American Medicine.

2-0 out of 5 stars One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap For the Insurance Industry, September 19, 2005
The DSM is very clearly written and can be understood by anyone no matter what his or her educational level. It also contains an exceptional psychiatric glossary and an exceptional psychoanalytically oriented section describing the "defense mechanisms." The public is ambivalent about psychiatry but has embraced the DSM because it provides readers with the illusion that if you read this book you can diagnosis yourself and your acquaintances. What most mental health professional know is that this book is a political document as well as a scientific one. It advances the cause of the psychobioligists (over the environmentalists) and the alliance of drug companies, insurance companies and psychopharmacologists. What the sub-committees who wrote each section of the DSM have done is to organize the vast array of life problems that we have long thought of as "neurotic" (and stemming from early family experience) and placed them side by side with clearly biological diseases like schizophrenia and manic-depression. Why? The aim is to create the impression that all of the ordinary habitual problems in love and work that pretty much everyone agrees come from the way you were brought up in your family are in fact biological - and probably inherited - illnesses. Chronic unhappiness, for example, is coded with the "mood disorders" like classic manic depressive illness. Another facet of the DSM that is pernicisous is that each problem the patient has must be coded separately. There is no way to describe the patient in holistic terms. The patient as described by the DSM (and treated by the psychiatrist guided by this document) ends up looking something like a cubist painting by Picasso. What is discouraged is trying to understand the person's various problems as interrelated parts of a comprehensible whole that has developed over a lifetime from a continual ongoing interaction between the person's life experience and their biology. Among the most pernicious effects of the DSM has been its influence on psychiatric education. Psychiatric trainees are encouraged to use the DSM as their first approach to the patient. It is very sad to see these fledglings struggle to make diagnosis rather than to understand their patient. Do they ask whether the patient has a brother or a sister or was born rich or poor. No! Conference after conference is devoted to figuring out which DSM category the patient fits into. No one dares tells the trainee the little secret of the DSM, which is that about half of patients don't fit into any category at all. Some of us, of course, do have OCD or ADD or are narcissistic or suffer from moderate autism (Asperger's Syndrome) but most of us are not so neatly described. Most people have to be squeezed into categories that we don't fit into. The overall chairman of the committee that wrote the DSM IV (Dr. Allen Frances) has, to his credit, acknowledged (in a New Yorker magazine interview) that the DSM IV categories are neither valid nor reliable and don't describe (in his words) "reality." All of this said, the DSM is a crystalline clearly written document that well summarizes contemporary descriptive psychiatry.

5-0 out of 5 stars DSM IV TR PAPERBACK, August 11, 2000
The study of mental disorders is an ever evolving process. It is good to see a revision of the old DSM IV which has been in use for the past five years. The book is printed in a easy to read print size and the layout has been updated. There will be other revisions so this is the first of many, until DSM V.

5-0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary window into the mechanisms of social ordering, May 17, 2009
We live in increasingly complex societies where knowledge is endlessly expanding. Unless it is ordered, of course, information itself does us no good. The medical profession was among the first to recognize the need for ordered, cataloged information.

I became involved with DSM by accident: one of my projects required me to include a few pages copied from the DSM, well within the limits of Fair Use. Normally I would have hopped over to the library, copied the pages and been on my way. One of the local libraries, however, had a circulating copy so I spent more time with the volume than I would have otherwise.

Consider that there is no small amount of controversy surrounding the DSM (which, by the wsy, stands for "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders"). Many point wagging fingers at it for becoming involved with political issues, such as its well publicized dropping some years back of homosexuality as a "mental disorder". Others claim it is a make-word project for psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers and others who are presented with an ever expanding array of mental disorders which are, in turn, covered by insurance and become cash flow producers for practitioners.

For the practitioner, however, it is easy to see that it provides a framework within which to compare their observations of a specific client against the collective knowledge of the American Psychiatric Association and its DSM publication committee.

Leafing through it is a solid reminder of how fortunate many of us are: we don't have any of the major disorders described here. On the other hand, it is interesting to see how inventive the mental health professionals have been in turning so many seemingly commonplace conditions into "mental disorders" for which they can be paid to treat. (Like many, I have a somewhat jaundiced view of psychotherapy. I have know two women who spent more than 25 years each in therapy - before deciding to become therapists.)

The introductory description of how the DSM came to be, how it is compiled and how it should be applied is fascinating in itself. The 1840 U.S. Census recorded only one variety of mental illness: "idiocy/insanity". By 1870, seven categories were listed. There are now, counting sub-divisions, hundreds of categories.

It is indeed fascinating to read the descriptions of the disorders and the diagnostic criteria. It is possible - with a little stretching - to see that the future of such medicine may rest in automated diagnostics. The computer program Eliza and other experiments gave a foretaste of that.

All in all, from a layman's perspective, a fascinating look at the human penchant for collecting, organizing, preserving and disseminating knowledge in action.

Jerry

3-0 out of 5 stars Blue Shirt, Partially-Untucked, Red Tie, Ushanka Bedecked Disorder, July 12, 2006
Hey, it is what it is. I've heard people discuss DSM-IV-TR as if it were the bible of psychiatry, the ultimate textbook of psychiatric pathology. On the other side are the people who would throw it out completely in fear that any label applied to anyone dehumanizes them, reduces them to a category, dooms them to a lifetime of struggling with their new pathological identity.

DSM is for research purposes. It is a collection of constellations of symptoms, compiled by clinicians, organized into categories by vote of committee, and it does make convenient shorthand for describing patients. If you want to do a study looking at how people respond to a certain medication versus placebo, you need some kind of criteria for deciding which people are appropriate to include in the study, some kind of rigorous way to establish the parameters so that each subject isn't a soft call, and that is what DSM is appropriate for. It's big on reliability, low on validity. Its inter-rater reliability is also what makes it a convenient shorthand for describing patients to other clinicians (or, more often and more urgently, to insurance utilization reviewers). I'm not going to review hours of process notes in a presentation, but if I say someone suffers from recurrent severe major depression with psychosis, you quickly know some relevant things about what the problems are. Even with the big garbage bin categories of schizoaffective disorder or cognitive brain disorder not otherwise specified, you can at least characterize someone within the right ballpark. But that's as far as it is useful for and that's as far as it should be used. Diagnosis is a tricky part of individual patient care and often the hunt for diagnostic precision is a distracter. It plays into to reification myths, the idea that attaching a name to something makes it a distinct, concrete entity. All of these symptoms exist on spectrums, most psychiatric symptoms in their mild to moderate forms can be a normal part of life, and the search for concrete categories can lead us down the wrong road when it drives the treatment rather than being one piece in the formulation of an individual patient. By the way, if there is any doubt that DSM categories are nothing more than descriptions of observations, let the diagnosis "intermittent explosive disorder" illustrate the case, the mostly inanely concrete and pointless reification of anger and/or impulsiveness as a distinct syndrome. It's not just impractical, it's downright embarrassing. An article appeared in the local paper about a proposed link between road rage and intermittent explosive disorder, and two separate patients brought it into session, mockingly questioning me on the authenticity of this diagnosis.

It is what it is. Worth studying and being very familiar with since it serves as an oft referenced interface between research, Big Pharm, the clinical world, and the business world. Worth studying as, just as the acronym suggests, a statistical manual of carved out syndromes negotiated by mostly dull men sitting through dull meetings. I've never been involved, but I picture constipated men, with coffee and stale non-dairy creamer breath intermingled with a musty smell from their clothes. And these men are passionately arguing and negotiating, with their prides on the line. But that's not really the point, sorry. The point is, if DSM categories are anything other than a minor factor in guiding how you care for your patients, that is your sloppiness. Let's not blame an inert stack of papers for not living up to the sacredness that's been fallaciously imposed on it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not the simple, useful nosology you're looking for., August 29, 2001
I quote Karl Menninger, on the publication of the DSM-II in 1968:
"This year [1968] the APA took a great step backward when it abandoned the principles used in the simple useful nosology [DSM-I]. In the interest of uniformity, in the interest of having some kind of international code of designation for different kinds of human troubles, in the interest of statistics and computers, the American medical scientists were asked to repudiate some of the advances they had made in conceptualization and in the designation of mental illness."
Since then, it's gotten worse, not better, with thousands of symptom checklists and numbered diagnoses, conveniently correlated to the ICD-9 standard diagnosis codes for easier billing.
But people, medical students and physicians included, will insist on treating DSM-IV as a textbook in psychiatry. It's nothing of the sort - it never touches on the essential topics of etiology, prognosis, and treatment. People memorize the checklists and think they understand psychiatry, when in fact they have entirely failed to grasp the noble and great endeavor: riddling out the first causes and mechanisms of our humanity, and how those mechanisms go awry.
Well, then, you say, what about diagnosis? Isn't this a diagnostic manual?
In my opinion, for that purpose DSM-IV is worse than useless to a lay person. Consider the previous reviewer who thought the book made a good party game, diagnosing his healthy friends with all sorts of 'disorders'. It wouldn't take much experience in a psychiatric emergency room to realize that psychiatric illness is no party game - but it would take some. Without the context provided by direct, caring relationships with the mentally ill, the jargon and symptoms discussed in this book are meaningless. This book will not teach you to be a psychiatric diagnostician! Only experience can do that. It's intended as a quick reference guide for people with that experience, and a reference concerned with very practical matters not relevant to the patient-physician relationship (such as the standardized conduct and reporting of clinical trials, or how to justify billled services).
I'd disagree strongly with the prior reviewer who felt psychiatric patients should read their DSM-IV. If you're a psychiatric patient "on the same page" as your health care practictioner, get off the page and get on top of your life! You have more pressing concerns than making yourself into an expert psychiatric diagnostician and quibbling over the learned APA's compilation of symptom checklists - you need to heal.
In short, I can't imagine recommending this tome to anyone for any purpose - people who need it don't need me to tell them so.
If you're interested, however, in psychiatry, I urge you to read the classics - Freud for the grounding of psychodynamics, Skinner on behaviorism, Menninger's superb "Man Against Himself" on suicide and depression, Erich Fromm's "Escape From Freedom" and "Man For Himself" for academic psychophilosophy, Kraepelin on dementia praecox (what we now call 'schizophrenia' - I prefer his original term), Wundt on introspective self-analysis, Kraft-Ebbing's "Psychopathia Sexualis" for a laugh and for a serious understanding of the social construction of sexual "disorder" - if you're really interested in these topics, you'll find these authors far more stimulating, I guarantee! ... Read more


49. How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times
by James Wesley Rawles
Paperback
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 SurvivalBlog.com, 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

Reviews

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


50. The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Prostate Cancer
by Eric Klein
Kindle Edition
list price: $9.99
Asin: B002T7DE46
Publisher: 2009-10-01
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

Expert medical advice from one of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals for urology and cancer care
This year, more than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, while 1 in 6 men will fight prostate cancer in their lives. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men over age 50.
In The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Prostate Cancer, Dr. Eric A. Klein, ranked one of America’s best doctors, offers men the substantive information they need to prevent, treat, and even live well with prostate cancer. This excellent resource gives readers the trusted medical guidance Dr. Klein offers his patients, including:
  • The best diagnostic tests, new therapies, and medications currently being tested in clinical trials
  • Insight into the treatments that have been shown to be the most successful
  • Specific information about how to take charge of their health and live a healthier lifestyle
  • Personal stories of those who have triumphed over prostate cancer
  • Plus, advice on how they can treat this disease without losing their quality of life
Cleveland Clinic is one of the nation’s top-rated hospitals for the treatment of cancer and is top-ranked for urology.
... Read more

51. How To Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
Kindle Edition
list price: $15.00
Asin: B003WEAI4E
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 365
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

YOU CAN GO AFTER THE JOB YOU WANT...AND GET IT! YOU CAN TAKE THE JOB YOU HAVE...AND IMPROVE IT! YOU CAN TAKE ANY SITUATION YOU'RE IN...AND MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!

For more than sixty years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.

Now this previously revised and updated bestseller is available as eBook for the first time to help you achieve your maximum potential throughout the next century! Learn:

* THREE FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN HANDLING PEOPLE

* THE SIX WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU

* THE TWELVE WAYS TO WIN PEOPLE TO YOUR WAY OF THINKING

* THE NINE WAYS TO CHANGE PEOPLE WITHOUT AROUSING RESENTMENT ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonder if he knew people would be reading this 75 years later, November 30, 2010
I doubt it, but when you tap into fundamental aspects of human nature in a way that helps people that's what happens. You've probably heard about this book, as it's one of those titles that have become part of the cultural lexicon (like CATCH-22). Written in 1936, it is based on courses in public speaking that had been taught in adult education courses by Dale Carnegie since 1912 (and to put to rest a popular assumption, he was no relation to the magnate Andrew Carnegie). It is an unusual little book, written in a highly personalized, colloquial style that is reminiscent of a great lecture. This book was designed with professionals in mind, and designed to help professional people do better in business by helping them make social contacts and improve their speaking skills. It was also written with a certain...earnestness in mind. Carnegie was a big believer in sincerity when it came to dealing with other people.

The book has six major sections. The core principles of each section are outlined below:

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People: Don't criticize, condemn, or complain. Give honest and sincere appreciation. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Six Ways to Make People Like You: Become genuinely interested in other people. Smile. Be a good listener, etc. etc.

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking: Avoid arguments. Show respect for the other person's opinions. If you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. etc. etc.

Be a Leader / How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment: Begin with praise and honest appreciation. Talk about your own mistakes first. etc. etc.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is another book you'll likely want to read. It's the only modern book I've come across that addresses dealing with people this effectively.

5-0 out of 5 stars The In's and Out's of Human Nature, January 8, 2008
A classic (originally published in the 30's) and a must-have, this timeless piece of work can help just about anybody get along better with others and win them over to their way of thinking. Don't have a lot of time to spare? Don't worry. The book is divided into short sections, each one devoted to a particular principle that is well illustrated with many practical examples. In this way, you can read a chapter quickly, stop and do other things you have to do if necessary, and get back to the book when you have time- all without losing continuity.

Thoroughly entertaining by using fun and interesting examples, I don't think many readers will regret checking this one out and I like to think of this book as a kind of Human Relations 101 of sorts. Also recommend The Sixty-Second Motivator for further reading on motivational principles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless People Skills, March 22, 2003
This book is indeed potentially life changing, as so many of the reviews have stated. It continues to speak volumes into my daily interactions with people even though I listened to it nearly four years ago.

I have found that following its advice does not make me phony or narcissistic - rather just the opposite (I suppose you can choose to try to pretend to care about people, but people are wiser than that). The book promotes understanding others' behavior and could have the very positive effect of reducing day-to-day conflict. Your blood pressure could lower and relationships flourish. It certainly has had this effect in my life.

And the(at times)dated language? Classic!

I recommend it highly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Common sense advice, but beware the unwritten chapter, November 7, 2005
I won't waste your time with a rundown of what "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is about. With over 400 reviews on Amazon, with over 15 million copies sold, and with a very self-explanatory title, I think you all get it. For the rare person who may not know what this book is about, here's a succinct description: in 1930s vernacular prose, Dale Carnegie explains that by appealing to the other person's highest ideals, remembering the other person's name, letting the other person do most of the talking, speaking in terms of the other person's interests, allowing the other to save face, by "throwing down a challenge," etc., you can make a friend out of just about anyone.

The advice is largely sound, but I think the reader should keep in mind the context within which this book was written. "How to Win Friends and Influence People" was written in the 1930's and intended primarily as a companion book to Dale Carnegie's classes on how to be a good salesman. In other words, these techniques work very well in the context of sales and public relations, i.e., in relationships that are not expected to be deep and/or long-lasting. I wouldn't recommend using these techniques on close personal friends. Doing so may make a person come across as a bit "plastic."

Also, there is one major point that I think needs to be remembered, but unfortunately is nowhere to be found in "How to Win Friends and Influence People." During my research of Dale Carnegie's techniques, I came across what I believe may be the only biography available about him: Dale Carnegie: The Man Who Influenced Millions by Giles Kemp and Edward Claflin. This book reveals many interesting things, such as the fact that Dale Carnegie grew up poor; he lost part of his left index finger when he was a child; he often broke many of the tenets set forth in this book, often forgetting others' names, often arguing with others, etc. But what I found most interesting was that the last chapter of "How to Win Friends" was to describe those individuals with whom none of Dale Carnegie's techniques work. In this unpublished chapter, Carnegie wrote that there were some people with whom it was impossible to get along. You either needed to divorce such people, "knock them down," or sue them in court.

Why is that chapter absent from this book, you ask? Well, Dale Carnegie was in the middle of writing this chapter when he was offered a trip to Europe, and rather than complete this last chapter he decided to take the trip. The uncompleted book was sent off to publishers, and Carnegie shipped off to Europe.

Giles Kemp and Edward Claflin say that given the optimistic tone of the rest of "How to Win Friends," the European trip was perhaps the better choice. Reconciling the the unwritten chapter with the rest of this optimistic book would've been nearly impossible, they say.

Anyway, I think that this unpublished chapter is important to keep in mind. I had to learn the hard way that the unpublished chapter is very true. There are some people with whom it is impossible to get along. When you meet up with such people, and believe me you will, don't think that you've failed the Carnegie techniques. Instead, remind yourself that you are experiencing exactly what Carnegie describes in that pragmatic, unpublished chapter. And then quickly move on to the nicer people!

Andrew Olivo

3-0 out of 5 stars Good advice for the outgoing., March 1, 2007
This book mainly offers examples of a practical form of diplomacy. Don't criticize people directly so as to shame them; always articulate your sincere compliments when appropriate; make an effort to remember and use a person's name, etc. There's some good advice here on finessing your speech to get your honest point across without causing anyone to begrudge you for it, and some ways to train yourself not to take people for granted.

However, this book was written a long time ago, for people with average or better communications skills. If you're shy and introverted, or have autism or Asperger's, this is not the book to coax you out of yourself. This isn't to say it's of no use to an introverted person, but using the techniques advocated will be more of a challenge.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is endlessly simple and deceptively complex, February 21, 1999
It was facinating to read the other reviews of this book. I can't help but be struck by how simple minded many of the negative comments about the book are. What they don't understand is that the vast majority of people are motivated by the desire to be appreciated. Because we are all so consumed with our own desire to be appreciated we often miss that elementry fact. The principles of this book are simple, but their implications are complex. Therefore, its occasional simplicity could never deminish its greatness. It seems to me that those who hold negative comments about this book felt as though they were being tricked. Remember, Dale teaches that we should communicate "honest, sincere" appreciation and admiration of others. Phoney is phoney whether it is in 1937 or 1997. Dale would never advocate the use of untruths in winning friends. People are not stupid, simply naturally motivated a few common factors. Some readers became defensive believing that they are to smart to fall for these techniques. But, you see, they are caught up in their own sense of selfworth, their own sense of importance. What a shame that the brilliance of the book was lost on them. Other readers had the ability to recognize that they were also motivated by a desire to be appreciated. Those are the readers who have changed the way they see human interaction. Man is a complex animal filled with instinct and the ability to reason. There are certain situations that cause the vast majority of people to react in the same manner- this is instinct. A perfect example is a smile from another. Your first impression of that person is that he is friendly. This thought is involuntary. That fact that we all respond positively to a smile does not mean that we are being tricked. We are simply receiving the nourishment that we crave. Still don't believe me. Imagine this situation honestly. You have always believed that Tom from work is an ass. But yesterday you had a conversation with you best friend from work when the subject of Tom came up. Your friend says to you, "Well, I don't know what you've done to Tom to make him think you are so great, but earlier today he told me that you are the most valuable employee in the company and that your integrity as a human being is unmatched". What do you think about Tom now? You can't help but to like him can you? I would like him. Why? My new openion of him is involuntary. I think I am important and deserving of recognition just like every other human being on the planet, and he gave me what I craved just like every other human being, honest sincere appreciation. If you liked the book, read it again. If you didn't like it, read it again. Otherwise, you will be doomed to wallow in your own ignorance of human relations forever.

Aaron J. Ruckman

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic For Success, February 1, 2003
Dale Carnegie had made motivation into an art. Moreover, he had made his form of motivation into an American institution. Find out how an average person can achieve much through the right forms of inspiration, perspiration, and influence. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, you learn about the human factor of success and how principles applied almost 70 years ago, still speak true today.

3-0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but be your own judge, March 15, 2003
Anyone who reads this classic self help book will find it beneficial. It wouldn't have lasted as long as it has if it weren't helpful.

However, the first time I attempted to systematically put this book into practice, I was working with a domineering, loud, opinionated and outspoken person who subsequently stamped all over me and my "Carnegie" principles. True, many people (maybe a majority) will respond positively when you practice Dale Carnegie's plan, but there is a sizeable minority who will walk all over you regardless.

And a person who has self-image problems? I hate to say it, but Dale Carnegie's book can set them up to be mowed over.

I have balanced Dale Carnegie with Manuel J. Smith's book WHEN I SAY NO I FEEL GUILTY. I found it more effective when I built a good, healthy respect for myself first. Then guess what! I found myself winning more friends and influencing more people!

1-0 out of 5 stars NOT the book Dale Carnegie wrote, July 8, 2003
Dale Carnegie's great book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, is practically unrecognizable in this revised version. Carnegie's quaint language and examples have been "updated", much to my dismay and the book's detriment. If ever there were a time to leave well enough alone, it was this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece on the Subject of People Skills, February 12, 2000
Man is a social being - unless one chooses the way of the recluse or hermit, he will inevitably have to interact with people. Strangely, for most people who never encounter this book, they miss out on one of the most important keys to achieving happines and prosperity in Life.

It's been proven that success in any field is related MORE to "people skills" than to mere "technical know-how". And, NO-ONE has put together the principles by which these skills can be acquired better than Dale Carnegie. ... Read more


52. 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

Reviews

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


53. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
by Gretchen Rubin
Hardcover (2010-01-01)
list price: $25.99 -- our price: $11.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0061583251
Publisher: Harper
Sales Rank: 302
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.

Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.

Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.

... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Finding Happiness (and a Great Read)
I bought this book for my mother, who grew up during the Depression and has not had an easy life. I'm glad I read it first, because it would have been an insult to give this to a genuine person who's experienced some hard knocks.

According to Ms Rubin, the origin of this book is an epiphany she had watching a woman yakking on a cell phone, crossing a Manhattan street with a toddler and a stroller. She identified with this person, because for Ms. Rubin, that is the very picture of a sad, harried person who's life is just passing her by. Yeah, life's pretty tough when you've got to walk your kids home to the nanny between your pedicure and yoga class.

I found Ms Rubin's solution system humorous. Evidently, her problems were all of the sort that can be fixed by things like an orange scented candle, reading random magazines, a laminator, tossing out frayed underpants, shopping for bluebird collectibles and so on. That is, after she walked away from her high pay attorney job, thanks to her hedge fund manager husband's income. (It is sad to think some other applicant was refused a seat at Yale, so that this woman could squander her degree to make herself happy at an unrelated fantasy career.)

I also enjoyed the occasional insights on her neurotic personality and private life. M&Ms make her cranky, she prefers to wear yoga pants and her idea of fun in bed is reading Tolstoy, she considers herself fortunate because she has naturally red hair. She's quick to scold her husband, and while she buys her T shirts at Bloomingdales, she thinks a $[...] pen is an extravagance. She wore coke bottle glasses as a kid. I got the picture of a self-centered, controlling nerd with a quick temper, little appreciation for how insular and privileged her life has been, and lacking the self-realization to pick a more appropriate topic to write about.

I guess if any of that describes you, this trite little book might be helpful and insightful, if not, save your money. I quit half way through and give it two stars for the cheap laughs I got imagining this manhattanite's yoga pants lifestyle.

Hey, what's up with the cover? She doesn't live in a tenement and its nearly identical to this bookNaked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

... Read more


54. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
by Eckhart Tolle
Paperback
list price: $14.00 -- our price: $5.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1577314808
Publisher: New World Library
Sales Rank: 273
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

It's no wonder thatThe Power of Now has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 foreign languages. Much more than simple principles and platitudes, the book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light. In the first chapter, Tolle introduces readers to enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present. The journey is thrilling, and along the way, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, "the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death."Featuring a new preface by the author, this paperback shows that only after regaining awareness of Being, liberated from Mind and intensely in the Now, is there Enlightenment. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Here and Now, November 2, 2008
After reading happiness books like "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World", I felt like I had a good handle on what science had uncovered about how to live a happy life and have to say that I am MUCH happier for having read them. But, while the field of positive psychology has made some great contributions to my happiness levels, it's books like The Power of Now that come along and let you know there's STILL more you can learn.

A key concept of the book (if I'm explaining it right) is that you will start to experience a certain kind of enlightenment when you learn to leave your analytical mind behind. In other words, instead of "thinking" try just "observing your thinking." And when you do this, you also need to realize that all this "thinking noise" that goes on in your head all day long is not really who you are- an enlightening concept indeed!

To that end, the book is set up in a question and answer format to help you get to understand these kinds of concepts. While it might seem ridiculous to some, it really isn't. Case in point, we all talk to ourselves or have witnessed others talking to themselves at times (maybe during a sporting event perhaps). If you ask someone who they are talking to, they will usually say "I'm talking to myself." And this, by definition, means that there have to be two "selves", an "I" talking to "myself"- and so justifies the idea of two selves (a "you" and a "thinking you" in the book).

Well, if these seem to be the kind of concepts you're ready to explore, this is your book. It raises some good questions and certainly brings up one that you can't argue with: all we have is the here and now. As the book so astutely points out, "Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing ever happened in the future, it will happen in the Now." And learning to live in the now IS the point of the whole book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An idea whose time has come, October 11, 2002
You've heard the old maxim that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. That's what The Power of Now represents to me. I have been in the book business all my adult life and consider myself somewhat jaded when it comes to books on self-help, gurus or enlightenment manuals. In fact, I almost never read them. There is something unique about The Power of Now that makes it stand out in an otherwise crowded field. It may be the clarity of the language, the absence of technical language, or more likely, the fact the author is clearly writing about a place the he authentically inhabits; and that my friends, is rare indeed. When describing this book to others, I compare the concepts and practices to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and to the Dzogchen teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the core instructions of such Zen Masters as Dogen and Hongzhi. The thing that makes this book so magical is that you get all that pith instruction without having to wade through cultural artiface or the barriers of religiosity. This is only the second review I've written, and I'm doing it because I believe this book is fundamentally important. The teachings have had an immediate impact on my life in a way that few books ever have. I agree with the editorial review - within a chapter of reading this book, I was already holding the world in a different container. This is the real deal.

5-0 out of 5 stars This may just be THE book!, November 23, 2001
Eckhart Tolle's message isn't new. His book is meant to point us toward enlightenment,
and thus his teachings aren't much different than that of Buddhism. But the way this book SPEAKS...

WOW!

I've been reading "Power of Now" slooowly, over the past week and a half.
I'm nearly finished with it, and plan on starting again on page one when I'm done.
This may be the ONE book that you've been looking for... it's that good.

You can FEEL the essence of Tolle's message while you read. The book BREATHES with spiritual insight.
As you read, you just KNOW that what Tolle says is "the truth."

In reading the book, meditating, and practicing these principles in everyday life,
I've noticed in myself an increased ability to be "fully present" in the world and STAY THERE.
This is the experience I've been wanting for many years.
I've been waking up each morning in a peaceful mood...
I think, while sleeping, I've been integrating the lessons I've learned!

Be here now... it's the only place and time to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars and Now..., January 24, 2002
I picked up "The Power of Now" in the "New Age" section of the bookstore. I was determined to make the reading about "spirituality" a short episode in my life... and I was probably right, as far as the reading goes, that is.

I got the book and continued reading at home, and, as I often do with study guides and textbooks, started underlining what seemed most important. Soon it became harder to separate the important from the unimportant, because it all seemed important! Then, I stopped, put down the pencil and said: "Wow!"

Where did this book come from? Why aren't we hearing about it on CNN? Reading it felt strange at first, as it demanded my total attention: either I was drawn deep into it, or not at all. Do you like to eat while reading? Well, this book will make you feel ridiculous if you try to eat and read at the same time!

The book showed me that I have a pretty thick mold of the mind to break through, and it took me very far on the first day, even farther after that. The message went beyond what I would probably recognize on my own. After all, I was (and still am but to a lesser degree) one of those constant thinkers who mistakenly believe that it's good to think all the time but almost never stop to see, hear and feel the essence of being. Although the message in the book seems familiar and simple, in the end it provided exhaustive answers to the few questions that I had and also those that I wouldn't have thought of before. Amazingly, it also managed not to raise new ones. What it did was grab me by lapels and put me into the present moment. Over and over again, it told me what it means, how to enter it, offered a few different methods, and suggested that with practice many opportunities exist to enter it.

Another point is that once I finished the book, its message lingered (may I say "in my mind" here?). The author's obvious and at the same time subtly effective, repetitive approach somehow kept reassuring me that I was absorbing and remembering the material. The text never strayed far from the core of the message, which seemed to stick with vivid clarity.

I soon began to practice shifting myself into this state of intense concentration, and it feels strange and alluring at the same time, this detachment from the mind. At first, I could only do it while being completely relaxed, just before falling asleep. Later, it became easier to do along with other daily activities. Don't worry; you will not get hit by a truck while crossing the street and trying to focus into the Now! Also, the people at work will not laugh at you because you look weird trying to focus, but they may notice a difference in you: that you are relaxed, focused and less confrontational (because you are surrendered to the present moment). The most immediate effect for me was that focusing into the present moment helped me communicate better. I began to listen more intensely, meaningfully and less judgmentally than before.

However, I feel that this is only the tip of an iceberg. Trying to be in the Now has inspired me more than any miracle. At the same time, it's clear that learning to live in the Now is a skill, and like any skill it can be enhanced with practice. The more you work at it, the better and more natural you get doing it.

In short, I don't need to search for the truth anymore. I got lucky on the first try, by becoming a little curious with the book that seemed unassuming and light in physical weight. Thank you, Eckhart. NOW, I can be at peace, knowing how much I can look forward to in this life, and beyond.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not a book for the mind - a book to teach you to be free, June 30, 2002
I have refrained from writing a review of this book for nearly a year and a half, being content to simply practice what Tolle has expressed so simply - remain in the present moment for that is all we have. After nearly three decades of practicing meditation to become enlightened (some day) I found it disheartening to conclude that I wasn't really getting anywhere, yet I was reluctant to give up the effort. Then Tolle popped into my life like a much needed life preserver, showed me who I really am, and put an end to my thrashing about in self-created whirlpools of despair - when you discover you are the ocean itself the whirlpools peter out in embarrassment.

Don't read this book in order to feed your mind, stroke your ego or validate your beliefs. Read it in order to learn to free yourself from pain and delusion. It is obvious when reading certain reviews that some people are looking to add mind stuff to their inventory and then to demonstrate what a fine mind they have with an erudite and academic rebuff. They will have to remain content with a mind dominated life, always looking for something outside themselves to give validation and meaning. At some point, however, if they are lucky they may tire of that and take the opportunity to practice living in the now. It takes courage to jump into the unknown and discover the freedom and joy in living life moment to moment.

Perhaps you are ripe for this book like I was. Even so it was not always easy to let go of cherished beliefs and practices, but ultimately it is the only thing you can do if you really want freedom. Tolle shows how conditioned we have become in a gentle and easy manner, leading you by the hand all the way to the door of freedom. But it is up to each one of us to open that door. At first you may spend only moments of clock time in the sweetness of the now. If you keep at it you will become more skillful in accessing the now, and you will find yourself dwelling there for extended periods of clock time. And then upon reflection you will realize the peace that is always available - that we ARE peace.

So, are you willing to see what life will be like without a mind and ego to steer your every move, as you have been so conditioned to do all your life? (and if you are, don't worry, you will always have access to the mind and ego). Are you willing to let go of everything and to simply BE and let life unfold naturally? (it will anyway, but not resisting it reveals the peace that underlies all phenomena). If you are you will not find a better guide than Eckhart Tolle.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, Intelligent, Gentle, February 5, 2001
Although I have always felt myself to be vaguely spiritual, I had never bought a book on spirituality before, shunned anything that smacked of religion, and wouldn't be caught dead in the New Age section. However, a friend recommended Tolle's book, and I found myself completely absorbed in it from beginning to end. Tolle himself would probably agree that there is nothing essentially "new" about the ideas in the book; the value lies in the clear, intelligent and gentle way in which they are presented. This book is carefully, thoughtfully and beautifully written. Not only does it illuminate the fundamental, slippery, destructive patterns of the mind or ego which confound one's spiritual and even physical well-being, but it also provides a variety of simple and practical techniques for breaking down and dissolving these various forms of mental pollution. I use Tolle's calming, contemplative techniques every day and throughout the day, and they work wonderfully for me. I've read the book twice so far and have given it to others as a gift. The companion tapes are excellent as well.

3-0 out of 5 stars One Power trip, April 13, 2005
In all of my 62 years, I have read numerous works on the topic of spirituality. Mr. Tolle's book follows many classics of which I so enjoyed-works by Ram Dass, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Harvey, Matthew Fox, Marianne Williamson, Alan Watts, Krishnamurti, Cayce ..ad infinitum. And though I enjoyed much of Tolle's book when it first appeared five years ago, when I look at it now(couldn't help but comment here on the author's vain and frighteningly egotistical preface to the new paperback edition), I am really wondering just who this teacher is.

I had the misfortune of hearing him speak when I was traveling in England last year, and the pomposity of which he came off -really appalled me. I never saw such an egotist in all my life. (in a so-called spiritual teacher-this is a bit off-putting) Tolle resonated with such vanity-that the spiritual "truths" he was attempting to make rang hollow. To me, those who remain modest and sincere and generous toward others are the real teachers. (Deepak Chopra, to me, is always so gracious and humble when he speaks; I also like Carolyn Myss and Andrew Weil-actually-- many spiritual communicators who come from a medical background-seem to walk their talk).

I can only say to those readers out there: "yes this is a good book-but pay attention to what may lie beneath the surface ". To me, the real spiritual teachers are always humble and helpful toward others. Tolle -in person- is very different from what he appears in his DVDs and books-I have heard he is cut-throat and very competitive when it comes to others' works (unfortunately, a good source of mine knows he has hurt others.) Bottom line? Everything must serve him. And that always says it all. Just be aware and go within and listen to your own inner communication to the divine. Forget this guy.

As one luminous Galilean soul once said: "By their deeds you shall know them".

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical tips for joyous living, September 17, 2001
Philosophers like Krishnamurti say that the path of spiritual enlightenment starts with being aware of one's own thoughts. Commentators (of Upanishads and Gita) such as Swami Chinmayananda suggest that spiritual enlightenment is attained when the mind quietens. I have great respect for the above authors. However, I was frustrated for a long time as "watching my thoughts" and "quietening the mind" seemed impossible to achieve.

In this book, Tolle gives very practical advice on how we can watch our thoughts - the idea is to simply live in the present, in the Now. "...Make it your practice to withdraw attention from past and future whenever they are not needed. Step out of the time dimension as much as possible in everyday life. If you find it hard to enter the Now directly, start by observing the habitual tendency of your mind to want to escape from the Now..." is a brilliant piece of advice from the book.

The book is organised in a question-and-answer format and it is easy to read.

When we start reading the book, many questions rise in our heads. E.g.
*How can we forget the past? Doesn't past influence on our current situation?
* How can we not think about the future? How do we, then, plan for the future?
*How practical is it to ignore the time (future)?
All these questions and many other questions that come to mind while reading are answered in the book.

If you plan to read this book please think about the following: many of us read books like these and find them 'interesting'. As long as we are reading the book we feel inspired and we live in the Now. A while later, we go back to our routine and forget about living in the Now. To get the true benefit from this book, my suggestion is to create some measures so that you are reminded of the principles regularly. Some things you can do:

*Write down your questions, their answers and your other thoughts that come to mind, while reading the book. Review these regularly.
*Find people who are interested in discussing the issues relating to spiritual enlightenment and discuss.
*Make it a point to read or listen to books that relate to living the Now, on a regular basis.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Truth is in the Power of Now, December 13, 2000
This book is so filled with truth, so powerful, so crystal clear that I was compelled to write this review and share it with other people. THE POWER OF NOW and WORKING ON YOURSELF DOESN'T WORK by Ariel and Shya Kane are the two most powerful and insightful books on self-awareness I've ever had the pleasure to read. Reading both of these books is like working with Zen masters, compassionate spiritual teachers who can free us from the torture that our minds and our judgments inflict on us constantly. I am not exaggerating when I say that THE POWER OF NOW was like a breath of fresh air. Tolle gets right to the point and explains so much about inner peace and how our minds actually work that I found myself wanting to share what he and the Kanes have discovered. If THE POWER OF NOW is the technical manual for reaching fulfillment (because it is mostly explanations about awareness rather than illustrative examples), then WORKING ON YOURSELF DOESN'T WORK is the practical guide with real world examples and insights that describe exactly how satisfaction is possible in everyday life. You'll want both of these books. I've found what I was looking for thanks to these wonderful authors.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Tolle's message, June 1, 2000
In the past 25 years I have read spiritual books ranging from the works of Gurdjieff and his followers to the discourses and satsangs with Maharaj, Poonjaji, and Gangaji. These have helped me and probably thousands of other seekers. They were the best written accounts available to all of us on the Path who refused to swallow the sugar pills of superficial knowledge of spirituality and enlightenment offered by many. NOW comes Eckhart Tolle with an unbelievably clear, powerful and succinct account of how and why our mind-based ego consciousness runs us, robs us of our birthright as humans, and why our society, at every turn, supports this process. His message is exquisitely eloquent and direct: Learn, through endless practice (unbending intent as Don Juan would say) to observe your mind without judgement. See where this leads you again and again as your sense of who you are escapes psychological time and the vastness, wholeness, and beauty of Creation opens before you. I have read only the first 50 pages and already I know that it will be THE ONE BOOK that goes with me everywhere as I read and reread it until it is part of me. ... Read more


55. The Secret
by Rhonda Byrne
Hardcover
list price: $23.95 -- our price: $12.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1582701709
Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words
Sales Rank: 281
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.

In this book, you'll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life -- money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You'll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that's within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.

The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers -- men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible. ... Read more

Reviews

4-0 out of 5 stars The Review "They" Don't Want You To Read, March 6, 2007
Catchy review title? Thought so. Robert Cialdini, renowned psychology researcher and author of Influence: The Power of Persuasion (perhaps the best book ever written on the subject) identifies six basic rules employed by politicians, advertisers and scam artists alike to persuade others. Each of them are employed quite adeptly by Rhonda Byrne in this book.

Cialdini's first principle is SCARCITY; people want what's expensive, exculsive, or otherwise attainable. Byrne's mastery of this principle is clearly shown by the very name of the book: The Secret. We all learned this the first week of kindergarten as we felt the jealousy of watching two classmates, hands cupped over ears, sharing a secret out of earshot.

This message is reinforced throughout the book and its advertising campaign which pitches "The Secret" (whatever it actually is) as jealousy-guarded information hoarded by the happy, wealthy and successful. Whenever someone tries convincing you of something, whether it's a way to make enormous sums of money, to lose weight, etc - be wary of when it's pitched as "the knowledge THEY don't want you to have." Think about it - everything from the "secrets that Wall Street doesn't want you to know" to "uncovered - celebrities' secrets to staying young" are phrased not simply to pique your interest but to make you jealous. Appeals to our emotion are far more powerful than appeals to reason, and Byrne demonstrates mastery of this principle throughout "The Secret."

Cialdini's second principle is LIKING. We like those who like us, and in turn, we do business with them. Positive thinking and emotional intelligence has been linked to strong interpersonal relationships, academic and professional success, and good health, but there is a fine line when positive thinking crosses over to unjustified exuberance. Instead of simply noting the substantial benefits of positive thinking (a well-accepted principle which wouldn't sell books), Byrne crosses the line so blatantly that anyone with a modicum of modesty would find it blasphemous.

AUTHORITY is another Cialdini principle, also in play in "The Secret" in quite subtle ways. Another technique which differentiates this book from just another book of positive thinking is the heavy use of quasiscientific language, which gives the impression that the "law of attraction" is (or will become) an accepted scientific principle, just like the law of gravity or the law of attraction of oppositely-charged particles in chemistry. Many people are both intimidated and confused by the authority of science, a fact exploited by manipulators ranging from Byrne to peddlers of magic weight-loss pills.

Since no respected physicist would ever publish a paper on the universality of the "law of attraction," Byrne indirectly seeks experts in other ways. She attributes the success of people ranging from Einstein to Beethoven to adherence of "The Secret," thereby manufacturing experts. After all, if Einstein and Shakespeare mastered "The Secret," who are YOU to question it?

The last two Cialdini principles are CONSISTENCY and SOCIAL PROOF. The success of this book should leave little doubt it will be followed by more (and more expensive) forms of media peddling "The Secret." The audio recordings, weekend seminars, advertising tie-ins, and other follow-up products certain to follow will exploit these two principles. Once people commit themselves to believing happiness will come from "The Secret," they will attribute future successes, whether a promotion or a great new relationship, to adherence to it. Conversely, setbacks will be even more powerfully in committing people to "The Secret," as people will attribute their failures to not living up to "The Secret" (and buying more of Byrne's books). Consistency dictates it will be less painful to buy more books and immerse one's self further into "The Secret" than to accept the whole premise is a quite ridiculous; while not as pernicious as a domineering cult, "The Secret" promises to charge you handsomely for a positive outlook on life.

Byrne's book is problematic on many levels. On it's face, it's a manipulative marketing tool meant to flatter, confuse and deceive. It's also pseudoscience at its best, the last thing we need to encourage in an increasingly technological world which requires healthy skepticism and critical thought. Most damaging, though, is how the book perverts reality by encouraging people to equate a positive outlook on life with a childish, idiotic narcissism. Ayn Rand must be rolling in her grave hearing about the modern manifestation of her objectivist movement reduced to the intellectual equivalent of canned pork.

If you're interested in "The Secret," I highly encourage you to read the book - yeah, READ the book - if for any other reason so not to be manipulated by its brilliant marketing. Read it with a critical eye, with a copy of Cialdini's book in the other hand. You may not learn the secret of happiness, but you WILL learn a lot about manipulation and influence from a master of the subject in Rhonda Byrne.

1-0 out of 5 stars Reaches Too Far, Oversells, Underdelivers, January 1, 2007
I think a book like this, which makes some really big claims, should, roughly, do the following:

1) Present it's premise clearly
2) Since it's a self-help book explain clearly what you need to do
3) Provide compelling evidence that it's ideas work
4) Be credible.

The book does a decent job of explaining its premise, which is that everything in your life is the result of the law of attraction. I quote, "the law of attraction says like attracts like, so when you think a thought, you are also attracting like thoughts to you." In other words, think good thoughts and good things will come to you and if you think bad thoughts then bad things come to you. I've simplified this a bit but not a whole lot as the concept isn't rocket science.

Now, does this book explain clearly what you need to do? Actually, for a self-help book it does a very poor job of this. How do you control your thoughts? What kinds of practices and thinking produce the best results? The author and contributors basically tell you a bunch of stories about how "so and so did something and you can too by changing your thinking".

And that's it for the "how to" part of the book. There isn't any.

Now, if I wanted to prove something worked from a scientific perspective it would seem to be easy to test this stuff out. You take two groups of people, teach one the secret, let the other go on with their lives and see what happens. In theory those that know the Secret would be happier and more successful than the control group. It might not be perfect but it'd be a whole lot better than what we get in this book. But, of course, you'd have to have an actual methodology to test.

Instead the authors cite numerous anecdotes of how the Secret worked. One person's cancer went away. Another individual walks after a brutal accident. Still another finds romance. That's all fine and perhaps it's evidence but it's not proof. Cancer can be misdiagnosed. How many people who were injured like the "Miracle Man" never walked again despite the best attitude and trying the approach perfectly? The problem with anecdotes is that it's easy to start with a result, work backward and assume the conclusion. It's also very easy with anecdotes to only present the ones that make your case and ignore those that don't (when someone dies of cancer while practicing the secret for instance). It's just not good enough to use anecdotes for large claims like those made in this book.

The following quote struck a nerve.

"People hold that for awhile, and they're really a champion at it. They say, `I'm fired up, I saw this program and I'm going to change my life.' And yet the results aren't showing. Beneath the surface it's just about ready to break through but the person will look just at the surface results and say, `This stuff doesn't work.' And you know what? The universe says, "your wish is my command,"

I thought it was interesting that the universe instantly manifest failure but isn't quite so fast with success. In fact, a cynical individual might conclude that what they are really saying is, "when this program works it's because the secret always works, but, on the off chance it doesn't work, well, that's your fault." An even more cynical person might think, "gosh, I wonder what would help a person who failed? Maybe, a seminar with Bob Proctor would be just the thing to get them over the top?"

Lastly, is the Secret credible? On the one hand, I think a lot can be said for the idea that if you change your thinking you'd change your life. In many ways that seems obvious to me.

On the other hand, if the secret actually was true, especially at the scope claimed by the book it would mean that everything that's happened is the result of your thinking. So, when a child dies of pneumonia, well, it's because they brought pneumonia into their lives. Michael J. Fox, not only did you bring Parkinson's into your life but change your thinking and it will go away. Obviously these things aren't true and they obliterate, in my opinion, any credibility in the book.

Not only does the book go too far but most (I'd argue nearly all) of the contributors aren't credible. On a topic of this scope: the ability to 100% change your life and the world in an incredible fashion, does anyone really think you couldn't find psychologists, top flight scientists, therapists and thousands of mainstream individuals to support it, if it worked? Wouldn't there be tons of research instead of anecdotes? Instead we get a Feng Shui Master, a chiropractor, motivational speakers (err trainers), a metaphysicist, etc. combined with a half dozen anecdotal stories. So the most powerful like changing idea ever and you get it from the crew in this book presented in this fashion? I don't think so!

If this idea really worked, at anything other than giving material to self-help speakers and generating repeat students, it just wouldn't be found here. The book wouldn't even have to be written because we'd all already know it and be practicing it. Remember, this is not a new idea, it's been around for a very long time, and it's been the topic of literally thousands of seminars and hundreds of books.

In conclusion, I'm not opposed to the idea on a small scale but this book just goes way too far and I'm left with the feeling that all that's really going on is a bunch of people trying to get their name out and get you to pay for their seminars.

1-0 out of 5 stars a best-seller; folly of the masses, June 25, 2007
This book was given to me as a gift on father's day. I started reading it the way I read any book but soon I started reading faster and faster, more like scanning, with speed-reading techniques, and finished it in 2 hours, while taking notes at the same time.

I have no interest in self-help books or concepts like power of positive thinking. This book combines the two, with the main thesis being that the "secret" to anything in life, wealth, health, success, love, romance, happiness is positive thinking, thinking positive thoughts. More specifically, imagining things that you want to have and really, truly believe that you already have them, and feel good about having them now!

For example, if you want to be rich, you should first imagine that you are already rich; second, you should really believe that you are already rich; and third you should feel yourself in a rich life style, feel happy about it. If you keep doing this for awhile, miraculously the doors of wealth will open to you, all the opportunities will line up at your door and you will be well into your way to becoming that rich person you are imagining. Similarly, if you want to loose weight, you should imagine yourself in your ideal weight, really focus on that, only allow yourself "thin thoughts" and avoid "fat thoughts", and you will get thin. I quote; "if someone is overweight, it came from thinking fat thoughts". Another one; "Food cannot cause you to put on weight, unless you think it can."

I felt like putting a smiley face right after the last sentence as I am smiling now, and was smiling throughout the book. All you have to do is just ask (oh, and believe, and feel) for the thing you want and lo and behold, thou shalt have it! I quote: "Make a command to the Universe. Let the Universe know what you want. The universe responds to your thoughts." Another one: "The Universe will start to rearrange itself to make it happen for you." Really? I didn't know the entire universe cared so much about me!

The method even works for some frivolous things. Like always finding a parking spot, never having to wait in lines, never being late etc. And a lot of people are, allegedly, already doing it: "We have received thousands of accounts of The Secret being used to bring about large sums of money and unexpected checks in the mail. People have used the secret to manifest their perfect homes, life partners, cars, jobs, and promotions, with many accounts of businesses being transformed within days of applying The Secret."

One look at the titles of the co-authors of the book says a lot: Metaphysician, moneymaking expert (ha?), healer, life coach, law of attraction specialist, feng shui consultant (sure)... How about gullibility specialist, swindling expert, or snake-oil salesman?

Actually I shouldn't be so hard. At least one person, the main author of the book made her wishes come true. In the foreword of the book, and elsewhere inside, she says that she was going through a very bad time, her company of 10 years was about to be history. In desperation she looked everywhere for answers and that's how she discovered "the secret". Judging from the success of the book and the film, it must have worked for her. I suppose she must have thought, believed, and felt something like this: "I want a large number of credulous people to buy what I am saying (and the book, and the dvd) so I can make a lot of money".

2-0 out of 5 stars Think and Grow Rich Meets The Power of Positive Thinking in Brief Quotes, February 22, 2007
I am in complete agreement with the idea that our thoughts need to be carefully marshaled and focused on what we want. My comments focus on how Ms. Byrne has expressed that point in this book.

Everyone I know swears by the DVD version of The Secret. I decided to read the book first and then look at the DVD.

In grading this book, I am comparing The Secret to the many books that encourage you to create your own reality through mental focus including books written by those quoted in The Secret.

First, what is the secret? As stated in a quotation by Bob Proctor:

"The Secret is the law of attraction!

Everything that is coming into your life you are attracting . . . by virtue of the images you are holding in your mind."

Second, what causes the law of attraction to work? According to Ms. Byrne on page 11:

"You are the most powerful transmission tower in the Universe. Your transmission creates your life and it creates the world . . . . And you are transmitting that frequency with your thoughts."

Third, what's the evidence that this secret is true? Each of 24 authors tells anecdotes of people who overcame hurdles after envisioning a more positive result. A few claims are made that quantum physics supports this conclusion, and Ms. Byrne confides that she understands a great deal about this subject.

Fourth, why is this a secret? Because Ms. Byrne had never heard of the law of attraction prior to a year or so ago.

Let me make a few observations about the development of this idea in the book:

First, science has shown us that we ignore almost all of the sensory input we receive. Our minds focus on a small percentage of what's considered relevant through something called the reticular activating system. Change what you focus on, and you notice things for the first time that have been there all the time. That's one reason why envisioning what you want works: You notice helpful resources around you that you've been ignoring. That observation, however, has never been tied to any evidence (to my knowledge) that we physically create anything with our minds beyond our own bodies, except by manipulating the physical world in various ways.

Second, religion points to a different phenomenon. Christians, for example, read in the Bible that God has filled those who have been saved by repenting their sins and believing in Jesus with the Holy Spirit which permits good works (including miraculous works) to be done by the desire of the believer. The source isn't the believer's mind, but rather God's spiritual resources which are greater than the physical world. Anyone who read these Biblical texts would say that an individual is far from a powerful source of creating reality: An individual can do nothing to change reality without God, but can do anything good with God's help to change reality.

Third, in Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill reported the results of many years of intensive interviews with the most successful people on Earth of his day. Many of them believed that their thoughts physically changed the exterior world by opening the door to possibilities that otherwise wouldn't have existed. But Mr. Hill presented the idea as expressed opinions, rather than as a proven fact. He also pointed to many other things that these people had done that helped them succeed. Mr. Hill reported that it takes more just focusing on what you want: There are other steps involved such as working with a mastermind group.

Fourth, our own bodies are very strongly affected by our thoughts. Scientific research keeps showing new dimensions of that fact. Think certain thoughts and your immune system is stronger. Think other thoughts and your immune system is weaker. In addition, placebos do heal people who think they are getting real medicine when they are not. Why? Because people are really healing themselves. You can extend that influence by behaving well or badly towards others, causing a mental reaction in them, which in turn creates a change in their body chemistries.

By comparing those earlier works, my sense is that what The Secret really represents is one woman's quick attempt to make sense of this kind of information. In doing so, she seems to have oversimplified and misstated what is known about the role of thought in creating life experiences. I doubt if the intent was deliberate or not well intentioned. But after all, she is a film maker, not a student of thought.

By ignoring the full range and roots of the evidence, Ms. Byrne runs the risk of discouraging some people who feel like they are real losers because they cannot evince a perfectly positive reality. If it were as simple as The Secret suggests, we would have billions of people living trouble-free lives. To my knowledge, even the most successful practitioners of The Secret aren't as wealthy as those the most successful people who don't. That would make an interesting study, and a far more valuable book than this one.

Here's an example of a misleading example. Ms. Byrne argues that food doesn't make you fat; it's what you think about food that makes you fat. The punch line of her story is that "I now maintain my perfect weight of 116 pounds and I can eat whatever I want." Every person I have met who is an authority cited in this book is noticeably overweight. Why don't any of them want a perfect weight and be able eat anything they want?

My point for you: Avoid this book.

I encourage you, however, to think positively and learn about how your thoughts can improve your life!

If you want to learn about how to improve your life through your thoughts, consider reading more reliably based and carefully presented sources. If you prefer a secular book, try Think and Grow Rich or The Success Principles. If you would like a book that half-way between a religious and secular focus, try Your Best Life Now. If you want to draw totally on the Christian or Jewish religious roots, read the Bible.

I'll look at the DVD now and let you know what I think of that.

1-0 out of 5 stars A book for losers, January 10, 2009
1. Bogus metaphysics, bogus science:

The Secret pretends it's a book about winners and how they win. It isn't. That's just the come-on. It's actually a happy make-believe feelgood book for losers.

Positive thinking is a powerful force, but it isn't magic. It's more like a necessary precondition to success: people who believe they can succeed are far more likely to succeed than people who are sure they'll fail.

For instance, say they're starting a new business, and they run into some big problem. The person who thinks in terms of success will say "Gosh, I'm going to have to figure out a way to get around this problem if I'm going to be successful." Then they get to work on figuring it out. The person who thinks in terms of failure will say, "I knew it was only a matter of time before the universe screwed me over -- I can never catch a break," and gives up trying.

Very important point: in both cases, positive or negative thinking didn't affect the universe. What it did was affect the way the people made decisions and addressed their problems in the real world.

That's the difference between a genuinely useful and valuable book like Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking, and the pile of steaming tripe that is The Secret. Peale's book tells you that positive thinking is the best starting point for getting what you want. The Secret says that positive thinking is enough all by itself. It dresses its idea up in bogus pseudo-scientific language, but essentially what it's saying is that positive thinking is magic.

That's premium-grade hogwash. Positive thinking isn't magic. Thoughts are not magnets. There is no Law of Attraction, no primal universal force that makes the events in our lives match the way we think about our lives. Positive thinking is a good mindset for making good decisions about the actions we take, but it's the actions that have the effect, not the thoughts.

That's why The Secret is a feelgood book for losers.

===

2. Some real-world implications:

If Rhonda Byrne's advice were any good, neither she nor her publisher would have to publicize her book. They'd just think the right thoughts, and readers everywhere would automatically be moved to pick up a copy.

People cycling through the manic phase of manic-depressive bipolar disorder would be such a nexus of inventiveness, serendipitous insight, and luck, that major corporations would bid on their services.

No baseball game could ever end as long as the fans on both sides believed victory was possible.

We'd never run out of petroleum.

Average global income would be far more evenly distributed than it is. After all, anyone can hope. Anyone anywhere can think good thoughts.

Alternately, there could be Third World sweatshops available to do our believing for us.

Finally, if Rhonda Byrne's advice were any good, the Evil Overlord list wouldn't include the observation that an Evil Overlord who shouts "I AM INVINCIBLE!" is a sure bet to die almost immediately afterward.

===

3. Fraudulent provenance:

If thinking the right thoughts really could do what The Secret claims, that fact could never stay a secret. Everyone has people they love; and because they love them, they want them to be happy and successful. If they learned an infallible secret for attaining power, wealth, and success, they'd pass it on to those they loved so that they could be happy too. Those people would tell others, and so the knowledge would spread. Soon it wouldn't be a secret any more. After that, people would start preaching it from the rooftops, and carving it into the sides of buildings.

Let's limit it to children. Can you imagine withholding such a secret from your own children? Could you keep silent while you watched them lead frustrated and impoverished lives, or died from conditions you knew how to cure? That's not believable.

Now, genealogists will tell you as a rule of thumb that everyone with European ancestry is descended from Charlemagne, who lived from 742 to 814 AD. That is: if Charlemagne knew this secret knowledge, and he only told his children about it, and they only told their children, and so forth and so on, by now half the world would know it. Yet author Rhonda Byrne says the Greek Philosophers and the Ancient Egyptians had this knowledge. The Greek Philosophers lived about 1,100 years earlier than Charlemagne, and the Ancient Egyptians lived more than three thousand years earlier. It's ridiculous to imagine that a simple, basic, easy-to-apply, and yet overwhelmingly powerful universal principle could stay a secret for even a fraction of that time.

===

4. Further real-world implications:

If what Rhonda Byrne says in The Secret were true, Las Vegas wouldn't exist. People don't place bets they think are going to lose. Gamblers are powerfully into positive thinking. Someone who's betting heavily while drawing to an inside straight is unquestionably visualizing success, and they're telling the universe exactly what form they want it to take. They nevertheless fail to fill their straights at exactly the rate predicted by plain old statistical probability -- that is, most of the time.

Positive thinking is all around us. New restaurants, new breakfast cereals, new television shows, and new political candidacies expect success. No one throws their heart into studying ballet from age six onward because they envision themselves having the wrong adult body type and winding up teaching tap and jazz to children in some dull but affluent suburb. The world is full of unemployed theatre majors, unpublished writers, unsuccessful beauty pageant contestants, unheard-of musical acts, and college athletes who never make the big time. None of them got there by thinking they wouldn't succeed.

If Rhonda Byrne's advice were any good, no singer would ever hit a wrong note. That goes double for singers who are drunk.

I know other reviewers have already covered the implications of The Secret's suggestion that misfortunes are caused by our own negative thoughts. Still, I have to say: NO KIDDING? SOMEBODY PHONE DARFUR NOW!

And while we're waiting for that phone connection: no kidding? Insanely bad high-level decisionmaking, failures of oversight, and a grossly irresponsible pursuit of deregulation for its own sake had nothing to do with our lives getting zapped by a collapsing economy? Look at Enron's employees and stockholders. They didn't expect to get screwed. New Orleans residents who didn't have cars never envisioned themselves drowning in their own attics. Homeowners with subprime mortgages never imagined they'd wind up in foreclosure.

Are we to understand that some families have an inexplicable tendency to attract the same ailment, generation after generation? How is it possible for devout Christian Scientists to die of cancer or eclampsia or ketoacidosis? If a guy in his late 50s has been in denial about his radiating chest pains for the last ten or twelve hours, and the first thing he says when the EMTs come through his door is "I'm not having a heart attack," has his attitude improved or decreased his chances of surviving the episode?

If I worry about drunk drivers, and then some night I get t-boned at 60 mph by an irresponsible lush with a DUI record as long as my arm, is the accident actually my fault because I had all those negative worries? If I've got a cheerful toddler with me, who's responsible for her death? If I kneecap Rhonda Byrne, and set fire to the warehouse where her books are waiting to ship, will she apologize to me for thinking thoughts that obliged me to do it?

===

5. In conclusion:

I swear, I've never had any thoughts that warranted the existence of this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Think for a minute with me before you buy, March 14, 2007
Let's say something first: if it makes you feel better, you can even believe in Santa Claus, and there's no problem with that.
So, if you want to believe what Rhonda says, it's up to you.
For me, there are too many lies in this book.
They are appealing, because we all search for an easy way out. They sounds beautiful, like birds in the sky. But they remain lies.
They are also immoral: I think one of the best teaching in christianity is compassion. Compassion means to feel the suffering of another, to understand him deeply. It's the feeling we all feel when we see a baby cry for apparently no reason, so cute and so defenseless.
We feel his pain, we think we have to help.
But if you believe that feeling (mental) pain attracts to you disgrace, how can you embrace compassion?
Also, why help others if when they are in struggle it's all their fault? Why try to help them if you believe that their minds are responsable for that?
When we think of World War II, and Nazism, are we going to say that all the Jews were vibrating in a bad mood? I don't think it's a good answer to the evil that men do (and what about 9/11, or Katrina?).
Were all the people in the '60 anti-war movement creating more war? Vietnam was caused by John Lennon? Don't be a fool.
The poet says: the good sailor moves the sails, for he knows he can't control the wind.

I take this very personal. When I was just a kid, a friend of mine died. He was the happiest child in the world, we were shocked and thought about death for a long long time. He didn't attract his bad destiny, and we didn't attract anything, except tears.
Leave this book alone.

P.S.
There's no need to say that the quotations of great men in the past are largely distorted. Take Bhudda: he spoke all the time against desire of material things, and he thought a lot about illness, aging and death. It's easy to take a quotation out of context and gain noble fathers for a poor idea.
Peace.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unscientific Blather, April 5, 2007
The Latin phrase, Ad Ignoratium, is apt: the statements made in this book are true only to the degree of the reader's ignorance.

Hmmm, I can win the lottery just by thinking positively about it? What if everybody around me has the same thoughts? Can we all win? If I want a college degree, can I get one just by thinking really hard or do I have to actually attend classes? I have cancer; can I will it away by envisioning smiling faces? Or should I get chemo first?

The bulk of the book employs pseudo "experts" to elevate the very real power of positive thinking to the status of a wishing well. As most of us learned as children, wishing alone rarely makes things happen. Action makes things happen, and tragically little about action is talked about in this book.

Lots of people report great things coming to them after practicing the "Secret." But it's unlikely that anyone will report how often it doesn't work. Like psychic predictions, we breathlessly report the "hits" and ignore the misses.

I'm a believer in positive thinking, but not magical thinking. There is a difference. Keep that in mind when you read this nonsense.

2-0 out of 5 stars nothing new, April 3, 2007
There is a lot of talk about the "Secret" but I really did not think it was "new" material. I find it rather interesting that with all the brilliant healers and scientists on this planet, that the people included in this work are only from the U.S..
I certainly do not agree that little children or unfortunate people that live in war torn areas "draw" this to them. Sounds more like a marketing tool than a message of peace. Where is the compassion for others less fortunate than us?

2-0 out of 5 stars A Word to the Wise..., March 19, 2007
I am commenting on The Secret as a clinical psychologist who specializes in how cultural and spiritual beliefs affect health as well as the author of a book about converging science and mysticism to navigate our personal journey. First, The Secret is a compilation of opinions from a group of professionals in several fields, rather than a book by the author. It would be more accurate for Ms. Byrne to present herself as the editor, rather than the author of the book. Having said that, it is important to distinguish between wishful thinking and mind-body science. Although the concepts expounded in the book are beautiful examples of what we could achieve if we explored our potential, it leaves the reader with "feel-good" platitudes, by failing to convey that simply wishing something does not attract anything other than expectations that lead to disappointment. As a scientist, I have seen the mind bypass biology in miraculous ways, but this does not happen by just wishing and waiting for "the laws of attraction" to work. Instead, change requires honoring commitments, not blaming others for our failures, assessing the self-sabotaging that surface when self-esteem is compromised, and realistically defining goals.
The success of this book shows how hungry we are for someone to tell us that change happens magically without having to confront our demons and without taking responsibility for the life we created with our actions.
While I wish Ms. Byrne the greatest success, I want to caution the reader that if "wishful thinking" does not attract what you want, do not blame yourself, because it was only thoughts without action.

2-0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like this book., April 8, 2007
Recently I was at the airport and overheard snippets of a conversation taking place nearby. A gentleman was telling a fellow traveler about "The Secret". Intrigued, I got the book and just finished reading it.

First I should say I really wanted to like this book. It's a delicious idea....to think that the happier, shinier, more successful people of this world have access to a certain "secret" that causes them to attract good things. Unfortunately, as much as I hoped this book would blow me away, it didn't.

I found it difficult to stay awake while reading the first four chapters. The same basic themes ("Your thoughts become things" and "The Great Secret of Life is the law of attraction") were repeated over and over again. Mixed with the boredom was a sense of surprise that the book was so focused on material things. A chapter called "The Secret to Money" came before chapters on Relationships, Health, "the World", You and Life, which definitely made me go "Hmmmm."

"The Secret" starts with a great idea, but develops a credibility problem when it uses All Or Nothing and Overly Simplistic language. For example:

(a) "Nothing can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent thoughts." This would seem to suggest that everyone working in the World Trade Center on 9/11/01 somehow INVITED the terror attack through their own persistent thoughts (which is, of course, pure hogwash.) Or terminally ill cancer patients fighting for their lives... SUMMONED the disease.

(b) "You have two sets of feelings: good feelings and bad feelings. And you know the difference between the two because one makes you feel good, and the other makes you feel bad." This seems to wipe out several dimensions of human emotional experience. What about ambivalence? ("I'm happy about the job offer in LA but, gosh, I'll really miss my family and friends in Boston.") Are we wiping out the concept of bittersweet? Isn't it a balance of a range of emotions that makes us human?

It is fine to say that, within reason, what you take the time to visualize for yourself in glorious detail is more likely to manifest itself in your life, or even that you can accomplish things you never thought possible by first seeing yourself doing, feeling, and thinking like you have already accomplished them (and, of course, following up with massive action to get you where you want to go.) I also realize that repetition and simple phrasing can be useful tools for teaching new concepts; however the scope of "The Secret" is too broad to use these techniques. (We're trying to learn a new blueprint for life here, not how to care for a potted plant.)

"The Secret" takes a valid concept to extremes. The unrealistic wording is unnecessary and raised red flags that were distracting and interfered with my ability to remain open to the overall excellent and useful message of the book. If you seek to learn more about the fascinating power of positive thought and creative visualization but do not wish to be brainwashed with extreme claims, then this book is probably not up your alley either.
... Read more


56. The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
by Robb Wolf
Hardcover
list price: $24.95 -- our price: $15.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0982565844
Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing
Sales Rank: 439
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Do you want to lose fat and stay young, all while avoiding cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and a host of other illnesses? The Paleo Solution incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. Written by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With Robb's unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK!!!!, October 29, 2010
About five months ago, I started doing CrossFit (an exercise program/gym). The coach explained the Paleo diet model and suggested this book. It took me almost five months before I read it, but prior to reading I had pretty much adopted a Paleo diet, which completely changed my life. I mean, really changed my whole experience. I used to be a vegan (six years ago for four years), but then my hair started thinning and that was the end of that, so I started incorporating fish and eggs, and a little dairy. But I was still almost always hungry, and it seemed no matter what exercise I did, or how much, it wasn't ever really getting me to where I wanted to be, even though I thought I was eating super healthy. I also drank a lot of wine, which interfered with my sleeping. All in all my digestion wasn't so good. I felt my health slowly and steadily declining. So, long story short, when I started CrossFit I decided to give this Paleo diet a try. Amazing results! Never felt better, my blood sugar is even and steady all day long, and my sleep is restorative not something to "get through"; not to mention, my body is rockin'! I don't crave sugar, which is a miracle, and I hardly drink anymore. Why? Because I feel so good, I have no desire to mess that up. Me, a wino, yes, giving up wine. For once in my life, I'm lean, I'm stronger than I've ever been, and I feel certain solidity to my being. I never thought it possible. So then I bought Paleo Solution, because I'm thinking, "I gotta learn why this diet works so well. What's up with this Paleo stuff? I want to tell the world about it!" I was skeptical about the read, despite my great results in trying out this lifestyle. Books on diet and health can sometimes be boring, daunting, and uninspiring. Right? How many books have you bought, hoping to find the thing you were looking for, only to quit reading it half way through? Robb Wolf has assembled an incredible amount of information into one book, and he's presented it in a simple way. He's also got a great voice -- a great sense of humor -- and it feels like he's talking directly to you. I liked this. It felt personable and it was engaging. Plus, I was understanding all this scientific information, (and I'm not scientifically oriented at all), which when all put together into the bigger picture was like "WHOA!". (It was more like a holy you know what). So here's the skinny: If you are suffering from diabetes, a heart condition, high blood pressure, an auto-immune disease, indigestion, cancer, a sugar or alcohol addiction, or pretty much any illness; or, you are an athlete seeking greater performance, or you're wanting to loose weight and look and feel fabulous and incredible, then you MUST read this book! It's quick, it's easy, informative, it's entertaining, and it will change your life like it did mine. That is, if you're willing to give it a try. And for those of you who are vegetarian, or concerned about industrialized farming and general slaughtering practices, I suggest you check out eatwild on the internet to find out where you can get grass-fed animal directly from sustainable farms in your local area. READ THIS BOOK, for your health, and for the health of your family. Thank you, Robb Wolf!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wolf's teachings in the Paleo Solution changed my life, September 14, 2010
Let me begin by saying that I have always been a healthy person--or at least that is what I thought. Since I was fourteen, I went to the gym almost every day and ate foods that I thought were good for me. Around the age of thirty I got super busy. Although I still worked out and ate foods that I had been told were healthy, I didn't sleep as much, stressed a whole lot more, and things began to go down hill. I developed a fairly good-sized tire around my midsection. The color of my skin was a little off. And, most importantly, I no longer felt super healthy. I tried everything I could thing of, which basically boiled down to eating less of the foods I had been told were healthy. I ate a ton of lean meats, and I combined them with a ton of carbs in the form of rice. I cut out every ounce of fat I possible could. And guess what? I started to feel (and look) even worse. In an attempt to correct the situation, I began working out even harder. Although I got stronger and gained more muscle, I still had that tire of fat around the midsection and had very little energy on most days. Was I just getting old? Were the good old days of being fit and healthy gone for good?

A friend of mine had been following Robb's teachings for some time, and he turned me on to the diet. As with most people who learned "nutrition" in college, I was highly resistant. I mean, why would they be teaching us the wrong nutrition in college. The professors seemed pretty smart, and I doubted that they had the goal of trying to kill me. But I was failing with the traditional way of thought, and so I decided it to give the thirty days. My friend told me that Robb preached the "give me 30 days" philosophy, and so that is what I decided to give this new and strange diet, which I still doubted would ever work. Well, thirty days later I had dropped TWENTY SIX POUNDS. Am I joking about that number--absolutely not. A part of it had to do with the fact that I was working out a whole lot more--but the only reason I could work out more is because I was feeling so GOOD. How good? Well, to be quite honest, I was feeling like I did back when I was eighteen (well, maybe not eighteen, but twenty one for sure.)

Now a year and a half later, I feel better than ever. That twenty six pounds of weight loss not only did not come back on, but it turned into thirty pounds of weight less (and yes, I needed to drop thirty pounds.) Just like Wolf's slogan, I LOOK, FEEL, AND PERFORM better than I ever thought imaginable. For someone who has always prided himself on being fit, healthy, and happy, I can honestly say I owe Wolf the world. His teachings have convinced me that getting older does not mean getting fatter, sicker, and less happy. Will you be eighteen for the rest of your life if you take Wolf's 30-day challenge and then adopt a Paleo lifestyle--no, probably not. But you most certainly won't be 40 or 50 or 60. You will look younger than you are, feel younger than you are, and be happy in your skin. Honestly, I don't see how you can put a price tag on that.

What about the sacrifices? This is the big one, right. Well, I have been on diets before, and this is not a diet. It is a lifestyle. And when you get that "diet" word out of your head, restricting certain foods becomes a lot less challenging. Trust me when I tell you that I was a guy who LOVED my bread and wheat beer. But you must also trust me when I tell you that I do not miss these delicious products in the slightest. . .Wolf's lifestyle plan puts you in much better contact with your body, and when you acquire that mindset, things that make your body feel, perform, and look better begin to taste better. Foods I used to despise now taste wonderful. And the foods that I once could not have lived without (bread, rice, pasta) are now the farthest thing from my mind. I've talked with other people on the Paleo diet, and many of them have told me that when they cheat, they can feel the negative effects immediately. Personally, I think I may have cheated on the diet twice in a over a year. Is it because I am super strong willed. Absolutely not. When it comes to will power, I don't think I have that much of it. The reason that I haven't cheated is because I simply don't want to cheat. When I smell the foods I once loved, I no longer have the urge to consume them. Did this take fun out of my life? Did this destroy the thrill of eating and socializing over a tasty meal? Actually, the opposite has happened. I actually enjoy eating a whole lot more because it makes me feel powerful, just like food should. It makes me feel strong, both mentally and physically. And despite what some people will believe, eating healthy does not destroy your social life. All it may do is add some interesting conversations into the mix.

In conclusion, try the Paleo Solution. it works. It works well. And it will change your life in ways you can not imagine. I know change is scary for a lot of people (it was for me), but when the changes you make break the barriers of what you thought life could be, you won't regret it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but some things to fix for the second edition ..., October 21, 2010
I've read this book, Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint, and Cordain's Paleo Diet recently. Wolf's book was a good and accessible explanation of his overall approach, without the diet-book-y style of Cordain's effort.

With the growing popularity of paleo eating lately, I would have liked to see more discussion of some of the controversial issues within the field, such as "cheat meals" or the use of salt (Cordain is strongly anti-salt but Wolf's recipes often include it). Explaining how the Paleo Solution's prescriptions differ from those of others would strengthen the book.

I also would have liked to see an index. Not having an index is especially a problem if you're looking for a recipe. (I also would have run the entire meal plan, followed by all the recipes. When the meal plan calls for a recipe, just give the page number for the recipe.)

Finally, there are a couple of references to a "Gear List," which doesn't seem to appear as such anywhere in the book. The last section on resources seems to cover what the "Gear List" should have covered, but could have been more conveniently organized.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, October 26, 2010
Been following this devoutly for one month now and have never felt better. Waking up each morning with a renewed fervour, an abundance of energy and optimism I've never possessed (well not since I was a child!). Can't recommend enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars I feel great!!!!!, September 27, 2010
I have been on this for 12 days and my energy level is through the roof. I have not had this kind of energy since my twenties, and I am 53. Dropped 6 pounds so far and I feel fantastic. Dan Adkins

5-0 out of 5 stars Robb Wolf helped change my life!, October 3, 2010
I always considered myself "healthy" - having been athletically active and with reasonably good blood-work and body weight markers all my life. But after I turned 30 years old 6 months ago, with 9 years of highly stressful desk-jockey jobs behind me; I realized I had slowly accumulated a number of afflictions that could be considered part of normal "aging":
- joint pain & arthritis (in my knee)
- hair loss
- muscle & strength loss
- slow build-up of spare-tire around my mid-section
- allergies (to something new every few years)
- canker sores
- disrupted sleep
- chronic tiredness, leading to increased caffeine consumption
- a growing sweet tooth
- gum pain

After doing some basic research on arthritis, I came across the concept of the ancestral diet, primarily through the internet. However, having trained with a scientific background, I was highly skeptical of many of the stunning claims despite all the testimonials.

Of all the different recognized experts in the arena, it was Robb Wolf's scientific explanations (through his website and his podcast) given freely (with no hidden financial agenda or sketchy corporate relationships) that convinced me to give the ancestral diet a try.

I have since never looked back.. all the above afflictions disappeared in a few months, and I now am healthier, fitter, stronger, leaner, sharper and more pain-free than I have been in 15 years.

I owe Robb and his compatriots in the field a huge debt.

However, I have struggled to explain the concepts to others. This is why I am excited about Robb's book!

The Paleo Solution brings the right amount of scientific background, complete with associated reference material, while maintaining a conversational, engaging tone. It covers all the right bases of a hugely complex subject (the key apocalyptic "horsemen" of the Standard American Diet) from the perspectives of anthropology (ancestral history), biochemistry, nutrition and actual clinical practice. It scares the reader, while at the same time providing the right solutions and motivation, with enough hope and optimism.

If asked to bring someone up to speed on the concept of the ancestral diet, I would absolutely recommend this book as the perfect start!!

So:
If you've ever been confused by "expert" dietary recommendations (This food is poison! No it's actually good for you! All fat is bad except fat is good from fish or avocados! Have whole grains! Don't have eggs! Have eggs! You need vitamins! Vitamins don't work! etc etc bla bla) and wanted EVERYTHING to just make sense for once - read this book. Even if it's just from a robust scientific perspective, and you don't enact the actual diet, you'll never look back.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not enough!, October 10, 2010
What I like about this book:

1. It explains in a scientific way how the Paleo Diet works from the nutritional point of view.
2. The book is written "with an attitude" and is fun to read.
3. The author is passionate about his ideas and this rubs off on the reader getting the reader excited, fired up, and motivated


What I don't like about this book:

1. Paleo Diet is nothig new. Loren Cordain published a book of the same title some 8 years ago. If you happened to have read it or anything written by Mark Sisson, then you might as well skip reading this one. There is nothing new in this book. In fact jn my opinion The Primal Blueprint is a better read.
2. The author doesn't go beyond the basics, the book is very general in nature and lacks in specific how-to's
3. I am very uneasy about some of the most popular reviews of this book that seem to be "doctored". One reviewer goes on and on about how this book changed his life, only two days after the book has been published (!!!???)
4. Most importantly, this is yet another diet. We need to understand that unless we change our focus we will never fix the obesity problem. It is not only about what and how we eat, but mainly about living a healthy lifestyle that is in total agreement with nature. Read " Live 150 -- The Body Maintenance Handbook " to properly understand the problem and how to deal with it.

5-0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets, September 20, 2010
I'll be honest, I've been a fan of Robb's work for a while so I'm somewhat biased but even considering this I was impressed. He lays out not only why a change in diet, and more importantly lifestyle, is scientifically validated but it also gives you a jumping-off point in a 30 day, meal by meal guide. It doesn't get easier than this folks. Buy it. Now.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, September 17, 2010
I definitely didn't expect it to be this enjoyable! Loved all the humor and the geeked-out info as well.

The information is very concise - with a lot covered in few pages. As someone who already follows a paleo life style, I know it works but wasn't very clear on all the reasoning behind the results. Robb pretty much cleared up every question I could have asked plus I have lots of new recipes to try!

4-0 out of 5 stars It Just Plain Works, September 20, 2010
I've been studying carb restriction diets for over 15 years. I've read the Paleo Diet, multiple Zone Diet books, much of the Eades' work, Dr. Atkin's books, read and re-read Gary Taubes' "Good Calories Bad Calories," hundreds of studies, and digested blog posts and podcasts while doing a fair amount of writing and coaching on the topic ([...]). Robb's work is a mixture of the rants of a guy who's too smart for his own good, a clinician who's been tested by working with real clients for over ten years, and a serious competitor in a variety of physical arenas. I know of other approaches that will work, but don't know of any single source with a more dense store of knowledge or a more accessible plan for health, fitness and competitive performance. I by no means agree with all of Robb's editorial temper tantrums outside of this book, but I've competed against him, listened to every podcast, and read most of his entire blog before reading this book. If you want a book that cuts to the chase giving you the yellow brick road for health, performance, longevity and with a detour around the diseases of the West, this is your book. I've been looking for a book that does not cheat on the science, is not too hard to read, and therefore makes the truly common sense of the paleolithic diet accessible to everyone with an IQ of room temperature or better - Robb, thanks for writing that book. ... Read more


57. Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit
by N/A
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JML3D2
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Reviews

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Stimulating, April 3, 2010
I enjoy reading world literature and appreciate nice translations. I also liked the questions interspersed through the text. Far too few people read nowdays and from that small pool few seem to question or think about what they read. Recommend for fairy tale lovers and those interested in a glimpse of Indian values/thoughts/literal culture.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read and new stories for the american mind to absorb, November 10, 2009
The Stories Present in the text is Very interesting with some good morals. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories to my Room mates. Good read for anyone looking to broaden their horizons.

4-0 out of 5 stars I loved these stories!, November 6, 2010
I love fairy tales and folk tales of all sorts, and these stories are no exception. I loved reading them, but I like to be able to share fairy tales with the children I babysit when they go to sleep, and they always ask me to tell them some new story. But these stories are much too long to be told as a bed-time story! It took me a good 40 minutes to tell one properly! Of course, the kids didn't mind staying up to hear it... :) The questions do make it fun to read to them, though

5-0 out of 5 stars Children's Stories, December 28, 2010
This is a book of nine stories which have been translated from their original language into English. The book was first published in 1919, so there's a distinct air of ethnocentrism hovering about it, although it manages to be very fair and open about other cultures and gods.

Actually, I was overall very impressed by the lack of a condescending tone in the book, which often occurs with early translations of stories into English, AND often occurs in books of children's stories.

The stories themselves tend towards the long side, but they are broken into chapters. Each chapter is very short and ends with a series of simple questions ('what is the chief lesson to be learnt from this story' or 'what would you have said if you had been the woodcutter?'). I didn't care for the questions because they interrupted the flow of the story slightly and gave the overall feeling of reading a textbook, but they were easy enough to ignore and didn't detract from the stories.

The book does not have an active table of contents, and includes some occasional typo-like errors from the scanning process. It also seems to have a very odd interpretation of, where commas should go--but nothing to turn you off from reading it.

The stories included are:

The Magic Pitcher
The story of a Cat, a Mouse, a Lizard and an Owl
A Royal Thief-Catcher
The Magic Shoes and Staff
The Jeweled Arrow
The Beetle and the Silken Thread
A Crow and His Three Friends
A Clever Thief
The Hermit's Daughter ... Read more


58. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen
Paperback (2002-12-31)
list price: $16.00 -- our price: $8.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0142000280
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Sales Rank: 386
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:

€ Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty
€ Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
€ Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
€ Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
€ Feel fine about what you're not doing

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Best I've found.
OK, first I have to admit I picked up the book at a local Border's where I had a copy on reserve. Having said that... I think I've tried every 'system' for organizing yourself out there. In the 80's it was Day-Timer and Day-Runner. Good calenders and address books, but not much else. 90's was Covey, and Franklin planning. Now we have 'roles and goals' which helps with long term planning but both systems were very inflexible when it came to planning your day to day stuff. I can remember Covey wanting me to plan out my entire week in advance. Nice in theory, but nowhere near reality for those of us whose jobs tend to be more 'crisis-oriented'. I've also tried Agenda, Ecco, Outlook, etc. but its hard to lug around your PC or laptop all the time. About two years ago I came across David Allen's tape seminar and I have to say its the best system I've ever found for organizing 'all' of your life. I can't say it's changed my life (I still have the same job, wife and kids and I still procrastinate too much The book covers just about the same material that I learned in the tape series. The tapes have more anecdotes and 'real-life' examples in them, but the book has a few new pearls and tricks that tells me David's been refining and polishing this system since the tape series.

Two last quick points: first, it requires no special binders or refills. You could use a cheap spiral notebook if you want. Personally, I use a palmpilot, which works well. Second, (IMHO) the Weekly Review is the cornerstone of making this system work, and its worked for me for two years. Remember that; it'll make sense once you read the book :) Now if I could only get David to come up with a system for procrastination....

5-0 out of 5 stars Flow from Angst to Action . . . and Relax!
This book is for all those who are overwhelmed with too many things to do, too little time to do them, and a general sense of unease that something important is being missed.

Everyone has experienced times when everything seemed effortless, and progress limitless. David Allen has captured ways for you to achieve that wonderful state of mind and consciousness more often.

His key concept is that every task, promise, or assignment has a place and a time. With everything in its proper place and time, you feel in control and replace the time spent on vague worrying with effective, timely action. As a result, the accomplishments grow while the pressure to accomplish decreases. As a result, the book contains many insights into "how to have more energy, be more relaxed, and get a lot more accomplished with much less effort."

The key psychological insight of this book is that rapid progress occurs when you take large, unformed tasks, and break them down and organize them into smaller, sequential steps for exactly what to do and when. The book provides lots of guidance and examples for how to do this.

The book is organized into three sections. The first gives you an overview of the whole process for how to get more done in a relaxed way. The second spells out the details of how to implement that process, in a way that a personal coach might use. The third provides subtle insights that help you appreciate the benefits that follow from using the process. Like all good coaches, Mr. Allen understands that appreciating a subject from several perspectives and getting lots of practice with it are critical steps in learning.

The process advocated by this book is described with lots of systems flow charts that will appeal to all of the engineers and left-brained people. The right-brained people will find lots of discussions about emotions, feelings, and stress. So both types of thinkers should do well with this material.

The essence of the process is that you write down a note about everything when you take on a new responsibility, make a new commitment, or have a useful thought. All of this ends up in some kind of "in" box. You then go through your "in" box and decide what needs to be done next for each item. For simple issues, this includes identifying the action you should take first and when to take it. For tougher issues, you schedule an appropriate time to work the problem in more detail. You organize the results of this thinking, and review your options for what you should be doing weekly. Then you take what you choose to do, and act. Think of this process as the following five steps: (1) collect (2) process (3) organize (4) decide (5) act.

For the tougher problems, you start with identifying your purpose and principles so you know why you care how it all turns out. Then you imagine the potential good outcomes that you would like. Following that, you brainstorm with others the best way to get those outcomes. Then you organize the best pathway. Finally, you identify the first actions you need to take. Then you act, as in step 5 above.

From this outline, I hope that you can see that this is not rocket science. It is simple common sense, but with discipline. The critical part is the discipline because that is what focuses your attention where it will do the most good. For example, rather than sitting on something you have no idea how to get started, you can decide right away to get ideas from others on what the purpose and principles are that should be used in selecting a solution. So, you are in motion, and you have saved much time and anxiety.

What I learned from this book is that many people allow a lot of time to pass without taking any useful steps because they cannot imagine what to do next. This process should usually overcome that problem by showing you what to work on, providing methods to accomplish that step in the process, and guiding you to places where you can get appropriate help. As a result, this book should help overcome the bureaucracy and communications stalls that bedevil most organizations.

This fits from my own experience in helping people solve problems. If you simplify the questions and make them into familiar ones, everyone soon finds powerful alternatives drawn from a lifetime of experiences and memories. Keep things broad, abstract, and vague, and peoples' eyes glaze over while they struggle for a place to begin.

After you have finished reading and applying this book, I suggest that you share your new learning with those you see around you who are the most stressed out. By helping them gain relaxed control of their activities, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of their increased effectiveness in supporting your own efforts.

May you always get the tools you need, understand what to do next, and move swiftly through timely actions!

5-0 out of 5 stars Time Tested Principals
I attended one of David's seminars in 1986. As a result, I was able to successfully manage 101 concurrent projects, finishing on time and under budget. Fast forward to 2001. I keep this book by my side at all times (David publish it in Ebook form so it's easier to carry!). The company I'm with now wonders how I get the "impossible" projects done. Using David's techniques in the book, it seems like I can complete a full work day in fewer hours because I know what all my "next actions" are, and do them promptly. Gives me a lot of worry free time.

This is a book you "DO" not just read. Be prepared to work when you start out, but when the initial work is done, that's when the fun begins.

I cleaned my inbox and email box of 300 items in less than 15 minutes, filtering out the junk, the things that needed immediate attention, and the "someday maybe" things (like buying my first Harley).

This works for my personal life too. No more missed anniversaries, birthdays, phone calls, errands, etc.

Do you ever think about work projects at home? Do you ever think about home projects when you're at the office? Ever worry about that phone call you need to make or that errand you need to run? Forget it! Get the book. It's awesome. Get the book - period. If you don't, you deserve your stress.

5-0 out of 5 stars Make it Up and Get it Done
Is the methodology from Getting Things Done the silver bullet? Does David Allen's system really differ from other "time management" systems? I would say an unqualified yes based on my experience with the GTD process so far. In the one week since the book's been out I have made more progress with regard to collecting my stuff than previous attempts I have made in the past 6 years. I have actually started a filing system. More importantly, I am starting to deal with the "stuff" in my life faster and more efficiently. Just learning how to deal with "stuff" is a pretty big deal to me. My problem is that I have obsessive compulsive disorder, and it shows up in my life as compulsive hoarding. Couple the hoarding with attention deficit disorder and you have the ingredients for potentially disastrous living. In short, I have a damn difficult time staying on top of things and tend to struggle at times. David's method offers a practical yet elegant solution to staying on top of things. It starts with collecting the stuff, or as David calls it the "incomplete" and getting them out of your head into an external system that can be trusted. Then you process what's collected and then you organize it. Trust me, collecting and processing stuff is tough, really really tough for someone like. me. I am not used to making decisions on things that I collect. Now I am collecting the clutter and making decisions on it. More importantly, I am learning to let go of stuff I don't need and taking action on things I need to deal with. I have a long road to travel, but thanks to the common sense wisdom David Allen shares, I am on the road to a more sane way of living. ... Read more


59. New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great.
by Eric C. Westman, Stephen D. Phinney, Jeff S. Volek
Paperback
list price: $16.00 -- our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1439190275
Publisher: Fireside
Sales Rank: 1319
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

THINK YOU KNOW THE ATKINS DIET?
THINK AGAIN.
THE NEW ATKINS IS...

POWERFUL
Learn how to eat the wholesome foods that will turn your body into an amazing fat-burning machine.

EASY
The updated and simplified program was created with you and your goals in mind.

HEALTHY
Atkins is about eating delicious and healthy food -- a variety of protein, leafy greens and other vegetables, nuts, fruits, and whole grains.

FLEXIBLE
Perfect for busy lifestyles: you can stick with Atkins at work, at home, on vacation, when you're eating out -- wherever you are.

BACKED BY SCIENCE
More than 50 studies support the low-carb science behind Atkins.

But Atkins is more than just a diet. This healthy lifestyle focuses on maintenance from Day 1, ensuring that you'll not only take the weight off -- you'll keep it off for good. Featuring inspiring success stories, all-new recipes, and 24 weeks' worth of meal plans, The New Atkins for a New You offers the proven low-carb plan that has worked for millions, now totally updated and even easier than ever. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars The latest and best science, March 26, 2010
I have hesitated to write a review because I am one of the success stories in this book. However, in light of T. Colin Campbell's unprofessional attack on this book, I believe I must speak up to share my story and the good health that has resulted in my following the Atkins plan. I am nearly 65 years old and have struggled with weight all my life. I've been on many diets including a vegetarian one with little results in either weight loss or improved health. In fact, my health markers were getting worse, and I suffered from arthritis, dry skin and elevated tryglyceride levels. My blood pressure was borderline. Since following the plan outlined in this book, I have lost weight, my arthritis has improved substantially (particularly in my neck and shoulders) and my dry skin (which 2 dermatologists had diagnosed as rosacea) has disappeared. My tryglyceride level dropped remarkably, but more importantly my HDL (the good cholesterol) has gone up and my latest BP was 117/76. I used to wear a size 18 -- now I wear a 6 or 8. All of these results came from following the plan outlined in this book.

What disturbs me further about T. Colin Campbell is that he has clearly put out a call to his vegan followers to come to the Amazon site and give bad reviews of this book, as he posted this nonsense on his webpage. I don't have a problem with their chosen lifestyle, but I do have a problem with the many deragatory posts that make it clear that they could not have read this book as they have no comprehension of its contents. Shame on them. Using the Amazon review system to grind their vegan axes should not be allowed.

Contrary to their ravings, the Atkins diet recommends lots of vegetables, a conservative amount of dietary protein and good fats. All recommendations that are supported by recent science. Read Gary Taubes "Good Calories, Bad Calories" or the distinquished works of Dr. Mary Enig. T. Colin Campbell has used this review process to further his own agenda and has encouraged his minions to post here. They disparage the book as well as mouth urban legend lies about Dr. Robert Atkins (a cardiologist, BTW). Anyway, read the book and make your own conclusions. Don't be led astray by these agenda-led and untrue attacks. This 65 year old feels 20-30 years younger!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine for Vegetarians, March 26, 2010
Over the decade that I have been a vegetarian, my weight has ballooned. About two weeks ago a friend who has been an avid Atkins follower told me that I could join her on Atkins. Now that I have read this book I realize why I couldn't lose weight before. I was eating so many "empty" carbs as bread, cereal, pasta, rice, potatoes, chips, and other snack foods plus lots and lots of fruit that I was never giving my body the chance to burn its own fat. In the two weeks that I have been following the vegetarian version of Atkins, I have already lost 5 pounds. Just as important, my constant hunger has disappeared. It sounds strange but I am actually eating more vegetables than I was before. It's good to know that I can feel good about what I eat and have my body feel good too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth reading, March 25, 2010
A very well explained, scientifically based and flexible nutrition plan which includes vegan, vegetarian and ethnic options. Even if you choose to not follow the plan, you will be left understanding the dangers of a high sugar diet. If you have any questions about the science, I would suggest that you "google" the prestigious authors of this book. I am mortified by the number of reviews by those that have not read the book and have no idea about its contents. I highly suggest that you read this book and judge for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book, March 27, 2010
A few years ago I lost a little over 100lbs on Atkins. I continue to follow eating low-carb and have kept the weight off and keep it off this whole time. My health is excellent and I enjoy eating. My doctor has about 50 patients who have followed the diet and have kept the weight off. Several of them HAD diabetes or other health problems that cleared up.

I use to eat the way the USDA stated everyone should eat, and I just got fatter. Maybe eating the way some government nutritionist who has never been fat states is fine when you are already healthy and you eat whole, unprocessed foods. But when you are 100lbs overweight eating 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice or pasta is not good for you.

I bought this book yesterday at Borders and read it in about two hours. It is a good book and I like the fact that it takes the best of the books Dr. Atkins wrote and combines it with new research. There is less emphasis on low-carb products than on other books written by Atkins Nutritional after Dr. Atkins died.

I don't understand why people get so upset with the principles of an Atkins. I have a blood sugar of 65, my blood pressure is 110/65 and my HDL is 80 and my LDL is 20. I will still have someone who follows the USDA diet and is 50lbs overweight telling me I am killing myself with eating a lot of fat. In reality, I am probably eating less `bad' fat, and eating more veggies and fruit than someone following a `healthy' diet.

I have met people who eat low-carb and are not healthy and those that are. I have met vegans that are healthy and those that look sickly and 20 years older looking than they really are. Find what works for you and don't knock what everyone else does.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm impressed!, March 29, 2010
Having read the Old Atkins book, I was worried about the amount of vegetables & salad you could eat. I purchased the new book after reading an article in a newspaper, and I'm very happy with it. I find I am eating more vegetables than I was before starting the diet, which no-one can argue is a bad thing, can they??

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb New Book, March 24, 2010
If you're overweight or just want a healthier way to live, read the book, do your research and then try it. BUT you have to do it properly and educate yourself.

The authors of this book have made great strides in bringing the science behind this diet to the general public - they've made the science much easier to understand and if you understand the science and what is going on with your body when we eat the way we do, the easier it is going to be.

The Atkins way of eating is for LIFE, it isn't just a 4 week diet where you lose some weight then revert back to your old ways.

A typical day's eating for me is: b/fast - mixed vegetable omelette; lunch - very large salad with tuna, mayo, avocado; dinner - roast pork, broccoli, mushrooms, sprouts and onions with a chocolate cheesecake with raspberries and cream for dessert. Tea, coffee and water to drink. Not that bad is it?

btw, vegetarians and vegans can follow Atkins, no problem - I have a family member who is doing great on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Healthy High-Fat, Low-Carb Revolution Continues On In 2010!, February 27, 2010
In my first-look at the brand new "Atkins diet" book from Atkins Nutritionals, I'm happy to say that advocates of a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb nutritional approach will have a lot to cheer about. Unlike the December 2008 release of The All-New Atkins Advantage: The 12-Week Low-Carb Program to Lose Weight, Achieve Peak Fitness and Health, and Maximize Your Willpower to Reach Life Goals by Dr. Stuart Trager and Colette Heimowitz which advocated "lean protein" and lots of vegetables as the basis of the world's most popular low-carb diet, this new book gets back to the roots of what the good Atkins name is really all about.

Three of the most well-known and highly-respected researchers of carbohydrate restriction were charged with penning an updated Atkins diet book that would be simpler to follow and completely backed by the latest science. The result of those efforts are culminated in the book release "New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight Fast and Feeling Great Forever." Written by the perfect trio of today's brightest low-carb scholars -- Dr. Stephen Phinney from the University of California-Davis, Dr. Jeff Volek from the University of Connecticut, and Dr. Eric Westman from Duke University -- it aims to set the record straight about why low-carb works, what you need to do to make it work, adapting it to your busy lifestyle, and then providing the evidence that proves what they say about the Atkins lifestyle is valid.

This is a book that has been sorely needed on the market ever since the untimely death of the late, great Dr. Robert C. Atkins in 2003. And the authors acknowledge the forward-thinking that Dr. Atkins possessed so many years ago when he started using his low-carbohydrate plan on patients and they hope to carry on his legacy for many years to come by sharing the amazing research that is now confirming much of what he taught people struggling with weight and health problems. They share a wealth of science in this book through the 50+ references to real scientific data that has been conducted on carbohydrate-restriction in just the past few years. Much of this information may be new to the public since it has not received a lot of attention in the press. But the good thing is they present the information in such a way that the general public will easily understand and implement these dietary changes into their own weight and health regimen.

Anyone you know who thinks the Atkins low-carb diet is just some passing "fad" that is not backed by any substantive studies needs to know about this book. Even for people who have read the 2002 edition of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Revised Edition this new version contains a whole new way to look at low-carb living like you've never seen it before because the authors made it easy-to-understand and instituted subtle improvements to make the plan more effective than any of the other Atkins imitator books that have come along in recent years.

This new Atkins will shock the naysayers (that is, if they actually READ this one!) when they learn you consume lots of healthy non-starchy veggies on it, can implement some basic strategies for greatly reducing or preventing the common negative symptoms associated with starting low-carb, have a great guide for knowing when to transition from phase to phase of the diet, will find a detailed explanation of making this a permanent weight maintenance plan, have the ability to customize the plan to your specific dietary wants and needs, and that eating low-carb on the go isn't as impossible as some people think. This really is a new way of looking at healthy low-carb living from a new perspective.

The contents are broken down into four main parts:

PART I outlines all the nutritional mechanics of Atkins low-carb eating. The authors help you determine if the Atkins approach is right for you, clearly explain that this program is not meant to completely eliminate carbs, just limit them, identify the various health improvements that one could expect by following the plan, share what the four phases are and why they are important, define the "Atkins Edge" that comes when you put your body into fat-burning mode, give the mechanism behind why food becomes energy and is stored as body fat, reveal the damning role that most carbohydrates play in healthy living and discover the right ones you should be consuming, uncover the unique role of protein in the Atkins diet and give reasons why this plan is not high-protein as is often erroneously claimed, and share the evidence behind why consuming dietary cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat, should become your diet's best friend.

PART II gets into the nitty gritty of the diet by showing you what you are supposed to eat and tailoring it to your specific health goals. The authors help you focus intently on looking at the net carbs of the foods you consume, insure you are getting an adequate amount of protein in your diet daily, understand the amazing benefits of fat when you greatly reduce your carb consumption, learn the benefits of consuming fiber-rich foods like the "Foundation Vegetables" that are essential on the Atkins plan as they always have been, how to keep the added sugar and refined carbohydrate out of your menus, supplement your diet with the appropriate vitamins to obtain optimal health, and find the appropriate level of exercise that will fit within your specific physical fitness capabilities.

Tools for making yourself successful are also included in this section, including setting goals, finding support, planning meals, making appropriate lifestyle changes, keeping a food log, and participate in online web sites and blogs. They even show how you can make your Atkins diet vegetarian or even vegan if you so choose and even a "Latin Beat" version for the growing Hispanic population dealing with obesity and diabetes. Specifics for following Phase 1 Induction, Phase 2 Ongoing Weight Loss, Phase 3 Pre-Maintenance, and Phase 4 Lifetime Maintenance are also included with more information than you've ever seen before about doing it right along with some common pitfalls that may sabotage your efforts along the way. As long as I've been studying low-carb over these past six years, never have I seen a book so clearly demonstrate the details of the Atkins way of eating in such a concise manner.

PART III is dedicated to helping you live the Atkins life in the real world by arming you with ways to make virtually any restaurant into your own personal low-carb restaurant with appropriate substitutions and changes. The authors recognize the necessity that many people have to eat out as part of their job, so they provide an alphabetical listing of restaurants with both the approved "Thumbs Up" choices as well as the "Thumbs Down" selections to avoid. Additionally, various styles of restaurants like Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and more are Atkins-ized just for you! A section of recipes and an extensive set of low-carb meal plans is also included for making various low-carb sauces, flavored oils, salad dressings, marinades and rubs, and broths to complement your Atkins meals.

PART IV is all about the science that support low-carb living for health. While the media and the so-called health "experts" out there enjoy mocking the low-carb diet as an unhealthy and unbalanced nutritional plan, the authors explain that nothing could be further from the truth. They provide compelling evidence that demonstrates heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, metabolic syndrome, and cancer is improved by low-carb and actually made worse by low-fat diets. The process of how the "fat-storing" hormone insulin works is noted as well as why saturated fat isn't the great danger that it has been made out to be. The long history of low-carb diets is also revealed to show that this isn't just some here today, gone tomorrow eating plan -- it's been with us for many generations! Finally, the authors identify diabetes as "the bully disease" and that Atkins is the answer for the millions suffering from it.

I have only but scratched the surface of what "New Atkins for a New You" contains, but hopefully my review has whet your appetite to pick up a copy for yourself. It would be well worth adding to your low-carb library for people who are concerned about not just weight loss, but radically improving their health for the better long-term. That's what livin' la vida low-carb did for me back in 2004 when I not only lost triple-digit weight following these principles, but I've seen an extraordinary turnaround in my health that reversed the negative trend that the rest of my family is suffering from, including losing a brother at the age of 41 to morbid obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. You can read more about some of the things I've learned about healthy low-carb living in my book 21 Life Lessons From Livin' La Vida Low-Carb: How The Healthy Low-Carb Lifestyle Changed Everything I Thought I Knew.

Also, be sure to listen to my March 1, 2010 "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show" podcast interview with co-author Dr. Eric Westman about this new version of Atkins at TheLivinLowCarbShow dot com slash shownotes for more information about this incredible new Atkins book that you're gonna be hearing a lot about in 2010 and beyond. This could be just the beginning of restarting the revolution that the Dr. Atkins himself began nearly four decades ago! Anyone who thinks the Atkins diet is going away anytime soon is delusional. Atkins low-carb living is here to stay and change people's lives...forever!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Atkins Diet is Changing My Life!, March 25, 2010
I know as Americans we have become indoctrinated to the low fat, low calorie diet, but there is an easier and more effective way to lose weight. Give the Atkins Diet a try! You will eat real and healthy food and not have to kill yourself at the gym to see results! Even those of you who have been Atkins Diet or Low Carb Diet friends for years should read this updated Atkins Diet book. I've tried many diet plans over the years and I find the Atkins Diet to be the simplest to stick with while seeing great results!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Successor to Atkins, Valuable New Stuff, May 4, 2010
Having eaten a low carb diet for nearly fifteen years now, (spending much of my time coming up with low carb recipes 1001 Low-Carb Recipes: Hundreds of Delicious Recipes from Dinner to Dessert That Let You Live Your Low-Carb Lifestyle and Never Look Back) with nothing but great health to show for it, I'm a huge fan of Dr. Atkins. Having met Dr. Eric Westman, and followed his research for the past several years, I'm a huge fan of his, too. New Atkins For a New You is a more than worthy successor to Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution.

How does New Atkins For A New You differ from DANDR?

* They've lost the focus on ketosis. Oh, you'll still go into ketosis if you eat the way they tell you, and that's a good thing -- it means you're running a fat-burning rather than a glucose-burning metabolism. It also feels great -- high energy, suppressed appetite, and a clear head. Great mood, too; ketosis makes me ebullient. But there's no peeing on ketostix. Ketostix told people less than they thought: They can tell you that you're burning fat, but they can't tell you if you're burning fat you just ate, or fat from your storage depots. And ketostix are expensive. Some people do find "turning purple" motivating, but this is a useful simplification.

* They've incorporated the net carbs concept, as pioneered by Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, instructing people to subtract fiber grams from total grams of carbohydrate. This makes for more vegetables from the get-go,since quite a lot of the carbohydrate in vegetables is in the form of fiber. Also makes for a little more fruit and possibly a little whole grain in the later stages of the diet. Most low carbers were already doing this, but since DANDR was published before the Eades wrote Protein Power, it wasn't "in the book." It is now. They've also expanded the list of vegetables allowed on "Induction," the super-low-carb introductory phase.

* They've added sodium, in the form of broth, soy sauce, or a few other options. Because dropping insulin levels drastically, as a low carb diet does, enables the body to properly excrete sodium, they found some people were feeling washed out, or even light-headed. Adding sodium fixes the problem. (Also keep in mind that by knocking out the vast majority of processed foods, the diet eliminates a big whack of the sodium in the Standard American Diet.

* They allow caffeine. Woo-hoo! (I'm betting this was the most-violated Atkins no-no.) Say that the research says caffeine aids fat burning and is perfectly healthy stuff, and anyway tea and coffee are loaded with antioxidants. She said with a cup of tea in front of her.

* Also alcohol in moderation after the Induction phase.

* They include vegetarian options. This is the only part of the new version about which I have mixed feelings. The vegetarian options are heavy on the soy products, and I'm completely un-sold on the benefits of soy. OTOH, I know for certain that being fat and running high insulin levels is deadly. I would personally urge vegetarians to rely more heavily on eggs and cheese, and have been forthright in stating that I don't consider veganism to be nutritionally adequate. But if this is what it takes to get vegetarians lower their carb intake, that's a good thing. I've known too many long-time vegetarians who have found themselves in pre-diabetes or even full-blown diabetes.

* Perhaps most important, Drs. Westman, Volek, and Phinney cover the multitudinous research demonstrating the many health benefits of carbohydrate restriction that has happened since DANDR was written. If you haven't been keeping up, you'll be impressed as heck.

This is the best-of-breed of the low carbohydrate diet books to come out in the past decade. Buy it. Read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars New focus for an INCREDIBLE nutritional plan, March 24, 2010
This book is a great step in the wonderful Atkins legacy.

I've read a lot of the studies cited in this book, and am looking forward to researching the cornucopia of scientific studies cited in it.

Atkins turned the nutritional field on it's head almost forty years ago when he published his initial book. But he was NOT the creator of the low-carb diet. Doctors were putting people on the low-carb diet in the 1800s after they found that too much bread and ale were causing obesity. It wasn't until the 1950s that the field of nutrition was subverted by Ansel Keyes and his followers. Low carb is NOT the "fad diet" of today. Low-Fat is the fad diet. A costly fad diet that is killing MILLIONS of us from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

A LOT of the anti-Atkins people say "I knew someone that was on Atkins and they had XXX health problems because of it." The question to ask is...HOW did they do Atkins? Did they only eat meat, cheese and eggs? If so they WERE NOT DOING ATKINS. Atkins requires 12-15 grams of NET carbs (total - fiber) from VEGGIES every single day. It also recommends that you get 25-30 grams of fiber per day. What is unhealthy about that?

This book was incredibly well written and did a great job of pulling together some of the groundbreaking scientific studies that have been done that DO prove that low-carb is a phenomenal tool to reduce risk factors such as high blood sugar, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

I did find things that I disagreed with in the book such as the recommendation to not weigh your food, but that is minutia, and each individual will find tools that work for them.

If you want to understand how the nutrional field got so screwed up, a good book to read is Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories". ... Read more


60. Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities
by Elizabeth Edwards
Kindle Edition
list price: $15.00
Asin: B0028MBKJI
Publisher: 2009-05-08
Sales Rank: 896
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Editorial Review

The bestselling author of Saving Graces shares her inspirational message on the challenges and blessings of coping with adversity.

She’s one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she’s no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband's infidelity became public fodder. And her own life has been on the line. Days before the 2004 presidential election—when her husband John was running for vice president—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the cancer went away—only to reoccur in 2007.

While on the campaign trail, Elizabeth met many others who have had to contend with serious adversity in their lives, and in Resilience, she draws on their experiences as well as her own, crafting an unsentimental and ultimately inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find among life’s biggest challenges. This short, powerful, pocket-sized inspirational book makes an ideal gift for anyone dealing with difficulties in their life, who can find peace in knowing they are not alone, and promise that things can get better.




From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more


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