Books - Health, Mind & Body

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81. The LAST LECTURE
$14.66
82. Getting More: How to Negotiate
$7.49
83. Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
84. I Do, Now What?: Secrets, Stories,
85. The Success System That Never
$10.17
86. What to Expect the First Year
$7.89
87. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick
$9.50
88. In Defense of Food: An Eater's
$14.34
89. 400 Calorie Fix: The Easy New
$14.28
90. BRING IT!: The Revolutionary Fitness
$10.40
91. Man's Search for Meaning
92. The Joy of Less, A Minimalist
93. Pretty Little Liars #8: Wanted
$112.29
94. Psychology
$8.99
95. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
$10.97
96. Women Food and God: An Unexpected
$7.49
97. Deceptively Delicious: Simple
98. Why Me?
$11.97
99. Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing
$10.92
100. The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical

81. The LAST LECTURE
by Randy Pausch
Kindle Edition
list price: $21.95
Asin: B00139VU7E
Publisher: 2008-04-11
Sales Rank: 518
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Editorial Review

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come. ... Read more


82. Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World
by Stuart Diamond
Hardcover
list price: $26.00 -- our price: $14.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0307716899
Publisher: Crown Business
Sales Rank: 32802
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Negotiation is part of every human encounter, and most of us do it badly. Whether dealing with family, a business or diplomacy, people often fail to meet their goals in every country and context. They focus on power and “win-win” instead of relationships and perceptions. They don’t find enough things to trade. They think others should be rational when they should be dealing with emotions. They get distracted from their goals.
 
In this revolutionary book, leading negotiation practitioner and professor Stuart Diamond draws on the research and practice of 30,000 people he has taught and advised in 45 countries over two decades to outline specific, practical and better ways to deal with others. They range from country and corporate leaders to administrative assistants, lawyers, housewives, students and laborers. To this he adds his 40-year experience as an executive, Harvard-trained attorney and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.
 
Getting More is based on Professor Diamond’s award-winning negotiations course at The Wharton Business School, where it has been the most sought-after course by students for 13 years. It contains a powerful toolkit that can be used by anyone in any situation: with kids and jobs, travel and shopping, business, politics, relationships, cultures, partners and competitors.
 
The advice is addressed through the insightful stories of hundreds of people who have used Diamond’s tools with great success. A 20% savings on an item already on sale. An extra $300 million profit in a business. A woman from India getting out of her own arranged marriage. A 4 year old willingly brushing his teeth and going to bed.
 
Conventional wisdom is challenged on almost every page. Instead of “win-win,” it sometimes makes more sense lose today to get more tomorrow. The use of power, Diamond cautions,  too often causes retaliation, harms relationships and costs credibility. Walking out is almost never as good as understanding the other person’s perceptions and fixing the problem. Not everything is about money; intangibles such as valuing others will often get you much more in return. Even the hardest bargainers can be tamed by using their own public standards against them.
 
The key to getting more is finding the right tools for each situation; being more flexible, and better understanding the other party. These strategies are invisible, until you learn them. Once you see them, they will always be there to help you get more.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and successful negotiations in real life!, December 28, 2010
The book starts with an interesting little story by a young girl on how she and her boy friend got onboard a plane by using six separate negotiation tools, which are very useful but invisible to almost everybody, though they were late and the door to the Jetway was shut.

The story is so unique that readers of the book will remember the story and the tools easily for a life time.

Readers, including kids, are able to acquire more power to live happily because the book demonstrates very interesting and successful negotiations in real life.

The book is well written and wonderful.
I am impressed. Highly recommend!


author Sam

5-0 out of 5 stars Life changer, December 29, 2010
Love the book! Prof. Diamond's wisdom and insight will bring about a lot of positive change to the way you communicate and interact with people.

5-0 out of 5 stars The principles & techniques of negotiation taught by one of the best negotiation professors you'll meet, December 29, 2010
I was lucky enough to have Professor Diamond as a Negotiations professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School. He was a tough teacher because he made us practice his techniques inside and outside of class. But his class has been one of the most valuable ones I've taken in my life.

I rely on the 4 Quadrant exercise to prep for any critical negotiation - and even my mom and brothers have learned to appreciate its effectiveness.

We recently used it to help my husband negotiate his benefits & salary at his new job.

... Read more


83. Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
by Michael Pollan
Paperback
list price: $11.00 -- our price: $7.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 014311638X
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Sales Rank: 227
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

A pocket compendium of food wisdom-from the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan, our nation's most trusted resource for food-related issues, offers this indispensible guide for anyone concerned about health and food. Simple, sensible, and easy to use, Food Rules is a set of memorable rules for eating wisely, many drawn from a variety of ethnic or cultural traditions. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat-buffet, this handy, pocket-size resource is the perfect guide for anyone who would like to become more mindful of the food we eat.

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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is necessary..., December 29, 2009
It is amazing how complicated we have allowed our diets, and our understanding of our diets, to become. Even Pollan's most recent book In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto - which seemed to be a pretty simple premise - ended up being a (wonderfully) complicated journey through our food system. So when I read that this book was coming out, I wondered if it was necessary given the wealth of information already covered. The answer is: yes, this book is necessary.

While there are a million other guides to a healthy diet running around out there, few manage to boil down the essentials in such a usable way. Pollan takes the essential and fascinating information that he wrote about in his previous book and simmers it down into a succinct (the book is basically 70 half pages long) "manual" of rules for eating. While this book retains some of the bones of its predecessor, it is by no means a Cliff's Notes version. This manual is essential reading all on its own.

Food Rules is broken down into 3 sections (and this will sound familiar to those that read In Defense of Food): 1- What should I eat? (Eat food) 2 - What kind of food should I eat? (Mostly plants) and 3 - How should I eat? (Not too much). Each section includes 20 or so rules that you can pick and choose from in order to eat a healthy diet. Some of the rules overlap (Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce and Avoid ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry, for instance) and some seem like such common sense that it is almost laughable to include them, but that is why this manual is so important. It distills all of this complex information that we see and hear every day and turns it into something relatable. We know, somewhere in our minds, that certain grains and oils are better than others. Pollan gives us an easy rule to help know which ones are best. We know that most breakfast cereals are little more than desserts and Pollan gives us an easy rule to know which ones are safe. Some rules are humorous (it's not food if it arrived through the window of your car) and some are serious; some rules are easy and others require a bit more dedication. But what this manual has is a wide range of useful tips that can be applied to any life at any time. This is no complicated diet; this is a little pocket book of sensible, realistic rules to help you eat your best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Food Rules Rules!, December 31, 2009
I picked up Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, because I have been searching for just this type of book for many of my clients as a New Year's gift. I read the slim book quickly in a bookstore and it is the perfect present for my clients who are not eating healthy diets (but who have confessed they wish to.)

I am an interior designer/organizer and see how my clients eat all the time when I redesign and organize their kitchens. Pollan's In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma are both excellent, but can be intimidating. Not Food Rules--it is short and easy to understand.

The book is divided into three parts and has 64 chapters or rules. The following will give you an good idea of what the book is about: Part I, What should I eat? Includes such chapters as "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food", "avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients", and "avoid foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup".

Part II, What kind of food should I eat? Includes "Eat mostly plants, especially leaves", "eat your colors", and "the whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead."

Part III, How should I eat? Includes "pay more, eat less," "eat less," and "limit your snacks to unprocessed plant food."

For those of you who desire a healthier diet, Food Rules is a terrific guide that makes understanding what to put into your body simple to understand and implement.

Finally, if healthy eating is a new concept for you, you will find the clever chapter titles easy to memorize, thus making the concept of healthy eating a simple one to learn.

Highly recommend.

By the author of the award winning book, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT and SELL YOUR HOME FAST IN A BUYER'S MARKET

5-0 out of 5 stars You could buy a #3 at Mickey D's --- or start to save your life, January 7, 2010
If you got in on the ground floor, you chewed every page of The Omnivore's Dilemma, (464 pages, $8.00 at Amazon).

If you were a second responder, the first Michael Pollan book you read was In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, (256 pages, $7.50 at Amazon), which boils theory and anecdote down to a tasty, healthy feeding strategy.

If you're new to the topic or haven't paid attention --- or love Pollan's work and want to spread the gospel --- here's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (137 pages, $11 retail, $5.50 at Amazon), a skinny paperback that says pretty much everything you'd find in his longer books.

Or you can consider Pollan's reduction of his message to seven words --- "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" --- and read nothing more because you know how to crack that koan and adopt a way of eating that just might save your life.

Why, you may wonder, does a clearly written 256-page book need to be boiled down to 64 general principles?

Two reasons.

Those of us who read about food have, in the last few years, been swamped by the language of nutrition. Antioxidants. Polyphenols. Probiotics. Omega-3 fatty acids. But you can know all about this stuff and still not be able to answer the basic question: Yeah, but what should I eat?

Then there are those who have never heard Pollan's message. They're the folks on the coach, eating pre-packaged snack food, sucking down sodas, serving vegetables as an afterthought. In short, people who are devotees of the Western diet --- which is, says Pollan, "the one diet that reliably makes its people sick!"

Pollan wants to help both groups --- and break the cycle of self-created disease.

And the quickest way to do that is through lessons so simple even the guy chowing down a Hungry Man ("It's good to feel full") meal can understand.

"Food Rules" may be short, but it's elegantly organized. Part I addresses the question: What should I eat? (Answer: food.) Part II asks: What kind of food should I eat? (Answer: mostly plants.) And Part II considers: How should I eat? (Answer: Not too much.)

These are un-American answers. Advertising trains us to shop in the center aisles of supermarkets. We've been brainwashed to believe that fast food is food. Because we're so busy, we're encouraged not to cook for ourselves. And that way of living works for us --- right up to the moment we're overweight and diabetic.

But if we break the cycle?

"People who get off the western diet," says Pollan, "see dramatic improvements in their health."

What does Pollan tell you in these pages? Here's a sample:

--- "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
--- "Don't eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce."
---- "Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot...There are exceptions --- honey --- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food."
--- "Always leave the table a little hungry.'"
--- "Eat meals together, at regular meal times."
--- "Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car."
--- "Don't eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk."

Pollan would have you only eat junk food you cook yourself. He'd like you to buy your snacks at a farmer's market. He'd like you to use meat as a flavor enhancer, a condiment, an afterthought. And he'd like to see you hurt the bottom line of pre-packaged food companies by paying a little more for real food that's worth eating.

I can imagine a great many of of you nodding in agreement. And feeling superior. And still buying several copies --- to send, anonymously, to loved ones who are eating themselves to death. I can think of no better gift.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rules for eating, January 5, 2010
Clever little book. . . . Michael Pollan has written a book of rules about eating, with brief text elaborating the statements. On first glance, it looks like a slight volume with little substance to it. However, it turns out to be a pretty interesting book.

In his introductory comments, the author notes a few undeniable truths--Western diets (e.g., processed foods and meats, lots of fat and sugar, etc.) lead to lots of health problems; traditional diets tend to be healthier than the so-called Western diet; when one leaves the Western diet, one tends to get healthier. Following are a number of rules (64 in all). The author's hope? (Page xix): "My hope is that a handful of these rules will prove sufficiently sticky, or memorable, that they will become second nature to you. . . ."

Examples?"Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce" (Page 17). "If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't" (Page 41). "Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food" (Page 53). "Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi" (Page 73). Examples? Yogurt, sauerkraut, soy sauce. . . . "Pay more, eat less" (Page 99). Cheap food in large quantities (supersize me??) is normally not so good for one. "Buy smaller plates and glasses" (Page 115).

In a sense, if one can keep a number of these apothegms in mind and follow those that seem most sensible, one might end up better off! So, a book that looks like a one trick pony ends up being much more satisfying than one might expect.

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money, January 4, 2010
I love Pollan's previous book and I was looking forward to this one. I got my hands on it as soon as I could, but sadly, I was disappointed.

This book is just a (really)watered down version of In Defense of Food. Don't waste your time or your money on this book, especially if you already read his other books. It was kind of a sell-out thing to do: publish a book that takes exact passages from the last book he published, increase the font size, add a ton of blank pages and big pictures and then sell the thing for $11. Um... why? He should have just published an article in the NY Times magazine instead of a whole book. Why waste all that paper?

Thank goodness I work in a bookstore and didn't actually have to buy the thing to read it. If you really think you want this book, I suggest flipping through it first, or getting it from a library. It's not worth $11.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Tao of Food, January 14, 2010
People complaining about the size of "Food Rules" certainly missed the point. In Twitterland, any message that can't be reduced from "bullet points" to 140 characters will not be heard. The Eloi don't read books. Food Rules compresses the message of Pollan's food advice into its second simplest form.

Pollan mentions in the introduction his discovery, while researching In Defense of Food, that the answer to the question, "What should we eat to stay healthy?" turned out to be seven words: "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants." As he points out wrily, that wasn't enough to satisfy his publisher, but fortunately explaining it was. Food Rules is the middle ground between The Three Commandments and the Food Bible. Clearly it is needed, if one hostile reviewer thinks his "Don't eat more calories than you burn each day, and eat a balanced diet" is comparable to Pollan's seven words.

Food Rules consists of 64 aphorisms with a few paragraphs of explanation as needed (no rule runs much beyond a single page). Like the Tao Te Ching, Food Rules can be stuffed in a back pocket, thumbed through when you are bored, or purchased for a clueless friend you care about. The rules are common sense, unless you suffer from the literalism of some reviewers (No, gentle reader, Mr. Pollan did not MY grandmother, who was a rotten cook, but the proverbial grandmother, who is not). Common sense distilled to aphorisms rather than platitudes, Poor Richard's Culinary Advice. In other words they are crisp, memorable, and quotable. Who wouldn't wish they had thought up, "Don't eat any cereal that changes the color of the milk"?

For the Twitterpated, this is the place to begin with Pollan. Some of them, at least, may discover that they would like to know more. If not, no harm done.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money, February 10, 2010
Finished reading this book in about 30-40mins. Its more of a pamphlet than a book. Its all common sense stuff (eat planets, dont eat stuff with chemicals, etc - really! this is as complicated as it gets). Its a book for those than don't understand the obvious. A regretful purchase.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good info, wrong format, January 8, 2010
Don't let the fact that it's 112 pages long throw you, this is maybe 10 pages worth of information. Granted, it's GOOD information (for the most part). Handy rules to help you wade through the nightmare of American supermarkets and culture. I'm glad to see Amazon is only charging 5 dollars for it, because anything more than that would be a rip. If you look up his New York Times article, it's mostly the same information, just not broken down into clear rules.
Between pages 30 and 37 there are 11 (eleven) sentences.
There's no reason this needed to be over a hundred pages long.

5-0 out of 5 stars Food Rules to Live By, January 4, 2010
I'd previously read and enjoyed Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and was interested to pick up "Food Rules". "Food Rules" is an extension of "In Defense of Food" and his earlier books as it offers a common-sense approach about eating smart. What primarily sold me was its in pocketbook size, compact and easy to carry when you're out and about grocery shopping or dining. And unlike other complicated diet schemes and faddish trends (Grapefruit Diet anyone?), the advice here is well thought out and well articulated. At 70 pages there's not a lot of complications but it is crammed with considerable wisdom and thought. Broken into three parts (much like "In Defense of Food") it answers the most essential and fundamental questions: what should I eat and avoid, what kind of food should I eat (e.g.: unprocessed plant based foods), and how much should I eat? Each section contains roughly 20 rules to follow for healthier eating and living. "Food Rules" winds up being a handy little reference guide that can help you create better new habits, gradually phasing out the bad ones. And that's the approach Pollan seems to take. It's easier to adopt a new habit that it is to break an old one. By following "Food Rules" you can get yourself on track to healthier eating habits and believe me; you'll feel better as a result!

2-0 out of 5 stars The Cliff Notes for In Defense of Food, January 18, 2010
This book is just the Cliff Notes version of the book In Defense of Food. Just take the time to read the real book. So much better. But if you must, you can read it while standing in the store. It is that quick. ... Read more


84. I Do, Now What?: Secrets, Stories, and Advice from a Madly-in-Love Couple
by Bill Rancic, Giuliana Rancic
Kindle Edition
list price: $25.00
Asin: B003VQQG6W
Publisher: 2010-09-28
Sales Rank: 972
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Editorial Review

Five million viewers tuned in to The Style Network for Giuliana DePandi and Bill Rancic’s fairy tale wedding in Italy, as the passions, tears, and champagne flowed. But what happened once the honeymoon was over? After all, she’s been stationed in Los Angeles as one of E! Entertainment’s most popular personalities, and he’s kept his home in Chicago, where this handsome winner of The Apprentice has been busy running an empire of his own. How, we’ve wondered, is this marriage really working out?

With all the funny, frank, and characteristically down-to-earth personality that fans of their hit reality show, Giuliana & Bill, have come to adore, this glamorous couple takes you behind the scenes of their real-life marriage. Like all newlyweds, they’ve faced the big issues that wedlock manages to invite, including money (to merge or not?), household chores (she’s disorganized, he’s a neat freak), arguments (without staying mad), and trying to have a baby (it’s not as easy as they thought!). Sharing their newfound and sometimes hard-won insights, they offer suggestions on such topics as communication, giving and receiving support, trust and jealousy, quality time, friends and in-laws, fighting fair, and sex and romance.

A must-read for newly married couples, or those about to take the plunge, or anyone who wants to know the secrets of everlasting love, I Do, Now What? is an upbeat real-world resource for the most ambitious journey of a couple’s life: marriage!


From the Hardcover edition.
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85. The Success System That Never Fails
by William Clement Stone
Kindle Edition (2010-01-16)
list price: $1.99
Asin: B0034KYUQS
Publisher: Wilder Publications
Sales Rank: 896
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Why does one man succeed and another fail? There is an answer. And it will be found in this book. For there are formulas, prescriptions, recipes-rules, principles, systems-even treasure maps, if you please-which, when followed in proper sequence, bring the good things in life to those who seek them. Often the rules for success are so simple and so obvious they aren't even seen. But when you search for them, you, too, can find them. And during the search something wonderful happens: you acquire knowledge...you gain experience...you become inspired. And then you begin to realize the necessary ingredients for success.

This ebook is complete with linked Table of Content making navigation quicker and easier.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars 1 Good Reason to Read Is It NEVER Fails

If W. Clement Stone lived for over 100 years I am willing to accept that the principles of this book have worked far longer than I have had time to experience. But one year from now I will be able to testify that I have successfully seen all the successes of practicing these principles and all the failures of not practicing them as well for over twenty years.

W. Clement Stone & I attended the same High School but during different times and I'm sure that in my days of living on the North side of Chicago that I actually walked across some of the same sidewalks and pathways that he traveled. I experienced seeing the insurance empire he created in Combined Insurance. Many days I walked passed this building as a Senn High School student but it was not until I read his book "The Success System That Never Fails" ten years after I graduated from High School that I realized how much W. Clement Stone had an amazing mind.

So when I recommend this book to you it is not just out of having read it but also out of having seen with my own eyes some of the communities and some of the lives W. Clement Stone touched.

This is a great book written with valuable easy to read illustrations that move the heart and inspire the emotions. If you want to learn how to experience future abundance and the fact that it takes less work to succeed than to fail you've just considered the right book for you.

Learning how to use the power of the will while developing the true understanding of know-how has brought me huge benefits and it all came from this book. Some other real powerful things you will learn from this book are:

How to Get a Person to Listen to You.
Using Positive Statements.
Taking Inventory of Yourself.
Developing a Time Recorder.
Doing The Right Thing.
Learning From The Experience of Others.
It's Never to Late to Learn.
Enthusiasim Attracts.
A Blueprint For Success
If You Want Something, Go For It.

Well this is only a few of the things that you will learn from a man who set a goal to live for 100 years and achieved it. Now it's your time to succeed, it's your time to experience greatness and truly consider the real truth that you too like W.Clement Stone were born for great things. Don't take my word for it read the book today.

5-0 out of 5 stars I worked for W. Clement Stone
Back in the 1960's after college I was lucky enough to land a job working for Mr. Stone out of his office at 5050 N. Broadway in Chicago. His PMA was an inspiration to me. I read his book over and over and applied his principles of Positive Mental Attitude. I believed and achieved my short and long range goals. Currently I am semi retired living the good life in Miami, Fl. and enjoying my days in the sun. I was sad to learn of his passing at the age of 100 recently. I owe a lot to Mr. Stone, Mr. Nightengale and Mr. Napolean Hill. His success system never fails if followed properly.

5-0 out of 5 stars It'll get you PUMPED!
If you are a salesman or trying to accomplish a difficult goal, this book is worth reading. W. Clement Stone, who later teamed up with Napoleon Hill to write Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, is quite a success story. Starting from nothing, he was ultimately worth over 500 million dollars. His is a story of persistence and enthusiasm, and much of this book is autobiographical -- the story of how Stone did it -- and he goes into specific detail. It is an enjoyable read. I am the author of the book Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I am an expert on what works and what doesn't. This book will effectively motivate you and increase your determination to succeed. And that, my friend, makes a big difference!

5-0 out of 5 stars You will learn a lot about yourself
I've not read too many self help books, but this is my favorite so far. Clement Stone is a master storyteller and a master motivator. He has obviously done serious research and meditation on the subject of success. His three step system is brilliant and I continue to use it everyday, even after having first read this book over three years ago. His first hand stories about himself and other success stories are all true and extremely motivating. The only part of the book I found less than useful is the time recorder at the end. That part would be useful to anyone in field sales though. The book appears to be out of print which is a shame because everyone could benefit from this book and learn a lot about themselves. Pick up a used copy if you can. You won't regret it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Go to the core to get the truth!
When I was about 14 years old my dad a self made successful real estate broker in Inkster Michigan insisted I read this book. This book has been etched in my mind ever since. 43 years later, I've found an original copy of this book to give to my dad as a gift. That's how important this book is. If you do a you tube video search you can hear Stone in his own words give you the first 8 segments of the book. After hearing him, I know you'll want to buy this book. I like this book because 1) he gives you practical, useful stories of how he developed a success system which never failed for him in business. He gives concrete ideas on what to say and do to develop a success system. The most important thing you will take from this book is a perspective and behaviorally specific tips on how to become successful. What this book shows you is the key to your own wealth: you will learn that you need to track all of your activities, behaviors and goals and do a critical analysis, and apply that which works in every step of your processes. What you will discover combined with the principles he's sharing, is your own success system which never fails. Sometimes we forget when involved in our daily activities is the necessity to look at what works and discard what doesn't. We need to fine tune our approach to tasks and develop systems which can be duplicated over and over again. If you're one of those type of people who yearn to understand how "self help" works and how it can be applied in "your" life then this book is for you. There is no fluff; at the time Stone wrote this book I think people were less enamored with manipulation and more focused on helping people.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Success System that Never Fails
Everyone should own a copy of this book and apply its principles. Because if they did, this world would be a better place to live in and everyone would be happy with their lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars the success system that never fails
The best book ever written. There should be 7 billion copies printed and handed to every person in the world to read . . . the world would infinitely better if everyone did.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Self help book worth reading
I seen W. Clement Stone referenced in other motivational books by Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale etc, but had never read any of his writings. I have found The Success System That Never Fails to be inspirational and very enjoyable reading. Mr. Stone wrote in a very conversational manner and consistently urges readers to put the ideas gleaned from his writings into action and do it now. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in trying to get the most out of life.

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86. What to Expect the First Year
by Heidi Murkoff
Paperback
list price: $16.95 -- our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0761152121
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 1097
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Everything new parents need to know about the care (and feeding) of an infant, from the authors of What to Expect When You're Expecting. Covers monthly growth and development, feeding for every age and stage, sleep strategies that really work.

Filled with the most practical tips (how to give a bath, decode your baby's crying, what to buy for baby, and when to return to work) and the most up-to-date medical advice (the latest on vaccines, vitamins, illnesses, SIDS, safety, and more).

Reassuring Answers to Hundreds of Questions:

  • What's the best kind of car seat for my newborn?
  • How do I know if my baby's getting enough to eat?
  • How can I tell if my baby is really sick? When should I call the doctor?
  • Should I sign my baby up for classes?
  • Should I be worried that my baby isn't crawling yet?
  • How do I cope with my colicky baby?

The only book on infant care to address the physical as well as the emotional needs of the entire family.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars I was suprised, May 24, 2003
I was suprised how much I liked this book, since I didn't like the What to Expect pregnancy guide. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, with three sibilings I helped take care of and a I was a Red Cross certified babysitter for years. But, when I had my own baby, I realized how much I had forgotten or simply didn't know. What is the normal body temperature for an infant? How many times a day should he have a bowel movement or a wet diaper, and why is that something important to know to keep track of baby's health? When is it okay to begin feeding your baby rice cereal? When is it okay to start on solids? When can you begin giving him those "risk of allergy" foods, such as strawberries, nuts and wheat? I found this book a wonderful resource of imformation, since the doctor's office is not open at 3 a.m., but I'm up taking care of the baby, wondering these things.
There are some very sensitive childraising issues which they present in this book. One of which is breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. This book presents a non-biased view of the reasons behind each choice. If you are bottlefeeding, it contains information on how to do it safely and with love. If you are breastfeeding, you will need more information than is presented here, and I suggest you read up on books specifically covering breastfeeding and join the la leche league for support and to answer your questions.
The other huge issue in this book, is laying your baby down to "cry it out" and training your baby to sleep through the night. If you are a supporter of the family bed, just ignore the information on sleeping through the night and make use of the rest of the advice in the book.
This book DOES NOT accuse your baby of being manipulative, or accuse you of spoiling your baby by picking him up and holding him. This book also does not demand that you put your baby on a rigid schedule to supress their little will. A matter of fact, the book states specifically that you cannot spoil a baby by holding them, and tells you that it is medically necessary for the baby to wake you up in the middle of the night to eat during the first three months of life. What the authors are talking about when they talk about "crying it out" is that, babies will cry because they are tired or overstimulated, in which case they NEED to just lay down for 10 to 15 minutes so that he/she can go to sleep. If you believe differently, fine. You should raise your baby how you believe is right, not how ANY book tells you to. But, dismissing this book in entirety means missing out on a very useful informative source.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource, July 16, 2001
First, I would like to tell that despite one objection I have against this book, I loved it and my husband loves it and we use it frequently.

This book will give you insight about various child-care issues (from first bath, through first feeding of solids, to the home safety issues parents of a baby need to be aware of), it will answer numerous questions new mothers have (sometimes even those you might be ashamed to ask because they seem like something you should know without asking), it will show you basics of baby CPR, help you decide when to call doctor (and how to select one). You will find there overview of basic baby illnesses as well as various recipes for your baby's newly found taste for solids. It will show you how to stimulate your baby's development and how to make the time you spend with your baby the "quality time". It will encourage you to hug and cuddle with your baby as well as gently teach your baby some basic behavioral lessons. The best thing is that it never makes a pressure (or guilt) on you as to which course of action to take when raising your baby; it leaves the decision up to you.

Readers should remember though, that they need to read the authors' notes about the book and they should also check on any information they disagree with (in any book, website, or flier) instead of blindly taking for granted everything that's on the paper. This would ease the frustration of many readers that doubted the worth of this book.

I've read the Sear's Baby Book that many readers liked so much, and I must say that it is not really reasonable to follow for a family with average income and average work-schedule. I tried to follow advice in Sear's book and only ended up exhausted, guilt-ridden (I could never do enough) with fussy baby. Then I switched to "What to expect..." and I'm still with this book. It's great resource. My only one objection about this book as well as explanation why some readers might not have enjoyed it too much follows.

My only dislike about this book is the opinion that breastfeeding should be stopped at nine months. Few years ago, APA recommended that mothers should try breastfeed at least one year. This book needs new reviewed edition that reflects this recommendation.

About people's comments: * First, realize that this book is not and can not be the "know-it-all-be-always-right" book about babies. The topic here is so broad that that you will for sure find yourself disagreeing on some items while liking other ones. Authors themselves say that there is not one "right" parenting style; you have to decide which parenting style you like and which one is therefore right for you. The style described in this book works for me great though -- I spend lots of time with my baby, but I still manage the household tasks and help my husband pay the bills with my part-time job.

*Second, read and remember authors' notes saying that babies develop in their own pace and the monthly-development guidelines are only approximate. I found this especially true. One big lesson parents get is that babies do new things when THEY are ready (gosh, it was hard to master concept though); you can help them, but at the end, it's them who decides that it's the right time. This book tries to teach you that. Therefore, do not get influenced by those readers that complain about the month-to-month develompment guidelines, they probably missed the note under those guidelines. Also, the books advises you to check with pediatrician when you are uncertain about your baby's development -- great advice that can save you lots of worries (and unfortunatelly, many baby books do not really try to work with pediatricians).

*Third, the question/answer format of references is great WHEN you use index in the back of the book (as is logical for book that offers such an amount of information about such wide topic). I easily found answer for most of my questions in this book and it saved me numerous trips to my doctor.

*Fourth, the "crying it out" concept is an option/suggestion from authors of the book. They do not say you have to do that, it is advice for somebody who is interested in opinion. If you are not interested in opinion, or if it frustrates you, do not read it and do not follow it. There can't be right answer for everyone. As authors mention, there are many parenting styles and almost none of them are wrong. It's up to you which one you choose. And whatever you choose, it's right. Many critical comments about this book failed to see this principle and failed to be tolerant to other people's parenting styles.

*Fifth, you should not taky any book as you exclusive source of information. Always talk to your pediatrition about your concerns, search the internet, talk to other mothers. Pick what you think is best. It may be something else than this or other book says, but hey, if you think it's the best, it probably is.

Overall, this book is great resource and I recommend it to everybody.

4-0 out of 5 stars I like it, but it has some flaws, January 9, 2007
I absolutely hated What to Expect When You're Expecting. Hated it. So when a friend gave me this book as a gift when I was pregnant, I kind of put it to the side, never expecting to use it.

Well, I surprised myself. I actually refer to this book a lot in caring for my now almost-6-month-old son.

What I like about the book is that the questions that it addresses are very much like real-life questions people ask about their babies. Some of the questions are word-for-word questions my husband and I have asked each other. That makes the information very accessible and I think, reassuring. You get a sense that "Oh good, my five-month-old is not the only one in the world who seems to be coughing just to get my attention."

There's a really comprehensive amount of information about nearly every parenting topic you can think of. In particular, the section about infant illness is invaluable. Great charts of symptoms and treatments for those symptoms, explanations about how to do home treatments, etc. My son has gotten a couple of colds, one of which brought on a croupy cough, and the book's advice about steam treatments and a quick trip outside helping were right-on, and exactly what my mom and grandma had told me worked to help croup. Without the book's specific description of what croup and stridor sound like, and how to treat it, I probably would have ended up in the emergency room with my son.

That being said, here are the things I don't like about this book.
- The information is supposedly unbiased, but the author comes down firmly on the pro or con side of an issue and there's not a lot of doubt about what the author feels you "should" or "should not" do. The author is against pacifiers, against co-sleeping, is much too cautionary about babywearing, and advocates CIO as a way to get a baby to sleep - there's a whole section about how to do CIO in the six-month chapter. The book is also very, VERY pro-breastfeeding. I breastfeed, so it didn't "bother" me, per se, but if a mom has to or chooses to formula feed, the constant references to breastfeeding and questions about breastfeeding that are found over and over and OVER in the book's pages would probably be a big turnoff. There's some lip service paid to "well, formula feeding is an OK choice" but there's a VERY clear and VERY strong message that you should breastfeed until your child is a year old, period. I know a lot of women who tried valiantly to breastfeed and just could not, and I have had my own challenges with it. I am all for breastfeeding advocacy and I consider myself an advocate for breastfeeding, but the tone and the repeated admonishments to breastfeed for a year were over-the-top even for me.
- The aforementioned section about CIO was pretty terrible. There were no discussions about ways to avoid CIO other than extended family bedsharing (which the author was lukewarm about recommending, at best), and there is a middle ground between the two. There was also no discussion about the fact that CIO doesn't work for all children - some kids are crying escalators, they don't calm down after crying for an extended period but instead get more upset, and trying CIO with a baby like that is going to be traumatizing for all involved. There's a pretty terrifying section that talks about how to deal with the noise of CIO, by notifying your neighbors, trying to muffle sound, etc. I just have to say, if your baby is crying that loud, that piercingly, and that long when you try CIO, you should consider the possibility that CIO is not working and is actually scaring or harming your child. CIO is a great tool for some kids, but not for all kids, and the book treats CIO like it is the cure-all for sleep problems. You get a sense, reading that section, that there really is no alternative to CIO other than having your baby sleep with you until they're 10, and there are other options (the No Cry Sleep Solution has some great suggestions about the sleep issue). There's also no discussion of the idea that nightwaking, especially for breastfed babies, is a developmentally normal and appropriate thing and will get better with time even without resorting to sleep training measures.
- The developmental milestones are treated as gospel truth and there is some alarmist information about "if your kid doesn't do X by Y month there could be a BIG PROBLEM." There's no discussion about what developmental milestones really mean in terms of development or the idea that babies can have developmental strengths in one area and weaknesses in another. My baby has always been WAY ahead in his gross motor development and lagging in his fine motor, which is a totally normal thing. But there's really no allowance for that, or explanation for why that would happen, in this book.

Overall I think this book is good and I don't think it's nearly as guilt- or panic-inducing as the Expecting book, or the Sears Baby Book (which is a whole other review). I think it's a worthwhile addition to the library of any new parent, if you can take some of the information in it with a grain of salt.

1-0 out of 5 stars There are much better books than this one., February 27, 2007
I wholeheartedly agree with the reviewers who found this book alarmist and overly one-sided on many issues. My pediatrician agrees, and instead recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics' CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD, REVISED EDITION, BIRTH TO AGE 5. What to Expect is a great book as long as your child does everything exactly as the authors prescribe. Otherwise, you're up a creek. Today's example: My 8-month-old isn't incredibly interested in finger foods yet, and this book makes it sound like she's doomed to eat Gerber purees for the rest of her life as a result. It also suggested that I was setting her up for a childhood of poor eating habits. A new mom, of course I called my pediatrician and he said I had nothing to worry about! Go with the other book instead. Rather than month-to-month guidelines which make you feel like your child is "behind" if he doesn't do something "on time," the AAP book wisely speaks about 4-7 month-olds, 8-12 month-olds, etc., at once. The authors recognize that every baby proceeds at her own pace. (What to Expect puts in its disclaimer that every baby is different, but its tone on many topics suggests otherwise).

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor organization & dated material, May 22, 2000
This book, unfortunately, is not the same quality as "What to Expect when You're Expecting". The information is okay but it has not been thoroughly updated. (Example: the current breastfeeding recommendation is 12 months, but the book says 6 months.) Moreover, it uses the month-by-month organization that the previous "What to Expect" book did. The month-by-month organization does not work when following baby's development. There is too much variability. For example, some babies will start crawling by the 4th or 5th month. Mine was almost 8 months old before she started. Example #2: Solids are covered in the 4th month chapter, however, you can start as late as 6 months.

As a result, I had to consult several chapters to get all the information on a particular subject (sleeping problems, for example). Then I had to mark the pages so I could find it again later. Sometimes I could not find what I was looking for until after a lengthy search. (Let's see, would that be in the 2nd month or the 4th? Hmmm...not here...which chapter could it be?)

It wasn't long before I looked for a new baby book. I've found "The Baby Book" by Sears & Sears to be excellent. The information is well-organized, quite current, and quite thorough. It is organized more by subject than by month, but it still has a list of suggested milestones for each month. There's also plenty of suggestions and real-life examples as experienced by the Sears and by their patients. I use it all the time and I haven't gone back to the "What to Expect the First Year" book even once!

4-0 out of 5 stars Mostly helpful--use some common sense!!!, August 9, 1999
Good Grief! After reading some of the other reviews of this book, you would think the authors are advocating child abuse or something. I just reviewed the section on diapers and I don't get where the reviewer is coming from who says the authors think cloth is the "worst thing you can do for your child." Looks to me like they are offering pros/cons of BOTH cloth and disposable (yes, disposables have some advantages!) and letting parents make an INFORMED decision. Yes, they discuss weaning from the breast at one year--guess what, some mothers are ready to wean by then and don't need a guilt trip for their choice! If you're not ready to wean by then, don't. Its that simple. I appreciated the way they gave BOTH sides of issues, acknowledging that every child/parent is different and what works for one may not work for another. Unlike Dr. Sears, who implies that if you let your child sleep in a crib, alone (gasp!) you must be a cold, unfeeling parent. Bottom line--take what you find useful from this book, ignore the rest. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Handy reference, October 26, 2003
This book has great monthly "what to expect" lists that tell you what most babies at that age are doing, or learning. It covers the typical issues for a certain month of age and gives lots of tips. The index is complete so you can find what you're looking for. One warning! If you are a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, slinging type of family you'll need to read this with caution as much of the advice is not supportive of these things. I'd recommend you also look at Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley for a more supportive read in these areas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Reference Book, November 17, 1998
I too was absolutely flabbergasted at the number of people (or is it one person posting several times?) who dismissed this 800 page encyclopedia because of two small and unimportant sections on breast-feeding and "cry-it-out." You're not going to agree with everything in here. But the authors never intend that. Instead, they offer an invaluable reference book for parents. Want to know what that red blotch on your kid's arm is? This is the only book that will tell you. (It's probably a strawberry birthmark, very common, rarely lasts beyond age 10, etc.) The Q&A style is great, it leaves you feeling that you're not the only one who has these questions. And 99% of the book's content is pretty straightforward (why is my baby fascinated by mirrors? why are her eyes that weird bluish-brown color?)We found the authors' pregnancy book invaluable for the same reason-- it was a bit too treacly about pregnancy (e.g. "If you're feeling nauseous knit a sweater") but provided a wonderful, factual guide to what was going on with both fetus and mother.Parenting is 99% instinct. You can't rely on a book to tell you WHAT to do. This book is great in that it explains WHY things are happening.We find the Sears to be unrealistic and believe that people who fanatically follow their advice run the risk of losing any sense of self, which is way more harmful than the occasional bottle of formula, since babies rarely thrive with parents who resent them.A good supplement to this book (What to Expect) is Vicki Iovine's "Girlfriend's Guide To The First Year." It's hilarious and guaranteed to make you feel that you're a pretty good parent after all.Use this book to answer all the "why" questions you have. It'll cut down on the number of calls you make to the pediatrician (or at the very least make you feel a little more knowledgeable when you do.)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Reference Guide.. give it a chance, January 28, 2000
A very good book for quick reference. It seems like every question that my husband and I have had, has been found pretty quickly in the book. A lot of the following give terrible reviews especially when it comes to breastfeeding. I certainly don't agree with them. I breastfed my first for 1 year and I'm planning on breastfeeding by 10 1/2 month old for another couple of months. Believe me, I agree whole-heartedly that breastfeeding is the absolute best for your baby, and I did not find this book opposed to it at all. Don't read this book from cover to cover while your pregnant.. it will scare you.. but read it month by month as your baby grows. Or, just get it off the shelf when a question comes up.. you're sure to find the answer. This book is not a bible, but it sure is a helpful guide. I would highly recommend it for any new mother! Have fun and welcome to the most precious honor ever to be given.. motherhood!

3-0 out of 5 stars Buy the Sears' book instead, February 2, 2000
I really didn't like the parts in this book about baby carriers, crying it out and co sleeping. Some of the medical advice conflicts what is given in other books written by doctors. I also found this with "What to Expect when You're Expecting." The Q&A format was not easy for me to follow at all. There is some good stuff in this book but after reading their comments about the above things, I wondered whether their advice was accurate or not. ... Read more


87. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby
by Annabel Karmel
Hardcover
list price: $16.00 -- our price: $7.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0743289579
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 320
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Babies grow more rapidly in their first year than at any other time in their lives, so how you feed your newborn will be one of the most important decisions you make for your new baby.

Making your own baby food is not only more economical than buying commercial brands, it also assures that your child consumes only the freshest, top-quality ingredients. British television personality and children's nutrition expert Annabel Karmel's essential collection of best-ever purees grants new parents their wish: one hundred quick and easy recipes that will make for a healthy and happy baby. From first tastes and weaning, right through to meals for older babies, all the recipes are suitable for children aged six months and older. And with all these fruit and vegetable favorites, and innovative fish, meat, and chicken purees, the dishes are so tasty you will want to eat them yourself!

In addition to easy and delicious recipes, Top 100 Baby Purees also includes information on:

  • Weaning your baby and transitioning to solid foods
  • Food allergies
  • Time-saving food preparation tips
  • Freezing and reheating your homemade baby food
  • Tricks on finding the hidden nutrition in everyday foods

Featuring a preface by Dr. Michel Cohen, New York pediatrician and author of The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource, Wonderful Recipes, But Be Careful, December 29, 2006
I am so glad I bought this book; it agrees with my philosophy about shaping children's palates early, using whole foods, and organic eating in general. The recipes are easy and delicious, and give you ideas for all the way into toddlerhood. I love the inclusion of recipes using meat, fish, and chicken. My daughter has loved everything I have made from this book so far; my husband and I have even eaten a few- with salt and seasoning added for adult taste- and enjoyed them.

I do, however, agree with Lynn W.- USE WISDOM with certain recipes, since the author does not seem to follow the AAP's recommendations about when to introduce certain foods, and seems to lack a current understanding about food allergies in children. There are lots of recipes with cow's milk, tomatoes, and citrus, for example, for very young babies.

Otherwise, I highly recommend this book as an excellent resource.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not what I was looking for...but I'm still glad I ordered it!, July 3, 2006
My daughter is turning eight months this week. She is not eating textured foods yet or finger foods, but she is getting bored with one-ingredient foods and bland food like just sweet potatoes by themselves, so I'm starting to make her some varied purees with different ingredients and spices. Hence, why I ordered this book!

What I was expecting to find was exactly what the title said...100 puree recipes. Not a book divided into ages with age-appropriate recipes. The first section tells you how to steam and puree vegetables and fruits. Then moves on to 6 month old foods, and then 7-9 month foods and then 9-12 month recipes which aren't even purees. They look more like recipes I would make for my husband and I, not that it's a bad thing at all, because we want her eating what we're eating in a few months!

I'm not returning the book, because some of the recipes look awesome and I can't wait to try them, but it's not what I was looking for at all when I ordered it. It really should be retitled to something other than Top 100 Baby Purees when that's not really what it is.

But the BEST part of this book that is so different than other books is that it has some great puree recipes for chicken and beef and fish, and I haven't been able to find that anywhere else. And the recipes call for onion and garlic, which are two ingredients that my husband cook a lot with, so it's going to be a good cookbook for us. So, three stars for the quality of the book and the ease of the recipes which I can tell already by reading them since I'm an experienced cook, but a two star deduction for the bad title.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Great Food, February 1, 2007
I bought this book looking for homemade baby food recipes and got so much more. Besides having lots of tasty recipes for each stage of your baby's development it provides valuable nutritional iformation. Each recipe is easy to follow and easy to make. The best part is that they actually taste good! I usually spend 3-4 hours over 2 days to make enough baby food to last a month. A tip, pick a few recipes that use similar ingredients and as Rachel Ray says, "Use it twice, chop it once."

To make my life easier most recipes are suitable to freeze. I freeze them in 1 ounce ice cube trays (mostly the fruit purees to add to yogurt, cottage cheese, or baby cereal) and in 4 ounce portions (for the more complete meals). Some of my baby's favorites are the Lovely Lentils, Apple-Mango Puree (mixed with plain yogurt), and the Sweet Potato with Spinach and Peas. I love this book and I love knowing my baby is eating healthy, tasty food that I've prepared.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, But Use With Caution, June 26, 2006
This is a great baby cook book. My son liked almost all the meals I made out of the recipes and they even tasted good to me. It is a fine book with colorful pictures which made it fun to read and use.

But it is more a book for babies who are less likely to develop food allergies or negative reactions because of the use of some ingridients like cow's milk, orange juice and various spices. Furthermore, trust your own judgement and that of your doctors' on when to introduce certain foods because the author's opinions do not always comply with the recommendations made by The American Academy of Pediatrics.

If you are free of those concerns, I would highly recommend it to you!

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible, April 19, 2009
This book is very, very wrong about a lot of things. I asked my pediatrician about what I could feed my baby and a lot of things in this book he said NO. The time frame is awful. You are not supposed to give babies butter, onions, fish, eggs at 6 months of age. I will not use my book anymore and will get a new one.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT for easy first time moms, April 29, 2008
I am a full time working basically single mom. I thought, "there is no way I can add making baby food to my list of things to do! I am just too busy!!" But as soon as I got this book, I began. And it's been 3 weeks straight of preparing my own home-made food for my 7 month old son....who has LOVED EVERY SINGLE THING.
I made the pears-apple-cinnamon recipe...and took leftovers to work for myself! hehe
It is very easy to follow, great recipes, easy to read through, organized well, and I don't have a single complaint. Thank you Ms. Karmel for giving me the tools to do it myself. :-)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book proves it's easy to DIY!!, February 8, 2007
I decided to try making my own baby food for my third child and I am SO sad that I waited!! Using recipes in this book I have made all sorts of different foods and he LOVES them. He is 7 months old and today he had broccoli and sweet potato and he couldn't get enough. My other kids never did like broccoli -- still don't.

The fruit purees are so yummy that I have been known to steal a few bites myself. And I love knowing exactly what is going into my little guy's body. These recipes are easy, add alot of variety to their diet, and are simple to understand. I spent two hours yesterday and two hours the day before and now I have a freezer full of little cubes. They are ready to thaw and eat and I have enough to last about six weeks. And I think I spent about $20 on ingredients. With my older kids I would spend that much in a week on the jarred stuff.

Give homemade baby food a try. This book is a great start, and the recipes aren't "out there" like some of the other books. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!, August 2, 2007
This book is awesome. A quick word of advice for breastfeeding mothers. If you don't plan on feeding your baby a lot of solid foods until fully weaned do not make a lot of this food at one time. I made 5-6 recipes one day to stock my freezer, one month later I'm going to have to toss out some of it to make room for new foods as she is now 7 mo. old and ready to eat heavier stuff. The Trio of Vegetables recipe is a HIT and she voraciously eats it whenever I put that one in front of her. I love it too as it relieves any constipation she may get while breastfeeding.
I bought this book along with the "Blender Baby Food." Both are great, however this is my favorite as I like being able to see pictures. If you want to make your child's food please note, it IS easy and fun to do...I can't tell you how many people gave me a hard time for wanting to make my own and are now jealous that I don't have to go to the store, nor deal with all those empty jars. Ice cube tray's and ziplock bags are all that are needed to store the food. Highly recommended. You can probably get away with just this book as there are SO many recipes I doubt I'll ever get around to making them before she begins eating the real deal!

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice book, BUT be careful with some recipes, November 23, 2007
For example, there are recipes with fish and cheese for ages 7-9, while fish are not reccomended for babies until 2 years of age and cheese for babies until 12 months. Then scrambled eggs for ages 9-12 months - babies should not have egg whites until 12 months and the later you introduce them the better. The author might be a good cook, but she definitely doesn't know anything about what are babies NOT supposed to eat to prevent allergies and other problems.

1-0 out of 5 stars Check with your family doctor or pediatrician first!, July 3, 2009
I recommend checking with your Family Physician or Pediatrician before following the advice in this book. Butter, tomatoes, cow's milk/cheese, and citrus before age 1? Not advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics! Not to mention whole eggs, strawberries, and canned tuna. The bio on the author does not state she has any nutritional education whatsoever. Buyer beware. ... Read more


88. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
by Michael Pollan
Paperback
list price: $15.00 -- our price: $9.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0143114964
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Sales Rank: 404
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The companion volume to The New York Times bestseller The Omnivore's Dilemma

Michael Pollan's lastbook , The Omnivore's Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time. Pollan proposes a new answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Care for your family? Want to live long and well? This is required reading., January 8, 2008
What's better for you --- whole milk, 2% milk or skim?

Is a chicken labeled "free range" good enough to reassure you of its purity? How about "grass fed" beef?

What form of soy is best for you --- soy milk or tofu?

About milk: I'll bet most of you voted for reduced or non-fat. But if you'll turn to page 153 of "In Defense of Food," you'll read that processors don't make low-fat dairy products just by removing the fat. To restore the texture --- to make the drink "milky" --- they must add stuff, usually powdered milk. Did you know powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, said to be worse for your arteries than plain old cholesterol? And that removing the fat makes it harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that make milk a valuable food in the first place?

About chicken and beef: Readers of Pollan's previous book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma", know that "free range" refers to the chicken's access to grass, not whether it actually ventures out of its coop. And all cattle are "grass fed" until they get to the feedlot. The magic words for delightful beef are "grass finished" or "100% grass fed".

And about soy...but I dare to hope I have your attention by now. And that you don't want to be among the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight and the third of our citizens who are likely to develop type 2 diabetes before 2050. And maybe, while I have your eyes, you might be mightily agitated to learn that America spends $250 billion --- that's a quarter of the costs of the Iraq war --- each year in diet-related health care costs. And that our health care professionals seem far more interested in building an industry to treat diet-related diseases than they do in preventing them. And that the punch line of this story is as sick as it is simple: preventing diet-related disease is easy.

In just 200 pages (and 22 pages of notes and sources), "In Defense of Food" gives you a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of "nutritionism" in America and a snapshot of the marriage of government and the food industry. And then it steps up to the reason most readers will buy it --- and if you care for your health and the health of your loved ones, this is a no-brainer one-click --- and presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide.

If you are up on your Pollan and your Nina Planck and your Barbara Kingsolver, you know the major points of the "real food" movement. But if you're new to this information or are disinclined to buy or read this book, let me lay Pollan's argument out for you:

-- High-fructose corn syrup is the devil's brew. Do yourself a favor and remove it from your diet. (If you have kids, here's a place to start: Heinz smartly offers an "organic" ketchup, made with sugar.)

-- Avoid any food product that makes health claims --- they mean it's probably not really food.

-- In a supermarket, don't shop in the center aisles. Avoid anything that can't rot, anything with an ingredient you can't pronounce.

-- "Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does."

-- "You are what you eat eats too." Most cows end their days on a diet of corn, unsold candy, their pulverized brothers and sisters --- yeah, you read that right --- and a pharmacy's worth of antibiotics. And they bestow that to you. Consider that the next time there's a sale on sirloin.

-- "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." By which Pollan means: Eat natural food, the kind your grandmother served (and not because she was so wise, but because the food industry had not yet learned that the big money was in processing, not harvesting). Use meat sparingly. Eat your greens, the leafier and more varied the better.

In short: Kiss the Western diet as we know it goodbye. Look to the cultures where people eat well and live long. Ignore the faddists and experts. Trust your gut. Literally.

In all this, Pollan insists that you have to save yourself. And he makes a good case why. Our government, he says, is so overwhelmed by the lobbying and marketing power of our processed food industry that the American diet is now 50% sugar in one form or another --- calories that provide "virtually nothing but energy." Our representatives are almost uniformly terrified to take on the food industry. And as for the medical profession, the key moment, Pollan writes, is when "doctors kick the fast-food franchises out of the hospital" --- don't hold your breath.

"You want to live, follow me." I loved it when Schwarzenegger said that in "Terminator." It matters much more when, in so many words, Michael Pollan delivers that same message in "In Defense of Food."

5-0 out of 5 stars Back to Nature, February 22, 2008

It is so good to read a book about nutrition that does not promote any new diet! The author's message is plain and simple: Go back to nature, eat wholesome foods, and don't bother with dieting. Don't overeat; instead eat slowly, and enjoy your meals - such notion has already been promoted by Mireille Guiliano in her bestseller "French Women Don't Get Fat".

Our curse is processed food. The dieting industry completely distorted our feeding process. Our desire to improve everything and to separate 'needed' ingredients from the 'unneeded' ones leads us to refining most of our food products. However, our artificially 'improved' food only seemingly has the same nutritious qualities as natural food. Artificial and natural foods have as little in common as silk roses with real ones.

Processed food is easily obtainable, doesn't require much work to prepare, and, unfortunately, it is often also addictive. At the same time it is full of calories with very small nutritional content.

Like "The Omnivore's Dilemma", Pollan's new book is indeed eye-opening. It makes us think twice about what we are going to put into our mouths the next time we eat. For more reading about the danger of refined foods I strongly recommend Can W e Live 150 - another book devoted to living in agreement with nature, and revealing the secrets of healthy diet.

5-0 out of 5 stars We truly are what we eat . . . . . or don't eat, January 6, 2008
Americans are fat.

Who's to blame? The government. Ay, but there's the rub. If the government undoes its mischievous agricultural subsidies, voters in farm states will throw the rascals out of office. Look what happened to Sen. John McCain in Iowa because he wants to end ethanol subsidies. No politician can afford to be public spirited instead of self-centered. The cure is not in government.

Instead, an intelligent solution begins with this book. Pollan goes to the heart of the matter, which is the content of our food. Our consumer society is based on making attractive products. For food, this means added sugar or added fat.

To quote Pollan: ". . . we're eating a whole lot more, at least 300 more calories a day than we consumed in 1985. What kind of calories? Nearly a quarter of these additional calories come from added sugars (and most of that in the form of high-fructose corn syrup); roughly another quarter from added fat . . . "

These extra calories are from nutrient-deficient food. It began with refined flour in the 1870s which removed bran and wheat germ to produce long-lasting snowy white flour. Consumers loved it because flour no longer turned rancid, and it didn't become infected with bugs.

Okay. Why didn't bugs chomp down on this new flour? Quite simply because the nutrients, the bran, wheat germ, carotene, were gone. Pollan explains, ". . . this gorgeous white powder was nutritionally worthless, or nearly so. Much the same is now true for corn flour and white rice." Take a look at a package of white flour and count the additives that make up for the loss of natural ingredients. Then you'll understand the basic thrust of this book and its remedies.

How do refined carbohydrates affect us? They are implicated in several chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

This book outlines those problems and practical solutions to the lack of nutrients and excess of fat and sugar in our daily food. Quite simply, good health is often less a matter of miracle medicines than of common sense meals. Pollan outlines the problem and offers solutions, as indicated in a University of Minnesota study of natural ingredients in wheat which concluded, "This analysis suggests that something else in the whole grain protects against death."

Protects against death? Did that get your interest? If so, this book is truly a major step toward a much healthier lifestyle . . . . . merely by changing the foods you eat.

Try it. You'll like it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some good basic info, but lacks scientific rigor, April 18, 2009
Michael Pollan's book has some generally good advice about what to eat, and some fascinating/disturbing info about the American food industry, but I was continually frustrated by the author's weak attention to research. Pollan is a not a scientist, and doesn't seem to find it very important to ground his assertions with unimpeachable facts. His advice can sometimes be contradictory ("don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize" but "eat tofu"--If your great-grandmother didn't come from Asia, it's doubtful she would recognize anything made of bean curd) and he tends to cite sources that he likes, rather than sources he's really investigated. For example, Pollan would never list a dairy-industry pamphlet as one of his sources, but he gleefully quotes some rather doubtful statements from an organic-food-industry pamphlet, and apparently didn't bother to ask even one secondary source to verify them. He writes a compelling essay showing that nutrition and dietary habits are incredibly difficult for scientists to study, and implies that any information based on nutritional studies is flawed, yet quotes certain studies as if they are somehow immune to this problem. Pollan maintains that the American government's health-education programs are a major cause of the obesity epidemic, yet the descriptions he gives of these programs don't match my memory of what was actually being taught at the time. And because he gives merely general endnotes, rather than specific footnotes, it's difficult to check where he got his information.

I also had a little trouble with Pollan's tone, which is strangely naive, and occasionally condescending. He seems overly impressed with some of his own statements, such as his claim that humans are the only animals that turn to experts to tell them what to eat. Even if one accepts that this is true, humans do a lot of things that animals don't do, and in many cases, we should be glad of it. (And as Paula Poundstone has pointed out, she has to tell her dog to get his head out of the garbage every day.)

I think Pollan is basically right that the American food industry would benefit from a major overhaul, and the suggestions he's making to the government would make us all healthier if they're implemented. But it's too bad that someone with generally sound ideas can't take a little more trouble with the details. Overall, if you read this book to learn how to eat healthier, you'll get some good tips, but take his "facts" with a grain of salt. This is definitely a book to be read, but it should be read critically.

5-0 out of 5 stars Omnivore's Dilemma Updated In A Quick, Focused, Factual Form, January 4, 2008
I thought I'd discovered gold two years ago when I chanced upon Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" on the new-book shelf at my local library. I'm a health nut, and what Pollan had to say between the covers of that book was exactly what I'd been looking for. The message blew me away. I started telling all my friends, colleagues, and family about how phenomenal and groundbreaking the book was, and encouraging them to read it. I even went so far as to buy five hardbound copies to give out and loan. But in the end I don't believe I really made any serious converts. Plenty of people wanted to listen! Telling my friends and acquaintances about the content of Pollan's book made me a big hit in social situations, but I honestly don't think many people took the time to read the book or, more importantly, to change their eating habits.

But Michael Pollan's book did convert me. Over the last two years, I have changed my eating habits--not as much as I hoped I would, but significantly nonetheless. The problem is, as I am sure anyone else knows who has also tried to follow his path: eating healthy in modern, urban America is extremely difficult.

"Omnivore's Dilemma" went on to become a nationwide bestseller. Thanks in part to the stir that book caused, and the many newspaper articles and television programs that followed, there has been a small but noticeable difference in the availability of healthier, more naturally produced vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish in the area where I live. Merchants now appear to be very conscious of the fact that many buyers are eager to know how and where each batch of produce was grown; whether fish is wild or farm-raised; and whether meats, dairy products, and eggs come from range-, grass- or grain-fed animals. In our area, the local farmers' markets are thriving, and the supermarkets...well, they don't seem to be doing so well anymore. Instead there are a number of small health food chains opening up that seem to be robbing the supermarkets of a large portion of their business. People are starting to "vote with their forks." They are saying they want better quality food, and slowly, their voice is being heard.

When I heard that Pollan had a new book out--"In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto,"--I jumped at the chance to be one of the first to buy it. It is a small book, easy and quick to read. I finished it in one enjoyable afternoon. Frankly, there is not much in this new book that wasn't already covered in "Omnivore's Dilemma." However, what this new book accomplishes that the previous book did not, is to present the basic concepts--about what is wrong with the modern Western diet and what we can do to eat in a more healthy manner--in a far more concise and readable form. Gone are the stories, the humor, the horror, the amusing dialogue, and the semitravelogue--all that was, for me at least, very delightful--but it also made the book perhaps too long and chatty for some, especially those just seeking a quick, focused, factual read. This book will most certainly appeal to a wider audience. It reads more like a practical manual for the general public.

I was hoping this new book might give me some further clues. It did that, but not as much as I had hoped. Nevertheless, I am happy that I purchased it, and read it. The most important thing it did for me was to reinforce all the lessons I'd learned from "Omnivore's Dilemma," and to present them to me with more justifications and updated scientific findings.

Hopefully, "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" will go on to become another national bestseller, and in the process continue to spread Pollan's healthy food revolution. A "Manifesto" sounds serious and political and Pollan speaks in the book about people "voting with their forks." It must be working, because many of the folks in my neighborhood appear to be voting with their forks, and the local farmers, ranchers, and grocery people are listening. There is a small revolution stirring and perhaps this book will help move it along.

I recommend this book highly to all who have not yet read "The Omnivore's Dilemma," and to those that have, I recommend this book as an inspirational updated refresher course.

3-0 out of 5 stars Simply Not as Good as The Omnivore's Dilemma, January 6, 2008
This was not a bad book, but the biggest problem I had with it was that it was too short (just over 200 pages of text in large typeface) and it often repeated points without elaborating on them in as much detail as I would have liked. Pollan goes back to the theme of "Nutritionism" throughout his book, and discusses how the interests of food scientists and manufacturers have aligned to create the food environment we have today. This is a very fascinating story, but he seems too narrowminded on the theme of nutritionism and how that has ruined our food system and doesn't detail other potential causes.

Other interests (such as the beef and dairy lobbies, which he briefly alludes to a couple times in the book) have also had a tremendous influence on the national diet. Moreover, the way we live our lives, busily, without time to eat, is a tremendous contributor to poor health that Pollan again only alludes to. Lifestyle is a huge part of the food culture that Pollan encourages, but he doesn't specify what elements of lifestyle are common in the most successful food cultures.

My other major bugaboo with the book was that he barely touched on the notion of vegetarian and vegan diets, which are becoming increasingly popular in the States. The question of whether these diets are safe and healthy was not mentioned much (about a paragraph or so) and some insight into these two movements would have been appreciated.

Overall, it's a quicker read than the Omnivore's Dilemma, but less detailed and with fewer eye-opening moments. A book that should be read, but I recommend you save your money and wait until the paperback edition is released.

5-0 out of 5 stars Want health?, January 4, 2008
". . . no people on earth worry more about the health consequences of their food choices than we American do--and no people suffer from as many diet-related health problems."

What to do? Like so much today, food truth is hard to find. We can't trust government to tell us the truth because it is influenced by the industrial agriculture giants that produce most food. We certainly can't trust labels using "natural" to describe chemical agglomerations. And, frankly, we can't trust doctors because they are simply not educated about food. Nutritionists? Many are educated, but how do we learn their bias? And, can they overcome "the pitfalls of reductionism and overconfidence?"

I trust Michael Pollan. He has now written enough books regarding food that we know who and how he is. If he has a bias, it seems to be that he really gives a damn about we American consumers.

Pollan shows how, starting in 1977, government dietary decrees began to speak in terms of nutrients rather than specific foods. This was due to the pushback from the meat industry against the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. Senator George McGovern's committee had made the fatal mistake of suggesting that Americans should eat less red meat and fewer dairy products. Enter agribusiness lobbyists. And that changed the whole story of the Western Diet. "The Age of Nutritionism had arrived." No longer would certain foods be extolled; now we would be sold nutrients. No matter that these mysterious and unpronounceable ingredients might be manufactured rather than grown.

At the end of the day, and near the end of this most valuable book, is the suggestion: "Cook and, If You Can, Plant a Garden." I relate well to that. I was lucky--I grew up in a poor family that raised most of our food. The proof of the eating is that my parents long outlived their eight younger "buy it at the store" siblings; Dad died at 93 and Mother is still avidly gardening at 94.

If we can't raise food we can buy from small producers as close to us as possible--we can be locavores. The more we know about the people who produce what we put in our body the more we can trust our food-buying decisions. And when we buy food we vote our values. The shorter the distance from field to plate, the less oil is consumed. Win-win.

So buy from nearby growers. Buy from farmer's markets and CSAs. Spend more money on best-quality food and spend less money on health insurance. It's an essential choice.

I won't be a spoiler and tell you about the new and contradictory information about fats, cholesterol and heart disease. I won't bore you with the stories of how our present unhealthful dietary condition came to be and the many businesses and agencies who have created it. And I won't tell you what you should do, beyond this: read this book and act on the uncommon commonsense knowledge it gives you.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing follow up to Omnivores Dilemma, April 14, 2008
I'm a huge fan of the Omnivores Dilemma and recommended it to more people than any other book I've read so `In Defense of Food' had a lot to live up to but somewhere something what badly haywire.

American's are getting fatter and fatter with average life spans that are considerably out of sync with the wealth of our nation. `In Defense of Food' takes an outsiders view of nutrition in the U.S., throwing stones at the establishment including nutritionists, food manufacturers and the FDA. Michael Pollan's argument is that it is our very obsession with food that throws the system off and we need to just relax and enjoy food. It sounds like the same advice being expounded in the book about how French women are supposedly never fat. Unfortunately we can't relax because we are constantly bombarded with calorie dense foods specifically designed for massive consumption. The author's suggestion is to step back, avoid the processed foods and start spending more on `whole foods' and items purchased from local farmers markets.

The main emphasis in the book is on eating a `traditional' diet. Something great-grandmother might have created. The author blames `western diseases' on a `western diet' but it's hard to know what constitutes a western diet, after all, three of the countries he suggests emulating are France, Italy and Greece. Are they not western? American's are definitely growing fatter but if it's due to synthetic substances like Margarine, Crisco and Nutrasweet why have American waistlines continue to grow as these substances have grown decreasingly popular? And if eating natural food is the magic elixir why do I find overweight farmers at my local farmers market? Shouldn't they all be aglow with vitality living to 120?

My wife is from Malaysia and her fathers' parents consumed a very `traditional' Chinese diet all their lives and yet died in there early 60's. Her grandmother passed away from a stroke brought on by high blood pressure and her grandfather by a heart attack. The way Michael Pollan talks this doesn't sound possible. I would also say that for an author who insists on taking a holistic view of eating as opposed to a reductionist one he completely omits taking into account cultural lifestyles in people heaths. Perhaps it's the high quality health care system in France that makes the difference or perhaps not but the author never even considers anything but consumption.

The advice that Michael Pollan gives is sound but most of it is so simple that it could probably fit into a pamphlet rather than a 200 page book which may explain why the book seems to veer off into unnecessary directions. Eating more vegetables is always good advice and the author even admits that every hated nutritionist he's talked has offered exactly that advice so how exactly is Mr. Pollan different from nutritionists? He lambastes nutritionists for taking a reductionist view of nutrition but then goes on at length about maintaining a proper balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 in your diet. Did great-grandmother worry about the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 in the food she served?

Morgan Spurlock of `Supersize Me' probably hit the nail right on the head. It's the amount of calories that American's eat that's doing us in. Avoiding synthetic foods is probably good advice but it's advice like avoiding swimming after eating a meal and not likely to make much of a change in your life. I lost 50 pounds last year and it had nothing to do with eating traditional meals or avoiding margarine. I reduced my intake of calorie dense food including soda and fast food. This is the kind of advice any nutritionist will give out.

What bothered me most about this book was how Michael Pollan went on the attack when none of his advice is that far off from what other nutritionists and dieticians are recommending. It's a decent book but lacks focus and has difficulty defining what he's talking about when he uses terms like `Western' and `Traditional' diets. Quite frankly, this book is more of just a subset of Omnivores Dilemma and if you've read that one you could probably skip this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Our relationship with food, how it has changed, January 5, 2008
Pollan has written a far-reaching, easy to read and very informative book that breaks through the nonsense of reductionist nutrition or what he refers to as "nutritionism." He steps back from the Western diet to expose how science, industry and culture have created this strange departure of human beings from their historical relationship with food. A radical break from tradition began in the mid 1800's with the ability to grind grains down to their smallest elements. At the same time as the birth of refined grains, scientists declared that metabolism could be explained in terms of a few chemical nutrients. This approach to nutrition continues today with the USDA MyPyramid nutrition guidelines.

But is that how nutrition really works? Pollan exposes many scientific mistakes that have been made since the mid 1800's. In our quest to isolate nutrients from their food, we ignore the reality that nutrition is as complex as a symphony orchestra. Rather than associating a health outcome as the result of including a nutrient in our diet, we are beginning to see that many health outcomes are due to the exclusion of another nutrient we have yet to identify! Heart disease is no longer linked to saturated fat in the diet but more likely due to the fact that the animals we eat no longer eat grass and the non-traditional use of grains.

Why with all of this science and information do we see an increase in chronic degenerative disease throughout the Western world? Could our approach be wrong? What should we do? After Pollan's in-depth look at the progression of medicine, government policy and the food industry over the past 150 years, he gives his solution. "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Sounds simple and it is. Something simple for a complex problem; that's refreshing! But, it's not easy. It requires more time and more money for less food but greater health.

Eat whole foods, traditional foods, avoid processed foods, buy from local producers, eat green (leaves) and eat foods (animals) that eat green. Eat wild foods, game and wild caught fish. Other than his omission of recommending lamb as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, his coverage of omega fatty acids, the latest nutrient `craze,' is one of the best I've seen.

Non-Western diets may be healthier not because of some `magic bullet' in these diets but because they eat more variety (our refined grain diet consists primarily of wheat, corn and soy), they don't snack, they prepare their whole food at home, they sit down together as a family to eat and most importantly... food is a tradition that they love and embrace. If we regarded food with that same joy, rather than fuss over its health consequences, we might even see a reversal in chronic degenerative disease. At the very least, we would once again have a healthy relationship with food.

A good companion book for Pollan's book is "Real Food" by Nina Plank.

3-0 out of 5 stars Naked Lunch, March 31, 2008
"In Defense of Food" is a fine book, cleverly written in clear and musical English, and I recommend it to everyone in the hope that the victuals of this benighted land eventually improve.

I go out of my way to obtain decent food, so I'm in agreement with Professor Pollan in much of what he has to say, but as to his central premise, that refined and manufactured food is poisonous to the degree that it is causing the present epidemic of obesity and diabetes -- not to mention all the other maladies he lists-- I remain skeptical.

Certainly there is nothing new about Professor Pollan's hypothesis. Admonitions about the deleterious properties of sugar have circulated for many years; Hitler was said to be a sugar addict, and there is a song of warning called "Poison Sugar" on the Holy Modal Rounders' 1978 album, Last Round

However, I am ancient enough to have lived in a time when the quality of food was even worse than that under which we suffer today. In the 1950s, no food package bore the label All-Natural or No Artificial Ingredients. Instead, food was marketed as being new and improved, modern, and scientifically advanced with secret ingredients such as Platformate. Unlike the culinary utopia that Professor Pollan depicts in those days, television advertising had ensnared American minds, and families were more likely to dine on what were then called TV Dinners (each of which came in an aluminum tray) rather than mother's home cooking. The standard lunch which children carried to school in their Roy Rodgers lunchboxes consisted of a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich on Wonder Bread�. If a child expressed hunger upon return from school, he or she would be encouraged to eat another such sandwich, because the jelly came in decorated glass tumblers which, when emptied, served as attractive tableware in which to serve Kool-Aid�, the standard drink of the day.

The "peanut butter" in these meals actually contained little that was derived from peanuts, but instead about 60% of the paste was hydrogenated cottonseed or corn oil (as were all foods made by the Corn Products Refining Company and the Union Starch Company). When children drank milk instead of sugar-water, it was often enhanced with Bosco� corn syrup. At my best friend's house, they used Similac� powdered milk, and before corn flakes came encrusted with sugar, it was common to sprinkle granulated sugar (a lidded sugar bowl was always kept at the center of the table) on one's cereal.

Bacon grease was saved in a jar that was kept in the ice box, but later Crisco� and Swift� shortening became more popular for frying. Everything, all cooking, was fried, and the remaining grease was saved like a precious substance. Hot dogs were even more popular than they are today, only then, the casings of these floor-sweepings from the abattoir were supplemented with non-meat extenders -- often cereal or starch byproducts.

Penny candy was sold, and after school, children would load up on it at the corner store. Penny candy was what one might consider to be on the fringe of food. For instance, a common candy was buttons of colored sugar stuck to a tape of paper. Another was tiny wax vials containing dyed (but not flavored) sugar water -- some kids even ate the paraffin wax. One which survives today is bubble gum. Can any of these things actually be considered food? Whatever the answer, many such substances were consumed.

The era of air freight and food transportation had not yet arrived, so it was the utopia of local food that Professor Pollan rhapsodizes over. Unfortunately, this meant that fresh produce was unavailable to most of the country for the winter months. During this time, canned fruits were popular -- all canned fruit having been packed "in heavy syrup."

In short, the American diet of the period (the postwar diet of Europe was far worse, and our family charitably sent canned goods and sugar to the old country) was exponentially worse than even the most egregious crimes against the palate Professor Pollan describes in this book. If refined sugar and the wrong type of fat and artificial food are so patently malefic to the human body, why is it that diabetes and obesity were as rare in those bygone days as appendicitis is today? Since we Americans --obedient as always to the orders of the all-seeing TV eye -- ate nothing but processed food swimming in cholesterol, sugar and number-10 red dye, how is it that any of us lived to tell of it? Why didn't Americans vanish from the face of the Earth leaving the ruins of supermarkets as a warning for future archeologists?

In fact, this worst of all imaginable diets seemed to exhibit no symptoms among the populace. Hyperactive Attention-Deficit Disorder had yet to appear in children. It may be argued that it was there, lurking, but hadn't yet been discovered, but to this I would suggest that it was kept in check by the power of fear. Anyone "acting-out" (as I believe it is now termed) in a classroom would be administered swift and cruelly-painful corporal punishment. Obesity was rare and rarer still in children, because most people were employed in manual labor, and in my city, there were no such things as school buses. For that matter, there were never any snow days. Even in those brutal winters --and this was in the era before Global Warming eliminated winter forever-- we were expected to be in school and on time every day. After school, boys spent most of their free time injuring each other.

On the other hand, in times past the wealthy few who could afford the type of diet Professor Pollan advocates -- unadulterated, minimally-processed, unpackaged, natural food in wide variety; fresh-picked produce and prime meats that had been fed on wild clover and fallen peaches; wines without sulfites -- such gourmands often developed gout (the cure for which was a diet of Jell-O� with the tiny marshmallows mixed in).

Upon casual consideration, Professor Pollan's call for a return to the "good ol' days" is admirable, but for those of us so unfortunate as to have been born before the advent of such food messiahs, how is it that we apparently thrived? Actually, Professor Pollan is but one of a long line of food prophets foretelling our doom if we don't repent, and as with all the others, he's getting rich doing so.

There's the real lesson! ... Read more


89. 400 Calorie Fix: The Easy New Rule for Permanent Weight Loss!
by Liz Vaccariello, Mindy Hermann, Editors of Prevention
Hardcover
list price: $25.99 -- our price: $14.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1605294942
Publisher: 2010-12-21
Sales Rank: 802
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

The latest research shows that controlling calories is consistently the most successful weight loss
method. Of course, counting calories is nothing new. But only 15 percent of us know how many calories we should eat to maintain a healthy weight. Most of us don’t know how many calories are in the foods we eat. And most of us don’t really want to have to count calories.
Now from Flat Belly Diet! author Liz Vaccariello comes 400 Calorie Fix, which makes it easy to spot and control calories. 400 Calorie Fix has no banned ingredients, no magic foods, and no complicated rules. You'll learn how to eat with the 400 calorie “lens”—the essential tool they need to assess portion sizes for all types of food at a glance.
The book makes calorie control easy and delicious with 400 tasty 400-calorie recipes, quick-fix (nocook) meals, and options that make it easy to dine out, whether you're chowing down on a fast- food burger or hosting a family cookout.
... Read more

90. BRING IT!: The Revolutionary Fitness Plan for All Levels That Burns Fat, Builds Muscle, and Shreds Inches
by Tony Horton
Hardcover
list price: $27.99 -- our price: $14.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1605293083
Publisher: Rodale Books
Sales Rank: 474
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

Creator of the best-selling P90X® workout series, Tony Horton shows you how to Bring It! for the results you want.

Over the past 25 years, Tony Horton has helped millions of people—from stay-at home moms to military personnel to A-list celebrities—transform their bodies and their lives with innovative workouts and cutting-edge advice. Now in his first book he shares the fundamentals of his fitness philosophy with millions more, revealing his secrets for getting fit and healthy and melting away pounds.

One-size-fits-all diets and exercise regimens just don’t work—that’s why Tony creates unique programs for each of his clients. In Bring It! he shows you how to build your own diet and fitness plan tailored to your individual lifestyle, preferences, and goals. With a Fitness Quotient (FQ) quiz designed to assess your likes, dislikes, and current fitness level, you can choose the program that’s right for you.

In photographs and easy-to-follow instructions, Tony demonstrates his unique moves and exercise combinations that include cardio fat burners, lower body blitzers, core strengthening, plyometrics, yoga, and more. You’ll also discover Tony’s fat-blasting eating plan and detox tips, delicious recipes, and mental motivators.

Whether you’ve never been to the gym before, are looking to get bikini ready, or simply want to take your workout to the next level, Tony Horton can give you the results you’ve been looking for. A better body—and future—is possible when you commit to change. Get ready to Bring It!

... Read more

Reviews

4-0 out of 5 stars Common Sense Book for People New to Fitness, December 22, 2010
I am a huge Tony Horton fan, and have completed one round of P90X, so I jumped at the chance to get this book. I absolutely admire Tony's enthusiasm for life and ability to motivate people in improving their fitness and eating habits.

For the $14 or so you pay, the book is substantial and well illustrated. Much of its content was copied from his blog. After reading, I found the book to be decent, but lacked any new or breathtaking material I could work with. Overall, I felt this book is great for most people in need of motivation and basics, but not good for die hards who have completed P90X.

Here are my two major beefs:
1. The book includes approximately 80 pages (of its total 284) of strictly photos of him doing various exercise moves, a la Men's Health Magazine. In an interview Tony did a while back, he joked about how difficult it is to replicate those little diagrams of the exercises you see in fitness magazines, thus the reason following exercise DVD's such as P90X is so great. So, if working out to a DVD is superior to looking at tiny photos, (which I agree with) than why develop this book with so many little photos?! You simply can't see the correct form very well, and it's uninspiring. What are readers going to do, carry the book into the gym with them? In a way, this book actually conflicts with P90X by deviating from it and rarely even refrences P90X. Tony, you have sold over 3 million copies of these dvd workouts, so why make an exercise book that rarely refrences P90X?

2. The book targets every possible deomgraphic- young, old, male, female, etc to the point that it is boring. It lacks the insight and depth you would get from a more serious approach to fitness. In my opinion, most people who gravitate toward Tony are drawn to the great challenges he presents in P90X. I would agrue that most people who support Tony are extremely ambitious, driven people. (Otherwise, how could they actually complete the grueling P90X schedule?) So while there is certainly a place in society for a one size fits all fitness book, I feel that coming from Tony, it should have had more serious, heavy material. For example, I don't need an entire page and table to determine my resting heart rate. (I've know that since 6th grade phys ed class.) I had hoped that this book would include more motivation, anecdotes from Tony's fascinating past, etc.

Bottom line, if you are new to fitness, this is a great read. However, if you completed P90X and know the difference between a complex carb and a simple one, than this book will be something you will skim quickly so that you can resume working out.


4-0 out of 5 stars Great for people new to Tony and just enough for graduates of P90x, December 22, 2010
Tony's success has put him in an awkward position; so many people have had their lives drastically changed by p90x that they look to each new product to recreate that phenomenon. As a p90x graduate, I approached the book with medium-expectations.

It's clear that the people who will benefit the most from this book are people who are new to the Tony Horton "brand." But, don't get me wrong: there is still enough knowledge, advice and motivation for everyone to get hyped about making positive changes in their life.

The one thing that I've always appreciated about Tony is his no gimmick, no-nonsense attitude towards health and fitness. He has capitalized on the fact people are tired of being offered the magic pill, potion or equipment piece to solve all of their fitness problems. This book's tone is no different. Most of his suggestions are very common-sense, but he cuts through the bull so you can apply them to your life.

For people new to Tony, this book has a wealth of information that has helped change people's lives all over the world. I believe that you will find the advice refreshing because of its sincerity. It has everything you need to get started to change your life: nutrition, workouts and motivation to keep you on track. Tony really believes in being all-around fit, so expect a good mix of strength, cardio, balance, and flexibility moves throughout the program.

For those who have used P90x, this book still has some benefits. There are several challenges, maxims, and lists to follow to bring your results to the next level. If you are stuck in a rut and need some motivation, this book is definitely worth a look. As far as the workouts, they are more or less similar to p90x with some different moves here or there, but the format can still be useful.

The format allows for amazing customization. Since all the moves are included in the book with pictures, you can create your own plyo/cardio workout and make it as extreme or pedestrian as you feel you are ready for. There is also a consistent theme in the book that is focused on finding other activities outside of working out for you to engage in. This can also be helpful in finding the next step after P90x.

While this book probably won't recreate that amazing, unparalleled change in your life that p90x did, there is enough new material here to give this book a look. For those new comers who want to start to be introduced to what all the hype is about, I would definitely recommend this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Book is Good, but P90X is WAY better., December 23, 2010
This book should be your introduction to Tony and P90X. If you have P90X then you do not need this book. The book has many of the P90X moves in it and the nutritional/exercise book that comes with the disks (P90X) is way better than this book. If you are a beginner then this book is just as good, if not better than most books on the market. Tony hits the nail on the head when he says you have to put in hard work to get results. There are no short cuts. Get this book if you are just starting your journey into looking and feeling better and then do yourself a huge favor and pay up for the disks with the books that come with the disks. If you want to to look better, feel better and perform better, get the disks and get ready because its coming!! (A line from the warm up in the Plyo disk).

4-0 out of 5 stars High on the What's and How's; Low on the Inspiration, December 27, 2010
For avid P90X disciples, a fitness book from Tony has been on many a wish list. So with great delight I downloaded it as soon as it hit shelves this Christmas. Wasn't looking for radically new exercises beyond those I already know and do, but was mainly hoping to learn more about Tony himself, beyond his screen presence as an amiable but very demanding, and inspiring drill-seargent. In that regard, the book comes up a bit short on the inspiration front, and is rather academic, focusing on the mechanics of exercises, which expectedly is hard to convey via static pictures. Yet, the book does deliver a holistic approach to fitness that knits all the disparate elements of health together in a logical, smooth sense. Tony could have done a bit more of what he does best - Inspire! Perhaps shared more anecdotes from his life that the average reader could relate to (downhill extreme skiing is not the best example to use for a large demographic, although the storytelling there was compelling). To connect and convey to the broader spectrum of readers , it would have been more relevant and real to describe more commonplace anecdotes (perhaps how he battled and overcame injury if we was injured, ways to stay motivated to exercise, etc). There are some real jewels in the book though that compensated my time and money investment several times over. The first is about the notion of exercising daily, the second is Tony's approach to nutrition (including giving up caffeine, sugar, gluten, alcohol, animal products), and the third is his advice on supplementation. Tony's coverage of those three subjects are excellent and thorough. For readers looking to push themselves to their next level of personal fitness, Tony's guidance there those should pose a challenge no less demanding than the P90X program itself. Overall, still a must have reference book for your bookshelf, electronic or hardcopy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tony just gets it!, December 19, 2010
I have to say the more I read this book the more I realized Tony is in touch with all of his audience. His ideas are precise and to the point. He is very critical on his approaches and will definitely get you in the mood to change your life. A must read for any person looking to get fit!

2-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't bring anything new, December 27, 2010
I was excited to get a companion book to go with my P90X program, which I thoroughly love. I read the book Christmas Day and didn't find anything not previously said on the blogs, you tube, or P90X literature. It is nice to have some photos to go along with the DVD's, but overall the book didn't bring much to the table and was a bit of a disappointment.

I agree with a previous reviewer - I expected a more personal side of Tony Horton to come out in the book. Like a mini-biography to what got him here and how the program was developed.

This is a good book for someone looking to skip purchasing P90X and for someone who will work out to a book or written plan vs a visual/interactive plan.

I didn't see anything revolutionary in it. I've been following a different diet plan (Fat Flush) for years and much of his information mimics the things she has been writing about for over a decade. The exercise's were P90X exercises, not revolutionary there either as P90X is not a new program it was introduced several years ago as well I believe.

Bottom line, Tony Horton's programs work. He's talented and dynamic, I'd rather see him in person on my DVD working as a trainer. This book is good for someone who wants to skip the DVD's and is highly motivated on their own.

5-0 out of 5 stars plain, simple, stuff that works....., December 22, 2010
Good stuff here.

Large book as far as size but it is filled with good foods, recipes, full color exercises and workout plans and lots of modivation. One thing i really like about this guy is everything he says is straight and to the point. Reading and listening to him, i feel that everything he says is almost stuff that i already knew but he reinforces it and drives it home. He explains there are no shortcuts. IM still making my way through the book but so far, so good. If you follow his programs (and i imagine this book) to a T, your body will have no choice but to have amazing results. IF you dont follow it, you wont. IF you kind of follow what he says but "cheat" and are not honest with yourself on your nutrition or your exercises, you will get results but you wont get great results. One thing i have learned from him is JUST DO IT....stop making excuses and just do it. IT works.

4-0 out of 5 stars If your thinking of P90X, start with this, December 25, 2010
When i first heard Tony was writting a book i was excited to see what he had to say. Its broken up into sections based on your fitness level. Theres a Beginers, Strivers, and Warrior workout. Each has a cardio, resistence, and yoga section as well as a weekly workout section. The book had all the moves listed in the workout in full detail along with full pictures to aid newcommers. I can see that for someone new to fitness this would be nice to have. It also had a meal plan along with some recipies so you can start eating better. All in all its almost like a mini P90X for people, if you are thnking of P90X or you are out of shape start here. For people that have a general level of fitness, they might be able to make new workouts based on moves (I never thought about doing pike presses using medicine balls). For P90X grads this is what Tony has been saying from the start just in a different package. ... Read more


91. Man's Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl
Paperback (2006-06-15)
list price: $13.00 -- our price: $10.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0807014273
Publisher: Beacon Press
Sales Rank: 728
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey by the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.

Born in Vienna in 1905 Viktor E. Frankl earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna. He published more than thirty books on theoretical and clinical psychology and served as a visiting professor and lecturer at Harvard, Stanford, and elsewhere. In 1977 a fellow survivor, Joseph Fabry, founded the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy. Frankl died in 1997.

Harold S. Kushner is rabbi emeritus at Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, and the author of several best-selling books, including When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

William J. Winslade is a philosopher, lawyer, and psychoanalyst at the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant account...., November 25, 2001
The first section of this book (which makes up over half of the text) consist of Victor Frankl's account of his experiences in the concentration camp. This section seems unique among the Holocaust accounts that I've seen and read because Dr. Frankl approaches the topic from a psychological perspective. He discusses the ways in which the different prisoners react to their (note: men and women were seperated at the camps, so Frankl is mainly disscussing his experiences with the men in Auschwitz) imprissonment. He writes about the psychological effects of being completely dehumanized; of losing even your name, and becoming simply a number. Also he disscusses the effects of not being able to contact loved ones, or even know is they are still living. Another issue that Dr. Frankl talks about in this book is the idea that none of the prisoners of the concentration camp had an idea as to when there imprissonment would end (if ever). Thus, they were faced with the thought of living the rest of their lives as workers at the camps. Dr. Frankl discusses how people can find meaning to life in these conditions. He also describes how finding meaning in life, or a reason to live, was extraordinarilly important to surviving the camp.

One of the most interesting, and disturbing, issues in the book was the idea of the Capo. These were were people put in charge of their fellow prisoners, in order to keep them in line. Dr. Frankl describes these people as, often, being more harsh than the actual guards. This seems to be a disturbing lesson in the abuse of power. This also goes along with Dr. Frankl's discussion of how the camps brought out the true personality of the people within it (after all the social trapping had been stripped away): The cretins, the saints, and all of those in between.

The second half of the book is made up of two sections "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," and "The Case for Tragic Optimsism." These two sections basically describe Dr. Frankl's theory on as to how to conduct therapy (Logotherapy). The idea behind this therapy is that man is driven by his search for a meaning in life. This differs from the psychoanalysis perspective (driven, at this time, by the ideas of Sigmund Freud) in that the psychoanalytic school believed that humans were driven by their unconscious desires. For Frankl, the need for meaning seems to outway the unconscious. In fact, he goes into detail about the negative effects that the abscence of meaning, or what he calls the "existential Vacuum," has on people. To illustrate many ideas, he often uses his experiences in the concentration camps, as well as various cases for treatment (which help to solidify his view of life, and therapy).

I would recomend this book to almost anybody. I feel that it's interesting, and worthwhile. I would especially recomend this to people interested in psychology, as well as those who wish to learn something about the experiences within the concentration camps.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book could change your life, January 8, 2000
Dr. Frankl's logotherapy is straightforward and easy to understand. It is also a useful antidote to the rather frightening drift in psychology during the past two decades toward strict biological determinism.

This particular work is one I keep at hand and re-read on a regular basis. I read it for the first time a few months after I started medical treatment and therapy for life-long depression. I get more from it each time I go back to it.

Logotherapy manages an incredible balance. It does not put man himself at the center of the universe, thus avoiding the kind of narcissistic self-reflection common to much of the therapeutic literature today. Yet, it does not sweep man aside as irrelevant. Instead, Frankl argues that we have an incredible power to shape our attitudes and responses to the challenges life presents us and that we inevitably grow thanks to these challenges.

This is a quick read and could conceivably change your life. Man is more than the sum of his biology and his environment. We inevitably choose to be who we are. Frankl's argument is that, if we choose wisely, we can triumph even in tragedy. It's a truth many of us have lost sight of in our cynicism.

5-0 out of 5 stars How to be Worthy of One's Suffering, September 1, 2006
Frankl, who survived the concentration camps, writes that suffering is inevitable and that avoiding suffering is futile. Rather, one should be worthy of one's suffering and make meaning of it instead of surrendering to nihilism, bitterness and despair. He uses poetic, moving anecdotes from the concentration camps to illustrate those souls who find a deeper humanity from their suffering or who become animals relegated to nothing more than teeth-clenched self-preservation. Though not specifically religious, this masterpiece has a religious purpose--to help us find meaning. This book succeeds immeasurably.

*** Why no voting buttons? We do

5-0 out of 5 stars Much food for thought, January 16, 2004
Several years ago a friend had an operation for a cancerous growth behind his eye yet today is well and tells of the importance of the right mental attitude when facing adversity. Another friend faces a similar experience but appears to be in the process of succumbing in ignorance of the importance of mental attitude. Seeking guidance as to what I might do to help, I turned to this book.

After recounting the horrors of everyday life in a work camp - the initial selection process in which 90% were sent to the gas chambers while 10% were kept to extract the last ounce of work as slaves for construction firms; the Capos selected from the most brutal who had lost all scruples in order to save their life; how everything was subservient to keeping oneself and one's closest friends alive - Viktor Frankl tells of the psychological problems they met.

The most important seems to be the hope of release as shown by the very high death rate in his camp in the week between Christmas 1944 and new year 1945 which had no explanation in food, treatment, weather, disease or working conditions; it was that the majority had lived in the na�ve hope that they would be home again by Christmas. In the absence of encouraging news, the prisoners lost courage; disappointment overcame them and their powers of resistance dropped. Frankl noticed that it was the men who comforted others, who gave away their last piece of bread who survived longest and who offered proof that everything can be taken but one thing - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.

In the camp every decision determined whether or not you would submit to loss of inner freedom. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. It is this spiritual freedom which cannot be taken away which makes life meaningful and purposeful. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influences. Most inmates believed that the real opportunities of life had passed. In reality, however, one could make a victory of those experiences, turning them into an inner triumph.

Frankl saw himself giving a lecture on the psychology of the concentration camp, living Spinoza's observation that "Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it." Armed with the insight that any attempt to restore man's inner strength had first to succeed in showing him some future goal he tried to help would-be suicides to realize that life was still expecting something from them - a loving son awaiting his return, an unfinished work to complete. When the impossibility of replacing you is realized it is impossible to throw your life away. When you know the why of your existence you will be able to bear almost any how.

Frankl had to learn and then teach that it really did not matter what we expect from life but rather what life expects from us. The answer lies in right action and in right conduct; life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill tasks that it constantly sets for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man and from moment to moment, making it impossible to define in general terms or in sweeping statements. No man and no destiny can be compared to any other man or destiny. It may require a man to shape his own fate, contemplate or accept his fate. There is only one right answer to the situation at hand.

When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his single, unique task. His unique opportunity lies in the way he bears his burden. Once the meaning of suffering has been revealed, suffering has hidden opportunities for achievement. When he had the opportunity to address a group of prisoners his purpose was to help each man to find a full meaning to their life in that practically hopeless situation by pointing out the joys each had experienced in the past and that no one had suffered irreplaceable losses. Whoever was still alive had reason for hope; health, family, happiness, professional abilities, fortune, position in society, could all be restored. Life never ceases to have meaning and this infinite meaning includes suffering and dying, privation and death. God or someone alive or dead would hope to find them suffering proudly.

After the war, Frankl introduced Logotherapy, which focuses on the meanings of life to be fulfilled by the patient in the future. The patient is confronted with the meaning of his life. The meaning of human existence as well as man's search for such a meaning is unique and specific and can be fulfilled by him alone. He is able to live and even to die for the sake of his ideals and values. The more that you forget yourself by giving to a cause or serving in love, the more you actualize yourself. We can discover meaning in three ways - creating a work or doing a deed; by experiencing something or encountering someone; and by the attitude we take to unavoidable suffering.

When we are no longer able to change a situation such as inoperable cancer we have to change our attitude. He asks his patients to project themselves forward to their deathbed and look back on the meaningful things in their lives. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be; he has control over what he will become in the next moment.

This book has certainly provided much food for thought!

5-0 out of 5 stars It has given me hope, August 21, 1999
I was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I am 41 years old with two small children. I was finding it hard to find something to hold on to after getting the news. This book has helped put the cancer in perspective and is giving me the courage and encouragement to keep on living...no matter what. And if I die, then there has to be meaning in my life before then. I am now beginning to understand that I should not ask what can I get out of life, but what does life expect from me.

This is a WONDERFUL and INSPIRATIONAL book that I recommend for anyone suffering from any tragic cirucmstance...cancer, death in the family, divorce, etc. All of the phsychiatric nonsense might help (I doubt it), but this book will get you on the right road.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and thought provoking, September 6, 2006
There is something to be said of a person who can go through a horrific journey such as the atrocities of Auschwitz and recall it with such clarity in order to help others. I was completely emotionally overwhelmed by the first half of the book-which is a narrative of what he experienced and fascinated with the next half which is an explanation of logotherapy.
This is not an overly long or hard book to read in spite of some of the subject matter. My version was a thin paperback that I finished in a few days. It took me longer to fully appreciate because I hung onto each page and felt a responsibility to make sure I understood his journey and how he came to his conclusions.
I recommend this book for anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Book, June 19, 2007
I originally bought this book knowing nothing about Frankl, his experiences, or psychological theories. I simply read the description and a few of the overwhelmingly positive reviews here on Amazon and decided that it sounded interesting. What a life-changing book. Merely reading it at any given time has a marked positive influence on my attitude towards life.



What's most interesting about it, as Frankl says himself, is that what he's propounding are not abstract ideas developed by some academic at a university or in some research laboratory. He uses his direct experience in one of the most adverse circumstances possible--a Nazi concentration camp--to relate the ideas of logotherapy (his own school of psychotherapy) to the reader.



In a nutshell, the three most important tenets of logotherapy are as follows: (1) Life has meaning under all circumstances--even the most miserable ones; (2) Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life; and (3) We have the freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering. These principles are put directly to the test, and Frankl demonstrates their validity in a way that no social scientist has conceived of (or been able to) ever before.



From the afterword:



"Frankl was once asked to express in one sentence the meaning of his own life. He wrote the response on paper and asked his students to guess what he had written. After some moments of quiet reflection, a student surprised Frankl by saying, 'The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.'



'That was it, exactly,' Frankl said. 'Those are the very words I had written.'"

5-0 out of 5 stars a "why" to live..., February 10, 2001
An American doctor once asked Viktor Frankl to explain the difference between conventional psychoanalysis and logotherapy. Before answering, Frankl asked the doctor for his definition of psychoanalysis. The man said, "During psychoanalysis, the patient must lie down on a couch and tell you things which sometimes are very disagreeable to tell." Frankl immediately replied by saying: "Now, in logotherapy the patient may remain sitting erect but he must hear things which sometimes are very disagreeable to hear." By this he meant that in logotherapy the patient is actually confronted with and reoriented toward the MEANING of his life. The role of the therapist, then, is to help the patient discover a purposefulness in his life. Frankl's theory is that man's search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a "secondary rationalization" of instinctual drives. Whereas Freudian psychoanalysis focuses on the "will to pleasure" and Adlerian psychology focuses on the "will to power" it can be said that Frankl's logotherapy focuses on the "will to meaning." Does man give in to to conditions or stand up to them? According to Frankl, the strength of a person's sense of meaning, responsibility, and purpose is the greatest determining factor in how that question will be answered. He believed that "man is ultimately self-determining" and as such, "does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment."

The first (and largest) section of this book is the searing autobiographical account of the author's experience as a longtime prisoner in a concentration camp. These camps claimed the lives of his father, mother, brother, and wife. Frankl's survival and the subsequent miracle of this book are a testimony to man's capacity to rise above his outward fate. As Gordon W. Allport states in the preface, "A psychiatrist who personally has faced such extremity is a psychiatrist worth listening to."

I agree, and highly reccommend this book. As the sub-title says, it is an "introduction" to logotherapy, and anyone who wants to go deeper into the principles and practical application of Frankl's existential psychiatry should go to his excellent "The Doctor And The Soul".

Frankl was fond of quoting Nietzsche's dictum..."He who has a WHY to live can bear with almost any HOW."

5-0 out of 5 stars A new approach to life, April 1, 2007
This book is a true classic in that it speaks to every generation. Even though it was written in the immediate post-Holocaust period and was one of the first personal accounts of the Nazi death camps, Frankl's brief account has new meaning today. In today's world, many people are constantly pursuing pleasure in the form of wealth, success, or sexual fulfillment. Although there is nothing intrinsically wrong with these, Frankl's point is that life must have meaning. A person can inject meaning into even the most degraded life conditions by clinging to his values. But without meaning, life can drag on, seemingly without end. The "purpose-driven life" is the only life that leads to true fulfillment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Weaving Meaning, May 24, 2001
"Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done, and of love loved but of sufferings bravely suffered." (p. 123)

My connection to Viktor Frankl dates back to a Hannukah party in which I found myself conversing with a baker who used to deliver his bread. It took me a few more years to discover this absolute gem of a book, itself both bread for the soul and leaven for the mind.

The first half of this book consists of Frankl's reflection on his time in a Nazi concentration camp. "An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior," (p. 18) he notices, "Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent." (p. 43) Distilling the essence of his experience at the hands of the Nazis and the resilience of his soul, he states, "If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering." (p. 67) Finally, he notes that "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." (p. 65)

He segues into the second part of the book, a description of "logotherapy," based on the challenge learned behind barbed wire, downwind from the ovens "Whenever there was an opportunity for it, one had to give them a why--an aim--for their lives, in order to strengthen them to bear the terrible _how_ of their existence." (p. 76)

Frankl states that "Man's search for meaning is a primary force in his life and not a 'secondary rationalization' of instinctual drives." (p. 99) He finds this meaning specific & unique to each individual. Logotherapy focuses on the future, the assignments and meanings to be fulfilled by the patient in _his_ future, breaking up the self-centeredness of the neurotic instead of fostering and reinforcing it.

He believes that "the meaning of our existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected," (p. 101) that "_logos_, or 'meaning', is not only an emerging from existence itself but rather something confronting existence." (p. 100) This _logos_ frustrates by not being available to finite minds, but nevertheless continues to confront man. In wrestling with this confrontation, each individual enacts their "will to meaning," defining a "meaning of life [that] differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment." (p. 110) Logotherapy sees responsibility as the very essence of human existence: "each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by _answering_ _for_ his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible." (p. 111) Thus, the "categorical imperative" of logotherapy is "Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!" (p. 111)

Beyond the philosophy of logotherapy, Frankl discusses technique briefly, addressing anticipatory anxiety, "it characteristic of this fear that it produces precisely that of which the patient is afraid." (p. 123) The mechanism for this is "hyper-intention," which, by focusing on the problem, magnifies the problem. He confronts this with "paradoxical intention," suggesting that the insomniac try to stay awake and that the phobic patient "intend, if only for a moment, precisely that which he fears." (p. 125)

He concludes the book with "Our generation is realistic for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who has invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who has entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips." (p. 136)

I find this short book incredibly full of life and meaning; it's one of the most powerful I've ever read. The act of creating a philosophy and psychology of life out of the horrors of Auschwitz confronts my own whinings about the discomforts I find in life. I find courage here, not just Dr. Frankl's courage, but an inspiration to my own courage, and a challenge to live more fully, to create more meaning, instead of simply accepting the meanings thrust upon me by TV sitcoms, billboards, and internet banality.

The epitome of a five star book. Worthy of more if Amazon would allow it.

(If you'd like to dialogue about this book, please click on the "about me" link & drop me an email. Thanks!) ... Read more


92. The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life
by Francine Jay
Kindle Edition
list price: $9.99
Asin: B003UNJX4S
Publisher: Anja Press
Sales Rank: 967
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

Having less stuff is the key to happiness.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed, instead of overjoyed, by all your possessions? Do you secretly wish a gale force wind would blow the clutter from your home? If so, it's time to simplify your life!

The Joy of Less is a fun, lighthearted guide to minimalist living. Part One provides an inspirational pep talk on the joys and rewards of paring down. Part Two presents the STREAMLINE method: ten easy steps to rid your house of clutter. Part Three goes room by room, outlining specific ways to tackle each one. Part Four helps you trim your to-do list and free up your time, and explains how saving space in your closets can save the planet.

Ready to sweep away the clutter? Just open this book, and you'll be on your way to a simpler, more streamlined, and more serene life.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars A Joy to Read and Use, August 4, 2010
Wow! If you are looking for a comprehensive handbook on minimalism, decluttering, streamlining, and essentially re-wiring your preconceptions about why you have the stuff you have, this is the book for you.

Francine Jay, aka Miss Minimalist to those in her blogosphere, has written The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life, her second book on achieving the good life by consuming less. She's a minimalist after my own heart, and unless I'm projecting too much of my own experience onto hers, appreciates the epiphany one gets by suddenly having lots of space and just a few true treasures. Francine starts right out with the mindset, the philosophy/attitude one needs to have before seriously tackling a reduction in clutter and possessions, likening this important step to changing one's eating habits as opposed to simply going on a diet. If you don't get in the mindset, you'll just backslide. I know all too well what she means by this, having done binge-purge decluttering several times over the course of my adult life until a few years ago.

This book is a well-structured, wholesale plan of attack, as opposed to loads of personal stories or autobiography. Part One tackles the the relationship we have to our stuff and why we think we have to own it. As Francine puts it: "In pursuing a minimalist lifestyle, we need to resist the temptation to recreate the outside world within our abodes." She then cites examples such as media rooms and bathroom "spas," and the dreaded home cappuccino makers. Oh yes. The section concludes with her challenge to make a list of every single thing you own-right down to every single thing in every single drawer. My brain wanted scream at the prospect of doing that-AND I've already decluttered!!! The woman isn't taking prisoners.

Part Two is entitled STREAMLINE, and each letter of that word stands for a step in the author's minimalizing process. We are to remember that "the idea is not to choose the things we'll get rid of, but to choose the things we'll keep." This perspective turns the usual decluttering process on its head, by literally getting everything out of each room and only bringing back in the most essential, and the most worthy of our precious time and space. This section is the strategy session before the big game, as it were, illustrated by some of the many quote-worthy passages:

...the things with which we choose to surround ourselves tell our story...

...take responsibility for the entire life cycle of what we buy...(from how it was made to how it will need to be disposed of)

Think of all the things we can't do when our surfaces are cluttered:we don't have room to prepare a delicious dinner, we don't have a place to sit down with our families and enjoy it, and we don't have the space to play a board game afterwards. We don't have a spot to pay our bills, do our homework, or enjoy our hobbies. In some cases, we may not even have a place to lie down at the end of the day.

Re books: Perhaps the bigger our library, the more intellectual we feel.

Re crafts (and this one made me feel the pain): ...reality check: do you enjoy doing the craft as much as collecting the materials for it? If not, perhaps you should rethink your hobby....

One of the concepts Francine writes about is the idea of Limits, and it is here that I sense the heart of her minimalist passion:

you may initially think that limits will be stifling; but you'll soon discover that they're absolutely liberating! In a culture where we're conditioned to want more, buy more, and do more, they're a wonderful breath of relief...you'll be inspired to apply them to other parts of your life...the possibilities are, well...unlimited!

Part Three is the down to brass tacks stuff, sectioned room by room, and while the methodology of uncluttering each room is pretty much the same, there's plenty of perspective on the specifics, such as, when uncluttering our wardrobes, we wonder how we acquired so many unwearable things:

...often, such excess is the result of chasing perfection....

The "chasing perfection" also applies to buying grooming and beauty products which promise perfection, and sucker us in every time. There's also lots about how to keep on top of clutter, especially the clutter created by family members who are not yet with the program. A firm but gentle persistence is urged, and with the hope that once there's not so much crap laying around, it'll be fairly easy to keep on top of things, and thus easier to get the rest of one's household to participate of their own free will. This is the other usefulness of preparing your mindset before actually tackling minimalism-it will help you resist the laggards in your own family as well as the pressures of a consumerist society.

Part Four considers life outside of your home in your schedule and in the impact on the world by your purchases/lack of purchases. Francine encourages us to apply the word "No" with courage even if we are naturally people-pleasers, in order to retain time for ourselves and for the most important things in our lives. She also, in a telling autobiographical example, encourages us to embrace the concept of "good enough:" when her young inner-perfectionist self stared in horror at carpeting her husband hadn't quite perfectly laid he said, "it's good enough." Fortunately the message got through and she's embraced it ever since, as should we.

A greater mindfulness about what we purchase and consume leads in turn to better things for the world around us, as we consider what something is made of, who has made it, how it is packaged, and how it can be recycled or disposed of when its usefulness is over. Francine adds to these benefits the beauty of sharing possessions and of setting a happy example of treading lightly on the earth as "minsumers," her own word for minimal-consumers. She concludes that sometimes minimalism can feel like swimming upstream, but the personal liberation we will feel once we step back from consumerism will be enough to sustain us and gently inspire those around us.

5-0 out of 5 stars LESS STUFF! LESS STRESS!, July 14, 2010
This book is amazing! Halfway through this book, I had the undeniable urge to start purging "stuff" from my drawers, closets and shelves. The author's concept of "how to do this" is unique. I've tried doing this on my own before, but the nagging feeling of "what if I need this" always stopped me in my tracks. The author explains how to get passed this, and it works! Now I have more space, I'm organized and I feel more relaxed. Finally, there is a book that can motivate anyone to declutter and organize their "stuff" and invite a little more tranquility into their lives. Great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book!, August 4, 2010
I've read various books and articles on how to reduce clutter but none of them have spoken to me like "The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: how to get rid of clutter and simplify your life" by Francine Jay. This book deals with every aspect of wiping out clutter and living a simpler, joyous life. Francine Jay writes about the issue both from a philosophical and practical perspective. The book is written in a way that makes it seem as though the author is talking to you, with kindness and yet with authority. This is what I needed! Jay shows you how to get started right away and then leads you through the process, step by step, room by room, giving solutions for every aspect of decluttering and simplifying your life.

The author offers solutions that are totally realistic and doable. I am amazed at the progress I have made from reading this book. My closet is now half empty and my kitchen counters are clean and free of clutter! I think that is because the book has also helped me change my way of thinking, helping me to move from a place of uncertainty to one of confidence as I go through this process. I highly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars My husband will read this book if I have to read it out loud to him., August 22, 2010
If I have read this book out loud to my husband over dinner for the next month, I will.

I've been a fan of Ms.Jay since I read Frugillionare. I have clipped coupons and been a bargain hunter for more years than I care to admit.

I wasn't sure if The Joy of Less would be meaningful to me since we downsized and eliminated a lot of our "excess" over six years ago. After reading this, I've realized how much "stuff" has been sneaking back into our little two bedroom townhouse. And, so much of it is my husband's stuff! Tools that moved with us and have been in the attic for six years now, cans of nuts and bolts and nails. I'm at fault too, too many bags of yarn and blocks of wood from my hobbies. But I can honestly say, after reading this, I've cleaned out my closet and out went the clothes and shoes I no longer wear, and I've tossed a bunch of kitchen items I thought I had to have and then never used.

My house still needs a lot of work, and I will never be a total minimalist, but I have more room and less clutter and I'm really happier. I think twice now about buying that extra item. Case in point, we recently remodeled our kitchen - a necessary task to keep the resale value up on our townhome. I wanted something to hold the wet sponge at the sink, and Target had several good and "cute" options at $10 - $15. What I finally did was to pull out a crystal ashtray that I inherited from my father and it works great! It was packed away in a cabinet and of no other use, except it reminds me of him and my stepmom, so now it's useful and looks great by my sink.

I'm also getting ready to put several things on ebay that no longer are needed and wanted. I've been looking up "values" and most of my treasures are not worth what I thought!

So, it I can convert my husband, this book will be worth it's weight in gold!
Wish me luck.

Thanks, Ms. Jay, for making us think before we spend and clutter our lives with unnecessary "stuff".

5-0 out of 5 stars The Joy of the Joy of Less!, August 28, 2010
In these times of economic uncertainty, downsizing may bring an emotional upheaval when trying to get by on fewer things. Fortunately, Francine Jay makes this journey a trip to genuinely cherish in "The Joy of Less". She presents minimalism not as something barren and empty but as freedom and space that makes our lives more enjoyable. And where can this make more of a personal impact than our homes?

This book is in four parts: Philosophy, Streamline, Room by Room and Lifestyle. In Philosophy, she introduces the concept of minimalism and asks the reader to think about our possessions and the value we attach to them: Are we defined by what we own? How much is enough to possess and actually use? And how clutter keeps us back in several ways, not just physically but at the very core of our lifestyle.

In Streamline, she lays out a methodical and clear strategy of de-cluttering our homes. In fact, `Streamline' itself is a handy ten-word mnemonic to guide the process of, well, streamlining! Separating our possessions into Trash, Treasure or Transfer helps to identify what we need to keep and what we can let go - either to the dump or to sell or donate to charity. And everything we keep must make a strong case to remain and have a place it can stay. Which is not on a surface like a table or even the floor, that must remain clear of objects lest it attracts stray items like a magnet. Her concept of storage cuts across three realms: Inner circle, outer circle and deep storage for items used often, sometimes and rarely respectively. `Room by Room' takes the streamline concept and applies it to each room in your home, taking into account the different and unique purpose of them all. She goes into detail how each space can be overhauled into peaceful, calm and de-cluttered oasises.

She closes in her `Lifestyle' section with a homily to expanding minimalism from de-cluttering to saving time from our busy schedules and even to a concept of `minsumerism', a means of reducing our consumption by the Three Rs of reduce, re-use and recycle. This is not an eco-rant on the sly but an instructive exploration of how a life of `enough' can pay dividends on the resources of the planet. She sums this up by comparing an ever-seeking, never-satisfied hunger for material acquisition as akin to a bull in a china shop, when in fact a more considerate approach is more like a butterfly, moving gracefully and lightly without leaving nary a footprint behind!

This is a great book from the writer of the `Miss Minimalist' blog (and NOT a reprint of what appears online). As we all face potentially stark choices of doing more with less in these trying times, we could all embrace `The Joy of Less'!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wholeheartedly Recommend this Book!, August 11, 2010
There are lots of books out there on living the minimalist life, but this book is different. It makes you want to run to your kitchen and start throwing out all those silver party trays you've had since you got married but never use. You suddenly feel inspired to get rid of your skinny clothes because the chances of fitting into a size 4 again are pretty slim (yes, pun intended!) I for one could not wait to hit my make-up drawer. I thought I was down-sized with my eleven compacts of eye make-up, five mascaras, 6 tubes of lipstick and various odds n ends that I haven't touched in years much less put on my face. It was so liberating to throw out all those beauty supplies that I will never get around to using.

The whole premise of this book is that having less stuff is the key to happiness. I couldn't agree more. The thing I like most about this book is it doesn't just tell you to start purging your possessions willy-nilly but it poses questions to ask yourself about everything that you own. The reader decides what gives their life value not the author. She guides you through the process and you come up with the answers.

Contrary to what the status quo would have us believe, having a lot of material possessions does not make us rich. Most of us have way too much stuff but not enough time to enjoy it all. This book is about the power of minimalist living. It's about getting rid of the excess so we can make room for new experiences and the things we truly love. Her musings on how to handle gifts and sentimental items is especially valuable. She reminds us that gifts are symbols of the giver's love. It's the intention of the giver that matters not the gift. Relish the intention and if you don't need it or want it, pass that gift along to someone else who can use it.

I can't pinpoint exactly what it was about this book that inspired me to go even deeper in my simplifying journey, but it did. Maybe it's the fact that the author takes the subject seriously but not in a judgmental way. We've all read those books that make you feel like a loser because you can't just tear through your house like a Kansas tornado and rid yourself of all the excess in one quick swoop. I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is supportive and kind. Francine Jay is likable and you wish she could personally visit your home and help you go through all your junk. But since she probably can't visit each of us personally, her book is the next best thing.



5-0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Less, September 23, 2010
What an inspiration! I've been trying to get rid of the clutter for years. I used to buy stuff thinking it would make me happy, a better cook, better housekeeper, better looking, etc, but none of it worked and I was still unhappy. I purchased this book & I'm HAPPY finally. The stress of keeping up with all my stuff was overwhelming. I've donated, sold & even had the kids go thought all the stuff they bought me through the years & told them that I appreciate their thoughtfulness but I was becoming a minimalist & please take all the collectibles & whatever else they wanted. Life is so much nicer, but I still have a long way to go.

I lent my book to a friend two months ago & she still hasn't returned it and I am going throughout withdrawals without it. I crave to read it again. Guess I'll have to get a Kindle & download it.

I have read so many good books on simplicity, clutter control, organizing but this has been the best ever!

I recently sold a desk that I no longer needed to an elderly couple. The husband asked me if I was moving out or had I just moved into my house. I replied that I have been here for seven years & he replied that since they had only given me a twenty minutes notice that they were on their way to see the desk, there was no way that I could have straightened up my house that quickly. They said that my house looked like it was ready for a showing, no clutter, no personal objects, clean as can be (even with 4 dogs). Their compliment made my year! Thank you Francine!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!, August 20, 2010
I love this book!

Finally a woman who is savvy and stylish writes a book on how to have less stuff but more joy. Many men have written books, but I feel they miss out how being female fits into living minimally. Makeup, clothes, shoes etc.

I am 40, live with a 8 YO and a 4 YO and my hubby. So I need something really thought out, not just a whim of an idea on how to minimalise.

Its a really good read and she has some great tips I hadnt read about. I love how she suggests you can actually just appreciate things, you dont HAVE to buy them. What a concept.

I have started culling spaces and am on a huge high. We (2 kids and I) have been donating to the library, the kindergarten, the charity shops.

Its different to other books, as your not looking to just throw stuff out, you are looking at things that need to earn their right to be here in my home.

I am a huge fan and its great to have someone write this book who clearly walks her talk. Francine even suggests books to read on her website, a bag that she travels with and lately her new small abode.

Great work Francine.

Sara

5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic guide to minimalism, August 30, 2010
I bought this a couple of weeks ago (kindle version!) and I'm already reading it for the second time. There is so much here -- inspiration AND practical tips. I love her blog and find this to be great supplemental reading. One thing I especially like about Francine is that I can relate to her. I'm in my 30's and married, and more than anything in this life I want to travel the world, rather than have a house full of stuff. In fact I really wish she had a travel blog, too, since reading about her approach to the world is so inspiring.
My only complaint is that I didn't have this to read 10 or 15 years ago.... !

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank Goodness I found this book just in time!!!, August 25, 2010
You do not have to become a total minimalist to greatly benefit from Francine Jay's strategy. This book proved to be an extremely valuable tool when I was faced with the daunting task of cleaning out two home locations in different cities to consolidate into one location (the smaller one). I was already a couple of weeks into this overwhelming mess when I received this book which changed how I approached the process both physically and emotionally.

Jay's book provided me with the proper mindset to approach such a huge undertaking, as well as giving me the tools and many GREAT tips to efficiently accomplish the goal. Following her advice gave me the ability to see immediate progress which set on fire the desire to keep going! She hits totally right on about every box or sack that goes out the door resulting in a feeling of relief (not regret) and freedom.

Congratulations, Francine Jay! You will have a lot of thankful fans and a thankful planet as well!
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93. Pretty Little Liars #8: Wanted
by Sara Shepard
Kindle Edition
list price: $13.99
Asin: B003JBI392
Publisher: 2010-06-08
Sales Rank: 620
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Editorial Review

In Rosewood, majestic estates sprawl for acres, and Tiffany toggle bracelets dangle from every girl's wrist. But not all that glitters is gold, and the town harbors secrets darker than anyone could imagine—like the truth about what really happened the night Alison DiLaurentis went missing. . . .

Back in middle school, Ali plucked Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer from obscurity and turned them into the beautiful, popular girls everyone wanted to be. Ali was the best friend they ever had. But she also made them do terrible things and taunted them with their worst secrets. Now, three years later, all their questions about Ali have finally been answered and they can put this awful chapter of their lives behind them. Or so they think.

Not every story has a happy ending, especially when four pretty little liars have done so many wicked things. In the dramatic conclusion of Sara Shepard's bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer could get everything they've ever wanted—unless A has one more horrifying twist in store.

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94. Psychology
by David G. Myers
Hardcover (2009-01-10)
list price: $133.95 -- our price: $112.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1429215976
Publisher: 2010-06-08
Sales Rank: 98
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Editorial Review

There is no such thing as a light, perfunctory revision of David Myers’ Psychology. Each new edition is a fresh opportunity to communicate psychology’s enduring principles and pivotal research in terms that captivate students and connect with their lives.

But even by Myers’ standards, Psychology, Ninth Edition, is truly exceptional. This exhaustive update of the bestselling textbook for introductory psychology incorporates the largest number of new research citations of any revision to date, as well as new inquiry-based pedagogy, a reconceptualized art program, and the next generation of media and supplements. Yet, edition after edition, David Myers demonstrates an uncanny ability to communicate the science of psychology in a uniquely engaging, accessible way.

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95. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
by Malcolm Gladwell
Paperback (2010-12-14)
list price: $16.99 -- our price: $8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0316076201
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 340
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard-but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century?


In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from The New Yorker over the same period.

Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.

"Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head." What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow, what a surpirsing gem!
I've enjoyed all of Malcolm Gladwell's single-subject books, so I thought I'd give this collection of his articles a chance even though I often find compilations like this to be a let down. I'm positively thrilled I read it. The only drawback may be that my friends and family must be sick to death of listening to me talk about it.

A number of things make the book a real standout. The first is Gladwell's own description of what he tries to accomplish when he writes an article. He says he tries to give the reader a sense of "what it feels like" to be the person he's featuring. He does it in spades and throws a lot more into the bargain as well.

Amongst the articles, I found a clearer and more engaging explanation of Nassim Taleb's theories than can be found in Taleb's own books. They are brilliant and fascinating and literally gave me new ideas on how to deal with today's stock market conditions. I came to understand why French's mustard has hundreds of successful competitors while Heinz ketchup really has none. I learned better ways to interact with my dog. The list goes on and on.

What's so fun is that each article took me into a world different from my own and when I left, I had more than I came in with. Some of it is truly helpful in my life, some will make great cocktail party conversation and some is just fascinating in its own right.

Pick this one up and give it a read. I think you'll be glad you did.

5-0 out of 5 stars More Interesting & Unique Perspectives
If you're an avid reader of "The New Yorker" over the past decade or so, you probably would've read most of the stories Malcolm Gladwell pieced together to produce this fascinating book; perhaps you would've felt cheated that he's simply rehashing old stuff.

Luckily for me, I don't read "The New Yorker", so all of Gladwell's "adventures" that have been compiled for this endeavor are new to me; and I found them to be quite interesting and unique. The end result is a book that anyone with an inquiring mind would certainly enjoy. I loved it.

The topics covered in this quirky series of essays are as far-flung as Ron Popeil and the psychology of dogs; whether you find each one to be of interest is debatable. Certainly, what some people would find interesting, would bore others to death. To nit pick each separate chapter would be a futile endeavor; simply enjoy the essence of Gladwell's engaging prose, and explore the fascinating perspective he lends to our crazy existence.

In the end, you'll discover a different perspective on a lot of things you never even thought about before; and isn't that the reason for expanding our intellectual horizons? Quite simply, this book accomplishes its mission; I highly recommend reading it for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like a provocative comedian, Gladwell chooses familiar rocks
Gladwell's subject matter is intentionally, wildly far flung. In addition, one story will go micro and the next will go macro. He revels in the swing. Like a provocative comedian, Gladwell chooses familiar rocks and then breaks them open for the pay off. He exposes the human motivations and the surrounding group dynamics that contribute to any number of calamities. As a premier American Social Scientist, Gladwell is many things; part intuitive savant, part psychologist and sociologist and part investigative interrogator. Above all these gifts, Gladwell is an excellent story teller. He often tackles huge and complex topics with simple unflappable logic. Gladwell's patented "reveal" is his franchise trademark. First he presents an interesting dynamic or problem. He then presents a second, seemingly unrelated problem. Gladwell toggles between the two stories and rolls them out on two long converging lines, logically inching them forward, step-by-step. At the end of each essay, there is a single resolve with an implicit social commentary, (`... the teacher's have an NFL quarterback problem"). He often concedes that knowing the logical answer won't necessarily change the next inevitable outcome. So rest assured, due to our own human nature, curious Mr. Gladwell will never run short of flamboyant material.

5-0 out of 5 stars What Malcolm learned....

One man's opinion, Malcolm Gladwell is at his best when writing essays for magazines (notably The New Yorker) or when writing Outliers: The Story of Success, his most recently published book. (I do not share others' enthusiasm for his earlier books, The Tipping Point and Blink.) In Outliers, he provides a rigorous and comprehensive examination of the breakthrough research conducted by Anders Ericsson and his associates at Florida State. One of the major research projects focuses on individuals who have "attained their superior performance by instruction and extended practice: highly skilled performers in the arts, such as music, painting and writing, sports, such as swimming, running and golf and games, such as bridge and chess." Geoff Colvin (in Talent Is Overrated) and Daniel Coyle (in The Talent Code) also discuss the same research.

In this volume, we have 19 of Gladwell's essays, all of which originally appeared in The New Yorker. They are organized within three Parts: Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius (e.g. "The Pitchman: Ron Popeil and the Conquest of the American Kitchen"); Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses (e.g. "Million-Dollar Murray: Why Problems Like Homelessness May Be Easier to Solve Than Manage"); and Personality, Character, and Intelligence (e.g. "Dangerous Minds: Criminal Profiling Made Easy"). In the Preface, Gladwell observes, "Curiosity about the inner life of other people's day-to-day work is one of the most funfamental of human impulses, and that same impulse is what led to the writing you now hold in your hands."

The title of the book is also the title of one of the essays in which Gladwell provides a profile of "The Dog Whisperer," Cesar Millan, the owner of the Dog Psychology Center in South-Central Los Angeles whose television program is now featured on the National Geographic channel. Although a long-time dog owner, I did not know - until reading this article - that dogs are really interested in humans. Interested, observes anthropologist Brian Hare, "to the point of obsession. To a dog, you are a giant walking tennis ball." Apparently to an extent no other animal can, a dog can "read" humans like the proverbial open book. What they "see" determines how they will react. The key to Millan's effectiveness with dogs is his understanding of their need for exercise, discipline, and affection. What he calls an "epiphany" occurred when he realized that they have their own psychology. For him, he realized this, it was "the most important moment in his life, because it was the moment when he understood that to succeed in the world he could not be just a dog whisperer. He needed to be a people whisperer." According to Gladwell, "A dog cares, deeply, which way your body is leaning. Forward or backward? Forward can be seen as aggressive; backward - even a quarter of an inch - means nonthreatening. It means you've relinquished what ethologists call an intentional movement to proceed forward." Ethologist Patricia McConnell and the author of The Other End of the Leash adds, "I believe they pay a tremendous amount of attention to how relaxed our face is and how relaxed our facial muscles are, because that's a big cue for them with each other."

Gladwell seems to have an insatiable curiosity about individuals, situations, and locations that may be, at least unitially, of little interest to others...until he shares what he has learned about them. Ketchup, for example. It is essential to my enjoyment of burgers, meatloaf, and french fries and yet I assumed that all ketchup is the same. Not so! In "The Ketchup Conundrum," Gladwell explains that tomato ketchup "is a nineteenth-century creation - the union of the English tradition of fruit and vegetable sauces and the growing American infatuation with the tomato. But what we know today as ketchup emerged outof a debate that raged in the first years of the last century over benzoate, a preservative widely used in the late-nineteenth century condiments." When I first read this essay in 2004, I was tempted to stop at this point. A debate about benzoate? A condiment controversy? Who cares? It is to Gladwell's credit that he rewarded my continuing to read the article by providing some truly interesting information about a subject in which I had little (if any) prior interest.

The next article in the anthology, "Blowing Up: How Nassim Taleb Turned the Inevitability of Disaster Into an Investment Strategy,"an article first published in 2002. Over a period of many months, Gladwell spent a great deal of time with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, founder and CEO of a hedge fund, Empirica Capital. "Taleb likes to quote David Hume: `No amount of observations of white swans can allow the inference that all swans are white, but the observation of a single black swan is sufficient to refute that conclusion.'...[Taleb] has constructed a trading philosophy predicated entirely on the existence of black swans, on the possibilty of some random, unexpected event sweeping the markets. He never sells options, then. He only buys them. He's never the one who can lose a great deal of money if GM stock suddenly plunges. Nor does her ever bet on the market moving in one direction or anitger. That would require Traleb to assume that he understands the market, and he doesn't." Years later, he wrote a book he called The Black Swan and during the subsequent financial crisis of 2008-2009 "made a staggering amount of money for his fund."

In this article and in all of the others, Gladwell demonstrates the skills of a world-class cultural anthropologist as he seeks out information from a wide variety of sources, interviews authorities on the given subject, observes behavior of those involved in the given activities, and then explains to the extent possible - in layman's terms - the meaning and significance of what he has learned. Each article is a gem. Together in one volume, they are a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for the contemporary skeptic
Every essay is dazzling. The unifying theme of all the pieces is epistemology: Why don't more accurate and precise mammograms provide more precise diagnoses? Why don't the best college quarterbacks necessarily make it as pros? Why is it probably naive to expect that all terrorist plots can be averted? The author probes into the limits of our knowledge and the expectations of 21st century society about certainty, and usually comes up with very provocative conclusions.

5-0 out of 5 stars from theBookChubi
I listened to the audiobook and I think that was a good idea. First off, Gladwell has a great vocal quality that can both present information in a neutral tone (avoiding the problem of biasing the reader straight from the start) but is also very animated and really helps bring the information alive. Although the words themselves are what is important, without the additional presentational quality of the author I feel this book may come off as dry or too factual (as opposed to the stated purpose of providing an alternative idea). He takes you along the entire thought process behind the theories and ideas he is writing about so that you aren't simply confronted with the "solution" but get an idea of each step taken to arrive at that conclusion.

Some of the endings are blunt, which may work well for The New Yorker (where the articles were sourced from) but do seem a bit abrupt for a collection of stories in a book. Gladwell is fantastic about bringing each story around full circle and creating a through-line which, rather than sounding like a college paper (as these articles could have been doomed in another author's hands), provide a rich plot which happens to provide valuable information in the mean time. You will learn something even if you don't mean to and in the context of this book that is a positive factor.

All in all this book deserves your attention (it sure managed to capture mine).

See the full review at: [...] ... Read more


96. Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
by Geneen Roth
Hardcover
list price: $24.00 -- our price: $10.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1416543074
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 333
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

No matter how sophisticated or wealthy or broke or enlightened you are, how you eat tells all.

If you suffer about your relationship with food -- you eat too much or too little, think about what you will eat constantly or try not to think about it at all -- you can be free. Just look down at your plate. The answers are there. Don't run. Look. Because when we welcome what we most want to avoid, we contact the part of ourselves that is fresh and alive. We touch the life we truly want and evoke divinity itself.

Since adolescence, Geneen Roth has gained and lost more than a thousand pounds. She has been dangerously overweight and dangerously underweight. She has been plagued by feelings of shame and self-hatred and she has felt euphoric after losing a quick few pounds on a fad diet. Then one day, on the verge of suicide, she did something radical: She dropped the struggle, ended the war, stopped trying to fix, deprive and shame herself. She began trusting her body and questioning her beliefs.

It worked. And losing weight was only the beginning.

She wrote about her discoveries in When Food Is Love, her first New York Times bestseller. She gave huge numbers of women their first insights into compulsive eating and she changed huge numbers of lives for the better.

Now, after more than three decades of studying, teaching and writing about what drives our compul-sions with food, Geneen adds a profound new dimension to her work in Women, Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God. But it doesn't stop there. Geneen shows how going beyond both the food and feelings takes you deeper into realms of spirit and soul to the bright center of your own life.

With penetrating insight and irreverent humor, Roth traces food compulsions from subtle beginnings to unexpected ends. She teaches personal examination, showing readers how to use their relationship with food to discover the fulfillment they long for.

Your relationship with food, no matter how conflicted, is the doorway to freedom, says Roth. What you most want to get rid of is itself the doorway to what you want most: the demystification of weight loss and the luminous presence that so many of us call "God."

Packed with revelations on every page, this book is a knock-your-socks-off ride to a deeply fulfilling relationship with food, your body...and almost everything else. Women, Food and God is, quite simply, a guide for life. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars "How We Eat is How We Live"--A Spiritual Perspective on Overeating, March 2, 2010
*****
Geneen Roth hits a home run with her latest book about overeating and so much more in "Women Food and God". The theme of the book is that the way we eat, the way we think about food and handle ourselves around it is the way we do everything. The author then shows us how and why this is the case. She describes the food retreats she runs and the women who attend them, and as a reader you will surely identify in some way with every single person--and with the lesson she illustrates from their lives. This is a more complex book than her earlier books because of the spiritual dimension; she sees problems with overeating as gateways to spiritual enlightenment. She convinced me (and will convince you as well) that instead of trying to get rid of or fix our eating problems, we need to use them to see within ourselves, to learn important spiritual life lessons from our feelings, and to grow and heal so that we will end up eating as a spiritual practice. And so that we'll have a permanent end to the misery of always struggling with our weight and self-image, and always striving to improve our relationship with food.

The book is so good that for me, just reading it was like a spiritual awakening in this area of my life. I found it motivational, inspirational, and scary in a good way--and the author makes the whole process doable with descriptions of practices that can be used on the food healing/awakening journey such as meditation, inquiry, and eating guidelines. These practices are all specific to the process and they are described in detail. This spiritual dimension is generic and does not require a particular religious belief, or even any religious belief. It would be compatible with any type of spirituality. The type of eating practiced is intuitive eating (listening to your body to discern what it wants), and no matter what your way of eating, you can apply an intuitive approach to it--this book is about a way of living and relating to food, not about a food plan.

If you have read the author's other books (as I have) you will find much new information here. Other key themes of the book include mindfulness, presence, and feeling your feelings. The author is brutal but honest in describing how destructive the dieting industry is to women. Again, this is definitely not a diet book or eating plan, but instead a way of experiencing life which allows you to be present and aware so that you are able to listen to your body and choose food based on nourishment and self-care.

Although it is a quick read (I read it in one evening), this book is so valuable that you will want to refer back to it, highlight it for future reference, take notes in the margins, and use parts for journal prompts. There is only one negative, and it is a biggy: the paper in this hardback book is similar to super cheap mass market paperback-type paper. I have never seen an actual book of any type with such paper, though! I tried to highlight sections and the highlighter not only would bleed through to the reverse side of the page, but sometimes onto the previous page! It is hard to describe how frustrating this was---a book that is a true keeper on throw-away paper. I highlighted anyway and my book is a mess, but I decided to rebuy it on Kindle when it comes out. I've never done this before, but it's that good of a book--worth months (or maybe years) of therapy. I also would buy it again if it is reprinted (and I'll bet it will be) with a paper that matches the quality of the book.

That flaw aside, I'm so glad I bought this book. I have read many, many books on overeating, diet and nutrition, self-help, styles of eating, and more, and this book stands apart from the crowd. The message is an important one for any woman who wants to handle her relationship with food, her weight, and her spirituality in a healthy way, and to become whole. If that is you, you will not be disappointed, I promise.

Highest recommendation.
*****

5-0 out of 5 stars Read This and Start to Really Live Again, March 30, 2010
Wow, this book was wonderful. So well written, with humor and spiritual wisdom. Very powerful sentences throughout.
I have had eating disorders since my first diet at the age of 14. I remember getting a bit of approval for losing weight; even though I wasn't overweight to begin with. Thus started my long, sad, disordered eating story. I never did get the real love from my parents; but boy did I try to look good striving for it.
I continued to eat everything on my plate and be a "good girl". Certain foods were BAD, others GOOD. I was an excellent student. So, by the time I was an adult I am exactly as Geneen Roth describes herself - eating for every reason besides hunger. If I felt angry or lonely I'd eat. I'd binge when I couldn't express myself to those I wanted to be close to - family members and boyfriends. I was living on a field of death. I would get so tired of the yo yo, up and down with the weight gain and sorrow, then a time of eating healthy, and then cravings, and more binges.
Finally I understand more about this illness: Geneen makes it clear that I am distracting myself with the focus on this yo yo story. I now want to look at the truth, at all of me (short comings and positive traits), and start living. I don't need to be stuck in this compulsive eating hell. I no longer need my mom's approval, or anyone else's - just my own self- validation will do, thank you.
The guidelines and suggestions are helpful and yet, not so easy to follow; but well worth it for me. The spiritual guidelines and love throughout are priceless. Hello, I can really learn to love Eileen on a daily basis, around food, around work, my friends and family, anything (as long as I'm in the moment). Food is not love, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it, and eat it when I'm hungry and when I'm craving something. It all comes down to what Geneen calls THE VOICE; and I know very well that mine needed to change. I have started that change. My voice speaks slower now, and with more kindness towards myself. I don't judge food and I don't judge myself eating food (all kinds of food). I find that I am even being kinder to my husband lately; he noticed as well.
I have heard a lot of these ideas before, but the way they are presented in this book; it's like a Bible for compulsive overeaters. Keep it handy; I will refer to this book, and read it many times - as it is helping me create the habits I want, to be as close to God, and to a normal eater as I can get.
Thank you so much Ms.Roth for this creative work of art and compassion!
Eileen

4-0 out of 5 stars THE Book About Relationships, March 21, 2010
What is happening in your life is reflected in your relationship with food. This is my one sentence summary of this book. When you think of it you realize that this is actually true and obvious, yet we needed the insight of Geneen Roth to open our eyes and point that obvious fact to most of us. The most eating disorders, whether starving or overeating, stem from our psychological problems and our inability to cope with them. If we are unhappy or broken-hearted, food is often relied upon as a quick and temporary fix to the underlying bigger problem that we are not able to deal with at this particular point in time.

This book is for all food addicts, which means for most of us. In our culture food is not only there for you when you are hungry. It also plays a major role in our social life. When you want to meet someone, you often meet them for lunch, dinner, coffee, tea, desert, etc. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we surround ourselves with food and this becomes a major problem when food turns to a drug to hide from our feelings, to anesthetize ourselves, or to escape.

But this is not all the book is about. The author shows the reader how going beyond the food and the feelings will take you into spirituality -- "to the bright center of your own life."

It is true that the way we eat mirrors the way we feel. But the opposite is also true. The author of the book titled "Your Body Maintenance Handbook" states that "by reducing sugar, meat, and coffee in our diet we can reduce aggressive behavior by 50%" He further cites old Japanese joke: "If a couple starts their day with a fight, they should recall what they ate the previous day"

1-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Do It For Me, July 13, 2010
I am very happy for the people who find this book helpful, but I am not one of them. Some of this is quite logical, and it is certainly important to examine what your emotional motivation is for eating, but mindful eating is nothing new. I do not believe that every single thing you eat, you are eating for some deep, emotional reason. Sometimes, a piece of cake is just a piece of cake and I want it because it tastes phenomenal.

3-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, but Hard to Grasp, April 23, 2010
Women, Food & God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything is a book that could help you stop overeating. However, Roth's ethereal language can make the concepts hard to grasp in practical terms. Plenty of "aha" moments, but these can be fleeting with Roth's airy way of nailing it down and applying it to your life.

If you want a tool to reinforce what you've learned after reading the book, try downloading Geneen Roth's MP3s. Be forewarned, I don't recommend listening to the MP3s unless you've read the book, and it can be an expensive proposition to purchase each track at almost $14 a piece.

Ultimately, the book opened my eyes for the first time to certain patterns of overeating. While the book forces you to be more thoughtful, it's still up to you to reinforce the patterns and learn the new habits she introduces. I wish there were a workbook or some kind of lesson plan we could use to help make everything stick.

Update! Since my complaint about the book is that it's too hard to put into practice by myself, I hope Geneen Roth's weekly Women Food & God online retreat from May 25 to June 29 might address that issue. Check out my site for weekly reviews of Roth's online seminar.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pedantic & Verbose, September 29, 2010
This material might have been better presented in a magazine article - and I still would not have liked it, but I would have wasted less time.

While I do not disagree with all of the author's ideas, I am immediately irritated by her delivery. Instead of, "This is my experience, perhaps you will find something useful in it," she seems to say, "This is my experience. This is the truth, and if you do not agree then you are in denial."

I'm glad I lent it from the library and did not run out and buy it as an enthusiastic friend suggested.

1-0 out of 5 stars Total disappointment, July 20, 2010
I just finished this book. I knew from the first page that it wasn't something that would resonate with me. My heart bleeds for the women in Geneen's retreats. It sounds as if they all need some major couch time with a good psychologist. The book is full of comments about these women's childhoods, mostly aimed at their mother's who did these women wrong and are the source of their eating disorders. Geneen herself seems to have been raised by a real doozy of a Mother....

I'm not trying to dismiss the correlation between self esteem issues caused by inept parents and all kinds of disorders (including eating disorders), but NOT everyone has the issues that the author seems to believe are the sole source of over-eating. Not everyone had a horrible Mother, or was abused or stuffs their feelings or is lonely. The list of sheer misery goes on....and on...and on in this book. I kept hoping it would end but it was there, from start to finish.
There are some of us out there that REALLY just like food. People like myself who had a very loving, supportive Mother that told me how wonderful I was and how much she loved me every day....who has been in a great relationship, married for nearly 30 years to her best friend...has 2 kids that never have her a minute of heartache.
So where do the 'unscarred' women fit into this equation??
Nowhere.
As for God...God was hardly a part of this book. Geneen briefly talks about meditation, but that's about it.

If you have baggage...LOTS of it, or mother issues or have suffered abuses in any way, then this book is for you.
If you love food, love to cook, love to feed people and are just passionate about food and have battled with 40 pounds because of it, but otherwise have a pretty dang nice life and actually like yourself, SKIP this book. There are eating guidelines posted at the very end of the book...10 common sense things that are the only redeeming feature to the book, and if you can pick the book up in the store and find those, take 10 seconds to read through them, you'll have all the information that was worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, Healing, and Nourishing for Disregulated Eaters, April 1, 2010
As a long-time fan of Roth's, as a recovered chronic dieter and binge-eater, and as someone writing, counseling and teaching in the same field, I wondered she could say that she hadn't said before. The answer is not so much about brilliant new material as it is her way of pulling it altogether and writing with such clarity, humor, and beautiful language. Roth is wise, no doubt about it. Her wisdom comes from working through her own struggles with food (and life) and from experiential study of what makes for health and happiness. As a secular-leaning person, my one fear about the book was that it was going to be about spirituality or religion. It isn't. It is about finding and loving the best in yourself. Whether you're an overeater, undereater or yo-yo back in forth, you will be moved and changed by reading this book.
Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed.
The Rules of "Normal" Eating: A Commonsense Approach for Dieters, Overeaters, Undereaters, Emotional Eaters, and Everyone in Between!, Nice Girls Finish Fat: Put Yourself First and Change Your Eating Forever, The Food and Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health, What Every Therapist Needs to Know about Treating Eating and Weight Issues

1-0 out of 5 stars boring book, September 17, 2010
This book was so boring and repitiious that I eventually gave up trying to read it. Paragraph after paragraph it repeated the same ideas and concepts. Definitely not worth purchasing.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great Publicist, Bad Book, August 13, 2010
After having read over 50% of this book and having the same idea presented in at least 20 different versions, I gave up...I got it the first time. There are no new ideas here folks. Just a great publicist that got her on Oprah. If it was at least well written I would feel a bit better about it, but she apparently believes her audience is incredibly dense and must be spoken to like 10 year olds to understand her "oh so deep" concepts.

I came home yesterday to find that my dog had taken this book off of my nightstand and ripped it to shreds. Smart Boy! I will not be replacing it so I can finish it. ... Read more


97. Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food
by Jessica Seinfeld
Hardcover-spiral
list price: $12.95 -- our price: $7.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 006176793X
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 420
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

It has become common knowledge that childhood obesity rates are increasing every year. But the rates continue to rise. And between busy work schedules and the inconvenient truth that kids simply refuse to eat vegetables and other healthy foods, how can average parents ensure their kids are getting the proper nutrition and avoiding bad eating habits?

As a mother of three, Jessica Seinfeld can speak for all parents who struggle to feed their kids right and deal nightly with dinnertime fiascos. As she wages a personal war against sugars, packaged foods, and other nutritional saboteurs, she offers appetizing alternatives for parents who find themselves succumbing to the fastest and easiest (and least healthy) choices available to them. Her modus operandi? Her book is filled with traditional recipes that kids love, except they're stealthily packed with veggies hidden in them so kids don't even know! With the help of a nutritionist and a professional chef, Seinfeld has developed a month's worth of meals for kids of all ages that includes, for example, pureed cauliflower in mac and cheese, and kale in spaghetti and meatballs. She also provides revealing and humorous personal anecdotes, tear–out shopping guides to help parents zoom through the supermarket, and tips on how to deal with the kid that "must have" the latest sugar bomb cereal.

But this book also contains much more than recipes and tips. By solving problems on a practical level for parents, Seinfeld addresses the big picture issues that surround childhood obesity and its long–term (and ruinous) effects on the body. With the help of a prominent nutritionist, her book provides parents with an arsenal of information related to kids' nutrition so parents understand why it's important to throw in a little avocado puree into their quesadillas. She discusses the critical importance of portion size, and the specific elements kids simply must have (as opposed to adults) in order to flourish now and in the future: protein, calcium, vitamins, and Omega 3 and 6 fats.

Jessica Seinfeld's book is practical, easy–to–read, and a godsend for any parent that wants their kids to be healthy for a long time to come.

... Read more

Reviews

4-0 out of 5 stars Let's Compare: "Deceptive" Vs. "Sneaky", February 8, 2008
Deceptively Delicious VS.The Sneaky Chef

First of all let me start by saying:
!) I don't have young kids any more BUT
2) I HATE veggies but I know I need to eat more of them, so any system that gets them into me and the grownups in my life: BRAVO!

Yes, I'd recommend BOTH books and here's why. They each have their strong and weak suits.

Pluses:
DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS has
A) pictures, which is helpful and fun
B) tips and comments by her taste-testers
C) used one type of puree for each recipe
D) is spiral bound so it will lay flat. The whole layout is really nice, just as a cookbook to read!
E) doesn't beat you over the head with the whole nutrition thing

THE SNEAKY CHEF has
A) combination purees, which add a lot of variety and ease into the cooking part
B0 really cute names for the dishes. Makes it easy to remember!
C) isn't afraid to use butter and milk!
D) goes seriously into the nutrition thing. Almost the first half of the book is a prelim and explanation of the whole concept.
E) the recipes seem to taste a bit better!

Minuses:
DD. The recipes are a bit bland. If you're cooking for an adult palate, you need to add more spices. For example her "Chocolate Chip Cupcakes." I suggest substituting milk (even skim) for the water, add an extra T. vanilla and 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon. One of the veggie purees her recipes call for aren't covered in the "how to prepare puree" part.

SC: Very few pictures. It's not spiral bound but a trip to Office Max can take care of that for you. (Best tip I ever got regarding cookbooks by the way and found it here!) It's a bit "textbook" like. I get the whole nutrition thing already.

I wish both books went into greater detail about the pureeing part. They're pretty good but if you're not a veggie person to begin with, you might not know what is the proper consistency.

I understand that Missy (The Sneaky Chef author) is writing a cookbook for adult with hidden veggies and I hope Jessica will do the same!

3-0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm..I thought this was going to be easier!, October 16, 2007
I also was so excited for this cookbook to arrive. I immediately rushed to the grocery store to get $50.00 worth of vegetables and other baking ingredients.

My first attempt was the brownies, and my victims were all adults. The look on their faces was priceless. Not so good because of the very weird texture to them.

Next, eggs with cauliflower for my 3 year old. Hmmm, he was wondering whey the eggs that have always been yellow, have now turned white. Add a little cheddar, and bam, they are yellow again.

The blueberry cupakces with cream cheese filling, total disaster. They looked horrible, and tasted even worse. I didn't even attempt to try to get anyone in the house to eat them

Hamburgers....you would have thought I was feeding my husband horse meat. They were NASTY! Very slimy with a funky aftertase.

What I learned is that you don't need this cookbook for recipes. Puree some veggies and slip them in the everyday food you make. Don't go overboard, and chances are your kids won't know the difference!

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice recipes but lots of prep time, October 20, 2007
After seeing this on Oprah, my child and I decided to buy it. My child is one who actually eats and enjoys vegetables but we were both intrigued by the idea of incorporating extra vegetables into our diets.

The book is well-organized, offers detailed information about both the recipes and the benefits of the major ingredients, and I really like that the tone is not a "lecture" on the benefits of vegetables. She doesn't talk down to the reader but offers lots of helpful suggestions.

I do have one suggestion for busy parents - use organic baby food. I don't have a food processor and I don't have a dedicated block of time to clean, cook and prepare all the purees for the week. For about $.65 (or less) per jar, I can have 1/2 cup of organic winter squash etc. that has already been cleaned, cooked and pureed for me. Plus, it will keep on the shelf until I need it so I can buy extra when they go on sale.

Furthermore, I have started adding the purees to the recipes or boxed mixes I already use. I added 1/2 cup of mixed vegetables to a batch of Pamela's gluten-free brownie mix tonight and it was delicious. There was no noticeable change in texture and we could not taste anything but rich chocolate.

Don't be afraid to experiment :)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is the BEST!!!, October 13, 2007
Well let me begin by saying that I am not a professional chef, nor I am an uber-fan of the "Seinfeld" show - so I could care less who the author is. I also had a feeling that anything that deals with food and children and not being 100% honest with kids in this "kid-centered" world we live in would push a few buttons. And it did! I am a married mom of two boys and I am also interested in better health for my family. I do believe in eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state but let's be honest: Who among us eats five servings a day? I saw Ms. Seinfeld on Oprah and thought to myself, Well I have beeing doing the puree thing myself so let's see what she has to say. How are thre recipes? Pretty good, as a matter of fact. Here is what I did to try some of the recipes out:
First, I plugged my Bob Seger CD and got the ball rolling. The Beatles work just as well, the decision is yours. Then I washed my hands, put on my "Lutheran Jello Power" apron and said to myself: "It's Go Time!" I own a Vita-Mix blender which double as a food processor. I own a rice cooker which can be used to stream veggies. If you do not own a food processor or a steamer, do not despair. You can bake a lot of the veggies or put a colander in a shallow pan of boiling water to steam them. You can always invest in a steamer and/or food processor if you want, later. The first recipe I tries was:
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: 5 star.They are delicious! The only tweaking I did to the recipe was I pureed the chickpeas before adding them to the batter. I also used brown sugar Splenda rather than regular brown sugar; when done you have a batch of cookies that have 1/2 cup of brown sugar plus protein in them!! There is no white sugar in this recipe and I also used whole wheat flour. Excellent!! I have actually made these twice in a week.
SPAGETTI AND MEATBALLS: 5 stars. My kids are not that into meatballs and they ate them. This was my first attempt at meatballs, ever, and they turned out great. I put the broccoli puree and the sweet potato puree in the spagetti sauce and no one tasted anything different.
CHOCOLATE PUDDING: 5 stars. I put the avocado puree in this and believe it or not my two sons complained that is was "too much chocolate tasting!" The pudding was that good.
MACARONI AND CHEESE: 5 stars. I tried putting the sweet potato puree in with a box mix and there was no taste difference. I mixed the puree withe the milk and you could taste the puree. The kids actually said it tasted better than before!!
FROZEN YOGURT POPS: 5 stars. Very good, very sweet. I do not own popsicle molds so I used those multi-color cups from toddler days (my kids are 8 & 10 yrs old) and although they worked great - I bought popsicle sticks from a craft store - next time I am going to use smaller dixie cups so the portions are smaller.
The recipes are mistake proof as well; I put avocado puree rather than the brocolli puree in pizza sauce to make pizza burgers (Jessica says to label your bags, guess now I know why) but it still tasted good. It actually made them taste a bit sweeter, like I had put banana peppers in the recipe as well.
One error I made was when I was done with the puree was I put all the puree in one large Zip-lock bag. Follow Jessica's advice and use smaller bags so you can pull out just how much you need. I pureed the following veggies the first day: Summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, avocados, spinach, zucchini and sweet potatoes. I bought a bag of frozen blueberries. I am little type A but I wanted all the puree to be available so I could try as many recipes as possible. If you want to try a recipe or two but don't own all the equipment (especially a food processor, which if you are going to do this long term you will need) try the sweet potato recipes. You can bake a sweet potato and mash it up with a fork and some water. And one sweet potato goes a very long way. I used three and I have enought puree to feed a day care. For a week. The avocado would be another one to try without all the equipment, as it is easily mashed with a fork and some water. The borcolli and caulifower recipes will require a food processor as they are tougher vegetables to mash, even in a steamed state.
There has been much discussion about another book that was published last spring and "competition" with this book. Well I am no expert but there is no way that this book could have been put together and published in six months. Why can't both books be on the market? I am sure both authors want the same thing: Better diets for us all. I have ordered the other cookbook as well, there is room for both on my shelf.
As for the argument that we are lying to our kids: Big whoop-de-doo. I have eaten more sweet potatoes, brocolli, califlower, carrots, etc. in the past week that I have in the past six months. Do I present veggies in their natural state? Yes. Do my kids always eat them? No. But at least they are presented and I know they are still eating them in the puree. Mealtimes should be about talking and sharing, not arguing over food. My younger son likes to help with cooking and baking and he knows the purees are in there and he could care less, as long as can still eat. I highly recommend this cookbook and as soon as I receive the other cookbook I will write a review of that book as well. This book, to me, is a great teaching tool about nutrition. My kids and I have gone through the recipes together and discussed which ones we want to try. Do my kids eat cake and ice cream? Of course, just not every day. We talk about nutrition in a matter of fact way: These are the things to make your body grow. Period. No arguing, no crying, no bribing. I am sort of like Dragnet that way: "Just the facts, ma'am!"
I also want to edit my review to add that I could not help notice that all the one star and rwo star reviews are very critical of the author's personal life. I sincerely hope that folks can see through such attempts at being critical of the author because she is once divorced and is now married to a celebrity. It is sad that such personal attacks are listed in what should be a simple book review.

1-0 out of 5 stars Deceptively not so good..., November 15, 2007
Quesadillas- The flavor wasn't too bad if you dipped in Salsa otherwise you can taste the squash and it doesn't come out crip it comes out pretty mushy.
Chicken nuggets- The breading doesn't get very crisp, the breading falls off when cooking and if you use brocolli the nuggest have a green look to them.
Chocolate cake with beats was good. Chick pea chocolate chip cookies were good the first 2 days. After that the chickpeas got so hard you couldn't chew them.
Brownies are spongy.
Grilled cheese you can taste the veggies and it is pretty mushy tasting
Egg Puffs were just gross
French toast isn't too bad, but my kids won't eat it
Chicken soup I didn't care for, but my son's did eat it.

Overall the recipes don't taste that bad, but the texture wasn't that good. I have one son who isn't a fussy eater at all and he wouldn't eat these recipes. Normally he eats anything you give him. Actually I think I made a mistake feeding him food from this cookbook because now he is a fussy eater when he never was before. Now my other son who is always fussy and we can't get him to eat much of anything wouldn't eat these either. He was the reason I bought the book, but he won't have anything to do with the food. He even likes cookies, cakes etc, they are his favorite. He didn't like the cookies. He did eat the cake and that was about it. I would say don't buy it. In fact I think I am going to have to sell my book. It was a waste of money for me.

1-0 out of 5 stars Brownies Taste Deceptively... Green Waste-ish..., January 3, 2008
My wife picked up this book in the hope of fooling our kids into eating more vegetables. She tried the inexplicable chocolate-spinach brownie, but the recipe failed for the following reasons:

1. The brownie texture was wrong. The surface of the brownie forms a shiny, mucousy layer that looks a bit like Freddie Kruger's skin in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series.
2. While I had long been of the opinion that nearly anything can be made to taste good as long as it is smothered with enough chocolate, I am sad to find that I have been wrong in this belief. While the brownie looks like it should taste good, it has a strange metallic flavor. My mom thought it tasted like we had put some kind of fruit in it, while I thought it tasted like a tray of brownies that had been stored alongside some rotting vegetables.

The sad thing is that the overall idea is pretty good. Try replacing the spinach with zucchini, which already has a solid track record as a dessert ingredient.

Meanwhile, I'm off to cleanse my palette.

1-0 out of 5 stars Recipes may work for those with very young children, however..., November 15, 2007
As a dietitian I am always looking for good resources for my clients. I bought this book hoping to find some tasty recipes for both clients and my own family. While I can see how some of these recipes may work for very young, undeveloped palates, they certainly did not work with my children who are 6 yrs and older, nor did my husband and I find them tasty. I have made several recipes over the past few days and the only ones that we found edible were the macaroni and cheese (edible but not well-liked) and the bolognese sauce. The tofu nugget recipe simply did not work and the coffee cake (marshmallows and butternut squash??) was terrible. While the premise of adding pureed vegetables to recipes is logical (and has been done before many times) in some of the recipes it seems that they are added for no reason. The bolognese sauce already has tomatoes, carrots and onions- is pureed sweet potato really neccessary? Additionally, is it in our child's best interest to "hide" healthy food in foods that are traditionally not "healthy" (cookies, cakes, etc) rather than educate them and introduce them to the whole food as part of a normal diet? Once a child is able to distinguish tastes, it is important for them to understand where they are coming from in their natural state so they have some idea of where their food comes from (spinach is not naturally found in chocolate brownies!) The recipes did not make enough to feed a family with big boys (and I do not mean teenagers- 10 yr old boys can eat quite a bit too.) Clearly this is more of a baby through toddler type book of recipes for those just starting off in the food-introduction process! Not food I would serve to adults!

3-0 out of 5 stars The reviews, the recipes, the nutrition factor and Oprah., October 16, 2007
A couple of thoughts on this book, its reviews, the recipes, the nutrition factor, & Oprah.

- First, re the reviews that are here - it seems that no one can post a negative review without immediately being shot down - this really makes me believe that the reviews are being monitored by interested parties in the book's success - perhaps, publisher, family & friends? If you note the first few reviews of the book, they were all made by members of Jessica's family, so they're here and active.

Second, re the recipes - I've made a few of them, and some work and some don't. The burgers have *way* too much garlic - maybe to overpower the cauliflower? The mashed potatoes are good and, on my own I put some cauliflower puree into some frozen spinach, and I ended up not needing to add any cream to jazz it up - it just worked. So, as a jumping off point, the purees are inspirational to incorporate into your own existing recipes - these recipes on their own, are a little touch and go, but overall the concept is brilliant - even though Jessica cannot be credited with having the idea first, as seen by the description of The Sneaky Chef, published previously.

Re the nutrition factor - this is becoming a sticky point as people bring up the question of why nutritional content was not included, especially considering that the foreward is written by a nutritionist. I think I can guess why - a 1/2 cup of spinach puree in a batch of brownies or 1/2 cup of cauliflower in a pot of mashed potatoes does not go a long way once you divide that up into individual servings. There is no way anyone is getting a full serving of vegetables from this technique, but I tend to be in the camp that thinks more veggies is better than less, even if the more is negligible. And, it may be even less than negligible considering the additional cooking beyond the steaming that is robbing the veggies of their enzymes.

Finally, re Oprah. I watched yesterday as Jerry came on to promote his new Bee Movie, that Oprah happens to be in. I realized this is why she had Jessica on in the first place and say, not the Sneaky Chef. There's definitely a bit of cronyism going on. And, was telling when Oprah groused about the book being number one on the bestseller list that Jerry thanked everone for contributing to "Seinfeld World Media".

All in all, I have no regrets about buying the book, and I'm sure I'll be doing purees from here on out.

1-0 out of 5 stars So disappointed by these recipes, December 15, 2007
I was so excited when I heard about this book, I ran out and got it, as did a couple of other fellow moms I know. We are all so incredibly disappointed with the recipes. I made the chocolate cake with beets, and it was so disgusting, it didn't taste like anything, I can't imagine anyone liking it, I had to throw almost the whole thing away because no one would eat it. The textures are all wrong, the scrambled eggs with cauliflower are so watery, the chicken nuggets are not crispy, but mushy, and you can see the green specs in them.
It's a great idea, but it's definitely overhyped, I wish these recipes had worked for us but they were a total disappointment. I'm off to EBay my copy.

3-0 out of 5 stars If you want to hide the veggies, this is a very good cookbook, October 31, 2007
I checked this out of the library and made several of the recipes over the week. My kids are between 12 and 5 and are like most kids when it comes to likes and dislikes of food. The recipes met with mixed reviews, but not because they knew what the ingredients were; I didn't even tell my husband.
For the time and effort I'll stick with what has worked in the past; presenting lots of fruits and vegetables, in all forms, to see what works and what they like.
I have had great success with recipes by Annabel Karmel who focuses on "fun" healthy food and also with Susan Branch's vegetable recipes because they are so simple.
Despite the time involved I'll stick to making radish flowers and celery brooms, low-fat dips and fun shapes with any vegetable that will submit to a cookie cutter (cucumbers, squash and peppers work best).
While many of the recipes are interesting and are worth making, in the end I want my kids to like a vegetable when they see it, not view it as a subversive enemy.
As for the controversy between the two books....it's just stupid. This idea is not a new one (there was a woman on the Today show a couple of years ago who was suggesting we make brownies with mashed up black beans for more fiber) and there will be more that follow. ... Read more


98. Why Me?
by Sarah Burleton
Kindle Edition (2010-09-27)
list price: $2.99
Asin: B0044UHV9U
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 6806
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

In the blink of an eye, Mom ran up behind me and pushed me into the fence. Instinctively, I reached out my arms to stop my fall and ended up grabbing the live fence. My hands clamped around the thin wires, and my body collapsed to the ground as the electricity coursed through it. I opened my eyes and saw my mother standing over me with the strangest smile on her face. “Oh, my God, I’m going to die!” I thought in panic.
Imagine never being able to close your eyes and remember the feel of your mother’s arms wrapped around you.Now imagine closing your eyes and remembering your mother’s tears splashing down on your face as she is on top of you, crying as she is trying to choke you to death.My mother left me these memories and many more during my traumatic childhood.After many years of struggling with trying to understand “Why Me?” I took back control of my life and started saying, “It was me, now what am I going to do?”The answer is my book, “Why Me?”.It is my childhood journey through the terrors of physical and mental abuse from first grade until the day I moved out.It is my way of letting the world know what was really going on behind closed doors.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping Memoir, December 21, 2010
I read this book in one sitting tonight. It was that good. I thought it was very thought provoking, and my heart went out to that little girl who suffered so much at the hands of the one person in life who is supposed to love you the most. To the author, your reward in heaven will be huge. This book will forever change the way I parent my two kids.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful and deeply moving, December 28, 2010
Like the first reviewer i also read this book in one sitting. I know it's silly but i felt if i stopped reading before the story was finished i was letting the victim fend for herself and i owed it to her to finish it.

I found myself very angry during part of the book. I wanted the "mother" (i use the term lightly as she most certainly does not qualify to parent anyone in my opinion) to hurt for all the mental and physical pain she was putting her child thru.

To the author: You are an amazing, inspirational woman. To survive what you did and not turn out to be a drooling, medicated zombie is astounding. Some people might give up hope and feel that their lot in life was to be nothing after being treated the way you were. I will never forget your story and will hug my kids extra tight and listen to them more carefully from here on out. Thank you for sharing your story. ... Read more


99. Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life
by Spencer Johnson
Hardcover (1998-09-08)
list price: $19.95 -- our price: $11.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0399144463
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Sales Rank: 975
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

From one of the world's most recognized experts on management comes a charming parable filled with insights designed to help readers manage change quickly and prevail in changing times. ... Read more

Reviews

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Inappropriate and Pointless, August 27, 2003
I found this book to be yet another one of those books churned out by the machines of middle management, and handed down to the employee. Most of these books BECOME best sellers because they are sold in bulk to corporations for pennies on the dollar. Notice how this book has "companion" pieces of merchandise, like games, a web site, and training seminars? They are selling a complete product line to ineffective management, and look at the book as more of a large business card/advertisement.

This becomes evident when you read the stories and parables that surprise me that it took two authors to write only 96 pages. The writing is haphazard, poorly edited, unhelpful, sends mixed signals, and boils down to a rather insensitive "Things change, get used to it, change or you will die. Now keep moving." I would never give this to an employee, because that would be like giving an employee a stick of deodorant and wondering why they've stopped talking to you. This book does not care about the reader, and if I got it, I'd think, "Is my boss telling me to move on?" Comparing people to mice, and life's goals to cheese is patronizing to anyone with a sense of self-awareness. The motivational parables are generic, and seem out of place to the rest of the scare tactic this book is.

There are better motivational books out there that are written by experienced people who have good ideas that are helpful, not doom-obsessed. This book is more of a poke in the back with a sharp stick than a carrot on the end of s string, or a light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, this book might as well say, "You better not go to the light at the end of the tunnel, it could go away at any moment, and then where will you be?" Like another reviewer here said, "[the book] offers no answer other than you've got to go out and find more 'cheese" for yourself.'" Anyone who has reached the age of adulthood, and doesn't realize that change is inevitable will certainly never get the message from this book. And those that do know will only think this book is redundant and almost encouraging bitterness. I don't know what the point of this book really is, except as some sort of gloomy pap.

This book is already mostly used up, and will never be remembered like Zig Ziglar or Thomas Harris. Scout around, and find some older books, by successful people (like people who have actually succeeded in life that you have heard of), that have been around for a while. People still buy them for a reason.

4-0 out of 5 stars Of Mice and Men, June 1, 2005
This book is an analogy of mice vs. men (simple and complicated) in a maze, about how many things such as over-analyzing, stubbornness, and fear can over-complicate simple things, making anything, even life, unnecessarily unbearable.

It is intended to help readers get the most out of anything situation, stay content, and increase their confidence levels. Contrary to the title, the book is neither clich� nor "cheesy." Few if any things stay the same forever, and the book emphasizes the importance of accepting change, and even capitalizing on it. In context, it includes many inspirational quotes such as, "What would I do, if I wasn't afraid?"

`The Story' itself is very short and to the point, and includes a section where the storyteller and his classmates reflect on how `The Story' can be applied to their lives. This provides many examples on how the overall wisdom can easily be applied to many situations in everyday life, from personal relationships, to running businesses. Read this story with an open mind and it just may improve the quality of your daily life, whatever it entails.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worthless, June 29, 2004
The unbelievably large number of people who think this is a good book is very scary. I hope these people are not important decision makers. Everything bad that can be said about this book has been said before, so I'll just compile a "Best of" list for you. (By the way, in case you're wondering, "Dr." Johnson's degree is in education.)

Regarding management and corporate American in general
* This book is the cop-out for managers who believe in change for change's sake.
* It's corporate brainwashing of the kind that science fiction writers have been warning us about for decades.
* Never have I come closer to the mind crushing monotony and impersonality of corporate America than when I read this book.
* No, change is not a good thing when it happens on a regular basis. That means upper management can't make up their minds.
* If you are thinking about buying this book, I assume you are a manager of some type

Regarding the intellectual level of the book:
* I have never felt my intelligence more insulted than when reading this.
* It's patronizing, shallow, insipid, and still manages to be patently insulting to those employees who might actually be capable of analytical thought. That's quite a feat.
* Should appeal to intellectually challenged only.
* It is a sad comment on our culture, society, and educational system that so many people have found this inane drivel to be "life-changing".
* (...)BR>* (...).
* Distilling these important matters into the inane parable of mice in a maze is a literary device meant for grade school students.
* The book presents an excellent reading for absolute imbeciles or people high on drugs.

Regarding the message of the book:
* It teaches that you must not struggle, succumb to the will of the greater power of management, and accept change without regard to whether it is appropriate or not.
* Don't think, just go with the changes as we prescribe them. If you don't, you're inflexible or afraid of change.
* The ideas in this book could have been expressed in a paragraph and even then they would not have been worth the time to read them

The people who more productively decided to just make jokes about the stupidity that is this book said:
* As I was already familiar with the concept of reality and how to deal with it, the book was not particularly helpful.
* Your time would be better spent just taking a nap.
* Buy real cheese. Don't buy this sorry excuse for a book.
* I think people like it cause it can be read and finished while sitting on the toilet.
* Resistance is futile!
* Any manager who would try to force these ideas on their employees would be better off just spiking the coffee with anti-depressants.
* The South Park gang would find it too puerile.

If you were even mildly amused by anything in this review, then you are already infinitely better off than if you read the book. Now please vote "Yes" on my review (after all, I just saved you $14+). Thanks!

1-0 out of 5 stars Worse Than Bad, It's Evil, August 15, 2000
Luckily enough, I didn't have to pay money for this book - I was forced to read it by my employer. The fact most people read this book after their co-workers are handed pink slips as part of a kinder, gentler corporate reduction in force should be indicative enough of the intent of this book. Don't be fooled by the wanna-be New Age slant - the majority of examples in this book are work-related. The "& in Your Life" in the title is there to attempt to hide the ridiculously pro-upper management viewpoint of the book.

Even if you can get over the 2nd grade reading level writing style, there's still the truly bad content to contend with. The author categorizes us all as either mice or "little people" in a maze who get bent out of shape if our "cheese" is moved. The moral of the story is that we should not get angry when our life bread is constantly moved and hidden from us by some invisible higher power (hmm, equating a higher power to large companies isn't too disconcerting now, is it?). Instead, we should not only embrace the fact we are being messed with, but also have FUN with it.

I am a reader of self-help books. Additionally, I deal with change for a living (it's in my title and everything). I can, without a doubt, tell you that the goal of this book is not to teach the reader change management techniques for work or personal life, but rather it teaches that we should all be good little soldiers. It is antithetical to what most self-help books and books that address coping with change try to teach their readers. If you are looking for one of those types of books, save your $10-20 and look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for a way to control your large, disgruntled workforce, then by all means purchase 100 copies and distribute immediately as required reading to your employees. Those who read between the extra-large lines will most likely begin to seek employment elsewhere (who needs such rabble-rousers, anyway) and the rest will be pressured into submission (you hope).

1-0 out of 5 stars It's all about power, June 4, 2003
When you write a book on why those WITHOUT power should be accepting of any treatment by those WITH power, you're guaranteed to sell millions of copies of said book to those WITH power. It's little wonder that managers, CEOs, teachers, and pretty much anyone with authority over others praises this book. It gives them a moral blank cheque, and condemns anyone NOT in a position of power for even questioning, to say nothing of failing to conform.

If you want a crash course in what's wrong with humanity, read this book. The fact that there are people in this world who read and agree with it is horrific.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, December 13, 2000
I'm not a regular reader of "self-help" books, but I bought this one because I had heard it described as "amazing", and, frankly, because it sounded sort of fun, all of these little people and mice running around having life experiences inside of a maze. Also, it was very short, so I figured that even if I didn't like it, I wouldn't be making too much of a commitment. Now that I've read it, I wish I had my money back and I wish I had my time back. It's not insightful, it's obvious. It's not clever, it's patronizing. And the "optional" section at the end, where everybody sits around discussing how to apply to their own lives the lessons learned is downright painful.

1-0 out of 5 stars "And To Think, All Those Poor Trees Died In Vain", June 7, 2001
In the game show of life, "Who Moved My Cheese?" is Corporate America's final answer to the lovely parting gift. Spencer Johnson's book is the literary equivalent of giving an amputee victim a band-aid for his boo-boo.

Although a short book, a resourceful reader has 96 chances to slit his or her wrists by way of the vicious paper cut.

And now, for my top ten list of more appropriate book titles:

#10 "Don't Take It Personally, Thousands Of People Get Fired Everyday"

#9 "It's Never Easy Letting Valuable Employees Such As Yourself Go, Bill, I mean, Bob"

#8 "Cheer Up! Nobody Here Liked You Anyway"

#7 "Let Me Say Once Again, The Shareholders Really Appreciate This"

#6 "Hey, You Can Sleep In Now"

#5 "Think Of It This Way: You're Now In A Lower Tax Bracket"

#4 "It's Not Like You Lost Your Job...Okay, So You Lost Your Job"

#3 "Look On The Bright Side- You're Helping Someone Less Fortunate In A Third World Country"

#2 "At Least You've Still Got Your Health (Minus The Ulcer, Of Course)"

And my #1 title: "It Could Be Worse, It Could Be Me!"

One last thing, if for some reason you are the recipient of this book, don't line the bird cage with its pages (that would be redundant) and don't slit your wrists with them (you're better than that). Instead. use them for kindling or put them in a shredder and make confetti!

2-0 out of 5 stars Show me the cheese., December 23, 1999
First of all, let me suggest that I read this book more than 20 years ago when it was called "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," by Richard Bach. Then I read it again five years later when it was called "Illusions," also by Richard Bach. The central theme here, as well as in Mr. Bach's books, is learning to let go of your fears and anxieties so you can do and accomplish the things in life that will truly make you happy. This is not a novel notion. Nor is the concept of change as an intimidating proposition, as anyone who has moved as a child or even entered a new school can attest to from an early age. To be fair, while "Who Moved My Cheese" is overly simplistic, it does impart a modicum of encouragement and inspiration. However, I believe the message has been expressed through far more interesting story lines, such as in Mr. Bach's parable-like novellas, which by the way, I recommend to anyone who found Mr. Johnson's effort compelling and rewarding. On a substantive level, I feel Mr. Johnson could have taken the story development quite a ways further and to a deeper, more intricate level, particularly for someone who fancies himself an authority in the field of professional development. Some might argue that its appeal is in its simplicity. That's fine if you take it at bare-bones face value. Others might contest that sugar-coated, child-like allegories are great material for second-grade book reports, but when senior-management types start passing such efforts off as holy gospel, I become circumspect. Furthermore, I fear countless workplaces overflowing with trite "cheeseisms." In fact, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before conventional-wisdom-spouting clones from all walks of business start retorting to reasonable issues raised at business meetings with the glib reply "move with the cheese," at which point these people should be gently slapped back to reality. I personally would have liked to have seen more obstacles and characters introduced to the story. Even Alice had more interesting encounters in Wonderland, and she negotiated all of them with poise and dignity in her effort to reach her goal. Perhaps instead of worrying about the business associate he left behind, our protagonist could have met new business associates in the maze, with the common cause of finding the new cheese. Better yet, maybe the littleperson who was in charge of Cheese Station C should have been axed for mismanagement. And then the new littleperson in charge could have assembled a task force to go out and hunt for new cheese. We littlepeople don't always have to go it alone. Obviously, I am complicating the story line. But I think a fable that resembles a business farce or a comedy of errors with a positive ending would be far more engaging. Just saying "change happens, be proactive rather than reactive" is old news. The least Johnson could have done was come up with more interesting "writings on the wall," most of which were insipid at best. Then you could walk away with actual tools in the form of little adages you can repeat to yourself when the need arises. However, there was one writing on the wall that I thought had an elegant poignancy about it which I believe was the most useful tidbit to be gleaned from the entire book. And that is "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" This is a thought one does not normally think to put to oneself in just that manner, unlike the vast majority of platitudes which infest this marginal read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lemmings, hurtling over the cliff's edge, August 30, 2000
This is the WORST business book I have ever read. The intent behind it is valid, but the content can be summed up in a few statements:

Change will happen

If you don't change, you will die (figuratively or literally)

Watch for signs of change, so you can be prepared to change, too

Change is good, and can lead to something better

There. Do you feel like paying me [good money] for that priceless knowledge?

This is a parable, which means they dressed up the real content by writing a goofy story about mice and little people, taking up more pages so they could justify the cost. Unfortunately, they could only drag the story out so far (how many times can you read, "and he kept walking and looking for more cheese"). The book was still only about 20 pages long, too short for a hardcover, so they added a second story to frame the parable itself. The second story is about a group at a reunion that talks about the book. Even THAT doesn't add enough pages to justify printing it in hardcover, so they increased the print size to roughly what you see in books for 3 year olds.

The author, publisher and whoever else was involved in this moneymaking scheme obviously recognized that many people would see through their efforts. Their solution? Put in a statement saying, in effect, "If you think this book isn't worthwhile, then you aren't a talented, cutting edge business person like all the other who read the book are."

Believe me, someone in your office (probably your boss) is waving this book around, exclaiming how wonderful it is and telling you to read it. ASK IF YOU CAN BORROW HIS COPY. Do not spend money on it yourself. You're going to have to read it, unfortunately, because the herd has spoken and you can't stray from the herd. I'll bet the person who started the rumor that this was a good book is getting royalties. It's the only explanation.

The one saving grace about this book is it's a quick read. I finished it in 23 minutes. At least you can soon move on to something more worthwhile.

1-0 out of 5 stars Where are my sunglasses?, September 23, 2000
I cannot believe this book is number 1. After reading it, I needed to go find my sunglasses because I had just been struck by a blinding flash of the obvious. If you need an allegory about mice in a maze to lead you to clarity in life and work, this is the book for you. However, if you want to save yourself a few bucks, here is my summary: People have a comfort zone. Sometimes you have to leave that comfrot zone. Change is hard but change is good. Be adaptable.

We need Spencer Johnson to tell us this? With mice? The extended metaphor that we are all rats in a maze (which, people seem to identify with though by these reviews) gets old fast. If you need this book - go buy aesop's fables for some more deep revelations like the one in this book.

This is number 1? OMG. ... Read more


100. The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Hardcover (2010-11-30)
list price: $18.00 -- our price: $10.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1400069971
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 136
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

By the author of the modern classic The Black Swan, this collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses his major ideas in ways you least expect.

The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. It represents Taleb’s view of modern civilization’s hubristic side effects—modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.

Playful and irreverent, these aphorisms will surprise you by exposing self-delusions you have been living with but never recognized.

With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars What's the rush? Slow down and think .....

An intriguing book based on an interesting thesis, well presented, in saying "we humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas ..."

"The person you are most afraid to contradict is yourself," Taleb begins, and shortly after continues, "to bankrupt a fool, give him information."

Okay, I declare bankruptcy. These aphorisms are an eloquent Luddite protest against the madcap technological excesses and follies of the modern world. I agree. Every new technology blossoms into excess, then retreats into practical use as newer ideas develop. Obsidian was once a new idea in cutting; but, anything this good soon evolved into ornaments and other impractical uses.

It's the inevitable fate of all new technology and all new ideas. All good ideas become complicated into absurdity, until wiser people ask, "Just what are we trying to accomplish here?"

Taleb is a wise man asking such questions, and this book is one of questions and relevant observations. It's the same question anyone with a cell phone and the choice of 250,000 apps might ask, like Taleb, "Why?" and the answer is "I dunno."

In brief, this is an eloquent plea to slow down and think.

What's missing is a recognition of human curiosity which creates all technology, from obsidian blades to Blackberrys. It's a book devoid of curiosity, of Rudyard Kipling's Five Faithful Serving Men and the journalist's eternal questions, "Who? What? Why? When? How?"

Of course, I'm not aware of the Luddites having many answers. But, Taleb, like those who sit and refuse to budge do serve to remind the rest of us that scurrying about accomplishes little. More power to him, and to those who ask, "Is this trip necessary?"



5-0 out of 5 stars Now it is proven that you don't need to be dead to have people enjoy your aphorisms
I love this book. If you are a thinking businessman or academic, I think you will like it. The style is harsh, masculine, thoughtful, to the point, non-religious and timeless. The style reminds me a bit of Livingstone (Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now and Never Stop Dancing) even though he writes prose. The title of the book alludes to Greek mythology, but you don't need to know who Zeus was to enjoy the book. However, some people dislike the style of both Taleb and Livingstone, so the book is not for everyone. Finally, since the book is published this year (2010), you can utter some of the aphorisms out loud, causing the belief that you are a witty person :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Potently distilled Taleb
I'm among those people who will read pretty much anything Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes, so I preordered this book without needing to know anything about its specifics. I just finished my first pass and am not disappointed (and will need to read the book again, probably many times).

We shouldn't make the mistake of getting so impressed that we're in danger of worshipping Taleb, and indeed some of his points may be exaggerated, inconsistent, partially wrong, or even completely wrong (I think he might even agree with that), but he's also genuinely and uniquely brilliant, and my sense is that he's right about most things and thus a source of valuable real-world insights.

Others have suggested that one shouldn't try to summarize Taleb, but we can surely say that his work revolves around the realization that we humans, both individually and collectively, are unknowingly prone to many kinds of errors and biases, so we need to develop practical tools to help compensate and especially to avoid disastrous consequences.

Using its densely aphoristic format, the book richly and wittily fleshes out this general idea by providing more specific insights on a wide array of "philosophical and practical" topics spanning much of the human condition. And I'll add that while Taleb seems ambivalent about Wittgenstein, I think his ideas are closer to those of the later Wittgenstein than he may realize (which I intend to be a compliment, while agreeing that Wittgenstein can sometimes be rather opaque).

If you're willing to take a serious look at yourself and the social world in which you're embedded, at risk of undermining some cherished illusions, this is a book not to be missed. Others have made many of the same points as Taleb but, to my knowledge, no one else writing today has done so with the same level of broad erudition and artistically powerful flair (hence his outlier level of readership and influence).

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
If you've read Nassim Nicholas Taleb's other books ("Fooled By Randomness" and "The Black Swan") then you have an idea of the power and magnificence contained in his writing. In my humble opinion, "The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms" is excellent; it's a must read. I have been anticipating this book's release for quite some time. Several months ago Taleb was testing out many of these aphorisms on Twitter, so it's interesting to see how the book came together. I certainly enjoy witty aphorisms and this book contains some of the best I've ever read.

"My best definition of a nerd: someone who asks you to explain an aphorism."

As Taleb says, aphorisms lose their charm whenever explained so I'll refrain from demonstrating my foolishness and ignorance by trying to interpret any of them in this forum.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent-Nassim Nicholas Taleb at his best
My copy arrived today, and I was anxious to read Taleb's book of aphorisms after following his progress at his website. He does not disappoint; he will make many laugh, many angry, and most think. His wit and insight spares no one; particularly academics, economists, and bankers (politicians, too).

The chapter I most anticipated was Robustness and Fragility, given Taleb's continuing dialogue at Facebook concerning anti-fragility.

This slim volume is highly recommended if you enjoyed Fooled By Randomness and The Black Swan. Highest recommendation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sam Kinison of contemporary philosophy
Taleb is the Sam Kinison of contemporary philosophy: He shrieks mischievously about how we delude ourselves and allow others (e.g., consultants and intellectuals) to delude us. "The Bed of Procrutes" tells where not to look for answers and seems grounded in a profound respect for the ever-elusive: human dignity and courage. Unlike his seminal "The Black Swan," which overflowed with examples and explanations (and which should have been proofread more carefully) this book is spare and copy-edited. It is compulsory reading for the aspiring fl�neur.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great encouragement to think more!
I'm a big Taleb fan, but this review is not biased. I enjoyed this book a lot. It's a quick read, but is intended to make the reader think. Highly recommend it. ... Read more


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