Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Date: 2/2015

Title: "Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions"

Author: Dan Ariely

Duration: 7 hrs

Review: I love this "new economics" genre. Call it what you will: behavioral economics, social psycology, freakanomics, its all great.  What I especially appreciate about Dan Ariely's work though, is that he is such a prolific  and inventive experimenter.  The emphasis on the tools of psychology and the resulting ability to create resourceful and elegant experiments to test hypotheses, and to illustrate generalizable truths is what distinguishes Ariely and makes me love him.

I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone.

Andy Weir: The Martian

Date: 2/2015

Title: "The Martian"

Author: Andy Weir

Duration: 11 hrs

Review: This is SUCH a great read.  I loved it.  An perfect example of "Realistic SciFi".  The main character is a really smart and resourceful (huge understatement) engineer who is also full of pop-culture witticisms and jokes. What else could you possibly want?

I recommend this book to anyone who loves science, space, a thrilling story of survival, man against nature (martian nature).

Awesome!

Tony Robbins: MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Date: 1/2015

Title: "MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom"

Author: Tony Robbins

Duration: 21 hrs

Review: If you can stomach the salesy style; Robins actuall says "secrets of the ultra wealthy" in the book, this book delivers A LOT of very valuable information and essential practices for getting your financial house in order.  I found it very useful and Also, the hyper-optimistic "coach" style and accompanying "I can do it" emotional high is a plus for us sentimental types.

I recommend it to those with a high threshold for salesmanship.


Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins: What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People

Date: 1/2015

Title: "What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People"

Author: Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins

Duration: 7 hrs

Review: Meh! I thought this would be more interesting than it turned out to be.


William Gibson: The Peripheral

Date: 12/2014

Title: "The Peripheral"

Author: William Gibson

Duration: 14 hrs

Review: A master doing what he does best.  Great plot, filled with interesting elements: class conflict, historical and cultural commentary, powerful technologies that are so new that the societal changes they portend are just barely beginning to be understood, amazing nuanced invention of a near and medium term future.  Gibson is so good at this: simple moral situation, nuanced everything else, and truly gifted ability for extension of technological change within cultural and social constants.

I really liked it!



Stephen R. Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Date: 12/2014

Title: "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change"

Author: Stephen R. Covey

Duration: 13 hrs

Review: Fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Got it! Thanks.

No really, it turns out that good character really is the key to  solving most of the personal and professional problems we'll ever face.  This self help classic is all about describing what good character is made of and how we might come to develop it by habit of thought.  I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any anyone.  I should read this book once a year.


Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Date: 12/2014

Title: "Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None"

Author: Friedrich Nietzsche

Duration: 12 hrs

Review: I love reading Nietzsche for the quality and purity of the sheer rebellion. Nietzsche reminds us that nothing, NOTHING is a given, that every single assumption, from the smallest to the deepest, from the moral to the empirical, is up for grabs. Listening to the thoughts and words of the Superman Zarathustra is nothing but pleasure. A master of moral philosophy and a wonderful writer, reading Nietzsche reminds me of reading William Blake, but simpler, sharper and more accessible. Reading Nietzsche is fun and challenging for me in a way that I haven't been been challenged for quite some time: Literary Greatness challenging. Thanks Liberal Humanities Education, you continue to have been worth it despite what everyone says.