Monthly Archives: November 2012

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty – Dan Ariely

 

Dan Ariely is one of my all time favourite researchers and I loved his book Predictably Irrational and his ‘Arming the Donkeys’ podcast is fantastic. I have been on the lookout for this book for a while and thought it was not released in NZ as yet, however I went into the Whitcoulls outlet store and saw a single copy for ten bucks, needless to say (which I am saying) I bought it.

Overall it’s a great book and the concepts of honesty and cheating are very interesting. The book started off with a similar tone and some of the same experiments as predictably irrational but came into it’s own after a couple of chapters. What I liked about it was that different concepts and influences cause us to cheat and to cheat ourselves and that Dan leaves it with enough broadness to apply the ideas to many other areas of life (if you care to ponder on the experiments and their implications, which I of course did). I did unfortunately find that the book did repeat it’s self and by the end I was eager to be finished as it’s was starting to drone on a bit.

Overall it was an interesting and thought provoking read and I’d give it a 5.5/10 as I was expecting more, but overall it was good.


Is It Just Me? Miranda Hart

I want to come straight out with it, this book is a 10/10!

I purchased  this book on Saturday avo and finished it before bed on Sunday… I literally could not put it down (and got a surprising amount of other things done on the weekend too). If you are at all a fan of the wonderful comedy Miranda then this book is a must read, and if you are not then you should berate yourself to no end and hop to it.

In this book Miranda goes about exploring her past and her innate clumsiness, she does this by exploring topics such as music, dating, offices, Christmas and many more. She also has hilarious conversations with her 18 year old self who is horrified at how Miranda has turned out. Miranda has a brilliant sense of humour and this book is a delight from the first paragraph and follows through until the very end.

I don’t want to spoil things so stop what you are doing right now, the work and the kids can wait, and go out and buy it, lock yourself in a cupboard and read away. You know you want to.


Quiet – Susan Cain

 

This book is a safe-haven in a crazy world, a safe refuge for those of us who would prefer to stay in instead of being the life of the party. Quiet is a book  that not merely praises the introverted percentage of the worlds population but digs deep into the implications of solitude and it’s profound need to be harnessed.

Susan explores science, research, religion, case studies, her own life and that of friends who all have an innate need to be quiet. It’s a fantastic read and especially relevant because 25% of the population is actually introverted, so even if you are not, you probably live or work with someone that is. She disputes claims that introverts are shy and awkward because extroverts can be just as shy. An example she used was: If we imagine a business meeting where two people don’t have much to say, could we automatically assume they are introverted? No, one could be a confident introvert who is thinking and one could be a shy extrovert who doesn’t want to speak up, but we would be hard pushed to make the distinction if we didn’t know each individually. Susan takes us through all the past and current theories of introvert-ism and how people who are introverts can best put their nature to work, to provide a much needed balance. It’s a book about valuing the introverted side of us in a world and a culture who favor extroverts, a system where schools, offices and peers expect everyone to be outgoing and to carve their own way through social expectations.

It’s a brilliant read for everybody and I highly, highly recommend it. A 10/10 for it’s poignancy and exhaustive scientific backing, all good stuff 🙂


Down Under Bill Bryson

 

As I prepared to leave the country from the comfort of my armchair, sipped a hot cupper and let the pages of my new book flap open I was off… to Australia and leading the way was none other than Bill Bryson.

This book gripped me from the beginning to the end. I’d only read one other Bryson book before (a short history of nearly everything, which I didn’t finish) and this was a step up. I fell in love instantly with Bill Bryson’s witty sarcasm and honest evaluations of Australia both geographically and culturally. This book was charming, amusing, hilarious, insightful and taught me a lot about our neighbors that I didn’t know.
I liked Bryson’s routine of arriving in a new town… walk around and find a pub, then eavesdrop on local conversations. Great stuff. I’ve since bought his first travel book ‘The lost continent’ and am enjoying it a lot. I give Down Under an 8.5/10.