books.summary books.summary

5 posts   50 followers   78 followings

B O O K R E V I E W  Get smarter with us!

THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE. STEPHEN COVEY.

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Change starts from within, and highly effective people make the decision to improve their lives through the things that they can influence rather than by simply reacting to external forces

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Develop a principle-centered personal mission statement. Extend the mission statement into long-term goals based on personal principles.

Habit 3:Put First Things First
Spend time doing what fits into your personal mission, observing the proper balance between production and building production capacity. Identify the key roles that you take on in life, and make time for each of them.

Habit 4:Think Win/Win
Seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial. In cases where a "win/win" deal cannot be achieved, accept the fact that agreeing to make "no deal" may be the best alternative. In developing an organizational culture, be sure to reward win/win behavior among employees and avoid inadvertantly rewarding win/lose behavior.

Habit 5:Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
First seek to understand the other person, and only then try to be understood. Stephen Covey presents this habit as the most important principle of interpersonal relations. Effective listening is not simply echoing what the other person has said through the lens of one's own experience. Rather, it is putting oneself in the perspective of the other person, listening empathically for both feeling and meaning.

Habit 6:Synergize
Through trustful communication, find ways to leverage individual differences to create a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Through mutual trust and understanding, one often can solve conflicts and find a better solution than would have been obtained through either person's own solution.

Habit 7:Sharpen the Saw
Take time out from production to build production capacity through personal renewal of the physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual dimensions. Maintain a balance among these dimensions.

Rework is an invaluable book, I'd love to buy 1,000 copies and distribute them across the Pentagon. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book (there are many):
The real world isn’t a place, it’s an excuse. It’s a justification for not trying. It has nothing to do with you.
If you write a big plan, you’ll most likely never look at it anyway. Plans more than a few pages long just wind up as fossils in your file cabinet.
Working without a plan may seem scary. But blindly following a plan that has no relationship with reality is even scarier.
The easiest, most straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you would want to use. That lets you design what you know – and you’ll figure out immediately whether or not what you’re making is any good.
What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.
Ideas are cheap and plentiful. The original pitch idea is such a small part of a business that it’s almost negligible. The real question is how well you execute.
Embrace the idea of having less mass. Right now you’re the smallest, the leanest, and the fastest you’ll ever be. From here on out, you’ll start accumulating mass. And the more massive an object, the more energy required to changes its direction. It’s as true in the business world as it is in the physical world. Mass is increased by:

Long term contracts
Excess staff
Permanent decisions
Meetings
Thick process
Inventory (physical or mental)
Hardware, software, and technology lock-ins
Long-term roadmaps
Office politics

Like eating fancy dessert at a gourmet restaurant, Memoirs of a Geisha is beautiful, melts lightly off the tongue and will be forgotten shortly after it's done. The language is strikingly lovely, and Golden paints a remarkable picture of a time and place.
If you're looking to learn something deep about the psychology of Japanese culture, or meet nuanced characters, then I'd steer you elsewhere. The story only skims the top of the more complicated aspects of a Japan in decline, focusing mostly on a genteel lifestyle that probably seems more appealing from the outside. There's a way in which the book, written by a man and a westerner, is slightly fetishistic, but less so than you might imagine.

Another reader suggested that perhaps the superficiality of the story is intentional, and that the book, in a way, resembles a geisha. Beautiful and eager to please, yet too distant to really learn much from and ultimately little more than a beautiful, well-crafted object to be appreciated. If that's the case, Arthur Golden is remarkably clever, and I applaud him. If it's not the case, the book remains very pretty and an easy read

An old friend used to say that "Ulysses" was a good book to read but not a good book to "read". After reading "Lolita" I understand what he meant.

Nabokov was a man obsessed with word games and this book is crammed cover to cover with many brilliant examples. Language delighted the man and that certainly comes across. What makes this acheivement even more amazing was that English was his third or fourth language. It is mind blowing that he or anyone could write so fluidly in a "foreign" tongue. If this was enough to make a novel great then this would be one of my top ten.

But what if, as a reader, you demand that an author make his characters compelling and the narrative involving? I would say then that this book is not for you. Humbert and Dolores Haze (Lolita) only ever (to my mind) become three dimensional at odd moments here and there. He comes off as a mincing, foppish but ultimately unbelievable sort. I never bought into him until very near the end when for a few sentences Nabokov makes his remorse credible. But it is too late for that. I was already annoyed as hell by his rococo narration. The character of Lolita as well is shrill and one note through out. Only intermittently does she come across as worthy of compassion.
As for the story, once the seduction takes place it loses a lot of its forward momentum. It begins to feel repetitive and only comes alive again when Humbert reaches the very end of his self control and attempts to lash out at one he believes wronged him. All in all I think this is a book that could stand to lose about fifty pages.
There is much to love about it though. It could have been truly replusive. Nabokov knew that his concept was already off putting and that the execution need not be so. Rather than serving up spewing fluids and hungry orifices he treats us to healthy doses of wit and charm. Bravo! "Lolita" is obviously literature with a capital "L." It is a work by a man of letters who happened to be a genius - for that reason alone it deserves reading. Just don't be surprised that once you're done you don't feel like recommending it to anyone.

So much has been said in praise of this book it feels redundant to add more. In terms of the slave-holding society, the film actually toned-down the pro-South view of Reconstruction (Scarlett's second husband joined the KKK in the book) and Mammy remains probably one of the most fully-developed and likeable African-American characters from 1930 you'll read.
Rhett Butler is the consummate alpha male. This book is definitely the timeless classic reputation it has earned, and though at times it seemed like the longest book ever, it is all worth it in the end. It touches on many misunderstood aspects of the civil war and its afterwords. What many people do not realize is how horrible it really was for Southerners after the war, mostly because they cannot get past the racism of the times (which it wasn't as if the North was full of equality and peace, either). If you can accept the times for what they were, you will see how well this book was written. I appreciate it for the well built characters, smooth flow, and albeit romanticized- depiction of the Antebellum South.

As far as being politically incorrect or the modern charges that the book is "racist," remember that this book was written in the 1930s. Not to mention, the time period is the Civil War era! To be completely unracist would not have depicted the era correctly. As if it represents anything more than the way people thought when it was made. Of course, it's racist. America is and has been a racist society since the beginning. This book mirrors the opinions held by the people alive and working at the time, no more and certainly no less. Have opinions changed since then? Of course, as society evolves so does the writing. All this aside, the character of "Mammy" is one of the most likeable and respected characters in the book. Rhett Butler treats her very well, and tries to win her approval. She’s the one person throughout the novel who sees through everyone’s follies and foibles, but remains forgiving of them anyway. There's a reason this book won so many awards and still endures! It is a timeless classic that everyone should enjoy and read in context.

Most Popular Instagram Hashtags