Monday, November 28, 2011

Pretty Self-Helpful

The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & PurposeThe Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose by Robert Pagliarini

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There was some familiar material here. I loved the title of Chapter 11, "Stop Talking and Start Getting," but could pretty much recite verbatim the "pot roast story" he opens it with. He makes good use of it though, to contrast habits that drain us with the power of creating new habits that can take us to another level. Mark Joyner and Steve Chandler are not listed in the Endnotes or the Index, but I can hear them speaking in the background. Seth Godin and David Allen too. All are favorites of this self-help non-fiction junkie. If those aren't familiar names, you might do well with any of them, or go ahead and enjoy this one. It is very practical and down-to-earth. Pagliarini gets extra credit for admitting, on page 237, "'s harder than we think... It might not be popular to admit this, but our natural response is to decay." Ouch! But then he goes on to show how and why it does not have to be that way. There may be a bit of a generation gap between this self-help reader and this author: Earlier today I wanted to be more energized while working, so I played some Vivaldi and Bach. Pagliarini says "If I crank up... anything by Nirvana... I can't help but get a boost of energy." Then again, I can get cranked up playing "Live at Leeds" by The Who, but I wouldn't be able to channel the energy into writing or planning projects the way I can while listening to baroque compositions. Sorry, this is supposed to be a book review, not a music blog.

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Brockton Symphony Holiday Pops 2012 promo

Hear about this Sunday's Holiday Pops by the Brockton Symphony Orchestra.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mystic River - the book AND the film

Mystic RiverMystic River by Dennis Lehane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On May 13, 2010 I congratulated Betsy Wolfe, then Library Director at the Thayer Public Library in Braintree, Mass., for snagging Dennis Lehane to speak at a fundraiser for their Friends of the Library group. I called him charming and asked if the picture didn't make him look like Hannibal Lecter. I had not yet read anything by him, and I thought I might enjoy one book he kept mentioning, I thought he was calling it Mister Grivers. After nearly forty years in Massachusetts, I still sometimes have New York ears. So while we were down in Arkansas for the Jones Family Reunion, I finally read Mystic River. Awesome. Too many of my reviews have mentioned finishing a book with tears in my eyes, but this one really got me. What wonderful, evocative writing, and what skill at conveying the tangled webs we weave for ourselves and one another. Over the Thanksgiving weekend I watched Clint Eastwood's film based on the book. It was funny to notice the little differences - carving 'nitials versus fighting in the street translated just fine - amidst the great care in conveying the guts of the story. I just talked myself into adding that fifth star to my original rating. This was super.

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