I’m giving up. First half glorious, but second half gets too religious/Biblical for me. I’m outtie. First half gave me new respect for O.Wilde tho.
Very quick read, on the nature of a successful team.
The five dysfunctions, in pyramid fashion, base layer upward to top:
Abscence of Trust: Invulnerability
Fear of Conflict: Artificial Harmony
Lack of Commitment: Ambiguity
Avoidance of Accountability: Low Standards
Inattention to Results: Status & Ego
Tibor begins to bore me; his writing is ok but after pages and pages I find myself skimming to get down to the meat of the story. Funny, that, since I don’t normally enjoy meat.
For this story, 4 distinct sections, London, Barcelona, Yugo & Chuuka. Oceane is a dancer turned graphic designer who doesn’t like leaving her flat in London. She monitors the mail as it hits the floor (or what she calls the beach), finding enjoyment in debt-collectors attempts to get tough on neighbors who moved out years earlier. One day, a letter from Walter arrives, who has been dead for 10 years. This launches a retrospective into how she met Walter, in Barcelona, working as a stripper.
Barca: hanging out on the roof top with the pool, several people started dying by drowning or being toppled by cows or helicopter crashes. Walter’s 10 year postmortem death aludes to the serial killer among them, pointing the finger at Rutger. Oceane never hangs out with Walter in Barca, but runs into him in London as she’s playing a game with a friend at a cafe for who will be approached by an aquaintance first. She wins. Oceane wanted to give Walter the reggae CD that he had been trying to find for years after hearing it in a taxi; she had owned the CD for a long time, but wanted to approach him alone. The opportunity never arose, and back to London she went.
Yugo (and I admit to skimming at this point): Yugoslavia, Oceane’s travel agent Audley volunteers for the Serb/Croat war, is accused of spying by his own side, and is saved when his mum arrives.
Chuuka: Walter’s final letter is in the hands of a chap named Bruno, in Chuuka in a far off land. Oceane hires Audley to go find the letter. While he’s there, he spots a statue of Rutgers. Bruno turns out to be a pyscho living on an aircraft carrier, and of no help in regards to the letter. Fortunately, Walter has also mailed a copy of the letter to Oceane, as insurance.
Some muddled stuff at the end about Audley being harrassed by Roberto, one of his Yugo captors. Ugh. Not recommended.
Very simple summation would be: to win the job you have to do the job. Go into an interview and present yourself as doing the job; have an understanding of the problem the manager is trying to solve by hiring you, and solve the problem, or walk through the steps you would take to solve.
1. what do you do best?
2. what value do you offer?
3. basic research on the industry
4. identify companies you want to work for
5. gather information on those companies
6. make inside contacts
7. become an insider
8. map your skills onto a company’s needs
9. ask & answer the four questions: (understand the work that needs to be done? demonstrate you can do the job? show you can do the job as the employer wants it done? prove you can do the job profitably for employer and yourself)
10. talk with hiring manager to find out her problems/challenges
11. plan how you’ll do the job in the interview
12. meet with the hiring manager/do the job in the interview/answer the 4 questions in the interview
13. do you want an offer? is the job right for you?
14. ASK FOR THE JOB
15. win an offer, negotiate the offer and the job
16. interview the company
17. accept the offer
Nothing like a foodie book to make you want to cook more! Grains of paradise? Sure thing. I’m tempted to copy some of the recipes into the blog to share with all.
Well written journal interspersed with recipes for the food lover. I originally found Ms. Hesser thru an article in the New Yorker (I think) for food to bring on a plane– that essay is also in this book. Mouth watering, and interesting perspective on other foodies (Steingarten, etc).
Bleak and soft emotional underpinings of the granite city. Enjoyable, but not preferred. The unfinished sentences conveyed the hollowness of NYC, a bit mournful, lonely look into city souls.
A glimpse inside–
Hipsters seek refuge in church, Our Lady of Perpetual Subculture. There is some discussion as to whether or not they are still cool but then they are calmed by the obscure location and the arrival of their kind. Keep the address to yourself, let the rabble find it for themselves. Wow, this crappy performance art is really making me feel not so terrible about my various emotional issues. He has to duck out early to get back to his bad art. Three cheers for your rich interior life, may it serve you well come rent day. Beer before liquor never sicker. This one’s on me. Somehow he always ends up buying every round. Hour by hour the customers change, grow humps horns scales. The little noises they make: her boyfriend’s out of town, his college roommate is in town, my friend’s band is playing downtown. He made too many plans with too many people and things will not turn out okay. She’s a little worried because at midnight the new legislation goes into effect and the draconian Save the Drama for Your Mama laws are really going to cramp her style. Hit the town. It hits back.
A peek under the veil of life in Iran; Dr. Nafisi teaches a secret class on Thursday mornings to her most devoted literature students, reading Nabokov (Lolita), F Scott Fitzgerald (Gatsby), James, and Austen (which are the 4 sections of the book), and Mark Twain, Saul Bellow. Nicely done interweaving of Nafisi’s conflicts with the Islamic revolution with the literature analysis. Students setting themselves on fire, being executed secretly in jail, the adoption of the veil against her will, meeting her “magician” in a cafe to exchange books and having to move tables when it was raided b/c they weren’t related (women can’t consort with unrelated men), the deep red nail polish of one of her students’ nails covered by gloves, the blind film censor, putting Great Gatsby on trial, her former student naming her daughter Daisy for James’ Daisy Miller, the stories from her selected students (Azin, Yassi, Sanaz, Mitra, Mahshid, Manna, Nassrin), the Iraqi missile attacks on Tehran, the painful decision to leave Iran for the US, the covert satellite dishes, bootlegged vodka, the bus story: Iranian writers encouraged by the regime to travel to Armenia to a conference only to have their bus precariously stop atop a precipice to be toppled over if it weren’t for the quick reflexes of an insomniac onboard.
Nafisi is an excellent writer, and seems to be an amazing lit teacher, with a unique perspective on Iranian life.
An exquisitely crafted mystery, my favorite of the Lew Archer variety. Each chapter was a delicious morsel.
Quick synopsis: Archer’s hired by the young, 3rd generationly rich Peter, to find out who Ginny Fablon’s pseudo French lover Martel was. (He was Panamanian). Taps, the French teacher, and his wife who has a crush on Archer; the ladies at the country club, the receptionist at the club. An unknown murderer kills Ginny’s dad first (blamed as suicide: dead body washed up on shore, death by drowning, and body chewed up by sharks), then 7 years later kills her mom and husband (Martel).
Gold box with war letters in it, stolen by Nick to give to Jean Trask, who’s searching for her father who was long ago killed by an 8 year old Nick.
Read this and the Moon handbook edited by Christopher Baker throughout Costa Rica, and ended up relying much more on the Moon, or “Bakes” as we fondly named it. The Adventures book was more of a amateur travel companion, without much of use.
I devoured this book on my flight home to SF from ATL. I laughed, I cried, truthfully. The rawness of her father’s death stung me; as Anna arrives hours late to the hospital and finds her dad died while she was flying there, she feels a rustling and says her goodbyes to her father’s spirit. As for laughing, I admit to being unable to control my outbursts, meaning people around me thought I found Pirates of the Carribean (our inflight movie) hilarious in all the wrong places. Tiny wooden hand? I’m laughing now as I remember this section.
I stumbled onto pamie.com last year and spent a day reading through the archives, doubled over with laughter. I’d never written a fan email to a website prior to pamie, and she responded kindly, just like the book. After joining her mailinglist, I found myself driving 6 hours south to LA to see her play “Call Us Crazy: The Anne Heche Monologues”. It was worth the drive and fighting LA traffic. Quick summary: a troupe of actors re-enacting Anne Heche’s autobiographical “Call Me Crazy”.
Scott Thompson was slated to guest star in the Valentine’s Day show, but had to cancel at the last minute after Touched by an Angel picked him up for two shows. Instead, we were treated to Edie McClurg (Mrs. Poole of Valerie, or Mrs. Beeker of 7th heaven fame). Thirteen other actors rounded out the cast. Each performed her reading of Call Us Crazy in a unique way, be it belting out a song about Mexican Lady Hands (Anne’s topless Fresno ecstacy trip was alleviated by a Mexican lady who took her in) or simply reading out the Table of Contents with special emphasis (“Love SLASH Other things”). Anne certainly set herself up for mockery with this book. I need to read it again to freshen my mind to the enormity of the humor. I think when I first read it I skimmed most to plow through the inanity. Pamie took the humor and made it bloom onstage. Bravo, Pamie!
After finishing WGAW, I took out a pen and dropped some words of my own on paper for the first time in ages. I’m dying to post the tiny wooden hand story in our reprints section, but gotta ask Pamie’s permission first. Overall, I loved the book; not great literature, but a worthy addition to any library.
It was a little strange finally reading this book a few months after beginning the South Beach Diet. I got most of my information on the web on how to cut bad carbs out of my diet and go through the 3 phases. The wait list at the library finally brought this book to me, so I skimmed through and solidified some of the points that have been incorporated in my diet since late September. I was able to lose 6 lbs. during Phase 1, and have been keeping a steady weight since then, drinking wine & whiskey (but no beer), and dropping a lot of carbs from my intake. I also dropped caffeine from my diet, and am feeling healthier. Lately, I’ve been pretty bad, making full-on lasagna & chocolate souffles, but my beer belly is still much smaller than before.
An expat journalist takes it upon himself to explore his adopted continent by bicycle. Through dust and wind and storms he trudges, dropping tales of chance meetings along the way. From Sydney, up the Gold Coast to Brisbane, across to Darwin, through the Kimberley to Broome (great beach town), around to Perth, through the Nullarbour Plain to Adelaide and Melbourne. Even a jaunt over to Tasmania, then circling back to Sydney. Sleeping outdoors or in roadside hostels, picking fruit, shearing sheep, conserving water for the desolate 100 mile stretches of 120 degree heat, cycling through the flu and road rash, meeting kind and unkind people along the way.
Quick read of an adventure story-sort.
I could read this book all over again, starting tonight, when I just finished it. An insightful look into Billy Beane’s madness with the Oakland A’s. Bill James’ theory of baseball, taking luck out of the pitching stats equation (Voros McCracken). Scott Hatteburg’s lack of holes and incredible plate discipline, Chad Bradford’s unhittable underhand pitching. The tension between the front office and Art Howe, tension over allowing Ray Durham to steal bases (unnecessary risk which doesn’t lead to much of a reward). The supremacy of on base percentage and the rise of OPS. The valuing of ‘defective’ players by the A’s in order to get bargains. The 20 game winning streak of 2002. The insight into the Rincon trade, Billy playing other owners off each other. The future of baseball shaping up to include more teams that model themselves on the A’s strategy of more with less money (BoSox & Blue Jays). Most of all, the force of Billy Beane.
I want to read more books like this.
Mildly interesting tract on Mormonism and the history of the faith, interwoven with a murderous tale of Mormon fundamentalists killing their sister-in-law and niece. Needed a bit of an editor; I found the intro quotes to each new chapter tedious and admit to skimming toward the end.
Krakauer should stick to nature topics.