Book notes: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell book summary review and key ideas.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell

Synopsis:

“Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the number-one New York Times best seller Outliers, reinvents the audiobook in this immersive production of Talking to Strangers, a powerful examination of our interactions with people we don’t know. 

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn’t true? 

While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you’ll hear the voices of people he interviewed – scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There’s even a theme song – Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout”. 

Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.” -Audible

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Book notes: Contagious by Jonah Berger

Contagious by Jonah Berger book summary review and key ideas.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Synopsis:

“Why do some products get more word of mouth than others? Why does some online content go viral? Word of mouth makes products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. It’s more influential than advertising and far more effective.

Can you create word of mouth for your product or idea? According to Berger, you can. Whether you operate a neighborhood restaurant, a corporation with hundreds of employees, or are running for a local office for the first time, the steps that can help your product or idea become viral are the same.

Contagious is filled with fascinating information drawn from Berger’s research. You will be surprised to learn, for example, just how little word of mouth is generated online versus elsewhere. Already praised by Dan Ariely and Dan Gilbert, and sold in nine countries, this book is a must-listen for people who want their projects and ideas to succeed.” -Audible

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Book notes: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni book summary review and key ideas.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Synopsis:

“In keeping with the parable style, Patrick Lencioni begins by telling the fable of a woman who, as CEO of a struggling Silicon Valley firm, took control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helped its members succeed as a team. Story time over, Lencioni offers explicit instructions for overcoming the human behavioral tendencies that he says corrupt teams (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results). Succinct yet sympathetic, this guide will be a boon for those struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading a group.

Building a cohesive team is not complicated, declares Lencioni. Departing from the dry, theoretical writing of many management books, he presents his case in the context of a fictional organization, and in doing so succeeds at communicating his ideas. The scenarios are recognizable and can be applied anywhere teamwork is involved, whether it is a multinational company, a small department within a larger organization, or a sports team. At the end of the story, the main points are summarized, and clearly expressed suggestions and exercises are offered to help bring about change. Concise and easy to follow, this program is recommended for anyone who is a member of a team that needs improvement.” -Audible

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Book notes: Let Love Have the Last Word by Common

Let Love Have the Last Word by Common book summary review and key ideas.

Let Love Have the Last Word by Common

Synopsis:

“Common – the Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Golden Globe-winning musician, actor, and activist – follows up his New York Times best-selling memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense with this inspiring exploration of how love and mindfulness can build communities and allow you to take better control of your life through actions and words. Common’s warm and rousing narration is accompanied by music written and performed exclusively for this audiobook. 

Common believes that the phrase “let love have the last word” is not just a declaration; it is a statement of purpose, a daily promise. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and ultimately, the way you love determines who you are and how you experience life. 

Touching on God, self-love, partners, children, family, and community, Common explores the core tenets of love to help others understand what it means to receive and, most important, to give love. He moves from the personal – writing about his daughter, to whom he wants to be a better father – to the universal, where he observes that our society has become fractured under issues of race and politics. He knows there’s no quick remedy for all of the hurt in the world, but love – for yourself and for others – is where the healing begins. 

Courageous, insightful, brave, and characteristically authentic, Let Love Have the Last Word shares Common’s own unique and personal stories of the people and experiences that have led to a greater understanding of love and all it has to offer. It is a powerful call to action for a new generation of open hearts and minds, one that is sure to resonate for years to come.” -Audible

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Book notes: The Soulful Art of Persuasion by Jason Harris

The Soulful Art of Persuasion by Jason Harris book summary review and key ideas.

The Soulful Art of Persuasion: The 11 Habits That Will Make Anyone a Master Influencer by Jason Harris

Synopsis:

“Jason Harris, CEO of the powerhouse creative agency, Mekanism, argues that genuine persuasion in the 21st century is about developing character rather than relying on the easy tactics of flattery, manipulation, and short-term gains. It is about engaging rather than insisting; it is about developing empathy and communicating your values. Based on his experience in and out of the boardroom, and drawing on the latest in-depth research on trust, influence, and habit formation, Harris shows that being persuasive in a culture plagued by deception means rejecting the ethos of the quick and embracing the commitment of putting your truest self forward and playing the long game.

Through instructive and entertaining stories, Harris lays out the 11 habits that will guide listeners to become authentically persuasive, including

  • Earning respect through collaboration
  • Becoming the person others want to be around
  • Practicing generosity through gestures big and small

Persuasion today is about personal excellence, sharing the stage, and respecting other people’s motivations. In The Soulful Art of Persuasion, Jason Harris shows us the way.” -Audible

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Book notes: The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey

The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey book summary review and key ideas.

The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

Synopsis:

“Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, “Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible.”

That journey starts right here.

In her latest audiobook, The Path Made Clear, Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. The audiobook’s 10 chapters are organized to help you recognize the important milestones along the road to self-discovery, laying out what you really need in order to achieve personal contentment and what life’s detours are there to teach us.

Oprah opens each chapter by sharing her own key lessons and the personal stories that helped set the course for her best life. She then brings together wisdom and insights from luminaries in a wide array of fields, inspiring listeners to consider what they’re meant to do in the world and how to pursue it with passion and focus. These renowned figures share the greatest lessons from their own journeys toward a life filled with purpose.

The Path Made Clear provides listeners with a valuable resource for achieving a life lived in service of your calling – whatever it may be.” -Audible

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Book notes: Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas

Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas book summary review and key ideas.

Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas

Synopsis:

“In 1972, when she was seven, Firoozeh Dumas and her family moved from Iran to Southern California, arriving with no firsthand knowledge of this country beyond her father’s glowing memories of his graduate school years here.

In a series of deftly drawn scenes Funny in Farsi chronicles the American journey of Dumas’ wonderfully engaging family: her engineer father, a sweetly quixotic dreamer who first sought riches on Bowling for Dollars and in Las Vegas; her elegant mother, who never fully mastered English (nor cared to); her uncle, who combated the effects of American fast food with an army of miraculous American weight-loss gadgets; and Firoozeh herself, who as a girl changed her name to Julie, and who encountered a second wave of culture shock when she met and married a Frenchman, becoming part of a one-couple melting pot.

An unforgettable story of identity, discovery, and the power of family love, Funny in Farsi will leave us all laughing without an accent.” -Audible

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Book notes: Mastery by Robert Greene

Mastery by Robert Greene book summary review and key ideas.

Mastery by Robert Greene

Synopsis:

“What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force’s last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene’s fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world’s masters.

Temple Grandin, Martha Graham, Henry Ford, Buckminster Fuller – all have lessons to offer about how the love for doing one thing exceptionally well can lead to mastery. Yet the secret, Greene maintains, is already in our heads. Debunking long-held cultural myths, he demonstrates just how we, as humans, are hardwired for achievement and supremacy. Fans of Greene’s earlier work and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers will eagerly devour this canny and erudite explanation of just what it takes to be great.” – Audible

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