Book notes: Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt

Freakanomics by Steven D. Levitt book summary review and key ideas.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt

Synopsis:

Which is more dangerous: a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life, from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing, and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this audiobook: Freakonomics.

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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: 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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Book notes: Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson

Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson book summary review and key ideas.

Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson

Synopsis:

“We live in an interesting time. Materially, everything is the best it’s ever been – we are freer, healthier, and wealthier than any people in human history. Yet, somehow everything seems to be irreparably and horribly f*cked – the planet is warming, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, and everyone is perpetually offended on Twitter. At this moment in history, when we have access to technology, education, and communication our ancestors couldn’t even dream of, so many of us come back to an overriding feeling of hopelessness. 

With his usual mix of erudition and where-the-f*ck-did-that-come-from humor, Manson takes us by the collar and challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven’t considered before. It’s another counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul. One of the great modern writers has produced another book that will set the agenda for years to come.

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Book notes: Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer book summary.

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

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Synopsis: “Foer’s unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion frames a revelatory exploration of the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of our lives.

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Book notes: The Truth by Neil Strauss

The Truth by Neil Strauss book summary.

The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss

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Synopsis: “Neil Strauss became famous to millions around the world as the author of The Game, a funny and slyly instructive account of how he transformed himself from a scrawny, insecure nerd into the ultraconfident, ultrasuccessful “pickup artist” known as Style. The book jump-started the international “seduction community” and made Strauss a household name – revered or notorious – among single men and women alike.

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