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Monthly Archives: May 2018

TBR: Dostoyevsky

To be read – Dostoyevsky – right after I finish The Wings of the Dove.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2018 in 19th Century, fiction, Russian Literature

 

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Poem of the Week

I had to share this one by George, the Poet.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in fiction, poetry

 

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Parisian Charm School

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In Parisian Charm School Jamie Cat Callan provides an orientation to the uninitiated to the to รฉlan of Paris. Her lessons on fashion, color, use of voice, flirtation and such explain why the French have such elegance and poise. In addition, she gives the names of tour guides and teachers with businesses that give unique experiences to English speakers.

The book is a fun read, that gives a romantic look at all things French. It’s far from a complete or sociological look at the City of Lights. I thoroughly enjoyed Callan’s writing, but realize that like any country France has its pros and cons and that a lot of the tours or experiences would be pricey. So remove your rose-colored glasses before you sell your house and move to Paris in search of amour.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2018 in book review, non-fiction, Travel Writing

 

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Library of Luminaries: Coco Chanel

Similar to the illustrated biography of Jane Austen, Literary Luminaries: Coco Chanel is a delightful biography that provides the main details of Coco Chanel’s life. ย Again, charm prevails as delightful illustrations show Chanel’s life from childhood as an orphan to later success with plenty of love affairs along the way.

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It’s a good introduction to the life of the sophisticated, brave woman who pared down fashion, gave us the “Little Black Dress” and quilted purses.

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I’m thankful to Farah Shamma who led me to this book via her A BookTube Book YouTube channel.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2018 in non-fiction, postaweek

 

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Pre-Suasion

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If you need to understand effective persuasion techniques, Robert Cialdini’s book Pre-Suasion is a must-read. Cialdini explains how the situation before people decide or act, highly influences what choice they’ll make. For example, when voters received a men email with a small American flag in the bottom corner, they were more likely to vote Republican. If the email asked them to take an action, e.g. click something, fill out a survey, they were much more likely to voter Republican.

Lessons learned include:

  • Your surroundings and associations matter. Research has shown that having photos of your customers in your office helps you create messages that better connect with them. When Cialdini was writing a book intended for a popular audience, the tone was suitable when he wrote at home, but when he wrote in his campus office, the tone was too academic.
  • Multi-tasking is impossible. When we try to multi-task, we’re just switching from one task to the other. When we’re switching there’s a moment when we aren’t concentrating on what we should adding up all these inattentive moments amounts to a meaningful time wasted not concentrating on what we should.
  • Humans, even babies, are quite wired to reciprocate. When you do some small, kind thing for someone they’re likely to reciprocate. My favorite examples on this are that when Osama bin Laden’s captors were getting no where interrogating him. They had given him cookies and tea everyday, but he never touched the cookies. They found out he was diabetic and so the interrogators started giving him sugar-free cookies. After this personalized, kind treatment the body guard answered all their questions.

    In a similar case, the CIA was questioning a tribal leader in Afghanistan who they noticed was quite fatigued. They learned he was overwhelmed with responsibilities including keeping his four wives happy. The CIA gave the man four Viagra pills and soon afterwards the man fully cooperated. Personalized touches work.

The book is full of clear examples and shows you how association, trust and directing attention impact successful persuasion before you even start to persuade.

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2018 in fiction, non-fiction, postaweek

 

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