Tag Archives: stress

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Mood (nook book)

A review of Mood: The Key to Understanding Ourselves and Others by Patrick M. Burke. “A reader-friendly yet in-depth overview of the latest research on mood as the way we are tuned to the world.”

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Coming Up Next…

Reviews of two books: Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life: Train Your Brain to Get More Done in Less Time by Paul Hammerness, M.D. and Margaret Moore, with John Hanc; and Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World by Sam Sommers.

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An Unflappable Giveaway

Thanks to Anna at the Hachette Book Group, we have three (3) copies to give away of a new nonfiction book which was just released on March 6, 2011.   This is Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool; a hardbound release from Little, Brown and Company valued at $25.99.   Here is the official synopsis:

Nerves make us bomb job interviews, first dates and SATs.   With a presentation looming at work, fear robs us of sleep for days.   It paralyzes seasoned concert musicians and freezes rookie cops in tight situations.   And yet not everyone cracks.   Soldiers keep their heads in combat; firemen rush into burning buildings; unflappable trauma doctors juggle patient after patient.   It’s not just that these people feel no fear; often, in fact, they’re riddled with it.

In Nerve, Taylor Clark draws upon cutting-edge science and painstaking reporting to explore the very heart of panic and poise.   Using a wide range of case studies, Clark overturns the popular myth about anxiety and fear to explain why some people thrive under pressure, while others falter – and how we can go forward with steadier nerves and increased confidence.

“…brings sophisticated science into precise layperson’s language and applies it to our everyday lives with humor and wit.”   Amazon

So, how can you win one of these copies without experiencing too much stress?   Simple, just post a comment here with your name and e-mail address; or send an e-mail message to josephsreviews@gmail.com .   This will count as a first entry.   For a second entry, tell us the answer to this question – If 1 is a ‘fraidy cat and 10 is a superhero with nerves of steel, which number would a panel of fear and stress experts give you, and why?   Post your answer below, or provide your response in an e-mail, and you will be credited with a second entry.

Our usual furry contest administrator will draw the 3 winning names.   You have until midnight on April 15, 2011 to submit your entry or entries.   In order to be eligible to win this contest, you must live in the United States or Canada and provide a residential address when you are contacted.   Books will not be shipped to a P. O. box or a business-related address.   Only one person can win per household.

This is it for the nervous-making contest rules.   Put on your superhero costume and give it a whirl!   Munchy the cat  says, Yeowk!   (Translated this means, Good luck and good reading!)

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Coming Up Next…

See how you can win one of three copies of the new nonfiction book Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool by Taylor Clark (Little, Brown and Company).

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Silence is Golden

The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise by Garret Keizer (Public Affairs, $27.95, 385 pages)

“Lou Reed’s (music) is not noise; Gregorian Chant piercing my bathroom wall is.”

This is a highly entertaining and sometimes annoying survey account of noise around the world and its impact on humans.   Garret Keizer occasionally cites relevant points, such as that one’s reaction to noise is often tied to personal factors.   If I’m married to a professional pilot, the noise from the nearby airport does not bother me the way it troubles my neighbors.   (Human transportation remains the number one noisemaker around the world.)   He also notes, importantly, that we do not become “used to” noise, and that its damage to our ears is all too permanent.

But Keizer also includes considerable material of little relevance that seems to be an attempt to justify his travels around the globe in the guise of doing research for this book.   Is he serious about discussing the noise made by foreign sex workers?   Keizer also makes one whopper of a questionable pronouncement, which is that noise is something imposed on us against our will.   If we enjoy something, such as rock music, it is not noise.   Nonsense.   I love Live at Leeds by The Who but played at any volume it remains noise, even if a joyful one.

This compilation of random thoughts and scientifically based findings on noise is interesting but meandering.   The editor was missing in action.

This review was written by Joseph Arellano.   Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.

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From The Heart

Mother-Daughter Duet: Getting to the Relationship You Want with Your Adult Daughter by Cheri Fuller & Ali Plum

Cheri Fuller and Ali Plum are ideally suited to offer advice about the always-complex mother-daughter relationship.   Each of these women has experienced her own challenges in life, among them alcoholism and marital discord.   As mother (Cheri) and daughter (Ali), they provide the voices for the book’s chapters that address key events in a mother-daughter relationship such as leaving home, weddings and the birth of grandchildren.   Their voices are first heard as solos and then as a duet.   The reader is advised on what works and what does not when specific issues are confronted.

Cheri and Ali have sought assistance and advice from professional counselors and trusted friends when dealing with their own issues.   As would be expected with a Multnomah publication, the book is written with a Christian perspective; hence the scripture citations and references to prayer.   Cheri is a well-known author, columnist and speaker on women’s issues.   Ali is a songwriter and makes a strong debut in this book as a writer.

The take-away from Mother-Daughter Duet is that life holds the promise of closeness with those we care for; however, it requires mindfulness and faith to experience these rewards.   Mindfulness and faith are not accomplished once and for all time, rather, they must be practiced each and every day.

This review was written by Ruta Arellano.   A review copy was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah, a division of Random House. 

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Action Gets It Going

Over the Gap by Dave Patterson

There are situations in our lives when we must take action in times of the greatest possible stress.   For example, if a parent or loved one close to you dies, you may be asked to assist in making funeral arrangements.   This is precisely the time when you will feel the least capable of making some sound and rapid decisions, but you will nevertheless need to act.   Action in itself helps us to feel better and to regain our confidence – “Action gets it going!”

If you’re a person who has been recently displaced in your workplace cutbacks or downsized out of a job, Dave Patterson’s Over the Gap provides a roadmap of the steps you must take in order to secure another job in the least amount of time.   It may not be a pleasant subject (notice how much effort is taken to avoid the word “fired”) but Patterson’s 121-page guide will assist you in concentrating on the work you will need to do to find new work.

Patterson’s book focuses on what he calls the CORE Process – Circumstance, Opportunities, Resources, End Result – which is based on common sense and doing one’s necessary homework.   Patterson explains the values of networking and of being prepared; fully prepared, not just taking halfway measures.   As an example of the latter, he provides a very good listing of the most asked interview questions.   But having the questions is just half the battle, will you be prepared to answer them before (and not just during) a job interview?   (Hint:  You should not only be prepared to answer the questions, but to do so in two minutes or less.   Rambling responses show weakness, uncertainty and a definite lack of preparedness.   “When responding to interview questions, give answers that are directly to the point.”)

Patterson also offers spread sheets, graphs and other tools to help you get re-organized.   If you use the tools he provides in Over the Gap, you will be forcibly organized which is much better than the alternative.   This is a sober-minded guide that, for the price ($19.95) of less than a twenty dollar bill may help you to re-start your professional life sooner rather than later.   I did see that one reviewer mentioned that this guide is for “mid-level executives,” which is a point that I will respectfully disagree with.   I think that anyone who has suddenly lost their job will find this “advanced career change, planning and outplacement handbook” to be invaluable.

Recommended.

A review copy was provided by the author.

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