Founder of The Business of Me
Nancy's Book Club
Welcome to Nancy's Book Club.
Each month I'll choose a book and review it. I choose books with you in mind and hope that you find plenty of reading here that both entertains you and stimulates your thinking.
Post your reviews, impressions and feelings about our book choices in our Book Forum.
If you'd like to recommend a book that you'd like me to review please email me at email@example.com.
This Month's Selection
Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Reviewed by Nancy Salamone
I have always thought that truly successful people are “self-made” and that only their innate talent is what made them successful. In “Outliers” Malcolm Gladwell wants to convince us that “People just don’t rise from nothing. We do owe something to parentage and patronage.” Further Mr. Gladwell believes that successful people “are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways that others cannot.”
Mr. Gladwell tells us that according to Silicon Valley veterans “the most important date in the history of the personal computer revolution was 1975. He then goes on to relate that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Paul Allen and other software tycoons were all born around 1955 the right year to be part of the computer revolution. So in part success did not come to these software tycoons necessarily of their own making but in part to the world that they grew up in.
These people (Gladwell cites more success stories of others in different industries) were born at the right time and capitalized on the opportunities that their world presented.
He goes on to tell us that Asians historically are better at math than Americans. Mr. Gladwell makes the case that it is not because they are “smarter” but it has much more to do with their language. As Mr. Gladwell points out “there is a big difference in how number-naming systems in Western and Asian languages are constructed. In English, we say fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen and nineteen, so one might expect that we would also say oneteen, twoteen, threeteen, and fiveteen but we don’t.” In Asia the counting systems are very logical. Eleven for example is ten-one and so on. So Asian children learn numbers must faster.
In the end Mr. Gladwell wants us to believe that success takes a very logical path that has more to do with birth date, culture and where you were born.
September 2010 Selection
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success Reviewed by Nancy Salamone
This is a beautiful book. In fact after I read it I felt calmer because of the gentle and suggestive way Dr. Chopra writes. Not only did I feel calmer I was anxious to follow the path that he shows us, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”.
Don’t be put off by the term “spiritual”. Deepak Chopra is a Universalist and this book is not about religion; it’s about the creative process.
“The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” is all small book that you will refer to over and over again as you create success in your life. The book is an easy read and the action steps outlined can be integrated easily into your everyday life.
One of my favorite suggestions that Dr. Chopra makes is to practice silence. He advocates meditation as a way to clear our mind. Yes we’ve heard that before but do we really take the time to do it?
Before I read this book the first thing I did every morning was get up and (since my office is in my home) I’d check my email. From there of course it was “off to the races” with no time for me to think or just be still. Now I take time to meditate and quiet my mind. So, when I do go to work, my mind is clearer and I’m more creative. I find that I have more energy too.
The book also talks about non-judgment. According to Dr. Chopra when we constantly judge we are creating a lot of personal mental turbulence as we spend so much time analyzing, labeling and classifying. You know - the mental gymnastics we all play every day. Dr. Chopra’s message is to wake up every morning and affirm that “today I will judge nothing” and do our best to return to that idea as our day unfolds.
These are just two ideas that resonated with me and there are many more. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is a wonderful prescription to help you create success in your life.
August 2010 Selection
Money, A Memoir Reviewed by Nancy Salamone
OK, are you ready? Are you ready to put the mirror up in front of your face and explore your paradigms about money? Well that's exactly what Liz Perle does in her book "Money, A Memoir".
Ms. Perle explores women’s emotions when it comes to money. And yes ladies, many of us do have lots of emotional baggage when it comes to money. Ms. Perle talks extensively about how our emotions have a direct effect on our spending and savings habits. She talks about various money personalities and how those personalities are a result of how our families treated money and framed our relationship with it.
Ms. Perle makes the point that women divorce their finances from their life; that is, "my life is in left field" and "my finances are in right field" when both are intertwined.
While she uses a humorous writing style there is nothing humorous about the statistics she cites.
· Women still earn only 78% of what men earn for the same jobs.
· Only a third of women have positions that even offer retirement plans.
· Because about half of all working women take time off from their careers at some point to care of their families, the value of their retirement funds is lowered even further by these interruptions.
· Between one-third and two-thirds of women now thirty-five to fifty-five years old will be impoverished by age seventy.
Those startling statistics are reason enough to understand how our emotions affect our decisions about money and more importantly, how decisions about money made emotionally can devastate our lives.This is an important book for all of us. And I know that putting the mirror in front of our face can be oh so liberating!
(Not yet reviewed by Nancy)