Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Lest Price :$16.00

Sale Price: $9.41

Product Description

HGifted sportswriter Hillenbrand unearths the rarefied world of thoroughbred horse racing in this captivating account of one of the sport's legends. Though no longer a household name, Seabiscuit enjoyed great celebrity during the 1930s and 1940s, drawing record crowds to his races around the country. Not an overtly impressive physical specimenD"His stubby legs were a study in unsound construction, with huge, squarish, asymmetrical 'baseball glove' knees that didn't quite straighten all the way"Dthe horse seemed to transcend his physicality as he won race after race. Hillenbrand, a contributor to Equus magazine, profiles the major players in Seabiscuit's fantastic and improbable career. In simple, elegant prose, she recounts how Charles Howard, a pioneer in automobile sales and Seabiscuit's eventual owner, became involved with horse racing, starting as a hobbyist and growing into a fanatic. She introduces esoteric recluse Tom Smith (Seabiscuit's trainer) and jockey Red Pollard, a down-on-his-luck rider whose specialty was taming unruly horses. In 1936, Howard united Smith, Pollard and "The Biscuit," whose performance had been spottyDand the horse's star career began. Smith, who recognized Seabiscuit's potential, felt an immediate rapport with him and eased him into shape. Once Seabiscuit started breaking records and outrunning lead horses, reporters thronged the Howard barn day and night. Smith's secret workouts became legendary and only heightened Seabiscuit's mystique. Hillenbrand deftly blends the story with explanations of the sport and its culture, including vivid descriptions of the Tijuana horse-racing scene in all its debauchery. She roots her narrative of the horse's breathtaking career and the wild devotion of his fans in its socioeconomic context: Seabiscuit embodied the underdog myth for a nation recovering from dire economic straits. (Mar.) Forecast: Despite the shrinking horse racing audienceDand the publishing adage that books on horse racing don't sellDthis book has the potential to do well, even outside the realm of the racing community, due to a large first printing and forthcoming Universal Studios movie. A stylish cover will attract both baby boomers and young readers, tapping into the sexiness and allure of the "Sport of Kings." Hillenbrand's glamorous photo on the book jacket won't hurt her chances, and Seabiscuit should sell at a galloping pace.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449005615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449005613
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

  • Editorial Reviews

    He didn't look like much. With his smallish stature, knobby knees, and slightly crooked forelegs, he looked more like a cow pony than a thoroughbred. But looks aren't everything; his quality, an admirer once wrote, "was mostly in his heart." Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of the horse who became a cultural icon in Seabiscuit: An American Legend.

    Seabiscuit rose to prominence with the help of an unlikely triumvirate: owner Charles Howard, an automobile baron who once declared that "the day of the horse is past"; trainer Tom Smith, a man who "had cultivated an almost mystical communication with horses"; and jockey Red Pollard, who was down on his luck when he charmed a then-surly horse with his calm demeanor and a sugar cube. Hillenbrand details the ups and downs of "team Seabiscuit," from early training sessions to record-breaking victories, and from serious injury to "Horse of the Year"--as well as the Biscuit's fabled rivalry with War Admiral. She also describes the world of horseracing in the 1930s, from the snobbery of Eastern journalists regarding Western horses and public fascination with the great thoroughbreds to the jockeys' torturous weight-loss regimens, including saunas in rubber suits, strong purgatives, even tapeworms.

    Along the way, Hillenbrand paints wonderful images: tears in Tom Smith's eyes as his hero, legendary trainer James Fitzsimmons, asked to hold Seabiscuit's bridle while the horse was saddled; critically injured Red Pollard, whose chest was crushed in a racing accident a few weeks before, listening to the San Antonio Handicap from his hospital bed, cheering "Get going, Biscuit! Get 'em, you old devil!"; Seabiscuit happily posing for photographers for several minutes on end; other horses refusing to work out with Seabiscuit because he teased and taunted them with his blistering speed.

    Though sometimes her prose takes on a distinctly purple hue ("His history had the ethereal quality of hoofprints in windblown snow"; "The California sunlight had the pewter cast of a declining season"), Hillenbrand has crafted a delightful book. Wire to wire, Seabiscuit is a winner. Highly recommended. --Sunny Delaney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

When God Whispers Your Name (The Bestseller Collection)

When God Whispers Your Name (The Bestseller Collection)

Lest Price :

Sale Price:

Product Description

Do you find it hard to believe that the One who made everything keeps your name on His heart and on His lips? Do you realize that your name is written on the hand of God (Is. 49:16)? Perhaps you've never seen your name honored. And you can't remember when you heard it spoken with kindness. In this book, Max Lucado offers the inspiration to believe that God has already bought the ticket-with your name on it.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Special edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780849921438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849921438
  • ASIN: 0849921430
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

  • Editorial Reviews

    Lucado, a pastor and the award-winning author of the bestselling Tell Me the Story and He Still Moves Stones , among others, has here composed a series of short stories for those who, he says, might not realize "that God has written their true name upon His hand." Allegories, the retelling of Bible stories (i.e., Moses becomes an office janitor to whom God speaks through a mop bucket) and even Lucado's own journeys are used to show God's grace and holiness and to hold out hope in the midst of life. Lucado is blessed with the gift of storytelling. And sometimes that gift shines in these short stories; at other times, however, the successful storyteller seems instead to be riding on his own coattails and merely employing an easy formula.
    Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Mastering the Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success: An Owner's Manual to the New York Times Bestseller, The Traveler's Gift

Mastering the Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success: An Owner's Manual to the New York Times Bestseller, The Traveler's Gift

Lest Price :$19.99

Sale Price: $13.59

Product Description

Hailed as a “modern-day Will Rogers who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America,” Andy Andrews is a best-selling novelist and in-demand speaker for some of the world’s largest organizations. The Traveler’s Gift, a featured book selection of ABC’s Good Morning America, has been translated into nearly twenty languages and was on the New York Times bestseller list for seventeen weeks.   Andy has spoken at the request of four different United States presidents and toured military bases around the world at the request of the Department of Defense. Arguably, there is no single person on the planet better at weaving subtle, yet life-changing lessons into riveting tales of adventure and intrigue—both on paper and on stage.

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785261419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785261414
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

  • Editorial Reviews

    Mastering the Seven Decisions guides readers to a profound understanding of how to fully integrate seven life-changing Decisions into their daily lives.

    • The Responsible Decision: The buck stops here. I accept responsibility for my past. I am responsible for my success. I will not let my history control my destiny.
    • The Guided Decision: I will seek wisdom.
    • The Active Decision: I am a person of action.
    • The Certain Decision: I have a decided heart. Criticism, condemnation, and complaint have no power over me.
    • The Joyful Decision: Today I will choose to be happy.
    • The Compassionate Decision: I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.
    • The Persistent Decision: I will persist without exception.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

# 1: the sky is real: Astounding story of His Trip a little boy to Heaven and Back

Error in deserializing body of reply message for operation 'Translate'. The maximum string content length quota (8192) has been exceeded while reading XML data. This quota may be increased by changing the MaxStringContentLength property on the XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas object used when creating the XML reader. Line 2, position 8191.
Error in deserializing body of reply message for operation 'Translate'. The maximum string content length quota (8192) has been exceeded while reading XML data. This quota may be increased by changing the MaxStringContentLength property on the XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas object used when creating the XML reader. Line 1, position 8711.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

501 of 529 people found the following review helpful: 4.0 out of 5 stars Is "Heaven is for Real" for real?, November 30, 2010 This review is from: Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back (Paperback) I found out about a pretty neat program not too long ago. I could get free books if I'd agree to write a review. As a lover of books, with over 1,000 of them in my library, I jumped at the chance.

The first book I received was titled "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. Needless to say, as a pastor I was skeptical! I thought, Oh no, not another I've been to heaven book! Beginning with 90 minutes in Heaven, the market has been flooded by books of peoples accounts of their journey to Heaven, Hell, and the Laundromat! I assumed this book would be little different and I thought I'd wind up relegating this book to the "not worth my time" pile. I was wrong.

"Heaven is for Real" is a a heartwarming, simple, and surprisingly biblical glimpse into a little four year old boy's journey into Heaven. Colton Burpo was four year's old when he found himself at death's door. His family didn't realize he had made his amazing journey until small but shocking revelations that amazed and bewildered his parents began to leak out. Colton didn't just have one sit down conversation, he let his journey be known one startling revelation at a time.

How could this little boy know these things? How could he know about relatives who had died long before he was born? How could someone so young offer such amazing insights into Heaven, Christ, and the glories that await Christians? How could he know things he'd never been taught and couldn't know?

As I mentioned before, I'm a skeptic at heart. A book like this one wouldn't likely catch my attention and certainly wouldn't win any praise from me. So many books like these are fanciful, unbiblical, and simply outright inconsistent with what I know to be true from the Bible. Colton Burpo's story was a refreshing and surprisingly accurate portrait of what awaits each of us whose destiny is Heaven. I read the book with a critical eye, looking for those little details that would prove this story to be at best inaccurate or at worst a fraud. I couldn't find them. His tale seemed honest. His descriptions fit the way a child would describe things, not one whose words had been fed him by an adult. Some of his revelations were simply amazing!

Who would be blessed by this book? I'd honestly say almost anyone. If you've recently lost a loved one or maybe you are a mother who has lost a child to miscarriage. You can find something here that will warm your heart and quite possibly help ease your pain. This book is a sweet, touching, and amazing story. I think you'll be blessed by it.

That said, you might wonder if I found anything in the book I didn't agree with. That's a tough question. I found nothing I'd say was blatantly wrong or in direct contradiction with the scriptures. There were a couple of things that made me raise my eyebrow but I can't quote a verse that says Heaven couldn't be like that, just a couple of things that didn't fit my expectation or interpretation of what Heaven would be like. Those things might make you wonder but I think you'll find they don't detract from what this book is meant to do, strengthen your faith, encourage you in your walk with Christ, and maybe just maybe long for Heaven just a little bit more.

Hope this review helps you make your choice of whether or not to pick up a copy of this book. I'd recommend you do.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 

77 of 86 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Review from a stay at home Mom who loves to read, December 1, 2010 This review is from: Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back (Paperback) This book was incredible! This was a fast and easy read, but packed with amazing content. Colton's account of heaven, Jesus, and his journey there, makes me think. This book should give anyone who needs encouragement, encouragement. If you question heaven's reality this should answer some questions. Whether you believe in God or not this book will make you think! Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 

124 of 142 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars JESUS WITH BLUE EYES AND ANGELS WITH WINGS, WHY NOT?, November 28, 2010 This review is from: Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back (Paperback) I don't want to ruffle anyone's feathers but I think the sarcastic mockery of a few reviewers is actually out of place and uncalled-for. I may not be a believer in the traditional sense either but I've become 99% convinced of the literal truth of Colton's experience and its supernatural aspect, even if one or two minor details like the blue eyes and angel wings might maybe (but not necessarily) be the product of "false memory." There are Jews and indeed Arabs who are pale-skinned and have blue eyes, not all have brown skin and brown eyes. For example, some northern Iranians. A non-trivial minority of Middle Eastern Jews also have blue eyes (or more often, green & hazel). So Jesus could have had too. And as one reviewer pointed out, apparently there are angels with wings mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel (Old Testament). As far as I can tell from people who know their bible, there is nothing inconsistent in this story with Scripture or indeed with medical reality since near-death experiences or NDE's are well-documented and are believed by many to be real both in the religious and scientific communities.

There are skeptics who argue that even if NDE is for real, then it's only a cerebral or psychological phenomenon and that the patient's consciousness may drift from the body, explaining how Colton saw his dad in the waiting room praying, for example, but that it's not a supernatural phenomenon (no heaven). This explanation may explain how Colton saw his father in the waiting room during his surgery, but it doesn't explain the unknowable facts he came back with from Heaven about his long-deceased grandfather and miscarried sister whose existence he had never known about before and many other such verifiable examples of things which only the grown-ups around him knew. So clearly, this precludes a natural or purely mental explanation and suggests the supernatural.

If Colton and his parents are telling the truth about this experience, and I'm convinced of their integrity, then Colton actually saw things and learned things from this "out of body" ordeal which he could not have seen and learned in any normal natural way but through genuinely supernatural and spiritual revelation. I believe this amazing miraculous story.

Don Piper, author of the tremendous bestseller "90 Minutes in Heaven" says about this book that it's "Compelling and convincing. It's a book you should read."

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 
Share your thoughts with other customers:    Most Recent Customer Reviews

View the original article here

# 5: Slow Cooker Revolution

Error in deserializing body of reply message for operation 'Translate'. The maximum string content length quota (8192) has been exceeded while reading XML data. This quota may be increased by changing the MaxStringContentLength property on the XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas object used when creating the XML reader. Line 2, position 8907.
Error in deserializing body of reply message for operation 'Translate'. The maximum string content length quota (8192) has been exceeded while reading XML data. This quota may be increased by changing the MaxStringContentLength property on the XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas object used when creating the XML reader. Line 1, position 8977.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 103 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, A Useful Slow Cooker Cookbook, January 26, 2011 This review is from: Slow Cooker Revolution (Paperback) Customer review from the Amazon Vine? Program (What's this?) The "new" name is "slow cooker" but most of us know the device as a "crockpot" because that's the name it was first marketed under a couple of decades ago. If you're like me, you got one because you thought, "Hey, I can put in the ingredients in the morning and have a tasty meal when I get home from work - cool". Then you found out that only certain recipes seemed to work well in the crockpot, er, slow cooker. You bought crockpot cookbooks, and found while many of them were beautifully designed with multiple and elaborate fonts, blank spaces for notes, line drawings of cute little collections of vegetables, the recipes either contained about 20 different ingredients or else the recipe required so much pre-browning, pre-saut?ing, post-blending, post-broiling of the ingredients that it would just be quicker to cook the darn recipe once you got home from work.

I am really happy to say that "Slow Cooker Revolution" is the first sensible slow cooker cookbook in my collection of them. The book is very well designed. There is a page devoted to each recipe, and most recipes have a picture of the finished product. There is a list of ingredients, and from what I saw, everything there is available in my local supermarket. Each recipe starts off with a paragraph entitled, "Why It Works", in which the authors explain the choices behind certain ingredients or methods and why they work better than others. The recipes are clear-cut and easy to follow. Each recipe also an additional segment - either a "quick prep tip" or a "smart shopping" hint or an "on the side" short recipe. They also recommend products in these segments that have been determined to be the best in their other test processes (if you've ever watched "America's Test Kitchen" on PBS you'll know the tests I'm talking about); I like that they name names of the products.

As I read through the recipes, I found myself thinking, "that sounds really tasty" and more importantly, "I can do that". The recipes include both standards and favorites, you know, the kind of food that you would actually cook at home (or order in a favorite restaurant) and that your family would actually eat. The recipes are not just reprints of older crockpot recipes; they have reworked some basics and created totally new versions of others. There is not a lot of elaborate pre-preparation in these recipes. Sensibly, they recommend using the microwave to pre-cook some of the vegetables to both make sure they'll cook thoroughly in the recipe and to release more of the aromatics into the recipe. We're talking like five minutes in the microwave, so that's no big hardship. Some of the recipes do call for browning or saut?ing certain meats or vegetables; I suppose there is no real way to avoid that since the name of the game is adding flavor to a process whose innate nature would tend to lose the flavor of some ingredients due to the long cooking time. There are a number of recipes highlighted as "Easy Prep" - they are the ones that are basically "throw everything into the slow cooker and turn it on".

What I also like about this cookbook are the extras, the pages that highlight things you should know about the ingredients you're using, e.g. "All About Broths", "Pasta 101", "All About Beef", "All About Using The Microwave And The Slow Cooker", etc. Very useful. This cookbook is definitely going to be a keeper for me, and I might be buying some other copies for the other cooks in my family. This is a good and useful gifting item.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one!, January 26, 2011 This review is from: Slow Cooker Revolution (Paperback) Customer review from the Amazon Vine? Program (What's this?) This is THE ONE if you are thinking of buying a slow cooker cook book. Actually, this is much more than a cookbook. This book is completely logical, clearly written, with a well-thought-through page layout, and is visually delightful.

There is very useful information on different types of slow cookers, how to determine if your cooker works "hotter" or not from others and very simple keys to success, besides all the mouth watering recipes (200 of them!). Every page makes it worth the asking price. We got so hungry reading the recipes that we quickly made the cranberry sauce. Wow! The best sauce we have ever had and so easy!

There are 13 chapters separated into various types of foods; e.g. Pasta sauces, "on the side", soups, chilies, casseroles and even desserts. Each recipe includes why the recipe works and some kind of tip such as "smart shopping" which includes a description and picture of an ingredient. This is especially helpful to home cooks who might be unfamiliar with ingredients like curry paste--what it is, where to get it, and what to look for in purchasing it.

There are also dozens of "quick prep tips"--pictures such as trimming blade steak, shredding meat, bruising lemon grass, etc. Many recipes include a very suitable "on the side" dish. There are several full page descriptions with pictures to explain techniques developed by the authors such as making foil collars and slings when cooking some items, correctly cooking pasta, all about herbs, carving a chicken and all about chicken in the slow cooker and the most handy of all, "all about beef" which describes all the types of cuts of beef and the best use for them.
In our home, we have been huge fans of slow cookers for a long time and believe we are quite capable as cooks. We know a lot of different ingredients, terms, tips, have dozens of cookbooks etc. but, if we had to choose only one cook book to save in a disaster THIS IS THE ONE!

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars A great slow cooker cookbook, January 27, 2011 This review is from: Slow Cooker Revolution (Paperback) Customer review from the Amazon Vine? Program (What's this?) So why another slow cooker book? Well, this is from America's Test Kitchen - some crazy organization that tries to find the best way of preparing all kinds of meals. Unlike other slow cooker recipe books, this one is more authoritative. For instance, unlike other slow cooker cookbooks, it gives recommendations for the "best" slow cooker - well, they did test seven of them, and set up a whole rack to have two dozen running for their tests. It also has tips for what brand ingredients tasted the best (what's the best barbecue sauce to use? maple syrup? canned tomatoes? corn tostadas?), or what shape pork loin to buy, or how to make a tidy burrito. Or how to make the recipes taste more "meaty" by using secret ingredients such as ... soy sauce! Interesting.

Each recipe starts with a description and rationale of why it's done this way ("Why this recipe works" section). For example, what tastes are important about the dish? How did they replicate the barbecue feel and taste for their ribs? How did they duplicate the key flavors of French Onion Soup or Cassoulet? What worked and what didn't? This is always informative and helps you understand the rationale behind the recipe.

Their goal was to include lots of "easy prep" recipes for the "time-pressed home cook", and these are identified as such in the chapter listings. Some require microwaving aromatics mixed with chopped onion, etc. to be mixed into the pot, or microwaving beef bones to add flavor. However, there are some that require more complex prep. The Chicken Gumbo, for example, has you preparing the roux first, by roasting and stirring the flour then baking it for 45 minutes. Others require cooking and whisking of certain ingredients before adding to the mix. Jerk chicken requires some steps in the oven to char the chicken after slow-cooking, and so do some other dishes, for the most impressive results. Some dishes require 5 to 20 minutes waiting or fiddling around with after slow cooking (some dishes make you create a little foil tent while waiting), so be aware of this when planning.

There are recipes for soups, stews, braises, chilis, barbeque, pasta sauces, meatballs, meatloaves, enchiladas, tacos, casseroles, eggs, brunch, side dishes, desserts, etc. However, something like Mashed Potatoes does take 4-6 hours to cook, so you may need to plan or have more than one slow cooker.

The recipes cover a wide variety of cuisines - Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, French, etc. - so you shouldn't get bored. This book is a great addition to your slow cooker library.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 
Share your thoughts with other customers:    AdMost Recent Customer Reviews

View the original article here

# 10: StrengthsFinder 2.0

Translate Request has too much data
Parameter name: request
Translate Request has too much data
Parameter name: request

From the author of the New York Times bestsellers

How Full Is Your Bucket? (Gallup Press, 2004, Strengths Based Leadership (Gallup Press, 2009), and Wellbeing (Gallup Press, 2010) a book that features the new Wellbeing Finder assessment.


Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

Chances are, you don't. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in 2001 which ignited a global conversation and helped millions to discover their top five talents.

In its latest national bestseller, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more (see below for details). While you can read this book in one sitting, you'll use it as a reference for decades.

Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself -- and the world around you -- forever.

(using the unique access code included with each book)

* A new and upgraded edition of the StrengthsFinder assessment

* A personalized Strengths Discovery and Action-Planning Guide for applying your strengths in the next week, month, and year

* A more customized version of your top five theme report

* 50 Ideas for Action (10 strategies for building on each of your top five themes)


Q&A with author Tom Rath

(From the Gallup Management Journal; interviewed by Jennifer Robison)

Last month, StrengthsFinder 2.0 hit the bookstores. Book browsers, no doubt, had many questions, and among them was probably "Didn't I already read a book about this?"

Well, actually, yes. But the topic was worth revisiting for two reasons. In the six years since the release of Now, Discover Your Strengths, more than 2 million people have taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, which means billions of people have not yet had the opportunity. The second reason is that Gallup researchers just haven't been able to let the topic rest. Over the past decade, they've done more surveys, more interviews, and more studies; they've prodded and poked and analyzed. And they realized that there's a lot more to understanding human talent than most people know. Those who are familiar with the StrengthsFinder assessment know that it is designed to uncover certain key talents -- patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that can be productively applied. These patterns are categorized into 34 broad themes -- such as Achiever, Ideation, and Relator -- and those themes indicate and predict one's innate and unique talents. Those talents, when multiplied by the investment of time spent practicing, developing skills, and building knowledge, can become strengths. Some of this is just common sense; it seems intuitive that your performance will be better if you're doing what you naturally do well. But some of it seems counterintuitive and runs directly against conventional wisdom: No amount of training will help you excel in your areas of weakness. You can't do anything you want to do -- or be anything you want to be -- because you're just not going to be good at everything. But if you work with your talents, you can be extraordinary. StrengthsFinder has resonated with the business community because there's a direct link between talent development and performance. In this interview, Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0, discusses what Gallup scientists have learned since the publication of the first book, what more there is to discover about your talents, and why it's bad to focus on your employees' weaknesses, but simply cruel to ignore them completely. GMJ: Why the new book?

Tom Rath: StrengthsFinder 2.0 is an effort to get the core message and language out to a much broader audience. We had no idea how well received the first strengths book would be by general readers -- it was oriented more toward managers -- or that the energy and excitement would continue to grow. More than two million people have taken the StrengthsFinder assessment, and each month, the number of people learning about their talents goes up. But readers keep asking us: "Now that I know about my strengths, what do I do next?" So we went back and surveyed hundreds of them and asked them how they apply their talents. Then we whittled their suggestions down to the ten best ideas for each theme. We also added more than five thousand Strengths Insights to version 2.0 that allow us to offer more individualized theme descriptions than we could before. So, instead of general descriptions of your top five talent themes, in 2.0, you get a talent profile so unique that you're unlikely to share even a sentence with someone else. And as I said, the first book was really written for a business audience. People have had trouble retrofitting the theme descriptions if they are in non-management roles, but they've tried. This book helps readers apply strengths theory to any type of role and gives them ideas to help them apply their talents in their daily life. GMJ: It's been six years since the first book was published, and Gallup has done hundreds of thousands more interviews. Have you discovered anything new about talents and strengths? Have you altered your original premise?

Rath: No, but we've seen more and more evidence that demonstrates that focusing on your talents is important. We did a survey in 2004 that examined what happens when your manager ignores you, focuses on your strengths, or focuses on your weaknesses. We found that if your manager focuses on your strengths, your chances of being actively disengaged go down to one in one hundred. However, if your manager primarily focuses on your weaknesses, your chances of being actively disengaged are 22%, and if your manager ignores you, that percentage rises to 40%. GMJ: Why such a high rate of disengagement among those who are ignored?

Rath: It basically mirrors the psychology of raising kids -- being completely ignored is the worst possible psychological state. You would actually feel better if your manager went from ignoring you to focusing on what you do wrong all the time, because then at least she's paying attention to you. GMJ: Did your new research turn up anything that surprised you?

Rath: We've talked a lot about how strengths can help you be more of who you are, and you get more out of your best players, and all of that. But in the last ten years, we've also found that it's a good strategy just to wipe out the extreme negativity in the workplace. I get this question almost every time I talk to a group: "What do I do about that one person who just drags everyone down every day?" My glib answer was to get rid of the person. I always thought there were some people who were just destined to be disengaged in their jobs because that was their personality, and no matter how hard managers tried, there wasn't much they could do with some of those people. But the data from the last five years would suggest that much of that epidemic of disengagement is fixable. More than I ever would have guessed, it helps tremendously if a manager starts by focusing on someone's strengths. You may not take someone who's actively disengaged and make him into your most engaged employee, but it will help get him out of that mindset where he's scaring off colleagues and customers. GMJ: So is that the business case to be made for putting people in roles that play to their strengths? Rath: I think it's the secondary business case. The main business case is that people have a lot more fun and get a lot more done if they're able to spend time in areas where they have some natural talent. I think that's a fundamental principle that hasn't changed much at all. The one thing that we were clear about in StrengthsFinder 2.0 is that the American dream ideal that "You can be anything you want if you just try hard enough" is detrimental. This is especially true when people buy into it hook, line, and sinker. You may not be able to be anything you want to be, but you can be a lot more of who you already are. [Taking] StrengthsFinder is just a starting point; it's step one of a hundred in figuring out the areas where you have the most potential for growth. GMJ: What is the most challenging aspect of your ongoing strengths research?

Rath: While hundreds of people in our organization continue to research this topic each year, our greatest challenge might be incorporating the new research while making the message even more succinct and applicable to a wider audience. So while we have hundreds of new case studies and meta-analyses about strengths -- and about employee engagement and business outcomes -- we tried to stay as close as we could to the basics. GMJ: The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment has always categorized talents into thirty-four themes. Have you ever considered adding or subtracting any, or refining them further?

Rath: Yes, we looked at that extensively as we started to review our plan for the updated version of the assessment. We found that so far, the thirty-four themes have done a good job of describing much of what we've learned since releasing the first version of the assessment. If enough people had made a case about a specific theme that didn't exist, we were open to adding that theme. I think we probably will continue to investigate whether there are themes that emerge that we haven't yet picked up on. But there wasn't a real strong case for any additions at this time. GMJ: What would you most like to accomplish with StrengthsFinder 2.0?

Rath: Our big goal and mission as a company is to help people do more of what they do well. We've topped two million completed StrengthsFinder assessments, and it's not too hard to imagine that number getting to twenty million soon. An organization that exists to help people has a responsibility to get better and better. By reaching beyond our initial audience, we help people get the latest and greatest research. But we also hope it helps people live better lives.

View the original article here

# 3: a discovery of witches: a novel

Most helpful customer reviews

175 of 186 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars collision monumental magic, history and science, February 8, 2011 this review is from: a discovery of witches: A Novel (Hardcover) this is not your ordinary story of witches, vampires and demons!

Famous ancestor of Diana Bishop was executed for being a witch. As a result of mysterious deaths heartbreaking parents Diana, Diana has promised that she will live totally as a human being by denying its identity as a witch with powers both usual and unusual. Dedicating his life to the logic and ordinary life, she now is a scholar of history doing research on texts by Alchemy of the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Upon receiving a required text called Ashmole 782, understand the book is spellbound or there's something about this book which links with its hidden witch powers. Add that the reactions of suddenly appearing witches, vampires and demons that animosity and threatening glances and words make Diana desire to normality an illusion that she can no longer ignore.

In the midst of this reality comes a vampire extremely beautiful, intelligent and old, Matthew Clairmont, who presumably is pursuing his research as a geneticist. Initially disliking and avoiding its presence, Diana finally begins to realize that she is protecting him from direct attack by hordes of people who appear in the library who insist you mention are desperate to get the text. Then you start to appear when its running and rowing exercises that seem to be the only way she can stop his natural skills from emerging with hazardous effects on herself and others.

Why is Matthew so attracted by Diana and what is behind the interest in such a way that many have lost in this mysterious text for centuries that has appeared and disappeared again after Sueno dissociation of his innocent pages? Finally, when several close calls with death scare Diana in realizing his lack of control, she takes shelter before with vampire family of Matthew in France and then with its family of witches in America.

A discovery of witches is so much more that a supernatural history! Yes, there are emotions adventure for those who love the proverbial accounts of these creatures. But here is an intelligent consideration of essence of the origins, genetic differences and consequences, shared powers, challenging the definition and classification, versions of the story kept secrets and surprising phenomena, relations of enmity, forced to unite under common needs-both good and bad, the quintessential reality behind the search of the philosopher's stone or Alchemy and much more.

Add a sweet, dangerous romance all the more real because of what appears to be the end condemned and here is the perfect combination, preciously difficult to understand properly in any short review. This tale is a smart, tense, provocative, and charming read do not want to finish and you will be enjoying long after the last page is turned. This reviewer is so anxious to sequel of this amazing novel that will be a best seller! Absolutely delicious and impossible to put down!

help other customers find the most useful reviews This review was helpful to you?

63 of 69 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars the supernatural for Smarties, February 8, 2011 this review is from: a discovery of witches: A Novel (Hardcover) 've never really (you know what I mean by really, not a peck) been kissed and touched by a person who is only out of cold? It is not very pleasant. I never understood the romantic attraction to vampires Frigido until now. Harkness, with its magic self-reference, made me believe that if I were a witch impetuous, the coolness of the feel of the undead would feel welcome. Here is more the standard vampire romance based on primal attraction of predator/prey. Witch Harkness Diana is a worthy partner for powerful vampire Matthew Clairmont.

I just loved this novel. Has everything you want in a good read: cool fonts; a quick plot filled with academia, science and the supernatural; and a singular world to explore. There are a lot of room for the reader who wants even more, as hidden "Easter egg" references to other novels/characters; lot of descriptions of wine and tea and food that made me really hungry; and equally well-developed secondary characters.

The only problem is that when you reach the end will throw the book across the room and scream because the sequel is already in your hot little hands. Then it will be forced to read it again.

help other customers find the most useful reviews This review was helpful to you?

66 of 75 people found the following review helpful: 3.0 out of 5 stars to the discovery of witches delves into a magical world, innovative that you fancy some more., 8 February 2011 this review is from: a discovery of witches: A Novel (Hardcover) Dr. Diana Bishop she tried harder to stay away from its heritage. Diana is a witch Last Bishop. How to try as she might, Diana just can't escape, who is more recent. just take project Diana ...Diane ends with the extraction of a manuscript of Alchemy, known as Ashmole 782. When Diana touches the manuscript, you feel a post ... a magic.

Matthew Clairmont is a Professor of Oxford. He is also a vampire. Matthew may perceive that something bad is descending on Oxford. Matthew shows an interest Diana. But Matthew always near Diana because she loves you or for another reason?

A discovery of witches is author, Deborah Harkness first novel. While I did enjoy this book. I thought that moved at a very slow pace. It seemed that liked most of the book was only explain and build up the story and the characters to help lead in the next book. The problem for me with this book was that whenever the story would begin to pick up speed, it might slow down for further explanation. It felt like for every step forward that would like to take, it would get knocked back two steps. I didn't feel the affair between Diana and Matthew. At the beginning really hated Diana Matthew and the next moment she was in love with him. There was something mysterious Matthew who did make it intriguing. So I could see where Diana might possibly like Matthew.

While, not to love this book, the story was captivating enough to want to make me read the book next. Overall, I must applaud Deborah Harkness, as she did bring his knowledge and realism to the book and Diana. Being a Professor of itself, I thought of that MS Harkness did a good job with Diana. A discovery of witches delves into a magical world, innovative that you fancy some more.

help other customers find the most useful reviews This review was helpful to you?
Share your thoughts with other Ad customers: most recent customer reviews

View the original article here