Monday, February 22, 2010

Book Club... And Then Some!

Positivity: Groundbreaking research reveals how to embrace the hidden strength of positive emotions, overcome negativity, and thrive
by Barbara L. Fredrickson

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

In her review of the book, Bonnie Snyder says, “For me...reading this book narrowed the gap between the major premises of many faith traditions and science. If you are a skeptic she has the numbers that really document how positive emotion shifts your ability to see more options, be physically healthier and how to feel better.” Although there is little doubt that this is a self-help book, Fredrickson does not just use anecdotal evidence to support her ideas. She uses lab research results in addition to other scientific evidence to illustrate her findings. As the review in Publisher’s Weekly noted, “The book includes compelling case studies, concrete tips, a Positivity Self Test and a tool kit for decreasing negativity and raising the positivity ratio.“

The book is divided into two major parts. The first deals with her research on positivity, and the second, application of the research and how to increase a reader’s positivity ratio. There are 10 forms of positivity that Fredrickson discusses — joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love. Her examples are fascinating, her writing style is engaging, and the background and research she brings to her ideas is impressive. In addition to discussing the 10 forms of positivity, also she examines techniques for increasing positivity such as savoring, finding positive meaning, gratitude, kindness, hope, flow experiences, connecting with others, mindfulness, developing distractions, and positivity portfolios. There is something here for everyone.

One thing you will discover as you dig deeply into this book, changing a positivity ratio (trying to achieve a 3 to one ratio) is not an easy, overnight task. Fredrickson uses the analogy of changing the course of a river. It not only takes time, but it takes a great deal of effort as well.

I thought that Annie, a reviewer of the book from Modesto, CA, said it very well, when she said, “‘Positivity’ living is thriving, flourishing, appreciative living. It's looking for what's good and what's right in each person and situation.” That is what this book is all about, however, what you get after reading the book is a solid understanding of, a firm foundation in, and a convincingly sound approach to achieving a positive approach to everyday living. I highly recommend this book.


Ecological intelligence: How knowing the hidden impacts of what we buy can change everything
by Daniel Goleman

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This book can be reduced to its ultimate simplicity: reduce consumption, and buy smartly. If nothing else, this book will cause you to become aware of the choices you make when you purchase “stuff,” and, at the same time, educate you in how to become more socially responsible. Mark Mccaffrey, from Lafayette, CO, concluded his review of this book by saying that the approach Goleman takes is “well reasoned, well presented investigations into "stuff" in all its shapes and sizes, providing fresh insights into the complexities and hard choices that must be made at all levels of society in order to turn the tide of waste and social/environmental degradation and foster the new energy economy with resilient, sustainable communities.” The examples are interesting, the writing style is engaging, the insights offered are instructive, and, overall, the book is a worthwhile purchase — especially for those unaware of the environmental footprint they are making as a result of the choices and decisions made when purchasing “stuff.”


Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our website.

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