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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
  1. $16.77 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077

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Customer Comments

bookdartsbob has commented on (6) products.

My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop by Ronald Rice
My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop

bookdartsbob, December 18, 2012

At a time when the indiy booksellers are closing without many others replacing them, it is great to read these guides to the different neighborhood Thinking Centers and Info Shops still going strong. I know so many of them from visits in my time trying to place my modest product (visited almost all of these stores and more than 2,000 booksellers in the US and Canada in all!), and there was not one I did not love whatever their always reasoned response to my entreaty.
From my own local Portland's Powell's, the most voluminous and in many ways the greatest bookstore in the English speaking world to some tiny ones like my town's Artifacts--Good Books and Bad Art where I volunteer without pay, I always assumed that like me, the founder had entered the world of books as a calling to educate and serve fellow readers who might come to share their own love of Truth and scrupulous factuality; I may be mistaken, but I cannot remember being shown I was ever wrong about that much.

Many of these stores, like Artifacts, have to sell "rubber chickens" to be able to get $4 Grapes of Wrath to high school kids, and many have suffered outright attack by predatory chains and now uncaring monopoly bound mail order price cutters, but they soldier on as long with new enthusiasm every morning to spread their love of books and of reading.

They, WE, believe that good reading makes good thinking and we can make the world better by means of the only tool that has been successful in improving thinking for the last 500 years. (A customer at Artifacts, Kelli, said, "There's a reason they burn books you know.")

I bought this book as soon as I heard about it--couldn't get it fast enough. It is, almost every little essay, as inspiring as visiting these stores and seeing young and excited clerks whose greatest wish growing up was to work in a book store, one of these stores and the others which we will never hear about unless we live in their town but which mean so very much to their local communities.
We are lucky, blessed, when we stop somewhere and find one open; I think they should charge admission--I'd pay; wouldn't you?

At the least we should be willing to pay a bit more than the vicious pricing places such as amazon tempt us with as part of their battle to make the bookstores go away and let them then do monopoly (higher) pricing.
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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Thinking, Fast and Slow

bookdartsbob, August 4, 2012

This book will surely become widely appreciated as one of the most important books ever. It is evidence, by a grandfather of behavioral economics, that psychology can become a totally genuine science with widely significant experiments which are repeatable--real science.

Kahneman, adding to the work he and, Tversky did before his partner's death, lays out in humble and humane detail the mechanics of our efforts to solve problems through thinking. You could regard it as a narrative in which two fictitious characters, Systems 1 and 2, are described as they (we) come to grips with problems from driving on a straightaway (effortless System 1) to supervising System 1 when we need to turn left through busy traffic (effortful System 2) to more complex problems which, e.g., might involve correcting (through System 2) our intuitive (System 1) tendencies to judge daily probabilities. But it is 'true fiction' in the same way as "The Emperor's New Clothes".

I have applied what I learned, came to appreciate about myself, to my own mistakes about thinking I can drive when "slightly" impaired, to use one example of something I presumed I had thought about carefully over many years, but not really. An important part of Kahneman's effort is to convince us that we really need the evaluation and contribution of other thinkers because we are naturally lazy thinkers and almost always veer towards replacing complex problems with far simpler ones. (This is a book for people who like to find out their own mistakes and face them squarely.)

My fear is that this book which should give rise, for example, to whole new schools of literary criticism and historical analysis, will be studied by only ad agencies and political marketers (to our peril I should say, because it offers a blueprint of how subliminal effects can move our bodies to be all but robotic!)

This book deserves study and takes careful effort to offer your own examples of the effects Kahneman reports were obtained from subjects. Otherwise one could duplicate a report from a professor friend that "the book just repeats over and over that emotions guide our judgments". He fell into the trap DK warns us about, and replaced difficult questions such as 'what are the mechanics of how do emotions influence us?', 'what are strategies for dealing with our emotions?', 'when do we make large errors when entirely free of emotion?', 'how have the kinds of errors in judgment and decision Kahneman catalogues affected not just our personal but our national political judgments?', etc.--replaced these and more with the easier question 'do our emotions make us do irrational things?' (He is on pain killers as he reads it, and Kahneman ties that into our systematic errors.

Often the emotions we are aware of that accompany bad judgment are just that, not causes but effects, and Kahneman is at pains to say that this book is not focused on emotions versus rationality. It is an amazing book, worth reading very slowly, taking extensive notes, re-reading a lot, underlining, flagging passages from and discussing with others. I have so far bought 6 copies other than the one I am reading so that I will have the input of other careful readers. I am specially excited about discussing it with my friend whose sincere vocation is industrial safety and with my former student, one of the best readers I ever taught, a Hood River garbage man who never seems to get dirty.

One of the book's nougat centers is, "System 1 understands sentences by trying to make them true, and the selective activation of compatible thoughts produces a family of systematic errors that make us gullible and prone to believe too strongly whatever we believe."

Try to find DK discussing the book on Youtube or somewhere.
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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Thinking, Fast and Slow

bookdartsbob, August 4, 2012

This book will surely become widely appreciated as one of the most important books ever. It is evidence, by a grandfather of behavioral economics, that psychology can become a totally genuine science with widely significant experiments which are repeatable--real science.

Kahneman, adding to the work he and, Tversky did before his partner's death, lays out in humble and humane detail the mechanics of our efforts to solve problems through thinking. You could regard it as a narrative in which two fictitious characters, Systems 1 and 2, are described as they (we) come to grips with problems from driving on a straightaway (effortless System 1) to supervising System 1 when we need to turn left through busy traffic (effortful System 2) to more complex problems which, e.g., might involve correcting (through System 2) our intuitive (System 1) tendencies to judge daily probabilities. But it is 'true fiction' in the same way as "The Emperor's New Clothes".

I have applied what I learned, came to appreciate about myself, to my own mistakes about thinking I can drive when "slightly" impaired, to use one example of something I presumed I had thought about carefully over many years, but not really. An important part of Kahneman's effort is to convince us that we really need the evaluation and contribution of other thinkers because we are naturally lazy thinkers and almost always veer towards replacing complex problems with far simpler ones. (This is a book for people who like to find out their own mistakes and face them squarely.)

My fear is that this book which should give rise, for example, to whole new schools of literary criticism and historical analysis, will be studied by only ad agencies and political marketers (to our peril I should say, because it offers a blueprint of how subliminal effects can move our bodies to be all but robotic!)

This book deserves study and takes careful effort to offer your own examples of the effects Kahneman reports were obtained from subjects. Otherwise one could duplicate a report from a professor friend that "the book just repeats over and over that emotions guide our judgments". He fell into the trap DK warns us about, and replaced difficult questions such as 'what are the mechanics of how do emotions influence us?', 'what are strategies for dealing with our emotions?', 'when do we make large errors when entirely free of emotion?', 'how have the kinds of errors in judgment and decision Kahneman catalogues affected not just our personal but our national political judgments?', etc.--replaced these and more with the easier question 'do our emotions make us do irrational things?' (He is on pain killers as he reads it, and Kahneman ties that into our systematic errors.

Often the emotions we are aware of that accompany bad judgment are just that, not causes but effects, and Kahneman is at pains to say that this book is not focused on emotions versus rationality. It is an amazing book, worth reading very slowly, taking extensive notes, re-reading a lot, underlining, flagging passages from and discussing with others. I have so far bought 6 copies other than the one I am reading so that I will have the input of other careful readers. I am specially excited about discussing it with my friend whose sincere vocation is industrial safety and with my former student, one of the best readers I ever taught, a Hood River garbage man who never seems to get dirty.

One of the book's nougat centers is, "System 1 understands sentences by trying to make them true, and the selective activation of compatible thoughts produces a family of systematic errors that make us gullible and prone to believe too strongly whatever we believe."

Try to find DK discussing the book on Youtube or somewhere.
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The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

bookdartsbob, July 7, 2011

The danger contained in this book's title is that we will be prone to substitute our own opinions and the swirl of comments we have heard on the topic for the well reasoned and thoroughly documented science which supports Carr's complex and well-thought out claims. We can easily nod our heads at his contention that "Deep reading makes deep thinking." But to appreciate all he holds that to mean requires reading the whole book as a whole and as a deep inference from a main premise, the thought of Marshall McLuhan that saying the value of a medium is related to its content is the conclusion of a "technological idiot." McLuhan says, to paraphrase, that the content is just the piece of meat thrown by the burglar to quiet the watchdog of our minds.
Neither the reviewer for the Sunday NY Times Bk Rev. nor the fine Adam Gopnik writing in the New Yorker actually read the book, sadly; they presumed they could surmise where it was going and they did what Gary Shteyngart would call "super scanned" it.
Some of the first evidence for his position and its detailed and rich support is the fact that most people you mention this book to already race ahead to conclude what kind of book they expect that it must be.

The chapter on books is perhaps a good way to get into Carr's thinking and approach and to convince yourself that this is not a book that very many people could have written.

It is immensely important and like The Shock Doctrine, one of the most important books ever written that almost no one will actually study.
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Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto
Galveston

bookdartsbob, January 13, 2011

This one of the very best hardboiled crime books I have ever read.
John Cady starts explaining his life meting out violence for hire (and for personal need) by saying that those he punishes and/or kills got there for a some acts of their doing, and then he, who by his actions deserves as much bad as anyone, evolves enough to make us think anyone can change their nature, or reveal their true nature to themselves after a lot of effort to deny it.
He describes someone:
"Part of Rocky was this great beauty she wouldn't let into the light yet, because it had never found its proper place. I believe that."
He is describing himself as well and gives us us cause to look for it in the most unlikely others too.
I was 53 pages into the book before I used my first Book Dart, and then I read, about southern Louisiana, "The very air in these parts is so bright, it actually collects light and you have to squint even when looking at the ground."
I then read on with Dart always in my fingers and found more passages well worth noting and re-reading.
He describes a guy who turns out to be a lawyer: "His head looked soft and pink like a pencil eraser."
and: "The problem with suicide is that by the time you get around to it all the damage is already done."
and in a necessarily rushed imperative to Rocky who has experienced much more than a "hard home life": "You're strong enough to live the one way, now live the other."

i liked a lot a maybe reluctant admission about older people out for the evening on a dance floor in an oil town honky tonk : "Women with big asses in tight jeans, love all over their faces."

This book is worth the time, goes by too quick really. Lots of dialogue and short sentences and chapters just the right length.
I don't think Pizzolatto wastes one word, and I walked away feeling like I had just learned a lot about a lot.
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