Friday, May 14, 2010

Words to live by

The title: The Other 90%: How to unlock your vast untapped potential for leadership and life

Who penned this work?: Robert K. Cooper

How did this piece find it's way to your nightstand?:
I like to wander down the aisles at the library. Seriously. I saw it and picked it up, thinking it would be a cheesy self-help book about sports or something. Flipped it open and read a page, realized I was wrong, checked it out, read half of it, and then my mom ordered me my own copy.

Number of pages:

Time passed from start to finish?:
Hmm, that's hard to say. I started it back in November I think. Read it off and on. I'd say maybe about a month of consistent reading. I read one chapter per day when I got into the swing of things, and that worked out beautifully -- gave me a chance to reflect on what I read before moving on. It's not the type of book you can read in one sitting.

Describe the cover:
Nice and cheesy. A picture of a mountain peak, with big bold lettering proclaiming the title.

In what section of the bookstore would a reader find this?:
Business, self-help

Summary of the basic plot:
The author supposedly provides you with directions to become a more efficient self that conquers the world and becomes an awesome business person. (according to the back). In reality, I saw it as his advice on life. Not a promise to fix yourself. Just a list of things he's learned about life from the people he has known. He divides the book into what he calls the Four Keystones: Trust, Energy, Farsightedness, and Nerve. He includes several stories and snippets of wisdom from his life and his mentors (especially his two grandfathers), as well as stories about extraordinary people to emphasize his points. He not only gives advice, he offers practical suggestions for putting those ideas into action.

What did you think of it? (your general response, what you liked or didn't like, what you learned, anything else you want to share about it): I really enjoyed it. In fact, I took notes, which I found helped. Distilling the information into an outline as I read allows me to go back later and reflect on his suggestions and ideas. I liked the structure (although I don't know if the four keystones were necessary), and liked that he included suggestions that were both idealistic (champion at least one underdog each day) and practical (exercises for improving posture). It rarely ran into the cheesy realm, and was unimposing...I never felt like he was speaking down to his readers.

Which page was your favorite? Share why:
89-91. The story about Art Tatum, a young boy in the early 1900s who loved music, though he was blind. He couldn't afford music lessons, so someone walked him down to saloons to practice on the player pianos. He learned music by feeling the keys move under his fingers, and eventually learned to play. What he didn't know is that when they created the rolls of paper music they used two pianists. Because he didn't know, and no one told him it was impossible, he was the first (and only?) person to learn to play FOUR hands of piano music.

Share a quote that was worth reading twice. Explain why:
Where do I start? He includes a lot of quotes from other people, which I enjoyed. There was at least one quote to go with each chapter. One of my favorites was by Thoreau (shocking): "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

Choose your rating:

- Changed. My. Life.
- I laughed, I cried, I want you to read it
- A definite page-turner
- Good to check out but don't spend the cash.
- Why did I waste my weekend on this?
- A disgrace to paper everywhere

Flip to page 2, 22, or 202. Share the 7th sentence on the page: "He looked very old when I first saw him; I found out later he was fifty-nine."

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