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Book Review: Be The Pack Leader by Cesar Milan May 1, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Society.
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Be The Pack Leader
This is a good book – plan and simple. I am a fan of Cesar Milan to start with although I don’t watch his shows much anymore. I think he takes a straight forward approach to enlightening people how their relationships with dogs are their own responsibility. He makes it clear that as much as we love our dogs and want to treat them as our children, they are dogs. He draws comparisons to the real children and dogs in our lives and demonstrates how calmness and consistency can make all the difference.

Dogs definitely do best in an environment where they know the rules and know who is in charge. The dogs that are often the worst behave often live in houses where the people raising them are not clear who is in charge. It is not the responsibility of the pet to change. This book walks the reader, the owner through the common mistakes people make in how they let the dogs take charge.

The chapters were clear and nicely broken up. The end of the book felt a little scattered in audio format because it was more of a list format of different problems, scenerios, and suggestions. However, it covered lots of ground and made lots of sense. I definitely recommend this book to people raising dogs and need an eye opener to see what inconsistencies they might be having in their pet relationship.

Book Review: The Levity Effect by A. Gostick and S. Christopher March 20, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Society, Work.
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the-levity-effect
Note to all managers: Have fun, relax and laugh at work. I was a little disappointmented with this management book. The first 4 or so hours of this book was mostly the authors saying “have fun” with a little bits of companies that implement programs for loosen up their staff.

I can definitely appreciate the things Gostick and Christopher brought to the table in this book. They have worked with lots of relavent and current companies that are known for both their success and their relaxed business environment. But they spent a large portion of the book talking about companies in creative fields, such as advertising and marketing.

In the last hour, the book finally moved into lots of ways to implement levity. The ideas were listed out which makes for tough listening. And the listening of the book was also made more difficult by the straight reading of the book. While I am sure the book was humorous, the narrator (one of the authors) read the words and did not “customize” it as an audio book. It made listening to some sections seem out of place in a book about humor – they should have lossened it up.

I just thought they weren’t practicing what they preached.

Book Review: “Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama March 13, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
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Dreams from My Father

Dreams from My Father


I just finished Barack Obama’s first book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance this week. We picked it up from Audible.com so I just listened to it during my commutes to and from work. It is only a 35-40 minute drive, so it took the whole week. The book is about seven (7) hours.

Firstly, I think one of things that made this book any good was the fact that he read it himself. His personality and expression comes out so well in his voice. And something I found very interesting was his different voices/ impressionations of the people in his life, mother, grandmother, sisters, cousins, friends. They really came to life with their accents and tone.

Second, I felt the book was a very good insight into how our new President became the man he is today. It is a very down to earth account of his life growing up, from Hawaii to Indonesia and back. It covers his early schooling, college and onto his first job and then his life as a community organizer.

In some areas there are lots of details and you can really see what happened in his life to motivate him to where he has risen. And oddly in some ways, because the count is so open and real, he seems no different than you or I. Of course, as I would expect Obama provides a very self-aware account of his life as a black man with a Kenyan father and Kansas mother.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about our new President, Barack Obama.

Current Favorite Podcast July 30, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Politics, Society.
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For non-fiction book lovers and people interested in current topics around the world, this is a great podcast/radio show. They get lots of interesting topics, but the host does a fantastic job of asking the questions that make even the guests THINK.

http://kera.org/think