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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Klima, Jeff: The Dead Janitors Club | Main | Gerritsen, Tess: Ice Cold »

Iyengar, Sheena: The Art of Choosing

  

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Twelve, 352 pages
1st published: 2010
4 stars

Note: Review copy received from author. Amazon affiliate: Links pointing to Amazon contain my affiliate ID. Sales resulting from clicks on those links will earn me a percentage of the purchase price.

You may have heard about the jam study, which demonstrated that consumers who were confronted by a large array of jam jars were less likely to buy one than those presented with fewer options. The conclusion is appealing: anyone who's pondered the wide variety of toothpastes available these days, even just the variety within a single brand, has probably thought that the buying decision was being made unnecessarily complicated. Social psychologist Sheena Iyengar, a professor at Columbia University, was one of the authors of the jam study. In her book The Art of Choosing, she further explores the counterintuitive notion that, when it comes to choice, sometimes less is more. Iyengar discusses a great number of topics: how a lack of choice--or a perceived lack of choice--can be emotionally, physically, and psychologically damaging, how our choices are affected by advertisements or by what's available (for example, in the world of fashion), how confirmational biases work, how being responsible for a decision can lead to second-guessing and guilt.

The Art of Choosing is an interesting book, but it's not as accessible as some others that have aimed to present social psychology to a lay audience--Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, for example, or Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational. Ms. Iyengar's prose is very clear, so that's not the problem. But after reading I often found I was not able to remember the main points of the chapter I'd just finished. I think I would have taken more away from the book if there were more hand-holding, summaries and reminders of what had already been covered, the sort of pointers that a speaker might throw into a talk to help his audience follow an oral argument. That, at least, was my experience, though other readers may not have the same trouble.
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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments

1.

This is the problem with theories and hypothesis, the author can spend an entire book harping upon one point and in the process taking away the beauty of the point. This happens with most 'one point agenda' books like those of Taleb and Freidman.
The reader is smart and his time is valuable. "we get it !" and usually in the first chapter itself. So why drag it over 300 pages , why not bring in new theories ?

It would have been a great book, if it had not been a book but a chapter in a book of 50 such theories.




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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.