From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

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


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

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


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

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


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





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



Book Notices | Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger / The Teller by Jonathan Stone / 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (...or more) by Felice Cohen

Jonah Berger, Contagious: Why Things Catch On

  Amazon  

In Contagious Jonah Berger writes about the six factors that can contribute to making a product or idea viral:

"These are the six principles of contagiousness: products or ideas that contain Social Currency and are Triggered, Emotional, Public, Practically Valuable, and wrapped into Stories."

The book is organized around these six principles. Contagious is a quick, easy read, similar in style to the popularizing books of Dan Ariely or Malcolm Gladwell. I did feel that the information Berger relates could easily be boiled down into a couple pages of bullet points, but I suppose if it were I wouldn't have read it. The most interesting part of the book for me was the chapter on stories. Wrap an idea in a compelling narrative and the story becomes a Trojan horse, a vehicle for delivering your message--provided that the message is integral to your plot.

Jonathan Stone, The Teller

  Amazon  

I enjoyed this book, which tells the story of a bank teller--an obedient Catholic girl who's been tending her sick mother for years--who does something impulsive in one dramatic moment and utterly upends her life. That one act introduces her to the dangerous and ugly world that lies just below the surface of her bank's gleaming lobby. I've read one other book by Jonathan Stone, Moving Day, which I also enjoyed. The plots are different, but both books explore some of the same issues--the intersection of the respectable and unrespectable worlds, what happens to ordinary people when they're forced into the darkness, uncomfortable manifestations of power. Both books wed a compelling hook with reflections on such topics. Honestly, I'm all about the hook, the superficial story, the gripping plot. I could do without too much pondering in my pleasure reads, as it tends to slow things down. But what I find a bit tedious may be what makes someone else keep reading. In the case of these two novels, the slow part doesn't interfere significantly with my enjoyment of the story.

Felice Cohen, 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (...or more)

  Amazon  

Felice Cohen opens this short, self-published book with a chapter explaining how she came to live--and thrive--in a tiny apartment in New York. She intended to stay there just one year, saving money while living in the middle of a burgeoning metropolis. But it turns out she liked the minimalistic life more than she'd anticipated. She stayed in the apartment for five years, and only left because she was evicted (long story). (You can see the apartment on YouTube here.) This chapter is followed up by the author's "90 Lessons for Living Large," as the title says. These are short--sometimes a page long, sometimes a sentence--pieces of advice about organization, minimalism, and life in general. Some of it is common sense; some is cool practical advice (store sheet sets in their own pillowcases! Brilliant); some could probably have been excised, but does no harm. I came away liking the author, and I remain intrigued by the idea of living small--even if I'm unlikely to find myself in quarters anywhere near as cramped as hers. And you don't have to live in a tiny apartment to appreciate her advice about decluttering your home and mind.

Comments

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In