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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 11, 2011
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am basing my review on a 145-page advance review copy of the book. I don't know how much it differs from the published version.

The entire book is based on the extraordinary true story of how Marine Major Kevin Jarrad and Navy Captain John Nadeau, a surgeon, overcome a series of nearly insurmountable obstacles to get a young Iraqi girl with cyanotic congenital heart disease out of a war zone and into the United States where she could receive the life-saving surgery she needed. Nothing about that task was easy. Dealing with cultural challenges and distrust from the girl's family, fighting through military bureaucracy, finding transportation out of a war zone with a very sick girl, bringing together medical staff in the United States, raising money to pay for everything and so much more--all with the ticking time bomb of this girl's condition--makes for a gripping tale and serves as a really great example of critical thinking in action at each step of the way.

The book is a very basic and summarized introduction to critical thinking, though. Despite the tag line of "Change your thinking. Revolutionize your career. Transform your life," the book doesn't spend much time on teaching much on how to do these things. In fact, nearly a third of the book consists of nothing more than the story I mentioned above. Most of the rest of the book is spent talking about this story and using it to illustrate points the authors are making about critical thinking. There isn't much in this book that isn't somehow connected back to that story--which isn't bad in itself, but the reliance on that story to illustrate other points gives me the feeling the book over-promised and under-delivered.

I estimate that less than half of the book is spent providing practical tools for helping "change your thinking, revolutionize your career, transform your life." Nearly 20% of the book is spent on blurbs about the people from the book's central story and references to other sources on critical thinking. Though there is some useful information on critical thinking, it will be most helpful as a very basic summarized introduction for readers who aren't familiar with the topic. That's not to stay there isn't useful information here, but that more of the book should have been dedicated to putting those principles into practice.

If you like a stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, then you'll love the story this book revolves around. If you want to "transform your life," you'll probably be disappointed with what this book offers.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Now You're Thinking is an incredibly valuable guide to making better decisions and solving problems. The book describes a real situation in which an Iraqi girl with a serious heart problem was taken to the U.S. for an operation by a group of Marines. The first part of the book describes what happened and the second part shows how the various challenges the Marines faced were resolved by applying basic critical thinking skills.

In a world where thinking has sometimes become a lost art, and we get our information from sound bites and even some of our media outlets have cast aside objectivity to advocate a point of view, it is refreshing, informative and enlightening to learn tools that help differentiate what appears to be true from what is really true. And how using some simple techniques of challenging the obvious, differentiating fact from opinion and then making decisions based upon what is real can lead to such a successful outcome.

Now You're Thinking is much more than a simple self-help book. It presents extremely valuable information in a concise and useful format and reinforces the tools it teaches with a story that shows how these tools were applied in a true life situation. It is written at a level that can be beneficial for the person who is hearing this information for the first time to the individual who has studied critical thinking and learns by seeing how others reacted in the Iraqi girl's story.

As a bonus it provides a complete resource list from online sites, to blogs to social communities to get additional information and support.

I highly recommend this book both for personal and professional growth.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you picked up this book, "Now You're Thinking!: Change Your Thinking...Revolutionize Your Career...Transform Your Life," and had no clue that it is classified under self-help genre, you would think that you were reading inspirational literature. Don't get me wrong, I salute the book and the members of the "armed forces at home and abroad" for which it is dedicated. The book begins with a moving story about Amenah, a two-year-old Iraqi girl who is dying because she needs open-heart surgery that is unavailable in her village. The first 40-plus pages detail a daring and complicated rescue attempt by a marine battalion stationed in Iraq that, ultimately, brings Amenah to the United States for surgery. Afterwards, she returns home again--healthy and happy.

Hoorah! Now, wait just a minute? Not to sound like a self-centered twit, but I wanted to read this book for me--moi - to enhance my career, my life, my ... that's the allure of "self" in the "self-" help category!

Okay, the "self-help" - what the book promises on the cover - key words, "revolutionize" and "transform" - part unfolds in the second half of this slim book of 145 pages, which includes the appendix. This is when the authors dissect Amenah's story and its characters to illustrate their theory of effective thinking and how it leads to successful decision-making. The book, however, needs more meat and substance to substantiate the authors' regurgitated research. For example, "Stop and Think" is the first step to develop "new thinking." Well, duh, isn't that rocket science? ... if people don't "stop and think" then how can they figure out anything? I mean, how can you figure out anything if your mind is in an ADD/rollercoaster mode and in a blur?

On the authors' behalf, some of the statements regarding feelings are powerful; for instance, the analogy of intense feelings being like an untamed horse - hard to ride.

At the end of the book, the authors include some websites for readers to investigate, e.g., you can go online to evaluate your thinking style. I thought this was a lazy approach; I would have preferred that the authors had created their own method to help the reader evaluate his or her own thinking style; perhaps go as far as adding a workbook section. That kind of thinking, however, separates the bright light bulbs from the dim ones ... and, unfortunately, this book does not even flip a switch, never mind illuminate a mind. The irony of it is, for a book that explores the process of thinking, a lot more thought should have been involved in its execution.

Stacy Lytwyn Maxwell, Author/Journalist/Teacher
CONSUMMATE CONNECTICUT: DAY TRIPS WITH PANACHE
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I gave my mom a copy of the book, and this is the review she wrote to the authors and asked me to share here: Just wanted to say how much I love the book. My daughter shared it with me and once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I'm fascinated by how many challenges the Marines had to overcome to save the little girl, and the fact that they never gave up. They just re-assessed the situation and came up with a better plan each time. It definitely made me proud to be an American, and made me think about how I approach decisions. Plus, I like that this isn't just a heartwarming story, but there are real tips for how to be a better thinker. Great job!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 24, 2011
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I read an advance copy, but when this book becomes available I will be ordering about a hundred of these things for the people in my office. The book begins and often refers to experiences in Iraq during the war. Talk about a situation and a place where critical thinking is required, that was it. When decisions made mean the difference between life and death, your thinking better be right. The book is filled with helpful steps, vignettes and examples of real world situations, and some self-analysis guides. The back of the book is filled with secondary information sources, links to online communities and resources, and some last minute insights. It's not a very large or thick book, which may help some reading-phobic people to pick it up. However, the book is chocked full of valuable lessons and tools for mentors to use. If this book can't get you or the people you work with refocused...then nothing can.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2011
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book actually surprised me. It has five authors and only as many chapters. It starts out with the story of the efforts on the part of two good hearted military officers serving in Iraq, who want to help a young Iraqi girl with a congenital heart disease. She will die without surgery that can only be performed in the United States. This is an inspiring, heart warming story, that succeeds. I remember hearing about in the news media. The authors then use this story to disect the thinking and planning that went into this situation, that ultimately saved the life of this girl, and created a warm regard for U.S. servicemen and women in a remote village that was previously hostile toward them. It is a unique approach, but in my view not a very broad basis for a book that will, as the subtitle states, "Revolutionize Your Career and Transform Your Life." Those are two very bold claims that are not substatiated in the book. The authors fail to provide specific examples of application of the thinking styles and principles mentioned in the book, outside of this one event. This is a very brief, well intentioned, book that has some food for thought (hey that's a pun), but lacks in providing working examples or perhaps workbook exercises that would help one to enternalize and apply them to real life day-to-day issues we all face, instead of one extraordinary event. I loved the curagious story,but the hyperbolic claims of the subtitle can't be found in this thin offering. The appendix which adds little to the focus of the book is nearly as thick as the remaining pages.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Using a valiant medical rescue planned by military personnel and assisted civilian personnel a young girl was given a second chance on life. The examples of the proper way to think in each obstacle encountered during this daring mission was food for thought as to how it could be applied to situations in every aspect of life. Makes me even more proud of our military and their selfless dedication. Furthermore, following the purpose of this book, I am inspired to reassess my thinking in all challenging and not so challenging area. Should be read by all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There eventually will be many key learnings to come from our military engagement in Iraq, but none as powerful as that portrayed in Now You're Thinking. The critical thinking associated with the life and death situations clearly show how no matter what age or situation, one can refocus their approach to meet the challenges at hand. A quick read with everlasting lessons for all.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
PROS
-Shows you how to assess your thinking style
-Offers ways to fix your weaknesses, build on your strengths, and improve strategic thinking in every area of your life

CONS
-A third of the book is taken up by "Amenah's Story", which is an interesting story, but it's rather long for a preface

SUMMARY
Short, helpful book to improve your thinking style. Includes an extensive list of resources at the end.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 24, 2011
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The true-life adventure upon which this book is based is a five-star tear-jerker worth the price of the product alone. The instructional manual that follows, interesting descriptions of different cognitive styles with step by step instructions on how to improve on your own, is helpful yet geared, perhaps, a bit more to a corporate environment than that which would help me think better in my day-to-day life.
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