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Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act (Kindle Single) (TED Books Book 9) [Kindle Edition]

Ron Gutman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

How can something as simple as a smile be so deceptively complex? That’s the mystery and magic explored in Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act. From the broad beaming grin of a toddler to the oily smirk of a used car salesman, smiles convey an enormous range of emotions, from joyously happy to nervous or sad. Grins also have radically varied meanings in different cultures, as the author learned during his worldwide trips to explore the complicated, but ubiquitous, act of smiling.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Meet Ron Gutman, a man who wields a nearly mercenary zeal for the human smile. His treatise on the myriad benefits of smiling begins in rural Zimbabwe, but it reaches across the globe, through several branches of science, into a motley trove of peer-reviewed literature, and--frankly--from ear to ear. Along the way, Gutman addresses a grin-inducing gauntlet of whimsical questions. Did you know that we can detect smiles at double the distance from which we can distinguish other facial expressions? Why do emoticons smile differently in English than they do in Japanese? What does the Gross National Happiness (GHP) index actually measure? And what's on your Dandelion List? The fun goes on. A single smile can pack the dopamine load of 2,000 chocolate bars, or the visceral head-rush of winning $25,000! (And we're letting our children do this 400 times a day?!) Smiling can even make your next skydive statistically safer. Cynics, consider yourselves warned. --Jason Kirk

Product Details

  • File Size: 4557 KB
  • Print Length: 48 pages
  • Publisher: TED Books (December 6, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006IS4WW0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,877 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small act with a big impact December 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
In this wonderful book, Ron Gutman describes the big impact that the small act of smiling can have.

The captivating text weaves citations to scientific research from serious scholars around the world - from contemporary studies (from top institutions like Stanford University) to historic observations (dating back to Charles Darwin) - together with the author's personal narrative and contributions from people who sent the author their own anecdotes about smiling.

The author's journey of discovery about the positive impact smiling made in his life stands next to many surprising benefits of smiling that have been revealed through studies from leading universities and in academic publications from countries everywhere.

It's a compelling and joyful read, perfect both for those who are serious enough who want to know the content comes from real science, and for those who just want to learn more about something they already know can transform life for the better.

This is a great gift, both for yourself and for others, and a great reminder that the simplest things in life often make the greatest differences.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to Smile about December 12, 2011
By Debahi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very enjoyable book and I began smiling almost as soon as I began reading it. I loved the author's description of his travels in the bus in Zambia and how his smile enabled him to connect with people. The book is a comfortable mix of personal anecdote and scientific and historical information, interspersed with pictures of smiling people. I learned some new things (which is always pleasurable) and was reminded of other things I knew but had forgotten. I would love to find a print copy of the book to offer to friends who do not have Kindles.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great mix of research and personal stories. December 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I work as a Guest Services Director and I also happen to adore Ted Talks. Naturally, I was drawn to this book. Something I always tell new team members is "if all else fails, smile." I purchased this book with the idea that it would make a great gift for my team to hammer home the importance of smiling. Its a short read and what I like most about it was that it uses a fair mix of scientific research and personal stories. It does not simply focus on science, however. It also uses examples from several religions and cultures to show that no matter who you are or what your background is, smiling is an important way of life. In fact, one chapter mentioned Darwin, Christianity, Buddhism, and Muslims, all within a paragraph or two. I enjoyed the diversity of examples.

I do not think I will end up purchasing this for my entire team, however. Instead, I will probably highlight the main points in a discussion. A better book for a book study or book club, in my opinion, is Be Our Guest, by Disney Institute because it gives better application. "Smile" is a great little thought experiement though, and I enjoyed the read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss out on your own Dandelion List December 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a powerful little book!

I've seen Ron Gutman's smile at the end of a hard day transform the moment. In this little gem, he shares the secrets of how and why smiles light up our own lives and those around us, making us all happier, healthier and more connected. His tips and tricks alone are worth the read. And his suggestion of having my own Dandelion List is one of my favorite gifts of the year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smile for the Response January 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like to smile and since reading this book I have received many more smiles in return since I am conscious of my expression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Needs to Do It December 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr. Gutman tells why Everybody Needs to SMILE. Simple words. Simple Act. Great and Lasting Benefits for the one who smiles and the person who receives the smile. Don't miss it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice cheer up book October 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book will definitely remind you that simple things and even gestures can turn your bad days into something better. It's true that a simple smile can wash away bad vibrations in your system and even ease up some pain in emotions. Definitely a fine read specially with way it was conceptualized wherein stories of adventures and meeting different people makes it all the more informative. With the book I also read How To Be Happy: Cheer Up! (Positive Thinking Series) where it teaches us how to enjoy life, keeps this book in tune and makes a positive outlook while reading them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars :D! January 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was great! It was so nice to read about positivity and how easy it is to send it out into the world!

I wanted to play a drinking game with this book and take a drink every time I read the word "Smile", but I quickly decided against that :P

Having studied Communication in uni, I was very interested in several parts of this book. I especially loved when Mr. Gutman went into detail about different cultures and how they smile and what a "true" smile consists of.

Sometimes the book got kind of repetitive in its message, but I think that it really hammered the point home - smiling benefits everyone! This was a great read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It was all I expected as I have been looking ...
It was all I expected as I have been looking at ways to be more appreciative of people in general and Smile does it and I have started smiling much more.
Mike Swift.
Published 4 months ago by Mike Swift
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm not smiling
Couldn't make it though the first chapter. It really should be under fiction. The only thing I learned was that the author's ego shines though in every paragraph, a little too much... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sean Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Smiling !
It reinforced my common sense notions with evidence based information. Delightful read, full of hope for the human race on a simple way to improve our world every day. Read more
Published 7 months ago by patricia neaton
5.0 out of 5 stars power of a smile
Enlightens common life offers hope a new way to see a smile. It's readable. Useful. Based on the disconnected way we live. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Medicinaudaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Think happy
Great nook. Fun to read and full of fun facts. Proven it pays to be positive. So go out there and smile.
Published 7 months ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively Simple
This is a beautiful book, well researched and powerful in its simplicity.

I loved the Dandelion List and realized I had my own I had never enumerated. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andrea
5.0 out of 5 stars Smiles do make a difference
I did because a smile is the natural and consequently the best way to stay well tuned with yourself and others.Cheers! :)
Published 9 months ago by Raul Acevedo
5.0 out of 5 stars This book made me smile. :)
A very inspiring insight into the power behind a smile. Just reading the book makes you want to smile and share your smiles. :)
Published 9 months ago by GasolineAlley
5.0 out of 5 stars The simple power
The simple power of a smile and the good will and positivity that it engenders is something we all can possess, free!
Published 9 months ago by Wordy woman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great explinations and stories.
If you like to know the "why behind" this book is for you. It is quite well explained and has an excellent. Read more
Published 11 months ago by aj
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