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Ilya Grigorik "igrigorik" RSS Feed (San Francisco, CA, USA)

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The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
by Jessica Lahey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.80
83 used & new from $9.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Failure as a path to autonomy and mastery., June 30, 2016
It's only natural to want to shield and protect those that you love: we don't want to see them stumble, get hurt, or feel bad. However, as Jessica Lahey reminds us, failure is also a necessary precondition to learning and raising capable, self-sufficient, and confident adults. That said, failure for failure's sake is also not the point. Rather, the goal is to leverage these moments to teach autonomy, mastery, and self-sufficiency... and that, requires hard work and understanding of what you're trying to achieve. The gift of failure is not carefree and hands-off parenting; it's responsible parenting designed to teach children autonomy and mastery that they desire—surprise, the same things we want for ourselves as parents.


Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
by Anne-Marie Slaughter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.04
112 used & new from $7.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Balancing family, care, and work., June 30, 2016
A thought-provoking book that challenges our (well, perhaps “Western” especially so) emphasis on professional achievement as a marker of success, regardless of your gender. In particular, it actively disabuses us from the “you can have it all” myth.. at least, not at all at the same time, and not unless you carefully plan and negotiate the responsibilities—e.g. regardless of whoever is “the provider”, someone else has to take on the “homemaker” role, and both are equally important and rewarding; if you ignore this fact, you might just find yourself “at the top” but with a broken personal life—a common side effect of "modern day success”.

Great read for all men and women alike. It might just make you rethink your priorities, or at the very least, trigger a much need conversation with those close to you about everyone’s goals and aspirations.

For a preview, check out the authors “Why women still can’t have it all” article in The Atlantic.


Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.80
90 used & new from $9.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grit is a muscle. A muscle for success., May 29, 2016
First, if you haven't already, go watch her TED talk. Six minutes well spent, regardless of whether you read this book or not.

Our culture loves to highlight the effortless: they're a natural, amazing talent, so smart, and so on. Except, those messages also backfire the moment there is a speed bump, and there is always a speed bump. If it's no longer effortless, does that mean you're no longer the "smart one"? That's where grit comes in, and as Angela Duckworth argues, provides a much better explanation and framework for explaining success, and more importantly, developing the skills to get more of it: perseverance, deliberate practice, purpose, and hope. Yes, you can "build" your grit, and this book lays out the research and tips for how to do so.

An important book for anyone interested in self-improvement, parents, managers, and well, pretty much everyone else under the sun.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
by Atul Gawande
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.18
182 used & new from $10.90

5.0 out of 5 stars What does it mean to end your life well?, May 29, 2016
Talking about death is not a popular subject, but it is a necessary one. As Atul Gawande points out, our current approach is failing on multiple levels: medical professionals don't know how to (or, simply unwilling) raise the hard questions and help guide us through the tough decisions; the medical system tracks and rewards the wrong metrics; as individuals we avoid the subject, pretending that we're better off by ignoring "the worst". As a result, we often end up in a downwards spiral of treatments, lost dignity, and all around misery that spreads to everyone in our lives.

The good news is, it doesn't have to be this way. A good life is not measured in a number of years, months, and days. Today, we focus on prolonging life by all means, disregarding whether the process and the risks are worth it - e.g. should you risk that experimental treatment that will leave you weak and drained, or should you take the six months left and make the best of it with those close to you. These are not easy questions to weigh or answer, but ignoring them is also not a solution. This book can help all of us on this path.

A powerful and thought-provoking book. Most importantly, despite the nature of the subject, you can't help but feel hope: we can do better; we must do better.


The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America
The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America
by Langdon Cook
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.10
122 used & new from $3.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book for every mushroom lover., May 8, 2016
For the time being, mushrooms remain a hidden sub-culture within North America. However, if you're one of the few that always scans the menu for mushroom dishes, then this is a book you can't miss: natural history, food, and adventure woven in one. Ever wonder how those mushrooms find their way from the forest to your plate? Langdon Cook unravels the frontier-style industry behind the scenes: the colorful personalities of the individuals who do the hard work, the buyers, the wholesalers, the restauranteurs, and the frequent friction with the law at each step of this process.

An entertaining and educational read. Makes you want to grab your basket and head out to search for your own patch.


The Industries of the Future
The Industries of the Future
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $14.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, well-researched, thought-provoking read., May 8, 2016
Attempting to cover half a dozen major trends and industries within the confines of a single book is an ambitious undertaking. This book manages to pull it off: the writing is engaging, technically sound (a rarity, in this type of books), and lots of illustrative and eye-opening examples. The high-level themes are:

- Robotics: why most of the innovation is happening in Asia, the driving forces (e.g. aging population, factory automation), and the opportunity at stake (trillions).
- Medicine and genetics: why and how we need to rethink development and delivery of drugs (e.g. personalization).
- Computer ("cyber") security: sobering stories about the use of code as weapons and the need to educate and invest in the industry that will run all of our future industries. Looking for a hot career path? This may be it.
- Data as the raw material of information age: a continuation of the medicine chapter but with a broader focus. The emphasis is on the tools and know-how for how to gather and leverage the abundance of data in our new industries.
- Digitization of money: Bitcoin, digital contracts, etc.

Well put together. Rewarding read.


Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
by Barry Estabrook
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.50
112 used & new from $1.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Tomatoes taste bland? This book explains why and what to do about it., April 23, 2016
Warning, you may find yourself paying a lot more for tomatoes after reading this book! The good news is, you'll enjoy them more too.. after you rediscover the taste of a real tomato, as opposed to its common supermarket cousin that is bred for its shape and color, picked green, and bathed in chemicals.

The book is part history of the tomato plant and part expose of the agriculture industry (shocking, to say the least) that is built on the backs of severely underpaid and abused workers.


The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future
The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future
by Steve Case
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.04
132 used & new from $2.71

4.0 out of 5 stars "Third Wave" is the (coming) transformation of the the large regulated industries., April 23, 2016
The "third wave", as Steve Case argues, is about modernizing our food, healthcare, education, energy, and other regulated industries. Each of these offers a massive market and requires a new type of entrepreneur: one that's willing to engage in policy as much as raw technological innovation; someone that can build and leverage successful partnerships with existing industry players.

The book interlaces a brief history of AOL, a look at some of the large industries that need innovation, a discussion on policy trends in the US, and a call to action to entrepreneurs. Fast and educational read, especially if you're involved in any of the above industries.


Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity
Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper's Quest to Become the Guru of the Gratuity
by Steve Dublanica
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
60 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of trivia, not much analysis..., April 23, 2016
The good: you'll learn all kinds of entertaining trivia about tipping across a dozen industries.

The bad: it's a catalogue of interviews with little or no critical examination as to whether any of this makes sense -- if you ask the people dependent on tips, guess what they'll tell you? One can't help but feel that we're subsidizing a broken system, yet no-one is willing to change it either. Also, it would have been great to see a comparison in tipping expectations—or lack of thereof—across different cultures, instead of just focusing on North America.


Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution Thatís Transforming Education
Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution Thatís Transforming Education
by Ken Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.63
113 used & new from $3.16

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any educator, parent, and well, everyone else., April 4, 2016
The role of a school is to inspire and facilitate learning. Few will disagree with this statement, but on closer inspection many of our schools—regardless of where you live—fail this test. Instead, the policies are centered on "improving test results" and students are drilled with rote learning exercises that lead them to unplug, disengage, or worse, drop out entirely.

The thing is, as this book outlines, it doesn't have to be this way. There are schools, regions, and even countries that have radically transformed their education away from the "industrial conveyor belt model, where the most important aspect is the age of the student", towards personalized and engaging classroom where students are eager to apply their best effort.

A must read for any educator, parent, and well, everyone else. Full of practical advice, examples, and thought-provoking discussions.


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