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The Meaning of Madness
The Meaning of Madness
Price: $7.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, June 17, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First, the negatives. The Kindle version suffers from poor formatting. Footnotes sometimes appear in the middle of text. Diagrams are useless. Although distracting, the Kindle book is still readable.

In chapter one, Dr Neel Burton offers thought experiments about the brain's role in Personality, as well as a short discussion of Free Will. I found this chapter disappointing. Conclusions were avoided and the ideas discussed here were not integrated with the rest of the book. To be fair, this chapter does offer some food for thought if you have never before pondered these issues and is therefore not without value.

The rest of the book provides excellent discussions of:
- Schizophrenia;
- Depression;
- Manic Depressive Illness;
- The many Anxiety Disorders; and
- Suicide

No prior knowledge is required. This book is a good choice for someone who wants a non-technical bird's eye view of mental disorders.

I really warmed up to the book after the halfway mark, whence it got progressively more philosophical. Interesting ideas of Plato, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Sartre and others have been worked into the text. At times, discussions turn almost poetic. This short book is not simply about mental disorders but about the human condition and the struggles we face.

You'll gain insights into the evolution of mental disorders and the benefits these genes confer on us as a species; the deeper nature of anxiety and depression; what anxiety and depression may be trying to tell us and why they could be valuable; the working of the ego and its defence mechanisms; how published studies have skewed the effectiveness of antidepressants; the value of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy; our search for meaning; and facing up to death.

This is a well-balanced book, providing insight into both the negative and positive aspects surrounding mental hardship, without ever romanticizing mental illness.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2013 11:14 AM PDT


A State Of Aya
A State Of Aya
Offered by SONY Music Entertainment Downloads LLC.
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a discovery!, March 7, 2010
This review is from: A State Of Aya (MP3 Music)
I stumbled upon Aya's music purely by accident. It was being played in a music store when I happened to walk in. I instantly knew I had to have it. Aya is simply delightful! Jazzy, delicately upbeat, smooth and soothing are some of the words that spring to mind. Aya has a delicious vocal range too.

The short clips available here don't do Aya's music justice. Listen to track number 4, "All from Love", on a decent stereo and you'll feel how her voice soothes you deep within. When listening to Aya, life's troubles seem to simply melt away! Lyrics are a beautiful mix of English and Zulu. Highly recommended for lovers of light jazz.

Aya hails from Africa and is not to be confused with the neo-soul artist of Blue Six fame by the same name.


Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond
Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond
by Bruce C. N. Greenwald
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.81
105 used & new from $4.50

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, April 24, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
At last, theory and practice meet!

Warren Buffett teaches that the value of a business equals the cash that can be taken out of the business during its life, discounted back to present value. This book will show you how to practically estimate those cash flows and calculate their present value.

Another Warren Buffett technique - identifying a superior business that possesses a strong franchise - is also covered in detail and then practically illustrated with a fascinating case study.

Asset based approaches, e.g. using the estimated reproduction cost of assets as a valuation yardstick, are also discussed. The final part of the book provides valuable insights into the different approaches used by eight famous value investors.

Throughout, explanations of key principles are crisp and easy to follow and are illustrated with interesting examples. This book is a delight to read and a "must have" for value investors.


The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio
The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio
by William J. Bernstein
Edition: Hardcover
82 used & new from $4.95

120 of 139 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous, April 3, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Good historical data and an excellent discussion of the superiority of index funds make this book a worthwhile purchase. However, if you intend to blindly follow Bernstein's investment strategy - which lacks a deeper understanding of the importance of investment valuation and market timing - you stand to lose a great deal of money in the next ten years. Before implementing Bernstein's strategy, ask yourself just one question: "Am I aware of the statistical correlation between the market's price-to-earnings multiple and the market's return in the subsequent 10 years?". (If not, you may want to read Bull's Eye Investing by John Mauldin or Irrational Exuberance by Robert Shiller - two of the most revealing and honest investment books ever written.)

Bernstein's strategy, notwithstanding its emphasis on low-cost index funds, will fail if the investor ignores market valuation levels. An index fund is useless if the index is grossly overvalued to begin with. Please, it is in your own best interest to get a grasp of valuation principles before using Bernstein's investment strategy. Take note of investment master Warren Buffett's repeated warnings that stocks are extremely overvalued. Using an index fund does not nullify this fact.
Comment Comments (23) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2014 5:29 AM PDT


Daniel's Running Formula
Daniel's Running Formula
by Jack Daniels
Edition: Paperback
78 used & new from $0.01

76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best running book for the scientifically minded!, February 9, 2004
My running library contains more than 20 books and I rate this one the best. It offers a truly scientific way of training. Each and every point is thoroughly explained. A book like this is an absolute delight for the thinking runner who not only wants to know what to do, but also why. The book is very practical too, as the instructions are distilled into just a few tables - all easy to use. You will learn Daniels' proven methods to improve endurance, lactate threshold, VO2Max and mechanical running speed. The real beauty of this book is that it can be used by elite runners and slow beginners alike; the tables accommodate all runners and tell us exactly what to do based on our recent race times. If I could choose only two books on running, it would be this one and The Lore of Running by Dr Tim Noakes.


Triumph of the Optimists: 101 Years of Global Investment Returns
Triumph of the Optimists: 101 Years of Global Investment Returns
by Mike Staunton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $156.53
34 used & new from $113.13

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless, February 9, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book, together with a good book on Warren Buffet basics, will provide the private stock market investor with the tools needed for extraordinary investment success. First, a book on Buffet basics will teach the investor how to identify exceptional businesses and how to value them correctly (by calculating the present value of the total cash that can be extracted from the business during its expected life). Next, Triumph of the Optimists will be of tremendous help in selecting the appropriate valuation variables, e.g. equity risk premium, discount rate, etc to be used. By incorporating the statistics provided in this book into your valuations, you will have 101 years of global investment history on your side. As a global investor for more than twenty years, I sometimes had to learn the hard way that "reversion to the mean" is a basic investment truth that dare not be ignored. This book will tell you what that "mean" is. Some may argue that this book is expensive, or that its statistics may be slightly distorted, but in real life this book's practical value makes it priceless.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2008 1:32 PM PDT


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