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How to Talk to Hot Women: The 9 Secrets to Getting and Keeping the Woman (Women) of Your Dreams
How to Talk to Hot Women: The 9 Secrets to Getting and Keeping the Woman (Women) of Your Dreams
by Mehow
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.71
48 used & new from $3.19

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Dissenting View, August 20, 2014
I am surprised this book has gotten positive reviews. I find it overly complex, wordy, hopelessly nerdy, and idiosyncratic. Whatever the hell Mehow, the author, is talking about might work for him; I doubt it will work for most guys. I'm not even sure most guys would know what he was talking about.

The truth is that successfully approaching, attracting and dating beautiful women is not that complicated. A few simple principles (and a few standard maneuvers) are all you need. For that reason, I dislike that this book keeps guys in The Nerd Zone by talking about things like "simultaneous and sequential" "Microloops" inside of "Master Loops" (what the hell...?). What nerds really need is to man up, take care of themselves, and get an intriguing, awesome life. Do that, and the ladies will come, as sure as moths to light.

For those interested in boosting their success with the ladies, here are a few simple, but powerful, tips from a 46 year old guy who's spent the last five (post-divorce) years dating the most beautiful young ladies you can imagine, most of whom were in their mid-twenties, well-educated, and successful, despite the fact I was low on money because of the divorce:

1.) Be CLEAN and presentable (shower, use anti-perspirant, strategically groom, use *light* cologne, brush and floss teeth, get something going with your hair, lose the coke-bottle glasses, get some sun, etc.);

2.) Be FIT (you don't need to be ripped - only fit. Reduce sugars and grains, and then either hit the gym three times a week following a weightlifting program, or join Crossfit);

3.) Wear well-fitting clothes and good shoes. The clothes don't need to be high-end name brand (not that that would hurt). However, they do need to accentuate your overall look, and show that you are a man who takes care of himself, and respects himself. If you need help choosing clothes, find a couple of hot girls to go shopping with you. (Also, when in doubt, err on the side of a closer, snugger fit);

4.) Develop an awesome, interesting life, full of passions and hobbies which excite you (aside from video games and computers), and which you could invite a special woman to participate in. Also develop a moral code you live by. For example, you might decide to never lie, or always keep your promises, or never cheat on a woman, etc. (One important benefit of this personal development is that your confidence will naturally grow, so that you cease becoming emotionally dependent on the validation of women. Your emotional strength and independence constitute a powerful attractant.);

5.) Be discriminating about women based on a clear idea of your morals, self-respect, and desires. A pretty face is just a pretty face. Let women know (as you get to know them) in a polite way what your standards are. Signal to them that you're interested in knowing whether there is anything more to them than just physical beauty (and mean it). If the woman fails to meet your standards, let her know (as kindly, but firmly, as possible) and give her a chance to step up, and if she fails, move on. Life is too short to waste on brats, no matter how hot they are;

6.) If you want an awesome woman and an awesome relationship, YOU should set the pace of your progress based on your vision for your joint future, and the extent to which you choose to include the lucky lady in your now-awesome life. In other words, do NOT signal that you're ready to jump into the sack with her as soon as possible. Instead, get to know her, hear her stories, make her laugh, build a foundation of trust, comfort, and (yes) friendship (if you play it right, you'll never be in the "friend zone", and the friendship will serve as the most effective base for your romantic relationship), etc., while signaling to her that you indeed are interested in her at a visceral level (and want to keep on going deeper and deeper with her), but that she also needs to *earn* access to your intimacy. Let her show you she's worthy of your attention and your love and devotion; and if she does...give her your gifts, and blow her mind, and she will worship you;

7.) Lots more I could say here, but remember that the most important thing in this process is for *you* to assume the ultimate responsibility for - and develop the power to create - *powerful, shared, emotional experiences between the two of you*. There are hundreds of ways to do that - the right story at the right time, the right little touch on the arm, the right weekend adventure, sharing your big vision of the future at the right time, leaving her a little note when she's not expecting it, enjoying little in-jokes between you, or showing her your intense, varied, creative lovemaking approaches, etc. Rather than trying to reason with her, stay primarily grounded in appeals to her most primal self, her most basic senses and longings and needs, creating those powerful, shared emotional experiences as you go, and you'll do great - even without whatever a "simultaneous and sequential microloop" is.

Good luck. I hope this review helped someone.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2016 1:15 PM PDT


Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Great Courses)
Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Great Courses)
by Brooks Landon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.53
56 used & new from $7.81

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No, January 29, 2014
It is with confidence that I suggest you avoid this book. (No idea how anyone could give it more than two stars.)

Why do I suggest you avoid this book? Well, for one thing, Landon's repetitiveness and pedantry make it a tedious read. But the main reason is that following Landon's advice will make you a worse writer. Its (misguided and idiosyncratic) message is that writers should use long, complex sentences more often.

No, we shouldn't. Regardless of Brooks Landon's personal preferences, readers tend to prefer direct sentences of fairly modest (if varied) length. This is because *emotional impact* usually requires *intelligibility*, and *intelligibility* usually requires conciseness of expression.

This is not to say that complex sentences have no place in effective prose writing. They do. The key word is "place": like a well-placed drum fill, a well-placed, complex sentence impacts us precisely because it is a *departure* from a default simple rhythm. It is a miniature digression/adventure away from an otherwise briskly-paced, forward-moving jaunt.

Better reference books for aspiring writers include "The Writer's Little Helper" by James V. Smith, Jr., "A Matter of Style" by Matthew Clark, and the marvelous "A Manual of Writer's Tricks: Essential Advice for Fiction and Nonfiction Writers" by David L. Carroll.

I hope this review helped someone.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2015 6:22 PM PDT


Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (The Terry Lectures Series)
Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (The Terry Lectures Series)
by Marilynne Robinson
Edition: Hardcover
51 used & new from $2.40

34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where are we again?, April 14, 2011
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Not being a huge fiction buff, I first became aware of Marilynne Robinson upon reading her incisive and deflating review of Richard Dawkins's "The God Delusion", published in Harper's Magazine, in 2006. Agreeing with everything she said there, it was with great excitement that I opened up "Absence of Mind".

The book tempered my excitement. It is not that Robinson is off the mark in her criticisms of a fanatical (not to say idiotic) scientism which views every aspect of the universe as reducible to quarks or genes. Her skepticism is much needed, and is actually more scientific in spirit than the anti-religion polemics of the silly dogmatists-masquerading-as-scientists she targets. While there are some problems in her arguments (e.g., implausibly suggesting that Phineas Gage's behaviour may have changed not because an iron spike went through his head and caused brain damage, but because he resented having the accident), I think the biggest problem is her prose - which I am actually embarrassed to criticize, since one of her novels won a Pulitzer Prize.

But it is a problem nonetheless, at least in a collection of essays like this. I am not sure if Robinson actually speaks as she writes, or if, wandering into perhaps new territory, she has tried to compensate for a feeling of insecurity in the area of philosophical discussion. But her prose is often laborious, vague, fairly convoluted, and diffuse. Because her arguments actually boil down to a concrete and cogent state, I believe the prose with which she expresses them here should have been likewise concrete and cogent. Sadly, though I read with full focus, I often found myself wondering, "where are we again...? What is her point again...? What's the thesis statement she's trying to support...? Where have we wandered off to..?".

This is a shame, because the pseudo-macho clods she takes aim at (Dawkins, Dennett, et al) present their inane arguments about religion with great clarity, briskness, and force. This is a big reason for their popularity (the other big reason seems to be widespread vapidity). But here, in a book whose ultimate arguments have enough merit to warrant a similarly large audience, Robinson meanders. Of course, there are passages of literary, even flowery, beauty in "Absence of Mind", but that hardly scores her points in a situation like this, because often, the beauty seems to arise from a kind of mystery about what the actual meaning of the sentence is, or at least, its relationship to the claim she is trying to support. The beauty would have been well-placed in a novel. Here, it too often obscures well-taken points.

I believe that a good literary guide for Robinson, in this arena anyway, is the British philosopher John Gray. He has made many of the same criticisms of the Dawkins crowd as Robinson has (so much so, that I wonder if Robinson has read Gray). But his more concrete, more concise prose is better suited to such discussions.

In short, the book makes some good arguments against professional atheism and scientism. But can you actually hear them through the literary noise, and then follow them, marking each step along the way? It's difficult here, but needn't have been.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2015 4:25 PM PDT


Assholeology: The Science Behind Getting Your Way - and Getting Away with it
Assholeology: The Science Behind Getting Your Way - and Getting Away with it
by Chris Illuminati
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.60
147 used & new from $0.01

26 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ludicrous, November 12, 2010
"Assholeology" is one of the few books I have ever read which is utterly useless. It will do nothing to help you get what you want, and in fact, will actually hurt you in your quest, because it consistently offers advice which will cause you to *lose* social dominance, and accordingly, cause you to *fail* to achieve your goals. One example of counterproductive advice is the recommendation to blow off any buddy who asks you to help him move (whereas, one important way that alpha males achieve social dominance is by strategically incurring social debts, and then calling them in in a way that bolsters their status, power, and authority. Remember the first scene of "The Godfather"? Like that. But the authors here have no grasp of this important dynamic, or how to master it, at all).

In addition to lacking any sense of what makes alpha males tick, the authors confuse stupid and utterly loathsome behaviour with true alpha male behaviour (which while it is often irritating, is frequently necessary) and themselves seem to be total nerds. (For the record, Kobe Bryant's personal behaviour, contrary to what these nerds claim, is not admirable and should not be emulated. Unless, of course, you're interested in facing a paternity suit, lifelong child support payments, long-lasting venereal disease, and possibly a felony conviction for rape, along with jail time).

If you're interested in upping your alpha male quotient, start with Neil Strauss' "The Game", and go from there. Avoid this ludicrous book.


Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember: An Oral History
Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember: An Oral History
by James Mellon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.00
76 used & new from $3.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic, August 8, 2010
This is an absolutely fantastic book. It is a collection of full-length reminisces and excerpted quotes from former slaves, as recorded in the early '30s, and I must say that I cannot imagine James Mellon's narrative and editorial choices being any better.

Readers will be alternately surprised by the fond memories of some of the slaves of their former masters (and even of slavery itself), shocked by the cruelty reported by others, moved by the irrepressible humanity of the slaves...and through these voices, in a way, we get transported back to a world which otherwise seems utterly unfathomable to us now, but which existed not really all that long ago. An 80 year old living today could easily have been cradled as a child by someone who grew to adulthood under slavery.

I am surprised this book is not better known. I read voraciously, but only came across it a few weeks away in the tiny shop at Thomas Jefferson's vacation home Poplar Forest. I am very grateful I did, because the experience of reading it has been so moving and enlightening. Without question, this book gets five stars, and I would say it is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand American slavery.


Rugby: Steps to Success - 2nd Edition (Steps to Success Activity Series)
Rugby: Steps to Success - 2nd Edition (Steps to Success Activity Series)
by Tony Biscombe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.77
90 used & new from $2.39

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Single Best Book of Its Kind, April 22, 2010
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Especially if you are just starting to learn to play rugby, this is the single best book to get. It covers the laws, core skills, offensive and defensive strategies, training, basically everything you need to know, and is laid out perfectly, with engaging, illuminating graphics. It manages to cover everything while being fairly concise and properly sequenced. Indispensable for beginning and intermediate rugby players wishing to improve.


Simon Shaw: The Hard Yards: My Story
Simon Shaw: The Hard Yards: My Story
by Simon Shaw
Edition: Hardcover
31 used & new from $0.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, April 21, 2010
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This book is hilarious - I found myself laughing on almost every page. This is a great read, and an insightful look into the career of one of the world's best rugby players, Simon Shaw.


The Purposeful Primitive: Using the Primordial Laws of Fitness to Trigger Inevitable, Lasting and Dramatic Physical Change
The Purposeful Primitive: Using the Primordial Laws of Fitness to Trigger Inevitable, Lasting and Dramatic Physical Change
by Marty Gallagher
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.53
76 used & new from $16.64

32 of 46 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but with a fatal flaw, April 16, 2010
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Sometimes otherwise successful endeavours are torpedoed by one fatal flaw.

Take this book. It is at once a personal memoir by a highly regarded trainer, a profile of some of the greatest powerlifters and bodybuilders of the past five decades, a dietary guide, and a training manual. The core concept - that the men profiled are "purposeful primitives", i.e., men who have achieved spectacular size and strength because they have discovered and followed "primordial laws of fitness" - is instinctively attractive and inspiring. The prose is taut, clear, and engaging. There are even quite a few photos to keep things visually engaging.

So what is the fatal flaw? The inclusion of a fawning piece on Dorian Yates. The most important muscle-building "primordial law" Yates followed in his bodybuilding career was *to regularly jam a hypodermic needle filled with lab-created, muscle-boosting hormones into his butt, and squeeze*. Needless to say, there is absolutely nothing "primordial" about that. I'm *not* saying Yates didn't work hard in the gym. It is just that without the 'roids, he would not have looked anything like he ended up looking, nor would he have ever been able to achieve the feats Gallagher slavers over. Gallagher knows this perfectly well, but never admits it, which is about as weird as including him in the first place. It is also debatable to what extent workout advice gleaned from the regimen of a gonzo juicer is helpful to normal, natural lifters.

When I pick up a book called "The Purposeful Primitive", I want to read about purposeful primitives - not *pretend* purposeful primitives like Yates, who was so dependent on synthetic chemicals for his gains, that he's probably inflicted permanent liver, kidney, and testicular damage on himself. Besides, on principle, I don't see why guys like that should be heralded in the same book as clean guys like Paul Anderson, or held up as models for aspiring young lifters fighting the temptation to start injecting.

Just my two cents.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 30, 2012 12:01 PM PDT


Nostalgia for the Absolute (CBC Massey Lecture)
Nostalgia for the Absolute (CBC Massey Lecture)
by George Steiner
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.98
27 used & new from $6.46

14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, October 20, 2009
I've read this three times. It is a brilliant essay showing how the most popular secular worldviews and totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century are best seen as quests for meaning, as religions like Christianity and Judaism grow increasingly unbelievable.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2016 6:01 PM PDT


A Game for Hooligans: The History of Rugby Union
A Game for Hooligans: The History of Rugby Union
by Huw Richards
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.06
89 used & new from $0.96

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice, October 20, 2009
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Huw Richards's book is an engaging, and often quite funny, history of rugby union. (To my mind it is far superior to the cold and disdainful "Social History of Rugby Union", by Tony Collins.)

Richards's is a clever writer. He crams a lot of info into this little book, while still making space for enlightening anecdotes. And his love for the game shines through. A very nice read.


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