How to Win Friends and Influence People had a tremendous positive impact on my life when I was younger. I was filled with a lot of social anxiety and was extremely uncomfortable interacting with people outside of my immediate social circle – and sometimes even uncomfortable interacting within that circle. Over a period of about a year, I used the ideas in this book to become substantially more outgoing, even to the point of being able to speak in front of a room of people and effectively carry on positive conversations with potential colleagues. I can’t even possibly guess how useful the content of this book has been to me over the last five years.
How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1937, which to some people might mean that the content is dated. In a few places, you can detect some dated language and cultural references, but for the most part it is a non-issue; it’s quite easy to visualize every human interaction example given in the book in a modern context.
Discovering How to Win Friends and Influence People
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“My mom had made me promise not to use deadly weapons in the house after I swung a javelin the wrong way and took out the china cabinet.”
Now who would use such a weird quote in their book? Apparently, Rick Riordan would. Riordan is the author of the best-selling series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. This sentence appears in the second of the five books (Sea of Monsters). Riordan has created an amazing world of modernized Greek myths. These stories follow Percy Jackson, an unusual dyslexic eleven-year-old with ADHD. Odd accidents have followed him everywhere, though he doesn’t know why. By the end of every school year he winds up expelled from school. During the course of the series we find out why. I found the series very enjoyable, and will give you a short review of the first four books below; run, do not walk, and get all five!
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Clearly explaining more than 100 groundbreaking ideas in the field, The Psychology Book uses accessible text and easy-to-follow graphics and illustrations to explain the complex theoretical and experimental foundations of psychology.
From its philosophical roots through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and developmental psychology, The Psychology Book looks at all the greats from Pavlov and Skinner to Freud and Jung, and is an essential reference for students and anyone with an interest in how the mind works. ~ goodreads review
Psychology used to be something of a backwater subject, of interest to scientists and people who liked watching rats in mazes. But in the past 20 years or so, it has become incredibly mainstream with a huge increase in the number of students studying the subject. The general public have also woken up to the fact that understanding something of psychology can be useful for making sense of both themselves and other people, and can help with communication and persuasion.
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A Scandal in Bohemia
After our narrator Dr. John Watson gets married (to Mary Morstan, in Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of Four) he doesn’t see Holmes quite as often as he used to. As Watson sets up a happy home with his wife, Holmes remains as weird as ever, hanging around their old place in Baker Street and alternating between cocaine and criminal cases.
Watson happens to be passing his former apartment on the walk back from his medical practice one evening, and decides to stop in to see his old pal Holmes. The two bat jokes back and forth about Holmes’s deductive ability. Holmes finally comes out and asks if Watson can even recall the number of stairs that lead up to the 221B Baker Street apartment, and Watson admits that he cannot. “Ah ha!” crows Holmes: proof that, while Watson sees the same things that Holmes does, he fails to observe them.
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Harry has finally come of age, and finally started on his final journey to defeat Voldemort for good. The Dursely’s are forced to go into hiding so that Voldemort’s Death Eaters will not torture them for information, and Harry sets off with Ron and Hermione on a difficult quest to find and destroy the last of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Only once those have been destroyed, Harry knows, can Voldemort truly be killed.
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Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts opens to find him more mellow and grown up than ever. The death of Sirius Black has left an indelible mark on him, and he’s more determined than ever to put an end to Voldemort and his Death Eaters. He’s happy to escape the tyranny of the Dursley’s early in the summer when Dumbledore picks him up to attend to a mysterious errand, which ends up in Harry’s persuading ex-professor, Horace Slughorn, to come out of retirement to teach at Hogwarts again.
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It’s been another long, hot summer at the Dursleys’ for Harry Potter. Having spent most of it in an adolescent “funk” of depression and bitterness over the lack of informative letters from his friends about Voldemort’s return, he’s suddenly jolted out of his bad mood when two Dementors show up in the town of Little Whinging and attack Harry and his cousin, Dudley. When Harry uses magic to drive them off, however, he quickly receives a succession of owls from the Ministry, requiring him to attend a disciplinary hearing. His heart sinks when he reads that the question of whether to expel him from Hogwarts will be decided at the hearing.
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