Saturday, March 29, 2014

Non-fiction Mini Book Reviews

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman:

Kahneman is a psychologist who also focuses on behavioral economics. He's been around for awhile and has done many studies on how our brains work.

Basically, we have two systems. One is fast and one is slow. The fast one is our intuitive side; it makes fast decisions since our slow system is too lazy. Our slow system is our rational and logical side but it takes more energy to work through it so many times we rely too heavily on our fast side and end up making blundering errors.

An excellent book on how our brains think. Him and Tversky pioneered these studies. Amazing.

NutureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman:

The authors focus on some interesting studies that make us rethink our ideas about children and how we rear them as educators and parents.

The ones that stuck out to me were:

Chapter Two: The Lost Hour:

Kids need their sleep even more than adults do to keep those brains growing and learning properly. We need schools to start later. Yes it messes up working adults' schedules but it's serious stuff and needs to be done. Even just an hour seems to help significantly.

Chapter Three: Why White Parents Don't Talk About Race:

White parents don't know exactly what to say and are afraid they'll say the wrong thing but that ends up making kids not knowing what their parents think and make up their own biases. They don't go into any details about how to do that but emphasize that it needs to be done. It's helped me think about how to do that with my own son.

Chapter Seven: The Science of Teen Rebellion:

Studies showed that parents who set boundaries and were able to renegotiate with their kids about rules and boundaries were the ones with the least rebellious teens. So communicating and listening to their kids and allowing them to make a case for an exception for a curfew or whatever really influenced them to be more honest and to rebel less. Fascinating.

All of the chapters were fascinating but I chose my top three. I highly recommend this for anyone.

Container Gardening For Dummies by Bill Marken:

I have no yard since I live in a town home but I've been wanting to try my hand at planting a few flowers during the Spring and Winter months. So I picked this one up to help me!

It's a great one for beginners and I definitely fit that category. It's still a bit too chilly around here for me to pick up flowers to plant but I am prepared! I'm hoping only a couple of more weeks!!!


  1. Nuture Shock - kudos to my white parent self; we have always talked about race. I wonder if some parents don't talk about it because they don't want to make it an issue. When our oldest was just two he had a best friend at the babysitter's who was black. When he described her, he never mentioned her skin color. Who was I to make that a point?

  2. I need to get my hands on those first two for sure. The ffirst for my hubby, he loves that stuff and the second for me. Gage has to be at school at 8 am! For a 3 year old that's insane.


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