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The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work
by Shawn Achor
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly considered, 23 Jan 2013
I really want to like this book and the author seems very funny and genuine. His TED talk is very entertaining. Unfortunately, the book is based on a a number of flaws that make its argument not just confused but potentially manipulative and downright creepy.

The focus on personal happiness as a goal is both ill-defined (what is "happiness"?) and limiting (why favour "happiness" over any other of the rich variety of emotions available to us?). This focus results in a pathologising of dissent - if you're not happy you need fixing. This is ironic as the author criticises the field of psychology for focussing too much on the negative aspects without realising that a focus on happiness as the goal of life is in itself a way of making so much else in life seem negative. Anything non-happy becomes a negative. Dissent or criticism becomes defined as unhappiness and therefore your fault rather than the fault of external factors.

This is then harnessed to a pure capitalist outcome. Be happy, be a better worker. I'm no Marxist but that makes me uneasy. He has replaced "If I can just succeed I will be happy" with "If I can just be happy I'll succeed". Essentially the same ego-driven desperation. And if you fail at something it's your fault for not being happy enough. What a terrible message to give in this economic climate!

Still, I'm sure that many businesses and organizations will lap this kind of thing up. The definition of happiness ends up being "that which will make you fit for work" and that's sure to be good for business.

As to the "science"? Some interesting research but mostly poorly planned "experiments" with highly debatable outcomes that have been interpreted to support the author's argument.


Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
by Sally Hogshead
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 15.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not very fascinating, 13 Aug 2012
There is always a good market for this kind of poorly written pseudo-research because many people want simple solutions to complex problems. With an enthusiastic and attractive presenter it can even come over as quite reasonable but sadly it is pure twaddle. Breathless nonsense dressed up as "psychology" that does little more than tell you you should be "fascinating" over and over.
Please trust me on this, go and have some fun rather than read this book, at least then you might have an experience that you can tell people, they might even find you a little bit more fascinating.


Whistleblower (MIRA)
Whistleblower (MIRA)
by Tess Gerritsen
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, 6 July 2012
This review is from: Whistleblower (MIRA) (Paperback)
So, I bought this at a charity stall to read on a long train journey. It is possibly the worst book I have ever finished. It was a very long journey.
If I'd bought it new I would have considered taking it back to the shop and demanding a refund. It has put me off reading any of the author's other books. It may be that all her other books are wonderful but that still doesn't excuse charging money this pile of dung. The same goes for Mira Books. I no longer trust their products or their ethics. If this were a car it would be recalled. An embarrassment that should be taken off the market, pulped, and never spoken of again.


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