Book Club

Stars of David

Over the weekend I went to see the off Broadway musical, Stars of David, based on Abigail Pogrebin’s best-selling book of the same name.? The show is great fun and reveals and celebrates the Jewish identity of some of the most well known Jewish personalities in America including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Leonard Nimoy, Michael Feinstein, Norman Lear, Joan Rivers, Kenneth Cole, Tony Kushner and more. The 16 songs, composed by a who’s who of composers, are touching, humorous, insightful and moving. Stars of David is for any of us questioning the value......

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Malcolm Gladwell on Keeping the Faith and Achieving Greatness

Finally got to read David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell, which Irwin wrote about a couple of weeks ago.? It’s a fascinating book which spoke deeply to me about three things, and troubled me a little about one thing?- more on that in a moment.? I might have hesitated to boil it down so succinctly, but in this interview, that is what Gladwell himself does. The three key insights here from the book are: 1. What others see as a weakness, may be a great strength 2. Religious faith is a powerful......

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Using Gladwell's Insight to Inspire Those Who Need It Most

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.? Like Gladwell’s prior books this one is entertaining, with great story-telling that explores one counterintuitive thesis. ?Blink compelled us to trust our guts. ?The Tipping Point suggested we seek out and invest in “influencers”.? And in Outliers, Gladwell posits that it isn’t talent, but rather luck and hard work that are far more important. As always with Gladwell you need to read him while understanding that what he “proves” is always more true......

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How Reading Literary Fiction Makes Us More Empathetic

My grandmother used to say, ‘you are what you eat’, (even despite her lovingly burning everything she cooked).? My mother would say, ‘you are how you spend your money’ while my father would think ‘you are what you spend your time on’. And I can still hear my middle school principal’s admonishment ‘you are who your friends are’. ?Undoubtedly, they were all right to some extent, as lots of things contribute to “who we are”. Well, that list just got longer.? ?According to psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano at the......

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Not Just Now: Being Smart About 'Present Shock'

If you’re like me, your smartphone has become your boss. More than I care to admit, I am barraged by an onslaught of pings, and I find myself obsessively checking (if not chasing) every text, email, tweet, Facebook status and myriad updates I get throughout the day. Unplugging is the answer for some. But not everyone. I’ll share a coping tip: The book Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now,?by media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, has changed my life. With great insight, the author explores how being always on (always connected) affects our behavior,......

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What's To Be Learned from 'Leaning In'?

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg created an expected firestorm of national debate. As a “sort of feminist manifesto” (her words) about women in the workplace, lamenting the dearth of females in leadership positions and urging women to be more assertive in their professional ambitions, Lean In evoked a range of responses from praise of Sandberg as the new voice of feminism to questioning whether someone whose net worth numbers in the hundreds of millions and who Forbes ranks the tenth most powerful woman......

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