Paige’s Book Club: Book Review #6

WhyWeWork

Book: Why We Work

Author: Barry Schwartz

1. What made me want to read this book?

If you’ve been reading my blog since the beginning, you’ve probably noticed that one of my goals is to discover the secret(s) of being happy. This is why I interview college students and read books and ask questions. I want to know what it takes for a person to be happy with his or her life. A big part of everyone’s lives is their work. Unfortunately, many people are unhappy with their work.  I guess the big question is: Why do we work (especially if many of us work at unsatisfying jobs)? So when I saw this book in the library, I figured it was worth reading.

2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?

This book delves deeper into the plight of the worker. Each idea that the author proposes is punctuated with tidbits of academic research aimed at understanding what makes a workplace tick. That being said, the author tries to get at the reasons of why some people are satisfied with their jobs, while others are unsatisfied. The entire book was very relatable and real.  I especially liked the passages that dealt with the theories that management has been following (many which are outdated or simply wrong). For example, the author stated that old theorists thought that people worked for money and nothing else. Many company leaders learned of this theory and created jobs that were dull and boring, because they felt that workers didn’t care as long as they were paid. Schwartz advises leaders in industry to realize the true motivation that drives people to work in order to make better jobs and happier workers.

3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?

This book taught me to look not just at a job description, but at the business plan of an organization. How can we, as job seekers, be satisfied with our work if the company we are employed at lacks a business plan that prioritizes it’s workers? I’ve learned the importance of paying attention to a company’s organization and leadership team. For example, a good way to gauge a company’s employment value is to look at it’s employees and management. If employees are always frowning or look bored or annoyed, then that’s a pretty good sign that they aren’t happy with where they are working. So why are they unhappy? Well, maybe their management team is less than stellar. So, I look at the managers and more often than not, many of them are frowning at, arguing with, or scolding their employees, so it’s no wonder that employees are unhappy. Of course, there are many variables that factor in to how an employee or member of management presents themselves in a given day.

4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?

This book has changed my outlook on jobs and work. I know that I don’t work solely for money- I also work to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I think this factors into why I have been so unsatisfied at the jobs I’ve taken over the years. I’m unhappy because the jobs only give me money, when what I really want to work for is to make people happy. I find that I am most happy at the end of the day when I’ve spent all day walking dogs and vaccinating cats and learning about surgeries and performing medical procedures on animals. Yeah, the owners can be a pain at times, but I know that overall, I am helping my clients. I guess that’s what keeps me going in the direction of veterinary medicine. It keeps me sane and smiling.

5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?

This book is very insightful. I had to reread some of the passages because the author used some big words and concepts that I’d never heard of before. Nevertheless, the author did a great job of explaining complicated theories and I was left feeling more enlightened about the concept of work.

Feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!

Have you read this book and want to share? Feel free to post in the comments section below!

Happy reading!

-Paige

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Paiges Book Club: Book Review #5

unfair1

Book: Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice

Author: Adam Benforado

1. What made me want to read this book?

As I was walking through the Beale Memorial Library in Bakersfield, glancing at the New Nonfiction section, I stopped short when I saw the title word Unfair on the cover of this book. I have always contemplated whether or not the world is a fair place, and if you have ever debated with me on the living room couch, you know that I have always had trouble accepting the fact that sometimes unfair things happen to good people. So it seemed fitting that I would see a book so appropriately titled at the library. After I read the title and the book cover, I happily placed this book on the ever growing pile that was already in my arms. I walked out of the library with 7 books in hand, this one being at the top of my must-read list.

2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?

Every chapter, actually, every page of this book was interesting. Many pages were disturbing, as Benforado described criminal cases that were either shocking in terms of the crime committed, or shocking in the way the case was handled. This is definitely a must-read for anyone interested in the criminal justice field, as this book enlightens readers on the often unfortunate outcomes of the American justice system. Honestly, I believe that every American should read this book because, the truth is, any one of us can be falsely accused of a crime, or be called on to serve as a juror. This book has shocked me into the reality of the present day justice system and has not only pointed out the flaws, but also potential solutions.

3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?

I have learned to be careful in life, to be sure of what words to choose before speaking, and to always advocate for progress and improvement in all fields. For example, the author of Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice, sheds light on the flaws of human kind in dealing with crimes. This is not the first book I have read about the criminal justice field or policing, but it is the first that I have read that contains such a great amount of evidence showing the flaws of our justice system. I always thought that in this modern day, the criminal justice system had fixed some of its major problems, such as police coercion. Reading this book has taught me that many issues still exist and are prevalent today.

4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?

This book has changed my opinion about the American legal system. It has also shown me that humans are very flawed and biased, and it is difficult to be objective in our dealings. Benforado brought up the fact that any human, whether he or she be a juror, police officer, an eyewitness, or a judge, has deep rooted biases that are nearly impossible to put to the side when making important decisions about other people’s lives.

5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?

This author writes in a very direct, to the point fashion. Although much of the book was easy to understand, there were a few words that I had to look up to ensure I had the proper understanding. This book was very engaging and eye-opening and I hope many more people read it!

As always feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!

Have you read this book and want to share? Feel free to post in the comments section below!

Happy reading!

-Paige

Paige’s Summer Book Club: Book Review #4

misadventures

Book: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Author: Issa Rae

1. What made me want to read this book?

I recently saw Issa Rae on the cover of a magazine. She looked great! Happy, energetic, and real are the words I would use to describe her. I’m also a fan of her YouTube series. Once I heard that she had a book out I couldn’t wait to begin reading. I quickly checked it out as an audio book and began listening.

2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?

The entire book is humorous and very relatable. One part that stuck out to me was when the author recounted a time when she lied out being able to dance. She lamented over her inability to get her groove on in a hilarious and relatable way. If anyone knows me, they know I don’t know how to dance. I tried once and nearly died of embarrassment, so I could definitely relate to the author’s experiences on the dance floor.

3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?

Reading Issa Rae’s book showed me what life is like for a black woman-not only in Hollywood, but in college, on the internet, and in other social settings. I could relate to her awkwardness. Many of her stories mirrored my own. This is definitely an essential read for anyone who wants a good laugh.

4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?

This book helped me better understand the struggles of being a woman in Hollywood. I know several people who strive to join the ranks as actresses and actors, so hearing the struggles and successes of others helps me gain a better understanding of my friends’ dreams and of the industry itself.

5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?

Issa Rae writes with a tone of hilarity that I haven’t encountered in any of the books I read this summer. She is sincere in her self-deprecation, yet points out many important details about the world. For example, at one point in the book the author describes her adventures online in her childhood and high school years. Although she tells a humorous account, she also indirectly points out the dangers of establishing an online presence at such an early age.

Feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!

Have you read this book and want to share? Feel free to post in the comments section below!

Happy reading!

-Paige

Paige’s Book Club: Book Review #3

dog

Book: Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca

Author: Maria Goodavage

1. What made me want to read this book?

I have always been an animal lover and one of my favorite animals to work with is dogs, so it was only natural for me to pick this book off the library bookshelf. I have watched countless documentaries on dogs, their intelligence, the types of work they do and the joy they bring to humans. This book afforded me the opportunity to learn even more, and in greater detail, about the work that military dogs, such as Lucca do.

2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?

This entire book was very interesting as it followed the life and many missions of Lucca and her handlers. The saddest moment came with the death of one of the dog handlers close to Lucca and her handler. I did not see his death coming and wished it hadn’t happened, but these are the things that happen in war.

3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?

This book has taught me about the value of dogs in the military. These dogs are trained for months with their handlers in order to perform duties that saves lives.  Whether it be sniffing out bombs, narcotics or humans, they all serve their country well.  Reading about Lucca has also taught me the importance of using any dog, regardless of breed, with extraordinary talent to help save human lives. Lucca is a German Sheperd-Belgian Malinois mix. Knowing that the military utilizes mix breeds on occassion is very heart warming. After all, no dog deserves to be shunned because of it’s pedigree, or lack thereof.

4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?

This book has changed my opinion about the resilience of human and animal soldiers. After reading about the harrowing effects that war bestows upon soldiers in the book Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel, I thought that dog handlers would have more trouble dealing with the effects of war. Top Dog reveals the pain that soldiers feel about losing a dog, but it also highlights the joy the dogs, such as Lucca, bring to all the soldiers they encounter, not just their handlers. This book also highlights the fact that dogs can suffer from PTSD, which I had just learned about at UC Davis last year. Learning more about this condition in dogs is always a reward experience.

5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?

The amount and depth of research that Maria Goodavage put into this book is definitely seen in her work. Goodavage provides excellent descriptions of events and scenery, which are constantly changing as Lucca and her handler are deployed on different missions and visit different countries. She also focuses on other handlers and their dogs who have met, worked and played with Lucca throughout her deployment. Overall, this is a great book for anyone who wants to learn about lives of military dogs and the handlers that work with them.

The next book I will be reading is Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt

Feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!

Have you read this book and want to share? Feel free to post in the comments section below!

Happy reading!

-Paige

Paige’s Book Review #2

casey

Book: Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country

Author: Benoit Denizet-Lewis

1. What made me want to read this book?

I am an animal lover, especially a lover of dogs! They are amazing creatures, which have changed many a person’s life. As soon as I saw the cover of this book I was hooked. After all, who wouldn’t want to travel the states with their furry friend?

2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?

This book is filled with excitement and humor! On his journey, the author ran into a bunch of funny dog-lovers and a few dog-haters. The part that makes me laugh out loud is on page 66, when the author visits a dog park and runs into a man who asserted that his children are transforming into “petless freaks” without a dog! Another notable passage revolves around homeless teenagers who have dogs. The dogs serve to protect and comfort the teens, who are struggling to make ends meet on the streets. This passage is eye-opening and makes me want to learn more about the plight of homeless teens across America.

3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?

This book taught me the importance of making a bucket list and sticking to it. The author was lucky enough to have a job that enabled him to take such an epic journey across America with his canine. After reading this book, I now know that trips like this are possible.

4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?

Although this book was a great read, it didn’t change my opinion about anything or anyone. I don’t believe that was the aim of the book either. This is probably due to the fact that I’ve been studying Animal Science and have had my own encounters with dog lovers and haters. Nevertheless, this book is a great read and reminder of why I decided to pursue a career in Animal Science!

5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?

This book is great to read during summer days sprawled out by the pool or sipping tea in your backyard. It is real, true, and human. The author writes about his encounters with dog owners and accents the tales with excerpts from research papers and books about canine intelligence and the dynamic relationships between dogs and their humans. Overall, this is an excellent book for dog-lovers and those who are interested in learning about dogs.

I will be visiting the library today to pick out a few new books. I’ll post the title of my next book later.

Feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!

Have you read this book and want to share? Feel free to post in the comments section below!

Happy reading!

-Paige

Paige’s Book Club: Book Review #1

osborne

Book: The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop

Author: Steve Osborne

1. What made me want to read this book?

Earlier this year I attended a Police Community Academy at UC Davis during which I learned about what police do in my community, important laws to abide by, and some procedures police operate by. This was an eye-opening experience to me and since attending the community academy, I have wanted to learn more about policing in the United States. My curiosity drew me to books authored by police officers. After all, what better way to gain a better understanding of the officers’ daily lives and challenges and to gain a better appreciation of the world around me?

2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?

My favorite passage was on page 14, where Osborne stated that “At any one time there are ten times more drug dealers out on the street than there are cops.” This surprised me because I had never really thought about how many drug dealers were walking around. I had especially never thought about whether or not they outnumbered police officers in my area. This one line taught me to think about things that I had never been concerned about before.

3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?

This book gave me incredible insights into the daily life of a police officer. I felt like I was transported to the scene of the crime, I felt the fear and excitement of gunfire, the frustration of facing an angry mob, and the pain and sadness of telling a parent that a loved one died. Reading this book taught me that police officers are human; they have feelings, emotions, hopes and dreams, just as I do. Osborne has definitely broadened my perspective on what it is like to be a police officer.

4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?

The social tension surrounding the topic of policing in the U.S. has divided people into opposing opinions that are either for or against police. Before I read this book, my opinion of police lay somewhere in the middle – somewhere between a sense of hatred and distrust of the police and empathy for and admiration of the brave officers that roam the streets and face the fears that many run away from. After reading this book, my view of the police has shifted more toward admiration and empathy for officers. I still feel that problems exist, but I now have a better understanding of the difficulties that come with policing.

5. What is the writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?

Osborne writes in a style that is easy-to-read, simple and direct. He doesn’t beat around the bush; rather he says what happened, where, what he did about it and why. I could hear his New York accent as I read, and by the end of the book I felt like we were friends.

The next book I will be reading is Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel.

Feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!

Have you read this book and want to share? Feel free to post in the comments section below!

Happy reading!

-Paige

Introducing Paige’s Summer Book Club!

I have always enjoyed reading and thought you might too, so I’ve made a goal to post at least 5 book reviews this summer. Hmmm…if my summer starts in June and ends in September, then I need to read…oh I was never any good at math, so let’s just say my goal is to post a review every other week. Aha!

I visited the library and picked out a few books to start with:

SummerReads

  1. The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop by Steve Osborne
  2. Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel
  3. Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country by Benoit Denzet-Lewis

To make this easier and to facilitate conversation, during each book review I will answer a series of questions (listed below) for each book.

  1. What made me want to read this book?
  2. Which passages were the most interesting, disturbing, humorous, or sad?
  3. What has this book taught me? Has it broadened my perspective on the world or some part of my life?
  4. Has this book changed my opinion about anything or anyone?
  5. What is the author’s writing style like? Engaging, boring, easy to understand?

Feel free to join me in reading and discussing each book!

Happy reading!

-Paige