Next book



A breezy guide to dealing with rejection and transforming it into a learning experience.

A book written from personal experience about rejection—how to live with it and learn from it.

Jia attempted to subject himself to rejection for 100 days, thus toughening himself to what he most feared. As a boy in China, he dreamed of becoming the next Bill Gates, an entrepreneur whose ideas and accomplishments would change the world. Instead, he was trapped in a corporate environment, very successful but deeply unsatisfied after having “sold out my dream.” He’d done so out of fear of rejection—not of failure, which would at least require him to put his efforts and ideas on the line, but of the fear that those ideas would meet rejection that he couldn’t handle. So, with his wife’s blessing, the author quit his corporate job in Austin, Texas, and gave himself six months to succeed as an entrepreneur. Along the way, he steeled himself by committing to “100 Days of Rejection,” in which he would make requests of strangers that they would likely decline, and thus thicken his skin. He asked Costco and Southwest Airlines to let him make announcements over their public address systems, asked a stranger to let him play soccer in his backyard, asked Starbucks to let him serve as a greeter and asked people for money. As he posted blog videos of his failures, some went viral, leading to a sidelight as a motivational speaker (and to this book). He soon found that he was receiving a greater percentage of acceptances instead of the rejections he’d anticipated. It probably helped that he launched this project in Austin, a freethinking city that prides itself on its quirkiness, but the lessons he learned have wide applicability. He sees what he did as “a journey of transformation. I conquered my fear, gained knowledge and wisdom and found a new kind of freedom and power.”

A breezy guide to dealing with rejection and transforming it into a learning experience.

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8041-4138-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

Next book


Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...

Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

Next book


These platitudes need perspective; better to buy the books they came from.

A lightweight collection of self-help snippets from the bestselling author.

What makes a quote a quote? Does it have to be quoted by someone other than the original author? Apparently not, if we take Strayed’s collection of truisms as an example. The well-known memoirist (Wild), novelist (Torch), and radio-show host (“Dear Sugar”) pulls lines from her previous pages and delivers them one at a time in this small, gift-sized book. No excerpt exceeds one page in length, and some are only one line long. Strayed doesn’t reference the books she’s drawing from, so the quotes stand without context and are strung together without apparent attention to structure or narrative flow. Thus, we move back and forth from first-person tales from the Pacific Crest Trail to conversational tidbits to meditations on grief. Some are astoundingly simple, such as Strayed’s declaration that “Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard.” Others call on the author’s unique observations—people who regret what they haven’t done, she writes, end up “mingy, addled, shrink-wrapped versions” of themselves—and offer a reward for wading through obvious advice like “Trust your gut.” Other quotes sound familiar—not necessarily because you’ve read Strayed’s other work, but likely due to the influence of other authors on her writing. When she writes about blooming into your own authenticity, for instance, one is immediately reminded of Anaïs Nin: "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Strayed’s true blossoming happens in her longer works; while this collection might brighten someone’s day—and is sure to sell plenty of copies during the holidays—it’s no substitute for the real thing.

These platitudes need perspective; better to buy the books they came from.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-946909

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

Close Quickview