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Problem Solving 101: A Simple Book for Smart People, by Ken Watanabe

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I read this neat little book in about 2 hours. What a treat!

Ken Watanabe left his job as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, and wrote a book for Japanese children, about problem solving and critical thinking skills. The book became wildly popular among adults in the business community and is now an international bestseller.

Full of illustrations, diagrams and charts, this is a book that is clearly written and widely applicable. We all solve problems in our daily lives, but not many of us are equipped with the tools that will allow us to do it most effectively.

Watanabe presents readers with instructions for creating logic trees, methods for working with a pros/cons list, and strategies for closing the gap between where we are now, and the goal we’d like to achieve. It may sound strange that something called a “logic tree” is incorporated into a book for children, but don’t be intimidated! These tools are very, very simple.

Check out Problem Solving 101 today! Here’s the last paragraph:

If you make problem solving a habit, you’ll be able to make the most of your talents and take control of your life. You can solve not only your own problems, but the problems of your school, your business, and your community – and maybe even the world.

Sounds hopeful, doesn’t it?

A is for A C Grayling

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I have my suspicions that philosopher A C Grayling must be either a fraud, or some sort of superhuman. How else could one man produce as many different works as he has?

A C Grayling is a prolific writer and thinker! In our catalogue, we have no fewer than 10 of his titles, and they range from introductions to logic, to examinations of the good life, to essays about religion.

I’ve heard him being interviewed on both CBC and BBC radio, and he’s erudite, articulate, and incredibly humble. What a combination!

Check out some of his works today!

His latest: To Set Prometheus Free: Essays on Religion, Reason and Humanity

The Honor Code, by Kwame Anthony Appiah

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I listen to podcasts from BBC radio, and I recently heard philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah discussing the role of honour in the 21st century. Appiah’s interests lie primarily in moral progress, and how that progress is made.

The Chinese tradition of footbinding had existed for centuries, but within a generation, it was completely eradicated. How did this happen? Appiah argues that reason, morality and religion are not enough to spur moral revolutions. Morally repugnant practices are changed only when they come into conflict with honour.

I can't wait to delve into it! Yes, I’m going to spend my “down time” reading about footbinding, the Atlantic slave trade, and the aristocratic custom of duelling. That’s just how I roll.

The next time you hear about a great new book, go online and place a hold through our website. That way, you’ll beat me to the punch!

Sam Harris is Back!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Sam Harris is a philosopher and a neuroscientist. In The End of Faith, he writes emphatically and convincingly about the dangers of religious faith. Letter to a Christian Nation is his follow-up, and it is Harris’s response to the thousands of letters and responses that The End of Faith provoked. Now, Harris is back, but his focus has changed. In The Moral Landscape, he aims to convince you that we can figure out morality using scientific methods and principles. Sound like a mammoth task? An unlikely one? One that’s long overdue?

Check out The Moral Landscape today!

Burka-ing Up is Hard to Do!

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Freedom. Liberty. Choice. Religion. Power. Feminism. Exploitation.

Mention burkas, and these words won’t be far behind!

A burka is a garment worn by women – typically, but not exclusively Middle Eastern Muslims. This garment covers the entire body, and only the eyes are revealed – if anything is revealed at all.

It seems everyone has something to say about the burka. Men and women, religious folks and atheists, the well informed and the naive. Everyone wants to tell you why the burka ought to be banned, or not.

Your library is a wealth of information about religion and religious rites, festivals and garments! Use our encyclopedias (in your branch and online), search for news and magazine articles, gather statistics, find images, watch documentaries, and more! In a recent Living Library event, the Muslim “book” was one of our most popular; everyone had questions for her!

Wearing a burka is not easy – certainly not in a culture where most women don’t wear it. Before you decide whether a French-style ban is the answer, find out more about burkas, Muslims and Islam.

Where to start? My pick-of-the-moment is Sea of Faith, by Stephen O’Shea.

WOW! A Handbook for Living, by Zen Ohashi and Zono Kurazono

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

A Handbook for Living? And, it’s only 150 pages long?

WOW is a neat, deceptively simple little book. It’s full of considered, insightful advice, and yet reading it is effortless. WOW is self-help in its purest form - no anecdotes, personal reflections, or longwinded passages. In fact, WOW is very sparsely written, and really gives the reader a sense of breathing room. Sometimes you'll find an entire page devoted to just one sentence or a black and white picture, and really, this ought to be the case. Why clutter our minds any more than we need to? If you find yourself feeling bored, unenthused, or just “OK”, then pick up this book and get inspired to achieve something. Or have a good cry. Or set a goal. Or tell someone the truth.

WOW is available at your Calgary Public Library.

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