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Jonny Matthew

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  • The Chimp Paradox

  • The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness
  • By: Prof Steve Peters
  • Narrated by: Prof Steve Peters
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,541
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,471
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,374

Leading consultant psychiatrist Steve Peters knows more than anyone how impulsive behaviour or nagging self-doubt can impact negatively on our professional and personal lives. In this, his first book, Steve shares his phenomenally successful mind-management programme that has been used to help elite athletes and senior managers alike to conquer their fears and operate with greater control, focus and confidence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Answered so many questions

  • By A on 10-03-15

A bit long but well worth a read...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-02-16

Would you try another book written by Steve Peters or narrated by Steve Peters?

Essentially, the chimp paradox is the idea that our emotional self (the chimp) can either be our closest friend or our greatest enemy. How we understand and deal with this aspect of our functioning will determine which it is.

The book outlines the chimp and the other two aspects: the Human (our rational self) and the Computer (our memory and autopilot).


STRENGTHS:

- Accessible language throughout - it successfully avoids the pitfalls of overly difficult or academic language. Uses very clear and simple terms for complex processes.

- Useful and succinct account of the different aspects of the brain and how they affect our everyday functioning.

- Some sensible and clear exercises (throughout) to help readers apply the principles taught in ways that are practically useful.

- May be of particular use to people looking to overcome fears, a lack of confidence, communication difficulties or relationship problems - common issues that we could all do with some help on from time to time!


WEAKNESSES:

- Too long - most of the benefit (for me at least) was in the first few chapters with the definitions and functions of the different aspects of our thinking.

- Complex labelling - once the book moves beyond the simple three elements of the psyche, it became a little complicated in its use of terms to describe different functions and ideas. I got my gremlins and my goblins mixed up!


SUMMARY:

Overall, a book well worth reading. A bit too long - the main juicy stuff is in the first 3 or 4 chapters, but there are some helpful application sections later on.

Very good for illustrating the difference between different parts of the human psyche, with tons of examples and illustrations on how to apply it all.

The audio version is worth listening to as well, as the author reads it and his UK Northern accent is strangely comforting (though I'm biased, of course!).

  • The Teenage Brain

  • A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults
  • By: Frances E. Jensen, Amy Ellis Nutt
  • Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard, Amy Ellis Nutt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54

Why is it that the behaviour of teenagers can be so odd? As they grow older, young children steadily improve their sense of how to behave, and then all of a sudden, they can become totally uncommunicative, wildly emotional and completely unpredictable. We used to think that erratic teenage behaviour was due to a sudden surge in hormones, but modern neuroscience shows us that this isn't true.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A must-read book for brain info junlies...

  • By Jonny Matthew on 12-02-16

A must-read book for brain info junlies...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-02-16

Would you listen to The Teenage Brain again? Why?

A must-read book for brain info junkies. Here's why...

STRENGTHS...

- This is a very interesting book for people with a fascination about the detailed working of the teenage brain. Packed full of really interesting neurological stuff!

- Different areas of the brain are covered in some detail but without the inaccessible medical language that makes some books unreadable to the lay person. Clear and well written.

- There is a logical order to the book which reads like a natural progression of chapters, each leading to the next.

- There are chapters specific to certain issues that teenagers face - like use of alcohol and drug use - these are enlightening (I'll go back and look at these again in more depth as the need arises)!

- A detailed analysis of the interface between brain science and the criminal justice system is given, raising ethical questions for sentencing (U.S. context).

WEAKNESSES...

- Despite the thorough nature of the content from a scientific and medical point of view, there is precious little by way of practical help. It's less of a survival guide (see the subtitle) and more of a reference/information guide to the workings of the brain itself.

- The book is written by an American so this needs to be born in mind by UK and other readers as the illustrations, historical references and criminal justice system referred to are all U.S. focussed.

- Many of the examples are of high-flying young people - phrases like "star student," "Grade "A" pupil" and "Harvard student" abound and dilute the impact of otherwise useful illustrations.

- There are woeful inaccuracies about the U.K. educational system. The most glaring of which is the belief that the 11-plus exam still determines the secondary education of U.K. children.

- No treatment of the impact of developmental trauma or poor attachment on development.

SUMMARY...

Not for those looking for practical "how to" solutions. Technical and accessible. A definite for those working with troubled young people - or those parents who want more info on the inner-workings of the teen/s they love!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Tough Times - Stories about the Hardest Parts of Being a Teenager

  • By: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark (editor)
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Being a teenager is difficult even under idyllic circumstances. But when bad things happen, the challenges of being a teenager can be overwhelming, leading to self-destructive behavior, eating disorders, substance abuse, and other challenges. In addition, many teens are faced with illness, car accidents, loss of loved ones, divorces, or other upheavals. This audiobook includes 101 of our best stories about the toughest teenage times - and how to overcome them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This one left me in a quandary...

  • By Jonny Matthew on 12-02-16

This one left me in a quandary...

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-02-16

What made the experience of listening to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Tough Times - Stories about the Hardest Parts of Being a Teenager the most enjoyable?

This one left me in a quandary. So here's the summary of strengths and weaknesses...

Strengths:

- Short stories about a whole range of life issues from the perspective of teenagers - offering comfort for kids and a rare insight for adults

- A good mix of boys and girls - but I suspect slightly more from girls than boys (though I haven't counted them!)

- Fantastic insight into how teens make sense of the hard things that happen - both to them and those around them

- Some lovely stories of how friendships and other trusted individuals can truly save the day - and, in some case, can save lives

- Very challenging of attitudes that look down on the experiences of young people - their relative naïveté doesn't mean they don't feel things, or have some very sensible stuff to say!

Weaknesses:

- American perspective, so the examples are culturally weighted that way, as you'd expect. But the kernels are good despite this.

- This is a book written by and, I suspect, mainly for balanced teens going through tough stuff. It's not for or about teens from very difficult backgrounds about coping with that - though there are a few stories of that kind.

- The writers - teenagers - are incredibly psychologically aware. Which makes suspect that, at best, they are not typical. At worst - dare I say it - I was left questioning whether they were actually written by kids at all. That said, in order to get the juice out of such stories and to learn the teen perspective, it really helps to have them written by intelligent teens who write well...

Summary:

It's not a fun read by any stretch. But there's something extremely poignant about it - almost shocking. As an adult it's so easy to dismiss much of what teenagers go through. To look down on it - just a little bit.

This book will challenge that. There are some heart-warming stories of genuine joy and some that leave you cold with dread - at what can happen. ALL of them underline the sense that we look down on teenagers and their experiences at our peril...