Sunday

Book Review: The Worst


Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman is listed as a #1 Bestseller not a New York Times Bestseller.  I mistakenly broke my own rule.  Not that the only books worth reading are on the New York Times Bestseller list.  The best books that I read aren’t always on that list.  But if you know nothing about the origin of a book, I think it’s safe to stick with said list.  For example, say you were to walk into an actual bookstore (not many of those around these days).  You spot two titles that appeal to you.  You know nothing of these books, but their topics seem of interest.  One is a #1 Bestseller and the other a New York Times Bestseller.  Spend your hard earned money on the New York Times Bestseller, or you will be sorry, as I am. 

On its cover, underneath Emotional Intelligence, Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, is written.  My ears really shot up after reading that.  I saw myself in my curl up and read position.  Once in my curl up and read position with this book, I wanted to curl up and barf. 

It’s a boring read.  He writes of the evolution of a human brain in such a way that it makes this really cool evolution sound - ordinary.  This is his voice.  I seriously just opened this book to a random chapter: 

“The hippocampus and the amygdale were the two key parts of the primitive “nose brain” that, in evolution, gave rise to the cortex and then the neocortex.  To this day these limbic structures do much or most of the brain’s learning and remembering; the amygdale is the specialist for emotional matters.  If the amygdale is severed from the rest of the brain, the result is a striking inability to gauge the emotional significance of events; this condition is sometimes called “affective blindness.” 

Does it strike you as something juicy to read?

And the examples he uses are so boring (he makes up most of them) it’s hard to believe they’re real.  One last bad news book note on this piece that’s actually funny, it’s when he uses himself as an example, for what happens to the human mind when it’s in fear of something.  And Coleman, just once in his life, was paralyzed with fear.  I don’t know about you but I’ve certainly been paralyzed with fear more than once.  Anyway, just this one time, his circumstances were so fearful, he became paralyzed.  Oh no, why?  What could make him react with a paralyzing fear?  Get this, a calculus exam.  This is how he learned about the devastating impact of emotional distress. 

In summation, it’s a bad book.  The good news?  Even a bad book is better than no book.