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I Can Read You Like a Book: How to Spot the…
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I Can Read You Like a Book: How to Spot the Messages and Emotions People…

by Gregory Hartley

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Liked but did not love. It seemed like he added in a lot of stuff that was interesting but wasn't helpful; it just made me feel more like he was saying "this is impossible to learn to do, but here's a lot of fun facts." Maybe this works better in its classroom form. ( )
  grammarchick | Jan 5, 2016 |
Liked but did not love. It seemed like he added in a lot of stuff that was interesting but wasn't helpful; it just made me feel more like he was saying "this is impossible to learn to do, but here's a lot of fun facts." Maybe this works better in its classroom form. ( )
  grammarchick | Jan 5, 2016 |
In this book, Gregory Hartley applies his knowledge of successful interrogation practices to teach his readers to apply these practices in other settings in order to read people’s body language and better understand the framework in which they are operating. There are innumerable benefits to being able to read the hidden messages of those around you, and Hartley is careful to point out that these skills should be used for good instead of evil -- in other words, his readers should apply these "reading" skills to learn to operate more effectively in social scenarios, rather than using them to manipulate or connive.

While I appreciate the author’s lighthearted banter and unassuming tone, his writing causes some difficulty in grasping the ultimate intention of his book. Hartley seems to have a rather high opinion of himself, and the fact that he starts the book by tooting his own horn makes me doubt his ability to apply the people skills of which he’s so sure. Does he really understand the intricacies of interpersonal communication as well as he seems to think he does? Once past the introduction, however, the book is rather well written: very thorough, and with all supporting points carefully explained. He uses historical examples to back up many of his points, which is as charming as it is effective in establishing his rhetorical authority.

Though this is a fun and engaging read, the title -- I Can Read You Like a Book -— is ultimately quite apropos. Hartley expends a significant amount of text talking about himself and his expertise, without fully relating his successes to the method he is trying to instruct. While this self-reflective narrative is charming at first, and helps establish the structure of the book, it allows him the cop-out of not fully teaching his material. He gets about halfway through the lesson, then just sort of fizzles out. The reader learns some very interesting methods for reading body language, but without sufficient instruction into practical application. It’s good to know what methods to use, but it would be better to know how to use them. On this point, Hartley’s text falls a bit short. I recognize that such thorough instruction is difficult to convey in text rather than face-to-face, but it is ultimately a bit disappointing that the book doesn’t go quite as far with its instruction as it purports to.

Nevertheless, this is one of many such texts that Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch have co-authored, and might offer a fuller lesson when paired with their other books. The writing style is certainly sufficiently engaging to warrant reading more.
  Eneles | Dec 24, 2009 |
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I Can Read You Like a Book gives you the fastest, most efficient method to read body language. In any kind of face-to-face competition, first encounters or daily encounters, and even watching the news, you will spot the messages and emotions that people are really sending-whether they know it or not: Book jacket. Also includes information on context, culture, fear, symbols and gestures, etc.… (more)

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