Sunday, January 27, 2013


What do Eliot Spitzer, Oprah and David Blaine all have in common? Relevancy in 2007 and no one cares? The answer to that question is yes. But this book also uses these three as examples of people with varying degrees of willpower. Guess which one has more? If you don't remember who Eliot Spitzer is, that's ok. He was the former NY Attorney General busted for hiring a high-class call girl. Then he had a couple of cable political talk shows and neither did very well. I think he should try one more time with the head of the Republican party Rance Priebus and it should be called Rance and Spitz!

Anyway, Willpower, written by John Tierney using Roy Baumeister's research is a non-fiction book about our capacity for willpower. It turns out the central thesis is that willpower is a biochemical thing which can be depleted if you make too many decisions in one day. Apparently glucose restores it. So, if you are feeling low on candy. What about your diet, you ask? There is a chapter on that called, "Diet? Oh, you are so screwed." I think that Baumeister's research might have been underwritten by a generous grant from the Mars Family Foundation. Also, finding out that our willpower is simply a biochemical issue is like finding out the "Force" is simply stupid Midi-Chlorians. I'm pretty sure I've gained 8 pounds since reading this book. Overall, well written if you like this kind of "what makes us tick" kind of genre. Go ahead and read it. With a snickers.

Drink pairing? I recommend Dogfish Head's Burton Baton. While you may not be able to stop at one beer through willpower, at $7.00 a bottle, you will.


  1. I drank two Dogfish Head beers while reading this blog post.
    The analogy of willpower to Midi-Chlorians is both insightful and very nerdy.
    I think this book may cause me give in to fate and thus become very fat.

  2. Yoko needs this book. And apparently some candy.