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5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for those who are gifted or their parents
Being gifted doesn't mean you know everything and have figured everything out. It just means you're brighter than the average bear and can leap to conclusions and see connections faster than others. You also remember better and thus cannot stand things being repeated over and over. Unfortunately, because society is designed for those who are less bright, this causes...
Published on June 20 2004 by Scott Jensen

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As I Expected
This book is a bit too anecdotal and narcissistic for my tastes. The text is filled with naval-gazing personal conjecture, self-directed inquiry and subjective opinion that, unfortunately, merely regurgitates many of the theories of pop-psychology. This book offers no real revelation of deviant giftedness, the stories told are common human stories.
It might be a...
Published on May 20 2004 by M. Atkinson


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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, if Somewhat "Light" Coverage of Giftedness, June 30 2004
By 
Peter Messerschmidt "denmarkguy" (Port Townsend, WA, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
I've noticed the reviews here-- editorial and otherwise-- have expressed rather mixed opinions about this book. And, in a sense, the book's subtitle ("The mixed blessings of extraordinary potential") serves to underscore the somewhat mixed blessings of the book, itself.
Did I find this to be an interesting book? Certainly. Did I seriously "get something out of it?" I'm shrugging a bit, at this second question. The author has certainly succeeded in writing a book many gifted people will relate to, simply because they will recognize themselvbes in the pages. But does the mere ability to make people relate to the text make this a *useful* book? Again, I am shrugging a bit, and I find myself saying "Yes, this was interesting, but I am not really that much wiser, so what exactly *was* the point....?" Ultimately, the "usefulness" of the book will depend on what the reader is looking for-- MY perception is that this book is more "descriptive" than "educational."
But back to the book's contents. It is divided into three sections:
Part One establishes what exactly the author *means* by the term "gifted grownup." On the initial plus side, Streznewski avoids the trap of correlating "giftedness" with numerical IQ scores. Instead she attributes giftedness to (a somewhat arbitrary?) 3-5% of the population who have exceptionally perceptive minds, quick thoughts and extraordinary talents. These people are then subcategorized into Strivers, Superstars and Independents. The rest of the section offers a bit of historical background on "defining giftedness," theories on the brains of gifted individuals, as well as an interesting (and fairly accurate) commentary on the way many gifted adults tend to "hide" their giftedness, due to social/environmental pressures.
Part Two traces the impact of giftedness of the life of a person, from birth to adulthood, covering childhood and parenting (along with other family dynamics), schooling and work. I found myself able to relate especially well to the section describing the difficulties many gifted children have while in school.
Part Three focuses on "Gifted Lives," covering such topics as gifted adults and relationships, special issues facing gifted women, and gifted senior citizens. At the end, Streznewski has added a section of resources and recommended reading.
"Gifted Grownups" did an excellent job of providing a large number of "Oh wow! Me too!" moments-- and thus offers nice validation, especially for those Gifted Adults who may feel like "misfits" in the world. Streznewski uses quotes from the many (over 100) gifted adults she interviewed in her research for the book, and many will be able to recognize themselves in these excerpts. Yes, there are indeed others "like you," out there!
But as I finished reading, it all struck me as being somewhat long on opinion and too focused on the fact "that" gifted adults face certain challenges, while too short on scientific research, explanations and "why" those difficulties occur. And it is also long on somewhat self-congratulatory "feel good" vignettes, but short on real-life solutions, help and applications for those Gifted Adults who find life to be a struggle. Finally, I found Streznewski to step somewhat lightly over the psychological issues facing the gifted.
In short: "Mixed blessings." But given how few books are available on Adult Giftedness, it was definitely worth a read. However, not enough "meat" here to warrant a 5-star rating.
Final thoughts: Recommended (7.5 out of 10 possible bookmarks). If you're a Gifted Adult, it'll offer you moments of recognition. More highly recommended for teachers of the gifted, in that it provides insights they might not otherwise have, and certainly recommended for any member of a family that feels "mystified" by a gifted family member.
Thanks for reading!
--Peter
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for those who are gifted or their parents, June 20 2004
By 
Scott Jensen (Madison, WI, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
Being gifted doesn't mean you know everything and have figured everything out. It just means you're brighter than the average bear and can leap to conclusions and see connections faster than others. You also remember better and thus cannot stand things being repeated over and over. Unfortunately, because society is designed for those who are less bright, this causes problems for the gifted. This book explores what those problems are. Both while growing up and as adults. A very enlightening book and one I recommend to those who are gifted or who are parents of gifted children/adults.
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5.0 out of 5 stars you have got to be kidding me, June 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
This book is not "snobby" or "elitist"! It simply focuses on a segment of the population which is often misunderstood or marginalized. A book on gifted adults is no more elitist than say, a book on adults with ADD/ADHD or a book on adults with learning disabilities. Well, I suppose the tone could be elitist in another book, but this one is mostly made up of interviews with gifted people from all segments of the population who, despite differences in background, have experienced startlingly similiar experiences in school and in the workplace. The tones vary considerably, depending on the subject.
Some people's brains work faster, just as some people are born with an amazing ability to throw a football or make a basket. Yet funding sports and rewarding athletes isn't considered "elitist" just these people's due for having these gifts.
Anyway, this book is not advocating massive social change so that gifted people can have everything their way. It focuses more on personal solutions than political. In fact, noting that many gifted people are idealistic, the author and interviewees both recommend finding ways to use your gifts to benefit society and connnect with others, yes, even the "non-gifted".
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As I Expected, May 20 2004
By 
M. Atkinson (Bakersfield, CA (new orleans)USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
This book is a bit too anecdotal and narcissistic for my tastes. The text is filled with naval-gazing personal conjecture, self-directed inquiry and subjective opinion that, unfortunately, merely regurgitates many of the theories of pop-psychology. This book offers no real revelation of deviant giftedness, the stories told are common human stories.
It might be a good book for the average reader who seeks to understand a gifted associate. . . . maybe. Or maybe I'm being generous. I really didn't care for this book, but the entire genre is lacking. You might feel compelled to buy this book because there is a stunning lack of scholarship on adult giftedness outside of the study of genius and madness. If you're gifted, don't bother, go buy a book on B.F. Skinner's Operant Social Engineering or Prussian-era compulsory schooling and feed your mind something yummy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars What do you mean by "wasted"?, April 5 2004
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This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
The message I receive from the author is: if you are 'gifted'(whatever if means), you SHOULD get a PhD and become a middle-class with high salary and the like, otherwise, you are somehow 'wasted'(the book does contains a part titled 'why many gifted don't get their PhDs?' !!!).
I'm not trying to be cynical, the ideaology behind the author's dicourse does seem to me problematic. Would a truly gifted person, someone who can really see and think, consider a typical American bourgeois life desirable?
Anyway, it is not really a bad book to read: there are many worse ways to spend an afternoon. Many entertaining passages can be found in it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Think about it, May 7 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
If you are so gifted, then why do you need this book? Why can't you just figure things out? Are things THAT complicated? I have figured things out long ago.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Explains so much about my family!, April 20 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
This book is amazing! I saw myself and my sister in it so many times! What a relief that my mind isn't defective -- it is just different! My sister and I both have short attention spans and have a hard time finishing things when something new beckons. At last we have an explanation! All parents of gifted children & adults need to read this book!
Even though gifted education is woefully inadequate, it is certainly better than when we're thrown into the supposedly "normal" working world. It doesn't prepare us at all for getting along with and not annoying people who think differently and more slowly than we do. If only someone would educate them so they wouldn't resent us so much...
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4.0 out of 5 stars not exactly as billed, April 8 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
First, the bad. The author places the "gifted" cutoff line at the 95th percentile -- which is just too low. There's no way one in twenty people could be described as "gifted". Also, she describes the characteristics of people who conform to social expectations, the kind who never invent or think anything new as exhibiting giftedness, merely because of academic or professional accomplishments. First, people like that aren't "gifted"; second, they don't need books written about their condition.Now, the good: she doesn't subscribe to the idea that mere IQ tests are the sole measure of giftedness, but presents an interesting body of traits that make up the "syndrome". And what the book lacks in depth it makes up for in breadth; she hits most of the bases. As there are so few books on this subject, it's almost a must-have if this is among your areas of interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gifted stories for gifted and family of the same, Jan. 8 2002
By 
Joshua Konkle "JKonkle" (Georgetown, TX) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
Perfect book of short stories and perspectives about gifted people. The last two chapters were a little slow since I am male and 28, but after reading the book I walked away armed with the knowledge that I have persevered for a reason. When I dropped out of high school, I didn't know what was going to happen. When I got my diploma, I didn't know what was going to happen. Now it's nearly 10 years later and I run a succesful training and consulting business in the technology industry. I also speak publically and publish periodic articles. Those articles are revered in my industry. College Degree - NO, PhD - NO, High School Diploma - Yes, but barely. It's been a long strange trip. I am glad someone threw this book at me and not the proverbial book, as so many gifted can receive the other version.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite deliver, Nov. 16 2001
By 
disappointed (Iowa City, IA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential (Hardcover)
Great idea to have a book on this topic. Unfortunately, I found the book to be unscientific in the theories it presents on the gifted, as well as self-congratulatory in tone. A few helpful suggestions are present, however, they are hidden in mostly junk. I think it just makes people feel good about being uppity and acting like they are better than everyone else.
Nothing really that revolutionary or new here. Too bad. Especially when you consider that her intended audience (the gifted) will probably want a lot more from a book than she delivers.
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Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential
Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential by Marylou Kelly Streznewski (Hardcover - March 29 1999)
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