I really do love books like this although I always have such a hard time applying any of it to my actual life practice. For example, in the chapter on giving an A to others and to your self, all I could think about here was how could I give an A to my students? Every time the idea came into my mind while reading this chapter I thought of so many reasons why it wouldn't work, or the negatives that could result. It is funny how quick one's mind admonishes the self into thinking something new or risky is impossible. But, I have made it my goal that all summer long I am going to try to make this happen in my classes for next year. I mean...who am I to tell a student they are only a C? I will simply do my best to chip away at the marble to reveal the statue. My classes are enjoyable and the kids always seem to show growth in their writing while they are with me, but I always come away at the end of the year feeling like I wasted so much time doing things that were unnecessary or irrelevant for them. I am hoping I can find a way to change that for next year. I guess I am chipping way at my own block of marble as well.
I understand your viewpoint on books of this nature, and I think that you need to grade for success. I'm sure you noticed that a few of the FS teachers have 'easy A' assignments, and I think they worked really well for me. Various parts of the class were graded with a specific rubric, but assignments that were 'no-fail' can get the students to open up without fear of failing.
You can't just give an A, but you can open up some specific assignments to fail/no fail and I think you will see the students open up and even surprise you!