I have been reading, or pulling a cheat move and listening to, at least two books per month since the New Year. Here are some short reviews on what I have read.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Fiction; Book)
Beautifully written fantasy-type novel that spans multiple decades and tells a unique story. The character development was the headlining act, the book is essentially written in 5 novellas that all intertwine. The British styled writing was a bit hard to follow, and at times I found myself drifting into other thoughts and having to reread sections, but that seems more like a personal issue than an issue with the author’s ability to paint such vivid narrative. David Mitchell is the same author who wrote Cloud Atlas.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Fiction; Audible)
This was a fun read with a good concept but it had a fair amount of, as I like to call it, cheese. Terribly corny similes were making me laugh out loud, but the idea made for entertaining sci-fi. At the end I thought I was listening to an episode of Rick & Morty.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson (Non-Fiction – Psychology; Audible)
Yawn. For how much controversy surrounded this guy, I was underwhelmed and rather bored with his book. I think I heard him on Joe Rogan’s podcast and thought I’d check the book out. Some intelligent concepts and I understood his stance on many of the principles, whether I agreed or not, but I didn’t find them tremendously useful. Furthermore, I hated, with a fiery passion, the heavily repeated religious sentiment that plagued the pages of this book and found myself following these parables down worm holes that ended with some bland and tasteless analogy for “Take Action” or “Be Responsible.” My opinion: You can get a much better book containing many less words and without the religious undertones and proverbial nonsense, but you’ll catch a couple wise insights.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker (Non-Fiction; Audible)
I loved this book. Bill Gates, apparently also did, calling it, something along the lines of, his new favorite book of all time… but I’m too lazy to Google that and find the actual quote… so, hopefully, that is close enough. Anyways, it was a lot to take in, and there are many charts that I haven’t even had the opportunity to review yet, but this book argues, with statistics and valid reasoning, the case for why we are currently living in the best time humanity has ever seen. It paints a realistic picture of a world where life has been getting better and better even though humanity seems to think the opposite. It paints that realistic picture and it looks a lot like what reality is. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has had a disposition that the current world is shit. Pinker will make you think twice to bitch about it and maybe even inspire you to step up and make the difference you want to see in the world. With that said, there are still problems and the book also argues the counter points and brings to light the reality of current political landscapes and the cultures that arise from them, on both sides of the political spectrum, that could be harmful of the advancement of the Enlightenment’s ideals. Not for everyone, but I enjoyed this thoroughly.
I forgot to review the two I read in January: Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Both of which were incredibly good and easy reads.
Cheers 🤙 ,