Some brief reviews on a number of the books I’ve read since I left the blog last.
‘‘Rework” – Jason Fried– The modern world of work is a constantly shifting landscape, yet many seem intent on clinging to outdated and ineffective productivity paradigms. This book’s advice although counterinutive at first, shows how to create maximum results at work without sacrificing efficiency and value. An incredible read that I started one night and didn’t stop until I finished it. It’s the sort of book you want to take to work and hit some people over the fucking head with. 5/5
“Rant – The Oral History of Buster Casey” – Chuck Palahniuk – Told as an oral history with recounted snippets from over 30 different narrators, Rant isn’t your usual descriptive narrative driven story. Palahniuk instead scatters the pieces of a random jigsaw puzzle of contradiction and speculation, leaving it up to the reader to reassemble some semblance of interpretation. With his trademark flair for depravity and misdirection, Palahniuk’s books are always a wild ride. If you’re a fan of Fight Club, then you should probably check this one out.
‘‘Why the West Rules for Now” – Ian Morris – Easily one of the best books I’ve read this year. This history of how the west came to dominate is addressed in rivetting detail from man’s earliest beginnings to the modern day global power struggle. Contrasted with the east’s own historical development, Morris uses ”what-if” scenarios to show how the fortunes of history could easily been reversed,while clearly explaining how the prime drivers of biology, sociology and geography were behind the West’s current dominance. In an interesting twist, the author predicts and explains why mankind is faced with extremely dark days ahead. A fascinating must read, it’s like reading the book version of the classic Sid Meier’s ”Civilisation” game. 5/5
”Lost on Planet China” – J. Maarten Troost – A travel memoir of sorts, Troost’s journeys through China provide a glimpse of how the insatiable and rapacious industrial beast continues to morph into the eastern version of the old wild west. As China remains poised to take over as the dominant economic super power, I can only imagine the ramifications this will have on the world’s political and social structures. One of the scariest and most depressing books I’ve read in a while. Worst of all, with all the low priced shit we buy to fuel our consumerist obsession, we remain complicit in feeding the dragon to our peril. 4.5/5
“The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz” – Ron Jeremy – Short, fat and hairy, Jeremy seems an unlikely porn star. His moniker, “The Hedgehog” has been as enduring as his record 1700 film porn career. In an industry known for chewing people up and spitting them out, Jeremy has seemingly used porn without it having used him. Entertaining anecdotes, especially when he describes his experiences as a teacher prior to becoming the most (in)famous actor in porn. 3.5/5