Review of books that I consider to be worth reading.
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
“Tim’s main point is that people work far too hard and long for a distant future where they relax for a few years before they die, when they could be liberating themselves from the workplace entirely. The revolutionary idea behind 4HWW is that most people don’t dream of being millionaires because they want to have million dollars, they dream of being millionaires because they want the lifestyle that they thinks come with being a millionaire. Ferris’ point is that you don’t need a million dollars to live that life, you just need time, and the 4HWW is basically a manual about how to free yourself and develop passive income streams to make you money without lifting a finger so you have that time. ” Read more.
Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class by Owen Jones
“Owen Jones opens his book with the claim that mocking the working class is the only acceptable prejudice in our culture. Everyone of my age has grown up with the podgy, swearing, burberry covered, Croydon facelift wearing, caricature with several children stropping behind her on her way to Primark. He started to write the book after attending a friend’s dinner party where someone made the light-hearted joke, “Shame Woolworth is closing, where will all the chavs buy their Christmas presents?” Jones points out that if anyone at the party had said “paki” or “fag”, they would’ve been ejected immediately, “but working class people are pretty much the only section of society that you can say virtually anything about”. ” Read more.
Kinsey: A Biography by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy
“What I find particularly interesting about this book is that it revealed a lot of remarkable things that Kinsey achieved during his life besides totally revolutionising everything we ever thought we knew about sex as a species. Like, for example, Kinsey almost absent-mindedly co-wrote a book as a doctoral student called Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America, which remains the authoritative guide in its field seventy years on. Or the fact that he was the first biologist to write a textbook uniting zoology and botany that became a set text in schools across America. Or that he spent the first twenty years of his life not just studying gall wasps, but collecting five MILLION different gall wasps and used his findings to significantly contribute to our understanding of evolution. Stuff like that. And that was before all the sex…” Read more.
The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Mendel Menachem Schneerson by Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman
“Lubavitchers are the Jewish guys in fedoras you see wandering around looking like they just walked out the 1950s, if not earlier. Chabad Lubavitch was born in the late 18th century by Shneur Zalman of Liadi, and takes its name from Lyubavichi, the Russian town where the group was based until the early 20th century. The Rebbe became leader of Lubavitch in 1951 after a slow-burning popularity competition with his brother-in-law and died after a stroke in 1992. By the time of his death, he had founded thousands of synagogues, schools, and Jewish institutions of learning. However, such phenomenal expansion cannot entirely hide the fact that the introspective atmosphere of Chabad Lubavitch and the Rebbe’s increasing fixation on the end of the world as we know it, resulted in a movement that acclaimed him as the Messiah in life, and after his inconvenient death, is torn between preserving his memory or awaiting his return.” Read more.