nonfiction

Thumbs up for Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss. Psychology/business.

If you are interested in, hmm…business, creativity, learning, philosophy, travel, diet, training, or just generally getting shit done while becoming a better human being, you do listen to Tim Ferriss’s podcast, don’t you? Seriously, I hate podcasts and I listen to it.… >> Read more

WomensWork

Thumbs up for Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years – Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber.

Curse you, Amazon, for knowing my desires before I do. I was so good, wasn’t I, when you recommended this to me, and I ordered it from the library? You just knew that after I read it I would come straight back to your electronic embrace and order a copy for myself, because oh did I need a copy for myself.… >> Read more

ThePersonalMBA

Thumbs up for The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman. Business.

Quick test. Can you define bootstrapping? The principle of loss aversion? Parkinson’s Law? What a CTA is and where you might use one? If you pass, you’re probably okay. If flunked any of those, my next question: do you want an easy-to-read crash course that will help you become an educated member of a modern economy?… >> Read more

TheTriumphOfSeeds

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson. History/botany.

There are a couple of ways you could go here. You could talk about (1) the science behind the workings of seeds; (2) how they fit into ecosystems; (3) their importance to human culture and development; (4) their nutritive value; (5) the importance of, and methodology for, saving unusual seed varieties in viable form; or (6) their future in the face of changing agricultural patterns and genetic modification.… >> Read more

TheNordicTheoryOfEverything

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen. Politics.

Firstly, this book is oriented toward Americans, so if you aren’t American it will probably just make you laugh sadly. (In fact, I am an American and it made me laugh sadly too.) The author is a Finn who married an American and promptly ran up against the fact that Americans can’t afford to get sick, lose a job, get a good education or have children.… >> Read more

funhome

Thumbs up for Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. Memoir, biography, graphic novel.

Any memoir that can keep me obsessively turning pages has got to be pretty amazing. The rumors are true: Alison Bechdel’s half-memoir, half-biography about how her father’s repressed homosexuality and her own more open lesbianism inform each other over the course of a lifetime is beautifully structured, wonderfully illustrated, and pleasingly literary.… >> Read more