Preparing to Read Certain Books

Sometimes you just need to read about a book before you read a book.

Maybe more importantly, sometimes you need to read about an author before you read a book. Prior knowledge to a subject or even an author can do a world of good.

Take the book pictured above for example. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson. Here is a guy who has taken a large number of people by storm, but what do you really know about him?

Gathering some information and background on a book and its author before consuming it’s contents may help you better decide for yourself what you think.

So, I present you to a little primer on the author here:

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/03/the-intellectual-we-deserve

It is called The Intellectual We Deserve. Now I am all about having an open mind when we read, but sometimes material is too advanced or too seemingly convoluted or just has a well disguised bias that you cannot pick up unless you have caveat reading beforehand. Do some preparation for certain reading. You should question what you read. You should think and take time to pause before adopting some one else’s ideas and theories. Be careful out there.

Until next time, good reading.

 

It’s Not Too Early for Personal Finance

My current reads are all personal finance/money books.

It is December and most people are busy shopping for the holidays. Money is going out and most people will tend to the idea of their finances next month for their New Year’s resolution. I think it is never too early to get started on your personal finances. If you have a budget and stick to a financial plan even during the holidays you won’t go bust.

Why wait?

We all know New Year’s Resolutions are a farce anyway. If you need inspiration or something like a New Year’s Resolution to get started with something you are already behind. Start today. Do something!

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias is a good book that can help you figure out your money situation. Get ahead, but in order to get ahead you will need to know a few things and you have to start now. There is a reason why personal finance is not taught to us in schools. So, you have to learn it on your own. Get the book, or find a good money blog to start reading. Learn personal finance so that you master money and it doesn’t master you.

Until next time, good reading.

 

The Beauty of Books

As someone who is reading a blog about books I don’t need to convince you of the beauty of books. There are lots of articles and posts about the beauty of books. Usually when we are talking about the beauty of books we are referring to the beauty of the story, or the beauty of knowledge gained from a book, but there is a physical beauty to books as well. It is not just the intangible things about books that relate to beauty but sometimes the tangible, physical book itself is a thing of beauty.

Take the image above for example. The way the torn, serrated edges of the pages look among a stack of other hardcover books with the same style and weight of paper can be seen as a thing of beauty.

The bottom book in that image was on my nightstand and when I woke the light filtering in through the window and lighting the book looked amazing so I knew right then what my blog post for today was going to be. The physical beauty of books. I grabbed a few more similar hardcover books and made my photograph. I hope you like.

Until next time, good reading.

 

Full of Words but Saying Nothing

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

That is a quote that comes to my mind more often than it should, especially the last few years. It is disheartening to see so many people abandon their ability and right to question and fall prey to gimmicky rhetoric. People ultimately believe what they want to believe. It is never about truth, it is about what you can get people to believe. Look at history and look around at things today and will see plenty of examples. In the book world there has been a rise of authors who are now seen as intellectuals and experts but in reality, are nothing more than literary Dr. Phils. They publish lengthy tomes filled with impressive language but who really are not saying anything at all. It is this type of author that inspired me to write this poem.

 

My dear grand theorist,

your verbosity

truly masks

an absence of profundity.

Confusion is the

result of your abstraction,

which deters

a proper vivisection

of your theory.

 

 

 

Learning to Skip When Reading

Dishonorable. Controversial.

These are two words that come to mind when I think about Tim Ferriss. There are so many other authors that I would rather read than him. He does work and produce material for the world though. There are plenty of people who love his books, his podcast, and feel he is providing them with value. I am not here to sway your mind one way or another about Tim Ferriss. He figures out angles to get things done. Some people don’t even try to get anything done.

Tools of Titans looks like a dictionary. It is a monster of a book with almost 700 pages to read.

But, don’t fret. There is no need to read anywhere near the 700 pages. The book is a collection of interviews with people who have made or are making things happen. It consists of three sections. The first section is the healthy people. The second section is the wealthy people, and the third section is the wise people.

You can cut out the information that is not pertinent to you by scouring the contents section in the front of the book and finding what you want to read. This process allows you the ability to skip over Tim talking about himself. Skipping is the key word to reading this thick volume of interviews. Skip often and skip wisely!

For example, I noticed Neil Strauss listed in the contents section. Neil is an author I have read and I was curious what he had to say in this book. I skipped right to him and then I skipped most of the interview with Neil. I came away with value from the pages with Neil by skipping some of the content. I learned that Neil likes to use a program called “Freedom.” “Freedom” is a program that lets you enter how much time you want to be free from distracting devices. Once you enter how many free minutes you want “Freedom” then locks you out of the internet for those many minutes, giving you freedom to write, think, or do and not fall down the vortex of the internet.

Skip! That is how you read this Tim Ferriss book. It is not always important what you read as how you read. Comprehend what you read, question what you read. Get lots of practice at it.

Until next time, good reading.

 

 

The Malevolence.

This is another piece I wrote while thinking about schadenfreude. I was trying to imagine the mindset of someone who takes pleasure in other people’s misfortune. I am calling it The Malevolence.

 

the future you imagine to be real soon

is all i can tread on

i am the virus to your dreams

i am wicked and cold

i am the axe

to your bridge into the future

i can’t help but ruin your hope

your fantasies, your desires, your essence

are mine to fold up and put away forever.

tf

 

 

Relevant Reads

In the last couple of years I have seen reports of increased sales of George Orwell’s book 1984. Okay, I can see that, but what about another book that should also be receiving as much attention, and that is Brave New World.

Both of these books are relevant reads right now.  Actually, both of these books have always been relevant reads and may always be relevant reads. They both deal with the control of people. I enjoy and like both of these books but it is usually Huxley’s Brave New World that I find more relevant to the times we are living. The reason why, is because in Brave New World the citizens willingly give up their freedom and liberty for the exchange of trivial things and the promise of security. You don’t have to use force and threat to bend the people’s will, just give them entertainment and a little bit of pleasure and they fall right in line and never bother to question anything.

Relevancy actually belongs to both of these books if you think about it. There is a little bit happening from both of these dystopian novels. The Orwellian “doublespeak” and “newspeak” are happening. Then through the division of culture and toxicity of identity politics we see people and even private institutions themselves willingly bending to the agenda of the State. These books are fictional stories of a dystopian future so there is still plenty of events in the books that is not happening in real life society. A cynic might say “yet!”

So, why are the warnings and some of the dangers of these two novels relevant today?The answer seems to be multifaceted. Fear is a big reason why. Get people scared of an enemy whether real or imagined and they are easy to control. Another reason is people’s quest for security. People will always give up a little freedom if you promise them safety. But, there is no such thing as security. There is only opportunity, but that seems to be too much of concept for most people to swallow and rationalize. Most people will cling to comforting illusion as their rights and freedoms are washed away by those in control. Even those diehard people who supposedly live by sayings like “you can’t depend on government for anything” are susceptible and vulnerable to the takeover and control of their rights, liberty, and choice. It’s ironic.

Huxley and Orwell provided us warnings to the control of our lives by tyrannical forces in easily consumable readings. Will it be through force and control, or will we willingly give up our freedom and choice, or will it be a combination of both, or maybe all this is just paranoia and worry for nothing? We will see.

Until next time, good reading.

 

The Flame. Inspiration for Poets.

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” – Leonard Cohen

If you are like me and always searching for some inspiring poetry then you may want to check out The Flame by Leonard Cohen. This is the musician’s last book of poems. His son actually put most of the book together from his father’s journals. The Flame contains poems, lyrics, and drawings from Cohen. There are over 260 pages of material here. There is bound to be something in here for an aspiring poet or writer.  Cohen left us an abundance of fallen word on which to feast. I hope you enjoy.

Until next time, good reading.

 

Corrosion, it’s fascinating!

If you are looking for some non-fiction that is fascinating, entertaining, and completely off your normal radar of subjects then check out Rust The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman.

This book caught me off guard with how good it is. It is fresh and captivating. You will be surprised how pervasive rust is in our lives. So many of our goods and products are made with metal and metal is susceptible to corrosion. Even stainless steel with its carefully crafted name is vulnerable to corrosion. You find out in the book that the biggest danger the Navy faces isn’t a foreign threat but rust. Rust is a threat to our infrastructure. It is staggering how much money corrosion costs the country each year.

Waldman does a terrific job reporting on a topic that most people have never given a thought to. Each chapter is a discovery of of the effects of rust. Rust, the slow but sure corrosive entropy may just be our longest war. It is definitely leaving its scars all over the land. Pick up the book to find out more, you won’t be disappointed.

Until next time, good reading.

 

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