Books Recap for June 2019

In June I finished 3 books and read about 750 pages. That brings my grand total up to 17 books on the year, and 4 away from my goal for 2019. Given that I’m going to the beach this month, I’ll likely hit that by the end of the summer (if not sooner).

Book 1: The Right Side of History

Now that I’ve finished up the book, I can say I really liked it. It was a bit of a crash course in Western Civ and modern history. I think we took an important look at how we got where we are today, and I believe Shapiro takes a decent temperature of current society. Among the things I really liked, there was an unromantic view of WWII and the events leading up to it – especially with the rise of Fascism in Europe. In my review I said this:

I truly believe everyone should read this book because it gives us a foundational history of where we came from and why it’s important

Ben Shapiro can be pretty disagreeable at times (and I’m sure he highlighted the stories that really helped his cause). But he’s also smart, and consistent in his views. You know he’s thought a lot about this stuff, and reading it can be really beneficial.

Book 2: Building a Story Brand

If you look on Goodreads, you’ll see it says I read this twice. That’s not really true. Last year I “read” it by listening to the blinklist version: basically a 15 minute audio summary. I did myself a great disservice by taking the shortcut.

This time around I read all the words and did the exercises, filling out my own story brand. It’s helped me write a super clear message for my business, and I’m currently redesigning the whole site, and focusing on the features that matter. From Goodreads:

There is a ton of actionable advice: infact the book is built on it. I have my storybrand filled out and a clear roadmap I’m going to start working on today, in conjunction with launching 2 new products this book has helped me define stories for. I strongly recommend it not because it’s groundbreaking, Earth shattering make money today advice. But it’s clear, guiding questions every business owner should answer.

Book 3: Thinking Fast and Slow

I was pretty interested in this book, though I had no idea what it was about. Turns out I was pretty turned off from the first chapter. You can see my Goodreads page for the thoughts I cared to record. Here’s the gist.

I’m generally interested in how people think, but I feel like there’s a lot of pseudoscience and stats manipulation in books like this. Most studies, for example, are conducted with college students. Is that a good representation of all people?

I also felt pretty harshly judged after one particular “study” where the reader participates. Finally, I felt like I went against the grain nearly every time, and I’m not sure if it’s because I knew there was going to be a twist, or if I actually think differently than the college students these finding are based off of. There is good info, for sure. But it was caked in too many examples, and not enough dives into how the studies were conducted.

I’m not going to say it was a bad book, but it definitely wasn’t for me.

1 thought on “Books Recap for June 2019”

  1. On Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow, almost every study you’ve ever read is done on college students because they can’t get other people to volunteer for studies in quantities that would be anywhere near representative of the population. They can get students to do it as part of grades, or for a few dollars.

    This isn’t just a problem with the book you’ve read, it’s a problem with many many studies that are cited.

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