Superfans and Bad Blood

Books Recap for August 2019

In August, I finished 2 books and read about 260 pages. I also listened to 11 hours of audiobooks (339 pages). That brings my grand total up to 22 books.

My total is way down from previous months and that’s due to a few reasons. One is half of the week now, instead of reading in the morning, I’m going to the gym. The idea is that I should replace my noon walk with reading, but I haven’t. The other is I was trying to get through Guns, Germs, and Steel, a book I ultimately gave up on halfway through the month. It’s very interesting, but incredibly repetitive. It reads a lot like a 500+ page academic paper. I might try to revisit it because I’m interested in the content. I just wish it was written better.

Book 1: Superfans by Pat Flynn

In the opposite corner is Superfans. I loved this book – I actually read it over the course of 2 of my daughter’s naps! It was an easy read, with lots of actionable advice. I like Pat’s writing style. It’s a lot like his speaking style and he’s an excellent public speaker. It’s very down to earth and gives you a clear path for building a following. From Goodreads:

“Just finished up Part 2 on building and engaging your community. Lots of great, actionable advice here. My todo has grown quite a bit!”

Book 2: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

I recently took a trip that required a 5+ hour drive each way. So I took the opportunity to listen to a good audiobook and I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this one lately.

It’s about the rise and fall of Theranos, a blood testing company that started up in Silicon Valley. I have no idea how I missed this as it was happening – or at least when WSJ broke the story (which was around the time I got engaged, I suppose).

The book reads like fiction, with stark reminders that it’s not because high profile names and events related to Theranos are continually mentioned. I strongly recommend it even if you’re not interested in tech. It made 10+ hours in the car fly by.

What struck me the most was how many seemingly smart people were swept up in the story Elizabeth Holmes (the founder and CEO) was selling. Everyone seemed to suspend reality because they wanted to believe in this revolutionary tech.

Currently Reading: Deep Work by Cal Newport

I’m currently reading Deep Work because I feel like I (and much of the world) is too distracted. I’m almost at part 2 of the book, where he’ll tell us how to implement deep work methods. He spent a lot of time convincing us that deep work is necessary. But he is reinforcing what I’ve always thought about productivity. Measure based on completely important tasks, but amount of visible stuff you do.

I hope to finish this and 2 other books this month – which would bring my grand total to 26. We’ll see how it goes!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *