getting caught up on book reviews. i allow myself two sentences: one for summary and one for my review.
Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind, by Alex Stone
fascinating memoir of a young magician learning his craft and trying to earn the respect of his peers. a truly interesting look into both the hidden world of illusionists and the ruthless dedication needed to excel.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond
epic unpacking of from-the-beginnings-of-time reasons why some cultures are powerful and others not. interesting, to a point, but so dang long.
Assholes: A Theory, by Aaron James
a philosopher develops a theory on why some people are that way. sometimes interesting, sometimes funny, sometimes fluff to fill a book.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan
autobiographical story of the author’s short slide into crazy-land, due to a then-undiagnosed illness that impacted her brain. great story with a journalist’s flare.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling
mindy kaling’s combination of humorous observational essays and personal story. it’s hard not to compare to tina fey’s 5-star book, since they’re so similar; but it’s still a fun, inconsequential read.
Seven Years with Banksy, by Robert Clarke
autobiographical story of the author and the time he spent with the world’s most elusive artist. i’m fascinated with banksy, so found this fun, even though the writing is really weak.
Debating Emerging Adulthood: Stage or Process?, by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Marion Kloep, Leo B. Hendry, and Jennifer L. Tanner
a debate-format book with two teams of writer/experts. i couldn’t finish it, as i found it boring (even though the subject matter is one that interests me).
A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, by Edwin H. Friedman
a revolutionary book about what’s missing in all forms of leadership. my second read of this difficult and challenging book, worth the challenge for its stunning insights.