Monthly book roundup – August

Books finished in August:
(Warning: reviews are unpolished and quickly written.)

Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse. Demands a review of its own. Recommended. 

It’s Game Time Somewhere; How One Year, 100 Events, and 50 Different Sports Changed My Life, by Tim Forbes. It’s Game Time Somewhere is the story of how a sports junkie got his dream of working in sports fulfilled, lost interest in sports, then found it again. Tim Forbes gives up his well-paying consultant job to get a foot into working in golf, then rises through the ranks there to become an ad-man and event manager. Along the way, however, he loses his passion for sports, and sets out to rekindle it through watching 100 events of 50 different sports. Things do not go as planned, unfortunately, as there is always something missing. He rants about ill-behaved superstars and an obsession with advertisement. In the end he realizes that what brings the good experiences is being part of a community is important, but what proves to be most powerful is participating oneself. To facilitate participation in any way becomes his advice to arrangers of sports events.

If this book had been 1/3 as long and with 85% fewer jokes, it would have been an interesting and fresh look on something that means a lot to a lot of people. As it is, it becomes tedious and only occasionally entertaining.

Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers and Rebels by Alissa Quart. Innovations often come from outsiders. But often outsiders also come up with gibberish, and though Quart mentions that tension explicitly, she did not elighten me about it. To be fair, I do not think she promises to.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid. The opportunities, challenges and choices involved in being an entrepreneur in the third world, half-parodically clothed as a self help book. We meet a You that is guided through how to succeed moneywise, which also carries with it successes and failures of other kinds. Recommended.

Why I Am a Buddhist: No-Nonsense Buddhism with Red Meat and Whiskey by Stephen T. Asma. Ok.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre. Although usually not a fan of spy novels, I must confess I thoroughly enjoyed this classic.

The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills by Daniel Coyle. Nice little book with tips from Coyle’s experience and research. Seems very good to look at before trying to teach kids, but also in general. Most of the tips are in my librarything review.

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber. Interesting chapter on the economics myth of ancient truck and barter, but the book jumped around too much and was too long for me to be able to keep the thread, I put it down halfway. Excellent reviews by Henry and others at the Crooked Timber seminar on the book.

Ratings and additional books are in the library.

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