It's an Exciting World

The life and times of David Geisert



Book Club: The Anatomy of Story

While there was expressed interest in the book, this was a poor showing for book club.  I think a lot of it was due to the book having more of a textbook nature than many of the others we’ve read in the past.  Even other highly informative books have had more story to them. It was also didn’t have an Audible version, so it was more difficult for many, including myself, to get through in a timely manner.

There were only two people who came to book club having read the book.  Debby and Andrew were nice enough to call in and marginally participate, but since they hadn’t read the book some of the more specific examples had them tuning out.  I can understand where people were coming from with the book choice, and the not reading it.  I think I’ll avoid these styles of books from now on.

Book Club: The Three Christs of Ypsilanti

This was an odd book.  The true account of a research experiment of three schizophrenic patients who believed themselves to be Christ/God.  They were put together for daily discussion sessions over the period of a little over 2 years.  This was one of the shortest discussions we’ve had on a book, and the person who wanted to read it originally didn’t show up to the meeting.

There were some major ethical issues with the research.  The biggest one in my opinion was when the researchers wrote letters to one of the men pretending to be his wife.  The man had never married and clearly had major problems around women.  The then manipulated him into doing things by having his wife ask him to do it.  They also had him wait around for the wife’s visits and had the wife write she was disappointed he didn’t show when he did show up and the wife didn’t show up.  It was a horrible situation.

There were plenty of other odd things they did, but nothing quite as bad as that.  It was a strange book, with a strange format.  I wouldn’t recommend it, but I would say reading the wikipedia on it is worthwhile.

Book Club: Hillbilly Elegy

People were mixed about this book.  A lot of the messages he was giving were mixed, and he contradicted himself a lot.  The representation of his background was put in a certain light, and his current wealth was downplayed a lot.  There was also no reason thoughts around how things could get better, just a statement of how they weren’t going well.  We had a pretty full house, and I might need to rethink the seating arrangements a bit.


Book Club: Disrupted

We had a great discussion on the book Disrupted, with all the startup war stories coming out.  Most people at the discussion group could identify with at least one of the many horror stories from the book.  Nobody said they had been at a company quite as bad as the one described by the Disrupted book.  We got far off topic several times, but the discussion was still interesting and lively.

Predictably Irrational

This was a pretty good intro book with some decent studies, but didn’t go nearly as deep as I would have liked.  That seems to be the case with most popular books in science or psychology.

Audible Link

Quiet: The Power of Introverts

This book is way oversimplifying people.  It also is cherry picking some very bad studies.  I didn’t think it was terribly actionable nor informative.  I don’t think we’ll read it for book club.

Audible Link

The Elegant Universe

This book was pretty interesting, although I do think that string theory needs some kind of testable hypothesis.  That the theory works great mathematically is fine and all, but it needs some real world grounding.  I liked the explanation and examples for the folded dimensions.  This puts electromagnetism in a new light for me.

Audible Link

Year of living Danishly

This book was nice, but a little too anecdotal.  The points she makes about happiness are good, but the backing she gives to them isn’t all that great.  I understand that this book was meant for a different audience from myself, and it does point in a great direction for getting more information.  I just wish there were a book or paper on happiness that was deeply involved, and well backed by scientific studies.

Audible Link

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

This book had a lot of really good points, many of which I’m already implementing.  The book does go a little to a strange place when it starts talking about your belongings having feelings.  I think the why of much of the later part of the book is wrong, but the how and what make sense.  I don’t think my backpack feels left out if it doesn’t have a home. I do think that the backpack will survive longer and be more useful if there is a designated place for it in my home and at the office.

Audible Link

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