Didn’t Kondo Marie already write a book about getting rid of stuff? Why would there need to be another book? Which is the better one? Both have their advantages. Whereas The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up broaches the topic of reducing clutter in general terms, Spark Joy goes into specifics with drawings and applicable examples. If the former book is like an essay arguing a point, the latter book presents the execution on those arguments.
Post Office, by Charles Bukowski, has a vibrancy that has faded somewhat from American consciousness. Some sections are vile, but not all. If it weren’t for the stories I’d heard from workers over the years, some of the vignettes in this fictionalized tale of what it was like for Bukowski to work in the postal system in the 70s might have been obscured to time. It is telling, then, how immediate it feels even today.
It’s fitting that I’m writing this review of The 4-Hour Workweek while on the clock. I’m currently paid to be “ready” to take a call. Over the course of the past two hours, there’s been nothing for me to do, even while scratching around at things I can do. Not enough to exceed a comfortable middle ground. I do, after all, am prioritizing my writing. In this sense, I think Tim Ferriss would be proud.
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels by Jason Schreier externalized my experiences with the videogame development industry. Though I wasn’t in it for long, and although I was only scraping by as an independent developer, I tasted just enough of it to wholeheartedly say this book will give you the ugly truth behind beautiful videogames. The work is arduous. If you’re not fully invested, it’s not worth trying, because you must commit yourself entirely. Isn’t that life?
My favorite books include writer’s resources because they help the reader express through writing better how they interpret the world. Communication like this is useful in all situations. Although Adam Savage freely admits not to be a narrative writer in Every Tool’s A Hammer, he does offer similar resources. If you can learn to maintain your workspace, document your to-dos, and most importantly, work with deadlines, then you can achieve your goals; whatever you’re making.
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
While reading 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, hurtling myself toward 1,000 essays published over the past 3+ years on Better Zombie, I’ve thought about how much of those “habits” are things you learn as you write. This website started as an experiment. Maybe something to do occasionally. It just kept gaining momentum. Not in terms of monetary compensation. Other than one essay netting me a $40 voucher, I haven’t made a cent here, and I’m happy about that.
Why do we care about so many trivialities? From pretending to be that which we are not – rich, happy, successful – to caring about what everyone thinks, Mark Manson’s book The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F …Grawlix …CK. doesn’t quite answer that question. That’s because these answers are different for each person. I might care about being happy for a different reason than you. In an afternoon or two, you can find your answers.
Even though I don’t agree with all of it and skipped some sections, Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Body is perhaps the best book on amateur fitness. Through breezy anecdotes, Ferriss invites anyone through a journey from having no knowledge of health and fitness to mastering the basics, practicing the intermediary concepts, to even self-actualizing into a sport that can help you attain and sustain your fitness goals, whether it’s losing weight, becoming healthier, or becoming superhuman.
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
Written as more of a casual conversation exploring the reasons why we keep things we don’t care about than an extensive textbook tutorial about materialism, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Kondo Marie has many simple revelations sprinkled throughout its breezy reading. Unlike the trivial Netflix series that overly dramatizes the unimportant, the book it’s based on wins its merit through asking tough questions, including: Would you be OK with letting this book go?
Along with How To Win Friends and Influence People, The Elements of Style might be one of the ten best books ever written for one simple reason: Succinctly summarizing concepts can educate everyone. You don’t need to be crazy enough to write hundreds of words daily to benefit from reading The Elements of Style. The material is dense. It’s not leisurely reading. Yet the concepts it unfurls can benefit communicators of any wayward style.
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]