100 word reviews

Why 100 word reviews?

I wanted to better absorb, retain and summarise the important information from the books I read. I also want improve my ability to record this in a concise and succinct fashion. So 100 word reviews seemed like a good idea.

Books

What a wonderful world? – Marcus Chown

One word: Belittling

The other 99: But not in a negative way. A lot of the topics covered just involved thinking that puts in perspective how insignificant many things are. Some feelings of “what’s the point” arose in me sometimes when reading. Marcus introduces himself as a man who can explain complex topics to a layman well; and he does a relatively good job. However he misses the mark quite a few times, eg. poor analogies and switching between technical jargon without equating the synonymatic words prior. Overall, the book give a good introduction into all the different facets that make up our wonderful world.

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

One word: Fascinating

The other 99: Only after a third of the book did the story get me involved. Interesting look into the life of Afghanis during the Afghan-Soviet War and succeeding conflicts. It lead me to research some more into the happenings of Afganistan where previously all information had come from mainstream media for me. Some parts of the story seem rushed to me and Khaled could have spent some more pages exploring the story some more. The story is said to be fiction however a part of me thinks the story is based on true events which I believe leads to its compellence.

Sprawlball -Kirk Goldsberry

One word: Underwhelming.

The other 99: Perhaps this book was too hyped up for me but as new basketball fan and analytics buff I was not a huge fan. Between the typos, inconsistencies and the superfluous, repetitive content there was only a few gems I found in this book. Additionally, a base background knowledge in the NBA is required before reading as plenty of jargon and player’s names are thrown around. A couple of the diagrams and the final chapter are a welcome change from the majority of the book. Overall, Goldsberry has extracted interesting insights from the NBA data but his storytelling is lacking.

Tools of Titans & Tribe of Mentors – Tim Ferriss

Note: I am combining this two books as their layout, questions and content are very similar and even overlap at times.

One word:

The other 99:

Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl

One word: Meaningful.

The other 99: Part one is the astonishing story of Frankl’s time spent in Nazi concentration camps. He shares the experiences that he and other inmates went through while being imprisoned. Part two covers his introduction to logotherapy and how the “will to meaning” is why survivors of the camps where able to do so. Frankl expresses that having meaning allows one to persevere no matter the hardships. It is definitely an encouraging view that having meaning can trump any suffering experienced during life. It is only a short book, however some of the concepts required multiple readings due to their complexity.

1984 by George Orwell

One word: Disheartening.

The other 99: Despite being written over 70 years ago, many of Orwell’s allegories still ring true. The edition I read contained an afterword from Erich Fromm, which framed Orwell’s concepts as applying to Western governments, not just communist as one might initially think. I feel it is an important read these days, considering the amount of information governments and private corporations can collect and analyse for each person in the world. I believe it serves as a reminder of the potential future if the concept of “Big Brother” is allowed to flourish unchecked without any considerations for the effects on humanity.

Why we sleep? – Matthew Walker

One word: Scary.

The other 99:

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen

One word:

The other 99: