What is the worst book you've ever read?

Title says it all. We hear a lot on here about the best books to read, but what is a book where you've thought:

"Man, that's 2-4 hours I'm never getting back"

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Comments (99)

Jun 25, 2018

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Remember reading it in high school and to this day, might be the only book I actually didn't at least find interesting.

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Jun 26, 2018

I liked the one about the mines on the path when they were walking in the middle of the night. Admittedly, that's the only one I actually read in high school because it was the shortest.

Jul 15, 2018

killing me with this one, loved that book, truly

Jul 16, 2018

damn haha legit might be in my top five. Just curious but what are some of your favorite books?

Funniest
Jun 25, 2018

-"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac - He's a stupid alcoholic piece of shit who thinks it's cool to hitchhike around the country taking advantage of migrant workers and stealing shit. He died from internal bleeding drinking himself to death. Good riddance.
-Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson - For starters, "Dennis" has two Ns you fucking momo. You think you're cute. Fuck outa here. I kept waiting for the "oh shit" moment and it never came. It was just some dumb dude writing a book on acid all in one sitting.
-Every book Stephen Colbert has written or put his name on or whatever has been really bad.
-"Success Stories" is the worst book in the Roert Kiyosaki series. It's the most dumbed-down, unrealistic bullshit ever written on real estate.
-"Beyond Good and Evil" by Nietzsche - Oh my god what a fucking weak little crybaby. Homeboy loves to talk but not to do a god damn thing with his life
-"Last Words" by George Carlin - Out-of-touch, uninformed Liberal ranting on society with no proposed solutions and no understanding of how complex issues are
-Anything by Lewis Howes. He's a walking inspirational Instagram meme. Props for squeezing hundreds of pages out of restating the same 3 vague ideas about putting effort into shit
-"The 4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferris - Maybe because it was all "duh" shit
-"The 4-Hour Body" by Tim Ferris - Mostly mediocre to poor advice. For the record, I like Tim Ferris. Just not those books.
-"The Alchemist" by Paolo Coelho - It was kinda stupid sorry. 3deep7me
-"The Stranger" by Albert Camus - It was all a dream or some shit? Reading it made me smell sardines and I read it in a French accent
that's enough for now. i'm kind of a big hater

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Jul 15, 2018

You probably haven't read Nietzsche, have you?

I go for the all time psuedointellectual favourite, the jew Kafka. He's writing and ideas are mostly plagiarized from Strindberg, expect it's drivel.

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Jul 16, 2018

But... but the metamorphosis is epic

excel is my canvas, and data is my paint - new york - brunch conesseiour - atheist - centrist - ENFP - TCU alum

Jul 17, 2018

"the jew"?

Jul 17, 2018

I enjoyed the Alchemist A LOT. I've read it twice but then again I was like 15 when I did that. I remember I found it quite interesting even though I forgot what it is about now. Not a fan of his other books, I think only bimbos trying to fake intelligence read his work.

The 4-hour workweek had some great gems in it. But then again, I was 18 when I read it and I haven't read many books.One of my favourite quotes comes from it:

"Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: "Is this the condition that I feared?" Seneca

I can't comment on the rest but in reality if you get 2 gems (great thoughts/ideas) from a book it's a good one. You simply can't have a book full of great things. Just like sex. You can't keep cumming every 10 seconds (every page), you have to give it some time (1 gem per 50-60 pages).

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

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Jul 19, 2018

The Stranger for sure. No idea how that book is so highly rated. Unless there is some message that i totally missed.

Jun 25, 2018

People just like to feel all deep and whimsical and some of them don't require a real good reason for feeling that way

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Jun 26, 2018

I thought basically every book I had to read in high school through college was terrible, from catcher in the rye (couldn't give a shit about any of the characters), to things fall apart, to the weird philosophical stuff we had to read in college like kant, heidegger & co. I had to read Guns Germs and Steel when I was a hs freshman and could barely get through it so hated it then but think its actually kinda interesting now.

Also i didnt like LOTR because it took forever for him to get to the point

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Jun 25, 2018

If you hated Guns Germs & Steel, you're just a confirmed nimwit. Even though the info in that book is outdated and humans have been around much longer than he says.

You're the male version of a Starbucks Beckie. You're a Playstation Phil

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Jun 26, 2018

"If you hated Guns Germs & Steel, you're just a confirmed nimwit."

Said the guy who lacks basic reading comprehension skills

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Jun 25, 2018

Example?

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Jul 16, 2018

Gotta say, I thought LOTR books were so freaking dull. Super descriptive but damn bro just tell me a story. I wanted to like them but just couldn't.

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Jul 17, 2018

Catcher In The Rye VASTLY overrated

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Jul 30, 2018

Have to respectfully disagree. That book changed me. Sure, it's applicable to every teenage boy in the U.S. going through puberty, but I feel like Salinger's writing style and ability to connect with the reader makes it a classic. It might be a cliche to like Catcher in the Rye, but it doesn't change the fact it is my favorite book (so much so I went ahead and got a first edition of it).

Aug 9, 2018

I agree that it is overrated but I still think it is a decent book.

Jul 18, 2018
CHItizen:

I thought basically every book I had to read in high school through college was terrible, from catcher in the rye (couldn't give a shit about any of the characters), to things fall apart, to the weird philosophical stuff we had to read in college like kant, heidegger & co. I had to read Guns Germs and Steel when I was a hs freshman and could barely get through it so hated it then but think its actually kinda interesting now.

Also i didnt like LOTR because it took forever for him to get to the point

Totally agree. It's the same reason that shitty, unpopular movies are starting to win Oscars--elitism.

Jun 26, 2018

Heart of Darkness by Joesph Conrad is the worst

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Jul 17, 2018

Heart of Darkness is a fantastic book!

Aug 6, 2018

Heart of Darkness is one of my favorite books of all time

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Jun 26, 2018

I thought Good to Great is incredibly overrated. A lot of completely pointless academic masturbation.

Jul 11, 2018

agree such a stupid book

Aug 16, 2018

And the nail in the coffin is that the list of "Great" companies Collins talks about in his book as a whole underperformed the S&P500 over the next ten year period

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Jun 26, 2018

Wuthering Heights. Three times (twice as punishment).

To the middle schoolers out there preparing to recruit for mega funds, do not attend a private religious-affiliated high school and take British literature.

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Jun 26, 2018

nailed it, fuck this book

Most Helpful
Jun 26, 2018

Totally agree with On The Road, I couldn't even get through it. It did teach me that the mindset attributed to millennials is nothing new - narcissistic assholes will always bail on responsibilities and people who care about them for their own kicks (to use the book's phrasing).

Ready Player One: it's Twilight for boys. A vaguely described main character (so that the reader can easily insert themself into the protagonist's shoes) goes on an adventure that resolves almost every problem deux-ex-machina. Pump the rest full of "that-happened" style dialogue and 80's nerd nostalgia and you have a book tailor made for sexless males.

Atlas Shrugged: for something that's supposed to border on a philosophical work, it has no progression to the idea. You know what Rand has been going on about for half the book? Well here it is AGAIN! It's just the same 3 points over and over and over. To boot, it's really not that novel an idea, that all else being equal, those who work hard deserve to succeed and will bring extra wealth to all, but in the real freaking world, all else isn't equal. What's more, it sets up a perfect scenario for the views of Rand to succeed - a scenario that is impossible in real life. Everyone is completely one dimensional: the rich are driven, the poor are lazy, and so of COURSE it works out for those hard working rich folks and not the lazy moochers.

I think XKCD put it best: "I agree with 90% of every sentence, but Rand always ends with 'so you should be a total asshole to everyone'"

Some books I do like for the summer:

  • Bad Blood (about Theranos) - amazing read, really shows how everyone, Obama and James Mattis alike, was so swept up in this vision that no one actually checked under the hood.
  • The Real Animal House - memoirs of Chris Miller as an AD at Dartmouth. Total beach read - just shut your brain off an be entertained.
  • Straight to Hell - while it's a little like Ready Player One goes to Wall Street, there are some hilarious stories and it's another good brainless beach read.
  • On World Order - Kissinger. This one is dense, but worth it. It focuses on the mentality of Russia and the Russian people starting from the Treaty of Westphalia through modern times. In light of the actions of the Internet Research Agency, it helps provide some context to how and why Russia is acting as it is.
Jun 25, 2018

Have you read any of Ayn Rand's other books? I agree that the characters and ideas aren't very deep. I read it when I was like 15 and it was a good time in my life to be introduced to the ideas. I think The Fountainhead was better. But what I'd really recommend to people (I used to make girls I dated read this and discuss to to evaluate their mindset) is Anthem. You can read it in a few hours, it's actually a good story, and it gets to the philosophical point much more succinctly than her other books. I still have yet to read Anthem.

I especially hate Jack Kerouac because I relate to him so much. Every day, I just want to fuck off to South America to binge drink and do heroin. He embraced weakness and I try my best every day to embrace strength. And weak men disgust me.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Jun 26, 2018

Wait, so you made girls read a book you yourself haven't read? Interesting approach.

Anthem is basically the same point - it's objectivism. Which Rand Paul would tell you is "telling it like it is", but I disagree. I think objectivism resonates with, as you said, a 15 year old - because it is a simple concept. But this is the problem with using it as a guiding principle - there is no nuance.

You've got to put Ayn Rand in context: she came out of the worst of Soviet Communism. So to her, Western laissez-faire capitalism is the cure to all evils. And at a high level, yes, any capitalism will benefit the individual more than soviet communism. The problem is it's like listening to someone who is thirsty in the desert tell you about water. To them, ANY water is what they need and can deliver them from their problems. However, to we who are not dying of thirst, we know that some water (like polluted or salt water) will not achieve our ends. So to use Rand as a guide is a good starting point, but shouldn't be used as the end-all be-all.

Jun 25, 2018

Oh whoops. I have read Anthem. I have yet to read We The Living.
I agree with what you said. I'm just glad that was my starting point. Who knows. There are probably tons of options that could have led me down a different rabbit hole. With age comes nuance though and you end up just sitting back, throwing your hands up, thinking "Fuck if I know"

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Jul 15, 2018

World Order is an excellent read, and I don't think it's dense enough to warrant the disclaimer. It does require a bit of background knowledge on economics, politics, and history for the user to fully understand, however, but that just elevates it in my mind. Rest of the list is solid, too.

Jul 15, 2018
jhd311:

* On World Order - Kissinger. This one is dense, but worth it. It focuses on the mentality of Russia and the Russian people starting from the Treaty of Westphalia through modern times. In light of the actions of the Internet Research Agency, it helps provide some context to how and why Russia is acting as it is.

I am strong seller. The book can be summarized as:

I never lived in any of these places nor do I speak the language; in fact I've never spoken to any of the locals besides a few of their politicians. Nonetheless, I have a strong opinion about their mentality - look at how I managed to f*ck them while I was in power.

Unfortunately, all over the world various experts produce books about why the US acts the way it does. Their opinions are based on a similar level of expertise.

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Jul 10, 2018

Anything Malcolm Gladwell has written should be burned.

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Jul 16, 2018

Thank you, that guy is a con artist.

MSFS Incoming Intern

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Jul 17, 2018

Honestly, why the MS? Malcolm Gladwell is basically synonymous with bullshit

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Jul 11, 2018

While I like the Mooch, "Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole" by Anthony Scaramucci is up there for me for all time worst. Just a big boast about how he started SALT conference during the recession. Also alludes to getting canned from Goldman about 1000x which got old fast. Very little to takeaway. (Read this book before his White House stint)

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Jul 11, 2018

I heard so many people talk about eric greitens books, I don't even remember which book it was but I maybe got through 2 chapter before I threw the book in the trash. Filled will complete utter bullshit. Come to find out the guy is a complete douche bag and his whole life is a complete farce.

Also anything by brandon webb is 100% bullshit and hes a scumbag

Jul 11, 2018

Anything by John Grisham

Jul 11, 2018

Other than for school, I've never read a book I don't like because I'm the kind of person who -- 50 pages in, if I don't like it -- I'm out, Sone people, once they start a book, just have to finish. I'm not one of those.

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Jul 16, 2018

I agree. Stop reading books I don't like.

excel is my canvas, and data is my paint - new york - brunch conesseiour - atheist - centrist - ENFP - TCU alum

Jul 15, 2018

Farenheit 454. Only book in my life I literally could not finish

Jul 16, 2018

Freshmen year of high school I burned my copy of the book after I read it

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Jul 16, 2018

Is this a sequel to Fahrenheit 451?

Jul 17, 2018

No, OP just got the name wrong.

Jul 16, 2018

Yeah, my comment was meant to be sarcastic since no one had called him out on it.

Jul 15, 2018

No, just a fat-fingered screw up.

Jul 15, 2018

Any one of those "never give up" kind of books. Broad, vague, cliche, and dry.

Jun 25, 2018

I believe people should give up more often...

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Jul 16, 2018

wolf of wall street (the movie was good the book sucked, most of the lines Jordan claimed to have said were direct quotes from Boiler Room) do you think we're as dumb as the clients you scammed?

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Jul 17, 2018

Twilight
Fifty Shades of Grey

Jul 16, 2018

why'd you read those lol

excel is my canvas, and data is my paint - new york - brunch conesseiour - atheist - centrist - ENFP - TCU alum

Jul 17, 2018

Fifty shades of Grey is a better book than the BIBLE

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Jul 17, 2018

Every book because i tend to not finish them

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Jul 17, 2018

Books I read but didn't enjoy:

The 50th Law - 50 cent & Robert Greene
Kept saying the same thing over and over again and made things far more complex than they are. Found no value in it. I'll never read anything by Robert Greene after this.

Books I couldn't finish because they were boring:

Principles (sorry guys)
Lots of gems inside it and interesting ways to view things but I couldn't even finish it. I understand why they say Bridgewater is a cult. I'll try networking with someone there to see to what extent this "radical transparency and honesty" is BS.

The Prince - Machiavelli
I'll get back to it someday, I think it must be good and it's only about 100 pages.

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

Jul 17, 2018

The Prince is definitely tough. I never finished either.

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Jul 17, 2018

Dude, The Prince is a thin little book. Tough?

Jul 17, 2018

It's written in a way that gets boring very quickly

Jul 17, 2018

I have read the Prince at least twice that I can recall. The literal translation is flowery so you have to kind of glide over it and stop at the good parts, back up, and reread (Oliverotto Da Fermo is my favorite besides the obvious 'loved vs. feared' bit).

Jul 17, 2018

I remember the "loved vs feared" part now that you mentioned it. I think the most important lesson is that when you know things, you don't have to say them. Let me elaborate. He made the perfect guide on how to have power and be successful, yet he was extremely unsuccessful himself. The book was supposed to shmooze the king back then but he was banished, his books were forbidden and when found, burned.

Sometimes you may know everything A-Z but you have to play the game. For example, relationships. Even if its a one night stand you can't go and say "Lets just have sex for one night and never meet/speak again". You have to play the game. Take it somewhat slowly, compliment her etc. Same with networking. I hope this makes sense.

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

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Jul 23, 2018

Most of Robert Greene's other books are actually much better than 50th law. Art of Seduction, 33 Strategies of War, and 48 Laws of Power have a lot of principles that apply to competition and interactions with people. I'd suggest at the very least finding the PDFs online and skimming over them to see if you like the way they flow.

Only downsides are the language sounds too "try hard" and the case studies are longer than they should be.

Jul 17, 2018

"Human Action" by Ludwig von Mises. I lost more than 2 - 4 hours.

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Jul 17, 2018

Pride and Prejudice

Jun 26, 2018

Great Expectations. You know it's going to be shit when the author gets paid by the page.

Jul 17, 2018

Anna Karenina

Jul 17, 2018

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. SJW ranting about how the US is so terrible and is always on the wrong side of history. Most absurd part of the book was when Zinn wrote that it is not fair that the USA tells certain countries they can't have nuclear weapons lol look how that's working out with North Korea rn buddy

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Jul 17, 2018

Holy shit! I was about to type that too. Worst book ever, forced to read that in my History class. These fucking left-wing history professors forced that garbage down every kid's mouth. Aside from that, listening to these brainless kids regurgitating every word this guy wrote was appalling

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Jul 17, 2018

The Tao of Bill Murray. The book was boring and made him come off as an asshole.

Also, Jerusalem by Alan Moore. Way too long, could've fit into 1/2 the pages. For such a great author, I expected Moore of him (ha, ha).

Jul 17, 2018

books i wish i never read

grit
ready fire aim
the productivity project
three simple steps
the most important thing (marks)
thinking fast and slow
all taleb books

books i wish i read early in life

cal newport - so good and deep work
4 disciplines of execution or measure what matters, either works but dont need both

Jul 17, 2018

Was actually getting ready to read Howard Marks' book and Taleb's books. Are they worth the read?

Jul 17, 2018

Howard Mark's is good, simple and easy to understand. If you don't really have the time, watch his talk with Michael Milken instead, it covers most of the info in the book. It's a useful book to have in your stash.

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Jul 17, 2018

I have mixed opinions about Marks, but I thought the book (really a collection of reworked letters) did a poor job explaining the context and implications of his thoughts at the time. The lessons are hardly as universal as folks claim and his conservative approach will likely not work for investors in the camp of feast/famine when it comes to returns.

More recently, Marks comments on passive investing are sort of out of his lane. S&P500 index isn't some communist threat. His comments might pertain to HYG or JNK, but that isn't as headline grabbing.

I dont think there is harm in reading if you understand him to be a g&d/cigar butt/deep-contra value fixed income guy and dont try to extrapolate to healthy, growing companies or broader investment paradigms..

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Aug 16, 2018

The fact that you didn't like Marks is almost sacrilegious. And you say you work at a FoF? Just understanding his (and Oaktree's) fundamental philosophy on risk management and investing mentality is worth the pricex10.

And why won't his conservative approach work? He's designed to perform over a market cycle, and performance during just a bull market or just a bull market is not as meaningful.

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Jul 15, 2018

.

Jul 17, 2018
Jul 18, 2018

I read Taleb's The Black Swan and I thought it was good, though long. Definitely recommend reading.

Array
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Jun 26, 2018

Everybody raves about Thinking Fast and Slow. I haven't read it yet, but what didn't you like about it?

Jul 17, 2018

It split the difference between trying to be a book about mental systems and a book about pop-psych, productivity, self-helpy.

its incredibly slow.

the underlying studies are more fascinating.

books like these should be far more engaging or dont bother writing them because once the Expert defines the topology of the field, good luck cracking top 5 on amazon unless you just repackage Expert.

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Jul 17, 2018

'Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow'... I gave up around page 60...not that it was a BAD book; it was just like molasses

Jul 23, 2018

Just curious, what did you not like about Taleb? I was considering reading Black Swan and Skin in the Game.

Jul 17, 2018

Ive read antifragile and black swan. both are terrible.

Antifragile is an ok concept. but its can be broken down into factors, such as the value of optionality and the value of non-correlation during periods where correlation of a field tends towards 1 during an event (eg. recession).

thats pretty much it. dont need to rant about dumb coworkers or how smart i was in the 80s when we blew up a fund or whatever. thats the concept.

antifragility breaks down once you realize you can have a portfolio of n assets, and not every asset needs to be some complex option. My boy Quantian's 401k statement can show you how dangerous that can be and proper diversification, which can be as simple as allocating 1/n to all asset classes, does better.

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Jul 17, 2018

Worst book I ever read was by far The Stranger by Camus.

Jul 18, 2018

Anything by Dave Ramsey. Complete hypocrite who made his $$$ on the weakest minded people.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

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Jul 17, 2018

Most of the self help "you can be a millionaire too!" books are complete trash. This might be unpopular but ppl like Malcolm Gladwell and James Altucher fall right into that pile in my opinion.

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Jul 17, 2018

"Want to get rich? Give me $20 and I'll tell you how."

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Jul 17, 2018

Thank you !!!!

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Jul 19, 2018

A lot of people seem to dislike books that are filled with things they already know - that sort of makes sense, but you have to remember that information is unknown to someone out there, maybe a lot of people. If it's good information, then it's a good book. That's how I look at it.

I read Rousseau's Social Contract in college for a political philosophy class...it's one thing to be forced to read someone soft-selling socialism, it's another to have to endure their insufferable writing style.

I was also forced to read News From Nowhere, and I honestly think it's a more unbelievable work of fiction than any science fiction film ever made. I suppose it was well written, though.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Jul 23, 2018

Milk & Honey

Jul 23, 2018

Tried reading "How to Win Friends..." and "Think and Grow Rich" but couldn't get past ~50 pages on either. My problem with them was that they were filled with anecdotes. Do they get any better or are they pretty much filled with anecdotes the entire book? How would yall recommend reading these books and actually getting something out of it?

Jul 18, 2018

Doesn't "Win Friends" summarize the chapter at the beginning or end?

Jul 17, 2018

Any thoughts on Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky? I am 120 pages deep and I dont think I will finish it.

"We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

Jul 24, 2018

Seems like a few people have given up on non-fiction books after the first couple chapters. If you find this happening to you I'd recommend reading the first chapter or two then treating the rest of the book more like a collection of essays rather than a single narrative. I've noticed a lot of nonfiction books lend themselves well to this method. Reading a dense academic argument for 300 pages is tough for most people and the chapters are typically able to stand on their own once you get the jist of the argument. You may not cover 100% of the book but it beats paying for something that you stopped reading after 40 pages.

Aug 3, 2018

American Psycho was probably the worst book, just for the sheer fact of how unbelievably disturbing it was. It was the only book I've felt physically uneasy after reading certain chapters. The movie was great though.

Aug 6, 2018
Aug 16, 2018
Aug 28, 2018
Aug 29, 2018