Tag: Books

"Your Favorite Band is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life" by Steven Hyden

Quick Book Review: “Your Favorite Band is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life” by Steven Hyden

This is really a book about pop culture, and the author has made a pretty good career as a writer on the topic.  Addressing pop culture through these music rivalries was very entertaining.  As a fan of classic rock and alternative music, I really enjoyed the chapters on Oasis vs. Blur, Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton vs. Jimmy Hendrix,…

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"The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap" by Gish Jen

Quick Book Review: “The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap” by Gish Jen

The author is better known as a novelist, but she’s written this non-fiction exploration of the divide between Western and Eastern culture. She basically divides West from East by how the self is seen. Western people are characterized by individualism and self-esteem, compared to Eastern people, who are flexible and interdependent. In the West we value uniqueness, while in the…

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"Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink" by Elvis Costello

Quick Book Review: “Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink” by Elvis Costello

A long, detailed autobiography by a performer I’ve always liked, even though I haven’t kept up with his career. Elvis’s father was a very accomplished musician, and I enjoyed hearing about Elvis’s musical upbringing, and his early years at Stiff Records and on the punk scene. Elvis has very broad musical tastes, and he describes encounters and collaborations with George…

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"The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning" by Scott Galloway

Quick Book Review: “The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning” by Scott Galloway

I really had no idea who Scott Galloway was when I got this book, but it looked good when I perused it in the bookstore, so I purchased a used copy. The first part was cool enough, as Galloway, a NYU professor and (as I subsequently found out) unbelievably wealthy entrepreneur, doled out some well thought out nuggets of life…

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"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon, and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD" by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis

Quick Book Review: “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon, and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD” by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis

A very interesting, very detailed account of the 28 months that LSD guru was on the run after escaping from jail on a ridiculous drug charge. President Nixon labeled Leary “the most dangerous man in America” and was absolutely desperate to see him recaptured and brought to justice. Fascinating stories about the jailbreak, his escape to Algeria and his joining…

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"Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money" by Ken Honda

Quick Book Review: “Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money” by Ken Honda

I was hoping this book would be a nice combination of Zen philosophy and financial management, and that’s what it was, I suppose. He makes some good points about how your attitude toward money is derived from how your parents dealt with money issues, and helps you understand how money can generate thoughts of fear, stress, anxiety, and anger in…

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"The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After" by Julie Yip-Williams

Quick Book Review: “The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After” by Julie Yip-Williams

A detailed, sorrowful account of the author’s untimely death from colon cancer at the age of 41.  Yip-Williams was born with severe vision problems, and her grandmother insisted that her mother and father have the girl euthanized (there’s no other way to say it) by an herbalist.  The herbalist refused, and the author overcame her handicaps to graduate college, marry,…

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"Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow" by Yuval Noah Harari

Quick Book Review: “Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow” by Yuval Noah Harari

This is a philosophical book about what the future of mankind will bring.  The author discusses many of the latest trends in science and technology, and warns of the consequences of misusing and abusing the knowledge we’re acquiring.  I appreciated his argument for the better treatment of animals, and his comments on smartphones, antidepressants, and longevity were thought-provoking and compelling,…

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"You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession" by Piper Weiss

Quick Book Review: “You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession” by Piper Weiss

This was a disappointing book. The blurb intimated that this was more of a true crime story, about Gary Wilensky, a tennis instructor and twisted child predator who stalked and pursued rich girls on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the ‘90s.   Only a small part of the book deals with Wilensky and his crimes. Instead, most of the book…

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