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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Three recent non-fiction reads

In the last couple of months I have read three non-fiction books that I would group loosely into the same class of books.

First, Things a Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone. I admit it, I picked this up because Janssen told me to read it. This is written by one of the creators of Twitter and he seemed like a really likable guy. The first 3/4 of the books are about his experience with blogging, Google, and the actual creation of Twitter, and then he kind of veers off on a tangent of doing good things for the greater good. It's not that I don't agree that people should do these things, but it changed the tone of the book. Despite this, I still recommend the book to others and I did like it quite a bit. The morning after I wrapped it up I happened to see a podcast with him on my phone and listened to that during my run. It was a nice way to finish it off.

Then I read Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. I read Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics and assumed I'd enjoy this as much. I did not. I felt it was largely a rehash of the first two, just approached differently. It did not help that I listen to the Freakonomics podcast (again, on my runs) and so much of the book was covered much more interestingly on the podcast. I'd skip this one and listen to the podcast instead.

Last, Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. This also came highly recommended by Janssen and usually her recs are spot on. Unfortunately, while this did have some interesting bits I found the writing itself dull and when I realized my library copy would poof in a couple days I intentionally chose to not even try to finish. Sorry Janssen!


  1. Lisa, these all look like good NF choices. I do like a dose of NF now and then and enjoy Freakonomics.

  2. I didn't realize there was a THIRD freakanomics book. I enjoyed the first one (on audio) but haven't actively sought out the second. I've been hearing about the twitter book but I'm not terribly interested. I cannot understand how these three are more interesting than Outlander. :P (by now I've talked up Outlander SO MUCH that it's bound to fall flat for you anyway).

  3. It doesn't sound like any of these were a home run for you. The top one looks the most interesting to me.

  4. I haven't read any of the Freakanomics books. Maybe one day!


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