Friday, April 21, 2017

Radical Candor

I joined my office's book club again, this time to read Radical Candor. The title piqued my interest so I gave it a whirl.

It was so-so. If you're a new boss or never managed people before then you might actually find a lot of good in this book. But if you've been in management for a while then this is pretty stale, to be honest. There's nothing new in the book. Nothing earth-shattering. And unfortunately nothing really "radical."

Should we all care deeply about our team and talk candidly? Absolutely. Do I need to read a couple hundred pages about it? Not at all. Would have been fine as an article or a TED Talk.

Oh well.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Born Standing Up

I can't remember who told me to read Steve Martin's bio. Someone freaking recommended it to me. Anyway, I grabbed Born Standing Up a little while ago and just read it. It's a very fast read. Only 200 pages and they fly by. You could read it in one sitting pretty easily if you don't have anything to do.

I didn't realize that it was a bio that focused exclusively on his standup career and didn't really delve into his movie side. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of his standup. It's his film career that I much prefer. But I loved his books, too, so I figured I'd check it out. He's a freakin great author. Shopgirl was good but An Object of Beauty was GREAT!

Anyhow, this is a fun, fast read. It documents Steve's humble beginnings, his slow ascension to stardom, and it reveals a lot about his process. His dedication and laser focus on honing his craft is second to none. Steve got where he got through sheer force of will. I think many people would have given up long before Steve started to see some payback for his efforts.

I can't do anything about the time in which I was born, but given the chance I think coming of age in the Summer of Love would have been a pretty groovy time to be alive, if ya know what I mean.

Recommended. But would like to read something that documents his time from when he started getting into films and then eventually into books.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

What is there to say about Lovecraft that hasn't already been said? His stories are wildly influential and his reach is eternal. His lore will live forever.

And with good cause.

This is a fantastic collection of classic Lovecraft stories. I'd read some before but many were new to me. This is a great start for anyone interested in fear, dread, and suspense. His stories suck you in from the very start. They have to as they're all either short stories or novellas. There's no bullshit. The plot just builds and builds as the tension is heightened with every turn of the page. This is awesome stuff for nerds of any age. It'll definitely be something I turn young River on to when he's ready. Lovecraft paints such vivid pictures in your mind. Pictures of mind-bending physics and monolithic scale. Pictures of cosmic terror. It rules.

I love that they're all quick reads, too. Makes it easy to get through at your leisure. You can read something else simultaneously and easily flip between two books if you like.

Essential. Yeah.