I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
I had been looking forward to reading this for some time. I am an artist, a craftsperson who works with her hands. I form functional objects out of clay using artisan methods and traditional tools. My husband fixes machines, like motorcycles and cars and airplanes (and whatever else comes his way). I obviously share the author's value for physical work, craftsmanship and process.
I never finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance, and at times this book, too, gets too much into motorcycles or cars specifically. I say this, knowing that for some readers this is what they are looking for. I, on the other hand, read the book for the discussion of manual labor and manual "arts" done for their own intrinsic and social value. I guess I would prefer a broader discussion that includes some discussion of my field, since I think it relates. (As I write this I realize that this sounds silly, I got what I ordered, I just want someone to make the connection between what I do and what this author does. Selfish, eh?)
Anyway, the book was interesting. If you think like him, read it and feel supported. If you are a newcomer to shop class, fixing things, making things, etc, read this and see why taking up the challenge of being a maker, a doer, of physically working through a problem or an idea is good for you.
It was very insightful & in parts, very funny. As a Master Electrician, I could never articulate why I love working with my hands and with my head, but this book put it all together for me.
I will be listening to this title again so I can soak it in.
I would recommend this to anyone who takes pride in what they do, and strives to improve the way they accomplish it. Job satisfaction must be intrinsic.
Very affirming of people who choose to follow their own drummer. Creative and inspiring it made me even more aware of the importance of being true to oneself.
Just like Daniel H. Pinks x 2 books - "Drive" and "A Whole New Mind" there are thoughts here that resonate.... by reflecting some of Matthew B. Crawford's loves - philosophy and hands on tinkering! Now they may seem at opposite sides of life but I believe they go hand in hand. And I agree it can appear to be 'heavy' and 'wanders' but I think that is largely due to the narration that makes it harder to grasp and to be 'emotionally' included. Which is a shame because it really does deserve a narrator that can reflect the enthusiasm of the author...I am glad I bought it and will buy a book version so I can re-read it! Thanks Matthew!
I'm an accounting/finance guy who loves to tinker with cars and stuff. So I loved the concept of the book and enjoyed the stories about how the author progressed with his career. However, the book bounces around and is not well organized. Some details not needed. And I keep waiting for the author to sum it all up with some solid takeaways...never happened, just a rushed finish.
Matthew Crawford has made us aware that some of the most important experiences in life are "hands on" experiences that help us to learn how things work. We deprive ourselves and our children when we eliminate this step by using only the latest technology. We may easily succumb to the expedience of technique and thereby miss life.
This book reads like a doctoral thesis, rather than a typical non-fiction work. I don't think any narrator could have made the writing less snooze inducing... too many references to this study or that. Details that could easily been included in an appendix.
There are a lot of really cool stories. It is worth a listen for them... just nod off during the detail stuff.
IF it weren't for the tiresome writing style, this book would have gotten four stars. Too bad, it is an important book.