Botton is eloquent to the point of mastery, but fails to grip the audience by highlighting the human element of the 21st century workforce. Exploring the underrated corners of the global economy, we are treated to interesting anecdotes, but no central thesis. The book provides great fuel for cocktail party chatter, but not a call-to-action I can bring with me back to the office on a day-to-day level.
Could be more aptly entitled "The Hidden Economy", leaving human emotions out entirely.
A thoughtful and funny view at Craig's working class Scottish roots. I enjoyed hearing about his early life and the unlikely way he ended up in comedy, let alone in Hollywood. His narration performance is brilliant, adding flavour and accents that no one else could. And after all these hours his Glaswegian accent is definitely starting to rub off on me.
My only crit is that the book doesn't discuss his American life in too much detail. Perhaps it wasn't the focus of the book, but I'd be interested to hear what life was like in Hollywood going to auditions, etc. and how Drew Carey Show cast got along.
All in all a great read for anyone with affection towards Scotland, comedians, autobiographies, and stories of immigrants in America.
The Island at the Center of the World holds true to subtitle, tagging the story of Dutch Manhattan as "epic." This book does a brilliant job of uncovering the history beneath our feet, and linking our day-to-day to that oft-forgotten colony of New Netherlands.
As a long-time sucker for the eloquence of centuries past, I loved the quotations and original source materials featured throughout. But Russell Shorto is no hack either, and does a tremendous job painting the verbal picture of the time and place of 17th century Manhattan.
Having grown up and still residing in the metro New York area, many of the names and places hit home. There are a few almost head-smack inducing moment, connecting something previously unknown to the obvious Dutch influence.
I recommend this for anyone interested in history, New York, politics, maps, economics, or language. It's one of those books.
The only reason it doesn't get five stars is for the actual recording, which is riddled with heavy breathing from the narrator. Just sloppy engineering, methinks, and detracts from an otherwise passionate performance.
Having heard a number of eye-opening interviews with Don Tapscott, I was utterly disappointed by this book. The subject matter is interesting and ultimately highly important, but struggles to shine beneath the stodgy language and over-explanations of the book's prose.
Clearly, the audience of this book is the layman, who has been living in the 1950s since, well, the 1950s. For a tech-savvy, future-focused reader like myself, there was hardly anything I hadn't heard before.
Strangely, while the book highlights a number of anecdotes and case studies of companies and individuals who are pushing the accepted norms, I don't feel enough suggestions and action steps were presented. I could do without the broad predictions using phrases like "governments will" and "corporations must". Only in the conclusion are we shown an honest laundry list of how we can (and should change).
I still have faith in this movement, and in the top-line notions discussed in the book. But I can't endorse this sterile, boring, tome. In the realm of pop economics and industry-based non-fiction, I'd suggest Chris Anderson, Alain de Botton, or Malcolm Gladwell.
Where do I begin. Great book about music and the strange personalities that are found fandoms across the globe. As usual, characters are gripping and multi-dimensional, without being aloof or, well, fictitious. You feel as if you know everyone in the story.
Didn't feel as if the plot itself was much to speak about. Basically a story about a bunch of people who eventually meet. Nothing really "happens" aside from their emotions and reactions. A character-driven story, in that case, as many of Hornby's are.
Recommended for fans of Anglo-American relations and singer-songwriters.
Just great. Every story in this book is worthy of discussing with friends and further curiousity. Another win for Gladwell.
As an avid technology user, early adopter, and media addict this book failed to moved me or teach me anything I didn't already know. I discovered rather quickly that I wasn't the intended audience, and thus all Mr. Bilton's efforts are wasted on me. Like Bilton, I grew up with the early internet, playing video games, doing things simultaneously, avoiding homework, etc. It's not news at all. My grandmother, however, might enjoy it, as she is less aware of what "the kids" are doing.
Aside from the audience mismatch, I felt this book lacked the gripping stories of Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" or Chris Anderson's "Free". While Bilton is obviously very plugged in, I think he has a way to go before he becomes a heavyweight in the world of non-fiction pop-technology writing.
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