September 2015 reading material

Or listening material really since I’ve been preferring audiobooks again lately. They’re handy for taking in while I go about my day driving and walking and working out.

As mentioned on here already, I listened to Robert Greene’s book Mastery and thoroughly appreciated it. However, I was less of a fan of his book The Art of Seduction which I absorbed next. First off, it’s 22 hours long (versus Mastery‘s 16 hours) and is extremely repetitive when it comes to the stories used to elucidate his points. Some of the points he made seemed helpful and worthwhile, while plenty of others not so much. The book came across as a tool useful primarily for those either interested in pursuing political careers or fashioning themselves into playboys/playgirls. But the author doesn’t deny this and states on several occasions throughout that the book is intended to dispense information on the art of manipulation which is completely amoral in nature. The main takeaway I received in this book came from portions of the section on “masculine dandies” as well as consideration paid to the importance of weaving (and reinvigorating) fantasies, though much of what Greene wrote about struck me as reality-defying mind-games liable to cause a lot of grief in the aftermath. All in all, that wasn’t a book I’d recommend to others or plan to re-listen to going forward. Three out of 5 stars would be the highest rating I could furnish it.

Currently, I am listening to Chris Hadfield’s audiobook An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything, which I had began and then placed on hold for one of Robert Greene’s books mentioned above. So far I am really digging this one as it provides an example of someone living a life centered around mastering his field as well as other areas of life and living. Chris Hadfield’s message comes across as far more productive in orientation and realistic in terms of accepting the process required to become thoroughly competent in a given field. I look forward to continuing listening to more in the coming days.

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