What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Fallible
Posts: 6105
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:06 pm

VictoriaF wrote:I am reading So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport. The book starts out by dispelling the Passion Hypothesis, i.e., a common advice to follow one's passion in selecting career. Newport's alternative to starting with a passion and then becoming good is becoming good ("so good they can't ignore you") and acquiring the passion in the process.

I think it's relevant to the Bogleheads discussions of jobs, including those related to the career paths of family members. One can become a highly skillful accountant, actuary, economist, or pursue some other profession infamous for being boring, and achieve both financial rewards and emotional fulfillment. It seems a preferable alternative to becoming a struggling artist, especially because a fulfilled actuary can pursue art in his free time.

Victoria


Hi Victoria,

Haven't read the book, but took the time to read an article by Newport and I think his take on "follow your passion" is somehow misleading (at least it confuses me). IMO, discovering a passion is discovering and beginning to understand one's self, either deliberately and consciously or intuitively and subconsciously or a combination. It's natural and wondrous and as we also learn about and develop (separately from passion I believe) our various skill sets, it can help us decide which skills are most important to us and then choose a career where they can be best applied. Once in that career, passion for the work will help get us through the inevitable career downsides.

Again, I haven't read the book, but this is how it worked for me and for people I've known and read about.

Fallible
Last edited by Fallible on Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:37 pm

I currently am reading Into that Darkness: An Examination of Conscience by Gitta Sereny. Her book is based on extensive interviews of Franz Stangl, the Commandant of Treblinka.

Ms. Sereny also wrote Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, a scathing portrayal of Hitler's armaments minister (and, before that, his favorite architect).

In addition, she wrote two books on Mary Bell, a British woman who, as a ten-year old child, strangled to death two little boys and who was convicted in 1968. (She was released in 1980.) The first book, The Case of Mary Bell, published in 1972, was an account of the killings and trial. The second book, Cries Unheard: the Story of Mary Bell, published in 1998, details Bell's account of sexual abuse at the hands of her mother, a prostitute who specialized as a dominatrix, and her mother's clients. The book received a great deal of criticism from the British tabloids and even the Tony Blair government because Ms. Sereny paid Mary Bell for collaborating with her on the book.

(As a side note, Holocaust denier, or if you will, revisionist, David Irving initiated a libel case against Sereny for two reviews in which she asserted he deliberately falsified the historical record in an attempt to rehabilitate the Nazis. Irving maintained a personal animosity (He called her "that shriveled Nazi hunter"), for successfully refuting claims he made in a book he wrote on Hitler.)
Gordon

hq38sq43
Posts: 408
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:25 pm
Location: Bradenton FL

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by hq38sq43 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:30 pm

The Good Society (1996), John Kenneth Galbraith.

Among other things, Professor Galbraith debunks the notion that deficit government spending inherently and unfairly burdens future generations. He argues that deficit spending for education, health care, infrastructure, and even national defense is akin to capital investment by private business. Such government investment benefits both current and future generations and it's cost is therefore properly shared by both.
Harry at Bradenton

jginseattle
Posts: 677
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:33 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jginseattle » Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:28 pm

The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, by Caroline Alexander.

A great adventure story. Well researched and well told.

User avatar
stemikger
Posts: 4503
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:02 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by stemikger » Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:32 pm

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune [Bill Dedman, Paul Clark Newell Jr.]

I highly recommend this book. It is both tragic and fascinating.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 11316
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:48 am

The Big Four, by Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot saves the world from a devious plot.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

jebmke
Posts: 6674
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:49 am

The Last Alibi, by David Ellis
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by chaz » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:57 am

"Rage" by Jonathan Kellerman.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 33932
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:51 pm

Just finished The Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut. Loved it.

Finished the preface to The American Credo, by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, online at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23858/23 ... 3858-h.htm , and have read about 200 of the articles of the "Credo" itself. I am completely baffled as to what to make of it. I just can't tell where on the scale between serious and humorous it's meant to be. It doesn't seem very funny, there is a such a degree of anger and bitterness to it. The articles of the Credo similar fall short of being very funny, but they do not seem to be seriously enough researched (if they were researched at all) to stand as sociology, even casual sociology.

Some are quite amazing indications of the time: "§204: That the chicken salad served in restaurants is always made of veal." Yes, one of the amazing achievements of the... 1950s? I guess? was the transformation of chicken into an inexpensive food. In 1920, it was a luxury food--whose campaign slogan was "A chicken in every pot?" Evidently veal was a cheap substitute for chicken.

"§251: That the ornamental daggers fashioned out of one hundred dollars' worth of Chinese coins strung together, which one buys in Pekin or Hong Kong for three dollars and a quarter, are fashioned out of one hundred dollars' worth of Chinese coins." "Ornamental daggers fashioned out of Chinese coins strung together?" What on earth were those? Surprisingly hard to find on the Internet. I think "Chinese coin swords" are the right search term:

Image
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 11316
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:07 pm

Wildfire and the Border Legion, by Zane Grey. Set in 19th century Arizona near the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, a story of ranching, horses, wild-horse catchers, tracking, and all the frontier types. "Wildfire" is a horse, I haven't yet learned what the "border legion" might be.

Am I the only one here who will admit to reading frivolous books with no serious purpose?
Last edited by ruralavalon on Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
seeshells
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:43 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by seeshells » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:19 pm

The New Lombard Street: How the Fed became the Dealer of Last Resort, by P. Mehrling.

placeholder
Posts: 3954
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by placeholder » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:02 am

nisiprius wrote:Evidently veal was a cheap substitute for chicken.

My copy of the Joy of Cooking discussed that with the recipe for mock chicken leg made from ground veal.

Fallible
Posts: 6105
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:46 pm

nisiprius wrote:...
Finished the preface to The American Credo, by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, online at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23858/23 ... 3858-h.htm , and have read about 200 of the articles of the "Credo" itself. I am completely baffled as to what to make of it. I just can't tell where on the scale between serious and humorous it's meant to be. It doesn't seem very funny, there is a such a degree of anger and bitterness to it. The articles of the Credo similar fall short of being very funny, but they do not seem to be seriously enough researched (if they were researched at all) to stand as sociology, even casual sociology. ...


Everything I ever tried to read of Mencken puzzled me in much the way you describe with “Credo.” I appreciated his talents and most of his work, but suspect I read him mainly because I thought I should, having been a Sociology major and a journalist. I even thought of re-reading "Credo" after reading your post, but nope... Puzzling.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

User avatar
telemark
Posts: 2029
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by telemark » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:09 pm

nisiprius wrote:"Ornamental daggers fashioned out of Chinese coins strung together?" What on earth were those? Surprisingly hard to find on the Internet.

I assume they mean one of these: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/cm/c/coin_sword.aspx

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 5605
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:33 pm

Fallible wrote:
nisiprius wrote:...
Finished the preface to The American Credo, by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, online at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23858/23 ... 3858-h.htm , and have read about 200 of the articles of the "Credo" itself. I am completely baffled as to what to make of it. I just can't tell where on the scale between serious and humorous it's meant to be. It doesn't seem very funny, there is a such a degree of anger and bitterness to it. The articles of the Credo similar fall short of being very funny, but they do not seem to be seriously enough researched (if they were researched at all) to stand as sociology, even casual sociology. ...


Everything I ever tried to read of Mencken puzzled me in much the way you describe with “Credo.” I appreciated his talents and most of his work, but suspect I read him mainly because I thought I should, having been a Sociology major and a journalist. I even thought of re-reading "Credo" after reading your post, but nope... Puzzling.

I tried reading that. My conclusion? Mencken is best with the quick quip -- the one liner, even if it takes a paragraph to set up.

I looked up the co-author, George Jean Nathan, and see that he was a drama critic also known for his witty remarks.

I see no mystery in the what that whole piece is about, including the 488 points of the credo. The authors are expressing their disdain and disappointment in the American public. They seem to have sacrificed most of their wit while unloading their feelings! They probably felt a lot better when they were done.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by chaz » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:11 pm

"Night and Day" by Robert Parker.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Fallible
Posts: 6105
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:14 pm

bertilak wrote:
Fallible wrote:
nisiprius wrote:...
Finished the preface to The American Credo, by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, online at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23858/23 ... 3858-h.htm , and have read about 200 of the articles of the "Credo" itself. I am completely baffled as to what to make of it. I just can't tell where on the scale between serious and humorous it's meant to be. It doesn't seem very funny, there is a such a degree of anger and bitterness to it. The articles of the Credo similar fall short of being very funny, but they do not seem to be seriously enough researched (if they were researched at all) to stand as sociology, even casual sociology. ...


Everything I ever tried to read of Mencken puzzled me in much the way you describe with “Credo.” I appreciated his talents and most of his work, but suspect I read him mainly because I thought I should, having been a Sociology major and a journalist. I even thought of re-reading "Credo" after reading your post, but nope... Puzzling.

I tried reading that. My conclusion? Mencken is best with the quick quip -- the one liner, even if it takes a paragraph to set up.

I looked up the co-author, George Jean Nathan, and see that he was a drama critic also known for his witty remarks.

I see no mystery in the what that whole piece is about, including the 488 points of the credo. The authors are expressing their disdain and disappointment in the American public. They seem to have sacrificed most of their wit while unloading their feelings! They probably felt a lot better when they were done.


Curiosity got the better of me - plus I found a free Kindle download :) - and I re-read some of it and it was deja vu all over again - it's good but I couldn't finish it. I agree about sacrificing wit while unloading feelings and think this may explain the difficulty in finding a place on the "scale between serious and humorous" Nisiprius referred to.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 33932
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:30 pm

Fallible wrote:...Curiosity got the better of me - plus I found a free Kindle download :)
I said "Project Gutenberg" but actually am reading the "free Kindle download." Virtually all the Kindle books that are converted "by a community of volunteers" are PG texts, and most though not all PG texts are available as Kindle downloads.
and I re-read some of it and it was deja vu all over again - it's good but I couldn't finish it. I agree about sacrificing wit while unloading feelings and think this may explain the difficulty in finding a place on the "scale between serious and humorous" Nisiprius referred to.
Do you think they are being intentionally insulting by referring to Woodrow Wilson as "Dr. Wilson" rather than "President Wilson?" Or do they think "Dr." trumps "President" as an honorific?
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 5605
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:31 pm

Fallible wrote:Curiosity got the better of me - plus I found a free Kindle download :) - and I re-read some of it and it was deja vu all over again - it's good but I couldn't finish it. I agree about sacrificing wit while unloading feelings and think this may explain the difficulty in finding a place on the "scale between serious and humorous" Nisiprius referred to.

"Good" is a bit farther than I would go with that piece.

BTW, Mencken is my avatar! I do like most of his writing but that piece is basically unreadable.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 5605
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:34 pm

nisiprius wrote:Do you think they are being intentionally insulting by referring to Woodrow Wilson as "Dr. Wilson" rather than "President Wilson?" Or do they think "Dr." trumps "President" as an honorific?

If there is an opportunity to insult, the subtler the better, they (well, at least Mencken), will certainly make the best of it.

I think Mencken generally fits into the category of curmudgeon. Maybe that's why I like him and maybe it's why I might not like him in real life.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

placeholder
Posts: 3954
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by placeholder » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:48 pm

Technically it is improper to refer to a past President by that title (or Mr. President) but of course most don't pay any attention to that except protocol folk who have to get it right:
http://www.emilypost.com/forms-of-address/titles/118-addressing-a-former-us-president
http://www.formsofaddress.info/FOA_president_US_former.html

Fallible
Posts: 6105
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:56 pm

nisiprius wrote:...Do you think they are being intentionally insulting by referring to Woodrow Wilson as "Dr. Wilson" rather than "President Wilson?" Or do they think "Dr." trumps "President" as an honorific?

Unless this is a trick question (re Mencken's The American Credo), the only reason I know of is that it's an insult mainly over Wilson's politics, but he apparently did the same with other politicians. Is there another answer?

Thanks for the heads-up on PG.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

Fallible
Posts: 6105
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:01 pm

bertilak wrote:
Fallible wrote:Curiosity got the better of me - plus I found a free Kindle download :) - and I re-read some of it and it was deja vu all over again - it's good but I couldn't finish it. I agree about sacrificing wit while unloading feelings and think this may explain the difficulty in finding a place on the "scale between serious and humorous" Nisiprius referred to.

"Good" is a bit farther than I would go with that piece.

BTW, Mencken is my avatar! I do like most of his writing but that piece is basically unreadable.

I used "good" rather than very good or excellent. :happy
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

User avatar
market timer
Posts: 5794
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:42 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by market timer » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:32 pm

A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin. It's the current WSJ book club choice. Ordinarily I don't read fantasy, but thought I'd try something different.

User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 1048
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:29 pm

Started and finished Dennis Lehane's The Drop yesterday. Not his best but very readable. Not typical Lehane either. Short, more a novella than a novel. Apparently its a treatment of the current movie screen play from something he wrote several years ago.

Next is The Intercept by Dick Wolf. The reviews also describe it as screenplay like. Not surprising given Mr. Wolf's history with his Law & Order franchise.

Bungo
Posts: 824
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:28 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Bungo » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:10 pm

My recent WWI reading left me wanting to know more about the Russian revolution, so I have just started Orlando Figes' A People's Tragedy, which looks great so far. It spans the generous time period from 1891 to 1924 to provide proper context. The text is over 800 pages not including endnotes, so I'll be reading this for a while.

I'm also reading Caleb Carr's The Alienist, a historical thriller/serial killer novel set in 1896 New York. Lots of nice historical detail, with a mix of fictional characters along with non-fictional, such as Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt and muckraking journalists Jacob Riis and Lincoln Steffens.

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by chaz » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:52 am

"The Winner" by David Baldacci.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by chaz » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:10 pm

"Blood Test" by Jonathan Kellerman.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:55 pm

I am reading Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet by Jenifer Ringer. Ms. Ringer was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet before retiring this year at the age of forty-one. Here she describes her dancing career going back to her early childhood aspirations. She shares her journey from student to star, an arc that included the New York City Ballet firing her when she was twenty-four during her struggle with an eating disorder that encompassed first anorexia, then compulsive eating.
Gordon

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 40475
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:03 pm

T.N.T: Telzey and Trigger, by James H. Schmitz.

I'm quite enjoying this one.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Coles
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:11 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Coles » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:06 pm

heartwood wrote:Started and finished Dennis Lehane's The Drop yesterday. Not his best but very readable. Not typical Lehane either. Short, more a novella than a novel. Apparently its a treatment of the current movie screen play from something he wrote several years ago.

The movie was based on Lehane's short story "Animal Rescue" which originally appeared in the Boston Noir anthology.
The book you read is a novelization of the movie.

Note that "Animal Rescue" also appears in USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series. Since it is the first story in the book, if you download the free Kindle preview, it includes the complete story.

User avatar
seeshells
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:43 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by seeshells » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:20 pm

Stigums's Money Market, 4E, ; Its a USA and Eurodollar focused publication on how-to's of global fixed income opportunities. By Marcia Stigum;Anthony Crescenzi.

User avatar
Ged
Posts: 3271
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:48 pm
Location: Roke

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Ged » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:23 pm

The Peripheral by William Gibson.

I'm a huge fan and this is his first new sci fi in years and years. Just reading the first page and the familiar style is like putting on a favorite pair of slippers.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 17407
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:11 am

Fallible wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:I am reading So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport. The book starts out by dispelling the Passion Hypothesis, i.e., a common advice to follow one's passion in selecting career. Newport's alternative to starting with a passion and then becoming good is becoming good ("so good they can't ignore you") and acquiring the passion in the process.

I think it's relevant to the Bogleheads discussions of jobs, including those related to the career paths of family members. One can become a highly skillful accountant, actuary, economist, or pursue some other profession infamous for being boring, and achieve both financial rewards and emotional fulfillment. It seems a preferable alternative to becoming a struggling artist, especially because a fulfilled actuary can pursue art in his free time.

Victoria


Hi Victoria,

Haven't read the book, but took the time to read an article by Newport and I think his take on "follow your passion" is somehow misleading (at least it confuses me). IMO, discovering a passion is discovering and beginning to understand one's self, either deliberately and consciously or intuitively and subconsciously or a combination. It's natural and wondrous and as we also learn about and develop (separately from passion I believe) our various skill sets, it can help us decide which skills are most important to us and then choose a career where they can be best applied. Once in that career, passion for the work will help get us through the inevitable career downsides.

Again, I haven't read the book, but this is how it worked for me and for people I've known and read about.

Fallible


Hi Fallible,

Newport describes how "follow your passion" is a treacherous guidance, because it intuitively feels right, it's widely promoted, and at the same time it's likely to lead one to a failure. In some areas, such as arts and sports, for some people, following passion works well. But the majority of people are being misled by this advice. People don't know what their passion is when they are in their thirties, forties, and beyond, let alone at seventeen when they are choosing a college major. The conviction that their passion exists and that they must find it holds people back, causing them to change jobs, change college majors, drop out from college.

Instead of following passion, Newport recommends building career capital. He contrasts these two alternatives as follows:
- Follow your passion means looking for something that the world offers to you.
- Building career capital means offering something to the world that the world will reward you for.

Newport is not against passion; he is against a lifelong fruitless search for passion without offering anything in return. His point is that as you develop rare and valuable skills to offer to the world ("career capital"), you find a job with rare and valuable traits, a job that you will be passionate about. You don't start with passion, you earn it.

Newport profiles musicians, comedians, entrepreneurs, farmers, and others pointing out how they achieved their ideal work environments not by following their passion but by becoming so good that others could not ignore them. Newport also provides some examples of how following passion has led some people to disastrous results.

People who had succeeded were changing their paths as they were building a greater career capital and as they were discovering themselves and their needs. A woman software developer was so good that her employer could not afford to lose her and allowed her to take time off to take university courses in philosophy. A man learned to build superior surfboards that eventually led to his paradise life on the beach. The more these people had to offer the more they were able to steer their lives in the direction of their evolving interests and passions.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 5605
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:33 pm

Now fell there mischiefs thick.
-- Thomas More, about 1519, concerning the aftermath of Richard III's bloody usurpation of the throne in 1483. Quoted in Desmond Seward's 1982 book Richard III -- England's Black Legend.

You may have heard of the "princes in the tower." Richard III is suspect number 1 in their deaths. It is beyond controversy that he put them there and that the survival of either one of them would threaten Richard's kingship. Certainly a "mischief thick!"

You may have also heard that Richard III's skeleton was recently (September 2012) unearthed.
Image
This tends to validate the darker interpretation of Richard's story as many of his defenders claimed that physical descriptions of a deformed Richard were invented by his enemies just to make him seem more evil and discredit the negative stories.
Last edited by bertilak on Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 40475
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:59 pm

If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript, by Angus Croll. This is one twisted idea.

I read this courtesy of my MegaEmployer's online subscription service. You can find it online, but I don't think it's worth buying. I skimmed through it in 10 minutes.

Basically, write javascript code in the style of the classical authors. For lack of a better description, I'd call it satire. You can get the gist of the content at the author's website:

- If Hemingway wrote JavaScript
- If Kerouac wrote JavaScript (and Dr Johnson wrote CoffeeScript)
- Salinger, Nabokov and Tupac do JavaScript

Not in the book, but you'll never read poetry the same way again:

- If Edgar Allan Poe wrote JavaScript
- Macbeth’s lost callback
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 11316
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:58 pm

VictoriaF wrote: Newport describes how "follow your passion" is a treacherous guidance, because it intuitively feels right, it's widely promoted, and at the same time it's likely to lead one to a failure. In some areas, such as arts and sports, for some people, following passion works well. But the majority of people are being misled by this advice. People don't know what their passion is when they are in their thirties, forties, and beyond, let alone at seventeen when they are choosing a college major. The conviction that their passion exists and that they must find it holds people back, causing them to change jobs, change college majors, drop out from college.

Instead of following passion, Newport recommends building career capital. He contrasts these two alternatives as follows:
- Follow your passion means looking for something that the world offers to you.
- Building career capital means offering something to the world that the world will reward you for.

Newport is not against passion; he is against a lifelong fruitless search for passion without offering anything in return. His point is that as you develop rare and valuable skills to offer to the world ("career capital"), you find a job with rare and valuable traits, a job that you will be passionate about. You don't start with passion, you earn it.

Newport profiles musicians, comedians, entrepreneurs, farmers, and others pointing out how they achieved their ideal work environments not by following their passion but by becoming so good that others could not ignore them. Newport also provides some examples of how following passion has led some people to disastrous results.

People who had succeeded were changing their paths as they were building a greater career capital and as they were discovering themselves and their needs. A woman software developer was so good that her employer could not afford to lose her and allowed her to take time off to take university courses in philosophy. A man learned to build superior surfboards that eventually led to his paradise life on the beach. The more these people had to offer the more they were able to steer their lives in the direction of their evolving interests and passions.

Victoria

Thank you for this, I'll have to read this book.

Personal experience.

My junior year in college it occurred to me that my undergraduate major (Physics switched to Spanish, switched to Psychology -- how odd is that?) left me well-rounded but unsuited for any paying occupation, and stumbled on the idea of law School by complete accident. No one in my family or circle of acquaintances was involved in the law.

I went to the Univeristy of Illinois, Urbana, College of Law only because of very low in-state tuition, I had no idea that it was an excellent program. In 40 years practicing law (civil litigation) I almost always enjoyed my work. Even when I temporarily was dissatisfied, I could never think of anything else I would rather do.

How fortunate.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:45 pm

I have been reading The Beast in the Red Forest by Sam Eastland. This is the fifth in the Inspector Pekkala series, and I have enjoyed them all.

http://www.inspectorpekkala.com/

Eastland is the nom de plume of novelist and diarist Paul Watkins and the son of Welsh parents and the grandson of a London Metropolitan Police Investigator who served in Scotland Yards "Ghost Yard" during the1940s. He was educated at the Dragon School, Eton College, and Yale University. He resides near Princeton, New Jersey.

https://suite.io/martin-gosling/q602yy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_School
Gordon

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by chaz » Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:42 pm

"Run for Your Life" by James Patterson.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

jebmke
Posts: 6674
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:13 pm

"The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 " by Margaret MacMillan
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 11566
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by abuss368 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:18 pm

I am presently reading Ralph Block "Investing In REITs" 4th edition. Very informative indeed.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

User avatar
Ged
Posts: 3271
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:48 pm
Location: Roke

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Ged » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:27 pm

LadyGeek wrote:If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript, by Angus Croll. This is one twisted idea.


Yes, it is.

It makes me think of Damian Conway's Lingua::Romana::Perligata Perl module - the one that lets you write Perl programs adapting to Latin rules of grammar.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 17407
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:11 pm

ruralavalon wrote:Thank you for this, I'll have to read this book.


I highly recommend to read the book. While the synopsis provides the main message it's the examples and the repeated key statements that allow the message to sink in.

ruralavalon wrote:Personal experience.

My junior year in college it occurred to me that my undergraduate major (Physics switched to Spanish, switched to Psychology -- how odd is that?) left me well-rounded but unsuited for any paying occupation, and stumbled on the idea of law School by complete accident. No one in my family or circle of acquaintances was involved in the law.

I went to the Univeristy of Illinois, Urbana, College of Law only because of very low in-state tuition, I had no idea that it was an excellent program. In 40 years practicing law (civil litigation) I almost always enjoyed my work. Even when I temporarily was dissatisfied, I could never think of anything else I would rather do.

How fortunate.


Thank you for sharing your story. It's very interesting and illustrates the main concepts of the book. By the way, I got my first M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois in Urbana. A year ago, I got a second M.S. in a different field.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 33932
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:30 pm

Just finished The Winter of the World, by Ken Follett, second book of the "Century Trilogy." Pretty good, as was Fall of Giants, and I'm going to start The Edge of Eternity.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
Chan_va
Posts: 725
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Chan_va » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:39 pm

Just read Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization

Decent read, but a bit rushed and a breathless tabloid style. Inevitable I suppose when you have to compress a thousand years into a few hundred pages.

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:02 pm

I'm reading Prayer by Philip Kerr. Kerr is the author of the Bernie Gunther series. Prayer, however, is a stand-alone novel. The protagonist is an FBI agent working in the domestic terrorism unit. It's a pretty good read.
Gordon

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 11316
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:43 am

The Sittaford Mystery, by Agatha Chrisitie. A determined young woman sets out to clear her hapless fiance of a murder charge.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

chaz
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by chaz » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:01 am

"Gone" by Jonathan Kellerman.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 5605
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:57 am

The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin.

This is a mystery from the "Golden Age" of British mysteries (Agatha Christie territory) or perhaps a bit later (1940s). It is a bit more light-hearted than Agatha Christie's books.

The reason I mention it is because right here on Bogleheads.org we have a thread called "A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy" and two of the characters play that same game in the book. They call it "Unreadable Books." Their list:

    Ulysses
    [anything by] Rabelais
    Tristram Shandy
    The Golden Bowl
    Rasselas
    Clarissa
    Titus

It's kind of a drinking game. Each player has five seconds to come up with a book and misses a turn if he can't. Miss three turns and you lose.

They also have a similar game called "Detestable Characters in Fiction (that the author intended to be sympathetic)." Some of the their list:

    Lady Chatterley and that gamekeeper
    Almost everyone in Dostoevsky
    Those vulgar little man-hunting minxes in Pride and Prejudice

It is, so far, a fun book with lots of literary references, most not as overt as the above. Note that one character is a Professor of English and the other is a poet.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

Fallible
Posts: 6105
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:04 pm

bertilak wrote:The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin.

This is a mystery from the "Golden Age" of British mysteries (Agatha Christie territory) or perhaps a bit later (1940s). It is a bit more light-hearted than Agatha Christie's books.

The reason I mention it is because right here on Bogleheads.org we have a thread called "A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy" and two of the characters play that same game in the book. They call it "Unreadable Books." Their list:

    Ulysses
    [anything by] Rabelais
    Tristram Shandy
    The Golden Bowl
    Rasselas
    Clarissa
    Titus

It's kind of a drinking game. Each player has five seconds to come up with a book and misses a turn if he can't. Miss three turns and you lose.

They also have a similar game called "Detestable Characters in Fiction (that the author intended to be sympathetic)." Some of the their list:

    Lady Chatterley and that gamekeeper
    Almost everyone in Dostoevsky
    Those vulgar little man-hunting minxes in Pride and Prejudice

It is, so far, a fun book with lots of literary references, most not as overt as the above. Note that one character is a Professor of English and the other is a poet.


Now somebody should start a forum topic, "Detestable Characters in Fiction." Thanks for the fun review and I just put the book on my list.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

Post Reply