Friday, August 21, 2015

Think like a Freak - Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner --------------- 3.5 Stars

Like my last blog, this is another example of a follow up book trying to mimic the original in basic premise and form.  Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner's first book, Freakonomics, is an absolutely great book that I highly recommend. So, did Think Like a Freak equal the original?  Not quite but pretty close.

This book was sufficiently interesting and entertaining.  Good subjects, interesting questions, cool stories and nice writing style.  Unlike Freakonomics though, I've read this type of book so many times by now that it has kind of lost it's luster.

The general premise of the book, as the title suggests, is to look at the world and think differently.  They suggest not looking at giant problems, but start small and redefine how you look at a problem.  Pretty decent premise  and the follow through was not too bad.  Through some pretty interesting stories, the authors are pretty convincing about ways to re-acclimate yourself to the world around you.  I actually appreciated some of their take-aways; things like: admitting you don't know something, look at a problem like a child might and why quitting is not a bad thing.

The writing style is fun to read and easy to follow.  I really enjoyed most of the chapters and the stories that are included.  Although they would move quickly from subject to subject and story to story (sometimes as short as a only a page or two on each), they did have a common theme within each that would pull together the chapter.  In fact, some of the chapters were absolutely fascinating (one titled "What do King Solomon and David Lee Roth have in common" was particularly interesting. )

One other great take-away from the book is to always be willing to ask tough questions and take a stand for something even if you stick out.  In other words, it's okay to be a freak sometimes.  Freaks are the ones that often change the world.

Overall, I do suggest you check this book out and learn to better think like a Freak.  Even if you don't really want to you'll enjoy the stories along the way!

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