One of my big goals in 2018 is to complete two books every month. This includes both non-fiction from diverse topics, as well as fiction.
To keep myself accountable, I’ll be posting books here as I finish them. I’ll also share some of my top takeaways (if applicable) and whether or not I recommend the book. I’ll update this regularly and hope to have at least 24 books listed by the end of the year.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
This popular book from blogger and author Mark Manson describes itself as a “generation-defining self-help guide.” It’s about giving less fucks about what’s not important so you can prioritize the things that actually matter.
- Give a fuck to only what’s important. “The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.” (pg. 5)
- Finding happiness is about discovering the problems you enjoy solving. “Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for… Our struggles determine our sucesses.” (pg. 40)
- Choose the right metrics to measure your life by. It starts with selecting the right values. “When we have poor values—that is, poor standards we set for ourselves and others—we are essentially giving fucks about the things that don’t matter, things that in fact make our life worse.” (pg. 88)
- To improve, accept that you could be wrong and embrace failure. “Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something.” (pg. 150)
- Recognize that you’ll die someday…so act accordingly. “The only way to be comfortable with death is to understand and see yourself as something bigger than yourself; to choose values that stretch beyond serving yourself, that are simple and immediate and controllable and tolerant of the chaotic world around you.” (pg. 206)
Final thoughts: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is an easy read, but I found myself struggling with it. The introduction is strong and promising, but the rest of the book falls flat. While Manson has some important points in the book, he sometimes makes logical lapses and provides examples that are problematic. The book’s advertised theme (about not giving a fuck) didn’t necessarily show up in the chapters following the first one. The end product is a body of work that, while well written, lacks cohesion.
The ending is great though. If you’re planning on reading this, I’d suggest reading the intro and the ending and skipping the other parts.