Some books grab your attention the minute you start reading them, and some don’t. It’s a simple fact of being a bibliophile that every now and then, no matter how much careful attention you put into researching and selecting a book, learning about an author’s background, or reading a few pages between the aisles at a bookstore before you buy the litle beauty you’ve been holding for the last 30 minutes, you’re bound to get a dud every now and then. Unfortunately for me, Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes was one of those duds.
I did not enjoy reading this book. The biggest reason was that Holmes uses far too many case studies in any given chapter to prove his points. Most the content within each chapter consists of long-winded examples with have an unclear connection to the author’s proclaimed ideas. I’m talking 15-20 pages of detailed narrative in each chapter about seemingly random people or organizations struggling on their professional journeys. The author’s own viewpoints about ambiguity, uncertainty, and making sense of an unclear world are unceremoniously shoved into the last page or two of each section.
This was incredibly frustrating because Holmes’ viewpoints actually make a lot of sense, are interesting and have a lot of potential for expansion, but I had to wade through a swamp of case studies to get to them. And when I did finally get to them, nestled somewhere on the bottom of the last page of a chapter, I was shocked to find they weren’t expanded upon. To put it bluntly, there’s very little “meat and potatoes” content in this book.
I would have enjoyed reading Nonsense much more if it focused on the author’s viewpoints with limited supporting examples, rather than consisting of an overabundance of case studies about motorcycle companies, fashion lines or extremism and the Bureau of Alcohol Tabaco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Overall, I was very disappointed with book. I don’t feel like I learned very much about how to successfully navigate through the ambiguities of life or society. I don’t recommend this book.
Just sayin’: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.