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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
Think Like a Freak - Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

This book does nothing to cure my sickness: footnote-itis. Behind the two-hundred pages of text are another couple of hundred benign-sounding “underlying research citations and other background information", which the authors encourage me to use. Thanks Mr. Levitt. Thanks Mr. Dubner. I needed an extra day to write this review because I spent most of one night watching lectures from Yale Professor Dan Kahan talking about the Cultural Cognition Project. Only one-hundred-ninety-nine more footnotes to go.

According to the authors, “the first two books were rarely prescriptive”. They told stories with data. This book couples that with useful takeaways for everyday life. Again, not helping my sickness, authors. This interesting analysis tells me “just because you’re at the office is no reason to stop thinking”. This book teaches me how to redefine the problem by: thinking small, not big; not being afraid of the obvious; and, having fun. I had a lot of fun with this book.

This book starts out by telling me that the highest percentage of winning goals are right down the middle, that stuffing someone else’s poop up my butt can cure me, and that a bank can make me rich by playing lottery with my money. Something like that. Oh, and keep worrying, because the winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize proves it’s bacterial, not worry that causes ulcers.

The whole idea here is to re-think the obvious perception. Much of what we’ve learned in DRIVE, OUTLIERS, ESSENTIALISM, and especially THINKING, FAST AND SLOW is replicated here in the authors’ unique and witty voice. They take what other people may overlook and spin it around, just like their previous works, if not better. So pour yourself that $1.65 bottle of wine (because it tastes the same as a $150 bottle), sit back, and enjoy this awesome book.

Anything that sparks my brain into extra gear is a winner, even if my footnote-itis remains uncured.

Thanks to William Morrow and HarperCollins for sending me this book to review.