1. Books

A Meta Review of a Meta Review of My Review of Return on Relationship

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Ted Rubin and Kathryn Rose wrote a book.

I wrote a book review.

Chuck Kent wrote a review of my book review, comparing it to a review by Drew Neisser.

Really, I just wanted to write a meta review of the meta review of my review of Ted&39;s book just to write the headline above and use the image in this post. Linking to this meta review within this meta review is particularly egregious. You are welcome to keep clicking that link just to see if it ever takes you anywhere else. (Oh wait, I don&;t sell ads on this blog, so you won&39;t do anything for my CPMs.)

To add a bit more to the conversation though, I&39;ll add a few thoughts that go behind the scenes of penning the review of ROR:

1) I thought I&39;d just do Ted a favor and skim the book and write a little note about how everyone should go buy it. That was the actual original plan.

2) Plans changed. I wound up getting ahead of schedule with some work projects. And then it got really, really cold in New York and I didn&39;t want to leave the apartment. And then, most importantly, I started reading ROR and found it engaging enough to read and not skim. That led me to start taking a few notes and do something I had no intention of doing: critiquing it.

3) By that logic, if climate change was really just about global warming and it was a balmy day in New York, I probably would have been walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and not getting around to writing a book review.

4) Taking the logic far enough, someone can probably blame Al Gore for inventing the internet and/or climate change, and thus Al Gore is the butterfly that flapped its wings and is responsible for Chuck Kent&39;s meta review. If you play Six Degrees of Al Gore, it will thus lead to Chuck Kent.

5) If you play Six Degrees of Chuck Kent, it will in turn lead to Al Gore. And/or a butterfly.

6) Wait, where was I going with this?

7) Oh, right.&;

8) I don&39;t write many book reviews here. When I do, they&39;re often not about business books. It&39;s because the past few years, I have averaged reading more than 1.5 books per week, and well under 10% are in the business genre. Some wind up being relevant professionally without being specifically about my job, such as Your Brain at Work, which is one of the best books I have read in the past few years, and possibly ever. In the past few years, I have probably read more books about Baruch Spinoza or Pablo Escobar (those are for two VERY different reasons) than I have books that are directly connected to my job.&0160;

9) It&39;s quite difficult writing book reviews when I know the author. I wrote a review many years ago, not long after I started blogging, and was far more critical than I was about ROR. I still run into the author. I know he still remembers my review. He is quite good natured about it, but for years I felt awkward about it, and he did make a point of introducing me to someone at a conference by saying, "This is David, the guy who panned my book." I could do without more of those situations.

10) Chuck writes, "…My point is to stop and examine the clubbiness, ego-baiting and intellectually lazy habits that many of us (myself included), give in to in book reviews, blog posts and general content creation." It feels good to not be considered among the intellectually lazy in this one, and I appreciate Chuck&39;s take. I still can&39;t imagine I&39;ll be reviewing too many books. Not all authors are as gracious as Ted and Kathryn, and if I ever get around to writing a book, after putting so much effort into it, I&39;m not sure how much I&39;d welcome any criticism – constructive or otherwise.

11) If I do write a book and it isn&39;t universally loved and acclaimed, I will have to remember to do one thing: blame Al Gore.


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Comments to: A Meta Review of a Meta Review of My Review of Return on Relationship
  • Avatar
    January 31, 2013

    I’ll send my book to you and Ted for review, as IDrew Neisser requested I do for him (oh wait… I have to write one first). Seriously, thanks for having the cojones – or simple intellectual honesty – to offer a real (read: useful) critique. From the authors’ responses, it seems to be useful to them, as well as to folks like me. I’d also like to compliment you on the astute strategy to blame Al Gore while simultaneously complimenting him with that very trim, youthful photo. Brilliant!

  • Avatar
    January 31, 2013

    David… thanks for the smile. Make it a great day my friend, and remember… Relationships are like muscle tissue, the more they are engaged, the stronger they become. 🙂


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