Why Fish Don't Exist by Lulu Miller is an interesting and profound work of nonfiction subtitled A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life. Miller chronicles the life of David Starr Jordan, the first President of Stanford University, and a renowned taxonomist.
This blog is all about words because they matter, they influence, they entertain and when you put them down on a page in a meaningful order, they acquire permanence. Contained here is my writing over the past 10+ years, primarily book reviews over the past ~5 years, and I also have a book review podcast, Talking Nonfiction, available on Apple or Spotify.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Why Fish Don't Exist by Lulu Miller
Monday, September 06, 2021
Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui
Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui is a contemplative and interesting book that's noted to be an exploration of the world of swimming. The point is made that we must learn to live with water, it’s required for us to survive, and is all around us. Also, swimming can be a way to healing, health, and a community.
It's also covered that people enjoy swimming more than many other forms of exercise and that swim lessons are an equalizer between people. No matter how powerful someone is, if they don’t know how to swim, they're the same as others from a lower stature or different culture. Additionally, swim teams can be a great combination of singular determination and being part of a collective.
A couple of other things that stand out from the book are Japanese swimming martial arts, or Nihon eiho, and samurai swimmers from hundreds of year ago. Also, when you swim, you’re a part of a collective, and swimming in a body of water is a way of forging a connection with it, and with others who have swam there.
Amazon Unbound by Brad Stone
Amazon Unbound by Brad Stone is subtitled Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire and follows up on The Everything Store by Stone from 2013. In Amazon Unbound, it notes that at the end of 2010, Amazon had 33,700 employees and a market capitalization of $80B, with the net worth for Bezos at $15.9B. Amazon as of early Sept 2021 has roughly 1,300,000 employees and a market cap around $1.6T, with Bezos' net worth some $200B. Amazon Unbound details this exponential growth, with below the chapters and primary topics...
Chapter one – on the building of the Echo
Chapter two – on early efforts to create Amazon grocery retail stores
Chapter three – on Amazon in India
Chapter four – on AWS and Amazon stock doubling in 2015 after previously hiding its profitability to keep competitors out
Chapter five – on Bezos and his ownership of the Washington Post, purchased in 2013 for $250M
Chapter six – on efforts in Hollywood and Prime video
Chapter seven – on the Amazon flywheel leading to growth, counterfeit goods, and unhappy merchants
Chapter eight – on efforts in grocery and the 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods
Chapter nine – on logistics and supply chain
Chapter ten – on selling ads in Amazon site search results
Chapter eleven – on Bezos' Blue Origin space startup, founded in 2000
Chapter twelve – on the relationship with and impact of Amazon on Seattle and other cities with its HQ2 bakeoff
Chapter thirteen – on the breakup of Bezos’ marriage, including extortion and potential Saudi hacking
Chapter fourteen – on government investigation into potential monopolistic and anti-trust behavior by Amazon
Chapter fifteen – on the pandemic, including the Amazon firing of whistleblowers around worker safety