Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book #34: More or Less

More or Less, by Jeff Shinaberger. Unabridged audio.

Are you familiar with the expression "HumbleBrag?" If you are looking for a definition, I recommend Jeff Shinaberger's book, More or Less.  As I mentioned in a recent review, I do not read a lot of self-help or personal management books, and maybe that lack of familiarity of the genre is influencing my opinion here.
There are certainly many positive things to get out of this book. The basic message is that we in the West have too much, and there are easy ways for us to share our excess with those who have less. This idea of "radical generosity" is certainly a noble sentiment, and a countercultural one, and one with which I heartily agree. Donating gift cards, excess presents, and clothing are all valuable ideas, and the nuanced discussion in the chapter about transportation is a highlight of the book.
And even though Shinaberger does note the charitable work of others, most of the examples of virtuous behavior and innovative service are his own and his own family. There are poignant moments of Shinaberger and his wife growing in the area of generosity and identification with the underclass. But it is frustrating when the moments of passion and commitment on Shinaberger's part are balanced by moments of self-indulgence. The story of watching part of a U2 concert from a parking garage across the street from the stadium was interesting, I guess, but I wasn't sure where exactly it fit in the book.

Source: NoiseTrade website. I appreciate Shinaberger putting his work on this site for a time, which has a "pay what you want" model. This is Shinaberger living up to his ideal of radical generosity.

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