More Book Reviews 7

PREVIOUSLY:

REVIEWS:

ISBN: 0140284583
Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943

I actually intended to buy a book on the siege of Leningrad, but by the time I realized my mistake I was already a third way through and unable to put it down.

The Battle of Stalingrad was the decisive battle of World War 2, not D-Day as American propaganda may have led you to believe. By the time the battle on France’s beaches occurred, the German army was already in full retreat on the Eastern Front and severely weakened in the West. As awful a man as Stalin was, he won WW2 for the allied powers. The American loss of 0.32% of its population doesn’t begin to compare to Soviet Union’s 13.88%.

The closest humanity came to hell on Earth was Stalingrad. The loss of life and suffering was staggering, and decades after the battle they were still finding human remains. For Russian soldiers crossing the Volga River to defend the tiny sliver of city they still controlled, it was guaranteed death. Many wouldn’t survive even a day. There was no escape from the reaper because the Soviets put NKVD secret police soldiers in the rear to shoot anyone who tried to run away. That’s what it took to defeat the Germans, who got overconfident against the “inferior” Slavs. The Americans or British would have surrendered had they encountered the same situation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you like to read about war then you’ll like it, too.

“Women were often forced to offer their emaciated bodies to survive or to feed an infant. There are reports of improvised brothels in the ruins. In several instances, love of a sort grew in the unpromising circumstances between Russian women and German soldiers. It was almost invariably a fatal liaison.”

“The survivors were so badly starved that when their rescuers gave them bread and sausage from their rations, most died immediately.”

“Survival often ran counter to expectation. The first to die were generally those who had been large and powerfully built. The small thin man always stood the best chances.”

ISBN: 0061122416
The Alchemist

This is an allegorical novel about a young man trying to find purpose and meaning in life. If you liked Siddhartha then you’ll like this short book, especially since it appears that the author has studied Buddhism.

I think the writing is just average, but the message is strong and it will encourage you to keep at whatever project you’re trying to succeed in.

“The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight.”

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”

ISBN: 1590770358
To Be Or Not To Be Intimidated

Recommended by Ricky Raw, this is the best sales book I’ve ever read, written by a real-estate agent who shares what he learned from being a broker for large apartment deals. Some of the methods he uses to close deals are nearly identical to what I use to close pussy.

I like how the author stresses getting paid instead of just closing the deal. Many times you hear a guy say, “I went out to the bar and got a number and make out.” That’s nice, but he didn’t close shit. I don’t care how many numbers and make outs you have, but until you fuck, you are not a closer—you’re merely accumulating prospects. He also urinates on “be positive” advice that is common in self-help circles. His ruthless, no-bullshit take on deal closing was very refreshing.

The author teaches you that in sales it’s important to:

-hope for the best but expect the worse
-build a few solid prospects instead of dozens of bad prospects
-be able to recognize the types of people who will “steal your chips”
-not worry about offending someone in the pursuit of your interests
-establish a strong “posture” that ensures the deal will be closed
-make your target think that closing the deal isn’t a big deal for you, that you have a lot of other deals going on
-be able to judge how desperate sellers or buyers are
-be both willing and determined to walk away
-understand that you’ll always get burned from a deal gone bad even if you guarded your chips carefully
-become best friends with the law of averages

The book was a great, entertaining read, that while is better served for business use, has principles that directly apply to game. I highly recommend it.


To Travel Hopelessly

This is a compilation of short stories by English Teacher X, an American guy who has taught English abroad before I even knew what travel was. His stories of traveling, teaching English, and chasing girls give a great taste of what it was like to be on the road during the 90′s and 00′s in those former pussy paradises that are now inundated with hordes of gash hounds like myself.

“I can’t say the world had disappointed me exactly, but I’d disappointed myself in how little I’d seem to get out of it. So you go to India and stay in a cheap hotel, see a sight or two, eat some local food, talk to some locals, but not many because they’re inevitably trying to rip you off by getting you to buy a carpet or something from their cousin’s souvenir shop. Was this enlightenment? Because it felt like the same old shit.”

At times I thought that I was reading something that I had written.

“He was typical of the ‘new breed’ of English teacher—hated everything about it, but could live a lot better and get laid a lot more abroad, so he wasn’t going home anytime soon.”

His crisp writing wastes no words. If you like my travel writing, you’ll enjoy this book.


English Teacher X Guide To Teaching English Abroad

I have absolutely no interest in being an English teacher, but I was thirsty for more of his writing style so I bought this book and knocked it out in two days.

“Why are [foreign] students all over the world studying English? To get right in that big rat race that you’re so eager to leave behind.”

He goes over the state of teaching English abroad, his experiences, and some specific teaching techniques. You’re more likely to enjoy this book if you have some interest in language or travel. That said, there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, usually involving excess drinking or trying to sleep with female students.

ISBN: 055338368X
Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae

I was on a war kick so I decided to take a look at this piece of historical fiction, which is basically the book version of the movie 300 without all the homoerotic imagery. It gives you a good background of the Spartan war machine, their society, and the logistics of war in that era. It was an entertaining book with well-written action scenes.

“Dienekes says the mind is like a house with many rooms. There are many rooms one must not go into. To anticipate one’s death is to go in one of those rooms. We must not allow ourselves even to think it.”

ISBN: 0965603679
How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World

This book is an attempt to apply libertarian philosophy as a template for a person’s entire life instead of just for the political realm, with most of its advice concerning personal relationships.

“You have tremendous control over your life, but you give up that control when you try to control others.”

The author tells you to embrace other people’s natures while listening to your own, and to go after your own interests above all others, even that of your family. This book could be retitled “Finding Freedom Through Selfishness,” and it’s pretty close to how I’ve been living my life the past ten years.

Instead of trying to change the broken culture I come from, change American women, or change bosses I didn’t like, I simply constructed a lifestyle from the ground up based on my personality and needs. Instead of protesting and trying to change the world, I changed myself (starting with learning game) and worked around the system to get what I want. This strategy has worked for me.

“You’re in the identity trap when you try to be interested in something because it’s expected of you, or when you try to do the things that others have said you should do, or when you try to live up to an image that others say is the only legitimate, valid image you’re allowed to have.”

The book encourages you not to bother trying to change the world. Work on changing yourself and finding your own happiness. Let other people waste their energy in fruitless endeavors where they must convince thousands or millions of people in order to make small, incremental changes. Fuck the herd and beat to your own drum.

“Improve your own situation without having to go to the trouble of making others agree with your way of thinking.”

Read this book if you want a great motivator to get off your ass and make a big change. All the excuses you probably make to prevent yourself from acting will be addressed in this book, which is like a 4-Hour Workweek from the 1970s that covers all aspects of your life instead of just money.

“There’s always a way [to happiness]—as long as you’re not looking for ways to change others.”

While the book is out of print, the PDF was available in the first page of the book’s google results last time I checked.

ISBN: 067960331X
Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

This is the story of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang when they started gaining nationwide notoriety in the mid 60s. They were both feared and admired by the suburban stiffs who were fascinated by their drunken and violent ways. Many a “good girl” would throw herself at the Angels for sex, and during their peak they had as many groupies as famous rock stars.

The book is one of the earliest I’ve read that goes into false rape accusations. A girl would want to get fucked by some bad boy Angels, realize that it was a less romantic experience than she had hoped for, then cry rape the next day, sort of like what happens these days. One passage painted a vivid account of a gang bang/rape that gave me a little boner:

“A hard core of eight or ten kept at her for several hours. In all, she was penetrated in various ways no less than fifty times, and probably more.”

If you’re a fan of Hunter S. Thompson’s other work then you’ll no doubt enjoy this one.

ISBN: 0061177598
Women

A semi-autobiographical book by Charles Bukowski. It’s about an alcoholic writer who becomes mildly famous and suddenly has young, beautiful women throwing themselves at him. The story is essentially a bunch of field reports of girls he fucked, written in the Hemingway style of short declarative sentences. This book will be most interesting to you under three conditions:

1. You personally knew Charles Bukowski.
2. You’re a man who doesn’t know what it’s like to easily fuck a lot of girls.
3. You’re a woman.

I felt like I was reading the blog of an old guy excited to be getting laid. It contains fine writing, but it’s really hard to read a book about a guy’s life when it’s less interesting than yours. This is one of those books that was groundbreaking when it was first published, but wouldn’t get much notice if it was released today.

“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”

“A man could lose his identify fucking around too much.”

ISBN: 1936719010
Do The Work

I read this book because I was a strong fan of the author’s related work, The War of Art, but it doesn’t come close to comparison. It’s a fluffy, brief work that reads more like a Seth Godin book than something containing insight that I haven’t seen elsewhere. I can see how it can be mildly motivating to some, but you’ll be better off reading The War of Art.

Do you want to read more book reviews? Click here for the previous set.

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Related Posts For You

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    Harry Browne’s book on freedom was very inspirational to me when I read it in high school. I guess it was my first red-pill moment.

  • Anonymous

    Got to get me a Kindle.so many books,so little time

  • http://www.atlibertyatleisure@wordpress NickyG

    Check out The Starfish and the Spider: By Ori Brafman & Rod Beckstrom

    It’s good reading and prophetic about how things are going. If you want to learn how to be a mini-Tyler Durden, this book outlines the structure; it’s not about Fight Club though.

    It takes less than a few hours to read.

    I’ll check out the sales pitch book.

  • Noam Chomsky

    I really enjoy your book reviews… I hope that you continue to do them as I always get good ideas for reading material.

  • http://www.thegmanifesto.com The G Manifesto

    “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga”

    It is funny how you remember exactly where you were when you read certain books.

    I remember someone left a copy of “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” in a house I was spending the summer in the Algarve region of Portugal when I was 18.

    That was the first book I read by Hunter S.

    - MPM

  • http://www.expatriatetaxreturns.com Diane Siriani

    I need to try some of these books out!

  • Anonymous

    You must be making bank off these book reviews to continue doing them so often.

  • http://www.therawness.com T. AKA Ricky Raw

    Fitting you just took a book recommendation I made and liked it, since I just recently took your recommendation of English Teacher X and loved it as well.

    And yes, Ringer’s sales advice is incredibly applicable to all areas of life, especially game.

  • Plagarise

    to be or not to be intimidated, sounds like a complete rip off of “winning through intimidation” even the similarity that the guy is a “broker for large apartment deals” – lots of books these days are just thinly disguised rewrites of someone elses work. I think im going to write a book, call it “Bang Women:more lays in 69 days” and then another one called “A dead rat in Uruguay”

  • Plagarise

    oh i just realized, the author of “to be or not to be intimidated” IS, the same author of winning through intimidation, hahahaha, looks like a re-release with a new title.

  • Roosh

    “A Dead Rat In Uruguay”

    :laugh:

  • The Inlaw Josey Whales

    Dead Rat in Uruguay could still be good though.

    Kindle 4 is coming out soon by the way

  • outlaw josey wales

    Roosh do you have a recommended way to read these books? Should I read as much as I can all at once, or is it better to read 20 pages or so at a time and take a break.

  • Anonymous

    “The Americans or British would have surrendered had they encountered the same situation.”

    Not denying the Russians anything, but don’t be so sure. Americans (traditionally)have always been extremely resilient and rise up to (or down to) challenges.

  • The Inlaw Josey Whatles

    “The Americans or British would have surrendered had they encountered the same situation.”

    Yeah, that’s why the Allies lost WWI

  • Rudy

    I plan on reading alot of these books you recommend i already bought the 48Laws of Power and ArtofSeduction. I’m waiting for your day game book i’m getting it ASAP. Random question Roosh but how tall are you, honestly? I’m thinking your height and looks DO help out alot in your pickups. I’m a hairy tall hispanic guy like you except i’m pudgier and girls say i’m good looking.

  • dufu

    Have you seen the movie Enemy At The Gates? The opening scene where the main character gets to Stalingrad and is thrown into battle without a rifle as cannon fodder really brings the senseless cruelty of that war to life.

    Too bad the rest of the movie is nearly ruined by a sappy love story.

  • blert

    German memoirs consistently place Americans as the worst opponent to face — by far.

    One SS major wrote of his positive relief when posted east — away from Patton. He wrote that 2 Germans facing 20 Russians was a picnic compared to fighting in the west.

    BTW, the REAL battle of Stalingrad did not occur in Stalingrad at all. Instead, the worst of the worst bloodshed ( think millions dead ) was at the ‘land bridge’ between the Volga and the Don.

    FOUR armies, not ONE, threw themselves straight into German machine guns day after day. Most formations were entirely destroyed within HOURS.

    German account report Russians crawling over mounds of dead higher than six feet to continue the attack. The dead soldiers becoming pure bullet stoppers.

    Any Russian failing to move forward was shot by the American 50 calibur machine guns provided by Lend Lease aid.

    Here’s the battle map showing the deployed armies. ( captured at the end of the war by the US Army )

    http://www.gutenberg-e.org/esk01/maps/LageOst10Sep42c_lg.jpg

    To blow the map up, left click your mouse. Then scroll to the northwest to dial in the Stalingrad front.

    The Hell zone is XIV Panzer Corps.

    The bloodletting there is never admitted by the Soviets.

    BTW, Saturn — the encirclement of 6th Army — was smaller than Mars — the attempt to encircle 2nd and 3rd Panzer Armies — in front of Moscow — which occurred at the exact same time.

    400,000 Russians died in Mars. (!)

    Because of Mars, three panzer divisions promised to 6th Army never made it there. They were pulled off the trains and sent back north. They were what Hitler expected would be his rescue squad. In the event they went missed at Stalingrad — and were too late to affect Mars. They just went back and forth doing nothing.

    The Saturn campaign pivoted upon American radio tubes. Germany had entirely destroyed Russias sole radio tube factory complex in December 1941 in front of Moscow! Stalin BSed the Americans into thinking he merely needed more tubes. (!) So FDR had them flown in.

    Until that moment, Russia’s tanks had no radios at all. That’s why the Germans were kicking their butts with inferior Mark III tanks!

    Now T34s — every one — had quality radios and transmitters. Everything flipped on a dime.

    America defeated Germany at Stalingrad — with Lend Lease aid. The Soviet army rolled on American trucks ( Studebackers ) with gasoline from tricked up refineries ( America ) and Hughes Tool Company rotary drill bits spudding new oil wells at 27 times the former tempo!

    American tungsten carbide tool bits increased war production — from the same lathes/ mills 7 times over.

    The fantastic Soviet great coat warm enough to sleep in in sub-zero temperatures came from West Virginia! We sent them millions of such great coats.

    So, America landed in the war with Stalingrad.

    The fantasic Soviet successes of 1943 occurred because American and Britain invaded Italy. She dropped out of the war — without notice — and her front line army in Russia just handed over their weapons. At a stroke, a front 80 miles wide evaporated without a shot being fired! The Russians poured through the gap and raced to Kiev.

    That’s what destroyed Germany in the east — not Kursk. At the edge of the zone, Germany lost entire infantry divisions in a day. They couldn’t retreat faster than Soviet tank divisions could advance.

    One German officer in Greece lost his brother this way. So he lined up his fellow Italian soldiers ( the were on an island ) and mowed down all 5,000 of them — as they presented themselves for surrender. It wasn’t the only time this happened.

    These tales pass as common knowledge in Italy — but never make it to the silver screen.

  • John Galt

    I couldn’t even get through Women. I writing was weak, and I felt more pity for the guy than envy.

    Other than that, solid list. I haven’t read the English Teacher X books, though. Something to look into.

  • Celeste

    Been reading some game blogs for a while, and always feel cognitive dissonance on this one, from the cynicism and disillusionment on one hand to the great appreciation of good books on the other. I read Man is Wolf to Man on your recommendation. I was incredibly moved. Will have to try Stalingrad, it sounds like it’s along the same lines.

  • Great book lists

    your book lists shows fine players do have brains and good taste. Thanks roosh for sharing!

  • http://www.freaksofarabia.com Mo Jahama

    I would highly recommend “Henry Miller on Writing” and since you like Thompson “Fear and Loathing in America” the gonzo letters

  • The Glee Manifesto

    Thanks for these booklists. Are much appreciated.
    Was just checking out your Roald Dahl reco’s recently

  • Carl Sagan

    I agree with your point on “Do the Work.” It was nowhere near as good as “War of Art.”

    “Gates of Fire” was an amazing book as well.

  • sanjay

    i am slowly getting through your back catalogue of rated books Roosh. kundera’s eternal lightness was very poetic and moving. especially since i had a close family member pass away at the time. pretty much summed up the central ‘universal’ argument

  • Bill

    Never heard of the Normandy invasion as the turning point. I think Midway was.

  • Urty

    America fought on the wrong side of WW2.

    Henry Dexter White, (real name Weit) was a Jewish Soviet spy who fucked with the telegrams between Japan and the United States which lead to Pearl Harbor. Wiki it.

    Half of the US Treasury Department were Soviet Jewish spies.

    The NKVD who was pointing the gun at those boys back to fight against Hitler, they were Jewish. I wonder if the average ethnic Russian wouldn’t have rather been with the Germans then under the NKVD.

    Those Russians fighting the Germans weren’t slavs, majority of Russians back then were quite Nordic.

    Propaganda, propaganda propaganda.

  • Urty

    I take that back 70% of the NKVD was Jewish and then many of the other head leaders were non-ethnic russians from ethnic groups that had grudges against ethnic russians and were more than happy to see them killed (georgians and like the -zikstans all those weird unpronouncable ones)

  • Urty

    Seriously, time to follow the white rabbit and take the red pill.

    Henry Dexter White

    Wiki, and conservapaedia

  • The Glee Manifesto

    Urty…
    wikied it…. no data to corroborate your delusions.

    get back on the meds and call your dr in am

  • Anonymous

    Is it possible to buy “To Travel Hopelessly” in a non-Kindle format? I’d really like to read it, but I don’t own a Kindle, nor do I have any intentions of buying one.

  • Anonymous

    @31 download the kindle program.

    great reviews roosh,

  • Guavaberry

    Jajajajaja ay Roosh…

    Paulo Cohelo’s books are the equivalent of Eat, Pray, Love on latin american libraries. They’re just one step above it, with a self-help edge.

  • Anonymous

    @32: Thanks

  • Buitre

    I have found Paulo Cohelo’s work somehow lacking substance, if compared for instance with Eckhart Tolle “The power of now” and “A new earth” that is a lot more profound and capable to produce a “quantum leap” in the reader state of mind (provided the reader is ready for it)… I have also found interesting mind food from lighter readings like Don Miguel Ruiz “The Fifth Agreement” … Cheers!!

  • Snoeperd

    Your life is more interesting than that of Charles Bukowski? Is arrogance neccesary if you wanna be a player?

  • http://www.10feetaway.com Royce Geist

    Great reviews, I’ll have to check a few of these books out.

  • azuzuru

    “Stalingrad” was awesome, an outstanding read. It reads like a novel. Lots of leadership and history lessons in there. I also came away from that book thinking the Russians won the war, not the Americans or Brits.

    “To be or not to be Intimidated” is a MUST READ for anyone in business. The author, Ringer, gives it to us straight about the often ugly reality of business and how successful people really get to the top. Outstanding. And, yes, its ideas are applicable to game.

  • Vic

    Fighting was so intense in Stalingrad, soldiers were often shooting each other through cracks in ceilings. The Germans erected wire mesh nets so that Russians could be prevented from lobbing grenades through the windows. The Russians simply attached fish hooks to their grenades so they would stick to the wire mesh. This stamp from WW2 Russia says in English: “Not one step back.” This was Stalin’s order to his army not to retreat one step behind the Volga River:

    http://supportyourlocalgunfighter.com/wp-content/uploads/Russian-Postage-Stamp-Not-One-Step-Back.jpg

  • Falcon

    See the documentary “The Soviet Story” about the conceptual similarities of the Nazi and Soviet regimes as well as Soviet crimes against humanity that are almost forgotten today.
    http://www.sovietstory.com/about-the-film/flash-trailer/

    You can find a free full stream of the film via google.

  • Vic

    @blert,

    fighting between the Volga and the Don may have produced the most casualties, but Stalingrad was the most brutal. Soldiers could not warm themselves by fires at night in freezing temperatures for fear of being spotted and targeted by snipers. It was simply the most vicious urban warfare of all time.

  • turner

    Just watched the Soviet Story the other day. Good documentary showing how it was worse under the Soviets than Nazi occupation(I have stayed in Latvian/Estonian villages with families who had their properties and family members taken also confirming this).

    I visited Normandy two Junes ago and witnessed the beach heads. Definitely different than the movies portray (ie Large bunkers are more sparse and farther back). Also 32 Germans per beach with machine guns, and most heavy guns were hidden inland. Point du Hoc which was bombed to oblivion was practically vacant. However, doesn’t taken away the balls of running straight into machine gun fire from fixed elevated positions.

    On Charles Bukowski- I have heard that Hank Moody of Californication was loosely based off of him. I actually bought the book a month ago, but am living in Ukraine so unable to read it yet. Sounds disappointing.

    Interesting commentary Bert (18).

  • http://www.absoluteability.com Tony D

    Roosh@! You inspired me to blog about books too. I don’t have links to Amazon though. But check it out.

    http://www.absoluteability.com/books/reading-books-can-get-you-laid/

  • hydrogonian

    I’ve been reading Bukowski’s Women intermittently over the past few weeks and I see your point, especially if you’re life is currently rife with an immensely varied dating saga.

    I also find it repetitive more than anything. But I find some value in the semi-autobiographical validation of the often bat-shit insane behavior of women. It helps to read that other men experience and notice what you do, and to have that experience explained in the detail that Bukowski does. The book also helps to remind you to not to fall into lazy thinking patterns with how you perceive and interact with women. That lesson is taught through Bukowski’s experience as well as the fact that he comes right out and warns the reader as much on several occasions within the book. The book should help disabuse men of any notion of rational behavior on the part of the fairer sex. Its all in how they feel, in the moment, baby, and how they rationalize their behavior to gain and maintain the way they want to feel…everything else is a far, far distant second.

  • hydrogonian

    and ETX’s blog is probably the primary reason that I didn’t get fooled into thinking that ESL was a real career. Coincidentally, I think that is the express purpose of his blog if I’m not mistaken. Thanks ETX…

  • Vic

    Ya ETX has done a great service. ESL is actually not a bad way to go for a young man, say…in his 20′s, provided he has a degree and a TESL certificate. But once you get into your 30′s and for sure your 40′s, it isn’t enough. Women are the same everywhere: they need status. An ESL teacher doesn’t have any. So make the best of it and get er done in your 20′s. Go back to the states when you hit your 30′s and start thinking grad school or business.

  • Anonymous

    Love your book reviews man. Always well written and give me some great ideas for my own reading. Cheers!

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    dufu,

    Stalingrad was/is simply unbelievable.

    Bill,

    Normandy was shirley a turning point in the ETO. You can argue that Germany was going to lose by then and it just hastened the demise, which is probably true, but opening the western front was a huge factor in accelerating Germany’s untergang.

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  • Theodora

    The way Harry Browne talks about relationships and love and jealousy is so sweet and ideal! Good book :)
    Also funny how he starts about how to fix your marriage: first, get a divorce!