For the second part of March, I read The Gift of Fear, by Gavin DeBecker… which I kind of think lives either in the “Politics & Religion” or the “Everything Else” category.
I picked it up because several people over several years have recommended it to me, but what put me over the top was the fact that de Becker was the guy that Bezos hired to get to the bottom of the threats he was receiving related to his texts being hacked… and the National Enquirer extortion. Reading an excerpt or two from his book made me want to read it.
It’s pretty good in that the anecdotes and historical examples presented are amusing and informative. His overall advice is given in a way that makes sense and is fun to read.
But for me, it has much of what a lot of self-help/self-improvement books suffer from: repetition of the core message over and over and over again in a way that makes you suspect the author is just sandbagging to get the book to look longer, and a general lack of drama.
And to be honest, as a long-married, white male who is taller and more muscular-looking than most, an awful lot of the book simply was only of academic interest to me. The parts about identifying a controlling or abusive partner were fascinating… but not likely to be applicable to my life. Likewise the part about not putting myself in a position where I could be preyed upon by rapists; there is lots of GREAT advice in there… that I will only use from the side of trying not to alarm strangers if I meet them in a dark parking garage.
At the end of each chapter I was glad I had read it… but I didn’t have a great deal of desire to read the next one. With the audiobook, I kept finding excuses to listen to music or the news rather than hacking further into the book.