books about belief

So Much For the White Horse

Glenn Beck, Ted Cruz, and the End of the End Times

On March 18, 2016, Glenn Beck appeared at an event to endorse Ted Cruz for president. He talked about Ben Franklin and George Washington at the Constitutional Convention. Then he quoted a Mormon prophecy about the Four Horses of the Apocalypse.

This is the story of that prophecy and why Glenn Beck continues to amplify his rhetoric about Judgement Day. To decode it all, we have to look at the prophecy, the church, the believers, Seven Mountains, and a former FBI agent whom J. Edgar Hoover wishes you to know was definitely not “Administrative Assistant to the Director.” 

 

Reviews

"good read tells alot" -- Amazon reviewer

 

books about work

good.simple.open

good.simple.open is a book about how to do good work. It presents the little idea: if you want to do good work, aim for simple and open. 

The book offers ideas for achieving this goal and reasons to stick to those values. It does so by following its own advice. The essays inside are short and simple. They open jobs that have resulted in bad, complex, and closed work. They offer methods for getting to the good work. 

Though this book was born in the web industry, this is a mission statement for anyone being held back from doing good work or from living a good life by the complex systems around them. good.simple.open is a call to make things better by focusing on simplicity and openness. 

Do good work. Do it simply. Do it openly.

Reviews

"This will soon be a must-read for creative talents, developers, UI/UX designers, and managers at a tech startups. The entire time I was reading it I thought 'This is exactly what my VP needs to read', or 'I wish so-and-so who left the company would read this'. But the book reads easy, told through to-the-point anecdotes and provides real solutions without sounding like another self-help book. I couldn't recommend it more."

"What seem like common sense business fundamentals, for example not micromanaging, getting out of the way of talent, and pushing back on scope creep instead of unnecessarily overloading your team; aren't so common these days. This book lays out in no uncertain terms what we should be doing to do better work... and become a little less evil in the process."

 

Unconventional Website Advice

Unconventional Website Advice is a short book of guidelines to building a small business on the web. Written by Todd A, who has been developing and writing for websites since 1999, the book aims to dispel the conventional wisdom that causes too many businesses to spend their website dollars in the wrong place. With short chapters covering practical details (when you need to engage a web agency, how to communicate with web professionals, how to approach ecommerce), as well as ideas that are the opposite of everything you've been told (why you shouldn't use WordPress, why you don't need to blog, why to forget about Facebook), Unconventional Website Advice is a quick read that will enlighten anyone kicking off a website for their small business. 

The book walks you through a typical website project (Kick-Off, Build, Strategy, Launch, Growth) and provides Blueprints for building it yourself, how to blog, and simple SEO explanations.

Reviews

"I had a small business. I had a website provided by a faceless corporation who made websites for my industry. I paid them way, way too much money for my website. If only I had found Todd A's book a few years back, I would have the money and the faceless corporation would not. Seriously, do not start down to the path to a website for your small business until you read Todd A's book."

"I found myself mentally screaming "YES! This guy NAILS it!" at multiple points. Really it sounds like we've had a similar journey and have come around to the same realizations, the main one being I cannot in good conscience set up a time- and money-hogging WordPress site for a small business short on one or both. Another shared frustration is too often getting called in *after* someone has paid some fool a few hundred (or a few thousand) to build a website that fails their business in one or more ways."


Novels

Barry's Cherries

Barry Cherry, director of the B-movies Too Hot for Tube Tops, Tough Dick and All Balls, moved to Nashville to escape the Hollywood fame game. Within a few years, he has made a quiet but good living for himself by producing a line of videos sold through late night infomercials. The stars of these videos—his Cherries—share his laid-back summer lifestyle.

All is well until his friend and former Cherry, Roxy Ramone, spends a drunken night with an aspiring country singer. The night threatens to ruin Roxy’s reputation, her engagement and her job as the upbeat host of a televised wrestling show. Roxy turns to Barry for help.

Barry’s quest to save Roxy from certain infamy leads him back into the confusing, disgusting, ridiculous world of fame-seeking narcissists, sycophantic lawyers and sensationalist reporters. He makes Faustian bargains, becomes a felon and suffers an unpleasant visit to the doctor. He survives run-ins with wrestlers, the police, an unfunny comic and dreaded bad publicity.

Music City really has it all.

Reviews

 

 

Being Good

Schoolgirls, Strippers and Secretaries.

Slav O Se has girl trouble. He should. He's an unrepentant lothario, a teacher at a girls' high school, and he has three sisters. In Being Good, an altercation at a strip club jeopardizes Slav's beloved job. Hounded by an ambitious, disgusting interim headmaster, Slav should take stock of his lifestyle. Unfortunately, Slav doesn't always do as he should. Instead he dates the school secretary, befriends a young stripper, and trolls grocery store aisles looking for future ex-girlfriends. The resulting fiasco pushes Slav to the brink both of being good and being bad.

"Tim's Funeral," a short story included here, takes place four years earlier. In it, Slav must come to terms with a great tragedy: his best friend's wedding. A drunken recollection of Slav's own carnal adventures, the story is funny and touching in its own perverted way. Each story is a window into the candid thoughts of single men in their late twenties. Hilariously depraved and irresistibly bastardly, Slav O Se is a scourge to tight-asses and a champion of loose women. But is he good?

Reviews

"This is the book I tried - and mostly failed - to write years ago. Fun, funny, and shocking. Just keep it away from your wife and/or girlfriend, because she'd learn too many of our Most Sacred Guy Secrets from reading it."

"Like a more stylish Ignatius Reilly with Charles Bukowski imprints, Slav relates his travels through a minefield of living single, loving poly- and shaping young ladies as an English teacher at the all-girls prep school. Then there are the political battles at the school and the turd brain acquaintance who kick-starts his downfall.

Todd A. spins these stories into an irresistible collection of barstool diary insights. His prose is clean, sharp and witty and creates plenty of conflict out of the twentysomething male experience.