Now I’ve been a fan of the Freakonomics books for a long time. I originally picked up the first book when I was in the airport, trying to find a 3rd book for the ‘3 for the price of 2’ deal going on. It intrigued me, for what reason I can not remember but I am so glad I picked it up! I found it fascinating, especially the chapter on baby naming. I loved the sequel Super Freakonomics (especially the name!) so when I heard there was going to be a third book, I was really looking forward it it (I featured it in my Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2014 post) and was lucky enough to get approved on NetGalley to read it.
This book is different to the others. It’s more about thinking, how to put a different angle on things to your advantage and stories that back the point up. It reminded me in that sense of David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell (I bet these authors are compared to each other all the time!). I liked the the chapter on the 3 hardest words to say in the English language. No, not ‘I love you’ but ‘I don’t know’. There is often a fear of saying ‘I don’t know’, that you’ll look stupid or that your boss will think you’re not fit for your job. We’re often encouraged to be able to bluff our way into an answering things we don’t know, which can often have detrimental effects. You’ll find out who’s easier to fool when it comes to magic tricks: children or adults? As well as the up side to quitting, why Nigerian scams are so badly written, why Van Halen requested no brown M&Ms in their rider and why hotdogs are used on the cover!
While I definitely enjoyed this book, I didn’t find myself captivated like the first 2 books. Possibly because the economic side of the first 2 books (and what made them stand out) isn’t really in this book. So it doesn’t seem as eye opening to me. Though the other reason here is possibly because I have just started listening to the Freakonomics podcast and a lot, if not all, of these stories crop up in the podcasts, which I really enjoyed listening to. I did find it was a quick read, there isn’t a lot of numbers or stats that will slow you down when reading. If you’re a fan of the first two books (or Malcolm Gladwell), you’ll probably also enjoy this one, just bare in mind that if you are up to date with the podcasts then you might have already heard these stories. If you have never read any Freakonomics books, I’d recommend starting with the first one. Overall I found it was an interesting read but just lacked the wow factor of the first two books.
I got a copy of this from NetGalley to review. Readers who are approved for titles from NetGalley are under no obligation to post reviews. I chose this book to review, wasn’t asked to review it, and I definitely would have read it anyway (come on, it was on my 2014 releases list!). All opinions are my own, I think it’s important to be honest about items you review.