Thank You to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an advanced copy of Eric Weiner's The Geography of Genius, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT- In The Geography of Genius, Eric Weiner travels around the world in an attempt to determine why certain cultures have experienced bursts of innovation. What are the common links between places like Renaissance Florence and ancient Athens? Is America's Silicon Valley the latest pocket of genius? Weiner examines the reason that these short-lived revolutionary periods happen, and why they quickly fizzle. Besides the commonalities, he looks at the unique attributes that each culture brings to the table. Is it possible to predict or create the next place of genius?
LIKE- I was a big fan of Weiner's previous non-fiction book, The Geography of Bliss, where in a similar set-up to The Geography of Genius, he travels the world to figure out the secret to cultures who are considered "happy".
Weiner's humor shines through in his writing, which is helpful to cut through this dense topic. He writes in a conversational style, that makes it seem like the information is coming through via a coffee chat with your most interesting friend. I have no doubt that amongst his friends, Weiner is the guy with a million unusual anecdotes. His interest in the subject is infectious.
The idea for the book is fascinating, and I liked how Weiner takes a broad approach with his inclusion of a range of cultures and time periods.
DISLIKE- The subject was dense and I could only read in small chunks, sometimes making The Geography of Genius, feel like a chore to read. I read it on my Kindle and read ten percent chunks a day. Sluggish.
RECOMMEND- Maybe. If the subject grabs your interest, go for it. Going in, I was most excited to read Weiner's latest book and would have probably read it, regardless of the subject. I wasn't as enthusiastic as I was towards The Geography of Bliss, which I recommended to everyone. Despite my lukewarm feelings towards The Geography of Genius, I still hold Weiner in high regard and I'm looking forward to his next book!