SUBJECT: 3/5 RESEARCH: 2.5/5 WRITING: 2.5/5 OVERALL: 3/5
I am always on the lookout for books that impart knowledge about the world that we live in. Be it science, politics, geopolitics, history, and travel, I love reading books that broaden my horizons.
Over the years some books that I have immensely learned from include Jung Chang’s Empress Dowager Cixi, Prosenjit Das Gupta’s A Conflict in Thin Air, Will McCallum’s How to Give Up Plastic, and Alexandra Harney’s The China Price.
A similar book that I came across recently is Anuj Tikku’s Bad Boy Bloggers, a book about four alleged disruptors in the world of technology. Read on to know what I think of the book and how was my experience of reading it.
What to expect?
Expect a short read. Expect a book that talks about three famous bloggers who disrupted technology and became known for their courage and conviction. Expect a mildly inspirational book.
Who can read?
Since the book has easy conversational English, it can be picked up by a beginner-level reader. I’d like to warn intermediate and voracious readers, though. There are many editing and grammatical errors in the book that might spoil the reading experience for regular readers.
What is the book all about?
Bad Boy Bloggers narrates the tale of three real-life Bad Boy Bloggers.
Who is a bad boy blogger, you ask? Quoting the author himself, a bad boy blogger is “a person who cunningly uses technology and the freedom which enables one to express their views against a political system.”
The three popular guys that the book talks about include household names like the below-mentioned personalities.
Julian Assange, the forty-nine-year-old Australian editor, activist, and publisher who founded WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization that publishes classified files and news leaks, provided by anonymous sources, with an intention to expose the power brokers of the world.
Alexei Navalny, the forty-seven-year-old Russian rebel opposition leader who is a lawyer by profession but an activist by passion. With the power of technology, he uses YouTube as a platform to expose cases of scandals and heavy corruption inside the Kremlin and within the Russian President’s inner circle.
Mark Manson is the thirty-seven-year-old blogger, YouTuber, and author who doles out self-help advice in a sensational yet relatable manner. His articles and videos are insightful and in tune with the times. The reason for his immense popularity is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and his message to his followers is always on the lighter side. His bestselling books have been translated into multiple languages and have combinedly sold over thirteen million copies. One example of his eccentric but highly effective way of doling out advice is showcased in the following statement – “You need to shock people just to wake them up from their boring and miserable lives.”
In addition to this, the book also includes a fourth bad boy blogger – the author himself. In this section, the author talks about his own achievements and the reasons why he has included himself on the list. He draws comparisons with the previous three personalities and shares deeply personal anecdotes about his early years and his journey so far.
Many things to learn
There is a generous amount of knowledge that one can gain from the book. I love how it gives us a short biography of each of these personalities in a limited number of pages. The book definitely carries a lot of information about the so-called bad bloggers. It is an informative read for anyone wanting to know about Julian Assange, Alexei Navalny, and Mark Manson.
Other helpful info
Not just about the three famous personalities covered in the book, we also learn about some popular and groundbreaking misfits like Charles Bukowski, the writer who was a self-proclaimed loser. In addition to that, one also comes across meaningful life advice doled out in information assimilated about their works. For example, one of these nuggets tells us to not pursue happiness but to try and find deeper meaning in life.
What could have been better?
Many things in the book are repetitive. Many a time, it feels that the author is just saying the same things in different words. This invariably leads to monotony creeping in every once in a while.
What did I like?
Some of the most important messages that the book gives are passion, perseverance, and hard work. For anyone looking for inspiration, this book surely provides a generous dose of it. It also tells you one common trait of all these individuals – they are not shy and scared of their mistakes and failures. And they certainly are not bogged down by them.
A boost to your TBR
Another thing that I liked here is that Anuj gives you recommendations for further reading. After reading Bad Boy Bloggers, I ended up adding a few books to my TBR pile and also looked up some Mark Manson articles that he has spoken about.
The added benefit of illustrations
Throughout the book, one comes across many symbolic and representative pictures that make for an interesting and useful addition to the text. They not just increase the overall appeal of the book, but also add immense value and information which is useful to the reader. Thus also enhancing the reading experience.
What I didn’t like?
The sheer number of editing, spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors that one comes across in the book is mind-boggling. Needless to state, these bring down the reading experience.
Another thing that I didn’t like is the addition of the author to this list. The part where Anuj talks about the common points between the four personalities mentioned in the book is an exercise in vanity and not confidence. He also mentions a list of reasons why he is similar to the other bad boys that the book talks about (all have been jailed, all have been vilified through scandals, and just like Alexie, there was a plan in place for Anuj’s murder too).
But despite all reasons, in my opinion, it takes self-indulgence to a new level altogether. Not something that I would recommend doing. And not something that I will ever be a fan of.
In the end
In the end, Bad Boy Bloggers is a book that talks about technology disruptors who have taken the world by storm and have achieved what many others can only dream of. It is an inspiring read because it urges you to move ahead in life despite all the challenges that one may come across.
Pick the book if
- You are looking for short nonfiction.
- You want to know about some of the technology disruptors.
- You are looking for an inspirational read.
Skip the book if
- You can’t stand editing mistakes.
- You don’t like vulgarity.
- You are a young reader below eighteen years of age.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Bad Boy Bloggers using the link below.