Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked.
My first thought was that I had no answer. I couldn’t even imagine spending my precious time reading a book that “everyone” hated. Then it struck me. Change the parameters a bit. Instead of “everyone”, make it a “great many” people. Instead of “hate” (such an ugly word), think “refused to read” (and how can you “hate” something you’ve not read?), or even “found repugnant”, or “found the author repugnant.” Ah, now my brain is working and it falls on …
Are you ready?
A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity by Bill O’Reilly
Here’s what I wrote back in 2008 [with a couple of editorial comments]:
Some folks may reject this book simply because of the author. I know that I almost did. But I’m really glad that I didn’t. I was afraid the book would be political. It wasn’t. Instead, it is an interesting look at a man that many either love, or hate. [Egads! I used that word!]
A fresh, bold read. Bill presents some interesting points; and while I don’t agree with all of them, they are thought provoking — and that’s always a good thing in a book. [Remember, I said the same thing about another book back on day 11, where we again were faced with that ugly word]
I found his chapter on Power interesting, and his take on President GW Bush surprising. As I read O’Reilly’s point of view, I suddenly realized that he had articulated what I’d been thinking—only he said it much better than I ever could have done.
His chapter on the “Mysteries of the Universe” had me in stitches. I so agree with him on “Pittmania”, Madonna, “Love Story” (and boy did I roll in laughter at the global warming relationship to this movie comment!) … and well, you need to read this book to catch it all.
My favorite story has to be when he and Clem sneaked into the Nun’s convent. HAHAHA I laughed until I cried.
Hands down, though, the most interesting chapter is the one on evil. Bill presents his definition of evil, and then puts forth 5 queries for the reader to mull over and answer. No trick questions, just interesting ones that made me squirm a bit as I said, “Yes, that’s evil”, and then looked at myself and wondered: “Was I evil because … ?” As I said, a thought provoking read.
My favorite quote:
To me, the most interesting part of life is achieving goals and overcoming challenges. If all goals are met and there are no challenges, life can become tedious.
Points to ponder:
In regard to power and why sometimes the big guys don’t seem to get it:
“The Rich Guy Syndrome”: Americans born into wealth and power usually believe that things will always work out. They’ve never had to live with the “nagging fear that things will inevitably go wrong.” Instead, they usually believe that it will all turn out okay “because it has always turned out okay.”
Bill does live in a very B&W world, with few – if any – gray areas (there may be a few in his life, after all he doesn’t totally bare his soul to the reader); but having read this book I can better understand why he is who he is, and why he believes the way he does. I admire him for his strengths, for his personal courage, for being self-confident enough to share even the “bad” side of himself. The world could use a lot more Bill O’Reilly’s—on both sides of the political aisle.