Sometimes you can actually feel your brain expand as you read; that was the case for me while reading Anti-Fragile. In this book, Nassim presents a new way of looking at the meaning of fragility, and, more importantly, it’s opposite. He then uses that idea to examine various aspects of human life and culture, forcing the reader to really think about some of the core beliefs of how the world works.
It’s not a perfect book. Occasionally, he uses a couple of fictional characters to help illustrate his points, but I found this generally obscured what he was trying to say. Also, some parts were so complex, they either went over my head, or I found that I couldn’t muster the mental energy to even try and follow them.
Still, that aside, there is a huge amount of interest that can be taken from this book.
Despite the title, this book is mostly an autobiographical look at Chris Hadfield’s career as Canada’s top astronaut. A career that included three trips into space, including rides on both the Space Shuttle and the Russian Soyuz, a trip to the Mir space station, and a term as commander of the International Space Station. This book made me realize just how far behind I am in understanding current human space exploration, a subject I’d like to keep up with more in the future.
Along the way Chris Hadfield does have some interesting things to say about life and how to make your life count.
After more than a decade of working for Osprey Publishing, I no longer have any direct dealings with the military publishing for which the company is famous. That said, it is why I originally joined the company, and I still try to read the books whenever I have the chance. During my time at Osprey, Leigh Neville has been the go-to author when it comes to modern special forces topics. His Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Special Opeartions Forces in Afghanistan are must-haves for SF fans, and I think this book is even better. This new book is a terrific summary of the US Army Rangers over the last few decades. It includes a summary of all of their major actions (and they seem to have been involved in just about everything) as well as a detailed look at their changing weapons and equipment during that time. If you are a modern wargamer, you are definitely going to want this one in your library.