Mark Zuckerberg is a visionary in many things, always looking to the next hot trend to get all of us addicted to, which is why he made such news two weeks ago when he announced his newest venture: reading. His Facebook group A Year of Books will announce a new book to read every two weeks, then provide an open forum for discussion, even bringing in the author for live Facebook Q & As when possible.
This is ambitious for Zuckerberg, as he has chosen to concentrate on books that foster thought and learning, especially about ideas and peoples with which many may not be familiar. Also, this should be a great way for all of us to learn some new things and become a New Year’s reading resolution. As a lover of all kinds of challenges, I will be reading along with the A Year of Books list (in my head, I have dubbed them “Zuckerbooks”), and keeping all of you informed as I go! So join me as we start on this year’s book journey.
For the first entry of the year, Zuckerberg chose The End of Power by Moisés Naím, former executive director of the World Bank, Venezula’s Minister of Trade and Industry, and editor of Foreign Policy. Naím currently is a Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, along with writing columns for many different publications. Needless to say, when it comes to international relations/politics and economics, the guy really knows what he is talking about.
I confess, this was not a book that I would have picked up on my own. While I did minor in Political Science when I was in undergrad, I have not read a good poli-sci book in quite some time, so I was a bit intimidated. Imagine my surprise when I found Naím’s text to be not only interesting, but incredibly readable as well! The chapters all ended with a bit of a “cliffhanger,” causing the reader to need to keep moving. Every time I finished chapter, I was shocked at how quickly it had come, as he really is a master of pace.
Naím really did his homework on this one, and he harkens back centuries and across the globe to build his argument: power is more decentralized than ever, and this change has both good and bad consequences. His premise is well thought out and well-articulated, and really does give the reader a great deal to think about, or in my case, a great deal to bring up in almost every conversation I have with friends, family, and coworkers, to the point where I wonder if they will stop talking to me soon…
This book club starts strong and shows that Zuckerberg is out to broaden our reading, our discussion, and our outlook on the world. Whether or not you agree with Naím’s ideas of the power revolution due to “The More,” “The Mobility,” and “The Mentality” of current society, you cannot help but be drawn in to his strong writing and his passion for his arguments.
Meghan Volchko is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive and is looking forward to adding lots of good wrinkles to her brain over the next year.