|The Art of Non-Conformity, by Chris Guillebeau|
This was one of the first books I read for Sitzbook, and it was a quick read. The author, Chris Guillebeau, created the website of the same name as the title. I’ve been following his global adventures for a few years now. One of his biggest goals is to visit every country in the world by his 35th birthday, but even more importantly, his goal is to live by his own rules—and to help his readers do the same.
Ironically, that’s what makes this book less applicable for me: I don’t seem to be part of the target audience. I definitely don’t work a 9-5 job that I’m dissatisfied with, and I already feel pretty content with my life in general. Still, the book is interesting and has many good points. Having gone to graduate school, I think my favorite part is the “One-Year, Self-Directed, Alternative Graduate School Experience,” wherein Guillebeau lays out a $10,000 plan that he claims is better than actually going to graduate school (parts of his plan include memorizing the name of every country and its capital, reading the basic texts of major world religions, and buying a round-the-world plane ticket). I actually do believe that for most people, this plan probably is better than graduate school, and I’ve even done many or most of the things in his plan. Still, I do have a Master’s Degree, but because it was basically free (I was a TA and I got scholarships), I can’t really knock it. That’s another example of how I enjoyed the book, even though some of the advice in the book didn’t really apply directly to me.
You can still enjoy this book if you’re happy with your current position in life, but if you’re not, this book was written for you.