The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner (5 out of 5)
I didn’t read Eric Weiner’s Geography of Bliss. Now that I’ve read his Geography of Genius, I have to backtrack and read that one. I requested a copy of this from Wendy at Simon & Schuster (As always..thank you, Wendy!) after reading about it in one of her S&S newsletters. I am so glad I did! I’ve gotten away from my love of non-fiction lately and been reading light and quick fiction. Guess what? I miss non-fiction! What a great way to get back into it- by reading this book. If you’re a fan of history, happenstance, and wonder whether there are similarities in time, place, and genius, wonder no more. Pick this book up and consider yourself enlightened.
Weiner’s latest brings him to a precipice where he examines the link-or whether there is one- between geographical locations and the birth of ideas not yet heard in the idea marketplace. This takes place in the here and now, and in the before and after of our historical timetable. He’s all over the damn place, from Vienna to Silicon Valley and back again. With good humor and more than a fair touch of intelligence, Weiner examines the significance of ideas out of nowhere, inspired or not, by the location in which the ideas are taking place. Is there such a thing? Or is it all a bunch of hooey? This is a sharp little treatise on many figures in our history and in our present and whether they were brought to the brink of genius, based on where they were at the time of the initial idea. Weiner doesn’t just base this on a few token historical figures- the dude is all over the place testing out his theories! That’s another thing I enjoyed- the breadth of his research into this book. All sorts of well-known figures through our timespace and what may- or may not have- lit the spark that fueled some of these important ideas in time. Fascinating, funny at times, and a page-turning trot through the halls of history? Check, check, checkmate. This is out now from our friends at Simon & Schuster. Do yourself a favor and give it a whirl.