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The Point of Pointless Work

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  8 reviews
An accidental author reflects on five years in publishing and discovers the transformative power of hobbies.

From the author: "Most of the book came together on the train over the course of several weeks. Though originally meant to be a field guide to publishing, it eventually evolved into something more introspective. This is a book for anyone who enjoyed my first two fora
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Hardcover, 120 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Cormorant Press
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Peter Derk
May 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I guess I didn't read the description well enough. This is mostly a book about Almossawi's publishing process. In somewhat excruciating detail.

I thought I was getting into something more like the title, a discussion of the reason behind doing things that seem (or are) pointless. At the end he makes a list of points to that effect, but damn, seems like a missed opportunity.

Here's my list of reasons to engage in pointless work:

1. Feed the Soul
You probably ain't getting it at work, so you better
...more
Max Cox
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The theme of this book is about the freedom, trial & error and reward of moving your life into different lanes through hobbies and personal projects. This is a personal story of how a person with a computer science / IT background uses side projects - that have no direct relation to his day job - to introduce him to new experiences, friendships and insights and, ultimately, to great personal and financial success. The plot deals with the ins-and-outs of an author bringing three new books into th ...more
Jalal Aljazeeri
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is a totally genuine –heartwarmingly genuine– reflection of the author’s unexpected journey of becoming a published author. I absolutely loved Ali’s previous work: Bad Arguments and Bad Choices. Besides the witty style in explaining complex stuff in the previous books, I appreciated and recognized the obvious passionate work that went into the design and print decisions. I can describe this book –the Point of Pointless Work– as a behind-the-scenes reflection at how his previous projects ...more
Charlie
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s a quick read and the conclusion inspirational but I would have thought the title should haven more like “The point of pointless writing” or “Publishing without intending to.”

The book (long essay?) is squarely focused on Ali’s side career as an author and, inspiring as it is, the book goes through so many fine details about publishing in the middle that I almost forgot what I was reading about.

I’m a huge fan of his work so when I saw this book was coming, I preordered it immediately! While
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J And
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightfully nerdy, insightful book.

I first became aware of Almossawi through seeing Bad Arguments online some years ago. This book details his journey in publishing from that seminal work (over which he had "full" control, as much as any of us can); through his 2nd book (released with an agent's help on a Big Five imprint); and to the current work. It's a fascinating journey and Almossawi's writing style is very conversationally analytical as he reflects on his experiences and thought process
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Mike
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick read on the processes of bringing works to publication.

The final chapter feels a bit forced; a last minute addition to connect the book so far to the chosen title.

Despite that I enjoyed it thoroughly as a look into a world I’m unlikely to find myself part of anytime soon. I suspect that upon rereading I may find lessons I missed initially, and I’m quite interested now in finding and reading the two books this discusses.

Physically the book looks and feels delightful.
Christian
Nov 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
All right, my bad for thinking this book would be something other than it was. Or maybe it was the library's fault for misplacing it in the section of instructional guides for writers. I thought this was going to be inspirational material for struggling writers, a reaffirmation for those who've lost their way and wonder what the point of all this is.

And Almossawi kinda addresses that in the last four pages of the book, kinda. Accidentally. The rest of the book is false starts (hinting at importa
...more
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Jake O'Kelly
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderfully rich and compact book this is. As a first time author (debut novel coming out this Summer) I found Ali’s story incredibly useful, charging the highs and lows of the author’s journey and dispensing much needed wisdom along the way.
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Ali Almossawi is the author of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments, a book on computational thinking, and The Point of Pointless Work. His books have been read by 3 million readers, translated into 20 languages, and have sold over a quarter of a million copies in print. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

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