August 2 Star Reads – Sourdough & Rejection Proof

Sourdough by Robin Sloan.

Goodreads Synopsis: Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.
Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive.  Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer’s market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.
When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I’ve enjoyed books by Robin Sloan before, so I had hoped that I would enjoy this one. But sadly this book was just not for me.

Sourdough is an utterly strange novel, and confusing as hell. It starts off with the main character Lois, who is quite honestly boring as a clump of dirt. She has little personality other than the fact that she’s unhappy with her life. I never found myself interested in her life, or in her pursuit of happiness because I never cared for her. It was honestly quite sad because I’m a big fan of sourdough and baking, but even her adventures in them was not enough to keep me reading.

I think one of the problems was that I went into this book thinking it was going to be one thing, and was utterly unprepared for how weird the story was going to get. I thought this story was going to be realistic fiction, but it’s not. It’s actually more like urban fantasy, and there are no warnings for this! Which caused me so much confusion that I just gave up reading.

In the end I gave this book 2 stars.

Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang.

Goodreads Synopsis: Rejection Proof is Jia Jiang’s entertaining and inspiring account of conquering his fear of rejection, offering a completely new perspective on how to turn a no into a yes.

Jia Jiang came to the United States with the dream of being the next Bill Gates. Despite early success in the corporate world, his first attempt to pursue his entrepreneurial dream ended in rejection. Jia was crushed and spiraled into a period of deep self-doubt. But he realized that his fear of rejection was a bigger obstacle than any single rejection would ever be, and he needed to find a way to cope with being told no without letting it destroy him. Thus was born his “100 days of rejection” experiment, during which he willfully sought rejection on a daily basis – from requesting a lesson in sales from a car salesman (no) to asking a flight attendant if he could make an announcement on the loudspeaker (yes) to his famous request to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the shape of Olympic rings (yes, with a viral video to prove it).

Jia learned that even the most preposterous wish may be granted if you ask in the right way, and here he shares the secret of successful asking, how to pick targets, and how to tell when an initial no can be converted into something positive. But more important, he learned techniques for steeling himself against rejection and ways to develop his own confidence – a plan that can’t be derailed by a single setback.

Filled with great stories and valuable insight, Rejection Proof is a fun and thoughtful examination of how to overcome fear and dare to live more boldly. 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I can’t remember why I decided to read this book in the first place, but I did and now I have to review it. 😀

I think most people have a fear of rejection, which made this book seem like it could be very helpful. But sadly I didn’t even make it through the whole book. I found the writing style to be clunky and uninteresting. The author complains about his job for awhile and then sets off on an adventure of making bizarre requests to people in order to be rejected. What I wanted from this book was more practical advice, but what I got was a strange collection of impractical situations that the author claimed helped him.  What he did, did not seem applicable for everyone. Or at least not for me as a person with anxiety. I’d rather learn to deal with rejection through manuscript submissions and the like.

I’m happy that this method worked for the author, but I can’t recommend the book to everyone. Perhaps to certain personality types, or in certain situations I would, but I would have to take it on a case by case basis. I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads.

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