My Reading Life: with Alex Reid

What are five books you loved? For one of them, why did you love it?

The Beauty of Humanity Movement
Black Shirts and Reds
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The Paleo Manifesto
The Winner Effect

It is a close tie because the Paleo Manifesto and the winner effect. Both had massive impacts on my life. I think that the Paleo manifesto had a bigger impact on my life and that What Women Want by Geophrey Miller and Tucker Max had the biggest impact on my life. I owe the most to that book but my favorite book is The Winner Effect. It talks about testosterone, dopamine, aggression, bullying, dominance and the chemical effects those have on us. With that lens, you gain a neurochemical breakdown and insight into the origin of power and corruption. The book can be dangerous if you see humanity through that lens so it is good to be mindful and not fall into biological determinism. I did that for over a year and I was depressed when I thought about humanity.

What is a book you didn’t like, and why?

One book I didn’t like was How the Brain Works by Steven Pinker. It was insanely wordy; it was as if he was trying to make it as inaccessible as possible. My top consultant also said he is terrible. I spent over a month trying to read it and I could only manage a few pages at a time. I read about 100 pages then gave up on it. I’m going to list an extra book I didn’t like because it disappointed me so much. I read The 48 laws of Power and it was the longest and most boring read I have ever forced myself to get through. I would recommend running screaming naked into a busy highway with your eyes closed before I would recommend this book.

What is a funny/interesting/unique anecdote about you as a reader?

I don’t think there is anything interesting or funny about me as a reader; I’m not able to read Latin while uni-cycling in a purple leotard or anything like that.

How did you first fall in love with books?

I originally started reading because I wasn’t allowed to play video games during the week. My mom said I can play video games on Thursday if I finished a book that week and I could play on Wednesday too if I finished two books that week. I fell in love when I was about 13. I took a break then read like a maniac from age 17-21. I didn’t read any of my textbooks in college. I just read other books and I never stressed about the assigned readings.

What book or books are you planning to read soon?

I am planning to read Unsettling Canada, Working Harder isn’t Working and to read more of Guns, Germs and Steel soon.

What book do you always recommend?

I always recommend the Paleo Manifesto. People immediately think of it as a diet book so I rarely get good reception. To men, I recommend What Women Want. It changed my entire life and fast forwarded my understanding of women and dating by at least 10 years. We learn a whack of stupid things from men and you always hear about how complicated women are. They aren’t as complicated as 95% of men would have you believe.

What book/books changed the way you see the world and your place in it?

I can’t think of many books that changed how I felt about my place in the world. Most of that came from talking to people and life experience. The most impacting thing I read was an interview my grandpa did about 50 years ago. He talked about his life and the problems that we indigenous people face. One book that made me more sensitive to the suffering of women was The Language of Flowers.

What was your favorite childhood book?

My favorite childhood books was either the 5th Harry Potter book or one of the books from the Eragon series.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

My favorite under appreciated book would have to be The Neon Bible, that John Kennedy O’Toole wrote with a mind boggling amount of emotion.

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

I don’t have an author I didn’t like that I grew to like but I have the opposite. I loved Tucker Max’s books when I was younger but now they are appalling to me. Still partially hilarious but overall too distasteful for me. I no longer take pride in that macho BS anymore.

What book have you read that has most influenced your life?

In general I think Black Shirts and Reds is the most influential book people can read.

Who are your favorite writers?

My favorite writer is George Carlin. 

What do you read on holiday?

Holiday? What’s a holiday?

Which author (living or dead) do you think is most underrated?

One underrated author is Arthur Emanuel.

Which author (living or dead) do you think is most overrated?

I don’t think it is humble or fair of me to name an writer that I think is overrated.

Did your parents read to you when you were young?

My mom read to me while I was young and I am suddenly incredibly grateful for that.

Which fictional character would you most like to have a drink with, and why?

If I could drink with any fictional character it would be Fry from Futurama.

Where do you buy your books?

I typically buy my books from Amazon unfortunately, but once in a while I get them in store.

What impact can a book have on the reader?

A book can entirely radicalize someone. It can take someone from isolated and depressed and bring them into a new sphere. It can fill their life to the brim with purpose and satisfaction. I was radicalized into being madly in love with the working class and most of that came from life experience and talking to people but some of it came from reading. I volunteer now and spend time around amazing, compassionate and brilliant people. I have become connected from it. It has restored part of me that was gone. It has let me accomplish small, meaningful things that I wouldn’t get to do otherwise.

End of Interview

Alex is trying to make it as a comedian and writer. He has done 13 full seasons and 2 half seasons of commercial fishing. He also has an Associate of Arts Degree, and a handful of marine certifications, including marine firefighting. He has one unpublished book of adventures and a second book in the works. He’s currently working on a third book for men that breaks down masculinity and capitalism into ways that anyone can pick up. The last section of which is a guide to understanding women. His ultimate goal is to share as much insight and entertainment with as many people as he can. Long live the working class!

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