I’m really torn on “Mastery” as to whether I loved it, hated it, or just liked it. The stories of everyone from Faraday to PG to Darwin and Franklin and dozens more are absolutely brilliant. I love the stories and kind of wish the book was just that: stories of great people who achieved mastery.
What I hated was the cringe-worthy advice. There are whole sections with broad generalizations about how people supposedly behave (e.g., “arrogant people are insecure”) that are not backed up by a shred of research or evidence. For how well the rest of the book is researched, the lack of it in the parts that are supposed to help the reader better understand their fellow humans is awful.
I appreciate that the author created a clear framework for mastery and turned it into a blueprint that others can follow. Even if not every master in the book fits precisely within that framework—who was Paul Graham’s overbearing master under whom he served as an apprentice?—it was still a decent framework.
Pick up this book to listen to the stories and appreciate the lives of some of the greatest humans to ever walk the planet. And take the rest with a grain of salt.