Libro 18/52 :: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Dan Pink


Given the season of commencement speeches and official career kickoffs, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Dan Pink is timely. The sub-title of the book is “The last career guide you’ll ever need.” While the notion of a career guide is laughable, if you were to have one – Johnny Bunko would be a good option for either your first… or your last.


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Dan Pink is the first repeat author on the Libro 52 challenge. To Sell Is Human is one of the highest scoring books this year. Whereas TSIH is meticulously researched and structured with a left-brain cadence, Johnny Bunko is right-brain all the way.



Dan Pink claims Johnny Bunko is “America’s first business book written in the Japanese comic format known as manga.” The manga style makes Bunko immediately different, but it doesn’t detract from the message. I’m not much for Comic-Con, but the manga here made it fun.




The plot revolves around Johnny, a smart kid who did what he was supposed to do: good grades in high school, performed admirably in college, joined a reputable firm, etc.


The problem?


He hates his job.


He’s unengaged.

He’s overworked.

He’s underpaid.

He’s micromanaged by a bosshole.


He’s unhappy and not sure what to do next.



Know anyone like this?


Pink’s story and the manga artist Rob Ten Pas collaborate to present “The six career secrets no one ever told you.” It’s solid advice – perfect for the 90% of recent graduates or interns that don’t really know what they want to do with their life. Bunko will be equally valuable for Brian, the sad guy who sits in the cube next to you and apparently hates his life in Accounting.




On a related note in a different medium, Danny Krueger of The Krueger Group in Cleveland passed on this incredible video.  It was developed from a David Foster Wallace commencement address. It’s a viral video in action. After you watch it… you’ll know why.






Bottom Line: If you are not 100% sure your career efforts make you happy, energized and optimistic, an hour with Johnny Bunko (and nine minutes with David Foster Wallace…) will help re-frame your current circumstances.


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Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente at Red Angle ( He’s reading 52 books this year. 






LIBRO 52 Challenge YTD

1. Kennedy/Nixon by Chris Matthews

2. Poke the Box by Seth Godin

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

NA. Buy-In by John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead

4. Education of an Accidental CEO by David Novak

5. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

6. Blood, Brains and Beer by David Ogilvy

7. Lyndon Johnson :: Master of the Senate by Robert Caro

8. 1776 by David McCullough

9. To Sell Is Human by Dan Pink

NA. Profiles In Courage by JFK*

10. Write It When I’m Gone by Tom DeFrank

11. FDR by Jean Edward Smith

12. The Cluetrain Manifesto by Locke, Searls, Weinberger + Levine

13. One Click by Richard Brandt

14. Persuasive Presentations by Nancy Duarte

NA. James K. Polk by Walter Borneman

15. The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw

16. The Illustrious Dead by Stephan Talty

17. The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

18. Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Dan Pink

Categories: Libro 52 Challenge

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19 replies


  1. Libro 19 + 20/52 :: Thunderstruck by Erik Larson + In Cold Blood by Truman Capote « the red angle
  2. Libro 21/52 :: Ctrl Alt Delete by Mitch Joel « the red angle
  3. Libro 22 + 23/52 :: Down & Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind + Makers by Chris Anderson « the red angle
  4. Libro 24/52: Tales From Q School by John Feinstein « the red angle
  5. Libro 25/52: The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker « the red angle
  6. Libro 26/52: 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman « the red angle
  7. Libro 27/52: Drive by Dan Pink « the red angle
  8. Libro 28/52 :: Enough by John Bogle « the red angle
  9. Libro 29/52 :: Contagious by Jonah Berger « the red angle
  10. Libro 30/52 :: Lexicon by Max Barry « the red angle
  11. Libro 31 + 32/52 :: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman + A Very Short Tour of the Mind by Michael Corballis « the red angle
  12. Libro 33/52 :: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton « the red angle
  13. Libro 34 + 35/52 :: Choose Yourself by James Altucher + The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzwieg. « the red angle
  14. Libro 36/52 :: Inside The Box by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg. « the red angle
  15. Libro 37 + 38/52 :: The Power of Less by Leo Babauta + Wild by Cheryl Strayed « the red angle
  16. Libro 39/52 :: Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier. « the red angle
  17. Libro 42/52 :: Black Irish by Stephan Talty « the red angle
  18. Libro 43/52 :: The Firm by Duff McDonald « the red angle
  19. Libros 44-50 :: The final chapter of the Libro 52* Challenge. « the red angle

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