|burn||Burn any copy you find of this book, it is horrific.|
|mock||This book is awful. Don't read this book and mock anyone you see reading this book.|
|don't||Don't read this book.|
|desert||If you're on a desert island and are bored out of your mind, this book is okay to read.|
|fan||If you're a fan of this author / genre, this book is worth reading.|
|worth||This book is interesting, fun, entertaining, and thus worth reading. I would hand this book to a friend who asked for a _____ type book.|
|strongly||I strongly recommend this book|
|amazing||OMG, this book is amazing and/or life-changing, let me buy you a copy.|
One of the best things about my Mom's houses growing up was the bookcases full of books. I would often linger at the bookcases, pull out a book, and read it. It's how I like to read books: engrossed when I feel like this is the book I should be reading. It's how I picked Voltaire's Candide to read. It's how I picked this book to read.
Mom had suggested the book when we were in Portland last month. It was on sale. I bought it, and plunked it on my bookcase in the "haven't read, read at some point" stack of books. I picked it up late last week, and read it fairly quickly. I enjoyed it.
The book is a young adult book about an 11-turned-12 year old girl's life in the first months of the Earth's rotation slowing from 24 hours in a day to 72 hours in a day, and how the world changes to adapt, or not adapt as the case is with some people and places. Much of the gross (as in "total" not as in "disgusting") science is accurate enough to my understanding: the changing of the magnetic fields, the change of the radiation reaching the planet surface, the dying of many plants unable to adapt so quickly to the longer, hotter days and longer, colder nights. Many of the speculated societal changes presented were plausible.
Both of these, the sufficiently accurate science and the plausibly accurate changes in society, meant I wasn't distracted by the wrongness of the story background (I didn't have to suspend disbelief other than the initial "the Earth's rotation suddenly slowed"), and was therefore able to enjoy the storyline of the life of an eleven year old girl, told from look-back of a 23 year old woman.
It was a well-told story. I enjoyed the book. A fast, engrossing read.
For anyone else, I'd say, send the author ten bucks and borrow the book from the library. Or from me.
Wow, a book that isn't part of a series, doesn't have a lead character named Harry, and wasn't read in 3 days. Go me.
There exists a particular style of book in which nothing particularly exciting happens, the plot plods along, and the reader is supposed to, I don't know, bond with a character or two in the book. The Shipping News had this feel to it, as did Her Fearful Symmetry. The plot just sorta goes along, lives intertwine, foreshadowing is explained, and details planted in one spot reveal their nature in another.
In yet another post-apocalyptic world (I swear, I've been on a the-world-is-going-to-end-kick as of late), 99% of the people die, with it taking 20 years before a power grid will come back on and life can resume. Of course, there's the bad people and the good people in the book. Mostly, there are people trying to survive, some trying to remember, some trying to forget, everyone learning something new about people.
This book was far more positive about the end of the world than Wool was. With the plot jumping back and forth among various timelines, how clever that so many lives were intertwined in a way that belies believability, even as it possibly delights the author.
It's a mostly-good book, if you like the plodding, nothing really happens, life can still be interesting, sort of plot. If you like something to happen (12% more plot!), eh, go read something else.
THAT all said, I did make a couple notes of in the book.
"It's like the corporate world is full of ghosts... Adulthood is full of ghosts... I'm talking about these people who ended up in one life, instead of another and they are just so disappointed... They've done what's expected of them. They want to do something different, but it's impossible now. There's a mortgage, kids, whatever."
"You don't think he likes his job?"
"Correct. But I don't think he even realizes it. You probably encounter people like him all the time: high-functioning sleep walkers, essentially."
Okay, book eight of the Longmire series. While I thought I might be growing tired of reading these straight through, I was mistaken. The books are entertaining reads. The wit is great, though less of it in this one. The plot was clever in that the original murder was, then wasn't, then maybe was, a murder.
And gosh golly a crap tonne of people die in this series. Upside, at least this wasn't actually IN Longmire's county. That's the only upside.
This book has the introduction of another strong female lead, which is amusing in some sense, not so amusing in another. That "another" being the case where, well, in future books there are sure to be annoying tug-o-wars over Longmire, full of discomfort.
This book also reminds us of previous foreshadowing of not-so-great-things happening to Cady, also in future books.
Fortunately, those are in future books. This one was totally entertaining, and, for once, Walt didn't freeze something off or collect another crazy injury. Yay!
Unrelated to the book, HEY! Look! I'm in the second half of my goal of reading 52 books this year, and it's only week 13th, still the first quarter of the year. Yay!
I rather took a break from the Bosch books, and nose-dived into non-fiction books, work reading, and, well, the Silo books, leaving this one dangling in my started-and-not-finished in progress list. I came back to it today and finished it.
I can summarize it as "Classic Bosch."
Which is to say, "Murder Solved!" and "Tunnels!" and "Bad cop!" The elements that Connelly puts into every Bosch book, it seems.
This one was a little different, however, in that it had a couple twists that were unexpected (which is a great delight), as well as HARRY BEING WRONG. That's one of the better aspects of this book. Too many times in previous books, he just creates a theory and boom, it's the right one, mystery solved. In this one, he was wrong, and it makes him more believable as a character. I'm not sure just how many of these "unsolved cases that Harry just couldn't let go" Harry is supposed to have, but he's bound to run out at some point, right?
Yeah, so, if you're a Bosch fan, keep reading. This one was classic Bosch style, which, if you enjoy it, makes this a good read.
Okay, this is a book that you can find plot summaries, historical references, and literary commentary all over the internet. Some kids were required to read it in school, some into minute detail (looking at you, Wardog). Its social significance and public reception are well documented. Here, have a Wikipedia page on the book.
Madame Bovary has been seen as a commentary on the folly of aspirations which can be never be realised, or a belief in the validity of a self-satisfied, deluded personal culture, termed 'bourgeois' and associated with Flaubert's period. For Vargas Llosa, 'Emma's drama is the gap between illusion and reality, the distance between desire and its fulfillment' and as such shows 'the first signs of alienation that a century later will take hold of men and women in industrial societies'. However, the novel is not simply about a woman's dreamy romanticism. While it is true that Emma is lost in delusions, Charles is also unable to grasp reality or to understand Emma's needs and desires.
As for reviewing the book's contents, I related to the book more than I was expecting to relate to it. I found Emma to be annoying and melodramatic in a large number of her actions, but the motivations, ugh, I understood too much. I rather wish I had read the book years ago. The translation I read was by Geoffrey Wall. I read a few parts by another translator, and kept coming back to Wall's translation. It worked well for me. It was engaging enough for me to be able to focus on it for more than 30 minutes on the treadmill without noticing the time go by, which seems to be my new measure of "good" in books.
I recommend reading this book.
That all said, what I do not recommend is the crap binding of the copy I read. I love books. This has been well established. I love physical books. The heft of them, the smell of them, the entire experience of them. I buy hardback books if I have the opportunity, because the experience of them is superior to trade paperback books, which is superior to paperback books. As a result, I bought a copy of Madame Bovary, or the "Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition" edition of the book.
Penguin Books and Random House should be completely embarrassed at publishing this binding. It was CRAP. Hardcover books should be stitched and open flat. This binding was a glued binding, a trade paperback with a hard cover. It is complete and total shit. It doesn't open well, doesn't stay open. The spine cracked. The printing appears to be from a laser printer. All of it was a disappointing experience.
This particular binding of this book, and all "of Penguin’s beautiful hardcover Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design" books should be removed from the shelves and burned in a great bonfire. They are crap.
I'm hoping to find a good hardback binding of Wall's translation. Something worth keeping on the shelf. My current copy is not.
I do not recommend the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition edition of this book.
Recommended by Luke.
Okay, wow. When Luke recommended Wool (Amazon affliliate link), I had four other books going, and wanted to finish those before getting too far into Wool. I kinda wish I hadn't delayed. This book is great. Read the basic plot on the Amazon page, if you'd like. The back reads something like:
In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.
His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.
The thing about Hugh Howey's writing is that it's isn't eye-rolling absurd. Given the basic premise (societies living in underground silos), the characters are believable, the dialogue reasonable and the actions plausible. I really enjoyed that about the book, being able to be lost in the dystopian world for hours.
Of surprise to no one, including me, I enjoyed this book. I am very much enjoying Johnson's writing style, complete with historical references, literary quotes, and quick-witted responses.
This book was a bit different, in that the bad guys, well, were all bad guys. The actual deaths in this book were, well, righteous deaths, in self defense and by someone with intent to kill. There's one very major plot device that was entertainingly obvious, but acceptable, in the book. When I became aware of it early on, watching for the device to repeat itself made its appearance that more entertaining.
In this book, Walt nearly freezes to death. Again. You'd think that after nearly freezing to death saving the Cheyenne Nation the year before, he'd be less likely to put himself in the situation to do so again. But that's the thing about fictional characters: they can be larger than life, and survive.
And sometimes, you need someone larger than life to inspire you to do better in yours.
This, as all of the Longmire books, is highly recommended.
Related, at the end of the book is a list of character inspired books to read. I am uncertain if I'll read them all, but it's an interesting list:
- From Walt: The Grapes of Wrath, Les Miserables, To Kill A Mockinbird, Moby-Dick, The Ox-Bow Incident, A Tale of Two Cities, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Three Musketeers, Don Quixote, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, anything by Anton Chekhov.
- From Henry: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Cheyenne Autumn, War and Peace, The Things They Carried, Catch-22, The Sun Also Rises, The Blessing Way, Beyond Good and Evil, The Teachings of Don Juan, Heart of Darkness, The Human Comedy, The Art of War
- From Vic: Justine, Concrete Charlie, Medea, The Kama Sutra, Henry and June, The Onion Field, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Zorba the Greek, Madame Bovary, Richie Ashburn's Phillies Trivia
- From Ruby: The Holy Bible (The New Testament), The Pilgrim's Progress, Inferno, Paradise Lost, My Antonia,
The Scarlet Letter, Walden, Poems of Emily Dickinson, My Friend Flicka, Our Town
- From Dorothy: The Gastronomical Me, The French Chef Cookbook, Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals From Death Row, The Bonfire of Vanities, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Something Fresh, The Sound and The Fury, The Maltese Falcon, Pride and Prejudice, Brideshead Revisited.
- From Lucian: Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Band of Brothers, All Quiet On The Western Front, The Virginian, The Basque History of the World, Hondo, Sackett, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Bobby Fisher: My 60 Memorable Games, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Quartered Safe Out Here
- From Ferg: Riders of the Purple Sage, Kiss Me Deadly, Lonesome Dove, White Fang, A River Runs Through It, Kip Carey's Official Wyoming Fishing Guide
One reader additionally added: "I really like the postscript listing of these books, and I decided to try my hand at this game, looking for something to do with mountains, outdoors and great prose. And for titles not already mentioned by Johnson. Here's what I came up with: The Ice Palace (Tarjei Vesaas), The Book of Ebenezer le Page (G B Edwards), Butcher's Crossing (John Edward Williams), Trustee From the Toolroom (Nevil Shute), The Prince of Tides (Pat Conroy), High Fidelity (Nick Hornby),
The Shipping News (Annie Proulx) (and "meh"), Far Far The Mountain Peak (John Masters), Himalaya Tigers (Fritz Rudolph), an Ansel Adams photo album"
THIS is a fantastic book to read to learn about how to interview someone for research, whether it's market research, user research or design research. If you're starting out in the area of interviewing users, or need to understand how to structure interviews, read this book, by Steve Portigal, published by Rosenfeld Media.
The book gives an overview of the interviewing process, including a warning about being sure you're looking for what the client really wants, which may actually just be validation for something already done (the "gaining insights" versus "persuading the company" dichotomy), as well as a very specific roadmap on how to prepare and conduct user interviews. I love the reference to satisficing, a term given to "good enough" solutions where yes, the pain point exists, but the pain is less annoying than the effort to fix it. How many products are there that solve satisficing (satisfying + suffice) problems? I'd say TONNES and WAY TOO MANY. And likely, "not a product to build a company around."
The book has helpful information on building a rapport with an interviewee, documenting the interview, asking question and optimizing the interview. There are parts on how to ask questions, how to prepare for an interview, and what to do when adjusting the interview with the not-quite-perfect-fit interviewee.
The book's only lack is in the "how to analyze the interview data," yet even that isn't bad. There's an overview on how to start analyzing provided, along with references for other books to read. The analysis of interview data a whole other book, so I'm unsurprised the topic wasn't fully covered here, and nor would I have expected it to be.
Interviewing Users is a great book. If I had to start interviewing people for gaining product or market insights, I would happily reread this book and use it as a guide.
Okay, so this book should likely be the end of the Bosch series. He is back from retirement, because, as Connelly comments, no private detective ever solves a murder case, and Connelly wanted to keep writing this character. Of course he did, he already killed off MaCaleb, who sucked anyway (as a written character, I'm sure he was a lovely person in real life). Bosch makes Connelly money, of course Connelly wanted to keep the story line going.
Right, so, back from retirement, and working a cold case from 17 years prior. I'll give the ending away: IT WASN'T A BAD COP. I know, shock, right?
What this book did have, as a complete turn around from the usual Bosch books, was a leadership that supported him and closure. I suspect this book is a turning point in the Bosch series.
I enjoyed this book, even if I had identified the bad guy when he was first introduced to the plot. Recommended if you are a Bosch fan (yes, keep reading if you're already on the way).
Two books left until I have read all the Bosch books up to the one I bought in error.
This is one of the shorter Walt Longmire books so far. It was also different, in that the BIG CRIME (yes, still a murder) doesn't happen at the beginning of the book. The introduction by Johnson gave away some of the plot, which was a little disappointing, but the book was still a fun read.
One of the things I like about Johnson's writing is that he doesn't make Longmire out to be some super human who can take four bullets to the chest then stand up and beat the crap out of the bad guy. The injuries Longmire has sustained over the previous 5 books are a factor, and he keeps being beat up. Of course, Longmire still finds the bad guy, but he's moving far more slowly than before.
I also like how Johnson makes references to history in a passing way, like to the 6000 torches from Rome to Capua. The casual references amuse me, often having me off to figure out what they refer to. I'm enjoying it.
This book, and the series, is recommended.
I listened to this book instead of reading it. Surprises no one. What surprised me about this audio book was the production of it. In particular, the MF annoying sound "enhancements" in it. The producers of this book should not be allowed to produce another book if their style includes adding annoying music to a book.
In reading this book, though it was book 10 of the Harry Bosch series, I feel like I've missed some book between 9 and 10. There were references to previous events that I know I hadn't read, and I've been reading the Bosch series straight through.
As mentioned in my In Progress notes, Connelly, the author, thought mixing the first person (Bosch's) view point with the third person omniscient (everyone else's) was a good thing. I think it was a cop out. Was a half-hearted literary attempt at cleverness that failed.
If you're a Bosch fan, keep reading. If you're not, start with the first book to see if you like them.
In Progress notes
Okay, book 10 in the Harry Bosch series. This one has some FBI agent in it, according to the first chapter. It's also written in 3rd person omniscient, where we hear the thoughts of all of the characters. Which is weird, because the Harry parts are in the first person. The dichotomy is annoying. As annoying as the literary cheating is, nothing compares to the tear-my-hair-out run-around-screaming annoying musical "enhancements" the audiobook producers have added to the beginning and ending of each chapter. HF, annoying.
This might become book one of the two bad books in a row that would cause me to stop reading a series. Gah.
Okay, I liked this Bosch book. While there was ANOTHER BAD COP (because, really, what's a Bosch book without bad cops?), the plot mystery wasn't obvious. There were a couple plot twists, which were good. I think at some point I should be annoyed that Harry ALWAYS GETS THE KILLER, but suspension of disbelief is part of reading these books. That, and, well, maybe we're supposed to be following only Bosch's successes and not the likely hundreds of failures in the previous 28 years of being a cop.
The story is the first of Bosch not as a cop, but as a private investigator. He's still able to get information through his connections, and there's a 9/11 twist to the story. I also might find it annoying at some point that all of Bosch's theories are correct. Maybe we're supposed to believe he's that good? Is anyone really that good?
For this book, if you're already a Bosch fan, this one is worth reading. If you're not a Bosch fan, eh, yeah, you could read this one if you like the Los Angeles Detective Crime Drama Law & Order type of story.
In Progress summary:
Okay, Bosch, book nine. He's left the LAPD, Hollywood Homicide Division, that's fine. The book has shifted to first person, though. Not _really_ sure how I feel about that.
Reading, though. Maybe we'll see ANOTHER BAD COP. Or not.
You must enjoy the book THIS MUCH to continue reading. Fortunately for this one, not a problem. The mystery is good. There was one part that took a little more suspension of disbelief than normal, but, hey, let's go for it. I have to say, I'm a bit delighted that the bad guy is not a bad cop.
Yep, still enjoying the Longmire books. Would be rather hard not to enjoy them, with the wit of the characters. In this one, the dead body comes from OUTSIDE of Wyoming, so whoo! not another person dying in the county. Who would have thought so many people could die in such a small place anyway?
The format of this one is a little different, in that it has a number of flashbacks to Vietnam (the reference of which is coincidental to Bosch, who was also in Vietnam, but with a much different experience), and an intertwined storyline. Two mysteries for the price of one!
The ending was satisfying. I'll keep reading this series and recommending it.
Completely unsurprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Given the number of deaths in the last two books, I was seriously concerned where Johnson was going to go with this book. There are only so many murders that can happen in a small population space before people begin fleeing, moving out, going to safer places. The previous two books had six murders in total. If this book had had another one, well, okay, I'd still suspend disbelief, but I'd become very frustrated with the triteness of it.
Fortunately, not the case. Unfortunately, Walt's daughter is injured when he and Henry are visiting in Philadelphia. And what do you know, MORE PEOPLE DIE. Kinda the point, though.
I'm finding these books addicting. I've been reading them as I walk and run on the treadmill, which means I've been walking a lot more than I had last month. Between Longmire and Bosch, I am having a delightful time reading through the series.
This book is, as expected, recommended. As of this writing, I am, of course reading the next one.
Okay, book two of the Walk Longmire series, and it was as delightfully entertaining as the first one. I am thoroughly enjoying these books. In this book, there were three murders. Coupled with the three deaths in the previous book, you would totally expect anyone in the area to hightail it out of there for safer grounds. And a joke is even made about Longmire retiring and fast, before there are any more. The characters are fun to read about, the banter witty and the Gavriel-Kay style of not telling the reader everything going on, but letting said reader read between the lines to understand, all totally enchant me with these books.
You can read about the plot elsewhere, or just pick it up and start reading it. I liked these first two books enough to keep reading, and maybe seek them out in hardcover, if they've been published in that form.
I may have also actively stayed up until after midnight finishing this book, which I haven't done since Harry Dresden or Harry Potter. So...
This would be the second "City of Bones" book I've read. No, I did not reread the Clarisse something or other YA book again.
I'd been eagerly reading through the various Bosch books to get to this one, so that I could watch the pilot of the Amazon/Netflix/I-don't-remember-where tv show, Bosch, which is a combination of this book and Concrete Blonde. Unsurprisingly, I will continue reading the Bosch series, as I enjoyed this one. The last book would have been book 1 of the "two sucky books and I'm done" requirement to stop reading a series, but this book redeemed the series.
This book did not have a bad cop as the bad guy. Well, sorta. There's still a couple bad-cop incidents but HEY, LET'S HAND WAVE OVER THAT PART, because really, any group in an us-vs-them and in power is going to have bad seeds in the ranks. The book included the classic Bosch elements of the dame, Los Angeles (though post my era), the distrust from other cops, mystery and tragedy. There was a twist, and FINALLY Bosch doesn't get it right the first time. I didn't get it right the first time I guessed the twist, either, which was great.
The ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I'll be starting up the next one, just after I finish a couple more of my already started books.
I think that Book Riot might be the death of me. I have to admit that "death by books" wouldn't necessarily be the worst way to go, though perhaps being pummeled to death by books might be. In this particular case, the article Five Female Characters Who Are Way More Awesome in Books started off with Katee Sackhoff as Victoria Moretti in Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series. Katee Sackhoff. Starbuck. Sackhoff. In another tough-as-nails role? Yeah, sign me up.
And, holy moly, this book is fun. I came for the character and stayed for the wit. Johnson's writing style is as fun as Butcher's style in the Dresden series. Johnson also has the writing style of showing, not telling. I am a huge fan of this style, and consider it a sign of a better writer. The book is written in first person, and done well. We aren't privy to thoughts of the other characters, but are shown small details, sometimes in odd places, just as we all do in real life.
The book is set in Small Town, Wyoming. I haven't looked up the town or county to see if they actually exist. An unpleasant young-ish man is murdered. While the sheriff (who we follow in the first person) is solving his murder, one of the victim's fellow miscreants is also murdered. The sheriff is now taxed with protecting the victims' other fellow miscreants, while now solving two murders, which are linked. We learn of the sheriff's history in this book, the first of a currently-11 book series, which isn't unusual for a first book.
The supporting characters are entertaining, and yes, Vic is great. I'm looking forward to watching the series. More importantly, I'm excited to read the other 10 books in the series. I've already started book, two.
I had Abby Covert's book, How to Make Sense of Any Mess, open in one of my tabs since it was published. I thought about reading it, lingered on buying it, and finally just purchased it last week. It arrived, and I read it quickly.
Abby describes the book as "a book about information architecture for everybody." I would argue the title is more accurate about making sense of any mess than her description is. The steps of "Identify, State, Face, Choose, Measure, Play, Prepare" she has are accurate in fixing any mess, if you adjust them slightly. Consider:
- Identify the mess
- Determine what you really want from this mess
- Face reality
- Choose a direction that takes you to your goal
- Track how far you've come
- Reflect on what you really want, if this goal is still worth the effort
- Adjust (actually adjust) the way you're going (not just prepare to adjust)
More words, same idea. I like how Abby presents the ideas and provides a roadmap. I COMPLETELY disagree with her definition of hypertext, and wonder if her ideas of the hyper* come from a non-technical, didn't-start-with-the-web-from-its-infancy perspective, such that it may be more accurate to younger/non-technical people than I think it should be.
I recommend this book as a guidebook for groups. I can see this being a starting point for teams beginning a clean-up project, and plan on using the suggestions Abby provides for cleaning up this site (yay! a group of one!).
I finished A Darkness More than Night, book seven in the Harry Bosch series, tonight. To call this book a Harry Bosch book is a bit disengenous, since it really was book two of Connelly's Terry McCaleb series. I didn't bother reading the first McCaleb book, Blood Work, choosing to watch the move which starred Clint Eastwood, and to read the summary on Wikipedia instead. A big *shrug* on that one.
The book, in and of itself, is classic Connelly, with the surprising twist that THE BAD GUY IS NOT A COP. Can you believe it? No, I can't either. The plot alluded to a number of other incidents and cases in Bosch's past, with Bosch being set up for a murder he didn't commit, but didn't prevent either. Given the murder was of a man who was also a murderer and had walked on a technicality, we are presented with a moral dilemma that no one would ever want to face.
Okay, so, the bad guy isn't a cop, but you know what? BOSCH IS STILL A SUSPECT, STILL HAS THE FBI AND IA ON HIM and, good lord, after nearly 30 f------ years of living with that, only a fictional character could survive. 30 years of a hostile work environment where EVERYONE you work with thinks you're dirty, even though the beloved reader would NEVER THINK SO? It has to be extremely wearing.
Yeah, so, book seven of the Bosch series. Good enough I'll read another one. Might have been okay to skip, given that it's a essentially a McCaleb story.