Saturday, May 31, 2014

Frank Herbert: Dune

Date: 06/2014

Title: "Dune"

Author: Frank Herbert

Duration: 21 hrs and 8 mins

Review: I loved it!  What an incredibly creative and spectacular yarn.  Dune is a beautiful mix of boy hero tale, religious awakening, ecological awareness, epic battle between cultures,  but most of all, conflict between ones life and ones Terrible Purpose.  Awesome, fun, page turner of a read!!

Orson Scott Card: Ender's Game

Date: 04/14

Title: "Ender's Game"

Author: Orson Scott Card

Duration: 11 hrs and 57 mins

Review: I'd been meaning to read this book for years, or decades really. It didn't disappoint. A great boyish tale of a boy hero who saves the world from the invading horrible monsters. I really enjoyed it.

Malcolm Gladwell: The Tipping Point

Date: 04/14

Title: "The Tipping Point"

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Duration: 8 hrs and 38 mins

Review: Pretty good. I love Malcom Gladwell's ideas and hearing him read the book himself was fun. Not my favorite of his though.

Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections: A Novel

Date: 02/14

Title: "The Corrections: A Novel"

Author: Jonathan Franzen

Duration: 21 hrs and 57 mins

Review: I love this infuriatingly slow family disfunction novel. Jonathan Franzen is a master! I've been meaning to read The Corrections ever since I read Freedom, which I also LOVED! Incredible writer. Awesome!

Dave Eggers: The Circle

Title: "The Circle"

Date: 01/14

Author: Dave Eggers

Duration: 13 hrs and 42 mins

Review: Until this book, I have really liked all of Dave Eggers' books.  This one, made an impact on me, but I just wanted to be angry at the book all the time. The ideas about privacy and social media were interesting, but in this book they were made more flat and simplistic by a context in which the society seems to have never considered privacy issues before.  Also, the characters that inhabit the tech company which is the setting of the story seem to want more of what Copeland's "Microserfs" did really well.

On the other hand: (from Interview of Dave Eggers by Tasha Robinson  Feb 23, 2005 on A.V. Club

"What deserves that kind of bile that people throw out? Sometimes they throw it out at literary fiction, which is like dressing up in full body armor to go attack an ice-cream cone. I mean, just take it easy. [Laughs.] Back up, take a breath—it's a novel, you know what I mean?"

Donald A. Norman: The Design of Everyday Things

Date: 01/14

Title: "The Design of Everyday Things"

Author: Donald A. Norman

Duration: 7 hrs and 58 mins

Review: I suppose that back in the day the idea that users aren't to blame for their inability to efficiently use badly designed tools was revolutionary. For me, this book suffered from overly high expectations. Meh.

Gino Wickman: Traction

Date: 12/13

Title: "Traction"

Author: Gino Wickman

Duration: 6 hrs and 56 mins

Review: At work, my boss asked the executive team to read this. Pretty good.

Neal Stephenson: The Baroque Cycle

Date: 06/13 -- 12/13

Title: "The Baroque Cycle"

Author: Neal Stephenson

Duration: 113 hrs

Review: What an incredibly prolific and talented writer and thinker. Truly, an amazing read! Epic!!!  

Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha: Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

Date: 06/13

Title: "Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships"

Author: Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha

Duration: 10 hrs and 57 mins

Review: Great read!  It turns out that we think we're more like chimpanzees than bonobos because we've been studying chimpanzees longer.  I disagree with half of the ideas in this book, but they are still thought provoking and well written.  I liked this book!

Yann Martel: Life of Pi

Date: 06/13

Title: "Life of Pi"

Author: Yann Martel

Duration: 11 hrs and 41 mins

Review: Great read!

Jared Diamond: The World until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

Date: 04/13

Title: "The World until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?"

Author: Jared Diamond

Duration: 18 hrs and 31 mins

Review: Great read! Jarred Diamond knows SO much about humans. He confirms and refutes common ideas about how all humans have lived until very recently. What does "natural" mean in the context of human activity? I really liked this book.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Nate Silver: The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't

Date: 02/2013

Title: "The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't"

Author: Nate Silver

Duration: 15 hrs

Review: Interesting.