Book reviews for November 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
You're Not Much Use to Anyone by David Shapiro

You're Not Much Use to Anyone by David Shapiro

2/5

Maybe I missed something but a character I didn't particularly care for got a blog which got fairly popular and then ran out of steam. If it wasn't short I don't think I'd have finished it.

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

4/5

A World War Two yarn of intersecting French and German lives - bit players dragged into the war. Affecting and very well written.

 

Book reviews for October 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

5/5

Outstanding thriller about a man left behind on a Mars mission. Almost all of the tension is sucked out by geeky humor but the leftovers are more than enough. The movie version will probably switch the geek out and install Sandra Bullock.

 

Personal (Jack Reacher, #19) by Lee Child

Personal (Jack Reacher, #19) by Lee Child

4/5

If you're a Reacher fan this is a solid installment, by the numbers. If not then don't start here.

 

Book reviews for September 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer

4/5

Interesting thriller. Very different start in Myanmar which was super promising. Bond like villainy and a trans-human resistance then ensue.

 

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Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

4/5

It's a living the same life over and over again type of story, a literary groundhog day. Very well done.

 

Book reviews for July 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity [With CDROM] by Avinash Kaushik

Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity [With CDROM] by Avinash Kaushik

5/5

Deep, evergreen advice on web analytics. This book is grounded in the trenches and is full of practical advice and reality. Works well to read all the way through and to dip into for specific topics.

 

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi

5/5

Barnstorming tirade against injustice in the US law enforcement and legal systems. Nothing in here was news to me, but laid out story after story it's breathtaking. Minor welfare infractions leading to jail time, institutionalized fraud ignored. Banks get away with money laundering and theft while in some places standing on the street is a crime. Once you've worked up a full head of rage you realize that Obama is as bad as Bush is nearly as bad as Clinton. The failure is in politics and this book is a depressing catalog of the symptoms.

 

Book reviews for June 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics by Brian Clifton

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics by Brian Clifton

4/5

Very helpful book, but a generation out of date. Does not cover universal analytics or the new user ID collection but is a great foundation as long as you know this. I'll buy the next edition when/if it becomes available.

 

Book reviews for May 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
The Quarry by Iain Banks

The Quarry by Iain Banks

4/5

This was a hard book to start because it's so sad to know that there will never be another Iain [M] Banks novel. I fell in love with his work after picking up The Wasp Factory with some birthday money in Guildford. I had (and loaned and lost) one signed book, Feersum Endjinn, which was the only really awful one. The Quarry was short, better than I thought it would be, not as good as his best. He'll be missed.

 

A Short Gentleman by Jon Canter

A Short Gentleman by Jon Canter

4/5

Unbearably British. Very funny.

 

Book reviews for April 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

5/5

Took a while to start because The Secret History is one of my favorite books and I was pretty disappointed by The Little Friend - I can't really even remember it. The Goldfinch on the other hand will stick with me for a long time. It's a book where you inhabit someone else's life so deeply that it's disorienting to finish. Outstanding.

 

Book reviews for March 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday

2/5

Very short. Not as grubby as I was expecting. You'd be better off just reading The Lean Startup.

 

Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd

Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd

5/5

Outstanding WW1 spy/psychological literary thriller.

 

Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson

Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson

3/5

Engaging romp of an alien first contact mission to Earth as experienced by a video game developer.

 

Book reviews for February 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

4/5

Epic book about the origins, frequency and long term outlook of life in the universe.

 

Countdown City (The Last Policeman, #2) by Ben H. Winters

Countdown City (The Last Policeman, #2) by Ben H. Winters

4/5

A search for a missing person is the backdrop for watching society start to collapse and the plot begin to thicken in the sequel to The Last Policeman. Here's hoping that the third book will be worth the wait.

 

Book reviews for January 2014

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Why Does E=mc²? (And Why Should We Care?) by Brian Cox

Why Does E=mc²? (And Why Should We Care?) by Brian Cox

4/5

Has some new (to me) angles to help you try and understand relativity and quantum mechanics so I enjoyed it. I can feel that clarity starting to slip away again two days later though...

 

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Sean Covey

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Sean Covey

3/5

Not as religious as your typical business self help book, still wildly repetitive though. Important goal -> focus on leading rather than lagging metrics -> simple scoreboard -> peer accountability on a weekly basis -> win. It's pretty much scrum for the non-development crowd (assuming that having a captive customer can be counted as a leading metric which I think it does).

 

A Good and Useful Hurt by Aric Davis

A Good and Useful Hurt by Aric Davis

4/5

Well paced and strange book about catching a serial killer via unexpectedly powerful tattoos.

 

Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga

Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga

3/5

It's like an episode of the A Team with two important differences - the book is set in India and the A Team don't show up. This means that it doesn't end well.