Book reviews for November 2021

The Dark Hours (Renée Ballard, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #35) by Michael Connelly

The Dark Hours (Renée Ballard, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #35) by Michael Connelly

4/5

 

Invisible Sun (Empire Games #3) by Charles Stross

Invisible Sun (Empire Games #3) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

Better off Dead (Jack Reacher, #26) by Lee Child

Better off Dead (Jack Reacher, #26) by Lee Child

3/5

 

First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami

First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami

4/5

 

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

5/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; San Francisco Shoreline Timelapse)

(You might also like: Sugarloaf Stars and Milky Way; Devil's Slide Trail; You won't believe this one crazy trick that would fix the broken patent system)

(All Book Reviews)

Book reviews for November 2020

The Saints of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton

The Saints of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton

4/5

 

Dead Lies Dreaming (The Laundry Files, #10) by Charles Stross

Dead Lies Dreaming (The Laundry Files, #10) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children) by Alastair Reynolds

Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children) by Alastair Reynolds

3/5

 

The Sentinel (Jack Reacher, #25) by Lee Child

The Sentinel (Jack Reacher, #25) by Lee Child

4/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Point Reyes - Drakes Estero; Nonfiction)

(You might also like: High-Frequency Trading; Winter Solstice 2013; Open letter to Nancy Pelosi)

(All Book Reviews)

Book reviews for November 2019

The Last Patriot (Scot Harvath, #7) by Brad Thor

The Last Patriot (Scot Harvath, #7) by Brad Thor

2/5

 

The Apostle (Scot Harvath, #8) by Brad Thor

The Apostle (Scot Harvath, #8) by Brad Thor

3/5

 

Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9) by Brad Thor

Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9) by Brad Thor

2/5

 

The Athena Project (Athena, #1) by Brad Thor

The Athena Project (Athena, #1) by Brad Thor

3/5

 

The First Commandment (Scot Harvath, #6) by Brad Thor

The First Commandment (Scot Harvath, #6) by Brad Thor

3/5

 

Blue Moon (Jack Reacher, #24) by Lee Child

Blue Moon (Jack Reacher, #24) by Lee Child

5/5

Reacher perfection.

 

Supernova Era by Liu Cixin

Supernova Era by Liu Cixin

3/5

Great concept but disappointing writing.

 

(Related: #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; San Francisco Shoreline Timelapse)

(You might also like: Signs; Vernal Equinox 2015; Sealions)

(All Book Reviews)

Book reviews for November 2018

The Increment by David Ignatius

The Increment by David Ignatius

3/5

 

What Have You Done by Matthew Farrell

What Have You Done by Matthew Farrell

2/5

 

Salvation (Salvation Sequence #1) by Peter F. Hamilton

Salvation (Salvation Sequence #1) by Peter F. Hamilton

4/5

 

The Christmas Scorpion (Jack Reacher, #22.5) by Lee Child

The Christmas Scorpion (Jack Reacher, #22.5) by Lee Child

1/5

 

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

4/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Summit Loop, San Bruno Mountain; Street View)

(You might also like: Top 5 reasons to hate the Facebook like button; Correlation is not causation but...; News: Spacecraft data boosts Pluto's size)

(All Book Reviews)

Book reviews for November 2017

The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher, #22) by Lee Child

The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher, #22) by Lee Child

4/5

 

The Startup Way: How Entrepreneurial Management Transforms Culture and Drives Growth by Eric Ries

The Startup Way: How Entrepreneurial Management Transforms Culture and Drives Growth by Eric Ries

4/5

Normally I like to wait a few years before reading business books as the companies held up as shining examples of the one true way will have invariably foundered. No need to wait long in this case as Immelt is already out at GE and while it might be unfair to pin that on the lean startup movement it certainly gives you reason to pause while reading this book. Do I really want to fly on a plane with a Minimum Viable Jet Engine? Having said all that I actually liked the book. It's a recap of lean startup and broadens that thesis to cover strategy and innovation accounting for larger enterprises and (of course) humanity as a whole. Grandiose, but not totally crazy as the core of the movement is to use the scientific method in more places. You don't know, so test and learn.

 

Authority (Southern Reach, #2) by Jeff VanderMeer

Authority (Southern Reach, #2) by Jeff VanderMeer

3/5

 

(Related: More on breaking the Internet; Circles; How to fix software patents)

(You might also like: The end of Facebook; California November 2016 Propositions; EAT)

(All Book Reviews)

Book reviews for December 2016

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
The End is Now by John Joseph Adams

The End is Now by John Joseph Adams

4/5

Review coming with book 3...

 

The End is Nigh by John Joseph Adams

The End is Nigh by John Joseph Adams

4/5

Review coming with book 3...

 

Night School (Jack Reacher, #21) by Lee Child

Night School (Jack Reacher, #21) by Lee Child

4/5

I much prefer flashback Reacher to modern day midwest town trauma Reacher. This is one of the best.

 

(Related: #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; San Francisco Shoreline Timelapse)

(You might also like: But does it get you in the HOV lane?; Semi-flooded duck (DUKW) headlight; Winter Solstice 2019)

(All Book Reviews)

Book reviews for October 2015

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files, #5) by Charles Stross

The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files, #5) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

Follow You Home by Mark  Edwards

Follow You Home by Mark Edwards

4/5

 

Make Me (Jack Reacher #20) by Lee Child

Make Me (Jack Reacher #20) by Lee Child

3/5

Everything you need in a Reacher book, and nothing you don't. Too well oiled.

 

The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files, #3) by Charles Stross

The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files, #3) by Charles Stross

3/5

 

The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium, #4) by David Lagercrantz

The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium, #4) by David Lagercrantz

3/5

 

The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4) by Charles Stross

The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; Monitor page index status with Google Sheets, Apps Script and the Google Search Console API)

(You might also like: Migrating from Blogger to BlogEngine.NET; Oakland Hills (Longer Walk); Routers to defend against rogue IoT devices)

(All Book Reviews)

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.

 

(Related: Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; #Resist; Where did that app icon go, Android?)

(You might also like: BBC Slams BA; Vernal (Spring) Equinox 2018; Geotagging posts in BlogEngine.NET)

(All Book Reviews)

Book reviews for October 2013

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, #18) by Lee Child

Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, #18) by Lee Child

4/5

Exactly what you'd expect from Reacher. It's a solid thriller and totally on form.

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

4/5

The fascinating, troubling and ultimately morally ambiguous story of how a ubiquitous and storied cell line (HeLa) came to be, and the impact this had on the family of Henrietta Lacks (whose cells became HeLa).

 

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

3/5

The central idea of the book - better to construct small experiments and learn faster - seems right, but for a book about validated learning there is precious little data to support the hypothesis. Do Lean Startups return more money to investors or do they just pivot between slightly different ways to share photos before entering the deadpool at the same rate as Fat Startups? I want to believe Lean is better but a stack of anecdotes about IMVU just isn't enough to convince me.

Also, I hate all business books that start out by explaining how their profound ideas are applicable to all people at all times in all industries before stretching out a paragraph of insight over hundreds of turgid pages.

Lastly always read business books a few years after the peak of their popularity so you get the benefit of hindsight and a chuckle at the companies that are held up as shining examples of the author's methodology at the time but are now dead, festering or mostly incarcerated.

Having said all that I think that the approach is generally right and I appreciate that at several points in the book Ries states that there are no easy answers and no substitute for good judgement.

 

(Related: Can I move to a Better Simulation Please?; More on breaking the Internet; The Economics of Digital Rights Management)

(You might also like: Like Debate?; Farallones; Congress: instead of breaking the Internet how about fixing child identity theft?)

(All Book Reviews)

Book reviews for October 2013

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, #18) by Lee Child

Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, #18) by Lee Child

4/5

Exactly what you'd expect from Reacher. It's a solid thriller and totally on form.

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

4/5

The fascinating, troubling and ultimately morally ambiguous story of how a ubiquitous and storied cell line (HeLa) came to be, and the impact this had on the family of Henrietta Lacks (whose cells became HeLa).

 

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

3/5

The central idea of the book - better to construct small experiments and learn faster - seems right, but for a book about validated learning there is precious little data to support the hypothesis. Do Lean Startups return more money to investors or do they just pivot between slightly different ways to share photos before entering the deadpool at the same rate as Fat Startups? I want to believe Lean is better but a stack of anecdotes about IMVU just isn't enough to convince me.

Also, I hate all business books that start out by explaining how their profound ideas are applicable to all people at all times in all industries before stretching out a paragraph of insight over hundreds of turgid pages.

Lastly always read business books a few years after the peak of their popularity so you get the benefit of hindsight and a chuckle at the companies that are held up as shining examples of the author's methodology at the time but are now dead, festering or mostly incarcerated.

Having said all that I think that the approach is generally right and I appreciate that at several points in the book Ries states that there are no easy answers and no substitute for good judgement.

 

(Related: Can I move to a Better Simulation Please?; More on breaking the Internet; The Economics of Digital Rights Management)

(You might also like: Doing news right with Feedly and Google News; Fleet Week 2021 Air Show (Photos and Timelapse); Business of Software 2009)

(All Book Reviews)

I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison's blog.

Newsletter