This is a fun-to-read true story about tracking a hacker spy back in the early days of the internet. It's a must-read for any IT professional, and jusThis is a fun-to-read true story about tracking a hacker spy back in the early days of the internet. It's a must-read for any IT professional, and just a fun read for anyone in general. His anecdotal life events make for nice breaks from the chase and the technical jargon. It slows down a bit in the middle, but it's quite fun, and an incredible true story.
The technical aspects are good, though I thought that some of his analogies dumb down the concepts he's trying to portray. But not enough to detract from the story, in my opinion. And maybe that's a good thing so that more people will read it and enjoy it....more
Very compelling, a good read, and it made me want to learn more about the Civil War. The reason it's 4 instead of 5 stars is that it's historical fictVery compelling, a good read, and it made me want to learn more about the Civil War. The reason it's 4 instead of 5 stars is that it's historical fiction. I have a hard time with historical fiction. In my book, if you're going to write in the genre, then you should footnote with documentation wherever you are stating facts (or are basing things on facts). I came away from the book with an improved understanding of the war, but with a nagging feeling that I couldn't really speak intelligently about it because I wasn't sure what was true and what Mr. Shaara created for the book....more
Though this is truly a business book, it contains material valuable to anyone, in any walk of life. I'll get my two gripes out on the table right awayThough this is truly a business book, it contains material valuable to anyone, in any walk of life. I'll get my two gripes out on the table right away, because other than these I loved this book.
First, it was a bit chaotic overall, making it hard to get my head around what specific concept the author was trying to convey or link between stories in each section.
And second, the whole premise of the book is that these are small companies that have had the chance to make it big, but have chosen not to. That's a very small percentage of the business population, so the book is making a point about business in general from a niche.
Okay, on to the good...there is so much. The author did quite a bit of homework on these companies, and it shows in the data collected, but more so in the stories he tells. The strength of this book are the true stories of each of these companies, and how these stories helped them to become the great companies they are.
The stories alone cannot give a roadmap for successful business, nor are they intended to. But pulled together in this book, they help to give a feel for some qualities in businesses that have proven successful, at least on the small scale.
And the idea that a business is sometimes built to do more than make money is counter to capitalism (generally). But the author makes a strong case for the benefits of doing things that might cost more (in the short and long term), but are just the right thing to do.
I also really liked the symbiotic relationship that many of the small giants had with their communities. These are some of the things that make running a business so rewarding. But also the things that can make our interactions with our neighbors, coworkers, and friends so rewarding as well. It really does provide a good starting point for looking inward at what you want out of life, and what you're giving up to get (or not get) those things....more
Good, exciting tale with a pastoral feel and literary language style. For kids, but not too young as there is some fair amount of killing, and evil foGood, exciting tale with a pastoral feel and literary language style. For kids, but not too young as there is some fair amount of killing, and evil for evil's sake. But a good read....more
Well, I've finally come down from my Asimov high. Books 1-4 are outstanding, highly recommended. Unfortunately I can't say the same for book 5.
In theWell, I've finally come down from my Asimov high. Books 1-4 are outstanding, highly recommended. Unfortunately I can't say the same for book 5.
In the Foreword to the book, the history of the series is explained, and it's quite interesting. However, it is also mentioned that for this book, the publisher changed the rules, and required a minimum of 240,000 words (far longer than any of the previous 4 books). It shows. :( Though the story and characters are still there, this artificial limit is quite evident in the reduced quality of the literature.
Where Asimov excelled with thought-provoking plot and characters in the first 4 books, the reader gets lost in long drawn-out dialogues and unnecessary explanations. The plot is still good, and the characters are interesting, but you can tell the wording is often contrived and the story sometimes gets lost in the length.
I still love his style, and there are some interesting things he brings up to think about...but this is definitely a step backward from the first 4 books. :(...more
I'm not sure how C.S. Lewis does it, but he is a master of quite a variety of genres. This book actually read more like a short story, in part becauseI'm not sure how C.S. Lewis does it, but he is a master of quite a variety of genres. This book actually read more like a short story, in part because it was somewhat short, and also because it was quite compelling. Truly though, this is quintessential sci-fi (if you have concerns about sci-fi, see note at bottom).
I won't add any spoilers because this book is so short and good that it's an easy and quick read for most. But Lewis does a great job of introducing characters, but tantalizing you with who they really are (even if some are simple). He also provides the science (at least as it stood at the time of the writing) as a backdrop, without forcing it to the forefront as the star player.
The real beauty of the book was two-fold. One, the reader is really made to reflect on their own belief and view of the world and the universe. And it goes beyond that to our view of others around us, especially our earth-view. Secondly, Lewis paints a beautiful picture of Malacandra. I could envision each landscape he described, and it made the entire book more real to me.
All in all a fun read, and one that evokes true science fiction.
*** NOTE: In my mind, the point of science fiction is to make you think...hard. The science is important as a supporting role, but doesn't necessarily make a movie good sci-fi. In fact, I think those sci-fi B-movies that are on late at night with very little plot give sci-fi a bad name, though they are somewhat fun to watch late at night for a good laugh. :) True sci-fi makes you wonder about your current life, and makes you wonder about things you may never have thought about. It elicits your imagination like few other genres do. And quite often it leaves you to finalize things in your own mind, not entirely wrapping things up in a package at the end. Because if it did, it would take away that gift it gives, the power of the reader to think! Just my $0.02, but the reasons why I love good sci-fi...and what real science fiction is....more
A good fun read. The characters were fun, the humor was quaint and quick, and the story was short enough to not feel like it dragged on.
But I don't liA good fun read. The characters were fun, the humor was quaint and quick, and the story was short enough to not feel like it dragged on.
But I don't like to give out stars willy-nilly, and so there were a few things holding me back from 4 stars...namely (semi-spoilers):
- There were astoundingly many parallels to LoTR: a small unassuming hero, a gruff dwarf, a clumsy sidekick, an unconscionable gollum-like creature, a band of seeming fools who manage to accomplish an insurmountable task, a special sword, a protected land that is impossible to find unless it wants to be found, horrible flying creatures that do their evil master's bidding...the list goes on and on. This really annoyed me throughout, as I felt the book was a copycat in many senses. - The plot was quite simple, making the dialogue really all you could look forward to...and beyond the humor, it too was pretty simple. - Taran's change from simple-minded Assistant pig-keeper to emboldened fearless hero was a bit contrived, and forced in my opinion.
Overall a fun read, and despite my misgivings, I did give it 3 stars. Cori and I read this together whilst the other did dishes, so it was a fun lighthearted read, and we'll definitely continue the series. Sometimes you just need something fun and lighthearted....more
Orson Scott Card just makes great characters. They are smart...and always out-thinking their opposition. The book was a fun read, almost Crichton-likeOrson Scott Card just makes great characters. They are smart...and always out-thinking their opposition. The book was a fun read, almost Crichton-like, but in a good way.
The part I didn't like was kind of the part I liked. He brought politics into the forefront of the story, which was okay...I guess. But he was very one-sided (RIGHT), and if I read politics I want something a bit more level or agnostic. His epilogue told his reasons, which were noble in that we should beware of politics creating an "Us and Them" and thus becoming the seed for our own Civil War.
At any rate, a good read, a good moral, but a bit poor execution of the balance in elucidating the moral. (Wow, did that make any sense?)...more