A gripping story that kept me on the edge for the entire length (not a short book). Great writing that conveyed just the right amount of details and tA gripping story that kept me on the edge for the entire length (not a short book). Great writing that conveyed just the right amount of details and the right perspectives to maintain the dramatic sequences taking place. Very much enjoyed this book. It is nice to read a book with a heroine lead that is older than 14 years old. Actually revolves around adults....more
After 26 hours of audiobooking, this audobiography is about three times as long as normal audiobooks. One might think that it would be excessively detAfter 26 hours of audiobooking, this audobiography is about three times as long as normal audiobooks. One might think that it would be excessively detailed and completely comprehensive. And yet, a simple Wikipedia glimpse taught me several things about Castro that were not covered anywhere in this book; for instance that he's on his second wife, and even that he was ever married. This is a pretty substantial thing to leave out of a biography.
The flow of the book was also pretty dismal. The author was compelled for unknown reasons to leave this formatted in a disjointed interview-style. I doubt the actual interviews were as haphazard, but when the editing happened, the placement of the questions this guy would ask was all goofy. He would repeat questions frequently, as well as repeating things that Castro just finished saying. This is the kind of thing that should have been left on the cutting room floor.
On a good note, there were many things about Castro that I learned. He covered his history, his childhood and raising, parents, his political beginnings, the thoughts on rebellion, fairness, problems with the U.S., and much more. I liked his personal accounts, in his own style. Made many of the sections and statements made seem more believable and real, versus if it were solely done by an outside perspective....more
And by "read," I mean I finished the chapters required for the class I was taking. After all, who would read a book like this for fun? Well, there migAnd by "read," I mean I finished the chapters required for the class I was taking. After all, who would read a book like this for fun? Well, there might be one or two more chapters that I will peruse since they sound interesting. Typical textbook. Meaning that there were not nearly enough pictures. And too many big words. I do not like big words, Sam I Am. But, as far as textbooks go, the subject matter was interesting. I was surprised by how some of the details of law play out in large arenas, and how many misunderstandings I had, and that are rampant in society....more
There does not exist many good books on meditation. I wouldn't say this is a great one, but it's pretty decent. The only book on meditation I have reaThere does not exist many good books on meditation. I wouldn't say this is a great one, but it's pretty decent. The only book on meditation I have read that I would recommend to others. Good for any level of meditator. Helps put the act of meditation into context.
"Meditation is really the one human activity in which you are not trying to get anywhere else but simply allowing yourself to be where and as you already are. This is a bitter medicine to swallow when you don't like what is happening or where you find yourself, but it is especially worth swallowing at such times."
The chapter for which this book was named after was by far the most significant to me. Although, I'm sure each reader will find the meaning they need in any relevant chapter based on where they psychologically are at that time. 'Wherever you go, there you are' invites you to stop relying on externalities for solutions. You can change jobs, spouses, cities, etc, but /you/ are still going to be there. And maybe that which is not working for you, is you. Make yourself at home wherever you are. No vacation needed. No change in latitude needed to change the attitude. Suck it, Buffett. ...more
Not sure I felt the powerful change that the cocky subtitle promotes. Are seven habits really necessary? Could humility have been one? Who knows.
MoreNot sure I felt the powerful change that the cocky subtitle promotes. Are seven habits really necessary? Could humility have been one? Who knows.
More like two rules to be functional; have some integrity and don't be a dick. The points made in this book can definitely be found in other areas. His seven habits are broken up into two sections, self-mastery, and working with others. The idea of having integrity was littered throughout most of his habit explanation. Which kind of makes integrity a foundational habit.
There really were some good focus points, though. Evaluating yourself is necessary. Knowing your path, your goals, your values. Other books I have read have made this point more directly and succinctly, but he did get the point across. The idea is that you can't make effective decisions if you don't know your values and goals.
Another idea I really liked from him was that efficiency with people is not effective. Efficiency with tasks, sure. But not people. Throw time restrictions out the window when dealing with people. Give them your attention and time. Completely, not just the act, but genuinely. Understand them. Empathize with them. That will lead to effectiveness.
His win-win idea echoed a few other teachings I have come across. What it really makes me think of is capitalism, though. We all choose to support someone when we buy something or sign a contract. Yet so many complain about the agreements we willingly choose. Capitalism is about mutual agreements. Don't make that choice if it isn't good for you. And don't con someone into making a bad choice for them, because it will eventually come back in a negative way somehow.
The most interesting thing about this book is that it is the only required textbook for an Applied Ethics college seminar (and also the reason for me picking it up). I guess ethics, in business and in your personal life, comes down to having integrity and not being a dick....more
Annoyingly literary for a young adult's fiction book. Angsty teenagers, only this time with a real reason to be angsty, find adventure while being accAnnoyingly literary for a young adult's fiction book. Angsty teenagers, only this time with a real reason to be angsty, find adventure while being accompanied by the authors of the vocabulary section of the SAT test. At first their victorian era propriety goaded my inner voice into a state of dismay against the otherworldly fiction of the overly-educated and articulated dialogues in this book. Eventually the author worked in an obligatory "like" in places that did not fit (inbetween statements made by these characters about soliloqueis, metaphorical resonances, and bodily sovereignty; I shit you not) do I realize how inanely absurd it sounds.
So peculiar the entire premise is, that while facing life-threatening challenges the main characters remain so ridiculously composed and mature. So eloquent they manage to be as teenagers beginning a relationship where even experienced adults become flustered and awkward. So flirtatous, witty, and confident they are, that even if these exchanges were transposed into mature characters, it would still have an air of disbelief.
A lot was made up for when the cancers began getting worse and people started dying off. These parts were written very well and they were truly touching. Not that I like when fictional people die, but I do like when a story is dramatic enough to draw some emotion from my cold, black heart.
I would say that these last parts of the book were excellent, but there was still the story of Peter Van Houten, which I still have yet to comprehend why he is part of the story. He really didn't need to be anything more than a douchebag in Dutchland. His continuation in the story was like a cancer in the book. See what I did there? Pretty ingenious, eh? ...more
Reread this book and dropped the rating a bit. For some reason it just doesn't have the same appeal to me. I kept chuckling at the premise for the booReread this book and dropped the rating a bit. For some reason it just doesn't have the same appeal to me. I kept chuckling at the premise for the book itself. A prophet about to leave a town and all the residents standing around asking him odd, canned questions. I sensed some underlying ego trying to puff up, and maybe Kahlil Gibran thought of himself as that prophet and wanted to be idolized.
Anyway, the instruction in the book still holds value, to me. Unfortunately, they seemed a bit shallow and without much substance. Feel good words. Things people will nod while listening to, ponder thoughtfully afterwards at its depth, but come away with nothing when all is said and done....more
The premise for the book is very appealing; myths of the Native Americans. I was expecting a lot of stories about why things were the way that they saThe premise for the book is very appealing; myths of the Native Americans. I was expecting a lot of stories about why things were the way that they saw them, explaining laws of nature and social structure, etc. Unfortunately, these were some of the most uncreative stories I have ever heard. My eight-year-old has more logic behind her stories, which is setting the bar pretty low.
The nadir of the stories was the Mineral Springs. Once there were twins. One of the twins killed the other. And that is why this tribe does not let twins live when born. Lame, right? It's that whole "and that is why," part. There's no explanation, no logic.
This is indicative of the vast majority of these stories. They just do not make sense. Many times phrases and words are used that are native words and not translated. The reader is left to wonder. I suspect the translators did not really speak the language of the tribe with the story, or there was some other fundamental concept in each story that was lost in translation. I suppose this is why authors should not just merely rely on Google Translate to write a book and should do their research before publishing....more
Typical academic textbook; lots of numbers, cheesy anecdotal stories, and a lack of an overall flow towards a central point because they know studentsTypical academic textbook; lots of numbers, cheesy anecdotal stories, and a lack of an overall flow towards a central point because they know students will merely memorize what is needed for the individual chapter tests and promptly forget its content in a whirlwind of irrelevence minutes after the semester ends. Some interesting numbers in here though. Which should not be a surprise considering how many statistics they throw at you. If you can't find something of interest, you just don't give a damn about community health topics whatsoever. Interesting categorizations of race considering they mentioned that race was a social and cultural construct, and that most health issues that are typically related to a specific race disappear once social class, education, income, and geography are accounted for. Race was a predominant topic throughout regardless. Seems these discussions are socially required, yet merely obstacles to rectifying the cause (usually poverty). Time to remove the concept of race from our society altogether....more
Hard to put this book down. That's two-for-two on Hugh Howey books (Wool, was the first). I think I'll have to start a Hugh Howey marathon one of thesHard to put this book down. That's two-for-two on Hugh Howey books (Wool, was the first). I think I'll have to start a Hugh Howey marathon one of these days.
This has been the most unique zombie story I've read yet. The first one from the perspective of the zombie I've come across. More like the inner thoughts of the human stuck inside the zombie than the perspective of the zombie, per se. The real hook for me wasn't merely the unique perspective. It was the idea of the remnants of a decent soul inside the evil shell. It was the conflicts of that inner consciousness with the actions of the zombie body they were trapped in. And even moreso, it was the way that the author conveys that these are the real emotions and actions someone would experience in this situation.
The way the book was organized was also a nice hook. Sections covered two or three stories at once. Each chapter would jump to a different back story and return again a few chapters later. They were short enough that I hadn't put the previous victim's story out of my mind. But long enough to give enough detail into character development and describe these dramatic situations in just the right amount of detail (sometimes pretty gorey, but always fascinating). The following section would have a new victims which garnered their own chapters. Not too many characters to follow. Nothing that had to be kept track of from beginning to end. They almost could all stand on their own as a separate engrossing story....more
I think the subtitle should have been, The Russian Business Network Hardly Does Anything Illegal And Other Silly Things Said By Russian Cyber GangsterI think the subtitle should have been, The Russian Business Network Hardly Does Anything Illegal And Other Silly Things Said By Russian Cyber Gangsters. Or something like that. But shorter. And more catchy. But really, one of the RBN mobsters said that he was hardly doing anything illegal. I liked that quote. Not enough to go back and quote it verbatim, but it probably wouldn't sound as good if it were 100% accurate.
The partial-inside view that Krebs managed to get into the deep cockles of Russian cyber crime was pretty amazing. For those not in the industry, this might not be as fascinating. But I was pretty amazed at the links to illegitimate pharmacies, to fake antivirus, to credit card processing in Russia. It focused heavily on Russia. Granted, that's where a lot (a LOT) of the cyber crime originates from. I would have appreciated if China would have gotten a consolation chapter though.
The writing style of this book was not my mostest favoritest. But, to his credit, he is 10 times better than Gene Wolfe. It was very colloquial. It flowed fairly well still. Most of all, I appreciated the in-depth look at something that most of us don't give a second thought to, spam....more
Maybe not "magical" tales, but interesting ones none-the-less. More of an autobiography of a really weird dude with a strange life. Being a fan of PenMaybe not "magical" tales, but interesting ones none-the-less. More of an autobiography of a really weird dude with a strange life. Being a fan of Penn Jillette in the first place, I enjoyed hearing about his background and the various oddities in his life. The book is loosely composed around holidays with the stories being, in some manner, related to calendar dates. Many of his stories digress quite early from the "date" theme, but this has zero negative consequence on the entertainment value of the story itself....more
I am finding very little enjoyment in this book. Nor do I appreciate music any more than I did before. Wait, is that entirely true? No. There's a partI am finding very little enjoyment in this book. Nor do I appreciate music any more than I did before. Wait, is that entirely true? No. There's a part of me that enjoys actually listening to music without analyzing the tempo, the instrumentation, the timbre of the voices. However, I still like to play that little game where I guess if the sopranos are castratos or not. Then there's the other game where you guess what the composer of the piece you are listening to died of. Hint, it's always syphilis, those dirty, dirty bastards....more
A quick read with some good stories and examples about how to get out of the typical mindsets that lock us into certain biases. As with anything by thA quick read with some good stories and examples about how to get out of the typical mindsets that lock us into certain biases. As with anything by these authors, very well written and useful to bat. Lessons that they discuss are to learn when to quit something, use stories to convey meaning, admitting when you don't know an answer instead of making shit up, looking at problems from a different angle (the hot dog eating contest lesson), weeding out the maybes, setting up a few "traps" to let people expose themselves, and others. Good stuff. ...more
Hoping this complements Mary Roach's Bonk book (the one on sex), and A Mind of Its Own (the book on the penis), both excellent and engrossing pieces tHoping this complements Mary Roach's Bonk book (the one on sex), and A Mind of Its Own (the book on the penis), both excellent and engrossing pieces that entice one to take a more conscious look at genders.
But alas, this book has not been the witty and intriguing achievement I had hoped for. It was actually fairly bland, which is unexpected considering the topic. Maybe some pictures would have livened this thing up a bit. I got two main topics from this. One, all sorts of terrible chemicals end up in breast milk. The stuff that was outlawed years ago but that you were exposed to as when you were younger, yea, it's in your breasts. And two, cancer sucks. Lots of risks. Not a lot of detection, prevention, or curative methods available. Definitely not the rolling hills of bliss that the cover implies....more