I have to say, this is a surprisingly good and honest bio. You might need to be into soccer to appreciate it, but if you are this is fun.
Ibrahimovič...moreI have to say, this is a surprisingly good and honest bio. You might need to be into soccer to appreciate it, but if you are this is fun.
Ibrahimovič is a cocky guy who is aware of being who he is: he admits it right away. On the other hand he is fearless, always gives 100% and tells people off no matter who they are. The chapters dedicated to Guardiola are pure bile, just unashamed venom -- and hilarious! -- but he is full of respect for people who stand up and are able to say no: coaches like Mourinho and Capello, and Mino, his agent.
Reading this I forgot how insanely talented Ibra is, and the "loads of goals" he scored are just the simplest of proofs. Again this goes back to his personality: he wasn't afraid to try impossible goal kicks and you wonder why other players don't try those more often. This bio lets you in on the background, the mindset, the instincts required to even conceive the possibility of those goals, together with all the shit you have to put up with in case you mess up. Because you will.
I think it's players like this guy -- with all their defects and obnoxious behaviors -- that for some reason make soccer great.
A very dream-like story with amazing psychedelic art.... Every page is a work of art. The art (by J. H. Williams III) is so good you almost... hear it...moreA very dream-like story with amazing psychedelic art.... Every page is a work of art. The art (by J. H. Williams III) is so good you almost... hear it.(less)
Hah, so good to be back in the world of the Endless.
Absolutely stunning art, with fold outs and the works, brings you from books to deep space, from...moreHah, so good to be back in the world of the Endless.
Absolutely stunning art, with fold outs and the works, brings you from books to deep space, from alien worlds to London, 1915. It's a trip.
This is a getting started issue it feels like, but it just feels so good. (view spoiler)[How can it not, when Destiny chats with Death, after all... Plus, the Corinthian is hanging around, and you know that's not gonna end well. (hide spoiler)]
Overture brings you in like a great song, a fast, trippy one, with chords progressions you already know, but that still sound great. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Bello, ma non troppo. This book sounds a little dated. Sure, it was released after the start of the Iraqi war, but the style Michael Moore writes with...moreBello, ma non troppo. This book sounds a little dated. Sure, it was released after the start of the Iraqi war, but the style Michael Moore writes with and the over-sharing of his feelings toward W. Bush contribute to this feeling.
His writing "style" is pretty much how he speaks, which makes it for a fun read, but somehow diminishes the bearing of this book. I mean, sarcasm is expected, I get it, but (for instance) interspersing it with the detailed notes he added at the end of the book could have provided a more balanced read.
A funny moment is when Michael Moore thanks Bush, promising him he's going to spend every dollar he saved with his tax cut for the rich to a campaign toward his deposition (that failed, btw).
Best part is probably when he goes onto explaining that most Americans are anti-war, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-affirmative action, pro-enviroment, in favor of gun regulation and universal health care... basically a country full of liberals, ruled by people who do not represent them.(less)
Biografia fino a Dance Hall at Louse Point, interessante per i fan ma un po' superficiale e anzi da non leggere altrimenti. Si perde in affermazioni a...moreBiografia fino a Dance Hall at Louse Point, interessante per i fan ma un po' superficiale e anzi da non leggere altrimenti. Si perde in affermazioni altisonanti e prive di senso (ad esempio, "un titolo degno di Ian Curtis [che c'entra??] è Urn With Dead Flowers in a Drained Pool, altro momento di assoluto pregio nelle sue vampate d'inquieta vitalità [...]") nonchè spesso prive di logica e giustificazione. Alla lunga è irritante. Ma alcuni temi dell'opera di PJ Harvey sono citati, come la presenza dell'acqua nei suoi testi, la sessualità, etc. Quattro album vengono recensiti, sebbene con alcune cantonate paurose (dire che Yuri G è debole nella versione su 4 Track Demos mi sembra una bestemmia). C'è pure un'analisi di alcuni testi e un intervista dove dice che non le piace quando i suoi testi vengono analizzati, e che gli stessi testi e le acconciature che indossa sul palco contengono in realtà molta autoironia. (less)
Definitely for-fans-only, but fun. It's a simple account of 7 days in November-December 1989 between Rome, Zurich, Paris, Portsmouth and London. The b...moreDefinitely for-fans-only, but fun. It's a simple account of 7 days in November-December 1989 between Rome, Zurich, Paris, Portsmouth and London. The best part is the chronicle of the day off in Rome, among the beautiful people, monuments and cappuccinos, interspersed with discussions about music between the out-of-place SubPop guys. The photos capture the fury of the shows and leave me longing for that purity and dirty innocence that i rarely see nowadays.(less)
E' un bel viaggio nella storia di Adelphi. La cosa che più mi è piaciuta è appunto la dimensione del viaggio, del percorso editoriale, la riscoperta d...moreE' un bel viaggio nella storia di Adelphi. La cosa che più mi è piaciuta è appunto la dimensione del viaggio, del percorso editoriale, la riscoperta di certa Mitteleuropa, certi testi oscuri, l'essenzialità. Ho scoperto vari libri che vorrei leggere, persone che non conoscevo, carteggi di lettere di persone tipo Gadda, Arbasino, Wittgenstein. libri assurdi, associazioni che non avrei fatto. Un libro sui libri pericoloso, perché gli stimoli sono tanti, troppi.
La cosa che forse non mi è piaciuta - e che in fin dei conti è un mio limite - è che spesso quanto viene detto su molti dei libri presentati non è sufficiente a farsi un'idea del libro, senza leggere prima una recensione altrove. Ma forse va bene così. A volte ho proceduto per suggestione, per istinto, come quando si compra un disco per la copertina, anche se in questo caso la copertina è uno scritto.(less)
If advances in design should take inspiration from natural phenomena, this is a great book.
While the author meant it as a photographic compendium of...moreIf advances in design should take inspiration from natural phenomena, this is a great book.
While the author meant it as a photographic compendium of fluid-dynamics, I think its hidden value is in observing the figures that fluids make when they move -- be it at crawling or supersonic speeds -- as works of art. Some of the images are of great beauty: in a way it's surprising to discover it, but from another point of view we "know" these shapes intuitively because we have observed them or thought about them already in the past.
Plus, while I am no designer, I do think there's something to be learned in how nature spaces things, how it draws curves and creates angles, how it brings order to total chaos, and how it adds back the excitement of chaos to boring blandness.(less)
5 stars for the book 4 per la traduzione, che a volte lascia a desiderare.
The poetry of Lou Reed is simple in words, but deep in the way it reaches you...more5 stars for the book 4 per la traduzione, che a volte lascia a desiderare.
The poetry of Lou Reed is simple in words, but deep in the way it reaches you. And when it does it brings you to tears, in the way it's so beautiful yet direct and true. The recollections of Delmore Schwartz and Warhol get you a glimpse at how humble and plain he could be, even if it's hard to believe. There's a lot from New York here and perhaps not enough from the Velvets period. But Lou himself curated the selection of lyrics so it's as good as it gets. It's only up to 1990 though: nothing beyond Songs for Drella. With this book you understand why rock music is a truly American art form and noone can get near its peaks.(less)
Not good. The cool parts of this book are the first 30 pages, where we see some details about Morphy's life and we are introduced to some great King's...moreNot good. The cool parts of this book are the first 30 pages, where we see some details about Morphy's life and we are introduced to some great King's gambit play. Many of the initial games come also with a preamble detailing the context in which the game took place. That's a nice touch.
But this stops quickly and the book becomes uninteresting and hard to follow. The whole 2nd half of the book is a catalog of all Murphy's games with no comments at all. And what's the point of discussing so many games with total amateurs?(less)
I have to say this is one of the most entertaining books I ever read. The only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars is because sometimes it's hard to u...moreI have to say this is one of the most entertaining books I ever read. The only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars is because sometimes it's hard to understand exactly when each interview was taken. It would've been helpful to put a year timestamp next to each blurb. Actually, I wonder if this was a deliberate choice, because many of the things reported here are just timeless. Still, I often felt the need to know.
Anyway, if you are into punk rock or anything that descended from it, you'll love this book. Too many anecdotes to report: from Dee Dee Ramone that auditions for Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine and is rejected because he "couldn't play good", to the stories of a wasted yet indestructible Iggy, to Lou Reed trying to convince Bob Quine that he (Quine) was indeed an amazing guitarist by almost punching him in the face, to how the Ramones were scared by people like the Clash when they toured England for the first time. And apparently Sid Vicious was a shy kid. AND my god, all these people did so many drugs! They were just fearless and insane.
I also didn't know how influential the New York Dolls and Richard Hell were in inventing the aesthetics of punk: Malcolm McLaren basically imported it to England and added a political spin to it, but everything had already been created in New York. I love how a large section of the book is dedicated to the roots: Velvets, Lou Reed, Warhol, MC5, Dolls, Stooges.
By the way, this book focuses only on New York and Detroit, with occasional detours to London. You could say that's really limited for a 450 pages book, but I suspect it would've been difficult to track even more musicians, artists, producers, record label executives, roadies, and groupies.(less)
Lynch is a genious. If you get his movies this book should be fun to read. If you heard him speak, it's going to be easy to imagine him reading this t...moreLynch is a genious. If you get his movies this book should be fun to read. If you heard him speak, it's going to be easy to imagine him reading this to you, and that alone is entertaining. I didn't know him to be such a positive person, nor did I know that he practiced transcendental meditation for his whole career as a filmmaker. He credits that as his main source of inspiration. I think he makes a good case for meditation: looking within yourself for inspiration makes sense. He also remains pragmatic, which in a way it's kind of obvious. I didn't know Kubrick's favorite movie was Eraserhead! I loved his thoughts about music in films. How he works with Angelo Badalamenti. The concept of films as places (e.g. Rear Window).(less)
Deludente. L'unica parte che parla veramente di come scrivere bop consta di 15 pagine in tutto. Il resto sono brevi scritti inediti di Keruac, sulle o...moreDeludente. L'unica parte che parla veramente di come scrivere bop consta di 15 pagine in tutto. Il resto sono brevi scritti inediti di Keruac, sulle origini della scrittura bop e della Beat Generation. Il libro parte bene, con un elenco di dottrine brevi. Poi si espande facendo un parallelo tra scrittura e musica Jazz, gli assoli improvvisati, il tempo che scorre, molto interessante e ispirato. "Soffia! ora! Mai ripensarci per "migliorare" [uno scritto]" Poi pero' si perde... Forse alla fine non c'é molto da dire. Il resto del libro ho fatto fatica a leggerlo, alla fine non m'é rimasto molto. Ho trovato i vari aneddoti (o presunti tali) piuttosto faticosi, quasi forzati. Ah, una cosa e' bella: il significato della parola "Beat" in "Beat Generation". Significa "beato", essere in uno stato di beatitudine, cercare di amare tutto e essere sinceri sempre.(less)
Bella raccoltina. Ho scoperto Cesár Vallejo grazie alla bella autobiografia di Richard Hell, primo poeta del punk. Inoltre, scopro ora che Vallejo era...moreBella raccoltina. Ho scoperto Cesár Vallejo grazie alla bella autobiografia di Richard Hell, primo poeta del punk. Inoltre, scopro ora che Vallejo era contemporaneo di Borges e Macedonio Fernández. Non sono a conoscenza di un loro eventuale rapporto. Non si può affermare che ci fosse un'influenza sicura dell'uno sugli altri (o viceversa), ma un certo clima si respira.
Una cosa che mi ha colpito di Vallejo è l'uso di ritmi più o meno classici in molte di queste poesie. Putroppo l'edizione non specifica (abbastanza criminalmente) l'anno in cui ognuna è stata scritta. La mia ipotesi è che i primi lavori risentano di più dei classicismi, anche se poi il loro uso non è mai spocchioso o ingiustificato. E' come se un ritmo usuale, tipo un 4/4, fosse stato scelto per rompere il ghiaccio e veicolare la propria voce. Il chè ha senso. Ciò viene comunque superato in vari pezzi di questo libercolo.
Da ignorante quale sono, certi passaggi di Vallejo sono da vertigine:
Oh, le quattro gole spalancate, con spaventosa costanza in lamento, madre: i tuoi mendichi. Le due sorelle piccole, Miguel che è morto e io che ancora tiro una treccia per ogni lettera dell'abbecedario.
Pazzesco. Ma è solo il primo esempio che mi è capitato sott'occhio. In altri risuona un momento, tipo la tranquillità piena della sera (XXXIV), o le possibilità dell'alba (LVI), o gli echi della notte che prima richiamano il passato, poi i giorni successivi, per poi richiudersi inesorabilmente e senza speranza (LXI, forse il mio preferito).
Non ho trovato fastidiosi certi richiami surrealisti.
Sono poesie da leggere in silenzio, possibilmente. Penso che debbano decantare senza il frastuono del BART o della città. Credo che rileggerle di notte aiuti. (less)
Richard Hell comes out as pretty full of himself judging from how he writes, but he is so damn honest describing his ego that you have to forgive him,...moreRichard Hell comes out as pretty full of himself judging from how he writes, but he is so damn honest describing his ego that you have to forgive him, even when it entails very private moments. And his love for sex. One time I kind of cringed because I really didn't need to know all that detail. But it's great to have people that can just say things like they are, unfiltered, with no shame, in your face. I don't think Europeans can do it like that, with the same openness. The music-related anecdotes are so great though.... how he auditioned Dee Dee Ramone (it's short, but that alone is worth the book in my opinion), how Malcolm McLaren basically took the look of the Voidoids and brought it back to England, the role of the CBCG's, his relationship with Tom Verlaine, Patti Smith, Nico, the drugs, New York,.... Great stuff.
By the way: this autobiography only covers Hell's life from childhood to his exit from the music making business, in 1982.(less)
A me è piaciuto parecchio questo libro. Le idee di Perotti sono elementari da un certo punto di vista. Ma sono rivoluzionarie perché allo stesso tempo...moreA me è piaciuto parecchio questo libro. Le idee di Perotti sono elementari da un certo punto di vista. Ma sono rivoluzionarie perché allo stesso tempo suggeriscono un movimento individuale di opposizione pragmatica al capitalismo sfrenato. La palese assurdità dell'auspicio capitalistico della crescita perenne, la sua apparente necessità, il meccanismo dei bisogni finti, il lavoro centralizzato, i premi ai manager delle aziende che falliscono, lo Stato che fa riforme per mandare in pensione i suoi cittadini più tardi, o progetta missioni di guerra in loro nome... c'e' di che deprimersi. Eppure il messaggio di Perotti è molto positivo: è un inno alla sobrietà. A che serve il denaro? Per quale motivo è necessario accumularne fino a sessant'anni bruciandosi gli anni migliori della propria vita facendo un lavoro che magari non piace? E poi a sessantacinque anni riusciremo davvero a goderci quei soldi? Perotti non dà soluzioni universali: fa queste e altre domande e le argomenta.
"Avanti Tutta" è il seguito di "Adesso Basta" e ci sono spesso rimandi a quel libro. I due terzi di "Avanti Tutta" sono infatti una sorta di reportage sul feedback ricevuto dopo la pubblicazione del libro originario. In essi si discute delle varie paure, felicità, esperienze di chi è uscito (o vuole uscire) dal Sistema. L'ultima parte infine è dedicata ai problemi di azienda, sia quelli strutturali, sia quelli legati alle colpe dei dirigenti e degl'impiegati.
Interessante anche il ragionamento sulla dipendenza dal salario. Una dipendenza che è sia economica che psicologica. Il salario dà una garanzia. E' un paracadute. Ci assicura la vita in cambio di una spesa costante di tempo e energie. Inoltre ci dà un ritmo di azioni e di emozioni. Se uno stacca la spina questo viene a mancare e una delle cose più difficili è darselo, questo ritmo. Trovarlo.
La metafora più bella é quella delle barche: invece di essere tutti sulla stessa barca (lavora-consuma-crepa) agli ordini di un unico badante/comandante, immaginiamoci una flotta di gente che sa navigare da sola, libera di andare dove meglio crede. É un messaggio logico di indipendenza e di speranza.(less)
Much, much better than the Loveless book. This one is actually really well done and structured in a logical, chronological way. There's an introductio...moreMuch, much better than the Loveless book. This one is actually really well done and structured in a logical, chronological way. There's an introduction describing the atmosphere that lead to In Utero, a couple chapters on the demo sessions Nirvana did before the actual recording, song-by-song descriptions of the Albini sessions, and finally two chapters about the mixing and artwork process.
No gossiping, zero fanboy writing, just short and to-the-point facts. The style is terse and clean. Quotations are used regularly.
A good companion for this is the "With the lights out" collection of B-sides and demos. Apparently Gaar worked on that as well. It's cool because for example she explains how Scentless Apprentice was developed in the course of one jam session, from an embryonal idea by Dave Grohl. "With the lights out" contains the recording of that session. Thanks to this book, listening to it after reading the book gained a fuller meaning: you can see how little by little from a magma of noise a song emerges, like a sculpture from a block of rock. (Actually made me think of Michelangelo's Unfinished Slaves...) Anyway, it's pretty amazing yet also ordinary: after all these are just guys in a band despite all the media gossiping and whatnot.
For whoever cares about Steve Albini, there are some pretty funny/abrasive quotes from him too. Overall Albini praises the band, their new (heavier) musical direction, and their professionalism (down-to-earth, hard workers, on time, knowledgeable... which could be surprising to some) and throws shit at everyone else beside the musicians.
There's even a whole chapter dedicated to Sappy, this gem of a song recorded a bunch of times and played in several different arrangements from 1987 all the way to 1994, and never officially released. Apparently Cobain was never fully satisfied with it, and yet every single recording of it is just breathtaking.
Anyway... a must-read for anyone interested in how rock music is (was?) recorded and released.(less)
Pretty good introduction to TDD on iOS. Throughout the book an entire app (a basic StackOverflow browser) is built from scratch using TDD, covering al...morePretty good introduction to TDD on iOS. Throughout the book an entire app (a basic StackOverflow browser) is built from scratch using TDD, covering all its functional requirements. This included model and controller code. A long time is spent discussing UITableView and its data sources and delegates, which makes sense since they are such an important piece of UIKit. The author stops at the view level, so things like testing the positioning of UI elements in relation to others is not discussed.
I really appreciated the rigor with which TDD is employed here: the author is pretty relentless in the red-green-refactor mantra, designing mocks etc, although sometimes, especially while following the various table views callbacks, the testing code gets intricate and it's not exactly obvious how to write those in-depth controller tests.
The main drawback of this book is that it focuses on the testing framework bundled with Xcode, OCunit. OCunit does its job and it's well integrated, but I don't think it's the best testing solution available nowadays. Perhaps something more than a half page could have been spent on BDD; and perhaps a discussion about additions like OCMock or an analysis of other established testing frameworks could have been useful.
The biggest plus is that after reading this you want to do TDD! Yes you're going to have to invest some time on it to get used to it, but I liked how the author stressed that the payoff on overall quality (OO design, stability, maintainability) is gonna be big.(less)
There were quite a few surprises in the Man Suit. The biggest was its form, meaning this is poetry that actually has the form of prose, and many poems...moreThere were quite a few surprises in the Man Suit. The biggest was its form, meaning this is poetry that actually has the form of prose, and many poems are often presented as short paragraphs. There are more traditional verses, but even those "flow" like prose if you were to unwind them.
However, the added rhythm of the verses brings life into them. I found the more syncopated cadence pretty effective, like in
"Death is falling gently onto all our collars and it is spreading out on the floor and then a million things"
I mean, it's a pretty spastic poem to my ears, but "it works," it's intense, has strong images, it's short and sharp like a dagger. (I suppose it ends more traditionally than other poems in the book.) Unfortunately, the Man Suit is not always like that, and especially the longer compositions left me lukewarm. Probably the many images they evoke were just too confusing for me, or did not resonate as well.
Oh, the images... very surrealist: "At a Halloween party, a lung went as a haircut, and a haircut went as a lung." There's a lot of dark humor too, which is sometimes pretty funny, and some recurring sexual references, which came out a little awkward, I gotta say. Not to say the latent misogyny I felt here and there.
Going back to the "paragraph poems," they are often like the lines that a demented news reporter would read every midnight. I found their absurdity funny but tiring after a while. Perhaps it's a book to be read slowly. I read it kind of fast, and likely that's bad because you may get overwhelmed by it, or at least I did. Re-reading non-sequentially might be appropriate.(less)