Strong storytelling continues, and still many parallels to the Wool series in structure. However, many of the concepts here are drawn from a variety o...moreStrong storytelling continues, and still many parallels to the Wool series in structure. However, many of the concepts here are drawn from a variety of sources, and VanderMeer does a great job of synthesizing different tropes into a strong story.
I think most of my complaints are generally stylistic, and in some cases add to the immediacy and tone of the story. Surprisingly for a middle novel in a trilogy, the pacing was upbeat. There were also quite a few issues with some parts of the internal consistency of the world, though this isn't unique to book 2.
Awesome short read recommended to me by Jared. Mystery/adventure with plenty of sci-fi/fantasy thrown in. Lots of fun, very fast pace, one of the few...moreAwesome short read recommended to me by Jared. Mystery/adventure with plenty of sci-fi/fantasy thrown in. Lots of fun, very fast pace, one of the few books this year I've finished on the same day I started.
Reminded very strongly of Lost (though darker), Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Wool (in pacing/tone).
Will definitely be finishing the trilogy, and probably checking out more of VanderMeer's works.(less)
Since there are so few books on Twitter's Flight framework (just this one, at last count), there aren't many choices. Luckily, this book is better tha...moreSince there are so few books on Twitter's Flight framework (just this one, at last count), there aren't many choices. Luckily, this book is better than its flawed coding samples and lack of editing would make it seem. It covers all of the critical parts of a Flight component and app, and dives into why certain decisions were made in the language. It even discusses performance and best practices, though those were the weakest areas.
Obviously, at under 100 pages of actual text, there was a lot more that could have been included, though Flight itself is small enough that I can't say it detracted from the book's purpose as a whole. In general, resources around Flight are hard to find, so having even this much information in a single book is a positive.
Generally, if you can look past the editing issues, this isn't a bad intro to a promising framework.(less)
Living in a city can be done in two ways; first, you can merely co-habitate with it. Sure, the city is part of your address and you can find the neare...moreLiving in a city can be done in two ways; first, you can merely co-habitate with it. Sure, the city is part of your address and you can find the nearest grocery store, but that's about it. The other way? You don't just live in a city — you live in that city's community. Which way do you live in your city?
From the very first pages, Kamiya's love for the community of San Francisco sets the tone. San Francisco isn't just where he lives, it's an important part of who he is. As described in the introduction, Kamiya sets out almost on a whim to explore each square mile. His epic-scale exploration of a community isn't just the buildings, roads, and shores (though there's plenty of that!) — more importantly, it's the people, history, and cultural context that shape the places we visit every day.
While I was expecting something more block-by-block — I'm a literalist — the end result is richer and more stimulating. Kamiya provides a lively history of the city, each chapter tying events and historical figures to specific places and modern anecdotes. His own history in the city is scattered throughout, adding more personality and smoothing the tone. A handful of stories were weaker, generally those where Kamiya espoused his own views; however, Kamiya's beliefs are typical of the long-time San Francisco residents I know. In hindsight, perhaps the book was all the more valuable thanks to the flashes of local insight Kamiya includes.
I can't speak highly enough of this book for anyone wanting a deeper understanding of San Francisco. City-lovers across the globe may also be inspired in how they think about their own cities; if only every city had an introductory book of this caliber. If you want to live in a city's community — not just within the city limits — this is the book for you.(less)
This book focuses on the processes and organization behind putting together a website that is fully cross-platform, optimized for both desktop and mob...moreThis book focuses on the processes and organization behind putting together a website that is fully cross-platform, optimized for both desktop and mobile. While it doesn't always seem like it should be a lot of effort, this book goes into how some of the best practices can require some changes in the workflow of organizations compared to what they do now.
Though the book doesn't focus on the type of content we have at Goodreads, there are a lot of similarities, and there are certainly lessons we can take from this book to apply going forward. There's not much technical content, but that makes this book have a wider appeal: it's an easy read for anyone in the content or technical side of an organization.
Recommended for anyone working on a website that supports both desktop and mobile (which is everyone working on a website... right??)(less)
Fantastic short book on the importance of emotion in design. While I've always been a big fan of design, this book helped me think about it in the con...moreFantastic short book on the importance of emotion in design. While I've always been a big fan of design, this book helped me think about it in the context of emotion, which I had never really thought about before. It makes me want to do some of that user analysis immediately! Includes great case studies and solid data, which is often necessary to push for these kinds of changes. A plus: unlike some other books in the series, this content is unlikely to go out-of-date any time soon.
Highly recommended read for designers and anyone involved in something the user can see. (less)
Slack caught my attention mostly due to proximity: it happened to be sitting nearby when I had a few spare minutes. Reading the flap, the main argumen...moreSlack caught my attention mostly due to proximity: it happened to be sitting nearby when I had a few spare minutes. Reading the flap, the main arguments seemed vaguely appealing, especially so soon after several months when I found "slack" hard to come by. I rarely read business books, but I couldn't resist flipping through it during idle periods; I enjoyed the irony in using "slack" time to study a book focusing on its absence.
In any case, while the message in Slack resonated with me (I can't imagine finding a worker in my industry who would disagree with the idea of more unstructured time), I was underwhelmed. Most dismaying, I found the complete lack of references and real-life data to be a significant omission. How could I advocate the positions in this book without case studies and figures to back it up? Additionally, I felt that many of the points DeMarco made are familiar; it seems like most companies would have made their decisions on these matters long ago, with far more data than presented in the book.
That said, I think the arguments in the book made sense and could be instructive to executives at larger, more risk-averse companies. Even without data, several of the points stood out to me; these included the idea of scheduling for risk, the importance of training at low speeds, and stasis being a crippling impediment to a company. One idea I found intriguing was that using the same metrics to measure success each year can hurt innovation. It's easy to see how companies can fail when they don't invest and take risks for the future.
While I wish I could promote this as a great read for anyone in management, I think the significant flaws prevent me from doing so. Some of the other reviewers here have recommended follow-up reading, and I think I'd look there instead.(less)
I believe Martin has a plan for this series, but this is one of those times when it's hard to see it. Characters converge and diverge in equal number;...moreI believe Martin has a plan for this series, but this is one of those times when it's hard to see it. Characters converge and diverge in equal number; plots and viewpoint chapters spin off frequently; we seem to be running in place a lot. There are things happening, but there's a lot of repetition, and little to no closure. It's hard to see anything coming of this with a world that's been mired around 1300 AD for the last three thousand years...
Regardless, with this much time put into it so far, onward to books six and seven once they are released. (Just heard on twitter, book six is now "no earlier than 2015")(less)
Basically just skimmed this. Lots of great information about network topology on mobile, all versions of the HTTP protocol, asynchronous protocols lik...moreBasically just skimmed this. Lots of great information about network topology on mobile, all versions of the HTTP protocol, asynchronous protocols like WebSockets, and WebRTC. Not too applicable to what I'm doing day-to-day, as it mostly would impact people looking very deep in the network stack for performance wins. Still a great choice for anyone interested in an in-depth review of browser networking.(less)