It's strange reading a biography so full of achievement and then realizing Elon Musk has only recently entered middle-age. The man is clearly incredibIt's strange reading a biography so full of achievement and then realizing Elon Musk has only recently entered middle-age. The man is clearly incredible. A real-life Tony Stark (as the book often suggests).
But even though Mr. Musk has much of his life left to live, this story of his accomplishments is in no way diminished because of his amazing capacity for conquering great odds quickly.
Elon Musk: Inventing the Future tells the tale of it's namesake well. Mr. Vance covers all the necessary rote details of Elon's upbringing but goes further in assessing what made him who he is. The book combines aspects of Elon's upbringing to paint a composition of a complex, stubborn, and - obviously - genius creator obsessed with improving the human condition.
It is in this final aspect that the book is most intriguing. For it points out that Elon's stated goal is to solve humanity's greatest ailments. But it also points out that Elon so deliberately talks about this goal, it is perhaps a life narrative he added more recently. Regardless, Elon Musk has some bold goals, chief among which is to settle humanity on Mars so if anything happens to Earth - war, pestilence, asteroid - our species may survive.
It is clear the author thoroughly researched Elon's background and interviewed many friends (and foes) to developed a balanced perspective on Musk's life. With critical journalistic integrity so often missing today, Mr. Vance delves into Elon's many bright spots and dark equally to explore what made the man the tech luminary he is today.
Highly recommended as a prelude the the impressive conclusion we'll all likely be reading many decades from now. That one will likely end, "He lived happily ever after...on Mars."...more
Walter Isaccson strikes again with a compelling, thoroughly researched tale of innovation, entrepreneurship, and the human spirit. The Innovators follWalter Isaccson strikes again with a compelling, thoroughly researched tale of innovation, entrepreneurship, and the human spirit. The Innovators follows computing's history from it's mercurial beginnings to modern times. Through it all, Mr. Isaccson demystifies origin stories, debunks cliches, and presents compelling arguments for how we should remember digital history.
He wraps up each tale with neatly crafted theses. For instance: true innovators have a healthy disdain for authority. They are stubborn and willful They prize art as much as science. And so on.
Some of these themes echo his previous works, especially his Steve Jobs biography, but they make the point no less profoundly.
A solid, engaging read for anyone interested in how our world became so technological....more
This was my first Malcolm Gladwell book, and - given the hype around the man and his work - I had high expectations. In many ways, I wasn't disappointThis was my first Malcolm Gladwell book, and - given the hype around the man and his work - I had high expectations. In many ways, I wasn't disappointed. In some I was.
On the positive side, Mr. Gladwell presents compelling anecdotes to make his case. Example after example is interesting, engaging, and new. It's like he's telling a series of vignettes to triangulate around his point. His point in Outliers is also worthy: that some societies, especially an American one, put overwrought attention on individual successes. No person got there alone, Malcolm argues and he's not wrong.
But that's where the story falls down. He puts such excessive emphasis on this point - to beat down the stereotypes - that he completely negates that the classically worshipped traits - intelligence and hard work. It leaves his argument flaccid, as we all know success is rare attainable without some degree of hard work and at least street smarts. The other fault in his anecdotes is that they are anecdotes. The reader has the distinct impression, at moments, he has specifically selected his examples to make a point, instead of scientifically and journalistically balancing all aspects of the argument. Even if you take his stories as given, the data used to substantiate them is pretty weak. In an age of big data, Outliers is another example of the media slanting the truth to make their argument.
Outliers was entirely pedestrian to me: not a bad book. It has a noble and reasonably-substantiated thesis, but that's it. A stronger, more well-balanced, and realistic argument never quite emerges. ...more
Augie & the Green Knight is a clever, high quality self-published book. Immediately upon receiving my "gift" from sponsoring the Kickstarter campaAugie & the Green Knight is a clever, high quality self-published book. Immediately upon receiving my "gift" from sponsoring the Kickstarter campaign, I was impressed with the craftsmanship of the book. The spine is library-bound, the cover foil-stamped, and the pages edged in gold. Once I started reading, I was equally enamored with the attention to grammar and editing. The story flows fluidly, unencumbered by the grammatical gaffes and formatting errors commonly found in vanity-press work. All-in-all, a stand out production in a self-publishing industry defined by highly variable product.
As to the story, it is equally high-quality and quite endearing. It follows the story of Augie, an intelligent young lady, who embarks unwittingly on an adventure into a mystical time to save a knight from beheading. Through her travels she meets King Arthur, a talking newt, and a green giant myopically focused on Christmas decapitations. The prose is clear, almost Spartan, but at the same time embroidered with witticisms.
I flew through it, and while a bit disappointed it ended so quickly, I thoroughly enjoyed each page. Highly recommended! ...more
The Lightning Thief is engaging from Page 1 and holds your attention throughout. By casting the book in the first person and offering a main characterThe Lightning Thief is engaging from Page 1 and holds your attention throughout. By casting the book in the first person and offering a main character who is both realistic and interesting, Mr. Riordan thrusts you into a fictitious plot set - at first - in fairly ordinary surroundings.
The story follows Percy Jackson has he learns his long lost father is not who he really thought. This knowledge and the force of the fates around his family soon drop Percy into a conflict that threatens to tear the heavens asunder.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves young adult books. Appropriate for kids and adults alike....more