It's always gratifying to read a book that you agree 100% with. This essay on US transatlantic relationships and policy making is right on the money....moreIt's always gratifying to read a book that you agree 100% with. This essay on US transatlantic relationships and policy making is right on the money. Kagan pulls no punches in this one and his simple fact-of-the-matter rationale is hard to argue with and clear cut.
But just because he calls out Europe for exactly what they have been and are, he does it without getting nasty and schoolyardish about it. Which is refreshing in these times of O-Reilly and Heraldo.
Kagan acurately outlines why US foreign policy is what it is and why it will remain so. That is until someone else becomes king of the hill.
His parallels between Europe's historical actions and the US's current endeavors are clear and factual.
It's refreshing to read something on US policy that's not filled with the boasting and grandstanding that all of today's political books are filled with.
Kagan is the political science professor you'll wish you had in school and this book won't disappoint any reader. Whether you agree with him or not.(less)
I mean it's quirky enough to keep you going. But sometimes I just wanted to slap the characters for wasting my ti...moreThis book was one that I found... ok.
I mean it's quirky enough to keep you going. But sometimes I just wanted to slap the characters for wasting my time. I really think I should have enjoyed this more than I did. Maybe the humor was just over my head.
I had seen/read soooo many references to this book that I was very excited to pick it up. But the characters hadn't gotten out of the first bar before I had that dreadful feeling.
Still, I'm glad that it's one I can mark off my list.(less)
This book a very good primer to all things "social" online. It helped flesh out some of the history and scope of many of the group efforts out there....moreThis book a very good primer to all things "social" online. It helped flesh out some of the history and scope of many of the group efforts out there. But it seemed a tad too long in the depth department. True, the details and longer narratives do add context, proof and support, but a book on this rapidly changing subject really needs to be more focused and intense. At times it felt more like a history book of efforts and systems, than current strategies and "looking forward".
I also would have liked more of the "here's is a plan about how you might think about applying these same principals to your business." I know this isn't a "workbook" but those kinds of tidbits would have made it stronger in that a reader could easily start implementing and using the ideas put forward immediately.
I realize that I read this book a full year after its publication and much had already changed or been added to the crowdsourced landscape. If ever there were a book that could benefit by a new ebook model or digital errata, this one is it.
I have recommended the book twice and if you're in the tech field or wondering how to leverage the crowdsourceing tools out there, you should read this, but if you need anything more hands-on, you might want to surf some blogs.(less)
I didn't pick up this book for the story. It's obvious, from first glance, that there' snot much there. You can read it in 15 mins. if you're not inte...moreI didn't pick up this book for the story. It's obvious, from first glance, that there' snot much there. You can read it in 15 mins. if you're not interrupted.
It's basically about an average guy going through life. Someone's gay, someone dies, someone cheats on someone else, etc. If you're a guy over the age of 25, then you'll find a thought or phrase that you have muttered yourself at some time. But that's about it.
I picked this up because of the design. It's very well done. There's tons of vintage item scans mixed in with original artwork too. But it's all done sparingly. So it's light, roomy and conveys plenty of movement. That alone made it worth flipping through the pages.(less)
I had high hopes for this one. The book begins with a man getting out of prison after serving 20 years for burning down the Emily Dickens house (accid...moreI had high hopes for this one. The book begins with a man getting out of prison after serving 20 years for burning down the Emily Dickens house (accidentally killing two people inside). Of course, this rips his current family apart. When he gets out he goes to school, gets married, has kids, etc. But then other famous authors homes start burning up! Is he doing it? How can he clear his name? It's a GREAT plot and story thread.
Unfortunately, for me, there are so many characters involved that we spend time tying to get to know via the narrator's quirky voice and attention span, that it got tiresome.
I think some people may enjoy the "anxious" thinking of the character, but it just got old to me.
If the middle third could have been trimmed down, allowing the great premise and plot to carry me along, I think I would have been a lot happier.(less)
I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading informed and coherent opinions. Too many times people think volume and emotion automatically validate points...moreI can't tell you how much I enjoy reading informed and coherent opinions. Too many times people think volume and emotion automatically validate points and give arguments merit.
Well Epstein needs neither volume or ranting emotions. He is well informed and gets you to think about publishing in new ways.
This is one of those books you'll enjoy simply because it allows you to have a conversation that you may not have otherwise had. And it's all about books and publishing.
This is one for people who like books, all things publishing and thinking about the future of our culture. Even if you find yourself disagreeing with Epstein, you'll find it well worth your time to read.(less)
Chip Kidd's star has been on the rise for a few years now. You can't walk down an isle of fiction without seeing his handywork catc...moreAbsolutely stellar!
Chip Kidd's star has been on the rise for a few years now. You can't walk down an isle of fiction without seeing his handywork catching your eye.
Kidd has achieved that place that all cover designers long to be. It's a lofty one where you are given enough room to really try some unorthodox things. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.
This book covers Kidd's work up until 2005. It's fun to read about the process of putting these covers together. And even more fun to read the responses from the authors he was designing for. It's no surprise how many authors hate their covers initially, only to come around and see the brillance of the designs once they see their book pop off the shelf when compared to others.
This is one of the few books Kidd has designed in and out, so it's a fun page turner. Lots of juicy layout and gorgeous photos.
Highly recommended for those with an interest in book design.(less)
When I bought this book, I had no idea it was the first of a trilogy. I bought this book solely on having heard how good it was on LibraryThing and on...moreWhen I bought this book, I had no idea it was the first of a trilogy. I bought this book solely on having heard how good it was on LibraryThing and on a couple of podcasts I listen to.
Most of the story takes place in a future that has been ravaged by humans turned crazy-zombie-vampire type creatures. There is a small camp of humans that work the land and live in a walled compound, which they patrol every night, with guns and lights, less the bad guys come creeping into the camp killing everyone. The story takes place far enough removed from current day that they have no real understanding of lights, electricity and other modern inventions. They do manage to pass enough of the skills from generation to generation, to keep the lights on... but eventually all machines break, right? What happens then...
A large portion of the story is set in a more present-day reality and lays a solid foundation for the future. You can see how all of the dots connect in this reality. It was a lot of fun following along and I look forward to the next couple of books. Honestly, I usually avoid the "post-apocalyptic" type stories. But the depth of the world and the writing here creates a story that is so much more.
I read this book on my phone via the Kobo app. The biggest complaint I had was the single image of the compound map. It couldn't easily be viewed on the phone. I would up going to the bookstore and snapping a photo of the page from the print edition, so I could follow along. Oh well.
I give this book 4 out 5 stars and highly recommend it.(less)
This was a good vacation read. Nothing fancy, just solid writing, fantastic period detail and good pacing. The story never slowed down, not even on th...moreThis was a good vacation read. Nothing fancy, just solid writing, fantastic period detail and good pacing. The story never slowed down, not even on the parts that I didn't really enjoy.
I enjoy a good who-done-it. And this has a very satisfying twist to it and a great "reveal" of the why, when, where, etc.
The hook of the book is that Sigmund Freud himself has been called in to help solve some murders in New York City. The story is based on enough fact to make it really enjoyable. Much like some of the characters in Caleb Carr's "The Alienest". But then the Freud connection was one of the parts that I enjoyed least. The story/mystery was strong enough to stand on its own, without all of the psychoanalysis babble going on. At first, it was fun and I learned some neat things. But then when the characters start arguing with themselves over trying to diagnose murderers and motives. It got a little slow. So I skimmed much of the psychology stuff.
And then there is Hamlet. The main character in this book has a fetish for Hamlet. I was amazed that with all of the brutal beatings and killings going on, the main character was never so excited that he couldn't take time to dwell on Hamlet. I mean people are getting killed and this guy was wondering why no one has figured out what Hamlet's mom was thinking the day her husband died? I'm being a bit of a so and so here, but I really could have done without the Hamlet stuff.
But, I imagine a lot of readers will enjoy the connections made.
Overall, a good read during a vacation, but not one I could sustain over a few weeks while reading at night. Not sure I could stay interested enough.(less)