I, as my four star rating would suggest, really liked this book. Newsom presents a lot of interesting thoughts about the intersection of government anI, as my four star rating would suggest, really liked this book. Newsom presents a lot of interesting thoughts about the intersection of government and ubiquitous technology, and what that could mean for the future of our country. The ideas and examples discussed throughout the book are empowering and point toward a possible future defined by increased civic engagement, strong sense of community, and a new definition for and appreciation of our commonwealth.
The book is not without its problems. Newsom glosses over privacy issues quickly by dismissing privacy as a relatively recent social construction. The implications of using people's personal data for commercial purposes are illustrated through the rosiest possible lenses. That said, the world that Newsom foresees is an empowering one that puts power in people's hands and views the relationship between government and its constituents as a two-way street instead of the top-down system of government we currently have. At a time when seemingly everyone, myself included, is disenchanted by how they see government operating, Newsom makes a compelling case that it doesn't have to be that way and points to others who have already started to change the system for the better. ...more
I picked up this book sometime earlier this year after borrowing it from the library and only getting through the first few chapters. The length of tiI picked up this book sometime earlier this year after borrowing it from the library and only getting through the first few chapters. The length of time it took me to read Dharma Road is not a fault of the books, but rather my own inability to stick to a book that isn't written by a sci-fi or fantasy author for more than 3 days at a time. But I'm actually really glad I dragged this book out for so long.
In many ways this book reminds me of The Tao of Pooh. The book is extremely readable and the author strikes an easy-going, conversational tone throughout - impressive because of the breadth of content he covers in such a relatively short amount of time. The short chapters are focused, interesting, but above all engaging. I feel like Haycock succeeds thoroughly in illuminating Zen principles through the unlikely lens of a cabdriver, and I very much enjoyed being taken along on the ride.
I initially was drawn to this book after reading Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs and wanting to know more about what Zen was. I walk away from this book completely satiated in that goal and find myself wanting to still explore more. ...more
Meh. I was really excited about this book after reading the first section and then it began to drag... And drag... And drag... It never really got aroMeh. I was really excited about this book after reading the first section and then it began to drag... And drag... And drag... It never really got around to being the book that I thought it had such promise to be. One of the rare times where I think the play is vastly superior to the book. ...more
Thirteen years after having first read this book, its ending still crushed me. CRUSHED me. I knew what was coming and I still couldn't help but tear uThirteen years after having first read this book, its ending still crushed me. CRUSHED me. I knew what was coming and I still couldn't help but tear up the last three pages.
I think this book is a classic and would I be making a required reading book list (which I will now make via Goodreads tags), Flowers for Algernon would definitely be on the list. I think there are a lot of reasons for that, but one of the things that struck me about the book as I thought about it afterward was how important first-person perspective is to the book achieving the emotional weight that it does. A lot of the books that I read jump from one character to the next as a means of exploring the variety in the worlds they inhabit and for the most part, I'm a fan of this. I love being able to guess at the intentions of one character on one page only to be surprised at their true motives on the next.
Truly committing to one, single, flawed character though allows you to emotionally tug on the reader more thoroughly. Watching just one individual's story arc, Charlie's rapid rise and accelerated fall, you don't have the luxury of not empathizing and you too are pulled down with the character. ...more