Best book I read this year. I listened to it on audiobook, and it was a really fun and captivating story. This is the story about a world where there Best book I read this year. I listened to it on audiobook, and it was a really fun and captivating story. This is the story about a world where there is a virtual reality system called the Oasis, and people use the Oasis for everything--for school, for work, and people really spend most of their time in it. The world out side has also been destroyed a lot, and so people can live these more interesting lives in the virtual world than in the real world. The guy who started the Oasis dies and his will is a game to discover a hidden key and then you get to take over the Oasis as well as the company. It has elements of the Westing Game in this respect. But it is a very gripping book with eerie predictions about the future which don't seem too far away. Great book. Definitely read it....more
Foundation by Isaac Asimov was a surprisingly fun read. It seemed to have many classic sci-fi characteristics--crazy character names and planets as weFoundation by Isaac Asimov was a surprisingly fun read. It seemed to have many classic sci-fi characteristics--crazy character names and planets as well as an epic story taking place over long periods of time. I think the basic concept was intriguing--what happens when a large period of history is predicted in advance at a very high level. How does the knowledge of this preordained set of events come to affect it? The idea of the Foundation as a missionary religion, then the impact of trade, the information imbalance around nuclear power were among some of the more interesting concepts. It was interesting to see the large jumps in time, but I felt that they worked pretty well. The "Seldon crisis" was an interesting device throughout the book, and it was interesting that though the individuals thought their fate was inevitable, it still required significant action to get them through it....more
I'm going to add my full review when I get around to it sometime... but in the meantime: I thought The Circle was a great book. I enjoyed reading it, I'm going to add my full review when I get around to it sometime... but in the meantime: I thought The Circle was a great book. I enjoyed reading it, it was fast, and it was timely and relevant. When I was reading it the news was Snapchat and the NSA leaks with Snowden and many friends I know work at a place that is the Circle at Facebook, Google or Twitter. The themes were right on, and the message and warnings on technologism, privacy, surveillance, and tech-company brainwashing were spot on.
I know some people didn't like the characters or the story, or felt it was old news or he didn't get silicon valley or tech--I think those are actually important parts of the books. Instead of saying "the main character is uninteresting or frustrating," I wonder-- what does this type of main character say about this type of culture? I think it's much more relevant in the bay area than to my friends in the Chicago area, and even a year later I still think it is spot on.
Google Glass is real, the tech news every day shows that these are things we should be thinking about, and when people say the Circle didn't get it I'd say those are the people who need this message the most. Even if you're not a fan of the book it is a conversation starter and brings up the right issues....more
After just finishing the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and several Dan Brown books, reading Mr. Penubra's 24-Hour Bookstore was very fitting. This bAfter just finishing the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and several Dan Brown books, reading Mr. Penubra's 24-Hour Bookstore was very fitting. This book fits right in with other books looking for ultimate answers and breaking codes.
It was a fun and fast read---and considering that I live in San Francisco and am very involved with technology, this book was easy to relate to. They mention lots of recognizable San Francisco locations, and it talks about people who work at Google--very SF-techy things. It was a different type of read for me considering the events it referenced were very modern. I feel like I usually read books that take place in the distant past or faraway places, and a book that references tweeting feels very new.
Some parts are a bit too corny to work, but overall the book is very enjoyable. It's a clever story and the characters are likable. It is playful but also has some deep messages....more