Tag Archives: Books

Book review: Factfulness

Book cover of Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Turn on the evening news, and you will be overwhelmed with the tragic events of the day:

  • Terrorist attacks
  • Horrific storms and natural disasters
  • War, or the imminent threat of one
  • Mass shootings
  • School violence
  • Kidnappings
  • Animal attacks (e.g. sharks, bears, lions, etc.)

And the list goes on. It’s pretty easy to come to the conclusion that the world is a lot more dangerous, unsafe, and scarier than it’s ever been.

If you subscribe to the premise that the world is a more dangerous place, you should grab a copy of Factfulness by Hans Rosling. Rosling takes a measured, fact-based approach to show that the world is not as dangerous as the media would lead us to believe. Using numbers and statistics, he shows us that the world has never been a better and safer place than it is today.

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Book review: Emergency Skin

Book cover for Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin

When in between books on my reading list, I’ve been taking a break to explore the works in the Amazon Forward Collection. So far I’ve read Summer Frost by Blake Crouch, which I really liked, and Randomize by Andy Weir, which was decent. For my next selection, I chose Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin.

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Book review: The Energy Bus

Book cover for The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

Business books are generally very dry. Most times it feels like you’re reading an academic textbook or business journal article. Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything fundamentally wrong with that style. You can learn a lot from a good business book. I just find that it’s more enjoyable and easier to read a business book that teaches its concepts through an engaging, interactive story.

The first business book I read that was written in this style was The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt. He used a fast-paced fictional story to show how his Theory of Constraints principles were applied to make a factory more efficient. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already. Since then, I’ve read a number of other business stories, including my latest read, The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon.

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Book review: On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington)

Book cover for On Basilisk Station by David Weber

In addition to having a (ridiculously) long reading list, I also have a library of books that I’ve purchased and haven’t read. Some of these books have been sitting on my digital and physical bookshelves for 5 years or more. Usually this happens because I see the book through one of my daily deal emails from Amazon. The book title looks interesting, the description fits with one of my preferred reading genres, the reviews look promising, and the price is too good to pass up.

Such was the case with On Basilisk Station by David Weber. I saw the book in an Amazon Daily Deal email in January 2014 (date thanks to Amazon for keeping track of my purchases). The book fit with one of my preferred reading genres, science fiction. The reviews were encouraging. And the price was certainly too good to pass up since it was free.

From there, the book sat on my digital bookshelf. Each year when putting together my reading list, I had every intention of reading it. It just never made it to the top of my reading list, until earlier this year. So after languishing for over 5 years, I finally read On Basilisk Station.

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Book review: Mindset – The New Psychology of Success

Book cover for Mindset by Carol Dweck

One of the (few) blogs that I follow on a daily basis is A Learning A Day written by Rohan Rajiv. It’s interesting to read his observations on life, what he has learned, and how he is applying the lessons learned.

In addition to his observational posts, he occasionally makes mention of books that he has found particularly insightful. At the end of 2017, he wrote about 5 books that had a significant impact on him. Given my interest in self management and self improvement, one of the books that looked particularly interesting on his list was Mindset by Carol Dweck.

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Book review: Eat That Frog!

Book cover for Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

I’ve been on a bit of a roll over the last year when it comes to reading productivity books. A few of the titles I’ve read include The Miracle Morning, Getting Things Done, The 80/20 Principle, Deep Work, and Get It Done. Next up on my list was Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. It was recommended to me by a customer contact a couple of years back and finally reached the top of my 2019 reading list.

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Book review – Randomize

Book cover for Randomize (Amazon Forward) by Andy Weir

I really like the idea behind the Amazon Forward series. They pulled together six up-and-coming science fiction authors and had each of them write a short story.

I started off the series by reading Summer Frost by Blake Crouch, which I thoroughly enjoyed. For my second read in the series, I chose Randomize by Andy Weir. I’ve read other books by Weir which include The Martian and Artemis. The Martian was the best book I read back in 2014, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.

Based on my experience with Summer Frost and my prior experience with Weir’s writing, I was looking forward to diving in to Randomize. Here’s my take on it.

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Book review: Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue

Book cover for Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh HoweyEver since reading Wool, I’ve been a fan of author Hugh Howey. I’ve read quite a few of his works including Sand, Beacon 23, Hurricane, Half Way Home, and numerous short stories. They vary in terms of genre, though he has a tendency to lean more towards science fiction, which is how I discovered him. What I find distinctive about his writing is how immersive and engaging his stories are. He has a knack for building vivid environments in your mind, developing relatable characters, and telling a story.

Every year, I do my best to have a least one Hugh Howey book on my reading list. For 2019, that book was Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue.

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Book review: Getting Things Done

Book cover for Getting Things Done by David AllenI’m in the middle of a productivity reading binge this year. It was inspired by Cal Newport’s Deep Work, which I read during the first half of 2018. Since then I’ve read the 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch and Get It Done by Michael Mackintosh. The next book up on my productivity journey was Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen. It was recommended by one of my co-workers, Julie Yousefi. Given how organized her desk always is, I figured she must be on to something and that Allen’s book was worth a read.

I wasn’t prepared for what I was getting into when I opened up Getting Things Done. Most books on productivity are theoretical. They give you some broad, generalized ideas that are left as an exercise to the reader to figure out how to incorporate into your daily routine. More often than not, I store away those theories as “to-do’s” and never get around to figuring out how to put them into practice.

Well, I’m here to tell you that Getting Things Done is short on theory and long on practical ideas that you can implement immediately, which is a good thing.

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