All tagged four stars

Book Review: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

I've been wanting to read one of Seth Godin's books for a while now. Since I didn't quite know where to start, I just checked Overdrive from my library. Linchpin was available, so I snagged it.

Let me start with two criticisms.

Consistently, I've read reviews that knock Godin's book for being repetitive. I would have to agree here. He browbeats every one of his main points.

That being said, I'm not certain if criticizing Godin exclusively for this repetition is entirely fair. The more non-fiction "self-help entrepreneurial productivity" books I read, the more I wonder if repetition is a curse of the genre rather than individual authors. As a teacher, I understand that restating the information in multiple ways helps students grasp concepts and internalize them. I'm going to err on Godin's side and make the assumption that his echoey writing style is merely meant to help a larger audience latch on to his ideas and make sense of them.

Book Review: The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

While this book is a quick and fun read, my review will be spotty to remain spoiler-free.

The Plumb siblings have spent years watching their trust-fund grow into a small fortune available to each of them when they turn 40. Two brothers and two sisters have all spent beyond their means assuming that "The Nest" will solve their financial difficulties.

And then a drunken and high Leo, the oldest brother, gets into a car accident that changes the life of his passenger forever. Mother Plumb decides to rescue her boy and "The Nest" is almost completely obliterated.

Book Review: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

A book with a love triangle? Grrr…Stupid Reading Challenge! I loathe love triangles. 

Figuring out a book to read in this category…

A book that wouldn’t overly irritate me…

A book I haven’t already read…

Quite the challenge. 

Until I was glancing over some book lists of shorter novellas, perfect material for my end-of-the-year push to meet my goal. I saw Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Fred. That Brazilian guy. The hubby from Texas. The Cat? Surely, these characters appear in the novella thus making this book counts as a love triangle. And I’d finally read something by Capote!

Book Review: We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

I saw author Parmy Olson on The Daily Show back in 2012. Her overview of her research into the hacker world of Anonymous and her discovery that most of these hackers were not technically accomplished got my attention.

This subculture fascinates me. How does the underbelly of the Internet work? How dark is the dark net? Who pulls all of these various strings? And ultimately, how secure is our data? How secure are we as individuals and as a nation?

Book Review: Storm Front (Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher has been on my “to read” radar for quite some time. Fellow science-fiction and fantasy friends in Denver raved about his urban fantasy series, mainly because of all the terrible things Butcher does to his protagonist. 

And when I heard Butcher on a panel at the Phoenix Comic Con, many audience questions centered around the fate of poor Harry Dresden. Fans love this character and root for him. I got the impression that they loved reading about every predicament Butcher put this wizard in, but the fans never stopped hoping Dresden would outwit Butcher. I had to work this book into my Reading Challenge. And then I remembered that The Dresden Files was a short-lived television series, which I have never seen, but plan to remedy that situation soon. Excellent. My reading plan was coming together!

Book Review: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

My one word summary for this first book in the Nancy Drew series? 


Nancy is a swell amateur sleuth. Carson Drew, Nancy’s practically perfect lawyer father is swell. Her live-in housekeeper who she almost always refers to with both her first and last name, Hannah Gruen, is especially swell at producing carb-loaded breakfast comfort foods. River Heights is a swell town. Even the plot to uncover Josiah Crowley’s most recent will is swell.

Book Review: The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

I heard about The Water Knife on Books on the Nightstand, where they were discussing cli-fi or climate-fiction. Their summary of a dystopia plagued by climate change where water shortages leave everyone in the American Southwest vying for control of various water rights hooked me immediately. Since I live in Arizona, water scarcity is a topic that truly frightens me. And this book flew by for me.

The first 100 pages I read in a couple of sittings. Once the plot took off, though, I had one of those nights where I was up well past my bed-time turning page after page dying to know what would happen next. I finally had to force myself to sleep and I picked up the book two mornings later and finished it.