Monday, January 10, 2022

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline

A sequel to the hit novel and major motion picture by Ernest Cine called Ready Player One, this novel was just as easy to read with great detail and description making your imagination build as if a Roblox or Minecraft world. If you were a child of the 80s / 90s or just a fanatic of the gaming and entertainment worlds, the references throughout the book will be easy to identify. And your memories will be brought to the forefront of your mind making for a blast from the past through reading. 

While entertaining, I thought the book was too long and the storyline predictable for the most part. However, the ending was certainly interesting and a look into a real possibility in the not so distant future. And there's plenty of futuristic ideas in here that maybe aren't so futuristic at all since we are starting to see some of the electronics and gadgets become more commonplace and slowly affordable (ie. haptics). 

I'll say that it's an enjoyable, leisure time read and worth it if you've read the first book. It also seems like there might be a 3rd book given the ending... or maybe I'm just reading into it? 

Check it out on GoodReads

Buy it on Amazon

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Numbers Don't Lie: 71 Stories to Help Us Understand the Modern World by Vaclav Smil

I enjoyed this book so much that I sent a copy to my dad for his reading pleasure. I know he'll enjoy the history, logic, connectedness of everything, and daily life / common application that each story in this collection of work describe. 

The best part about each of these stories is that they are easily understandable. The breakdowns make sense. The brief history provided is helpful and insightful. The comparisons and relativity provided give context and make the difficult to understand much less challenging and digestible. 

I'll be honest, when I read that Bill Gates recommended it, I expected something I wouldn't understand. I imagined something overly scientific and highly technical - something I'd have a hard time comprehending. But while there was terminology that I had to lookup, 95% of the book was written in such a way that the average Joe could appreciate it. 

Truly, if you want a little bit better of an understanding of the modern world, read this book. You'll appreciate a lot more about our lives on this Earth. 

Check it out on GoodReads

Buy it on Amazon

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

Didn't finish in time for the 2021 Reading Challenge, but it can surly kick off my 2022 Reading Challenge

I didn't know I needed to read this book until I read it. I love when that happens. In so many ways, this book has helped to relieve my stress. It's made me feel better to know that there are many people out there who have succeeded later in life - not because of inability or ineptitude, but because of their chosen paths that provided for ample learning in a range of fields, from a variety of people and experiences, through myriad trials and tribulations. I'm comforted in the fact that I need not be a specialist or to have trained thoroughly in a single discipline, but rather, I can enjoy the vast opportunities to soak in knowledge and eventually something will rise to the top. 

I've always worried that I haven't been on a path towards the kinds of successes that you see on television. And admittedly, that won't really stop just because I read this book. But it is a good reminder, and something that I can have in my back pocket to keep myself in check if / when I feel stressed about being the best or wanting to succeed as soon as possible. 

I'm certain to advise others who I think will benefit from reading this book to pick up a copy and digest its contents as soon as possible. 

Quotes from the book: 

"Don't feel behind."

"Compare yourself to yourself yesterday, not to younger people who are not you. Everyone progresses at a different rate, so don't let anyone else make you feel behind. You probably don't even know where exactly you're going, so feeling behind doesn't help.

"Approach your own personal voyage and projects like Michaelangelo approached a block of marble, willing to learn and adjust as you go, and even to abandon a previous goal and change directions entirely should the need arise. Research on creators in domains from technological innovation to comic books show that a diverse group of specialist cannot fully replace the contributions of broad individuals. Even when you move on from an area of work or an entire domain, that experience is not wasted.

"It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Check it out on Goodreads

Buy it on Amazon